He was a field officer of the Waffen-SS (he had the rank of SS-Standartenführer der Waffen-SS, comparable with the rank of colonel). He was personal adjutant to the commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS), Heinrich Himmler. He held this position between November 1940 and August 1941. Peiper fought on both the Eastern Front against the Red Army and the Western Front against the Western Allies. He won the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords for bravery on the battlefield and his leadership skills. By 1945, he was in command of a regiment of the Waffen-SS. He was the Waffen-SS's youngest regimental colonel.
Peiper was convicted of war crimes committed in Belgium. He was imprisoned for almost 12 years. He was also accused of war crimes in Italy. However, Italian and German courts decided that there was not enough evidence. After his release from prison, Peiper worked for both Porsche and Volkswagen. He then moved to France. In France he translated books from English to German under the pseudonym Rainer Buschmann. Peiper was murdered in France in July 1976. He was shot by unknown people who then burned his house to the ground using Molotov cocktails.
Other websites[change | change source]
Media related to Joachim Peiper at Wikimedia Commons