17 October 1892- 26 February 1943
Theodore Eicke, the son of a station master, was born in Solingen (Hudingen/ Lothringen on 17th October, 1892. He joined the German Army and during the First World War won the Iron Cross for bravery.
Eicke was active in the Freikorps before becoming an inspector in the Thuringian police force. He joined the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in 1928 and two years later took command of a Schutzstaffel (SS) regiment of the Rhine-Palatinate. He joined the SS on 29-07-1930 and became SS Truppenführer shortly thereafter. The same year he became his next promotion, SS Sturmführer.
In the beginning of 1931 he became SS Sturmbahnführer and he whas Führer der II/10 SS Brigade.
Theodor Eicke whas a person who makes quick promotions and after be the Verwaltungsofficier der 10 SS Standarte and Führer der 10 SS Standarte, he makes his next promotion in October 1932 to SS Oberführer.Suspected of carrying out bomb attacks on political opponents, Heinrich Himmler advised him to go and live in Italy in 1932. After Adolf Hitler came to power Eicke returned to Germany and was appointed as commandant of Dachau.
In May 1934 Eicke was given responsibility of reorganizing Germany's concentration camp system. One of his recommendations was that guards should be warned that they would be punished if they showed prisoners any signs of humanity. In the same year he became SS Brigadeführer and SS Gruppenführer (30-01-1934 and 11-07-1934).
During the Night of the Long Knives Eicke was given the task of killing Ernst Roehm and other leaders of the Sturm Abteilung (SA). Three days after the purge Eicke was appointed Inspector of Concentration Camps and head of Death's Head Units.
On the outbreak of the Second World War Eicke was placed in command of the Totenkopf division of the Waffen SS. He fought without distinction but committed several war crimes including the execution of over 100 prisoners of war in the 2nd Royal Norfolk Regiment.
He became his next promotion in 1941, Generalleutnant der Waffen SS and his last one in 1942, SS Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen SS.
During Operation Barbarossa Eicke fought in the Soviet Union. Theodore Eicke died on 26th February, 1943, when his plane was shot down behind enemy lines near Orella.
EICKE, Theodor ("Papa") (RK m. EL)
(1892 - 1943) SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS / M.d.R.:
Born: 17. Oct. 1892 in Hudingen / Lothringen.
Killed: 26. Feb. 1943 near Orelka, Russia.
NSDAP-Nr.: 114 901 (Joined 1.12.28)
SS-Nr.: 2 921 (Joined 29.07.30)
SS-OGruf.u.Gen.d.W-SS: 20.04.42; Gen.Lt.d.WSS: 09.41; SS-Gruf.: 11.07.34; SS-Brigf.: 30.01.34; SS-Oberf.: 26.10.32; SS-Staf.: 15.11.31; SS-Stubaf.: 30.01.31; SS-Sturmführer: 27.11.30; SS-Truppführer: 08.30; SS-Mann: 29.07.30
Kdr. SS-Totenkopf-Division (upgraded/redesignated as SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Totenkopf", 1942): 09.1941 - 26.02.1943 (Ý)
Kdr. SS-Totenkopf-Division: 14.11.1939 - 6.07.1941 (seriously injured, 6.07.1941, when his command vehicle struck a mine; suffered nerve damage and a shattered right foot; Matthias Kleinheisterkamp and Georg Keppler served as successive substitutes)
HSSPF in operational areas of Armeeoberkommandos 8 & 10 (later became HSSPF "Ost" with HQ in Krakow): 09.1939 - 10.1939
Mitglied des Reichstages: 30.01.1937 - 26.02.1943
Inspekteur der Konzentrationslager: 4.07.1934 - 15.11.1939
Kommandant des K.L. Dachau: 26.06.1933 4.07.1934
Offizier z.b.V. SS-Gruppe Süd": 06.1933 - 20.06.1934
Führer 10.SS-Standarte: 21.12.1931 -
Verwaltungsoffizier 10.SS-Standarte: 7.11.31 - 21.12.31
Führer II./10.SS-Brigade: 30.01.1931 - 7.11.1931
Führer SS-Sturm 147: 27.11.30 - 30.01.1931
SS-Sturm 147 (Ludwigshafen): 30.08.1930 - 27.11.30
Entered SS: 29.07.1930
SA-Truppführer in Frankenthal (later in Ludwigshafen): 1.12.28 - 29.07.1930 (transferred to SS)
Joined NSDAP and SA: 1.12.1928.
WW I, Freikorps, & Police Service:
Entered Imperial Army as volunteer, 1909. Assigned to Inf.Rgt. 23 "König Ferdinand der Bulgaren" (Landau / Rheinland-Pfalz) until 1913. Transferred to Inf.Rgt. 3 "Prinz Karl von Bayern to 08.1914. Then served with Inf.Rgt. 22 "Fürst Wilhelm von Hohenzollern". Moved to the artillery branch, serving in Bayr.Fußartillerie-Rgt. 2 from 1916 to 1917. A paymaster, his final duty was with the replacement machine gun company of II.Armee-Korps. He was discharged as an Unterzahlmeister, 1.03.1919.
Attended Technical College at Ilmenau / Thuringen until 09.1919, when he was forced to leave for financial reasons and because of his radical politics. Enlisted in police as candidate in Ilmenau, 12.1919. Dismissed for subversive, anti-Republic political leanings, 07.1920. Passed Schutzpolizei school exams, Cottbus, 1920, but was refused employment due to his political activities. Dismissed, 1921 two weeks into his service as a police officer candidate in Weimar. Finally received a job with police administration, Ludwigshafen am Rhein but dismissed in Jan. 1923 (again, for political reasons).
An employee of I.G. Farbenindustrie, Jan. 1923 - Mar. 1932, first as commercial agent, then as security advisor.
* Youngest of 11 children of the railway stationmaster Heinrich Eicke. Attended Volkschule and Realschule in Hampont. A poor student, he left and joined the army in 1909.
* Married to Bertha Schwebel, 26. Dec. 1914. Two children, Irma (born 5. Apr. 1916) and Hermann, born 4. May 1920 (Hermann Eicke was killed in action 2. Dec. 1941)
* Accompanied by Michael Lippert, shot SA-Stabschef Ernst Röhm in his cell at Stadelheim Prison, München, 1.07.1934.
Decorations & Awards:
Ritterkreuz des E.K.: 26. Dec. 1941
-Eichenlaub (Nr. ): 20. 04. 1942
1939 EK I: 31.05.1940
1939 Sp.z.1914 EK II: 26.05.1940
1914 EK II;
Verwundetenabzeichen, 1939 in Silber
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
Braunschweig Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2. Klasse (WW I)
Bayerische Order of Merit 2. Klasse (WW I)
Bayerische Military Service Badge 3. Klasse (WW I)
Goldenes Parteiabzeichen: 30.01.1940
Ehrendegen des RF SS / Totenkopfring der SS