Hans Heinrich Hofrichter

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Hans Heinrich Oliver Hofrichter (born 29 March 1863 in Königsberg; † 14 April 1945 in Prague) was a German officer and SA leader, last in the rank of SA Brigadeführer. He was the oldest officer to serve in active military service on the German side during World War II.[1]


Hofrichter participated as an officer in World War I, in which he was awarded the Iron Cross of both classes.[2]

In 1930, he joined the NSDAP (membership number 382,356) in Stettin. In the 1930s he was Oberführer on the staff of the SA group Berlin-Brandenburg.[3]

At the outbreak of World War II, Hofrichter, then living in Berlin-Steglitz, volunteered for the Wehrmacht. As a lieutenant colonel (z.V.) he was the oldest officer in active service in the German army during the war. On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Hofrichter was promoted to colonel by a handwritten letter from Adolf Hitler. In addition, the Chief of Staff of the SA, Viktor Lutze, personally sought out Hofrichter and appointed him Brigadeführer in the SA.[3] The promotions and the photographed scene of the Lutze-Hofrichter meeting were exploited by Nazi propaganda in the context of the perseverance propaganda that was intensifying at this time (spring 1943) and even attracted attention in the press of the Allied countries.

Individual references

  1. Litzmannstätter Zeitung of 1 April 1943 (with photo) No.91 (PDF; 4.7 MB).
  2. Oldest Officer, in The Times Week. Incorporating the Far Eastern Review, The Shanghai Times, Vol. 1-2, 1943, p. 28.
  3. a b Germany in Combat. (=DasArchiv. Nachschlagewerk für Politik, Wirtschaft und Kultur.) Nos. 103-108, Stollberg, Berlin 1942, p. 1050.