Ulrich Kleemann

Ulrich Kleemann (23 March 1892 – 1 January 1963) was a German general during World War II and a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany. He commanded the 90th Light Africa Division in North Africa from 10 April 1942 to 13 July 1942 and from 10 August 1942 to 1 November 1942.

Ulrich Kleemann
Born23 March 1892
Langensalza, Province of Saxony, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Died1 January 1963 (1963-02) (aged 70)
Oberursel, Hesse, West Germany
Allegiance German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branchArmy (Wehrmacht)
Years of service1911–1945
RankWMacht H OF8 GenWaGtg h 1935-1945.svg General der Panzertruppe
Commands heldSturm-Division "Rhodos"
90th Light Infantry Division
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

During the Dodecanese Campaign, Kleemann commanded the 7,500-strong Sturm-Division "Rhodos" during the attack on the Italian garrison of Rhodes.[1] Kleeman defeated the Italians within two days, before British reinforcements could arrive in Rhodes. In September 1943, barely two weeks after the Italian surrender, British forces landed on Samos, Leros, and Kos. Kleemann counterattacked and within two months overran the three British garrisons.

In June 1944, two SS officers arrived by plane in Rhodes to hold discussions with Kleemann about the (Ladino speaking) Jews of Rhodes. On 13 July Kleemann issued an order ordering the Jewish population of Rhodes to gather in the city of Rhodes and the towns of Trianda, Cremasto and Villanova by noon on 17 July. On 16 July Kleemann was forced to issue another order stating that the Jewish question on Rhodes had apparently given rise to "doubts" and barring further questioning of orders by the troops.[2] 1,700 members of the ancient Jewish community of Rhodes, out of a population of about 2,000, were rounded up and transported to mainland Europe. Only some 160 of them survived the camps.[3][4] Out of 6,000 Ladino-speaking Jews in the Dodecanese as a whole, some 1,200 survived by escaping to the nearby coast of Turkey.

From 27 November 1944 to 8 May 1945, Kleeman commanded Panzer Corps Feldherrnhalle on the Eastern Front.[1] Kleeman's tank corps fought in Hungary and was destroyed in the Battle of Budapest.

Command historyEdit

  • 1942 to 1943 General Officer Commanding, 90th Light Africa Division, North Africa
  • 1943 to 1944 General Officer Commanding, Assault Division "Rhodes"
  • 1944 to 1945 General Officer Commanding, Panzer Corps Feldherrnhalle

Awards and decorationsEdit

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b "8 Settembre 1943 La Resistenza". Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  2. ^ Hilberg, Raul (2003a) [1961]. The Destruction of the European Jews (Third ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. p. 754.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  3. ^ "Holocaust". Rhodesjewishmuseum.org. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  4. ^ "The Holocaust in Greece" (PDF). Ushmm.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  5. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 372.
  6. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 258.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Stockert, Peter (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 4 [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 4] (in German). Bad Friedrichshall, Germany: Friedrichshaller Rundblick. ISBN 978-3-932915-03-1.
  • Thomas, Franz (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalmajor Richard Veith
Commander of 90. Light Africa Division
29 April 1942 – 14 June 1942
Succeeded by
Oberst Werner Marcks
Preceded by
Commander of LXXXXI. Armeekorps
18 September 1944 - 9 October 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Werner von Erdmannsdorff
Preceded by
Commander of Panzerkorps Feldherrnhalle
27 November 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by