Gerd Pleiss photograph album

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2013.455.1
1 Jan 1910 - 31 Dec 1942, 1 Jan 1936 - 31 Dec 1937
Level of Description
  • German
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium




Biographical History

Gerhard (Gerd) Pleiss was born on April 20, 1915, in Remscheid, Germany. He attended gymnasium in Dortmund and then began an apprenticeship with a dentist. He volunteered for the SS in April 1936 and was accepted into the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, 1st SS Company. This unit was Hitler's personal bodyguard, charged with guarding Hitler, his office, and personal residences. Pleiss attended SS-Junker school in Braunschweig and, in April 1939, was promoted to Untersturmfuhrer. He participated in the invasion of France in May 1940 and was awarded the Iron Cross, 1st class. In 1941, the Leibstandarte became part of the Waffen SS, during preparations for Operation Barbarossa, the planned invasion of the Soviet Union. SS-Hauptsturmführer Pleiss was made commander, 1st Company LSSAH, for the campaign in the Balkans. In April 1941, during the Battle of Vevi in northern Greece, Pleiss's unit captured Klidi Pass from British troops, opening the way into Greece. He was wounded, but remained in command. Pleiss was awarded the Knight's Cross, the highest award for bravery and leadership, which was personally presented to him by Hitler on April 21 in Berlin. Operation Barbarossa was launched on June 22, 1941. Pleiss was mortally wounded on November 17, 1941, when he stepped on a land mine during the attack on Rostov-on-Don (Rostov-na-Donu, Russia.)

Archival History

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Wendie Theus

Wendie Theuss donated this photograph album to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013. Her father, Milton Verne Elliott, brought it back after his service in the United States Army during World War II.

Scope and Content

Consists of a photograph album consisting of photographs of military training, Nazi rallies, the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and Berchtesgaden, all 1936-1937. The album was compiled by Gerd Pleiss, a member of the Leibstandart SS Adolf Hitler, 1st Company, and includes amateur photographs of leading Nazi personalities.


Corporate Bodies



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.