Karl Wolff was born in 1900 in Darmstadt
. Karl was raised agnostically, while he went to a Catholic school. His father was a district court judge, who used to call him "Karele", which stayed Karl's nickname till his death in 1984.
When Karl was only 16 years old he joined the German army to serve during World War I. He quickly made career and at the end of the war, in 1918, he had become a lieutenant who was awarded the Iron Cross, a great status symbol. Karl decided to stay in the army. He joined a unit in Hesse, and the next few years he climbed several ranks.
In 1931 Karl joined the Nazi Party and the SS. Two years later he started his own public relations firm in Munich, but he stayed serving for the army. In the same year he was appointed Heinrich Himmler's adjudant. The two soon got befriended, which gave Karl's career a new impulse. He advanced rapidly up the SS ladder, and in May 1942 he was appointed Generaloberst (senior general). On Januray 30, 1939, Karl was even awarded the high-prestige Nazi Party's gold medal.
Karl managed, with the help of his own public relations firm, to obtain the deportation trains for transporting innumerable thousands of Jews to concentration camp Treblinka. In 1943 Karl became military governor of Northern Italy, and some time after that he was appointed plenipotentiary of the Reich to the Italian government. When it was February 1945 and the end of World War II was in sight, Karl contacted a US agent in Zurich to arrange the surrender of the German forces in Italy.
When World War II was over, Karl quite cowardly witnessed for the prosecution in trials of Nazi criminals. He was tried himself by a German court and sentenced to four years' imprisonment, but was released a week later. He then continued to work for his firm, and became a highly succesful business man.
Karl was again arrested in January 1962. He was charged with the murder of Jews, and with direct responsibility for the deportation of 300,000 Jews. On September 30, 1964, he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and ten years' loss of civil rights. Seven years later, however, Karl was released for good behavior.
Little is known about Karl's last thirteen years. He spent these anonymously, probably in Austria, though this has never been confirmed.