- Article by Matthias Ouwejan
- Published on December 14th, 2017
Job Wilhelm Georg Erwin Erdmann von Witzleben was born December 4, 1881 in Breslau – at the time the capital of the Prussian province of Silesia, today Wroclaw in southwestern Poland – child of ancient Polish nobility. His father fought in the Franco-German war as Hauptmann in the Imperial army and following his discharge in 1876, he bought Ober-Poppschütz, a small estate in Upper-Silesia. Erwin von Witzleben spent his childhood years in Breslau and later on in Ober-Poppschütz. Here he was brought up by his father and his mother Theresa in strict religious fashion. It was a Prussian tradition to follow in one’s father’s footsteps so Erwin was predestined to join the army. On March 22, 1901 he was commissioned as an officer with average results. Von Witzleben subsequently started his career in the Grenadier regiment König Wilhelm I (2. West Preußisches) nr. 7 in Liegnitz. This was a regiment with a long term tradition regarding the King of Prussia so Erwin von Witzleben was allocated an important position in the army. He began as driver of 12. Kompanie and in later years served in other companies of the Regiment as well. Von Witzleben was promoted to Oberleutnant on June 26, 1910.