Articles

  • Article by Auke de Vlieger
  • Published on October 29th, 2016

Paulus, Friedrich

Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus was born September 23rd. 1890 in Breitenau, Hessen. His father was employed as a bookkeeper in a correctional institution. The family was not of noble descent, hence the family name did not include ‘von’ as is often assumed incorrectly.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on September 10th, 2018

Plagge, Karl

As a commander of a Wehrmacht unit in Vilnius, which occupied itself with the repair and maintenance of army vehicles, Karl Plagge took over 1,000 Jews in protection. Thanks to him, some 200 of them survived the war. In 2005, he was honored posthumously by Yad Vashem, the Israelian Holocaust Institute. Major Plagge is now known as Righteous among the Peoples, just like Oskar Schindler.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on October 4th, 2017

Pohl, Oswald

Oswald Pohl was born June 30, 1892 in Duisburg-Ruhrort, Germany, the fifth child of blacksmith Otto Emil Pohl and his wife Auguste Pohl-Seiffert. He attended elementary school in Duisburg-Laar from 1898 to 1904. Subsequently he attended the Real gymnasium in Duisburg-Hamborn for seven years. In his own words, he was a rather good pupil and took his diploma at the age of 20. On April 1, 1912 he embarked on a career in the German Kriegsmarine. His training took place in Wilhelmshafen and Kiel as well as in the Pacific. During World War One he was stationed on the Flemish coast and sailed on the Baltic Sea for some time.

  • Article by Wilco Vermeer
  • Published on January 8th, 2016

Raeder, Erich

Erich Johann Albert Raeder was born April 24th , 1876, in Wandsbek, a suburb of Hamburg, the son of a headmaster. After graduating from Realgymnasium at Grünberg (Silesia), he entered service in the Imperial Navy on April 26th , 1894. On May 13th , 1895 he was commissioned as Navy Ensign. On October 25th , 1897, he received his first promotion to 2nd Lieutenant. From 1903 to 1905, he attended the Navy Academy in Kiel, graduating as 1st Lieutenant. In 1906, he became spokesman of the Reichsmarineamt.

  • Article by Jochem Botman
  • Published on March 22nd, 2018

Rajakowitsch, Erich

Erich Rajakowitsch, born in 1905 in Trieste, was a lawyer in Graz first, a small town which was also the birthplace of another well known figure, Bishop Alois Hudal. In addition, Alois was also the son-in-law of Anton Rintelen, governor of Stiermarken and the Austrian ambassador to Italy. Erich Rajakowitsch, holding the rank of Hauptsturmführer Waffen-SS and chief of the special office for the Jewish question, was charged with complicity in the deportation of 10,000 Dutch Jews who were deported from Camp Westerbork to Auschwitz from 1942 onwards, including Anne Frank (Bio Frank, Anne) from Amsterdam.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on February 20th, 2013

Rauter, Hans

If one person could be associated with Nazi terror during the occupation of the Netherlands, it would be Hanns Rauter, the Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer and General Commissioner of security in the Netherlands. As the representative of SS-leader Heinrich Himmler, he was responsible for repressing the resistance, amongst other things, and he supervised the deportation of Jews. He was generally feared by the Dutch people and considered a symbol of oppression and terror.

  • Article by Wilco Vermeer
  • Published on February 8th, 2017

Reichenau, Walther von

Walther von Reichenau was born October 8th, 1884 in Karlsruhe. He descended from a typical Prussian military family. His father was Generalleutnant in the Prussian army. In 1903, after graduation, Walther followed in the foot prints of his father and enrolled in the army. He was posted to the 1.Garde-Feldartillerie-Regiment in 1904, and in the same year he was promoted to Leutnant. After a few years in service and study at the Kriegsakademie from 1911 onwards, he was promoted to Oberleutnant in 1913.

  • Article by Auke de Vlieger
  • Published on March 27th, 2018

Richthofen, Wolfram Freiherr von

Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen was born October 10, 1895 in Gut Barzdorf in Schlesien (Silesia), at the time German territory. He was a son of General der Kavalerie Manfred von Richthofen and a distant cousin of the brothers Manfred and Lothar von Richthofen, two well known aces from the First World War. In 1913, Wolfram followed his father's footsteps and joined the army and became squadron commander in Hussarenregiment 4. of the cavalry. In 1913 he entered Kriegsschule in Kassel and was promoted to Leutnant in 1914 after graduation. He fought in World War One and in September 1917 he was transferred to the Kaiserliche Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial Air Force) at his own request. On April 4 1918, he was posted to Jagdstaffel 11, a squadron his cousin Manfred served in too. Towards the end of the war, Wolfram had shot down eight enemy aircraft, making him an ace. He was also awarded the Eisernes Kreuz II and I (Iron Cross).

  • Article by Frank van der Drift
  • Published on October 6th, 2016

Rommel, Erwin

Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel was born November 15th ,1891 in Heidenheim/Brenz near Ulm. His father was a teacher and his mother was the daughter of a former prime minister of Württenberg. Although it was Rommel’s dream to enter the world of mechanics, he joined the army at the local military unit, the 124th Infantry Regiment (6 Württemberg) as a cadet in July 1910. Erwin rose through the ranks quickly and in March 1911, he was allowed to attend the officer’s school in Danzig (Gdansk). He graduated in 1912 and returned to his infantry regiment in Weingarten as an officer. During his education in Danzig he met his future wife, Lucie Maria Mollin. Until the beginning of World War One, Rommel was regimental officer at the training department.

  • Article by Robert Jan Noks
  • Published on December 3rd, 2015

Rosenberg, Alfred

Alfred Rosenberg’s career envelops nearly the entire National socialism in Germany. He was the party ideologist who later held a few more or less important posts in the Nazi government. Rosenberg is considered the person who has developed the essentials points of the Nazi ideology and put them to paper.

  • Article by Tom Notten
  • Published on October 8th, 2016

Rundstedt, Gerd von

Karl Rudolph Gerd von Rundstedt was born December 12th 1875 in Aschesleben in the Harz mountains near Magdeburg. He came from a military family dating back to the 12th century. When Gerd was born, his father served in a Prussian regiment of Hussars in the rank of Lieutenant. His mother was the daughter of a real estate owner.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on January 19th, 2017

Sandberger, Martin

While the attention of the international media was focused on the trial against camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk in May 2010, another Nazi war criminal died that year who had been living a comfortable life for decades. He had never gone into hiding in South-America, was not registered on any wanted list, even that of Simon Wiesenthal and could easily be found in the telephone directory. He sure had been sentenced, even to death. His death sentence, imposed on him in April 1948 may have been changed to life imprisonment but his release followed as soon as seven years later.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on August 6th, 2017

Schindler, Oskar

The person of Oskar Schindler was made famous by Steven Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List from 1993. The Sudeten-German evolved into a symbol of humanity and courage because he, in his position as a succesful business man during World War Two, had saved the lives of almost 1,100 Jews who were employed by him in his factory. For this, Yad Vashem, the Israelian Holocaust Memorial Center awarded him the title Righteous among the Peoples, an important decoration that is awarded to non-Jews having saved Jews from the Nazis.

  • Article by Bob Erinkveld
  • Published on May 30th, 2016

Schirach, Baldur von

Baldur Benedict von Schirach was born May 9th, 1907 in Berlin. His father was Karl von Schirach and his mother Emma Middleton Lynah Tillou, an American. Baldur had two sisters, Viktoria and Rosalind and an elder brother, Karl Benedict who had committed suicide in 1919, 19 years of age. As the son of a Prussian theatremanger, Baldur grew up in an aristocratic environment. Much attention was paid to music, theatre and literature. He showed his talents as a poet at an early age. Because of the American heritage of the Von Schirach family, English was the first language Baldur learned to speak. Only from his fifth year onwards he mastered the German language a little.

  • Article by Richard Savage
  • Published on October 19th, 2019

Schwerdtfeger,Werner

This is a short biography of a man whose life was filled with enough experiences, friendships, and drama to serve the lives of several men. Father, husband, friend, scientist, educator, researcher, mentor, aeronaut, and warrior, he comes as close to a true "Man for All Seasons" as many of us could likely imagine. His experiences in wartime, as a uniformed civil service official in the Luftwaffe and flight meteorologist in combat and later as director of the Luftwaffe’s principal forecast agency, would have been the high points of most men’s lives, as wartime service undoubtedly was for many of his comrades.

  • Article by Auke de Vlieger
  • Published on December 15th, 2016

Seydlitz-Kurzbach, Walther von

Walther Kurt von Seydlitz-Kurzbach was born August 22nd, 1888 in Eppendorff-Hamburg. He descended from Prussian military nobility and was a direct descendant of the famous Prussian general Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Seydlitz. In 1908, Walther joined Feldartillerie-Regiment 36 as Fahnenjunker (cadet). He was promoted to Leutnant in 1910.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on September 1st, 2012

Seyss-Inquart, Arthur

Arthur Seyss-Inquart is best known as Reich Commissioner for the occupied Netherlands. Prior to holding the function of the highest representative of the occupying forces in the Netherlands, from 1940 to 1945, he also held an important position in Austria and Poland, within the national socialistic government. In Austria, he had an important role in the unification of that country with Germany in 1938, the so called Anschluss (connection).

  • Article by Hendrik de Meyer
  • Published on November 26th, 2017

Skorzeny, Otto

Austrian Otto Skorzeny was born June 12, 1908 in Vienna to a middle class family that faced hardships during the years of crisis following the First World War. The name Skorzeny makes it likely his ancestors were of Slav origin. When Otto was 18 years of age and began to study engineering at Vienna University he became familiar with the traditional fencing associations. The art of fencing would earn Skorzeny his nickname Scarface later on. In one of the many duels, he received the "Schmisse" in his face, the honorable scars that were fiercely sought after among students as they were signs of traits of character like self discipline and courage.

  • Article by Robert Jan Noks
  • Published on October 12th, 2017

Stangl, Franz

Franz Stangl is seen by many as the role model of the loyal and obedient police officer in any circumstance. Because of his upbringing in an authoritarian family and an education where blind obedience came first, he has carried out his tasks with meticulous dedication to which many hundreds of thousands have fallen victim. The life of Stangl was one of an inconspicuous civil servant who became a conscious cog in the machinery of the Holocaust.

  • Article by Auke de Vlieger
  • Published on December 2nd, 2016

Stauffenberg, Claus Schenk Graf von

Bevorderingen:18-08-1927: Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter 15-10-1927: Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier 01-08-1928: Fähnrich 01-08-1929: Oberfähnrich 01-01-1930: Leutnant 01-05-1933: Oberleutnant 01-01-1937: Rittmeister 01-11-1939: Hauptmann i. G. 01-01-1941: Major i. G. 01-01-1943: Oberstleutnant i. G. 01-04-1944: Oberst i. G.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on March 20th, 2018

Stroop, Jürgen

During World War Two, Jürgen Stroop was involved in the suppression of civilian revolt, the fighting against partisans and the persecution of Jews in Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, Poland and Greece. He became most notorious by his role as leader of the suppression of the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto in the spring of 1943. Stroop was known among his colleagues as a ruthless brute. He was loyal to Heinrich Himmler (Bio Himmler) and followed his orders with total devotion.

  • Article by Matthias Ouwejan
  • Published on July 18th, 2017

Tresckow, Henning von

Henning Hermann Robert Karl von Tresckow was born January 10, 1901 in Magdeburg (today in Sachsen-Anhalt), a descendant of Preussian nobility. Many of his forebears had been officers in the Preußian army and Henning also wanted to join the army badly. On August 13, 1917, he was posted to 1. Garde-regiment zu Fuß in Potsdam where he started his training. After graduation, he was sent to the western front in France in the spring of 1918 and was promoted to Leutnant in August. After the First World War had come to an end, Von Tresckow joined the 9. Preußische Infanterie-Regiment where he was considered a very ambitious man with a bright future ahead of him. Nevertheless, he decided to focus on a career outside the army which he left at the end of October 1920 to enroll as a law student at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University in Berlin. A year later, Von Tresckow continued his studies in Kiel but never graduated. In 1923 he started work at the Wilhelm Kann Bank in Berlin and with his intelligence and cold-bloodedness, he managed to make a lot of money on the stock market. He possessed a very convincing personality and combined this with gallantry and the readiness to discuss anything. This left a strong impression on many people. In 1924, Von Tresckow made a world wide tour through countries in Europe and North and South America which was quite a privilege in those days. Thereafter, Von Tresckow went into business.