At the end of the war, Skorzeny was involved with the Werwolf guerrilla movement.
Although he was charged with breaching the 1907 Hague Convention in relation to Operation Greif, the Dachau Military Tribunal acquitted Skorzeny after the war.
Skorzeny fled from his holding prison in 1948, first to France, and then to Spain. Otto Skorzeny was born in Vienna into a middle class Austrian family which had a long history of military service.
In 1931 Skorzeny joined the Austrian Nazi Party and soon became a member of the Nazi SA.
A charismatic figure, Skorzeny played a minor role in the Anschluss on 12 March 1938, when he saved the Austrian President Wilhelm Miklas from being shot by Austrian Nazis.
After the 1939 invasion of Poland, Skorzeny, then working as a civil engineer, volunteered for service in the German Air Force (the Luftwaffe), but was turned down because he was considered too tall at 1.92 metres (6 ft 4 in) and too old (31 years in 1939) for aircrew training.
In addition to his native German, he spoke excellent French and was proficient in English.
In his teens, Skorzeny once complained to his father of the austere lifestyle that his family was suffering from, by mentioning he had never tasted real butter in his life, because of the depression that plagued Austria after its defeat in World War I.
His father prophetically replied, "There is no harm in doing without things.
It might even be good for you not to get used to a soft life." He was a noted fencer as member of a German-national Burschenschaft as a university student in Vienna. The tenth resulted in a wound that left a dramatic dueling scar—known in academic fencing as a Schmiss (German for "smite" or "hit")—on his cheek.
(lieutenant colonel) in the German Waffen-SS during World War II.
After fighting on the Eastern Front, he accompanied the rescue mission that freed the deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from captivity.
Skorzeny was an SS Hauptsturmfuhrer (Captain) at the time of this mission.
Skorzeny was the leader of Operation Greif, in which German soldiers were to infiltrate through enemy lines, using their opponents' languages, uniforms, and customs.