(1915 - 1976)
Joachim Peiper (also known as Jochen Peiper from the
common nickname for Joachim), was a senior Waffen-SS officer, and commander in the Panzer campaigns of 1939-1945.
Peiper was born on
January 30, 1915.
Peiper was recruited into the Waffen-SS in 1935 upon his
graduation from college. Sepp
Dietrich reviewed his application and admitted him into the "Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler" honor
guard regiment, which was re-formed as a Waffen/SS or military unit at the outbreak of war. At age 29, Peiper was a
full colonel of the Waffen/SS and a holder of the Knight's Cross with Swords. He was a skilled leader,
and took part in a number of major Panzer battles of the war.
After the end of World
War II, Peiper and other members of the Waffen-SS were tried for war crimes in the Malmédy
Massacre Trial, the Dachauer Prozess, and sentenced to death by
The sentences of many of
the Malmedy defendants were later commuted
to life, and then to time served, and Peiper
was released on parole from prison at the
end of December 1956, after serving 11 1/2
years, much in solitary confinement, and
55 months on death row.
After release, Peiper eventually
went to live in Travès, France, and
supported himself as a translator. Just
as he was starting to write a book on the
Malmedy Massacre, Peiper
was killed in a fire bomb attack on his
house on July 14, 1976. A group of Frenchmen,
wearing ski masks, were photographed as they
announced, “We got Peiper.” This
photo was published on November 7, 1976,
in the New York Times Magazine. The
attackers were never prosecuted, but were
suspected to be French Communists.
Sources: What-Means.Com; Scrapbookpages