Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this outstanding and important German Cross in Silver grouping of Major General Ernst Rode, SS Obersturmbannführer. Award groupings of German military personnel of this high rank, and particularly of members of the Waffen-SS, are only rarely offered for sale; many have been broken up and scattered over the years. This grouping comes impeccable provenance and documentation, with a signed statement from former SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Bernhard Frank, who served with Rode. Frank was friends with Rode during the war, and the statement details how he came to be in possession of these items. The grouping includes signed photos of Frank with the items, as well as detailed pictures of the awards which are of course the same items that are offered here. The highlight here is the two German Crosses in Silver, both made by Zimmermann with the typical “20” mark under the pin. Both crosses show only light age and wear, with beautiful enamel, great original finish, and no damage or repairs. One of the crosses shows what might be a bit more wear than the other, suggesting this was the one that Rode wore daily on his uniform. Also included in the German Cross in Silver grouping is Rode’s SA Sports Badge, which is complete with its original “Leistungsbuch” award ID document. The badge has great original finish, and is complete, with no damage or repairs. All of the awards in this grouping remain in excellent condition. The SA sports badge document was issued to Rode in 1935, when he was a Hauptmann in the Schutzpolizei. The book includes a photo of Rode in his Polizei officer uniform, displaying his WWI awards. The book is complete, though the front and back covers have separated from the book due to age. Rode has signed the book on the first page. This incredible German Cross in Silver grouping of Major General Ernst Rode could be the highlight of an advanced collection of attributed Third Reich awards.
Historical Description: Rode served in the army during WW1 and had risen through the ranks to Sergeant-Major of Artillery. He was released from the army in December 1918, and placed on the Reserve. He joined the Freikorps during 1919, and then got a job with a textile firm for a short time. Like most ex-servicemen, he was offered a police position at his army rank and rose from the ranks to Oberstleutnant der Schutzpolizei by January 1942. He had joined the SS on May Day 1933, but maintained his police career until 1941, when he was made a Sturmbannführer. From then on, he had a dual role. Much of his time in the police service was as an instructor, where he would travel around Germany giving lectures on policing. He was promoted to Obersturmbannführer and Oberstleutnant der Polizei in January 1942, and to Standartenführer in November 1942. His promotion to Oberst der Polizei came later in February 1943. Two further promotions came after. First, to Oberführer in November 1943 and then to Brigadeführer in June 1944. He was also promoted to Major-General of Police in August 1944. During WW2, Rode served as: * Police Chief Adviser of Civil Administration, attached to Armeeoberkommando 4 (4th Army Group HQ) from September 1939 until April 1940. He advised on how the Polish Civil Police should be used.
His roles went as follows: * As Befehlshaber der Ordnungspolizei Norway from April 04,1940 until August 1940. * Regimental Commander for the Police Regiment “”Mähren”” (Moravia) in Brün from August 1940 until February 1941. * Commanded Polizei Bataillon 315 in Yugoslavia from February 1941 until May 1941, fighting Partisans. * Commanded a group in Reichfuhrer-SS from May 1941 until November 1942. * Commanded the Latvian SS “”Lettische Brigade”” for a short time in August 1943.
Rode succeeded Karl Wolffe as Chief of WVHA,s Amt4 (Chief of RFSS Personal Staff), for the period August 1943 to May 1945. He also took over as chief of the “”Bandenkämpfverbände”” (Struggle against Partisans), which had been formed by Erich von dem Bach Zewlewski from August 1944 until January 1945. Rode was captured by US troops holed up in a farm building in Zell-am-See, Austria in May 1945 and appeared at the Nuremberg Trials held in 1946, where he gave evidence, but he was not charged with war crimes. He died in Göttingen in December 1955. “
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