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Alexander von Falkenhausen
October 29, 1878(1878-10-29) – July 31, 1966 (aged 87)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R27580, Freiherr Alexander von Falkenhausen, SA-Führer.jpg

Place of birth Gut Blumenthal, Province of Silesia
Place of death Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Years of service 1897—1944
Rank General der Infanterie
Awards Pour le Mérite

Alexander Ernst Alfred Hermann Freiherr von Falkenhausen (October 29, 1878 – July 31, 1966) was a German general. He was the head of the military government of Belgium from 1940–44 during its occupation by Germany in World War II.

He married twice, firstly to Paula von Wedderkop (8 October 1879 - 3 March 1950) and secondly to Cecile Vent (16 September 1906 - 1977), both without issue.

He is related to Ludwig von Falkenhausen, who was the governor-general of Belgium during the German occupation, from 1917 until 1918, during the First World War, and a direct male line descendant of Karl Wilhelm Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, by his mistress Elisabeth Wünsch.

In his youth, Alexander already showed interest in Eastern Asia and its culture. He stayed in Japan for a few years as an advisor.

Contents

Early military career

Falkenhausen was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the German Army in 1897 and served as a military attaché in Japan prior to the First World War. He was awarded the Pour le Mérite during the war while serving with the Ottoman Army in Palestine. After the war he stayed in service and later headed the Dresden Infantry School in 1927.

Adviser to Chiang Kai-shek

In 1930, von Falkenhausen retired from service and went to China to serve as Chiang Kai-Shek's military advisor. In 1937 Nazi Germany officially allied themselves with the Empire of Japan, whom by then had launched a war against the Republic of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Nazi party, as a goodwill gesture to Japan recognized the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo and withdrew German support to China, including forcing Falkenhausen to resign his advisor post by threatening to have his family back in Germany punished for treachery. After a brief goodbye dinner party with Chiang Kai-Shek's family, Falkenhausen promised to Chiang Kai-Shek that he would never reveal any battle plans he had taught him to the Japanese.

According to some sources (especially from Communist Chinese during late 1930s), Falkenhausen still kept contact with Chiang Kai-Shek after his return to Germany and would occasionally send him European luxury items and food to the Chiang household and his officers.

During his 72nd birthday in 1950, Falkenhausen received a million dollar cheque from Chiang Kai-shek as his birthday gift and a personal note declaring him a "Friend of China".

Military governor for Belgium

Recalled to active duty in 1938, he served as an infantry general on the Western Front until his appointment as military governor for Belgium in May 1940. While serving as military governor his administration published 17 decrees against the Jewish population of Belgium as preparatory measures leading in June 1942 to the Final Solution and the deportation of 28,900 Jews.

His deputy for economic affairs, Eggert Reeder was responsible for the destruction of "Jewish influence" in the Belgian economy, leading to mass unemployment of Jewish workers, especially in the diamond business. Some 2250 of these unemployed were thus sent to forced labour camps in Northern France in order to build the Atlantic Wall for the TODT organisation. Some 43,000 non-Jewish Belgians were also deported to German camps of which 13,000 died. Hundred of resistance fighters were shot by the German army during the occupation.

Involvement in the conspiracy against Hitler

Von Falkenhausen was a close friend of two anti-Hitler conspirators, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Field Marshal Erwin von Witzleben, and soon came to detest Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, offering his support to von Witzleben for a planned coup d'état. After the failure of the July 20 Plot in 1944, von Falkenhausen spent the rest of the war transferred from one concentration camp to another. In late April 1945 he was transferred to Tyrol together with about 140 other prominent inmates of the Dachau concentration camp, where the SS left the prisoners behind. He was liberated by the Fifth U.S. Army on May 5, 1945[1].

Trial and acquittal

Falkenhausen was sent to Belgium for trial in 1948, and in March 1951 he was sentenced to 12 years hard labour for deporting 25,000 Jews and executing Belgian hostages. During his trial in Nuremberg, he was vouched for by a Chinese woman named Qian Xiuling who was living in Belgium, provided copious evidence that he tried to save Belgian and Jewish lives. As a result of this and other exculpatory evidence, he was acquitted and released three weeks into his sentence after overwhelming evidence proved that Falkenhausen tried to save as many Jews and Belgians as possible from deportation and execution. Falkenhausen died in Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate.

See also

References

External links

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Alexander von Falkenhausen
October 29, 1878(1878-10-29) – July 31, 1966 (aged 87)
Place of birth Gut Blumenthal, Province of Silesia, German Empire
Place of death Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, West Germany
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
File:Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Republic of China (to 1938)
 Nazi Germany
Years of service 1897–1944
Rank General der Infanterie
Awards Pour le Mérite

Alexander Ernst Alfred Hermann Freiherr von Falkenhausen (October 29, 1878 – July 31, 1966) was a German general. He was the head of the military government of Belgium from 1940–44 during its occupation by Germany in World War II.

He married twice, firstly to Paula von Wedderkop (8 October 1879 - 3 March 1950) and secondly, in 1960, to Cecile Vent (16 September 1906 - 1977), both without issue.

He is related to Ludwig von Falkenhausen, who was the governor-general of Belgium during the German occupation, from 1917 until 1918, during the First World War, and a direct male line descendant of Karl Wilhelm Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, by his mistress Elisabeth Wünsch.

In his youth, Alexander already showed interest in Eastern Asia and its culture. He travelled and studied in Japan, Northern China, Korea and Indochina for a few years (1909 - 1911).

Contents

Early military career

Falkenhausen was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the German Army in 1897 and served as a military attaché in Japan prior to the First World War. He was awarded the Pour le Mérite during the war while serving with the Ottoman Army in Palestine. After the war he stayed in service and later headed the Dresden Infantry School in 1927.

Adviser to Chiang Kai-shek

In 1930, von Falkenhausen retired from service and went to China to serve as Chiang Kai-Shek's military advisor. In 1937 Nazi Germany officially allied themselves with the Empire of Japan, whom by then had launched a war against the Republic of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Nazi party, as a goodwill gesture to Japan recognized the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo and withdrew German support to China, including forcing Falkenhausen to resign his advisor post by threatening to have his family back in Germany punished for treachery. After a brief goodbye dinner party with Chiang Kai-Shek's family, Falkenhausen promised to Chiang Kai-Shek that he would never reveal any battle plans he had taught him to the Japanese.

According to some sources (especially from Communist Chinese during late 1930s), Falkenhausen still kept contact with Chiang Kai-Shek after his return to Germany and would occasionally send him European luxury items and food to the Chiang household and his officers.

During his 72nd birthday in 1950, Falkenhausen received a million dollar cheque from Chiang Kai-shek as his birthday gift and a personal note declaring him a "Friend of China".

Military governor for Belgium

Recalled to active duty in 1938, he served as an infantry general on the Western Front until his appointment as military governor for Belgium in May 1940. While serving as military governor his administration published 17 decrees against the Jewish population of Belgium as preparatory measures leading in June 1942 to the Final Solution and the deportation of 28,900 Jews.

His deputy for economic affairs, Eggert Reeder was responsible for the destruction of "Jewish influence" in the Belgian economy, leading to mass unemployment of Jewish workers, especially in the diamond business. Some 2250 of these unemployed were thus sent to forced labour camps in Northern France in order to build the Atlantic Wall for the TODT organisation. Some 43,000 non-Jewish Belgians were also deported to German camps of which 13,000 died. Hundred of resistance fighters were shot by the German army during the occupation.

Involvement in the conspiracy against Hitler

Von Falkenhausen was a close friend of two anti-Hitler conspirators, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Field Marshal Erwin von Witzleben, and soon came to detest Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, offering his support to von Witzleben for a planned coup d'état. After the failure of the July 20 Plot in 1944, von Falkenhausen spent the rest of the war transferred from one concentration camp to another. In late April 1945 he was transferred to Tyrol together with about 140 other prominent inmates of the Dachau concentration camp, where the SS left the prisoners behind. He was liberated by the Fifth U.S. Army on May 5, 1945[1].

Trial and acquittal

Falkenhausen was sent to Belgium for trial in 1948, and in March 1951 he was sentenced to 12 years hard labour for deporting 25,000 Jews and executing Belgian hostages. During his trial in Nuremberg, he was vouched for by a Chinese woman named Qian Xiuling who was living in Belgium, provided copious evidence that he tried to save Belgian and Jewish lives. As a result of this and other exculpatory evidence, he was acquitted and released three weeks into his sentence after overwhelming evidence proved that Falkenhausen tried to save as many Jews and Belgians as possible from deportation and execution. Falkenhausen died in Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate.

See also

  • Sino-German cooperation (1911–1941)

References

External links


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