Werner von Blomberg: Wikis

  
  

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Werner von Blomberg
2 September 1878 – 14 March 1946 (aged 67)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H28122, Werner von Blomberg.jpg

Generalfeldmarschall Werner von Blomberg in 1937
Place of birth Stargard, German Empire
Place of death Nuremberg, Germany
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Years of service 1907–1938
Rank Generalfeldmarschall
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Pour le Mérite
Iron Cross

Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg (2 September 1878 – 14 March 1946) was a leading member of the German Army until January 1938.

Contents

Early life

Born in Stargard, Pomerania, Prussia (present-day Stargard Szczeciński, West Pomeranian Voivodeship), Werner von Blomberg joined the army at a young age and attended Germany's Kriegsakademie in 1904. On April 1904 he married Charlotte Hellmich.

Military career

After graduating in 1907, Blomberg entered the General Staff in 1908. Serving with distinction on the Western Front during World War I, Blomberg was awarded the Pour le Mérite. In 1920, Blomberg was appointed Chief of Staff of the Döberitz Brigade and in 1921 was made Chief of Staff of the Stuttgart Army Area. In 1925, Blomberg was made Chief of Army Training by General Hans von Seeckt. By 1927 Blomberg was a major-general and Chief of the Troop Office. After arguing with the powerful General Kurt von Schleicher in 1929, however, Blomberg was removed from his post and made military commander of East Prussia. Blomberg's first wife Charlotte died in on 11 May 1932 leaving him with two sons and three daughters.[1][2]

In 1933, Blomberg rose to national prominence when he was appointed Minister of Defense in Adolf Hitler's government. Blomberg became one of Hitler's most devoted followers, and as such was nicknamed "Rubber Lion" by some of his critics in the army who were less than enthusiastic about Hitler. As Minister of Defense, Blomberg worked feverishly to expand the size and power of the army. In 1933 Blomberg was made a colonel general for his services. In 1934, Blomberg encouraged Hitler to crack down on SA leader Ernst Röhm and his followers, whom he believed posed a serious threat to the army. As such, he condoned and participated in the Night of the Long Knives.

Werner von Blomberg in 1934

In the same year, after Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg had died, he personally ordered all soldiers in the army to pledge the Reichswehreid (oath of allegiance) not to Volk and Fatherland, but to the new Reichspräsident and Führer Adolf Hitler, which is thought to have limited later opposition to Hitler.

In 1935, the Ministry of Defense was renamed to Ministry of War; Blomberg became Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In 1936, the loyal Blomberg was the first General Field Marshal appointed by Hitler.

Unfortunately for Blomberg, his position as the most influential man in the army alienated Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, who conspired to oust him from power. After the Hossbach Memorandum meeting of November 1937, Hitler was dissatisfied with him. They struck in January 1938, when Blomberg, then fifty-nine, married (on 12 January[3]) Erna Gruhn (sometimes referred to as "Eva" or "Margarete"), a 26-year-old typist and secretary. A police officer discovered that Gruhn in 1932 had posed for pornographic photos which had resulted in a criminal record for prostitution and reported this to the Gestapo and Göring (who had served as best man to Blomberg at the wedding). Göring then informed Hitler (who had also been a best man at the wedding), and Hitler ordered Blomberg to annul the marriage in order to avoid a scandal and to preserve the integrity of the army. Blomberg refused to annul the marriage, and consequently resigned all of his posts on 27 January 1938 when Göring threatened to make his wife's past public knowledge.

A few days later, Göring and Himmler accused Commander-in-Chief of the Army Werner von Fritsch of being a homosexual. Hitler used these opportunities for major reorganization of the Wehrmacht. Fritsch was later acquitted; together the events became known as Blomberg-Fritsch Affair.

Blomberg and his wife were subsequently exiled for a year to the isle of Capri. Spending World War II in obscurity, Blomberg was captured by the Allies in 1945, after which time he gave evidence at the Nuremberg Trials. Blomberg died while in detention at Nuremberg in 1946.

His daughter Dorothea got engaged to Lieutenant Karl-Heinz Keitel (General Wilhelm Keitel's eldest son) in January 1938, and they got married in May the same year.[4]

Dates of Rank

Flags

Werner von Blomberg had flags as Minister of War and Commander-In-Chief of the German Armed Forces.

See also

Sources

  • *Heiber, Helmut, and Glantz, David M. (2005). Hitler and His Generals: Military Conferences 1942-1945. New York: Enigma Books. ISBN 1-929631-09-X.  
  • Wheeler-Bennett, Sir John, The Nemesis of Power: The German Army in Politics 1918-1945 Palgrave Macmillan, London, 1953, 1964, 2005
  • schoah.de

References

  1. ^ Barnett, Correlli; Barnett, Corelli (1989). Hitler's Generals. Grove Press. pp. 131. ISBN 0-8021-3994-9.  
  2. ^ Kirstin A. Schäfer (2006). Werner von Blomberg: Hitlers erster Feldmarschall : eine Biographie. Schöningh. pp. 22. ISBN 3506713914.  
  3. ^ Nicholls, David (2000). Adolf Hitler: a biographical companion. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. pp. 29. ISBN 0-87436-965-7.  
  4. ^ Wilhelm Keitel, Walter Görlitz (1966). The memoirs of Field-Marshal Keitel. Stein and Day. pp. 41, 77.  

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Before 1938, the German generals were not opposed to Hitler because he produced the results they desired.

Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg (September 2, 1878March 14, 1946) was a leading member of the German Army until January 1938. In 1933, Blomberg rose to national prominence when he was appointed Minister of Defence and worked feverishly to expand the size and power of the army. In 1933 Blomberg was made a colonel-general for his services. In 1934, Blomberg encouraged Hitler to crack down on SA leader Ernst Röhm and his followers, whom he believed posed a serious threat to the army. As such, he condoned and participated in the Night of the Long Knives. Blomberg and his wife were exiled for a year to the isle of Capri. Spending World War II in obscurity, Blomberg was captured by the Allies in 1945, after which time he gave evidence at the Nuremberg Trials. Blomberg died while in detention at Nuremberg in 1946.

Sourced

  • Before 1938, the German generals were not opposed to Hitler because he produced the results they desired.
    • Quoted in "Facts on File Yearbook" - 1941 - Page 2
  • Keitel is nobody but the man who runs my office.
    • To Adolf Hitler. Quoted in "Underground Humour in Nazi Germany" - Page 69 - by Fritz Karl Michael Hillenbrand - 1995
  • He became a willing tool in Hitler's hands for every one of his decisions.
    • About Wilhelm Keitel. Quoted in "Justice at Nuremberg" - Page 281 - by Robert E. Conot - History - 1993
While soldiers were winning victories, so-called labor leaders were engaged in high treason.
  • Having been informed of events by Vice-Chancellor von Papen, President Hindenburg summoned General Goering, in his capacity of Chief of Police, and myself to Neudeck. Our instructions are to consult with you on the measures to be taken to ensure internal peace. If a complete relaxation of tension does not immediately take place (and to this end we must avoid any ministerial crisis), martial law will be proclaimed.
    • Quoted in "Hitler and I" - Page 186 - by Otto Strasser, Gwenda David, Eric Mosbacher - Germany - 1940
  • We Germans will never forget what the Soviet Army has accomplished for Germany during the past 10 years. I hope that in spite of all present existing difficulties our thanks will be expressed in deed. I drink a toast to the well-being and the future of the great and glorious Soviet Army and of loyal comradeship in arms for today and in the future.
    • Quoted in "Germany plots with the Kremlin" - Page 49 - by Tete Harens Tetens - 1953
  • While soldiers were winning victories, so-called labor leaders were engaged in high treason.
    • Quoted in "A History of Militarism: Civilian and Military" - Page 430 - by Alfred Vagts - History - 1967

External links

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