The Life and Wars of SS Colonel Jochen Peiper
by Danny PARKER
SS colonel Jochen Peiper was one of the most controversial figures of the Second World War. Handsome, intelligent, and impetuous, he volunteered for the Waffen SS at an early age and dedicated his life to the Nazi cause. Peiper was Heinrich Himmler’s ever-present personal adjutant in the early years of the war– an SS “everyman” witness to momentous events in Hitler’s Third Reich. Once on the fighting front with the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Peiper became known for a flamboyant and brutal style of warfare.
After the war, Peiper became the central subject in the bitterly disputed Malmedy war crimes trial, where he was condemned to death but ultimately released due to the efforts of Senator Joseph McCarthy and an Atlanta attorney Willis M. Everett, Jr. After moving to eastern France in 1972, he was harassed by the French Communists and died in a gun battle at his home on July 14, 1976–Bastille Day. His assassins were never identified.