• 24 January 1900
  •  Berlin, Germany

Heinz Hax


Champion shooter and modern pentathlete Heinrch-Georg "Heinz" Hax was born on January 24, 1900 in Berlin, Germany. The son of Olympian Georg Hax, Heinz joined the German Reichswehr in 1918 and achieved the rank of senior lieutenant in 1927. Hax participated in the Olympic games for the first time in 1928 in modern pentathlon (he finished in fifth place). Heinz went on to compete as a sport shooter and won silver medals in the 25 meter rapid-fire pistol event in both the 1932 and 1936 Olympics. Hax was promoted to captain in 1934 before eventually being named chief commander of the 71st Infantry Regiment in 1938. Heinz was then promoted to major and subsequently achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1939. Hax took part in the Polish campaign during World War II, where he earned two Iron Crosses. Moreover, Heinz participated in the Western campaign as a general staff officer. Hax was named colonel in 1942 and became the chief of general staff for the 16th Panzer Corps the following year. On May 4, 1944 Heinz was nominated as the commander of the 111th Panzer-Grenadier Regiment of the 11th Panzer Division (he relinquished that post in November of that same year). Hax took command of the 8th Panzer Division in January, 1945; he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on March 8, 1945. On April 1, 1945 Heinz became a major general of the 8th Panzer Division and was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves later that same month. Hax surrendered to American troops on May 9, 1945 in Plzen and was handed over to the Soviet Union Red Army. Heinz wound up being sentenced to twenty-five years of compulsory labor and remained a prisoner of war until he was released in October, 1955. Hax returned to the army the following year: He joined the German Bundeswehr with the rank of brigadier general as commander of the 3rd Panzer Division in Buxtehude, Northern Germany and retired in 1961 with the rank of major general as deputy commanding general of the 3rd Army Corps in Koblenz, Germany. Heinz died at age 69 on September 1, 1969 in Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.