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. (June 2018)
Carl Friedrich von Pückler-Burghauss (October 7, 1886 – 12 May 1945) was a German politician and a SS functionary during the Nazi era. He was a member of the German parliament during the Weimar Republic. During World War II, Pückler-Burghauss was chief of the Waffen-SS units in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and also temporarily commanded the Latvian Division of the Waffen-SS.
Born in Upper Silesia, Pückler-Burghauss was the son of Count Friedrich von Pückler-Burghaus, a retired major in the Prussian Army, and his wife, Countess Ella von Köppen. At the time, his father was district governor in Friedland. Carl Friedrich attended the high school in Breslau and later studied law in Bonn. On 20 May 1913, he married Princess Olga-Elisabeth of the House of Wettin, daughter of Prince Albert of Saxe-Altenburg and Princess Marie of Prussia. They had two daughters and one son, who died shortly after his birth.
Pückler-Burghauss entered the Cuirassier Regiment in Breslau in 1908. The following year, he was promoted to second lieutenant. He served in the infantry during World War I and won the Iron Cross 1st Class. He left the army in 1919 as a captain and served with reserve Freikorps units until 1931, when he joined the Nazi Party and the SA. From the election in March 1933 until November 1933, he was a member of the German Parliament, representing District 9 (Oppeln). After other political parties were banned in July 1933, new elections were held in November 1933, but Pückler-Burghauss was not nominated.
He joined the SS in 1940 and, after finishing the police course, became adjutant to the SS and police leader Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski in the Army Group Centre Rear Area. In 1942, he was appointed chief of the Waffen-SS units in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. From 1943 to 1944, he also commanded the newly created Latvian Division, but was replaced before the division went into combat. During the Prague uprising in May 1945, Pückler-Burghauss represented the hardline of the SS. During negotiations with the Czech National Council (cs), he often threatened the complete destruction of Prague.
Contravening the terms of Germany's capitulation taking effect 8 May, Pückler-Burghauss moved west in an attempt to surrender to the Americans. Their refusal resulted in the Battle of Slivice, in which the Germans were defeated. He signed a capitulation on 12 May, the last document of surrender of World War II in Europe. Shortly afterwards, he shot himself along with some of his staff.