The story

Rudolf von Senger : Nazi Germany

Rudolf von Senger : Nazi Germany

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Fridolin von Senger was born in Germany on 4th September 1891. After attended Eton College he became a Rhodes scholar (1912-14). He joined the German Army on the outbreak of the First World War and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

After the war he remained in the army and joined the Reichswehr's horse cavalry. A world-class equestrian he taught at the Hanover Calvary School (1919-21) and then worked with the cavalry inspectorate in Berlin.

In 1938 Senger became commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and the following year was promoted to the rank of colonel. He led the regiment in the invasion of Poland and in 1940 he took command of a motorized brigade during the Western Offensive. For the next two years he was chief liaison officer with the Franco-Italian armistice commission.

In September 1941 he was promoted to major general he was sent to the Soviet Union to command the 17th Panzer Division where he served under General Herman Hoth. The following year he took part in the campaign in the Ukraine under Field Marshal Erich von Manstein.

Promoted to lieutenant general he was sent to support the Italian Army in Sicily in May 1943. Along with Hans Hube he helped to coordinate efforts against the Allies and in October replaced Hube as commander of the 14th Panzer Corps. This included the defence of Monte Cassino.

Senger was a prisoner of war from 22nd May 1945 to 18th May 1946. After his release he published his autobiography, Neither Fear or Hope (1960). Fridolin von Senger died in 1963.

The Italian-German High Command had, correctly, regarded the south-east comer of the island as the most likely part for landing. It had, however, looked chiefly upon the coastal plains near Gda on the south coast and Catania on the east coast as the most threatened by enemy invasion. These two plans seemed to be the only ones for the employment of armoured formations, as they promised room for deployment from the very moment of the landing, or at least during further advance towards the centre of the island. This view of the details was mistaken. The Allied landing, which took place on 10th July, extended over the whole of the southeast coast from Syracuse to Licata. It appears that nowhere along this stretch could landings of tank units be seriously checked by the coast defence forces. These forces were second or third-rate Italian divisions, badly equipped and not backed by any coast batteries fit for this task.

Allied tank units accordingly advanced mainly on the roads. They could do so rather rapidly as long as they were backed by their naval artillery and by their air forces. As they were backed by superior air forces also, they made good advances even at later stages where they lacked support by naval artillery and where ground conditions were most unsuitable for mobile tank warfare. Owing to difficult ground conditions, however, they never succeeded in breaking through organized Axis defence lines as had often been the case both in Russia and in Africa, nor did they ever annihilate beaten Axis forces by pursuing them - which they might have done easily on ground more suitable, as in Russia or Africa.

Field-Marshal Kesselring had given express orders that no German soldier should enter the Monastery, so as to avoid giving the Allies any pretext for bombing or shelling it. I cannot testify personally that this decision was communicated to the Allies but I am sure that the Vatican found means to do so, since it was so directly interested in the fate of Monte Cassino. Not only did Field-Marshal Kesselring prohibit German soldiers from entering the Monastery, but be also placed a guard at the entrance gate to ensure that his orders were carried out.

The von Senger and Etterlin family belong to the Upper Franconian imperial nobility and can look back on a soldier tradition of over 250 years. Ferdinand's father was later the general of the armored forces Fridolin von Senger and Etterlin . His mother Hilda Margarethe was the daughter of the Prussian general von Kracht . Like most of his ancestors, Ferdinand aspired to a career as a professional soldier . In 1946 he married Ebba von Keudell .

Wehrmacht 1940–1945

He started his career on October 1, 1940 in the replacement division of the Göttingen Cavalry Regiment 3, which was commanded by his father. With the Russian campaign on June 22, 1941, his front use began in the 1st Cavalry Division , which was reclassified to the 24th Panzer Division on November 28, 1941 . From August 23, 1942, he fought with his units as a squadron leader on the Volga and witnessed the downfall of the 6th Army . Shortly before the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, he was seriously wounded and flown out. After the reorganization of the 24th Panzer Division, the first lieutenant and regimental adjutant von Senger and Etterlin was first relocated to northern Italy and then deployed again on the Eastern Front from October 1943. In August 1944 he lost his right arm during the defensive battles near Jasy in Romania . The then 21-year-old Rittmeister was appointed personal adjutant to the tank troop inspector, General Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg , and transferred to the Army High Command (OKH) in autumn 1944 . He dealt with armaments issues, agreements with the armaments industry, with personnel replacement issues and reclassifications of the armored forces. At the end of the Second World War he was taken prisoner with some staff members.

Post-war period 1945 - 1956

After their captivity , von Senger and Etterlin began studying law in Göttingen and continued this in Zurich and Oxford . In 1951 he received his doctorate with his doctoral thesis The Party State: A Comparison between the Weimar Constitution and the Bonn Basic Law.

He was then as officials of the higher service to the newly created Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution called and was advised by his staff represented in the advisory committee's father.

Bundeswehr 1956–1979

After his reactivation in March 1956, von Senger and Etterlin were deployed in the department "Basic Issues of Military Intelligence and Foreign Armed Forces East", where his war experience in the Soviet Union and his work in the OKH were very beneficial. After his general staff training, he worked as a G 3 in Panzerlehrbrigade 9 ( Munster ). Here he was involved in testing the "Leopard" battle tank. His next task was to collaborate with the Army Study Group on issues of nuclear tactics and army planning. In 1964 he returned to Munster as commander of the 94th Panzer Training Battalion.

After successfully completing training at the NATO Defense College in Rome, he was employed in the integrated NATO area for the first time. In this two-year assignment he was entrusted with the operational planning of the NATO headquarters NORTHAG in Mönchengladbach and had to coordinate the deployment of Dutch, British, Belgian and German army troops.

After serving in the Armored Brigade 20 in Hemer from October 1969 to March 1970, he was appointed to the command staff of the Army in Bonn and promoted to Brigadier General on September 30, 1970 . In Stuttgart he later took over as major general in the position of commander in defense area V. In this territorial command , he experienced the different approaches in cooperation with civil authorities , state ministries and the Federal Armed Forces administration . In particular, he turned to the connections to the large Allied units and the German army and pushed the plans for a quick mobilization of reservists . On July 1, 1974, he returned to the field army and took command of the 7th Panzer Division in Unna . Here he was especially entrusted with the amalgamation of different units and associations in order to implement the demands of the new " Army Structure 4 ". He then led his division through several successful large-scale exercises. In the spring of 1978, Dr. von Senger and Etterlin, now lieutenant general , commanding general of the 1st Corps in Munster .

On October 1, 1979, the General succeeded General Franz-Joseph Schulze , who was retiring, and Commander-in-Chief of the NATO Forces Central Europe AFCENT in Brunssum (NL). The military-political events of these years led to the planning of the "Long-Term-Defense-Program" in 1980 and included the creation of additional European reserve troops. Despite this more political than military use, General Senger von Etterlin did not forget the contact with the troops and regularly visited associations and large units of the Bundeswehr in order to monitor tactical and war-related training and, if necessary, to take corrective action.

Rudolf Hess

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Rudolf Hess, in full Walter Richard Rudolf Hess, (born April 26, 1894, Alexandria, Egypt—died August 17, 1987, West Berlin, West Germany), German National Socialist who was Adolf Hitler’s deputy as party leader. He created an international sensation when in 1941 he secretly flew to Great Britain on an abortive self-styled mission to negotiate a peace between Britain and Germany.

What did Rudolf Hess do?

An early member of the Nazi Party, Rudolf Hess participated in the abortive Beer Hall Putsch in Munich (1923), transcribed and edited Adolf Hitler’s dictation of Mein Kampf while both were in prison, and served as Hitler’s private secretary in the 1920s and as deputy party leader and minister without portfolio from 1933.

How did Rudolf Hess die?

The death of Rudolf Hess was officially ruled a suicide. According to a report by the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police, Hess hanged himself with an electric cord inside a summer house on the grounds of the Spandau Prison.

Where did Rudolf Hess die?

Rudolf Hess died in Spandau Prison in West Berlin, where Nazi officials who had been sentenced to imprisonment at the Nürnberg trials were housed. From 1966 until his death in 1987, Hess was the only prisoner at Spandau.

What is Rudolf Hess most famous for?

Rudolf Hess is most famous for undertaking a secret solo flight from Bavaria to Scotland in May 1941 to deliver proposals for peace between Germany and Great Britain. Regarding Hess’s mission as unauthorized and doubting his sanity, the British government held Hess as a prisoner of war through the end of World War II.

The son of a merchant, Hess served in the German army during World War I. After the war, he studied at the University of Munich, where he engaged in nationalist propaganda. Hess joined the fledgling Nazi Party in 1920 and quickly became Hitler’s friend and confidant. After participating in the abortive November 1923 Munich (Beer Hall) Putsch, he escaped to Austria but returned voluntarily to Landsberg prison, where he took down and edited much of Hitler’s dictation for Mein Kampf. Promoted to Hitler’s private secretary, Hess was charged with creating a new centralized party organization after the defection of the leftist followers of Gregor Strasser (1932). In April 1933 Hess became deputy party leader and in December entered the cabinet. In 1939 Hitler declared him second to Hermann Göring in the line of succession.

Hess had a reputation for absolute loyalty to Hitler. During the later 1930s and the first years of World War II, however, when military and foreign policy preoccupied Hitler, Hess’s power waned, and his influence was further undermined by Martin Bormann and other top Nazi leaders. Hess decided in the spring of 1941 to bring the continuing military struggle between Germany and Britain to an end by means of a spectacular coup and thereby restore his flagging prestige. On May 10 he secretly flew alone from Augsburg and landed by parachute in Scotland with peace proposals, demanding a free hand for Germany in Europe and the return of former German colonies as compensation for Germany’s promise to respect the integrity of the British Empire. Hess’s proposals met with no response from the British government, which treated him as a prisoner of war and held him throughout World War II. His quixotic action was likewise rejected by Hitler himself, who accused Hess of suffering from “pacifist delusions.”

After the war, Hess was tried at the Nuremberg (Nürnberg) war crimes trials, convicted, and given a life sentence. He served his sentence at Spandau prison in Berlin, where from 1966 he was the sole inmate. After his death in 1987, Hess was buried in Wunsiedel, Bavaria, and his grave later became a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. In 2011 it was decided that his body should be moved. Hess’s remains were subsequently cremated, and his ashes were scattered in an unidentified lake.

Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland – archive, 1941

The story of Rudolf Hess is one of the strangest things in Nazi history. With the disclosure of his arrival in Scotland the pieces of an extraordinary episode begin to fit together. From the beginning the wonder was that his disappearance was not represented as a simple flying accident. Instead the minds of the German people were confused with a remarkable story of this great figure in the Nazi hierarchy as the victim of hallucinations, a madman apparently in the habit of flying alone, and who flew once too often, either meeting with an accident or committing suicide.

Why all this elaboration? No one, either in Germany or out of it, could accept the version as fact. Memories are still too fresh of the official explanations of the “night of the long knives” of June 30 [1934], when Hitler purged his party and allowed some of his greatest intimates to be murdered. Perhaps it was the fate of Rohm that led Hess to make his desperate flight to Britain. What the internal trouble was among the Nazi leaders we do not know – thieves keep counsel. Hess could only have been in immediate peril of his life. No doubt the next thing we shall hear is that a body has been found in Germany and that the true Hess is an English invention. But the truth must get through even to Germany. Let us hope that Hess who was so far sane as to bring with him full evidence of identity, will also talk. He may be worth an Army Corps.

The burnt-out plane aboard which Rudolf Hess left for Scotland, May 1941. Photograph: Photo 12/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Of all the Nazi leaders Hess seemed the most devoted to his chief. Although he was never so much in the public eye as Goring or Goebbels, or even Himmler and Ley, and during the war had dropped back behind the Service leaders, he was still at one remove Hitler’s named successor. His loyalty has never been questioned he was never accused of self-seeking. His association with Hitler went back to the beginning of the party he served with him in prison and was his secretary when Mein Kampf was written. Indeed, it is one of the great literary mysteries whether that amazing book was not more the work of the relatively well educated Hess than of the self-educated wayward genius Hitler. Hess was content to serve his master, to repeat his sentiments, and to carry out his orders. He received high preferment, became deputy leader, in control of the party organisation, and was always regarded as Hitler’s closest friend. Certainly no man was his more constant companion.

Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin

Fridolin Rudolph von Senger und Etterlin was born on September 4, 1891, in Waldshut near the Swiss border, a member of the petty aristocracy. Intensely Roman Catholic, he inherited from his mother deep religious and moral convictions that unswervingly guided him through life. Senger was also profoundly intellectual. In 1912, he became a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and acquired fluency in French and English. World War I interrupted his education in August 1914, and he was commissioned a lieutenant in the reserves. After four years of dedicated service, Senger remained in the postwar Reichswehr as a cavalry officer. He thus became one of few reserve officers selected to serve with the regulars. A professional soldier, Senger remained aloof from politics and studiously avoided the rising tide of Nazism. Tall, droopy-eyed, and physically unattractive, he was content to concentrate upon his passion- horses-and gained renown as a world-class equestrian. Senger subsequently studied for two years at the Cavalry School in Hannover, spent four years with the cavalry inspectorate in Berlin, and by 1938 had risen to colonel of the Third Cavalry. This regiment was descended from the proud Zieten Hussars, distinguished since the days of Frederick the Great, and he took particular pride utilizing its great silver kettles while on parade. Senger had since matured into an excellent field officer and easily passed entrance exams for the General Staff School, but he was refused because of his age. He nevertheless was delighted to remain with his horses until the advent of World War II. A dedicated soldier yet a devout Christian, Senger seemed strangely out of place while serving the Third Reich.

In September 1939, Senger led his cavalry regiment into Poland and saw active service. There he was profoundly shocked by SS atrocities against civilians and refused to partake in any revelry. “What can one do but stay silent,” he confessed. “Do they know what I am trying to say with my silence? Sometimes it seems to me that the boys feel my deep pain in my silence.” Senger later commanded a motorized brigade during the campaign through France in May 1940. He distinguished himself in the charge to the channel and captured Cherbourg just ahead of Gen. Erwin Rommel. He remained behind during the occupation, ensconced in a castle at Normandy and befriending the rural aristocracy of France. For two years Senger also employed his linguistic skills as the chief German liaison officer at Turin with the French-Italian armistice commission (by virtue of his knowledge of Latin, he easily mastered Italian), rising there to major general in September 1941. One year later Senger was reassigned to the Russian Front commanding the crack 17th Panzer Division. In this capacity he accompanied Gen. Hermann Hoth’s Fourth Panzer Army during its unsuccessful attempt to relieve German forces trapped in Stalingrad. Failure there convinced Senger that Germany was destined to lose the war, and-to himself-he began questioning the rationality of his government.

Throughout the spring of 1943, Senger rendered excellent service during Field Marshal Erich Manstein’s drive through southwestern Ukraine, which rescued the First Panzer Army from imminent capture. That May he was summoned to Berlin for a personal audience with Adolf Hitler, where he received a promotion to lieutenant general. Despite this singular honor, Senger remained unmoved. “Of Hitler’s personal magnetism I felt not the slightest sign,” he emoted. “I thought only with disgust and horror of all the misfortunes which this man had brought upon my country.” The scholarly general was subsequently reassigned to Italy as chief liaison officer with Italian forces in Sicily.

Senger was actively involved in the defense of Sicily and helped orchestrate the successful withdrawal of German and Italian forces in July 1943. He then directed the removal of German forces marooned on Corsica and Sardinia, which was accomplished with consummate skill. However, after the fall of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and Italy’s armistice with the Allies in September 1943, Hitler ordered all Italian officers in German hands to be executed. Senger then curtly informed his superior, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, that he would not obey this order. Kesselring, in turn, did not inform Hitler of his defiance and the matter passed quietly. In October 1943, Senger took command of the 14th Panzer Corps in mainland Italy. He then established his headquarters at Roccasecca, birthplace of Saint Thomas Aquinas in 1225, in whose writing he took solace. By this time Allied forces under Gen. Mark W. Clark had landed at Salerno and were slowly pushing up the peninsula. It became Senger’s mission to halt their drive on Rome at any cost.

By November 1943, Senger assumed control of German defenses at Monte Cassino in the Apennine Mountains. This placed him 80-90 miles southeast of Rome, in rough, rugged terrain. And for a man with Senger’s classical background, it proved an area of intense personal interest. Monte Cassino was the site of the noted monastery of St. Benedict, a treasure of ancient Christendom harkening back to the year 529. This famous building was the inspiration for hundreds of other Roman Catholic retreats, was considered a work of art, and housed countless art treasures for safekeeping during the war. Nobody could have appreciated this more than Senger, for he carefully situated his defenses around that noble building, but never near it. His overall position, situated on steep, 1,700- foot-high peaks and manned by the elite First Parachute Division, would not require its use anyway. He nevertheless carefully evacuated all the monks and works of art as a precaution. The general fully intended to perform his duty yet was equally determined to spare this priceless relic from the ravages of war.

In December 1943, a combined Anglo-American force under Clark and British Gen. Harold Alexander had reached the valley and slopes before Monte Cassino in their drive to Rome. Their advance promptly halted after encountering the first belt of the so-called Gustav Line, masterminded by Kesselring to impede them. From their position high upon the slopes, the Germans easily observed Allied movements below them and called down a steady stream of accurate artillery fire. Cassino proved a difficult position to attack, a reality underscored on February 11, 1944, when Senger’s men handily repulsed a major American advance. Responsibility for breaking the German line next passed to New Zealand Gen. Sir Bernard C. Freyburg, who believed that the Germans used the ancient abbey as an artillery observation post. He therefore insisted that the position be bombed into rumble before another attack was attempted. Clark and Alexander agonized over what to do next, but at last they relented. On February 15, 1944, waves of Allied bombers dropped 450 tons of high explosives upon the ancient abbey, demolishing it. Around 300 civilians living in the villages below were also killed.

The bombardment of Monte Cassino sparked condemnation from Catholics around the world, including Senger, who had taken deliberate steps to preserve the artifact. Clark, himself a Catholic, was apologetic but felt that his hands were tied. Afterward, German paratroopers occupied the ruins, strengthening Senger’s already formidable position. The Allies experienced ample proof of this on February 11-15, 1944, when a second major attack by New Zealand and Gurkha troops was repelled with heavy loss. Senger expertly shifted his forces, deployed his guns, and bloodily repelled a third determined attempt on March 15-25. To break the impasse, Clark ordered a large-scale amphibious landing at Anzio near Rome, and Senger withdrew men from his front line to contain it. A fourth and final attack by Polish troops on May 18, 1944, finally carried Monte Cassino after even more heavy fighting. Casualties were horrendous, with some Polish battalions reporting losses of 70 percent! The Germans then quit their position and retired in good order to their next defensive line. All told, Monte Cassino was a masterful display of defensive tactics by Senger. His gallant stand halted a numerically superior force enjoying complete control of the air and inflicted more than 20,000 casualties on them.

Senger had thus far performed superbly, but his antipathy toward Hitler and the Nazis brought him under suspicion. After the failed July 20, 1944, bomb plot against the Hitler, he refused to cable congratulations or display any joyful manifestations over the Führer’s survival, and he became closely watched. Rome fell in August 1944, and Kesselring’s forces occupied a new defensive position called the Gothic Line. Senger’s next performance- moving obliquely across the Apennines with Allied forces in hot pursuit- was equally brilliant. At length he reached an agreement with Kesselring that the Gothic Line should not include the cities of Bologna, Pisa, Lucca, and Florence, for they were too heavily laden with artistic and historic artifacts. Taking the hint, the Allies also bypassed them during their advance. For the next six months Clark and his successor, Lucian K. Truscott, battered against formidable German defenses, taking heavy losses and making few gains. It was not until April 1945 that the Allies reached the foot of the Alps, and Senger was detailed to conduct peace negotiations. He then spent the next two years as a prisoner in England before being released in Holland.

After the war, Senger worked as a schoolmaster, a journalist, and a military commentator for Southwest German radio in 1952. He subsequently helped author the so-called Himmeroder Report, which outlined German rearmament and the creation of a new army, the Bundeswehr. Given his solid anti-Nazi credentials, Senger headed a military board that screened former Wehrmacht personnel to ensure they were untainted by the past. He determined that the new German army would reflect time-honored values of duty, honor, and integrity-the same high standards he himself abided by. This cultured aristocrat then penned a set of memoirs, which have been a hailed as a masterpiece of the genre. In them he agonized over Nazism, events at Cassino, and the senseless destruction of St. Benedict’s hallmark. The able, affable Senger und Etterlin died at Freiburg-im-Breisgau on January 4, 1963. Contemptuous of Hitler and the Nazis, he sought only to serve God and country to the best of his abilities.

Bibliography Barnett, Correlli, ed. Hitler’s Generals. New York: Grove Weidenfield, 1989 Deighton, Len. Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk. London: Jonathan Cape, 1993 Ellis, John. Cassino, the Hollow Victory: The Battle for Rome, January- June, 1944. New York: McGraw Hill, 1984 Fritz, Stephen G. Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995 Graham, Dominick. Cassino. New York: Ballantine Books, 1972 Hapgood, David. Monte Cassino: The True Story of the Most Controversial Battle of World War II. New York: Congdon and Weed, 1984 Hunt, Stephen. The German Soldier in World War II. Osceola, WI: MBI, 2000 Lucas, James S. The Last Year of the German Army, May 1944-May 1945. London: Arms and Armour, 1994 Piekalkiewicz, Janusz. Cassino: Anatomy of a Battle. London: Orbis, 1980 Senger und Etterlin, Fridolin. “The Battles of Cassino.” Journal of the Royal United Service Institution 103, no. 610 (1958): 208-214 Senger und Etterlin, Fridolin. Neither Fear nor Hope. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1964.

Biography [ edit ]

Fridolin Rudolph von Senger und Etterlin was born on 4 September 1891, in Waldshut near the Swiss border. In 1912, he became a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and acquired fluency in French and English. World War I interrupted his education in August 1914, and he was commissioned a lieutenant in the reserves. Senger remained in the postwar Reichswehr as a cavalry officer. Senger studied for two years at the Cavalry School in Hannover, spent four years with the cavalry inspectorate in Berlin, and by 1938 was promoted Colonel. [ citation needed ]

World War II [ edit ]

Senger took part in the Battle of France in 1940. In October 1942 he was given command of the 17th Panzer Division in Southern Russia. In June 1943, during the Battle of Sicily he was German Liaison Officer to the Italian 6th Army (General Alfredo Guzzoni), and commanded the German units on the island until 17 July 1943 when General Hans-Valentin Hube assumed control of all Axis troops on the island. In August 1943, Senger took command of the German forces on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. He conducted the evacuation when the German positions became untenable. On 8 October 1943 he received the command of the XIV Panzer Corps in Italy.

During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Senger fought at the Gustav Line, which included Monte Cassino. The German position was only broken by the Allies in May 1944. Ώ]

Later life [ edit ]

After the war he wrote his memoirs, entitled Krieg in Europa (War in Europe) (which were translated into English as Neither Fear nor Hope), and he continued to write on military matters and theory. He was invited to the Königswinter conferences by Lilo Milchsack. These annual conferences helped to heal the bad memories after the end of the Second World War. At the conference he worked with the politician Hans von Herwath, future German President Richard von Weizsäcker and other leading German decision makers as well as British politicians like Dennis Healey, Richard Crossman and the journalist Robin Day. ΐ]

In 1950, Senger was one of the authors of the Himmerod memorandum which addressed the issue of rearmament (Wiederbewaffnung) of the Federal Republic of Germany after World War II. [ citation needed ] Senger was introduced by B. H. Liddell Hart to the military historian Michael Howard. Howard, who had fought in Italy during the war, recalls him saying, "May I give you a word of advice? Next time you invade Italy, do not start at the bottom." Α] He was the father of Bundeswehr General and military author Ferdinand Maria von Senger und Etterlin (1923–1987).

In the SS, in Nine Battles, Wounded Five Times & Awarded Nazi Germany’s Highest Award

Joachim von Ribbentrop is well known as the Nazi diplomat and foreign minister who negotiated the non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union and the alliance with Italy, both in 1939. His son Rudolf is less known, though he also served the Reich.

Born in 1921, Rudolf accompanied his father to Britain when appointed Ambassador to the Court of St James in 1936. He spent a year at Westminster School in London. The future British diplomat Brian Urquhart studied with him and later described Rudolf as a ‘doltish, surly and arrogant’ pupil.

According to Urquhart Ribbentrop arrived at school each day in a plum-colored Mercedes-Benz, accompanied by another, to the cries of ‘Heil Hitler,’ shouted by the chauffeurs. Though he behaved like a member of the nobility, the Ribbentrop was not of aristocratic stock. The ‘von’ in his name was an affectation.

Joachim von Ribbentrop, Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Peter Ustinov, the future actor, was also a fellow pupil. He was the cause of Ribbentrop’s hasty removal from the school when he revealed the presence of the ambassador’s son to The Times.

In 1960 von Ribbentrop married Ilse-Marie Frein Munchhausen (1914 – 2010).When the Second World War broke out in September 1939, he joined the SS Infantry Regiment Deutschland in Munich.

In October he was transferred to occupied Czechoslovakia, where he served in the 11th Company of his field regiment. His Company fought in the invasion of France. Von Ribbentrop was wounded in action and was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class. He was promoted to the rank of Sturmmann.

After France, he was trained as an SS platoon leader in Braunschweig. He received a commission as Untersturmfuhrer, in command of a platoon in the 1st Company of the Reconnaissance Battalion ‘Nord.’ Ribbentrop distinguished himself in the Finnish campaign against the Soviet Union and was awarded the Finnish Freedom Cross Fourth Class.

He was wounded in Finland on September 2, 1941. After nearly six months in an SS hospital and some rest at home, he was assigned to the Panzerregiment of the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. The regiment had only just been created.

In February 1943 Ribbentrop participated as a tank commander in the Third Battle of Kharkov.

Paul Haussler, the commander of the SS Panzer Corps, was ordered to attack the Soviet spearhead, which threatened to encircle them, from the north.SS Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Meyer attacked with his regiment at the weakest point of the Soviet encirclement, at Nowaja Vololaga.

The 2nd Platoon of the 6th Company of that Regiment, commanded by SS-Lieutenant Erckardt, was caught in a village. Erckardt was killed in the firefight, and Ribbentrop was ordered to assume command of the platoon. Ribbentrop received the news shortly before his tank’s antenna was shot off.

Waffen-SS-Division “LSSAH”. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Ribbentrop immediately ordered a high-speed advance, which went relatively unnoticed by the Soviets. Only a few light tanks and anti-air guns were destroyed on the way. This audacious maneuver put Meyer 40 kilometers behind Soviet lines. Having raced through Kharkov and with little resistance, the tanks captured Alexeyevska on February 13. They held out against a fierce Soviet counter-attack.

In that engagement, Ribbentrop was shot through the lung by a sniper. Despite this he continued to rescue wounded soldiers and refused to be taken to a hospital, He was awarded the Iron Cross First Class for his courage. After recovering, he became commander of 7th Company and led it to the recapture of Kharkov on March 15, 1943. The encirclement was broken, and the Soviet advance was temporarily halted.

Ribbentrop then became a Regimental Adjutant. A few weeks later he trained Luftwaffe members of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. He returned to the field on June 15 as commander of the 1st Platoon of the 6th Company. He saw action during the retreat from Kharkov in August 1943 and was wounded in the right and left shoulder. On July 20 he received the Knight’s Cross.

Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross

He was transferred to the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend on August 1, 1943, and commanded junior officer training. In November he became commander of 3rd Company I./SS-PzRgt 12. He was wounded yet again on June 3, 1944, when a Spitfire attacked his car returning from a training exercise. But he was back in command only six days later.

Ribbentrop was awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Panzer Assault Badge during the defense of Normandy in June 1944. He was made Regimental Adjutant to SS-Panzer Regiment 12 and fought in Operation Wacht Am Rhein, the last major German offensive (better known by its Allied name, the Battle of the Bulge).

On December 20 he was wounded in defense of Germany and awarded the Wound Badge in Gold. He then commanded I./SS-PzRgt 12. He remained in this command until the German surrender on May 8, 1945. His division gave themselves to the American forces.

After the war, Ribbentrop became a wine merchant. His father was executed for crimes against humanity in 1946. In 2008 he wrote a biography of his father, Joachim von Ribbentrop: Mein Vater: Erlebnisse und Erinnerungen. A translation into English is expected. Rudolf Ribbentrop is still alive at the time of writing, at the age of 96.

Rudolf von Sebottendorf

Rudolf von Sebottendorf was the alias of Adam Alfred Rudolf Glauer who also occasionally used another alias, Erwin Torre. He was an important figure in the activities of the Thule Society, a post-World War I German political organization that was a precursor of the Nazi Party.

Glauer was born in Hoyerswerda, Germany, the son of an engine driver from Dresden. He used the alias Sebottendorf because he claimed that he had been adopted by the Sebottendorf family and had a claim to the title of count. After a career as a merchant seaman, Glauer settled in Turkey in 1901 and became the supervisor of a large estate there.

Glauer was deeply influenced by Sufi mysticism, other Eastern philosophies, and in particular, the writings of Madame Blavatsky. He used Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine to launch his own recreation of ancient Germanic myth, positing a coming historical moment in which he theorized that the Aryan race would be restored to prior glories by the appearance of a race of Supermen. Glauer eventually became the prime mover behind the Thule Society, which was one of the most important precursors of the Nazi Party, although the Nazi Party itself, once it had become ascendant, obliterated the Thule Society.

The Thule Society, which espoused ideas of extreme nationalism, race mysticism, virulent anti-Semitism, and the occult, was formed shortly after the end of World War I in Munich by Glauer. It attracted about 250 ardent followers in Munich and about 1500 in greater Bavaria. Members of the Thule Society included Rudolf Hess, Dietrich Eckart, and Alfred Rosenberg. Thule agents infiltrated armed formations of the Communist Party in Munich and plotted to destroy the party, hatching plans to kidnap the party's leader, Kurt Eisner, and launching an attack against Munich's Communist government on April 30, 1919. The Thule Society also started its own newspaper, Müncher Beobachter, in 1918, and eventually approached the organizer Anton Drexler to develop links between the Society and various extreme right workers' organizations in Munich.

Drexler was instrumental in merging the Thule Society with a workers' party that he was involved with. The merged organization became known as the München Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP). It was the DAP that Adolf Hitler was introduced to in 1919. By April 1, 1920, the DAP had been reconstituted as the Nazi Party, and Glauer, who was accused of negligence in allegedly allowing the names of several key Thule Society members to fall into the hands of the Communists, resulting in the execution of seven members after the attack on the Munich government in April 1919, had fled Germany for Switzerland and then Turkey. He returned to Germany in January 1933, but fled again in 1934. He was an agent of the German military in Istanbul during the period 1942� (while apparently also working as a double agent for the British military). Glauer allegedly committed suicide by jumping into the Bosphorus on May 8, 1945.

Sources: What-Means.Com. This article is availiable under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library

Nazi Germany

Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party then began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer(leader) of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became above all laws. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen (motorways). The return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity.

Racism, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples (the Nordic race) were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race and were therefore viewed as the master race. Millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitler's rule was ruthlessly suppressed. Members of the liberal, socialist, and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned. Education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the� Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage. Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion. The government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others.

Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if they were not met. It seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a non-aggression pactwith Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940 and threatened the UK. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot.

Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were pushed back in Eastern and Southern Europe. Following the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allied powers from the west and capitulated within a year. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war. The victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.

Video Games

All Star Battle (PS3)

Stroheim makes his first video game appearance in the PS3 title. Appearing as one of the Campaign Surprise Support Characters, where he shoots the opponent's profile with his machine gun (in the same way he attacked Kars during the events of Part 2), decreasing their health bar by 40% before the fight.

Stardust Shooters (Android/iOS)

Stroheim appears as one of the several Part 2 characters who possess a Metal Striker. His FINISH move makes him shooting several bullets of his Torso-Machine Gun at the defeated opponent and his Level 3 special ability allows him to destroy himself after defeat, damaging any Metal Striker near him (enemy or ally).

Eyes of Heaven (PS3/PS4)

Stroheim was one of the first characters confirmed to be playable in the game (alongside Jotaro Kujo, Joseph Joestar, Noriaki Kakyoin, Josuke Higashikata, and Diego Brando).

Stroheim has the exclusive Style fully named My body! It's the pride of the German people, and the prime example of our superior German Science! ( ゲルマン民族の最高知能の結晶 , Geruman Minzoku no Saikō Chinō no Keshō, German's Highest Intelligence Crystallize) , shortened to The Prime Example of Superior German Science.

  • Style Action - Heavy Machine Gun Mode/UV Radiation Mode: Stroheim switches between his Abdominal Machine Gun and shoulder-mounted UV lights. Heavy Machine Gun Mode allows him long-ranged powers and increased speed and agility, while UV Radiation Mode makes use of two bodyguards and his various UV light components. All attacks involving his UV beams will deal increased damage to Vampires and Pillar Men, similar to Ripple Users. However, while in UV Radiation Mode, he loses movement speed and jump power, as well as the ability to grab onto and climb ledges.
  • German Science is the best in the world!: Stroheim stops to strike a pose and perform a very lengthy tirade. Though he is especially vulnerable while performing the skill, he gains a temporarily attack boost that has a duration proportional to how long his tirade lasts before he's attacked, maxing out at him completely finishing it.
  • So long, you filthy Brit!: This skill can only be performed when Stroheim is down. He pulls out the Stielhandgranate he used to sacrifice himself and proceeds to hug it, resulting in a massive explosion. Though Stroheim takes roughly a third of a health bar in damage, any opponent caught will take half a health bar in damage. On the other hand, despite being on the floor, Stroheim is open to attacks during the skill that can interrupt him.
  • Dual Heat Attack - Put an end to you? I'd be delighted!: Starting in UV Radiation Mode, Stroheim and his bodyguards blind and seer their opponent with all three of their UV beams. While their target is stunned, Stroheim proceeds to switch over to Heavy Machine Gun Mode and launch an extended volley of bullets from his Abdominal Machine Gun before taunting his opponent.

While in Heavy Machine Gun Mode:

  • My bullets will cut you down one by one!: Stroheim fires a slew of heavy bullets from his Abdominal Machine Gun. Holding down the activation button will extend the attack, though will increase the cooldown on the ability when it ends.
  • EX - My bullets will cut you down one by one!: The firing time of the skill is extended, and if Stroheim is on the ground, he is able to cancel it with a Sidestep.

While in UV Radiation Mode:

  • Bodyguard Icon: Shows the statuses of Stroheim's two bodyguards. If an icon is glowing, that soldier is readily available If it is dim, they are active and about the stage If there is a red cross over the icon, that soldier has been incapacitated until Stroheim reactivates UV Radiation Mode.
  • My bodyguards will keep you busy!: Stroheim orders his soldiers to attack. If he is locked-on to a target, they will unleash their UV beams on that specific target. If he is not, they will face outward and unleash their UV beams in order to cover Stroheim's blind spots.
  • Ultraviolet Radiation Beam!: Stroheim fires his unblockable UV beam in a wide angle, setting opponent on fire. If his soldiers are available, they will either attack a target if he is locked-on, or simply cover his blind spots if he is not.
  • EX - Ultraviolet Radiation Beam!: Stroheim gains unflinching through the attack and damage dealt is increased.
  • My right leg is still a bit creaky, though!: Stroheim must switch to UV Radiation Mode. (200 Points)
  • We're more than enough to finish you off!: Stroheim must use "My bodyguards will keep you busy!" twice. (200 Points)
  • I can't let you go there alone!: Stroheim must successfully execute 5 Combo Breakers. (300 Points)
  • I have surpassed the entire human race!: Stroheim must use "German Science is the best in the world!" 3 times. (500 Points)
  • I'd be delighted!: Stroheim must Retire an opponent with his Dual Heat Attack. (800 Points)

As in the anime, he's voiced by Atsuhi Imaruoka. Eyes of Heaven also marks the first time Stroheim appears in a video game as a playable character.

In the Western release of the game, Stroheim's default outfit (with his military uniform) was removed, most likely due to sensitivity regarding the display of Nazi symbols.


He is paired with Okuyasu Nijimura in the Eyes of Heaven Tournament, but was eliminated in the preliminaries by Mariah and Esidisi.

Diamond Records (Android/iOS)

Stroheim appears in Diamond Records as a playable character. Interestingly enough, it is his original, non-cyborg form that appears in the game. He utilizes a knife and a Stielhandgranate in his special attacks, otherwise unleashing normal punches and kicks.