After the war he studied agriculture.
Entering the army as a cadet, he served in World War I and was severely wounded. After the war Waldeck-Pyrmont joined the NSDAP on 1 November 1929. On 2 March 1930 he entered the SS in Munich as Adjutant to Sepp Dietrich and in September of the same year he became Himmler’s Adjutant and staff chief.
Promoted to SS Lieutenant-General, Waldeck-Pyrmont was also elected in 1933 as member of the Reichstag for the district of Düsseldorf-West. Himmler’s first recruit from the old aristocracy, he rose to become Higher SS and Police Leader for the district of Kassel-Mainfranken in 1939 and during the war was promoted to SS General and General of the Waffen-SS. At his headquarters in Kassel he set up a ‘Bureau for the Germanization of the Eastern Peoples’.
In 1944 Waldeck-Pyrmont despatched the Crown Princess of Bavaria to the concentration camp of Buchenwald, which was under his jurisdiction. He was also responsible for ordering the execution of Use Koch’s husband, the Commandant of Buchenwald, who had made himself a millionaire by private exploitation of concentration camp labour. After the war, Waldeck-Pyrmont was arrested and sentenced on 14 August 1947 to life imprisonment by an American court at Dachau.
Released for health reasons in December 1950, he died on 30 November 1967 at the age of seventy-one.