However, Dirlewanger’s seemingly conventional employment was coupled with more sinister activities. In 1923, he joined the Nazi Party, while he was also in trouble with the law on various occasions for weapons offences and embezzlement. Then, in 1934, Dirlewanger was sentenced to two years in jail for raping a 14-year-old girl.
And this transgression cost Dirlewanger more than just his freedom. In fact, it proved an act too abhorrent for even the Nazis, and he was promptly expelled from the party. Despite this, the lieutenant then got into further trouble that led to a two year stretch in a concentration camp. On Dirlewanger’s release, however, an old World War I comrade with influence in the Nazi Party, got his old friend a position in the SS reserves.