Major-General Amsel served as the commander of a German unit based in the area of Red Square in Stalingrad. Given his rank, he was most likely a divisional commander and given the area that his command building was located, the unit he was in charge of was probably the 79th Infantry Division. During the Germans' occupation of Stalingrad, Amsel gained an infamous reputation for orchestrating brutal massacres towards Russian soldiers and civilians. His role in the occupation led to Sergeant Reznov spending days relentlessly stalking Amsel. It was not until 17 September 1942, where after a massacre of soldiers from the 62nd Rifle Division took place, that Reznov enlisted the aid of Private Petrenko in helping him track down Amsel. Initially, Amsel treated the day as any other day - he went about his daily agenda of inspecting the men under his command, but it was not until Red Army soldiers (many of whom were survivors of the massacre earlier that day) made a daring push to his HQ that alerted Amsel enough to cause him to attempt to withdraw to another location. Together with his personal bodyguards, Amsel tried to slip out of his HQ unnoticed, but during his attempt, he was assassinated by Petrenko.