SS-Oberscharführer Sven Erik Olsson

Date of Birth: July 7, 1923 in Pärnu, Estonia
Date of Death: March 7, 1985 in Arosa, Switzerland

German Cross in Gold:
April 20, 1945 as SS-Oberscharführer and 2nd (communication)/SS-Panzer Division 10th SS-Panzer Division Frundsberg division management Commander (1).

Sven Erik Olsson belonged to the Swedish minority living in Estonia from the year 1400. He was born in the family of salesman Olof Oskar Olsson and his wife Missis Elise on July 7, 1923 in Pärnu. His father was of Swedish and mother of German descent. In Pärnu, Olsson attended a German school from 1930 and was active in a Baltic-German youth organization. In 1939, when he was 16 years old, he joined voluntarily the Waffen-SS. He was trained in the 16th (MG)/SS-Totenkopf-Rekrutenstandarte. On May 1, 1940 he was transferred from the 9th SS-Totenkopf-Regiment to the 14th.

From September 14 Olsson participated in his first battles in Holland near the coast guard and was promoted on May 1, 1941 to become the SS-Sturmmann and on June 1, 1941 he became the SS-Unterführeranwärter. In spring 1941 Olsson was transferred to the command headquarters of the Reichsführer-SS in East Prussia where he got the position of a radio officer. There he participated in numerous interactions between the Waffen-SS and the land force divisions.

On September 1, 1942 Olsson was promoted to SS-Unterscharführer. At the beginning of 1943 he was the chief of a radio station and received a silver Infantry Assault Badge. When the 10th SS Panzer Division Fundsberg was being put together, starting from February 1943 radio officers, who besides a radio training were also able to give an infantry training, were needed, Olsson was sent to this division in France. Starting from April 1944 he participated with SS-Panzer Division 2nd communications company 10 in the first battles in Galicia and near Ternopil. Olsson then became the SS-Oberscharführer on May 1, 1944 and took over the Division Commandant's 1st communications tank and experienced all following battles near the Division Commandant. The dislocating towards the West began on June 12. A few days later Olssen and his tank, equipped with a 100 Watt communication station, and the Division Commandant, SS-Brigadeführer and the Waffen-SS General-Major Heinz Harmel, had to face difficult battles against the invading army in Normandy. During the breakout of the Falaise Pocket, Olsson was injured in August 1944. He received the Iron Cross 2nd and 1st class, a Bronze Close Combat Clasp and a Black Wound Badge.

After recovering he returned to his division and took over the division-radio-SPW with its Commander. Unfortunately, his division was defeated numerous times in Pommern, Germany in 1945, he also fought in the areas of Stettin-Altdamm, Stargard and Cottbus.

SS-Brigadeführer and the Waffen-SS General-Major Heinz Harmel (on the right) announced to one of German division-administrative point after Olsson had resisted the Russian attack the following: "I proposed to give the German Cross in Gold to Oberscharführer Olsson (on the left) on April 20, 1945, or even a few days before the breakout of Spremberg pocket began. When we were surprised in our divion-administrative point, which is located on the Eastern bank of Spree, by the Russian company's strong attack and tanks. Fierce close battles took place, in which Oberscharführer Olsson stood out with his communications tank with active interfering and was therefore decisively important in striking back. This was enough to award this brilliant person and fighter Sven Erik Olsson." (2)

On April 21, 1945 breaking out of the Spremberg pocket began, where the Fundsberg fought in the five-day battle from Roitz to Moritzburg and reached its units south of Dresden. Near Komtau Olssen had to blow up the SPW. Olssen, during the capitulation, managed to avoid getting caught and disappeared in the Western allies occupation zone. In 1947 he returned to his forefathers land, Sweden, where he married a German girl who was deported from her home in Danzig. His last job was as a computer specialist for one insurance company in Stockholm. During a vacation in Arosa, he died of heart attack which he got due to skiing on March 7, 1985.

(1) Receiving the German Cross in Gold cannot be verified. According to Division Commander Harmel, he gave it to Olsson himself for Olsson's important contribution. It had no justification from Harmel, he filed in an application concerning it and he confirmed it a few days after experiencing the situation in Berlin.

(2) SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel, March 3, 1986; check (1).