Articles

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on November 21st, 2015

Kaltenbrunner, Ernst

Ernst Kaltenbrunner’s life began on October 4th, 1903 in Reid im Immkreis (Austria), close to Hitler’s birthplace Braunau. He was the son of lawyer Hugo Kaltenbrunner and his wife Therese Kaltenbrunner-Udwardy. Father and mother Kaltenbrunner were anti-religious and champions of the unification of Austria and Germany. In 1918, Ernst Kaltenbrunner moved to a boardinghouse in Linz. In this town he attended the Realgymnasium (grammarschool) and met Adolf Eichmann, one of his future coworkers.

  • Article by Wesley Dankers
  • Published on October 13th, 2018

Keitel, Wilhelm

his weak and willing puppet handed the army, the instrument of aggression, to the party and directed it in its criminal actions. This is how Robert H. Jackson, American chief prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, described Wilhelm Keitel; during the war the head of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW or supreme command of the Wehrmacht) and generally known as a yes man and lickspittle. Who was this army commander who followed Hitler's orders almost slavishly and how much power did he have? In this article, these questions shall be dealt with.

  • Article by Michiel Stinckens
  • Published on November 26th, 2016

Kesselring, Albert

Albert Kesselring was born November 30th, 1885 in Marktsteft in the region of Unterfranken in Bavaria. He was the son of a teacher. Kesselring attended school in Bayreuth. He entered service with the Bavarian artillery in 1904, was promoted to Leutnant and placed in command of a shock troop. In 1910 he married Pauline Keyssler. In 1922, they adopted a son.

  • Article by Tom Notten
  • Published on April 19th, 2017

Kluge, Günther von

Hans Günther von Kluge was born October 30, 1882 in Posen in western Prussia (today Poznan, Poland), the son of a Prussian lieutenant-general. On graduating from the Kriegsakademie, Von Kluge served as Leutnant on the general staff in Berlin from 1913 onwards.

  • Article by Timo Worst
  • Published on August 9th, 2018

Knittel, Gustav

Gustav Knittel was a convicted war criminal and SS-Sturmbannfüher in the 1. SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler (LSSHA).

  • Article by Tom Notten
  • Published on January 27th, 2017

Leeb, Wilhelm von

Wilhelm Joseph Franz von Leeb was born September 5th, 1876 in Landsberg am Lech, the son of a Bavarian army officer. He was brought up in strict Roman-Catholic fashion which was to leave its marks during his later career. Considering the military tradition of the family, he was destined to become an officer and so it happened. At the age of 19, he joined 4. Feldartillerie König, a Bavarian unit in Augsburg, holding the rank of Fahnenjunker. Next came short detachments to the War Academy in Munich, the Bavarian School of Artillery and Engineers and the artillery factory in Amberg.

  • Article by Annabel Junge
  • Published on June 13th, 2018

Lichtenberg, Bernhard

Father Lichtenberg was no stranger to war. As early as WWI he had worked as an army chaplain in the German army, and during WWII he remained true to his spiritual calling. However, his war experiences had brought him political awareness. He despised communism, and later, fascism. One motto in particular guided him in everything he did, and that was a well-known text from the Bible: You shall love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:39). During WWII this would become the text Bernhard Lichtenberg frequently called upon when he protested the hideous Nazi regime.

  • Article by Robert Jan Noks
  • Published on September 1st, 2017

Liebehenschel, Arthur

There are some among the camp commanders whose names are familiar to many such as Rudolph Höss and Joseph Kramer. A commander who has drawn less attention was Arthur Liebehenschel. Initially he made an inconspicuous career in the SS as a typical bureaucrat and he played an important role in setting up and expanding the system of concentration camps. More or less against his will he was appointed commander of Auschwitz I (Stammlager or main camp) in November 1943. Subsequently he had the questionable honor of being the last commander of Majdanek. According to witnesses, life as a camp commander was difficult for him. He did not have the ruthless, cold reputation of his predecessor in Auschwitz, Rudolph Höss. Nonetheless, Arthur Liebehenschel would end up on the gallows in Krakow.

  • Article by Tom Notten
  • Published on November 3rd, 2016

Manstein, Erich von

Erich von Lewinski was born November 24th, 1887 in Berlin, the tenth child of the Prussian general Eduard von Lewinski. After the death of his parents, Erich was adopted by his uncle, General Georg von Manstein. Erich von Lewinski took the surname of his uncle and embarked on a military career in the 3. Infanterie Guard Regiment in 1906. He served from 1911 to 1913 as adjutant of a Fusiliers battalion; in 1913 he entered military academy and was promoted to Leutnant.

  • Article by Tom Notten
  • Published on December 28th, 2017

Manteuffel, Hasso von

Hasso von Manteuffel was born January 14, 1897 in Potsdam. He descended from a noble Prussian family; one of his forebears had even been a field marshal in the 19th century. At an early age, Von Manteuffel opted for an army career. He attended cadet school and joined a Hussar regiment in 1908.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on March 3rd, 2016

Mengele, Joseph

Joseph Mengele (1911-1979) became notorious by the crimes he committed as a physician in concentration camp Auschwitz. He conducted ghastly medical experiments on inmates and during selections on the platfom of Auschwitz-Birkenau, he sent numerous Jews and Gypsies to the gas chambers. He paid special attention to twins and to people with a conspicuous physical abnormality such as dwarfism. With his research, he aimed to make a contribution to the nationalsocialist racial ideology that assumed superiority of the Arian race and the inferiority of groups of the population such as Jews and Gypsies.

  • Article by Tom Notten
  • Published on October 26th, 2016

Model, Walter

Walter Model was born January 24th, 1891 in Genthin in the vicinity of Magdeburg. After graduating from officers’ school in 1910, he joined the infantry in the rank of lieutenant. When the First World War broke out, he had risen to commander of an infantry regiment, fighting on the western front in the early stages of the war. In 1915 he had already been awarded two important decorations, the EK 2 and 1 (Eisernes Kreuz, Iron Cross).

  • Article by Michel Groot
  • Published on June 16th, 2016

Morell, Theodor

Theodor Gilbert Morell was born July 22nd, 1886 in Trais-Münzenberg in Hessen. He was almost three years older than his future, famous patient Adolf Hitler. His father was a teacher at a primary school, his mother came from a prosperous agricultural family from Hessen. Theodor had an elder brother Adolf and a younger sister Emilie. Adolf died of a stroke on November 1944 at the age of 61.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on April 19th, 2018

Müller, Heinrich

Heinrich Müller was born April 28, 1900, the son of poor Catholic parents. After having finished school he took up a three-year vocational training as an aircraft mechanic. Before he enrolled in the German army at the age of 17, he worked in a Bavarian aircraft factory for a while. During World War One he served in the German Imperial army as a pilot. In recognition of his achievements in wartime, he was awarded the EK I and II (Eisernes Kreuz or Iron Cross). He left the army in 1919 after the defeat of Germany.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on April 13th, 2018

Nebe, Arthur

Arthur Nebe (1894-1945) was a police detective in Berlin and started his Nazi career in 1933 as a member of the Gestapo. Ultimately he rose to chief of the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt, the central office of the German criminal investigation police or Kripo. In the first months of the German invasion of Russia, Nebe was in command of Einsatzgruppe B.

  • Article by Wilco Vermeer
  • Published on December 9th, 2016

Oster, Hans

Hans Oster would evolve into one of Germany’s most controversial military. After a brilliant career in the Wehrmacht and a successful career as a spy, he became the nucleus of the German resistance against the Nazis.