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Wilhelm Rediess (10 October 1900 – 8 May 1945) was the SS and Police Leader during the German occupation of Norway in the Second World War. He was also the commanding General (Obergruppenführer) of all SSmarker troops stationed in occupied Norwaymarker, assuming command on 22 June 1940 until his death in 1945.

Early life

Rediess was born in Heinsbergmarker, Prussiamarker, German Empiremarker, the son of a court employee. After school, Rediess became an electrician. In June 1918, he enlisted in the German army, serving as an infantryman until the end of the First World War in November 1918. He then worked as an electrician until losing his job in the German economic crisis of 1929.

In May 1925, Rediess joined the SAmarker and in December 1925 was approved for membership in the Nazi Party. He led a Düsseldorfmarker SA company in 1927 and was transferred to the SSmarker with his unit in 1930. Promotion swiftly followed for Rediess, achieving the rank of Lieutenant General (SS-Obergruppenführer) in 1935.

World War II

At the onset of World War II, Rediess was responsible for implementing German racial laws in Prussia, overseeing the deportation of Jews from East Prussia. Rediess was then given the task of eradicating 1,558 Jewish deportees deemed mentally ill. Rediess borrowed "gas vans" and personnel from other SS units, offering a bounty of ten Reichsmark for each Jew killed. It took seventeen days to accomplish these killings, whereupon Rediess reneged on the payment.

Rediess was commended for his initiative and given command of SS units in Norway as a reward.

In March 1941, citing reports of large numbers of Norwegian women impregnated by German soldiers, Rediess implemented the German Lebensborn program in Norway. This program encouraged the production of "racially pure" Aryan children, usually sired by SS troops. Ultimately, 8,000 children were born under the auspices of this program, making Norway second only to Germany in registered Aryan births during World War II.

Rediess committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound upon the collapse of the Third Reich in Norway on 8 May 1945. His remains were destroyed when Reichskommissar Josef Terboven detonated fifty kilograms of dynamite in a bunker on the Skaugummarker compound the same day.


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