Joachim Peiper (30 January 1915 – 13 July 1976), more often known as Jochen Peiper from the common German nickname for Joachim, was a World War II German SS officer and convicted war criminal who was responsible for the 1944 Malmedy massacre of American prisoners of war. He served as personal adjutant to Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, in the period April 1938 to August 1941. By the end of his military career in 1945, Peiper was the youngest regimental colonel in the Waffen-SS, holding the rank of SS-Standartenführer.
- I was a Nazi and I remain one...The Germany of today is no longer a great nation, it has become a province of Europe.
- Interview with a French writer Peiper spoke with in 1967, quoted in The Devil's Adjutant by Michael Reynolds, page 260.
- It's so long ago now. Even I don't know the truth. If I had ever known it, I have long forgotten it. All I know is that I took the blame as a good CO should have been and was punished accordingly.
- Peiper on the Malmedy massacre, excerpted from A Traveler's Guide to the Battle for the German Frontier by Charles Whiting.
- I admit willingly that after the Normandy battles, my unit was composed of young fanatic soldiers. Many of them had lost their parents, or brothers and sisters in the bombardments. Some had seen for themselves at Cologne where thousands of bodies were crushed after the terrorist raids. Their hatred of the enemy was such that I admit that I could not always control them. At Malmédy, there were, no doubt, some excesses.
- Parker, Hitler's Warrior, chapter 18, citing La Libre Belgigue in note 61.
- My boys may charge me with all they want. The main thing is, it helps them. They are not evil and no criminals. They are the products of total war, grown up on the streets of scattered towns without any education! The only thing [they] knew was to handle weapons for the Dream of [the] Reich. They were young people with a hot heart and the desire to win or to die, according to the word: right or wrong—my country!
- Letter to Willis Everett, July 4, 1946. Parker, Hitler's Warrior, chapter 14, citing Everett Papers in note 5.
- When seeing today the defendants on the dock, don’t believe them to be the old Combat Group Peiper. All my old friends and comrades have gone before! These people who plead for mitigating circumstances are only the negative selection! The real outfit is waiting for me in Valhalla!
- Letter to Willis Everett, July 14, 1946. Parker, Hitler's Warrior, chapter 14, citing Everett Papers in note 32.
- History is always written by the victor and histories of the vanquished belong to a shrinking circle of those who were there.
- Parker, Hitler's Warrior, chapter 19, citing Peiper to Karl Wortmann, November 28, 1974 in note 27.