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Bechler, Bernhard

    Date of birth:
    February 9th, 1911 (Lengenfeld-Auerbach/Saxony, Germany)
    Date of death:
    November 30th, 2002 (Kleinmachnow/Brandenburg, Germany)
    Nationality:
    German (1933-1945, German Reich)

    Biography

    Bernhard Bechler was born on the 9th February 1911 as the son of a saxen factory director. After his study at the Gymnasium, he chose a military life. He became a Reichswehr officer in 1931 and was promoted to Oberleutnant in 1932.

    Between 1939 and 1942 he was stationed, as Adjutant, with the Generalstab des Oberkommandos des Heeres. Bechler was a NSDAP member. In 1943 he became a prisoner of war with the Soviets at the time he was a Major and batallion commander in the 6.Armee in Stalingrad. During his imprisonment he was a cofounder of the Nationalkomitees Freies Deutschland (NKFD) and the Bundes Deutscher Offiziere. He became a member of the Kommunisticher Partei Deutschlands. For all this he was sentenced to death in absence by the German Reichsgericht. During the last year of the war het served as a Frontbeauftragter at the 2nd Belorussian Front during the Battles of Graudenz.

    His wife Margret Bechler, was ordered to divorce her husband in 1944, who was considered a traitor. She refused this and was derived of all her civil rights. After the war she was was implicated in the death sentencing of the Antifascist Anton Jakos, her husband's servant. She was arrested by the East-German government and sentenced to death in 1950. This sentence was later changed to life imprisonment. She was released in 1956, but was never rehabilitated. Margaret Bechler died in 2002. When he returned to East-Germany, Bernhard Bechler he organised it that his wife was be declared dead and he subsequently remarried.

    After the war ended, Bechler in 1946 became the Minister of Internal Affairsof Brandenburg. In 1949 and 1950 he attended a course at a Soviet Military Academy and became Chefinspekteur. From 1952 he was Generalmajor with the Kasernierten Volkspolizei and deputy Chef des Hauptstabes der Nationalen Volksarmee. After he left his office he became a tutor at the Militärakademie Dresden until his retirement in 1971. After the "Wende" and unification of East and West Germany he became a member of the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (SED).

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Major
    Unit:
    I. / Grenadier-Regiment 29 (motorisiert) / 3.Panzergrenadier-Division
    Awarded on:
    January 28th, 1943
    Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Frontbeauftragter
    Awarded on:
    March 1945
    Action:
    Awarded by Marshall Zhukov for his services on the 2nd Belarussian Front during the Battles for Graudenz.
    Orden Otechestvennoi voiny 2

    Sources

    • - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
      - Patzwall K., Scherzer V., Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941-1945, Geschichte und Inhaber Band II, Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt, 2001
      - Mitteilungsblatt FM, Heft 1, I/2007, Deutsches Wehrkundearchiv, Lage, 2007