Passports from such ranking SS-personnel are quite rare to spot.

Here is one…and he had also a quite unusual task.

Germany Karl von Krempler 1944 SS-tile

It writes Dragutin (Karl in Croatian) pl. (Von) Krempler. He didn’t have German citizenship.

Karl von Krempler was SS Standartenführer and SS-und Polizeiführer during World War II responsible for recruiting Muslims from Bosnia and the Sanjak region into the Waffen SS.

Karl von Krempler was born on 26 May 1896 in Pirot, Kingdom of Serbia. He was the son of an Austrian engineer. In 1915 he volunteered as a cadet for the Lower Austrian Infantry Regiment No. 84 (k.u.k. Niederösterreichischen Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 84). In 1920 he was released from active service with the rank of Lieutenant (Oberleutnant).

He spoke fluent Turkish, Serbian and German. He was considered a specialist within the SS on Islam and in 1942 was recruited by Heinrich Himmler and Artur Phleps to participate in the formation of a proposed Bosniak Handschar Division within the Waffen SS, the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian). Unlike most SS personnel, Krempler was not a member of the Nazi Party.

Following his appointment to the post of Höhere SS-und Polizeiführer Sandschak (Higher SS and Police Leader Sanjak) in September 1943, von Krempler came to be known as the “Sanjak Prince” after his relatively successful formation of the Police Self-Defense Regiment Sandjak. He went to the Sanjak region in October and took over the local volunteer militia of around 5,000 anti-communist, anti-Serb Muslim men headquartered in Sjenica. This formation was sometimes thereafter called the Kampfgruppe Krempler or more derisively the “Muselmanengruppe von Krempler”. As the senior Waffen SS officer Karl von Krempler appointed a token local Muslim named Hafiz Sulejman Pačariz as the formal commander of the unit, but as the key military trainer and contact person with German arms and munitions, remained effectively in control.

Krempler was replaced in June 1944 by SS Oberführer Richard Kaaserer, who commanded the Sandschak Regiment from 21 June 1944 to 28 November 1944. Kaaserer had been a member of the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War I. Unlike von Krempler, Kaaserer was extradited to Socialist Yugoslavia after the war, and was tried and executed in January 1947 for alleged war crimes.

In January 1945 he was re-assigned to the administrative staff of the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian).

Karl von Krempler escaped the Communist regime of Josip Broz Tito and died on 17 April 1972 in Salzburg, Austria.