Josias, Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont

Josias, Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont (In German: Josias Georg Wilhelm Adolf Erbprinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont) - (13 May 1896 - 30 November 1967) was the heir apparent the throne of the Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont and a General in the SS. From 1946 until his death he was the head of the Princely House of Waldeck and Pyrmont.

Early years

He was born in Arolsen at the ruling families castle the eldest son and heir of Prince Friedrich of Waldeck and Pyrmont and his consort Princess Bathildis of Schaumburg-Lippe. He enlisted in the German Army as a cadet and saw action during the First World War where he was suffered serious injuries. At the end of the war his family lost their Principality as Waldeck became a Free State in the new Weimar republic.

Member of the SS

After the war Josias studied agriculture and on 1 November 1929 he joined Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party becoming a member of the SS on 2 March 1930. He was immediately appointed adjutant to Sepp Dietrich a leading member of the SS before becoming Heinrich Himmler's Adjutant and staff chief in September 1930.

Josias was elected as the Reichstag member for Düsseldorf-West in 1933 and was promoted to the rank of SS Lieutenant General. He was promoted again in 1939 when he became the Higher SS and Police Leader for Weimar. In this position he had supervisory authority over Buchenwald concentration camp. Adolf Hitler appointed him a member of the Ordnungspolizei in April 1941 and a year later he was appointed High Commissioner of Police in German occupied France. One of his first acts in his new role was to announce that French hostages would be placed on German troop trains so as to discourage sabotage attempts on them. He was made a General in the Waffen-SS in July 1944.

Summary of his SS career

Dates of rank

Notable decorations

Arrest and later life

He was arrested on 13 April 1945 and sentenced to life imprisonment by an American court at Dachau on 14 August 1947. He was taken to Landsberg am Lech though he only served three years of his sentence before being released in December 1950 for health reasons. He was also granted an amnesty by the Minister President of Hesse in July 1953 which resulted in the fine that had been imposed on him being significantly reduced. Josias became head of the House of Waldeck and Pyrmont on the death of his father on 26 May 1946 while under arrest. He died at his estate Schloss Schaumburg and was succeeded as head of the house by his only son Prince Wittekind.


Prince Josias married Duchess Altburg of Oldenburg (1903-2001) at Rastede on 25 August 1922 a daughter of the former Grand Duke of Oldenburg, Friedrich August. They had five children.

  • Princess Margarethe (b. 22 May 1923; d. 21 August 2003) married (1972) div. (1979) Count Franz August zu Erbach-Erbach (b. 1925)
  • Princess Alexandra (b. 25 September 1924) married (1949) Prince Botho of Bentheim und Steinfurt (1924-2001)
  • Princess Ingrid (b. 2 September 1931)
  • Prince Wittekind (b. 9 March 1936) married (1988) Countess Cecilie of Goëß-Saurau (b. 1956)
  • Princess Guda (b. 22 August 1939) married (1958) div. (1972) Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Wied (1931-2001); married second (1968) Horst Dierkes (b. 1939)



  • Petropoulos, Jonathan (2006). Royals and the Reich: The Princes Von Hessen in Nazi Germany. Oxford University Press.


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