Biography Otto Skorzeny: years of life, family, children, memoirs (2022)

One of the notorious personalities of the Second World War - Otto Skorzeny. "A man with a scar," he was called differently. By nationality, Otto is a Pole. He is known in the world as the most professional scout, for whom there were no borders and boundaries. This man had no conscience. He worked for Hitler. After the defeat of Germany, he took the side of the Americans. He gave preference to work for those who pay more. An interesting and full of events life, which is full of undisclosed secrets. Biography Otto Skorzeny will be told in the article.

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Youth Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeni (years of life 1908-1975) was born in Vienna. His father was a simple engineer. His growth was, by many measures, enormous and was 196 cm. In the student body, Otto often performed in duels ("musketeer duels"). They passed like in the old days, with swords. In one of these fights he received his mark on his face. In the student body, he met a man who introduced him to the NSDAP

In 1934, as part of the 89 standard, Skorzeny took part in the putsch. As a result, he earns the glory of an unsurpassed leader.

1938 - the widespread rout of the Jews. The so-called "Kristallnacht" in all parts of Germany. Here, Otto also shows his best. He takes away the enterprises belonging to the Jews and gives them to the father-in-law. And he himself took the villa of one of the defeated.

The War Begins

When the war began, Skorzeny entered the service as an engineer. But it did not suit him, and he joined the army. But the military did not find it. First he was in the spare, then he worked as a driver. In general, his military career was not asked from the very beginning.

In 1941, he managed to take part in hostilities, but he became seriously ill and was sent for treatment to his hometown. Immediately after his departure, decisive action on the part of the Soviet Union began. The fate itself saved his life, not letting him die on the battlefield, for more important matters in his difficult life. After treatment, he was left for a simple post in Berlin.

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Skorzeny was eager to fight. He tried to master the tanker's courses. But here he did not succeed. Since 1943, he has become a saboteur, working for special purpose departments. It was this work that made him famous all over the world.

Special operations conducted by a saboteur

  • The operation, which was called "Oak", or "Ayehe", is the most famous. To implement it, candidates were selected with special care by Hitler himself. Scorzeny's concern was not only to find out where Mussolini was kept, but also to be able to rescue him and bring him to Hitler. No matter how confusing the traces of the Italians, the location was found. The pictures taken on the spot showed that it would be very difficult to get there, the hotel was surrounded by rocks. It was decided to go a small group. They reached the place on the gliders, two of which were wrecked. Otto himself personally controlled the glider and the whole operation. At its carrying out 40% of group were lost. This despite the fact that the operation was practically without a single shot. Mussolini before Hitler decided to deliver on a two-seat airplane. The pilot was categorically against, but Skorzeny still flew with them. With great difficulty, the plane managed to be lifted into the air. The operation was successful. Mussolini was taken to his destination.
  • "Long Jump" is an operation that ended in failure. Otto had to kill or steal Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. Thanks to Russian intelligence, he did not succeed.
  • Attempt on Hitler. Otto Skorzeny suppressed the mutiny, brutally exterminating all those who dared to speak against the Fuhrer. This successful operation was marked by another reward in the treasury of the saboteur.
  • Battles for Pomerania. For this operation, Hitler awarded him a special order, a knightly cross with oak leaves.

The operations conducted by Skorzeny basically ended in failure. But for those whose performance was particularly brilliant, he was marked by special orders personally from Hitler. He was awarded numerous awards for his espionage affairs and sabotage.

The most unsuccessful operation of Skorzeni

One of the most disastrous operations in the biography of Otto Skorzeny is the help to a non-existent detachment of partisans. The Soviet intelligence officer, whom the Germans considered to be their own, gave information that a detachment of about 2000 people was stuck. They managed to survive, and they ask for help. Supervised by the detachment Sherhorn, who at that time was an enlisted agent of the USSR. Otto decided to check the reliability of the information. He sent there 8 paratroopers from among the best and devotees. They were immediately captured by the Soviet Union. Skorzeny received an answer from them. A report of the usual signal came, and then a special one, which said that they are all well and captured they are not captured. Skorzeny began to actively help the detachment, cut off from the allies. After 8 months, 22 scouts from Germany, radio stations, foodstuffs, weapons and about 2 million rubles were sent there. Otto did not understand that he was cruelly deceived.

Otto Skorzeny: children, family

He was married three times. He had one daughter who claims that she never refused her father and did not hide her family relationship with him. Difficulties did not arise even when she openly spoke her name. Daughter, Waltraud Riss, gave birth to two boys, Otto's grandsons, with whom he was very proud. They say that he dreamed of a boy, and he wanted to call his still unborn daughter Klaus. He had no idea that a boy could not be born. And, in general, Otto Skorzeny's family is covered with a curtain of secrecy. Very little is known about his personal life.

Life after the end of World War II

The fate of Otto Skorzeny after the war was not the best. He was arrested and imprisoned. But he did not become long in prison and was justified by the Americans. And then he went to their service. Then, on a false passport, he left the country and began to help the same inmates like him to officially leave the country without fear of persecution. He was part of the secret community of ODESSA.

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Another group of "Palladin" was founded by Otto in 1970 as a neo-fascist organization. She gathered together all those who were part of secret associations of different times, and helped to hide from justice.

Part of life, about 10 years, spent in Ireland, where he bought a house and a certain amount of land for himself.

Involvement and cooperation with the Mossad

Until some time, the public was not aware of the fact that Otto was involved in the Mossad. But when the newspaper published the data, the sensation plunged everyone into shock. In the confrontation between Israel and Egypt was the eternal race for primacy and power. When Egypt began to attract German specialists, Israel became worried. It was impossible to allow the strengthening of Egypt's position, and they began their own recruiting of former Nazis. Their goal was to seize as many people as possible under their authority, who are able to obtain the necessary secret archives of documents.

Otto Skorzeni, whose biography is full of not the most commendable acts, was one of such people. He was offered freedom from fear for his life. The murder of Eichmann made Otto think that he might become the next. He agreed, but no one ever knew about it.

Otto Skorzeny: memoirs and other books

It is believed that Otto himself wrote his biography. But due to the fact that many questions turn out to be controversial, one might think that some achievements are simply attributed. Many of his facts do not fit in with real history. Therefore, it is worth considering whether to trust his words or not.

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Memoirs written by Otto Skorzeny are a great work called "The Secret Assignments of the RSHA." In the annotation to her it is written that this is a huge collection of incredible adventures that fell to the share of the officer. The course of all the secret operations of the Reich is reflected in his book. It is fascinating and very interesting that, in fact, the man was not a high rank, but achieved such prominence that not every ruler of the state achieves.

The contents of the book are 20 chapters, which thoroughly and consistently describe the actions of the saboteur during the time when the operations were performed, and his personal conclusions.

The "Unknown War" is another book by "Scarface Man" by Otto Skorzeny, in which he tells how the service in the SS ranks, revealing details that were not previously known to anyone.

"Why did not we take Moscow?" - arguments from his memoirs about where and how errors were committed, and why the ultimate goal of the war has not been achieved. What was the reason that Moscow was not taken immediately in 1941.

Otto Skorzeny's books were not fully translated into Russian. Basically, the translation touched those pages, which described in detail the course of this or that operation.

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The End of the Life of the "Superdivers"

How did Otto Skorzeny die? In 1970, he found cancer cells. Then an operation was performed, as a result of which he again began to live a normal life. But in 1975 the disease began to progress with renewed vigor. It was not possible to save him. He died in the hospital, his body was cremated. Ashes was sent to Austria.

In the biography of Otto Skorzeny a lot of incomprehensible, memoirs, which he left behind, are worthy to become a plot of an adventure film. He lived an interesting life, but, unfortunately, not the most worthy. Many are now interested in his biography and achievements. We hope that the article answered many questions about Otto Skorzeny's personality.


Where was Otto Skorzeny born? ›

Otto Skorzeny, (born 1908, Vienna—died July 5, 1975, Madrid), Nazi SS officer, who gained fame in 1943 for his daring rescue of Benito Mussolini from confinement at Campo Imperatore in the Abruzzi mountains where he had been imprisoned by Marshal Pietro Badoglio.

How big was Otto Skorzeny? ›

He was 67 years old. Six feet four inches tall, weighing more than 200 pounds and once regarded as “the most dangerous man in Europe,” Otto Skorzeny was a Viennese engineer who rose out of obscurity to win the confidence of Hitler and to captivate Nazi Germany with his aueacity.

What is Otto Skorzeny known for? ›

He was Hitler's favourite Nazi commando, famously rescuing Mussolini from an Italian hilltop fortress, and was known as "the most dangerous man in Europe". After World War Two, he landed in Argentina and became a bodyguard for Eva Perón, with whom he was rumoured to have had an affair.

How many German soldiers froze to death in Russia? ›

On 18 January 1942, the Germans were able to reconquer Feodosia. "They found that around 150 wounded German military personnel had been murdered.
Massacre of Feodosia.
Feodosia Massacre
Deaths150–160 German POWs
PerpetratorsRed Army
3 more rows

Who was Otto in ww2? ›

Otto Günsche was born in Jena in Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. After leaving secondary school at 16 he volunteered for the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and joined the Nazi Party on 1 July 1934. He first met Adolf Hitler in 1936. He was Hitler's SS adjutant from 1940 to 1941.

Who was Hitler's favorite soldier? ›

Otto Skorzeny, Hitler's favorite soldier and Germany's top commando in World War II, is one of the most famous men in the history of special forces. His extraordinary wartime career was one of high risk and adventure, and here he tells the full story.

Who was Hitler's second in command? ›

Heinrich Himmler became the second-in-command of Nazi Germany following Göring's downfall after the repeated losses of the Luftwaffe which the Reichsmarshall commanded, as Supreme Commander of the Home Army and Reichsführer-SS. As commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS), Himmler also held overall command of the Gestapo.

What was Hitler's plan for Ireland? ›

Germany's invasion plans for Britain were codenamed 'Operation Sealion'. Their invasion plans for Ireland were codenamed 'Unternehmen Grun' or 'Operation Green'. Like Operation Sealion, Operation Green was never executed. The Nazis failed to achieve air superiority over the English Channel that summer.

What happened to Rudolf Hess? ›

Rudolf Hess, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's former deputy, is found strangled to death in Spandau Prison in Berlin at the age of 93, apparently the victim of suicide. Hess was the last surviving member of Hitler's inner circle and the sole prisoner at Spandau since 1966.

When did World War Two end? ›

Where is Himmler buried? ›

Heinrich Himmler was buried in an unmarked grave by British military authorities somewhere near Lüneburg, Germany.

Why didn't the Germans use diesel? ›

The decision to stick to gasoline engines was a consequence of Germany's hasty rearmament and chronic bureaucratic inefficiency. Gasoline engines were initially the logical choice for the German panzer arm because such engines were both cheaper and easier for German industry to produce.

How cold was it in Russia during ww2? ›

Even by Russian standards, it was brutal. temperatures plunged to -40 degrees in places, freezing German tanks and equipment, shutting down diesel engines and freezing German soldiers who were not equipped with coats, hats, proper boots, gloves, or anything necessary to fight a winter campaign.

How many German POWs came back from Russia? ›

Soviet statistics
NationalityTotal accounted prisoners of warReleased and repatriated
Czech and Slovak69,97765,954
11 more rows

What did Otto Frank do after his family died? ›

Otto returned to Germany after his father's sudden death in 1909. He spent some time at a company that produced horseshoes. The First World War initially seemed to pass Otto by, but he enlisted in 1915. He was part of a 'Lichtmesstrupp', a unit that analysed where enemy artillery fire came from.

How did the Franks get caught? ›

On August 1, 1944, Anne made her last entry in her diary. Three days later, 25 months of seclusion ended with the arrival of the Nazi Gestapo. Anne and the others had been given away by an unknown informer, and they were arrested along with two of the Christians who had helped shelter them.

Did any of Anne Frank's family survived the Holocaust? ›

The Franks and four other Jews who were hiding with them were discovered by authorities on August 4, 1944. The only member of the Frank family who survived the Holocaust was Anne's father, Otto, who later worked diligently to get his daughter's diary published.

Who is Adolf Hitler's son? ›

It is alleged that Hitler had a son, Jean-Marie Loret, with a Frenchwoman named Charlotte Lobjoie. Jean-Marie Loret was born in March 1918 and died in 1985, aged 67. Loret married several times, and had as many as nine children.

Who was Hitler's deadliest general? ›

Otto Skorzeny

Who was Hitler's highest general? ›

Wilhelm Keitel

Field Marshal of the German Army (Wehrmacht), Chief of the Supreme High Command of the German Armed Forces (OKW) and Chief of Defence for Germany, Hitler's Chief of Staff.

Why is Ireland not a NATO member? ›

While the Irish government expressed its support for the goals of NATO, it opposed joining as it did not wish to be in an alliance with the United Kingdom (who was a signatory to the agreement founding NATO) with which it disputed the sovereignty over Northern Ireland.

Why did Ireland not fight in ww2? ›

Ireland wanted to maintain a public stance of neutrality and refused to close the German and Japanese embassies. Unlike many other non-combatant states, Ireland did not declare war on the near-defeated Germany, and therefore did not seize any German assets.

Which countries did not fight in ww2? ›

Only 14 countries remained officially neutral throughout the entire war. They included Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Turkey, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as well as the microstates of Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Vatican City.

How many German soldiers are buried in Russia? ›

Sologubovka Cemetery is a German war cemetery and the final resting place of over 30,000 German war dead from World War II.
Sologubovka Cemetery
Locationnear St Petersburg, Russia
Total burials34,000+
Burials by nation
Germany 34,000+
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How many Germans died fighting the Russians in ww2? ›

World War II Casualties by Country
PlaceTot. DeathsMilitary Deaths
58 more rows

Are bodies still being found in Stalingrad? ›

Since the 1980s, searchers have found more than 35,000 bodies, but only 1,500 have been identified. The remains of some of those identified are buried in a cemetery about 30 minutes from the city.

How many German soldiers died in the battle of Stalingrad? ›


Forbidden to break out by Hitler, the Sixth Army endured until February 1943, when its exhausted remnants surrendered. The Germans lost a total of 500,000 men during the Stalingrad campaign, including 91,000 taken prisoner.


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