Geskiedenis Podcasts

Wilhelm -lys: Nazi -Duitsland

Wilhelm -lys: Nazi -Duitsland

Wilhelm List, die seun van 'n dokter, is op 14 Mei 1880 in Duitsland gebore. Hy het by die Duitse weermag aangesluit en gedurende die Eerste Wêreldoorlog gedien. Na die oorlog het List by die regse Freikorps-terreurgroep aangesluit.

Hy het in die weermag gebly, waar hy 'n tenkspesialis geword het en uiteindelik hoof van die weermagorganisasie geword het. Hy vorder geleidelik in die nuwe Duitse leër en in 1930 word hy bevorder tot generaal -majoor en word hy aangestel as hoof van die Dresden Infanterieskool.

List het nou meer gematigde politieke menings ontwikkel en in 1931 het hy Adolf Hitler ontstel deur jong offisiere wat ondersteuners van die Nazi -party was, te dissiplineer.

In 1935 is List deur generaal Fedor von Bock aangestel as bevelvoerder van die 4de Army Corps. Alhoewel List steeds privaat kritiek op Hitler was, was hy nie bereid om enige stappe te doen wat sy weermagloopbaan sou benadeel nie. As gevolg hiervan protesteer hy nie teen die behandeling van Werner von Blomberg en Werner von Fitsch in 1938 nie.

Nadat die Anschluss -lys as hoof van die weermaggroep in Oostenryk na Wene gestuur is. Die jaar daarna het hy deelgeneem aan die inval in Tsjeggo -Slowakye.

In September 1939 dien List onder generaal Gerd von Rundstedt in Pole. Terwyl hy die land besoek het, was Wilhelm Canaris geskok toe hy ontdek dat List toestemming verleen het vir die massa teregstellings van Jode deur SS -eenhede.

Tydens die Westelike Offensief het hy die 12de leër gelei. Hy maak goeie spoed en sy infanterie bereik die Maas slegs 'n dag na generaal Paul von Kleist en sy panzer -eenhede. List het ingegryp in die geskil tussen Kleist en Heinz Guderian wat dreig om die sukses van die inval in Frankryk te beskadig. Gevolglik het Guderian vir die res van die veldtog onder List se bevel geval.

Adolf Hitler was tevrede met die rol wat List in die openingsjaar van die oorlog gespeel het en op 10 Mei 1940 word hy bevorder tot veldmaarskalk. Hy het toe die taak gekry om die invalle van Griekeland en Joegoslavië te beplan. Hy het op die Balkan gebly totdat hy in Oktober 1941 ontslaan is.

List is in Julie 1942 herroep om die leërgroep in die suidelike gebied van die Sowjetunie te beveel. List het sy troepe na die Kaukasus gelei om die waardevolle olievelde te vang. Hitler was teleurgesteld oor List se optrede in die Kaukasus. Ondanks die protes van Franz Halder en Alfred Jodl, het Hitler List op 9 September 1942 ontslaan en het hy die res van die oorlog by sy huis in Garmish-Partenkirchen deurgebring.

Na die oorlog is List van oorlogsmisdade aangekla en in Februarie 1948 is hy tot lewenslange gevangenisstraf gevonnis. Hy is in Desember 1952 vrygelaat op grond van swak gesondheid. Wilhelm List is op 17 Augustus 1971 oorlede.

Duitse troepe van die Sesde Leër het op 23 Augustus die Volga net noord van Stalingrad bereik. Twee dae tevore het die

hakekors is op die berg Elbrus, die hoogste piek (18,481 voet) in die Kaukasusberge, gehys. Die Maikop-olievelde, wat jaarliks ​​twee en 'n half miljoen ton olie produseer, is op 8 Augustus gevang, alhoewel die Duitsers dit byna heeltemal verwoes gevind het en deur die vyf-en-twintig tenks van Kleist by Mozdok aangekom het, slegs vyftig kilometer van die belangrikste Sowjet -oliesentrum rondom Grozny en kaal honderd kilometer van die Kaspiese See af. Op die een-en-dertigste het Hitler 'n beroep op veldmaarskalklys, bevelvoerder van die leërs in die Kaukasus, gedoen om alle beskikbare magte op te skrap vir die laaste stoot na Grozny sodat hy 'die olievelde in die hande kon kry'.

Die mislukking van die veldmaarskalklys in die Lae-Kaukasus het nie net tot sy afdanking gelei nie, maar ook tot 'n ernstige persoonlike krisis in Hitler se hoofkwartier laat in September 1942. Eers vroeër het List die bevel ontvang om oor die Lae-Kaukasus na die Swart te gaan. See, gebruik alle geskikte roetes. Toe hy nie daarin slaag om sy doel te bereik nie. Hitler het weer heeltemal ongeduldig geraak en Jodi na die hoofkwartier van List gestuur. By sy terugkeer rapporteer Jodi aan Hitler dat List presies opgetree het in ooreenstemming met Hitler se bevele, maar dat die Russiese weerstand oral ewe sterk was, ondersteun deur 'n moeilikste terrein. Hitler het egter voortgegaan om List te beskuldig deur sy magte te verdeel in plaas van deur te breek met gekonsentreerde mag, terwyl Jodi daarop wys dat Hitler volgens sy eie bevel List aangespoor het om op 'n wydverspreide front te vorder.

Hierdie argument van Jodl is gevolg deur 'n ongewone uitbarsting van Hitler. Hy was so verbaas oor die voordrag van sy eie vorige bevele - wat hy nou ontken het - dat Jodi en Keitel saam met hom nog lank in die skande val. Verdere gevolge was dat Hitler sy daaglikse gebruike heeltemal verander het. Sedertdien bly hy weg van die gewone maaltye wat hy twee keer per dag saam met sy gevolg geneem het. Voortaan het hy skaars bedags sy hut verlaat, selfs nie vir die daaglikse verslae oor die militêre situasie wat voortaan in sy eie hut in die teenwoordigheid van 'n nou beperkte kring aan hom afgelewer moes word nie. Hy het opvallend geweier om die hand van enige generaal van die O.K.W. te skud en bevel gegee dat Jodi deur 'n ander offisier vervang moet word.


Wilhelm Gustloff

Ons redakteurs gaan na wat u ingedien het, en bepaal of hulle die artikel moet hersien.

Wilhelm Gustloff, tenvolle Motorskip Wilhelm Gustloff, Duitse seevaart wat deur 'n Sowjet -duikboot op 30 Januarie 1945 gesink is. Na raming is 9 000 passasiers dood, wat dit die grootste maritieme ramp in die geskiedenis gemaak het.

Die MV Gustloff was die eerste skip wat spesifiek gebou is vir die Duitse Arbeidsfront se Kraft durch Freude -program ("Strength Through Joy"), wat ontspanningsaktiwiteite vir Duitse werkers gesubsidieer het. Dit was 208,5 meter lank en weeg meer as 25 000 ton. Die skip is vernoem na die leier van die Switserse Nazi -party, wat op 4 Februarie 1936 vermoor is, en dit is gelanseer in die teenwoordigheid van Adolf Hitler op 5 Mei 1937. Die Gustloff het op 24 Maart 1938 op sy eerste reis begin, en in die loop van 17 maande het hy ongeveer 50 vaarte onderneem en ongeveer 65 000 vakansiegangers vervoer.

Die skip het genoeg ruimte gehad om ongeveer 1900 mense te huisves, waaronder ongeveer 400 bemanningslede. Vir propaganda doeleindes, al die hutte aan boord van die Gustloff is grootte en soortgelyk verdeel, wat die Gustloff- ten minste in voorkoms - 'n 'skip sonder sosiale klasse'. Die enigste uitsondering was een groter kajuit wat vir Hitler gereserveer was. Dit was nie moontlik om eenvoudig 'n reis op die Gustloffegter. Die mense wat op die vlagskip Kraft durch Freude mag reis, is deur die party gekies.

Afgesien van die werking daarvan as 'n vaartuig, het die Gustloff is gebruik vir openbare georiënteerde missies. Op 10 April 1938 was dit 'n stembus vir Duitsers en Oostenrykers wat in Engeland woon om oor die anneksasie van Oostenryk te stem. In Mei 1939 het die Gustloffis saam met ander skepe uit die Kraft durch Freude -vloot beveel om soldate van die Condor -legioen terug te bring na Duitsland nadat die Spaanse burgeroorlog geëindig het. Met die begin van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het die Gustloff is deur die Duitse vloot aangevra om as hospitaalskip in die Oossee en Noorweë te dien. Vanaf November 1940 lê dit voor anker in Gdynia, Pole, om as kaserne vir die 2de Onderzeeër Opleidingsafdeling te dien. Tydens 'n Amerikaanse lugaanval op die hawe op 9 Oktober 1943 het die skip geringe skade aangerig.

Terwyl die Rooi Leër gevorder het na Oos -Pruise, het adm. Karl Dönitz begin met voorbereidings vir Operasie Hannibal, die massa -ontruiming van Duitse troepe en burgerlikes uit die gebied. Vanaf 21 Januarie 1945 is na raming twee miljoen Duitsers na die weste gebring in 'n operasie wat die Britse ontruiming by Duinkerken ver oortref het. Die Gustloff is beveel om die soldate van die 2de Submarine Training Division na Wes -Duitsland te bring. Op 25 Januarie het die skip ander vlugtelinge aan boord begin neem, en teen die middag van 29 Januarie het die telling 7 956 bereik toe registrasie gestaak is. Getuies het geraam dat miskien nog 2 000 mense na daardie tyd aan boord gegaan het.

Kort na die middag op 30 Januarie het die Gustloff die hawe verlaat. Alhoewel dit oorspronklik beplan was dat die Gustloff sou slegs een element in 'n groter konvooi wees, het meganiese probleme twee skepe gedwing om terug te draai, en die Gustloff is vergesel deur slegs die torpedoboot Löwe. Omdat hy bekommerd was oor die GustloffKaptein Friedrich Petersen, wat se enjins misluk ná jare se stilstand, het besluit dat die skip nie vinniger as 12 knope (22 myl) per uur sou ry nie. Hierdeur ignoreer hy die advies van Wilhelm Zahn, bevelvoerder van die 2de duikbootopleidingsafdeling, wat beweer het dat die verhoging van spoed tot 15 knope (28 myl per uur) die waarskynlikheid van 'n aanval sou verminder, aangesien Sowjet -duikbote dit sou doen nie kan byhou nie. Petersen verwerp ook die aanbeveling van eerste offisier Louis Reese, wat 'n kursus aangeraai het wat die kuslyn omhels het. Uiteindelik het die Gustloff op pad na 'n diepwaterroete waarvan bekend was dat dit nie van myne af was nie.

Omstreeks 18:00 is 'n boodskap aan die kaptein gebring wat gewaarsku het dat 'n mynvee -konvooi op pad is, wat hom gevra het om die navigasieligte van die skip te aktiveer om 'n botsing te voorkom. Die oorsprong van die boodskap is onbekend nie een van die radiooperateurs op die Gustloff of die Löwe beweer dat hy dit ontvang het, en dit is onduidelik of dit 'n misverstand of moontlik sabotasie was. Die Gustloff het geen mynveërs onderweg ontmoet nie. Dit is egter opgemerk deur die Sowjet -duikboot S-13 omstreeks 19:00. Die Sowjet -bevelvoerder, kapt Aleksandr Marinesko, het sy duikboot tussen die Gustloff en die kus, aangesien 'n aanval uit die rigting die minste verwag sou word.

Om 21:16 die Gustloff is deur drie torpedo's getref en het in die loop van 'n uur gesink. Die skip het reddingsbote en vlotte vir 5 000 mense vervoer, maar baie van die reddingsapparate is tot op die dek gevries, en die doeltreffende gebruik daarvan word verder belemmer deur die feit dat een van die torpedo's die bemanningskwartiere getref het en die beste opgeleide persone doodgemaak het. met die situasie. Nege vaartuie het die hele nag oorlewendes aangeneem. Van die beraamde 10 000 mense aan boord van die Gustloff, slegs 1 239 kon as oorlewendes geregistreer word, wat dit die sinking maak met die hoogste dodetal in die maritieme geskiedenis. Ondanks die groot aantal burgerlike sterftes, bewerings dat die Gustloff 'n oorlogsmisdaad is grootliks ongegrond as gevolg van die teenwoordigheid van wapens en byna 1 000 militêre personeel aan boord.

Afgesien van geskiedenisboeke en dokumentêre programme, is die verhaal van die Gustloff was die onderwerp van verskeie rolprente en fiktiewe werke, waaronder die novelle Ek is Krebsgang (2002 Crabwalk) deur Günter Grass.


Paul von Hindenburg

Paul Von Hindenburg (1847-1934) was 'n Duitse militêre bevelvoerder en president van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Hy veg in die Oostenryk-Pruisiese Oorlog en in die Frans-Duitse Oorlog, en tree in 1911 af as generaal. Herinner aan diens aan die begin van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, deel Hindenburg die mag met Erich Ludendorff as bevelvoerder van die Agtste Leër en daarna as hoof van die Algemene Staf. Hindenburg, 'n nasionale held vir sy vroeë oorwinnings, het die Verenigde State later in die stryd getrek met sy gebruik van duikbootoorlogvoering. Nadat hy weer in 1919 afgetree het, word hy president van die Weimarrepubliek in 1925 en sterf hy kort nadat hy Adolf Hitler die Duitse kanselier genoem het.

Die ȁHouttitan ” van die oorlogstydryk en die Weimarrepubliek, Paul von Hindenburg het in 1866 en 1870-1871 aksie beleef. Hindenburg word dikwels deur kritici afgemaak as 'n gebrek aan intelligensie en verbeelding, maar sy loopbaan het hom gevestig as 'n man van krag en integriteit wat terselfdertyd die verskil tussen eer en onversetlikheid begryp. Hy spandeer die grootste deel van sy aktiewe diens saam met troepe, afwisselende bevele en stafafsprake. Alhoewel dit as 'n moontlike kandidaat vir stafhoof en Pruisiese oorlogsminister beskou word, was die talente van Hindenburg nie voldoende om sy eie gegronde mening te oorkom dat hy nie die vaardighede van die politikus en die hofdienaar het wat hy benodig om sukses te behaal in die hoër klasse van Wilhelm nie. II ’s vredestydse weermag. Hindenburg het in 1911 as korpsbevelvoerder afgetree. Hy was toe vier-en-sestig.

Sy loopbaan het drie jaar later 'n onverwagse oplewing beleef toe Erich Ludendorff aangestel is as stafhoof van die Agtste Weermag, wat van die nederlaag van die Russe ontslae geraak het. Ludendorff was arrogant, ontroerend en humorloos, 'n man met meer bewonderaars as vriende, iemand wat kalm en bestendig was, sou nodig wees om sy gemoedelike temperament te balanseer. Die onstabiliteit van Hindenburg, sy goeie gesondheid en sy indrukwekkende fisiese teenwoordigheid het alles in sy guns gewerk. Op 22 Augustus 1914 word hy bevel gegee oor die agtste leër. Hy het dadelik aanvaar.

Die professionele verhouding tussen Hindenburg en Ludendorff het so nou geword dat Winston Churchill in Die onbekende oorlog verwys konsekwent daarna deur die anagram HL. Die vereniging het trouens begin as 'n gemaklike huwelik. As 'n nuwe bevelspan wat by die hoofkwartier van 'n verslaan leër aangesluit het (wie se stafoffisiere vir hul eie loopbane gevrees het) nie na mekaar se rug kyk nie, kan daar van niemand verwag word om dit vir hulle te doen nie. Hindenburg het ook die gawe, skaars onder senior offisiere, om sy eie beperkings te ken en sy eie beste eienskappe. Hy kon sonder wrok 'n basis en raamwerk bied vir 'n meer briljante man as hyself en gee vrye spel aan Ludendorff se verstand, wil en energie. Die rustigheid van Hindenburg het Ludendorff bestendig gehou tydens die gevegte van Tannenberg en die Masuriese mere, twee van die helderste oorwinnings van die oorlog in Duitsland. En dit was Hindenburg, nie sy stafhoof nie, wat 'n huishoudelike woord geword het as die redder van Oos -Pruise en 'n simbool van Duitsland in oorlog.

Die beeld van Hindenburg tydens die oorlog was sielkundig spesifiek. Dit fokus op volwasse manlike viriliteit in 'n tyd toe oorlog 'n jong man se provinsie was. Institusioneel het die Duitse weermag helde broodnodig in die nadraai van die ineenstorting van die Schlieffen -plan. Hindenburg het ook die voordeel gehad dat hy geïsoleer was van die spanning wat vermeerder het in 'n hoë bevel wat deur die gevegte van die Marne en Eerste Ieper gedwing is om die basiese opvattings oor die oorlog te heroorweeg. Vir die eerste keer in sy geskiedenis het die keiserlike Duitsland 'n held onafhanklik van die koningshuis gehad. Einde 1914 het die voormalige kanselier Bernhard von B [udie] low en groot -admiraal Alfred von Tirpitz die moontlikheid bespreek om Wilhelm II kranksinnig te laat verklaar, sy seun as regent aangestel en Hindenburg die noodpos van keiserlike administrateur. Niemand het getwyfel waar die werklike krag sou wees nie.

Die mistiek van Hindenburg het gedurende 1915 en 1916 toegeneem, beide vanweë die prestasies van sy leërs in die ooste en vanweë die voortgesette statusverlies deur kanselier Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, stafhoof Erich von Falkenhayn, en nie die minste die keiser self nie . Sy aanstelling as hoof van die Algemene Staf in Augustus 1916 verbaas min politici en minder soldate. Hindenburg, wat weereens saam met Ludendorff saamgewerk het, was egter goed onder sy kop as die opperbevelhebber van 'n totale oorlogspoging in 'n staat wat al van uitputting struikel. Hy het sy naam en aansien verleen aan 'n reeks beleide wat wissel van onheilspellend tot rampspoedig. Die ammunisieprogram, die Wet op hulpdienste en die onbeperkte U-boot-veldtog het die hulpbronne van Duitsland te veel gespan en in laasgenoemde geval die Verenigde State bygevoeg tot die vyande van Duitsland. Hindenburg het deelgeneem aan die intriges wat gelei het tot die ontslag van Bethmann in Julie 1917 en gesorg dat die kanselaars se opvolgers nie meer as boegbeelde bly nie. Hy aanvaar die toenemend onrealistiese oorlogsdoelwitte van die militariste en nasionaliste. Die skerpsinnige gesonde verstand wat 'n kenmerk van sy vroeëre loopbaan was, het plek gemaak vir 'n passiwiteit wat ironies genoeg dié van Wilhelm II repliseer.

Hindenburg het weer lewe gekry toe Duitsland op die rand van 'n ramp gestaan ​​het. Die groot offensiewe van Maart 1918 het die menslike en materiële hulpbronne van Duitsland so uitgeput dat die weermag nie die gewelddadige geallieerde teenaanvalle kon keer nie. Teen Oktober was die Tweede Ryk uitgeput. Terwyl hy weier om by Ludendorff te bedank, aanvaar Hindenburg die oortuigings van die opvolger van Ludendorff, generaal Wilhelm Groener, dat die weermag die keiser nie meer ondersteun nie en dat die land onmiddellike vrede nodig het. Nie die abdikasie of die wapenstilstand sou so glad verloop het as sonder Hindenburg se ondersteuning nie. Selfs na sy uittrede in 1919, bly hy 'n nasionale held en 'n feit wat in 1925 aan die lig gekom het toe hy tot president van die Weimar -republiek verkies is. Hindenburg het sy nuwe pligte aanvanklik lojaal en nie ondoeltreffend uitgevoer nie. Die Groot Depressie, die opkoms van die Nasionaal -Sosialisme en sy eie toenemende ouderdom het Hindenburg egter teen 1930 beroof van die doeltreffendheid wat hy nog gehad het. Sy benoeming van Adolf Hitler as Duitse kanselier in Januarie 1933 het die Nazi -regime wettige legitimiteit gegee. Dit het daarmee die grondslag gelê vir die vernietiging van die Duitsland wat Hindenburg op sy manier liefgehad het en volgens sy beste ligte gedien.

Die metgesel van die leser in die militêre geskiedenis. Geredigeer deur Robert Cowley en Geoffrey Parker. Kopiereg © 1996 deur Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Alle regte voorbehou.


My antwoord bestaan ​​uit drie dele. Ek begin met die Tweede Wêreldoorlog omdat meer (individuele) rekords beskikbaar is en ek neem aan dat mense meer daarin belangstel. Die tweede deel fokus op die Eerste Wêreldoorlog en moontlike navorsingsprobleme. Die laaste deel dek projekte en instellings wat bv. inligting oor begraafplase en gedenktekens van albei oorloë.

Tweede Wereldoorlog

U nasionale bron (Bundesarchiv) is u primêre bron vir historiese verslae oor Duitse weermagte, veral vir die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Sedert 2019 het dokumente van eersgenoemde Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt, Deutsche Dienststelle für die Benachrichtigung der nächsten Angehörigen von Gefallenen der ehemaligen deutschen Wehrmacht) in die departement gehou word PA (Personenbezogene Auskünfte zum Ersten und Zweiten Weltkrieg).

Sien hul lys op hul rekords. Dit sluit in personeeldokumente, lyste, dokumente oor militêre verliese en 'n register met meer as 18 miljoen soldate uit die Tweede Wêreldoorlog.

U moet 'n versoekvorm invul, bekende inligting verskaf (verpligtend: naam en geboortedatum) oor u voorouers, kyk na die opsies in watter tipe inligting u belangstel. U moet ook u verhouding aandui, bv. "Kleinseun".

(Hulle kan u vra om addisionele inligting te verskaf om u verhouding te bewys, veral as u familienaam verskil of u op soek is na ander voorouers as u direkte voorouers. Dit kan help om hierdie inligting in u eerste navraag te verskaf. Om 'n voorbeeld te gee: as as u op soek is na 'n broer van u oupa, sal die WAS waarskynlik vir u inligting stuur as u eerlik verklaar dat hierdie broer nooit getroud was en sonder bekende kinders gesterf het.)

Die verslag bevat gewoonlik basiese biografiese inligting (vader, geboortedatum en geboorteplek), datum van opstel, hondetiketnommer, opleidingseenhede en eenhede in die loop van die oorlog, geledere, aantekeninge oor beserings en gevangenskap.

Miskien moet u tot twee jaar wag voordat u 'n antwoord kry. Die inligting word verskaf in ooreenstemming met die fooiskedule van die Federale Argief.

Belangrik: Let daarop dat hierdie saamgestelde verslae u nie sal vertel wat u voorouer beleef het nie, of hy aan oorlogsmisdade deelgeneem het of watter soort man hy was nie. Dit is bloot 'n burokratiese lys van sy militêre loopbaan. Baie rekords is vernietig, dus kan daar leemtes wees en kan die militêre loopbaan slegs op rekords gerekonstrueer word, nie uit individuele persoonlike rekords nie. Lees publikasies oor sekere eenhede (dikwels geskryf deur veterane met 'n sterk vooroordeel), literatuur oor 'n spesifieke teater en moderne literatuur oor die algemene geskiedenis van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog vir 'n breër perspektief.

As u voorouer 'n beampte of amptelik in die Wehrmacht, die Bundesarchiv in Freiburg (Bundesarchiv, Abteilung Militärarchiv) beskik oor personeeldokumente. Hulle het ook dokumente oor militêre verhore en toekennings vir alle geledere. Die Bundesarchiv in Berlyn het rekords oor lede van SA, SS en Waffen-SS. Kontak die Bundesarchiv vir toegang en koste.

Algemene opmerking oor die gebruik van Duitse argiefbronne:

  1. Kontak hulle en vertel hulle waarna u op soek is. Vra of dit nodig/moontlik is om te kom, of dat die navorsing deur die argief gedoen kan word. (Laasgenoemde is dikwels moontlik vir eenvoudige take soos inligting oor die lidmaatskap van die Nazi -party (NSDAP) en ander eenvoudige navorsingstake. Duitse argiewe doen gewoonlik nie uitgebreide navorsing nie; u moet dit self doen of 'n professionele navorsingsdiens gebruik .)
  2. Hulle antwoord bevat inligting oor beskikbare rekords, argiefgebruik en pryse. Hulle sal u ook 'n Benutzungsantrag (aansoek). U moet u besonderhede invul, waaraan u werk en wat is die doel van u navorsing (akademies, privaat (bv. Genealogie), amptelik ...) en hul voorwaardes onderteken. Om u 'n idee te gee van die prys: In die somer van 2013 betaal ek die Bundesarchiv vir 30 minute se navorsing 15,34 EUR en 0,43 EUR vir elke eksemplaar. Dit is gewoonlik gratis om 'n argief te besoek en daar navorsing te doen.

In die dossier van die Deutsche Dienststelle kan u inligting oor gevangenskap vind. Die Duitse Rooi Kruis, Suchdienst München het toegang tot rekords oor gevangenes in gevangenskap van Sowjet -Unie en vermiste soldate. 'N Sowjet -verslag oor 'n Duitse krygsgevangene bestaan ​​gewoonlik uit vyf bladsye. Dit bevat inligting wat ook nuttig kan wees vir ander genealogiese vrae as dié rakende die krygsgevangene self:

  • aantekeninge oor kampe en verhuisings
  • biografiese inligting oor die gevangene
  • militêre inligting (opsteldatum, diensdiens, eenheid, honde -nommer, rang, funksie, toekennings, indien ingehandig van gevangene, datum en plek)
  • visuele aard en spesiale eienskappe van die krygsgevangene
  • biografiese inligting oor sy ouers, vrou en broers en susters (naam, van, ouderdom, beroep, woonplek) en nog meer besonderhede oor die vader (besittings)

Hulle stuur die rekords binne 'n paar weke. Die rekords is in Russies. Hulle voeg gewoonlik 'n brief by met 'n vertaling van aantekeninge oor kampe en verhuisings. Hulle vertaal nie biografiese en militêre besonderhede nie. U kry 'n opsomming waarin u kan sien watter kolom watter inligting bevat en elders na vertaling moet soek.

Sover ek weet, is hierdie diens gratis. Hulle vra donasies. Hou asseblief in gedagte dat die Suchdienst help ook om vermiste individue in moderne konflikte op te spoor.

Die Duitse Rooi Kruis Suchdienst bied ook toegang tot Vermisstenbildlisten. Hierdie lyste van ongevalle wat in aksie gemis is, is in die 1950's opgestel. Die databasis is geskep uit navrae van familielede en ander partye; dit is nie 'n versameling van alle vermiste soldate nie. 125.000 bladsye in 225 volumes bevat 1.400.000 soldate (en burgerlikes), 900.000 inskrywings met foto's. Die lyste is sedert April 2015 aanlyn, maar die gebruik daarvan bly ingewikkeld, want dit kan nie op naam of geboortedatum gesoek word nie. U benodig 'n Feldpostnummer, 'n kampnommer, 'n veldadres of 'n laaste bekende plek.

Inligting oor Luftwaffe -beamptes word op 'n privaat webwerf opgestel: Luftwaffe -beampte se loopbaanopsommings.

Eerste Wêreldoorlog

As ek na die Eerste Wêreldoorlog kyk, is dit belangrik om te weet waar u voorouers in Duitsland gewoon het. Binne die magte van die Duitse Ryk, oorheers deur Pruise, het die kontingente van Beiere, Württemberg en Sakse semi-outonoom gebly en ook hul eie rekords gehou.

Baie rekords oor deelnemers aan die Eerste Wêreldoorlog is vernietig toe die Pruisiese militêre argief in Potsdam in 1945 afgebrand het. Behalwe sommige Ryksmarine (vloot) rekords, byna alle individuele dokumente uit die Pruis weermag is verlore. Rekords oor vlootlede uit die jare tussen 1871 en 1947 is moontlik beskikbaar by die Deutsche Dienststelle (soos hierbo uiteengesit).

Rekords oor vegters uit Beiere, Württemberg, Baden en Sakse word in die plaaslike argiewe gehou:

Die rekords van Württemberg en Baden is gratis aanlyn toeganklik uit die argief. Sien hierdie inleiding (in Duits): Soldaten im Ersten Weltkrieg Findmittel zu den Personalunterlagen des XIV. Armeekorps im Generaal landesarchiv Karlsruhe jetzt online. U kies die relevante tydperk vir die personeelroosters en soek dit volgens eenheid (nie geïndekseer nie).

Die Beierse rekords (Kriegsranglisten und -stammrollen des Königreichs Bayern) is ook beskikbaar op Voorgeslag.com. Dit bevat gewoonlik kort biografiese inligting soos beroep en woonplek, militêre loopbaan (rang, deelname aan gevegte, toekennings) en inligting oor die soldate se ouers.

Ek het die Saksiese argief nie alleen gebruik nie, so ek weet nie of navorsing oor individuele militêre rekords deur die argief gedoen word nie. Sien my algemene wenke hierbo.

Wat om te doen as u voorouer in die Pruisiese leër veg? Tydens die oorlog het die weermag sterftes, beserings, vermiste soldate en krygsgevangenes in die sg Verlustlisten. Hierdie lyste is in die openbaar vertoon. Dit bevat name, geboorteplekke en volledige of onvolledige (slegs dag en maand) geboortedatums. Die name word volgens die soldate se eenhede gelys, so as u voorouer vermoor of beseer is, in aksie vermis was of 'n krygsgevangene geword het, kan u rekonstrueer waar hy veg en in watter eenheid hy in hierdie tyd lid was. Lys met afkortings (met vertalings) vir verskillende soorte beserings en sterftes.

Die Duitse genealogiese vereniging Verein for Computergenealogie het die enigste volledige, geïndekseerde en vrylik toeganklike versameling daarvan. U kan met die soekmasker na die geïndekseerde rekords soek. 'N Lys van Pruisiese soldate wat in aksie gemis is, is ook geïndekseer. Hierdie lyste word volgens eenheid gesorteer en bevat ook inligting oor die persone wat gekontak moet word (meestal familielede).

Daar is baie publikasies oor eenhede uit die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, geskryf deur veterane. Hierdie boeke gee dikwels 'n gedetailleerde insig oor roetes en militêre optrede, en bevat soms ook foto's en lyste.

Vir beamptes bestaan ​​daar ander saamgestelde lyste, bv. Friedrich Uebe: Ehrenmal des preußischen Offizier-Korps: alphabetisches Verzeichnis der im Weltkriege 1914/1918 gevalleen Angehörigen des preußischen Offizier-Korps. 1939. (Worldcat -inskrywing). Hierdie boek bevat 'n alfabetiese lys van vanne van gevalle beamptes wat die laaste eenheid, datum en plek van dood noem. Die militêre joernaal is 'n bron vir bevordering en oordrag van offisiere Militär-Wochenblatt, beskikbaar op Ancestry.

Gevalle lede van die vloot word gelys in die Marine-Gedenkbuch (34833 handgeskrewe name) volgens hul eenhede/skepe. Hierdie boek is ook geïndekseer.

Die argiewe van die Internasionale gevangenis-van-oorlog agentskap hou 500 000 bladsye lyste en ses miljoen indekskaarte met betrekking tot krygsgevangenes (WW I), insluitend die Duitse krygsgevangene.

Eerste en Tweede Wêreldoorlog

Vir militêre verliese van beide oorloë kan u 'n soekenjin ("Gräbersuche") gebruik wat deur die Volksbund. Hul databasis van begraafplase bevat inligting soos datum en plek van dood. Dit bevat ook inligting oor soldate wat gemis word in aksie of doodsoldate wat nie op bekende begraafplase begrawe is nie. Dit kan handig wees om met die Volksbund in verbinding te tree. Dikwels het hulle bykomende inligting, soos die oorspronklike begraafplaas of die laaste bekende militêre eenheid van die oorlogslagoffer in hul bewaarplekke. Hulle hulp is gratis, oorweeg asseblief 'n skenking.

'N Bron wat wyd oor die hoof gesien word oor dooie vegters plaaslike sterfregisters in die laaste woonplek. Hierdie registers dui dikwels rang, sterfplek, die kommunikeerende militêre amp en/of doodsomstandighede aan. 'N Afskrif kan by die plaaslike eienaar aangevra word Standesamt (registerkantoor) of uit die gemeenskaplike argief (die registers kan na 'n sekere tydperk van die registerkantoor na die argief oorgeplaas word, vra die registerkantoor wie die dokumente het). Fooie geld.


8. Anti-skip missiel

Die doeltreffendheid van anti-skeepsraketten teen geallieerde vaartuie in 1943-1944 het ander lande aangespoor om hul eie te ontwikkel. Beeldkrediet: www.savetheroyalnavy.org

Die doeltreffendheid van anti-skeepsraketten teen geallieerde vaartuie in 1943-1944, wat eers in Nazi-Duitsland ontwikkel is tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, het ander lande aangespoor om hul eie te ontwikkel. Hulle is in aktiewe gevegte gebruik deur Sowjet -Rusland, Indië, Israel, Argentinië, Irak, Iran, die Verenigde State en Libanon. Baie ander lande het hul eie missiele getoets.

Anti-skip missiele is deur die jare verfyn. Terwyl die oorspronklike Duitse ontwerp deur radio gelei is, het die daaropvolgende missiele verskillende leidingstelsels gebruik, waaronder handmatige begeleiding, radar, infrarooi, laser, GPS, video, IR-beelding, terrein waarna verwys word en outomatiese teikenherkenning. In Maart 2020 het Rusland sy hipersoniese missiel teen skepe getoets.


Leiers van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog: die 10 grootste Duitse generaals van 1914-1918

Na die eenwording van Duitsland in 1871, was die toneel gereed vir die magte in Sentraal -Europa om hul kollektiewe spiere te begin buig. Met keiserlike aspirasies wat hoogty vier, het gebeure op die Balkan in 1914 vinnig toegeneem tot 'n volslae konflik tussen Duitsland/Oostenryk-Hongarye en die Entente van Brittanje, Frankryk en Rusland.

In die daaropvolgende oorlog kon Duitsland 'n ryke militêre ervaring oproep: mans wat vir Pruise en Oostenryk geveg het, en wat hul afstamming kon terugspoor deur uitstaande militêre agtergronde in die verskillende Germaanse state.

Daar was baie noemenswaardige bevelvoerders van Duitse magte tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, waarvan baie uit adel gekom het. Onder die hertoge, aartshertogte, baronne en grawe het die Duitsers ook verskeie lede van koninklike gesinne bygewoon: prins Heinrich van Pruise het in die Kaiserliche Marine gedien, maar was tydens die oorlog beperk tot 'n aanstelling as inspekteur-generaal van die vloot die 69-jarige ou prins Leopold van Beiere het bevel gegee oor die Duitse negende leër aan die Oosfront. Kroonprins Rupprecht word as 'n goeie taktiese leier beskou, en sy sesde leër het die Franse magte in Lorraine groot ly, terwyl kroonprins Wilhelm - seun van keiser Wilhelm II - die leiding van die Vyfde leër in Verdun, aangestel vir die taak deur stafhoof Erich von Falkenhayn.

Van die "Blood-Miller of Verdun" tot die "Lion of Africa", ons onthou 'n paar van Duitsland se grootste militêre meesterbreine.

10. Karl von Bülow (1846-1921)

Stalwart van die Tweede Weermag

Volgens die tradisie van sy Pruisiese familie het Karl von Bülow as jong man die weermag aangegaan. Teen die tyd dat die Eerste Wêreldoorlog begin het, was hy 'n veteraan, en hy het aksie in die Oostenryk-Pruisiese en Frans-Pruisiese oorloë gesien. In 1914 kry hy die bevel oor die Duitse Tweede Leër wat die aanval na België sou lei in ooreenstemming met die Schlieffen -plan. Sy magte het groot sukses behaal deur die vesting van Namur te verower en later die vyfde leër van Charles Lanrezac in die Slag van Charleroi te verslaan.

However, von Bülow refused to follow up on these successes at Marne unless supported by Alexander von Kluck’s First Army, which was 50km west and heading for Paris. Von Bülow ordered von Kluck to turn towards him, resulting in the First Army exposing its flanks to Allied attack at the Battle of the Marne. Fearing a French breakthrough, von Bülow ordered a withdrawal and is generally held responsible for the German defeat at Marne. Despite this, he was promoted to Field Marshal, but a heart attack in 1915 prevented him taking further action in the war.

9. Remus von Woyrsch (1847-1920)

German Hero of the Eastern Front

Remus von Woyrsch’s career with the Prussian Army had already ended by 1914, but he was recalled from retirement when the First World War broke out, aged 68. Born of minor nobility, he had served in both the Austro-Prussian and Franco- Prussian Wars, receiving the Iron Cross for his actions in the latter. His experience with infantry resulted in him being placed in command of the Silesian Landwehr Corps on the Eastern Front. Operating alongside the Austro-Hungarian First Army, he served with distinction at the Battle of Rava-Ruska, covering the army’s retreat under Victor Danki, at the cost of 8,000 of his own men. He was duly appointed head of “Army Group Woyrsch” in Silesia, which was followed by successes at the battles of Thorn and Sienno, plus a victory against Alexei Evert’s forces during the Brusilov Offensive of 1916.

After the war, he retired for a second and final time, before dying in 1920.

8. Felix Graf von Bothmer (1852-1937)

Nemesis of the Russians

Born into Bavarian nobility, Count Felix Graf von Bothmer spent 40 years in the military, serving with Bavarian and
Prussian forces, largely on the general staff. He was made Lieutenant-General in 1905 and General of the Infantry in
1910, and with the outbreak of war was appointed commander of the Sixth Bavarian Reserve Division at Ypres. Four months later, he was placed in charge of II Reserve Corps in Galicia (modern-day western Ukraine), before taking
control of the “Sudarmee”, or South Army, in 1915 – a mixture of German, Austrian, Hungarian and Turkish troops on the Eastern Front.

Von Bothmer enjoyed some success against the numerically superior Russians, winning the Battle of Zwinin, and most notably during the Brusilov Offensive of 1916 – a massive assault by the Russian Imperial Army that saw von Bothmer’s line pushed back but unbroken. In 1917, his forces repelled the Kerensky Offensive, routing the demoralised Russians. During his time on the Eastern Front, he was awarded the Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves and the Grand Cross of the Bavarian Military Order of Max Joseph. However, his final actions were to oversee the retreat of the 19th Army in Lorraine, and the eventual demobilisation of the Bavarian Army.

7. Erich von Falkenhayn (1861-1922)

The Blood-Miller of Verdun

Another native of Prussia, von Falkenhayn was born in Burg Belchau (in the north of modern-day Poland) and, in accordance with the region’s military tradition, duly joined the army. He spent seven years as a military instructor in China during the Boxer Rebellion, before being posted back to various posts in Germany. In 1913, he was promoted to Prussian Minister of War and was one of the key architects of the First World War, following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

As Chief of the General Staff of the German Army, he was responsible for the “Race to the Sea”, where German and Allied troops tried to outflank one another but ended up entrenched along a front extending from Switzerland to the North Sea. In an attempt to “bleed France white”, he organised the nine-month attritional Battle of Verdun.

But he underestimated French resolve and casualties on both sides were colossal, earning him the nickname “the Blood-Miller of Verdun”. With the battle indecisive and the losses huge, von Falkenhayn was replaced as Chief of Staff by Paul von Hindenburg.

6. Reinhard Scheer (1863-1928)

The Man with the Iron Mask

Having served in the German Navy since 1879, Reinhard Scheer – nicknamed “the man with the iron mask” because of his stern looks – was given command of the Second Battle Squadron at the outbreak of the First World War. In 1915, he was moved to the Third Battle Squadron with its newer, more powerful dreadnoughts. A year later, he was promoted to Commander-in-Chief of the High Seas Fleet when Hugo von Pohl was forced to step down due to ill health.

Scheer’s first act was to push for greater U-boat activity against British warships, in an attempt to lure the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet out to engage with the Germans. The two navies finally clashed at the Battle of Jutland, which was seen as a minor tactical victory for the Germans, although it was only Scheer’s strategic manoeuvring that saved the High Seas Fleet from destruction. Neither the Kaiser nor Scheer felt the desire to take on the Grand Fleet in open combat again.

5. Erich Ludendorff (1865-1937)

Once the Most Powerful Man in Germany

Descended from Pomeranian merchants, Erich Ludendorff was a gifted student who graduated from Cadet School at the top of his class. In 1885, he was made Lieutenant of the 57th Infantry Regiment, before joining various other units, and was frequently commended for his service. In 1894, he was appointed to the German General Staff, rising to the rank of Senior Staff Officer.

With the outbreak of war, Ludendorff was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff to the Second Army, where he helped secure a victory over the Belgian forts at Liège, earning himself the Pour le Mérite medal for gallantry. He was then seconded to the Eighth Army on the Eastern Front, where he was instrumental in Paul von Hindenburg’s success against the Russians. In 1916, Ludendorff assumed the title First Generalquartiermeister, and is regarded as being the most powerful man in Germany at that time. However, his planned offensives in the west overstretched the German Army, leading to huge Allied advances.

After the armistice, he wrote several essays on the war and is largely responsible for the “stab in the back” myth that suggests the German military was betrayed by the Kaiser’s poor leadership and undermined by sinister political forces.

4. Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg (1865-1939)

The Noble Warrior

Another member of German nobility, Albrecht von Württemberg was the eldest son of Duke Philipp and his wife, the Archduchess Maria Theresa. At the outbreak of war, Albrecht was in command of the German Fourth Army and saw action in the Battle of the Ardennes, where the French defenders were heavily defeated. However, his forces would be driven back at the Battle of the Marne, which would then result in a stalemate and the entrenching “Race to the Sea”. Albrecht and his men were then transferred to Flanders, where they saw action in the Battle of the Yser and the Second Battle of Ypres. The latter is notable for the first large-scale use of gas on the battlefield

During the army-command reorganisation of 1915, Albrecht was promoted to Field Marshal and given control of a newly formed “Army Group Albrecht”. His force was posted to the southern sector of the Western Front, where he remained until the armistice. Following the cessation of hostilities, the German revolutions meant that he lost his royal inheritance to the Kingdom of Württemberg.

3. Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière (1886-1941)

The Most Successful Submarine Captain Ever

Although he only had a handful of men under his command, our list wouldn’t be complete without the number-one U-boat ace, Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière. Born in Posen (Poznán in modern-day Poland) and a descendant of French nobility, he was educated at the cadet schools of Wahlstatt and Gross-Lichterfelde. Aged 17, he entered the Kaiserliche Marine – the German Imperial Navy – with whom he served on a series of battleships, and also as Torpedo Officer on a light cruiser.

When war broke out, von Arnauld de la Perière was transferred to the Navy’s airship division, and in 1915 he moved to U-boats, where he was given command of U-35. Over the next three years, he made 14 voyages and sank more than 190 ships. After transferring to U-139 in 1918, he sank a further five vessels, bringing his tally to nearly half a million tons. However, he always acted according to the “prize rules”, allowing ships’ crews to board lifeboats and giving them directions to the nearest port before torpedoing the vessel. He received numerous medals, including the Austrian Order of Leopold, the Iron Cross and the Pour le Mérite, and his record number of tonnage makes him the most successful submarine commander of all time.

2. Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck (1890-1964)

The Lion of Africa

The son of a minor Pomeranian noble, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck attended cadet school in Potsdam and Berlin-Lichterfelde before being commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Imperial Army. He served in China as part of the Allied forces sent to help quell the Boxer Rebellion, and it was here that he got his first taste of guerrilla warfare. In the decade prior to the war, he was posted to German South-West Africa and modern-day Cameroon, before being moved to German East Africa, where he was put in control of Imperial forces plus a dozen companies of native Askari troops.

During the war, von Lettow-Vorbeck harried British colonies in Rhodesia and Kenya in a series of guerrilla raids, often outnumbered by as much as 8:1. His men were often forced to live off the land, resupplying at ammunition dumps, and von Lettow-Vorbeck only surrendered when news of the armistice reached him. He returned home a hero but would end up destitute, supported by a pension paid for by former rivals from Africa and Britain.

1. Paul von Hindenberg (1847-1934)

The Saviour of East Prussia

At the outbreak of WWI, Paul von Hindenburg was retired, having served with the Prussian Army during the Franco- Prussian War, with whom he attained the rank of General. On his recall, aged 66, he was sent to the Eastern Front as commander of East Prussia, and immediately scored a huge victory at the Battle of Tannenberg. Although outnumbered almost 2:1, von Hindenburg’s Eighth Army practically destroyed Russia’s Second Army. This was followed up by the Battle of the Masurian Lakes, which drove the Russians out of German territory with huge losses.

Von Hindenburg was hailed as the “Saviour of East Prussia” and promoted to Field Marshal, then to Army Chief of Staff. During this time, thanks largely to the direction of Erich Ludendorff, he managed to stem the Allied advance in the west, defeat Romania and force Russia out of the war, securing his place as a national hero. Von Hindenburg retired again in 1919, but he remained in office and was elected President of the Weimar Republic in 1925

For more on history’s greatest military leaders, pick up the new issue of History of War here or subscribe now and save 25% off the cover price.


The German Connection

Before becoming part of the triumvirate that seized power in Turkey at the beginning of 1913, Enver, the Ottoman minister of war, served as a military attaché to Berlin. During his four-year commission Enver developed a close relationship with German Kaiser Wilhelm II. 1 After the coup of 1913 that brought Enver to power, German-Ottoman military cooperation became national policy.

In December 1913, a German mission arrived in Turkey with the task of reorganizing the Ottoman army. Officers of the German military mission assumed responsibility for the command of the Turkish army under the leadership of Enver. The German-Turkish relationship was strengthened after the agreement of a military alliance between Germany and the Ottoman Empire in August 1914.

In notes written after a meeting with Young Turk leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress known as ‘Ittihad’, Max Scheubner-Richter, a German vice consul and commander of a joint German-Turkish special guerrilla force, described plans to “destroy” the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire.

The first item on this agenda concerns the liquidation of the Armenians. Ittihad will dangle before the Allies a specter of an alleged revolution prepared by the Armenian Dashnak party. Moreover, local incidents of social unrest and acts of Armenian self defense will deliberately be provoked and inflated and will be used as pretexts to effect the deportations. Once en route, however, the convoys will be attacked and exterminated by Kurdish and Turkish brigands, and in part by gendarmes, who will be instigated for that purpose by Ittihad. 2

From their unique position as overseers of the Ottoman army, German soldiers watched as the genocide was carried out. The highest-ranking member of Germany’s military mission to Turkey, General Bronsart von Schellendorf, directly issued orders for the round up and deportation of Armenians. Another high-ranking German officer, Lieutenant Colonel Boettrich, the military chief overseeing the construction of the Baghdad Railway, produced orders to deport the Armenian laborers, workmen, technicians, engineers, and administrators who were working on the railroad. 3 When Franz Gunther, deputy director of the Anatolian Railway, learned about Boettrich’s orders, he warned:

Our enemies will some day pay a good price to obtain possession of this document . . . they will be able to prove that the Germans have not only done nothing to prevent the Armenian persecutions but they even issued certain orders to this effect, as the [Turkish] Military Commander has ecstatically pointed out. 4

In a study of German participation in the Armenian Genocide, Vahakn Dadrian notes: “Whereas some German operatives went out of their way to avoid being drawn into acts that would have been tantamount to complicity, others willingly allowed the Turks to coopt them.… What is most noteworthy in this connection is the additional fact that the Germans belonging to the latter category had more power.” 5

On October 8, 1915, four members of the German missionaries staff to Turkey appealed to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs to intercede with their ally on behalf of the Armenians.

We think it our duty to draw the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the fact that our school work will be deprived, for the future, of its moral basis and will lose all authority in the eyes of the natives, if it is really beyond the power of the German Government to mitigate the brutality of the treatment which the exiled women and children of the massacred Armenians are receiving.

In face of the scenes of horror which are being unfolded daily before our eyes in the neighborhood of our school, our educational activity becomes a mockery of humanity. How can we make our pupils listen to the Tales of the Seven Dwarfs, how can we teach them conjugations and declensions, when, in the compounds next door to our school, death is carrying off their starving compatriots—when there are girls and women and children, practically naked, some lying on the ground, others stretched between the dead or the coffins made ready for them beforehand, and breathing their last breath!

Out of 2,000 to 3,000 peasant women from the Armenian Plateau who were brought here in goodhealth, only forty or fifty skeletons are left. The prettier ones are the victims of their gaolers’ [jailers’] lust the plain ones succumb to blows, hunger and thirst (they lie by the water’s edge, but are not allowed to quench their thirst). The Europeans are forbidden to distribute bread to the starving.

Every day more than a hundred corpses are carried out of Aleppo.

All this happens under the eyes of high Turkish officials. There are forty or fifty emaciated phantoms crowded into the compound opposite our school. They are women out of their mind they have forgotten how to eat when one offers them bread, they throw it aside with indifference. They only groan and wait for death.

“See,” say the natives, “Taâlim el Alman (the teaching of the Germans).”

The German scutcheon [a shield with a coat of arms] is in danger of being smirched forever in the memory of the Near Eastern peoples. There are natives of Aleppo, more enlightened than the rest, who say: “The Germans do not want these horrors. Perhaps the German nation does not know about them. If it did, how could the German Press, which is attached to the truth, talk about the humanity of the treatment accorded to the Armenians who are guilty of High Treason? Perhaps, too, the German Government has its hands tied by some contract defining the powers of the [German and Turkish] State in regard to one another’s affairs?”

No, when it is a question of giving over thousands of women and children to death by starvation, the words “Opportunism” and “definition of powers” lose their meaning. Every civilized human being is “empowered” in this case to interfere, and it is his bounden duty to do so. Our prestige in the East is the thing at stake. There are even Turks and Arabs who have remained human, and who shake their heads in sorrow when they see, in the exile convoys that pass through the town, how the brutal soldiers shower blows on women with child who can march no farther.

We may expect further and still more dreadful hecatombs after the order published by DjemalPasha. (The engineers of the Baghdad Railway are forbidden, by this order, to photograph the Armenian convoys any plates they have already used for this must be given up within twenty-four hours, under penalty of prosecution before the Council of War.) It is a proof that the responsible authorities fear the light, but have no intention of putting an end to scenes which are a disgrace to humanity.

. . .We know that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already, from other sources, received detailed descriptions of what is happening here. But as no change has occurred in the system of the deportations, we feel ourselves under a double obligation to make this report, all the more because the fact of our living abroad enables us to see more clearly the immense danger by which the German name is threatened here. 6

Despite the pleas of the mission’s staff and many ordinary German citizens who witnessed the treatment of Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire, the German government chose not to intervene.

Bykomende hulpbronne

Between 1904 and 1907, German troops killed between 65,000 and 80,000 of the Herero people who inhabited present-day Namibia in Southwest Africa, then a German colony. Some scholars suggest that Germany’s colonial experience, and its experiences during World War I and the Armenian Genocide served as models for the Nazi Holocaust. To research the relationship between the treatment of colonized Africans and genocide, see the book Exterminate All the Brutes: One Man’s Odyssey into the Heart of Darkness en die Origins of European Genocide by Sven Lindqvist.


Joining a noble family

Proof that some people still believe that nobility has its perks, it is possible to acquire a genuine title through marriage or adoption. It's not cheap, however: Consultants offering such services mention fees "in the five to six-digit range." You'll also need to convince the family court that you're not getting adopted only to obtain the noble name — in that case, the name change can be refused.

The remains of nobility in Germany


The Kaiser’s Family Wants Its Stuff Back. Germany Isn’t Sure They Deserve It.

It has been a full century since the abdication of the last emperor of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II, but the would-be heir to his throne is still known as a prince. Technically, the title has effectively become his last name, but for Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preußen, the great-great-grandson of Germany’s last monarch and the current head of the Prussian noble family the House of Hohenzollern, the trappings of royalty still have an attraction.

It has been a full century since the abdication of the last emperor of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II, but the would-be heir to his throne is still known as a prince. Technically, the title has effectively become his last name, but for Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preußen, the great-great-grandson of Germany’s last monarch and the current head of the Prussian noble family the House of Hohenzollern, the trappings of royalty still have an attraction.

Georg Friedrich is in the midst of a suddenly high-profile fight with the German government over property once owned by the former royal family. Some of it was ceded to Germany after the dissolution of the monarchy, and some was taken over the course of the country’s tumultuous 20th-century path from democracy to the Third Reich to division to reunification. Now, the family wants its stuff back. On the negotiating table are thousands of artworks and antiquities, $1.3 million in compensation, and the right of Georg Friedrich to reside in a former family castle.

All this has come to light after the recent leak of proceedings from negotiations between the prince’s family and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and the federal government—negotiations that were started by Georg Friedrich’s grandfather in the 1990s after the reunification of Germany. Many of the items the family is claiming ownership over have been in public hands for decades. Most have been administered by public agencies and are on display in public museums. Some, including the residence the prince is hoping to occupy, are themselves museums.

As the head of the Hohenzollerns, Georg Friedrich represents the complex legacy of a family whose members ruled Germany as kings and emperors for hundreds of years.

The negotiations over these pieces of history have opened questions over the relevance of a long-gone royalty, the country’s capacity to atone for the wrongs of the past, and, most uncomfortably, who can be held responsible for the rise of the Nazis.

They’ve also put an unwanted spotlight on Georg Friedrich, a private citizen and businessman. Though he recently launched a beer brand on the family name, Preußens Pilsener (with the tagline “Majestic Pleasure”), he serves no public role. Yet, as the head of the Hohenzollerns, he represents the complex legacy of a family whose members ruled Germany as kings and emperors for hundreds of years—a monarchy that led Germany into World War I and sparked the revolutions that birthed the republic 100 years ago.

“The last thing I need to define myself is a castle,” Georg Friedrich famously told a German political magazine when he was 28. Now 43, married, and with four young children, his priorities appear to have shifted.

A painting by Anton von Werner depicts the opening of the German Reichstag by Kaiser Wilhelm II on June 25, 1888. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Hohenzollern family claims came to light this summer when details of the negotiations were revealed by Der Spiegel, just weeks after courts denied Georg Friedrich ownership of another castle from the family’s distant past. Other news sources published a leaked excerpt of the potential compensation being negotiated, including details on the permanent right to residency in one of three palaces built during the time of the German Empire.

Many in Germany were outraged. “This country does not owe a single coffee cup to the next-born of a luckily long-vanquished undemocratic regime, let alone art treasures or real estate,” Stefan Kuzmany, a columnist for Der Spiegel, wrote after the revelations. “Even the request is an insult to the Republic.”

But requests like these have been relatively common in the 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, as families have sought compensation for land, property, and much more taken from their ancestors. Deciding the merits of these compensation requests has been part of the ongoing catharsis in a modern-day Germany that’s coming to terms with the legacies of a very complicated 20th century.

Compensation would not be allowed in cases where the ancestors in question had been complicit in the darkest phase of German history by providing “substantial support” to the Nazis—a level of support the law does not define.

For the Hohenzollern family, this concerns the spoils of many generations at the apex of German nobility—palaces and artwork and antiquities surrendered by the family after the fall of the kaiser in 1918 and even more taken by the Soviets after the end of World War II and the establishment of the communist East German state in 1949.

A law passed after the reunification of Germany in the 1990s secured the legal right for people to claim compensation for property taken from their ancestors. The one catch is that compensation would not be allowed in cases where the ancestors in question had been complicit in the darkest phase of German history by providing “substantial support” to the Nazis—a level of support the law does not define. Photographs of Crown Prince Wilhelm, the son of the former kaiser, with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s and the membership in the Nazi party of another prince have become sticking points in the compensation request of Georg Friedrich. Lawyers and historians hired by the Hohenzollern family and the German government are now trying to determine whether what was taken from the former royal family should be given back.

“What, according to this law, has to be figured out is if the last crown prince had been substantially supporting the Nazi regime or not,” said Stephan Malinowski, a historian at the University of Edinburgh who has been reviewing the records. “And this is a very tricky question to figure out.”

Cecilienhof Palace on Aug. 30, 2018. Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images
The negotiation room at Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, Germany, on June 25, 2015. After winning World War II, the Allied Forces convened here to discuss the postwar order of Germany and Europe. Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance via Getty Images

An hour train ride west of Berlin is the city of Potsdam, home to a complex of palaces and gardens built over the past several centuries as summer residences for the kings of Prussia and Germany and now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the edge of a lake a short distance from the city’s highlight, Sanssouci Palace, sits Cecilienhof Palace, a 176-room grand residence modeled after an English country manor and completed in 1917—the last such palace built by the German Empire. Now a museum, Cecilienhof Palace is also one of the three options on the negotiating table that, if the Hohenzollern family gets its way, could serve as its permanent residence.

It would be, for the family, a long-awaited return. After the 1918 revolution that brought down the kaiser, the building was one of many royal properties seized from the family. After years of negotiation, a 1926 agreement with the young democratic Weimar Republic in Germany split the assets of the former royal family, handing much of it over to the state, including Cecilienhof. As part of the deal, the former crown prince was granted the right to reside in the palace, an agreement that was set to last for three generations.

After the 1918 revolution that brought down the kaiser, the building was one of many royal properties seized from the family.

The palace quickly became the site of important events in world history. Crown Prince Wilhelm, allowed to live in Germany under the condition that he play no part in politics, hosted Hitler at Cecilienhof and in Potsdam at least three times between 1926 and 1935, according to historical documents. The most significant of these meetings was the so-called Day of Potsdam in March 1933, when newly elected Chancellor Hitler and President Paul von Hindenburg forged an alliance that led to the full Nazi takeover of power. After the German surrender in World War II, the palace continued its significance, hosting the Potsdam Conference of U.S. President Harry Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, in which the allies divided up the country for postwar occupation and the eventual division into East and West Germany—meetings many call the start of the Cold War.

“The largest part of the former estate was located within the former Soviet zone of occupation and was hence expropriated,” said Markus Hennig, a lawyer for the family. That included Cecilienhof Palace.

After reunification, as soon as the law allowing compensation for the loss of assets through expropriation or occupation was signed in 1994, the Hohenzollern family launched its appeal. More than 25 years later, the details are still being worked out.

Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preußen at Hohenzollern Castle on Aug. 16, 2017. Patrick Seeger/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

“There’s a split, I guess, in the German population,” Malinowski said. “You have, of course, on the right side of the spectrum and among the conservatives, they would say, ‘Well, they’re just claiming back what was always theirs, and there’s nothing wrong about it,’ whereas you have, I would say, a majority of people feeling something very strange is happening here.”

The artworks and antiquities being negotiated have been in public hands for 70 years, and Malinowski says it was a surprise to many people in Germany that it all could potentially become someone’s private property. (Hennig contends the Hohenzollerns have no intentions of removing items from museums.) “I think even for the majority of German citizens it comes as a surprise that there is such a thing as a former royal family,” Malinowski said. He is among a group of historians, including Karina Urbach, who see a clear connection between the former royal family and the rise of the Nazis. He is also among a group of historians, newspapers, and politicians facing legal pressure from the Hohenzollerns over statements made about the negotiations.

Unlike other members of the once dominant noble class, Germany’s former royal family members are not the target of much public attention. When Georg Friedrich and his family relocated to Potsdam in 2018, Gala, a German magazine covering the royals of Europe, briefly turned from its primary focus on British dukes and duchesses to publish a short article on the move, tucking it in a section titled “Other royal and princely houses.”

The legal privileges of noble families were abolished with the founding of the Weimar Republic in 1919, but most were able to keep at least some of their estates, including castles, forests and large stretches of agricultural land.

Though long out of power, the German aristocracy still exists. The legal privileges of noble families were abolished with the founding of the Weimar Republic in 1919, but most were able to keep at least some of their estates, including castles, forests and large stretches of agricultural land. Some have managed to turn these inheritances into thriving businesses. Hereditary aristocratic titles are also still passed down, mostly in the form of the particle “von” in surnames, which is not uncommon in German society. President of the European Commission of the EU Ursula von der Leyen, for example, got the title when she married into a family of former German nobles. There are likely thousands carrying such aristocratic lineage in Germany, but only those from a few families have the residual wealth to go along with the title, including the House of Bavaria, the House of Fugger, the House of Hanover, the House of Hesse, and most of all, the House of Hohenzollern. But wealth doesn’t necessarily draw the public’s interest. When Georg Friedrich’s 2011 wedding was broadcast on national television, the press noted a lack of enthusiasm amongst the German public. “Indifference reigns,” one noted.

Hennig argues that the German media are only now paying such close attention to the family’s negotiations because the leaked documents gave the false impression that secret deals were being made. “He’s a very discrete person. He’s not selling his private life,” Hennig said of Georg Friedrich.

The negotiations have been known to the public since 2014, he says, and what’s been covered in the press in recent months distorts the family’s claims. Like any legal proceeding, he argues, it’s entirely appropriate for negotiations to happen behind closed doors. “The royal family is not asking for more rights than a civil person but not for fewer rights either,” Hennig said.

The Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, which is engaged in these negotiations along with the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, declined an interview request.

Malinowski says that whether the Hohenzollerns want the spotlight or not, the family’s stature and role in the country’s history makes its compensation request notably different from other cases—and therefore worthy of more scrutiny.

“Whatever a crown prince does in the 1920s has a symbolic importance because a lot of people, millions of people and known conservatives, are going to observe him. And if he sends a message to the right wing and the bourgeoisie and the nobility in the country by saying, ‘I’m wearing a swastika, and I’m supporting Hitler,’ then this has an impact. But proving this is close to impossible for historians,” Malinowski said.

“If the question was just to figure out if this man had sympathies with the Nazis, then my answer would be 100 percent clear: Yes, he had, and, yes, he collaborated with Hitler and the Nazis at the beginning of the Third Reich. I don’t think that many historians will argue against this,” he said.

For some, the connections between the Hohenzollern family and the Nazis are too apparent to ignore. The Brandenburg state chapter of Die Linke, Germany’s leftist political party, has taken a stand in opposition to the Hohenzollerns’ compensation request. In August, the party launched an initiative to gather enough signatures to bring the subject of the family’s negotiations before the state parliament so elected officials could openly debate the requested compensation. The initiative’s call for signatures argues that “[t]he great wealth of the Hohenzollern, accumulated over centuries, has been earned by the people. The former real estate and property of the Hohenzollern was (apart from personal belongings) actually state property, which was financed from taxes.”

Anja Mayer is the chair of Die Linke Brandenburg, and she calls the family’s claims “totally outrageous,” noting that lawyers for the family have issued a cease-and-desist order against the party over statements it made about the nature of the negotiations. She says the party launched the initiative simply to bring the public to the negotiating table. “It’s very important that this goes to the state parliament to make it public, to have the people and the government involved,” she said through an interpreter. Mayer contends that the state does not owe the family anything. “Obviously the Hohenzollerns collaborated with the Nazis, and someone who did that does not have any right for compensation afterward,” she said.

Adolf Hitler salutes with his followers at the Sports Palace in Berlin in September 1932. To his left is Prince August Wilhelm, a son of the former kaiser. Keystone/Getty Images

“From my point of view, the discussion to what extent the former crown prince might have supported National Socialism is misleading. All his actions were entirely led by the idea of reinstalling monarchy in favor of the House of Hohenzollern,” said Hennig, the Hohenzollern lawyer. “Obviously, he had to take utmost care with all his actions and with everything he said, particularly to protect his family. Nevertheless, the Nazis always found him suspicious. Hitler’s secretary wrote in her diary that the first thing the Führer said after the failed assassination [of him in 1944] was, ‘The crown prince is behind all that.’”

Hennig contends that the children of the former kaiser were no fans of Germany’s new experiment in democracy in the 1920s, and the only interest the crown prince would have had in someone like Hitler was as a disruptor who could open the family’s path back into power.

And even if the crown prince had tried to help Hitler come to power, some say his help wouldn’t have amounted to much. The historian Christopher Clark of Cambridge University was commissioned by the Hohenzollerns to write an expert report in 2011 about the years leading up to the Third Reich. In a recent interview with Der Spiegel, Clark explained how his research revealed that Crown Prince Wilhelm was almost useless to Hitler, calling him a “twit.” “The crown prince suffered from overconfidence bordering on the delusional. If one were to list Hitler’s most important supporters, he would not be among the first 300,” Clark said. “He is barely mentioned, by the way, in the literature on the Nazi seizure of power.”

The family’s connections with Hitler and the Nazis are well-known and even acknowledged publicly by Georg Friedrich. In fact, Hennig says, it was the government that called for negotiations with the Hohenzollerns to continue. Both sides have had full access to historical reports from both Clark and Malinowski, offering diverging but relevant views of the family and its connections, he says. “The initiative to intensify our communication and to initiate a round table [discussion] came from the public sector. From the beginning, it has been made clear by the government officials that those talks should be held discretely, but we also guaranteed each other full transparency about our level of knowledge and all sources involved,” Hennig said.

The renewed controversy over the negotiations spurred by the leak in July, he suggests, was likely motivated by politics. State elections were held in September in Brandenburg, one of several states formerly part of East Germany where far-right groups are gaining popularity. The state’s finance minister, Christian Görke, a member of Die Linke, had been calling loudly for the end of “secret negotiations” with the Hohenzollern family. Die Linke was hit hard in the election, losing seven of its 17 seats in the state parliament and being ousted from the ruling political coalition. Görke will also lose his position as finance minister. Mayer worries that the incoming coalition leans further to the right and may be more willing to strike an overly generous deal with the Hohenzollern family.

What, if anything, the government owes to the former royal family is still to be decided. The initiative in Brandenburg seems unlikely to pull the negotiations into parliamentary debate given the political sea change there, and both the family and the government entities involved in the negotiations have expressed their interest in avoiding formal court proceedings. But the desire to come to a mutual agreement behind closed doors strikes some as a missed opportunity to openly reckon with these complex and sometimes contradictory elements of German history—a history that’s still very much a matter of debate.

“Of course the family has an interest in order to portray the family history in a pleasant light. Unfortunately there are not so many pleasant things to discover the more you look at it,” Malinowski said. “I’m quite confident that the picture in the Weimar Republic and in the Third Reich of this family becomes darker and darker the more you look at it. Which might be said about very many German families.”

Hennig says the negotiations will continue. “Our common interest is a wide-ranging and amicable settlement,” he said.

Nate Berg is a journalist focusing on urban design and architecture.


1. Erich “Bubi” Hartmann – 352

Erich “Bubi” Hartmann. Deur Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

The Germans called him Bubi, but the Soviets called him the Black Devil. He was the highest scoring pilot fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. He was only 20 years old, when he engaged in combat, in 1942, immediately becoming one of the best. Hartmann downed 345 Soviet aircraft and 7 American. He was loved and respected among his fellow-Luftwaffe pilots and Gerhard Barkhorn even served as best man on Hartmann’s wedding.

Hartmann was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords and Diamonds for his immaculate record. Of all of his accomplishments, the one that he was most proud of was the fact that he had never lost a wingman.

This, fairly, is something to be proud of, but history buffs couldn’t let it slide ― he did lose one of his wingman in 1943. His name was Major Gunther Capito. Other than being a pilot, he was also a great tactician. In his own words, we offer you a glimpse inside the mind of the greatest fighter pilot that ever lived:

“Once committed to an attack, fly in at full speed. After scoring crippling or disabling hits, I would clear myself and then repeat the process. I never pursued the enemy once they had eluded me. Better to break off and set up again for a new assault. I always began my attacks from full strength, if possible, my ideal flying height being 22,000 ft because at that altitude I could best utilize the performance of my aircraft. Combat flying is based on the slashing attack and rough maneuvering. In combat flying, fancy precision aerobatic work is really not of much use. Instead, it is the rough maneuver which succeeds.”

In his later years, after his military career had ended, he became a civilian flight instructor. He died of natural causes on 20 September 1993.