A black and white photo that shows five SS officers taking a walk on a square surrounded by buildings. The men all walk side by side with Paul Albers in the middle.
Paul Albers (centre) on a walk with officers of the reconnaissance battalion in the square of Oradea (now Romania) in late spring 1944. In 2008, Albers was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Monte Sole massacre. © Private archive Nils Olger, Vienne

Paul Albers

* "13 September 1919" – Bonn (Rhineland)
† "22 September 2009" – Saarbrücken

Starting in April 1939, Paul Albers served in the Leibstandarte SSAdolf Hitler Division. After taking a course for SS leaders, in 1943 he was made an SS Untersturmführer in the reserves. In Feb. 1944, Albers joined the Reconnaissance battalion of the 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division ‘Reichsführer-SS’, where he would serve as Walter Reder’s adjutant until his surrender. His tasks included keeping the battalion’s war-diary. For this reason, Albers was probably one of the best-informed officers in the unit.

In 1951, he was a witness in the trial of Walter Reder. In 2008, the military prosecutor in La Spezia sentenced Albers – the only surviving officer from the reconnaissance unit – to life in prison.

Nationality
German
Joined the NSDAP
not verified
Armed force
Waffen-SS
Unit
Leibstandarte SS ‘Adolf Hitler’
SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion 16
16th SS Panzergrenadier Division ‘Reichsführer-SS’
SS-Obersturmführer
Offensive
Poland 1939
Western campaign 1940
Eastern Front 1941-43
Italy 1944-45
Hungary 1945
Confirmed Massacres

Bardine

Vinca

Monte Sole

Post war period

1951 witness in the Reder trial; 2008 accused, found guilty, and sentenced in La Spezia.

Training and war experience

Participation in massacres of civilians

In Feb. 1944 Albers was assigned to SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion 16 of the 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division ‘Reichsführer-SS’. Until the capitulation, he remained in service as Walter Reder’s adjutant
Albers’ tasks included keeping the battalion’s war-diary.

The postwar period

Sources

Albers’ SS-personnel files are kept in the German Federal Archives, Berlin (R 9361-III/236730 und R 9361-III/514242). Some information on the postwar period can be found in files tied to the trial of Walter Reder, kept in the Rome military court.

Literature

Carlo Gentile, Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Partisanenkrieg: Italien 1943-1945, Paderborn, Ferdinand Schöningh, 2012, pp. 272-284.

Authorship and translation

Author: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

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

2023

Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0

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