A black-and-white photograph showing Heydebreck in portrait. He is sitting on a terrace in a park-like landscape. Heydebreck is wearing his uniform with his awards, but without his cap.
Oberst von Heydebreck in Italy in summer 1944, after receipt of the Knight’s Cross. To the left beneath the Luftwaffe eagle: the ribbon of the Medal of Honour of 9 November 1923 (Blood Order of the Nazi Party). © BArch, Bild 183-2000-0621-500 / Hoffmann

Georg-Hennig Hans von Heydebreck

* "27 December 1903" – Potsdam (Brandenburg)
† "12 April 1976" – Ahrensburg (Schleswig-Holstein)

In 1944, Georg-Hennig von Heydebreck led the Panzer regiment of the "Hermann Göring" Division in Italy. In April 1944, he led a series of operations against partisans in the area of Florence and Arezzo. In the course of these operations, atrocities and massacres were perpetrated against the civilian population, especially in the Vallucciole mountain village. 

Von Heydebreck came from an old Pomeranian family. He was one of the officer candidates at the Munich Infantry School who participated in the November 1923 Hitler putsch. Later he received the so-called Blood Order of the Nazi Party for this activity, although he was never a party member. 

After the war, in the course of denazification proceedings he was obliged to furnish information about his participation in the Munich putsch. He was never brought to justice for his participation in the crimes of the "Hermann Göring" Division in Italy.

Reichswehr und Wehrmacht
Army branch
Joined the NSDAP
Not a member
Armed force
Fallschirm-Panzerdivision "Hermann Göring"
Years of service
Poland 1939
France 1940
Eastern Front 1941-1943
Italy 1943-1944
Confirmed Massacres

Monte Morello
Monte Falterona

Post war period

Leading position in automobile industry
Reserve officer in Bundeswehr

Training and experience in the war

A portrait of Georg-Hennig von Heydebreck in black and white: he wears his uniform without a cap and is slightly turned away from the camera.
Portrait of Oberst Georg-Hennig Hans von Heydebreck. In Italy, he commanded the Panzer regiment of the ”Hermann Göring” Division. © BArch, Bild 183-2021-0318-500 / Fot. ignoto
In June 1943, Heydebreck was promoted to Oberst and assigned to the ‘Hermann Göring’ Panzer Division, stationed in Italy. In April 1944, he led anti-partisan operations in the area of Florence and Arezzo.

Participation in massacres of civilians

In 1947, Heydebreck underwent denazification proceedings. He had to furnish information about the Hitler putsch of 9 Nov. 1923 and his receipt of the so-called Blood Order. During these proceedings, he indicated nothing about his time in the ‘Hermann Göring’ Division.

The postwar period


Personnel files of the Heeres-Personalamt (army personnel office, Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg (German Federal Archives - Military Department in Freiburg), PERS 6/81430. Denazification, Ludwigsburg State Archives, Bestand EL 902/4 Bü 5441, Heydebreck.


Claus Heinrich Bill/Hans Georg von Heydebreck, 750 Jahre Heydebrecks. Die Familie v. Heydebreck vom Mittelalter bis heute 1254-2004, Limburg an der Lahn, Starke Verlag, 2004, pp. 243-266.

Carlo Gentile, Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Partisanenkrieg: Italien 1943-1945, Paderborn, Schöningh, 2012, pp. 312f.

Authorship and translation

Author: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

© Project ‘The Massacres in Occupied Italy (1943-1945): Integrating the Perpetrators’ Memories’


Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0