Articles

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on October 23rd, 2017

Wirth, Christian

Christian Wirth was one of the most important executors of the Nazi euthanasia program and Aktion Reinhard, the extermination of the Jews in the General Government in Poland. He became notorious for his enormous sadism and was known by his nickname Christian der Grausame or Christian the Cruel One. He was born November 24, 1885 in Oberbalzheim in the former state of Württemberg. Prior to the outbreak of World War One, Wirth initially worked as a carpenter but in 1910 he became a police officer. During World War one he served on the Western Front and was awarded the Eisernes Kreuz 1 or Iron Cross first class.

  • Article by Roland Böhm
  • Published on March 29th, 2018

Wittmann, Michael

Thinking of German tank commanders of World War Two, names like Otto Carius, Heinz Günter, Kurt Knispel and Franz Bäke come to mind easily, but one of the best known with the highest number of enemy vehicles destroyed remains Michael Wittmann. He was born April 22, 1914 in Vogelthal in the Bavarian Oberpfalz and he died August 8, 1944 near Cynthia in Normandy. This is his story.

  • Article by Matthias Ouwejan
  • Published on December 14th, 2017

Witzleben, Erwin von

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.