25 March 2016

0147 | Bio | Artur Phleps



Artur Phleps, commander and founder of the SS Division "Prinz Eugen" and the V SS Mountain Corps. An extremely authoritative and charismatic person, a passionate strategist and logistician, strict but fair to his subordinates and ruthless to his enemies. He was loved by his soldiers, who called him fondly "Papa", and appreciated and respected by his superiors. Born in Transylvania, an ethnic German, officer of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kingdom of Romania, and, finally, of the Third Reich. He enlisted in the Waffen-SS after the German invasion of the Soviet Union (at first under his mother's maiden name, Stolz), in the "Wiking" Division, where he first served as a staff officer and then as commander of the "Westland" Regiment. He came in Yugoslavia, whose terrain he knew well, half a year later and, in March 1942, founded an SS division from the Banat Germans, which would bear the name of "Prinz Eugen". Phleps led it through Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, through operations "White" and "Black" – until June 1943, when he was appointed commander of the newly-formed V SS Mountain Corps. He was also in charge of the formation of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian SS Division "Handschar", in March 1943, and of the Kosovo Albanian "Skanderbeg", in April 1944. In late August of the same year, after Romania switched sides and joined the Soviets, Phleps asked for a transfer to his homeland, to help the German refugees, and in September 1944 was appointed SS and Police Commander in Transylvania. But without troops at his disposal. The same month, accompanied only by his adjutant and driver, he entered a German village, unaware that the Soviet troops were already there; all three of them were captured, and shot the same day. Among the last lines in his diary, he confidently wrote: "Should I fall, I will be leaving an honest name to my people." But what Phleps and his soldiers really left behind were ruins and a sea of corpses of innocent, brutally murdered civilians – their former hosts. The enclosed photographs show him during the World Wars – as an Austro-Hungarian captain, and as an SS-Gruppenführer and commander of the "Prinz Eugen" Division (posing with the Iron Trefoil 1st Class, the highest military decoration of the NDH).

Text © Ivan Ž.

Name: Artur Martin Phleps.
Nationality: German.
Rank: SS-Obergruppenführer.
Date of birth: 29 November 1881.
Place of birth: Biertan, Austria-Hungary.
Date of death: 20 September 1944.
Place of death: near Arad, Romania.
Cause of death: shooting.
SS number: 401214.
Note: holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves; declared a war criminal by the Yugoslav State Commission and the United Nations Commission.

Photographer: a) unknown; b) unknown.
Date: a) 25 December 1915; b) March 1943.
Location: a) Villach, Austria-Hungary; b) unknown, Yugoslavia.

File source: a) Roland Kaltenegger, "Totenkopf & Edelweiß" (p. 96); b) Otto Kumm, "7. SS-Gebirgs-Division 'Prinz Eugen' im Bild" (p. 27).

NOT ALLOWED: removing source credits from the files – using text without crediting the original author – using files and information for political propaganda and commercial purposes.



Artur Fleps, komandant i osnivač SS-divizije "Princ Eugen" i V brdskog SS-korpusa. Izuzetno autoritativna i harizmatična osoba, strastveni strateg i logističar, prema podređenima strog ali pravičan, a prema neprijateljima nemilosrdan. Njegovi vojnici su ga voleli i od milja zvali "tata", a nadređeni cenili i poštovali. Rodom iz Transilvanije, domaći Nemac, oficir Austrougarske monarhije, Kraljevine Rumunije i, na kraju, Trećeg Rajha. U SS-trupe je stupio po nemačkoj invaziji na Sovjetski Savez (u prvi mah pod majčinim devojačkim prezimenom, Štolc), u diviziju "Viking", u kojoj je prvobitno služio kao štabni oficir, a potom kao komandant puka "Vestland". U Jugoslaviju, čiji je teren dobro poznavao, dolazi pola godine kasnije i, u martu 1942. godine, osniva SS-diviziju od Nemaca iz Banata, koja će nositi ime "Princ Eugen". Fleps ju je vodio kroz Srbiju, Hrvatsku, Bosnu i Hercegovinu, Crnu Goru, kroz operacije "Belo" i "Crno" – sve do juna 1943, kada je postavljen za komandanta novoformiranog V brdskog SS-korpusa. Bio je zadužen i za formiranje bosansko-hercegovačke SS-divizije "Handžar", u martu 1943, i kosovsko-albanske "Skenderbeg", u aprilu 1944. Krajem avgusta iste godine, nakon što je Rumunija promenila stranu i pridružila se Sovjetima, Fleps traži prekomandu u svoju domovinu, da bi pomogao nemačkim izbeglicama, i u septembru 1944. postaje komandant SS-a i policije u Transilvaniji. Ali bez trupa na raspolaganju. Istog meseca, praćen samo ađutantom i šoferom, ulazi je u jedno nemačko selo, nesvestan da se u njemu već nalaze sovjetske trupe; sva trojica su zarobljeni, i istog dana streljani. Među poslednjim redovima u svom dnevniku samouvereno je zapisao: "Ako padnem, svom narodu ostavljam časno ime za sobom." Ali ono što su Fleps i njegovi vojnici zaista za sobom ostavili bila su zgarišta, i more leševa nevinih, mučki ubijenih civila – svojih bivših domaćina. Priložene fotografije ga prikazuju za vreme svetskih ratova – kao austrougarskog kapetana, i kao SS-grupenfirera i komandanta "Princ Eugen" divizije (dok pozira sa Gvozdenim trolistom I reda, najvišim vojnim odlikovanjem NDH).

Tekst © Ivan Ž.

Ime i prezime: Artur Martin Fleps.
Narodnost: Nemac.
Čin: SS-obergrupenfirer.
Datum rođenja: 29. novembar 1881.
Mesto rođenja: Biertan, Austrougarska.
Datum smrti: 20. septembar 1944.
Mesto smrti: kod Arada, Rumunija.
Uzrok smrti: streljanje.
SS-broj: 401214.
Napomena: nosilac Viteškog krsta sa hrastovim lišćem; proglašen za ratnog zločinca od strane Državne komisije Jugoslavije i Komisije Ujedinjenih nacija.

Fotograf: a) nepoznat; b) nepoznat.
Datum: a) 25. decembar 1915; b) mart 1943.
Mesto: a) Filah, Austrougarska; b) nepoznato, Jugoslavija.

Izvor fajla: a) Roland Kaltenegger, "Totenkopf & Edelweiß" (str. 96); b) Otto Kumm, "7. SS-Gebirgs-Division 'Prinz Eugen' im Bild" (str. 27).

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