Hermann Kriebel

Hermann Kriebel

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Hermann Kriebel was born in Germersheim on 20th January, 1876. He joined the Bavarian Army and reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the end of the First World War. After the war, former senior officers in the German Army began raising private armies called Freikorps. Captain Kurt von Schleicher, of the political department at the army, secretly equipped and paid for the Freikorps. As Louis L. Snyder has pointed out: "Composed of former officers, demobilized soldiers, military adventurers, fanatical nationalists, and unemployed youths, was organized by Captain Kurt von Schleicher. Rightist in political philosophy, blaming Social Democrats and Jews for Germany's plight, the Freikorps called for the elimination of traitors to the Fatherland."

Kriebel held right-wing political views and joined the Freikorps. On 7th November, 1918, Kurt Eisner made a speech where he declared Bavaria a Socialist Republic. Eisner made it clear that this revolution was different from the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and announced that all private property would be protected by the new government. Eisner explained that his program would be based on democracy, pacifism and anti-militarism. The King of Bavaria, Ludwig III, decided to abdicate and Bavaria was declared a republic.

Eisner had the support of the 6,000 workers of the munitions factory in Munich that was owned by Gustav Krupp. Many of them had come from northern Germany and were much more radical than those of Bavaria. The city was also a staging post for troops withdrawing from the Western Front. It is estimated that the majority of the 50,000 soldiers also supported Eisner's revolution. The anarcho-communist poet, Erich Mühsam, and the left-wing playwright, Ernst Toller, were other important figures in the rebellion.

On 9th November, 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated and the Chancellor, Max von Baden, handed power over to Friedrich Ebert, the leader of the German Social Democrat Party. At a public meeting, one of Ebert's most loyal supporters, Philipp Scheidemann, finished his speech with the words: "Long live the German Republic!" He was immediately attacked by Ebert, who was still a strong believer in the monarchy and was keen for one of the his grandsons to replace Wilhelm.

At the beginning of January, 1919, Chancellor Ebert ordered the removal of Emil Eichhorn, the head of the Police Department in Berlin. As Rosa Levine pointed out: "A member of the Independent Socialist Party and a close friend of the late August Bebel, he enjoyed great popularity among revolutionary workers of all shades for his personal integrity and genuine devotion to the working class. His position was regarded as a bulwark against counter-revolutionary conspiracy and was a thorn in the flesh of the reactionary forces."

Chris Harman, the author of The Lost Revolution (1982), has argued: "The Berlin workers greeted the news that Eichhorn had been dismissed with a huge wave of anger. They felt he was being dismissed for siding with them against the attacks of right wing officers and employers. Eichhorn responded by refusing to vacate police headquarters. He insisted that he had been appointed by the Berlin working class and could only be removed by them. He would accept a decision of the Berlin Executive of the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils, but no other."

Members of the Independent Socialist Party and the German Communist Party jointly called for a protest demonstration. They were joined by members of the Social Democratic Party who were outraged by the decision of their government to remove a trusted socialist. Eichhorn remained at his post under the protection of armed workers who took up quarters in the building. A leaflet was distributed which spelt out what was at stake: "The Ebert-Scheidemann government intends, not only to get rid of the last representative of the revolutionary Berlin workers, but to establish a regime of coercion against the revolutionary workers. The blow which is aimed at the Berlin police chief will affect the whole German proletariat and the revolution."

Friedrich Ebert called in the German Army and the Freikorps to bring an end to the rebellion. Hermann Kriebel was one of those who took his men to Berlin. By 13th January, 1919 the rebellion had been crushed and most of its leaders were arrested. This included Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and Wilhelm Pieck on 16th January. Luxemburg and Liebknecht were murdered while in police custody. The journalist, Morgan Philips Price, claimed that they were murdered by the Freikorps.

With the help of Ernst Roehm, in February 1923, Adolf Hitler entered into negotiations with the Patriotic Leagues in Bavaria. This included the Lower Bavarian Fighting League, Reich Banner, Patriotic League of Munich and Oberland Defence League. A joint committee was set up under the chairmanship of Hermann Kriebel, the military leader of the Working Union of the Patriots Fighting Associations. Over the next few months Hitler and Roehm worked hard to bring in as many of the other right-wing groups as they could.

Gustav Stresemann, of the German National People's Party (DNVP), with the support of the Social Democratic Party, became chancellor of Germany in August 1923. On 26th September, he announced the decision of the government to call off the campaign of passive resistance in the Ruhr unconditionally, and two days later the ban on reparation deliveries to France and Belgium was lifted. He also tackled the problem of inflation by establishing the Rentenbank. Alan Bullock, the author of Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1962) has pointed out: "This was a courageous and wise decision, intended as the preliminary to negotiations for a peaceful settlement. But it was also the signal the Nationalists had been waiting for to stir up a renewed agitation against the Government."

Hermann Kriebel, Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering and Ernst Roehm had a meeting together on 25th September where they discussed what they were to do. Hitler told the men that it was time to take action. Roehm agreed and resigned his commission to give his full support to the cause. Hitler's first step was to put his own 15,000 Sturm Abteilung men in a state of readiness. The following day, the Bavarian Cabinet proclaimed a state of emergency and appointed Gustav von Kahr, one of the best-known politicians, with strong right-wing leanings, as State Commissioner with dictatorial powers. Kahr's first act was to ban Hitler from holding meetings.

General Hans von Seeckt made it clear that he would take action if Hitler attempted to take power. As William L. Shirer, the author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1964), has pointed out: "He issued a plain warning to... Hitler and the armed leagues that any rebellion on their part would be opposed by force. But for the Nazi leader it was too late to draw back. His rabid followers were demanding action." Wilhelm Brückner, one of his SA commanders, urged him to strike at once: "The day is coming, when I won't be able to hold the men back. If nothing happens now, they'll run away from us."

A plan of action was suggested by Alfred Rosenberg and Max Scheubner-Richter. The two men proposed to Hitler that they should strike on 4th November during a military parade in the heart of Munich. The idea was that a few hundred storm troopers should converge on the street before the parading troops arrived and seal it off with machine-guns. However, when the SA arrived they discovered the street was fully protected by a large body of well-armed police and the plan had to be abandoned. It was then decided that the putsch should take place three days later.

On 8th November, 1923, the Bavarian government held a meeting of about 3,000 officials. While Gustav von Kahr, the prime minister of Bavaria was making a speech, Adolf Hitler and 600 armed SA men entered the building. According to Ernst Hanfstaengel: "Hitler began to plough his way towards the platform and the rest of us surged forward behind him. Tables overturned with their jugs of beer. On the way we passed a major named Mucksel, one of the heads of the intelligence section at Army headquarters, who started to draw his pistol as soon as he saw Hitler approach, but the bodyguard had covered him with theirs and there was no shooting. Hitler clambered on a chair and fired a round at the ceiling." Hitler then told the audience: "The national revolution has broken out! The hall is filled with 600 armed men. No one is allowed to leave. The Bavarian government and the government at Berlin are hereby deposed. A new government will be formed at once. The barracks of the Reichswehr and the police barracks are occupied. Both have rallied to the swastika!"

Leaving Hermann Goering and the SA to guard the 3,000 officials, Hitler took Gustav von Kahr, Otto von Lossow, the commander of the Bavarian Army and Hans von Seisser, the commandant of the Bavarian State Police into an adjoining room. Hitler told the men that he was to be the new leader of Germany and offered them posts in his new government. Aware that this would be an act of high treason, the three men were initially reluctant to agree to this offer. Adolf Hitler was furious and threatened to shoot them and then commit suicide: "I have three bullets for you, gentlemen, and one for me!" After this the three men agreed.

Soon afterwards Eric Ludendorff arrived. Ludendorff had been leader of the German Army at the end of the First World War. He had therefore found Hitler's claim that the war had not been lost by the army but by Jews, Socialists, Communists and the German government, attractive, and was a strong supporter of the Nazi Party. Ludendorff agreed to become head of the the German Army in Hitler's government.

While Adolf Hitler had been appointing government ministers, Ernst Roehm, leading a group of stormtroopers, had seized the War Ministry and Rudolf Hess was arranging the arrest of Jews and left-wing political leaders in Bavaria. Hitler now planned to march on Berlin and remove the national government. Surprisingly, Hitler had not arranged for the Sturm Abteilung (SA) to take control of the radio stations and the telegraph offices. This meant that the national government in Berlin soon heard about Hitler's putsch and gave orders to General Hans von Seeckt for it to be crushed.

Gustav von Kahr, Otto von Lossow and Hans von Seisser, managed to escape and Von Kahr issued a proclamation: "The deception and perfidy of ambitious comrades have converted a demonstration in the interests of national reawakening into a scene of disgusting violence. The declarations extorted from myself, General von Lossow and Colonel Seisser at the point of the revolver are null and void. The National Socialist German Workers' Party, as well as the fighting leagues Oberland and Reichskriegsflagge, are dissolved."

The next day Hermann Kriebel, Adolf Hitler, Eric Ludendorff, Julius Steicher, Hermann Goering, Max Scheubner-Richter, Wilhelm Brückner and 3,000 armed supporters of the Nazi Party marched through Munich in an attempt to join up with Roehm's forces at the War Ministry. At Odensplatz they found the road blocked by the Munich police. What happened next is in dispute. One observer said that Hitler fired the first shot with his revolver. Another witness said it was Steicher while others claimed the police fired into the ground in front of the marchers.

William L. Shirer has argued: "At any rate a shot was fired and in the next instant a volley of shots rang out from both sides, spelling in that instant the doom of Hitler's hopes. Scheubner-Richter fell, mortally wounded. Goering went down with a serious wound in his thigh. Within sixty seconds the firing stopped, but the street was already littered with fallen bodies - sixteen Nazis and three police dead or dying, many more wounded and the rest, including Hitler, clutching the pavement to save their lives." Louis L. Snyder later commented: "In seconds 16 Nazis and 3 policeman lay dead on the pavement, and others were wounded. Goering, who was shot through the thigh, fell to the ground. Hitler, reacting spontaneously because of his training as a dispatch bearer during World War I, automatically hit the pavement when he heard the crack of guns. Surrounded by comrades, he escaped in a car standing close by. Ludendorff, staring straight ahead, moved through the ranks of the police, who in a gesture of respect for the old war hero, turned their guns aside."

Hitler, who had dislocated his shoulder, lost his nerve and ran to a nearby car. Although the police were outnumbered, the Nazis followed their leader's example and ran away. Only Eric Ludendorff and his adjutant continued walking towards the police. Later Nazi historians were to claim that the reason Hitler left the scene so quickly was because he had to rush an injured young boy to the local hospital.

At his trial Adolf Hitler was allowed to turn the proceedings into a political rally. "The army we have trained is growing from day to day, from hour to hour. At this very time I hold to the proud hope that the hour will come when these wild bands will be formed into battalions, the battalions into regiments, the regiments into divisions.... Then from our bones and our graves will speak the voice of that court which alone is empowered to sit in judgment on us all. For not you, gentlemen, will deliver judgment on us; that judgment will be pronounced by the eternal court of history, which will arbitrate the charge that has been made against us.... That court will judge us, will judge the Quartermaster General of the former army, will judge his officers and soldiers as Germans who wanted the best for their people and their Fatherland, who were willing to fight and die."

Although Hitler was found guilty he only received the minimum sentence of five years. Other members of the Nazi Party, including Hermann Kriebel, also received light sentences and Eric Ludendorff was acquitted. Kriebel was sent to Landsberg Castle in Munich to serve his prison sentence with Emil Maurice, Rudolf Hess and Wilhelm Brückner.

After his release from prison Kriebel remained a member of the Nazi Party. After Adolf Hitler gained power in 1933 he appointed Kriebel as German consul general in Shanghai.

Hermann Kriebel died in Munich on 16th February, 1941.

At any rate a shot was fired and in the next instant a volley of shots rang out from both sides, spelling in that instant the doom of Hitler's hopes. Within sixty seconds the firing stopped, but the street was already littered with fallen bodies - sixteen Nazis and three police dead or dying, many more wounded and the rest, including Hitler, clutching the pavement to save their lives.

There was one exception, and had his example been followed, the day might have had a different ending. Ludendorff did not fling himself to the ground. Standing erect and proud in the best soldierly tradition, with his adjutant, Major Streck, at his side, he marched calmly on between the muzzles of the police rifles until he reached the Odeonsplatz. He must have seemed a lonely and bizarre figure. Not one Nazi followed him. Not even the supreme leader, Adolf Hitler.

The future Chancellor of the Third Reich was the first to scamper to safety. He had locked his left arm with the right arm of Scheubner-Richter (a curious but perhaps revealing gesture) as the column approached the police cordon, and when the latter fell he pulled Hitler down to the pavement with him. Perhaps Hitler thought he had been wounded; he suffered sharp pains which, it was found later, came from a dislocated shoulder. But the fact remains that according to the testimony of one of his own Nazi followers in the column, the physician Dr Walther Schulz which was supported by several other witnesses, Hitler "was the first to get up and turn back", leaving his dead and wounded comrades lying in the street. He was hustled into a waiting motor car and spirited off to the country home of the Hanfstaengls at Uffing, where Putzi's wife and sister nursed him and where, two days later, he was arrested.
Ludendorff was arrested on the spot. He was contemptuous of the rebels who had not had the courage to march on with him, and so bitter against the Army for not coming over to his side that he declared henceforth he would not recognize a German officer nor ever again wear an officer's uniform. The wounded Goering was given first aid by the Jewish proprietor of a nearby bank into which he had been carried and then smuggled across the frontier into Austria by his wife and taken to a hospital in Innsbruck. Hess also fled to Austria. Roehm surrendered at the War Ministry two hours after the collapse before the Feldherrnhalle. Within a few days all the rebel leaders except Goering and Hess were rounded up and jailed.

Hermann Kriebel

Hermann Kriebel was the son of the Bavarian major general Karl Kriebel (1834–1895). The later major general Friedrich von Kriebel (1879–1964) and the later infantry general Karl Kriebel (1888–1961) were his brothers.

He attended elementary schools in Neu-Ulm and Munich, the Royal Maximiliansgymnasium in Munich, the Lyceum in Metz and finally, from 1888, the Bavarian Cadet Corps .

Military background

After beginning a degree in history at the University of Munich , he decided to pursue a military career in the Bavarian Army . In 1894 he joined the 1st Infantry Regiment "König" as an ensign , attended military school and was subsequently promoted to lieutenant in 1896 .

In 1900, after joining the Imperial Navy , Kriebel was assigned to the II. Sea Battalion and was in China with the German expeditionary force to suppress the Boxer Rebellion until 1901 . In 1901 he was transferred back to the 1st Infantry Regiment "König". From 1904 to 1907 Kriebel graduated from the War Academy , which made him qualified for the general staff, the higher adjutantage and the subject. In 1906 he wrote a widely praised study on the use of military units in civil war situations: On the conquest of internal unrest, based on the experience of history in the first half of the 19th century. Century. From 1908 to 1910 Kriebel was a staff officer in the Bavarian General Staff and from 1910 to 1912 in the Great General Staff in Berlin under Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke .

From 1912 Kriebel was company commander in the 22nd Infantry Regiment in Zweibrücken . After the beginning of the First World War , he fought with his company on the Western Front from August 1914 . From 1915 to 1916 he was 1st General Staff Officer in the 8th Reserve Division , then he was in the staff of the XV in 1916/17 . Reserve Corps deployed under Chief of Staff Julius Ritter von Reichert . Afterwards he was on the staff of Erich Ludendorff , the General Quartermaster of the Supreme Army Command (OHL), at the headquarters in Bad Kreuznach (later relocated to Spa ). a. from November 1917 to February 1918 as chief of the military department. There he experienced how Ludendorff exercised political influence on German government policy through his military position and connections to right-wing conservative circles.

In the German Armistice Commission established in Spa (Wako-Spa) after the Armistice Agreement of Compiègne-Rethondes of November 11, 1918 , Kriebel, who had held the rank of major since 1915, was representative of the Quartermaster General and Bavaria and worked there until the Treaty of Versailles that followed Winding up of the Wako-Spa in July 1919. His saying “Goodbye in 20 years”, which he made towards the representatives of the Entente towards the end of the negotiations , was handed down (and often quoted during the National Socialist era ) . In 1920 Kriebel was discharged from the army at his own request In 1921 he received the rank of lieutenant colonel ret. D.

Military leader and putschist

From 1919 on, Kriebel was involved in building up the Bavarian Resident Guard, which emerged after the Munich Soviet Republic , and other paramilitary organizations with an "anti-Bolshevik" orientation that emerged from them. Initially, from October 1, 1919, he was Chief of Staff of the Bavarian State Association of Resident Services and, in this function, participated in the resignation of the Hoffmann government in March 1920. Subsequently, chief of staff of the Escherich (Orgesch) organization founded in May 1920 , Kriebel came into contact with Adolf Hitler in 1922 after a falling out with Georg Escherich over the Bavarian military association leader Otto Pittinger (1878-1926) . Since the establishment of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Vaterländische Kampfverbände (an umbrella organization of various military associations, including the Federal Oberland led by Friedrich Weber , the Federal Reich flag under Adolf Heiss and the von .) On February 4, 1923, on the initiative of Hitler's liaison to the military associations, Ernst Röhm Emil Maurice founded SA under Hermann Göring ), Kriebel was the military leader of this organization.

Over the next few months, Hitler had considerable problems with "the clumsy soldier's mind" of the military leadership under Kriebel. He did not succeed in dominating the organization politically, and he also had to fear that he would lose influence via the SA to Röhm, Kriebel and the Reichswehr. The grouping was also a problem for the Bavarian government. For the Bavarian Prime Minister Eugen von Knilling in April 1923 “the enemy” was on the left, but “the danger on the right”. He considered “the former officers like Colonel Kriebel” to be the “most unteachable”. He had previously rated Knilling's decision to implement the Republic Protection Act of 1922 in Bavaria as a “declaration of war by the government on the working group”.

In the months that followed, Kriebel repeatedly pushed for a coup and to begin the “March on Berlin”. When the attempt by Hitler and the working group to use the rallies of the left-wing parties on May 1st to strike failed because of the resistance of the Reichswehr, it was Kriebel who until the end demanded that the action be carried out against the hesitant Hitler. And on October 16, he prepared another mobilization for civil war with an order to the border guard to the north. Although the measure was officially directed against the new Thuringian SPD / KPD government under August Frölich , formulations such as “opening hostilities” and “destroying” the opponent left no doubt as to the real motives.

At the beginning of September 1923, the German Combat League emerged from the working group as a new umbrella organization, again under the military leadership of Kriebel. The political leadership of the Kampfbund took over on September 25, 1923 Adolf Hitler himself. Together with Erich Ludendorff , Hitler and Kriebel were the driving force behind the plans for the Hitler coup of November 8, 1923 (the last secret preparatory talks took place the day before in Kriebel's apartment) Together they led the march to the Feldherrnhalle on November 9th . Ludendorff and Kriebel's goal was to establish a conservative government controlled by the military. “Lieutenant Colonel Kriebel had probably thought of an open or covert dictatorship of the Reichswehr with nationally minded men at the top, like himself, for example, who was supposed to preserve the empire of communists, socis and other journeymen without a fatherland, than of a dictatorship of the political fantasist [Hitler] ”, so the later diplomat Erwin Wickert , who met Kriebel in the 1930s. For Kriebel, Hitler was just the drummer in 1923: “Of course Hitler was out of the question for a managerial position, he only had his propaganda in mind anyway.” Kriebel experienced the putsch as an intoxicating experience: “We then moved on through the city, everywhere welcomed, greeted with cheers, through the arch of the town hall, across Marienplatz. The entire Marienplatz was black with people who all sang patriotic songs ”.

After the coup was suppressed, Hitler, Ludendorff and other conspirators were imprisoned. Kriebel first fled to the Bavarian Forest and volunteered in January 1924. The arrested putschists were brought to justice on February 20, 1924 for high treason. When the verdict was pronounced by the Munich People's Court under Judge Georg Neithardt on April 1, 1924, Ludendorff was acquitted (because of his services as OHL boss in World War I) Hitler, Kriebel, Weber and Pöhner were each sentenced to five years' imprisonment and transferred to the Landsberg fortress . Kriebel was therefore unable to exercise the mandate he won in the Reichstag election in May 1924 for the National Socialist Freedom Party (a brief list connection between the NSDAP , which had been banned since November 1923, and the German National Freedom Party , which was also banned ). However, in its judgment, the court had ruled that Hitler and Kriebel were to be pardoned on probation after just one year of imprisonment (taking into account pre-trial detention). After the release originally scheduled for October 1, u. a. had been delayed by various efforts by the Bavarian government to subsequently deport Hitler to Austria , Kriebel and Hitler were finally released on parole on December 20, 1924.

After his release, Kriebel initially took over the editing of the military supplement of the Völkischer Beobachter at Hitler's request , but then retired to Carinthia in 1926 as an estate administrator and was also the general representative of the guardianship for the administration of the property of the minor heirs . There, too, he was involved in the Home Guard movement.

Military advisor in China

In 1929 Kriebel went to China, where he initially acted as deputy to Colonel Max Bauer , who, as General Advisor to Marshal Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang government, was responsible for all military, economic and political issues. After his sudden death in May 1929, Kriebel succeeded Bauer. However, he was relieved of this post in May 1930 when he came into conflict with the marshal and his Chinese officials as well as with the German civil advisers in China and the Ministry of Commerce in Berlin. The Chinese side accused Kriebel of his undiplomatic approach and a one-sided attitude that represented German interests. The German civil advisers had spoken out against his appointment from the start - allegedly in part due to his political past. Kriebel's successor was Georg Wetzell (1869–1947), whom Kriebel - just like his predecessor Max Bauer - knew from working together on the OHL (under Ludendorff) during World War I. But Kriebel remained in China as one of the numerous military advisers until 1933.

It was there that Kriebel, who had remained true to his monarchist sentiments until the end of the 1920s and, according to the records of Hitler's adjutant Fritz Wiedemann, “was quite remote from the movement”, finally joined the NSDAP on January 1, 1930 ( membership number 344.967). In December 1933, his entry date was backdated to October 1, 1928 (membership number 82,996), and according to the 1938 Reichstag Handbook , he even joined the NSDAP on November 16, 1922. The euphemisms were certainly also made with the propaganda intention of portraying Kriebel as the “ old fighter ” who was closely associated with the National Socialists from the very beginning.

In the diplomatic service

Kriebel, meanwhile SA group leader , was now active as leader of the SA for the connection to the Foreign Office . In April 1934, as a diplomatic career changer, he was appointed Consul General First Class in Shanghai on special instructions from Hitler . In this function he was not responsible for diplomatic tasks, but merely had to take on legal, cultural and scientific assistance for German citizens living in China. As Hitler's “old comrade in arms”, Kriebel managed to end the disputes within the party organization there in Shanghai. His reputation also enabled him to dissent. When it came to the dismissal of German emigrants from the Chinese administration in the autumn of 1934, only Kriebel dared to object and referred to the "Führer" of all people.

However, Kriebel's assessment of China as a political force was not rated very highly in the Foreign Office and the Propaganda Ministry . Joseph Goebbels noted in his diary: “Kriebel tells me about East Asia. He's always betting on China. At least for a long time. Probably wrongly. ”This contempt was mutual. According to Fritz Wiedemann, Kriebel is said to have said on his return from Shanghai, “The Fuehrer should have two men shot immediately, Ribb [entrop] and Goebbels. What these two men are damaging to us internationally cannot be said. ”During these years, he appeared to visitors to be“ disappointed and resigned ”. He no longer seemed to think of Hitler. Finally, on October 17, 1937, he was given leave of absence from his post and returned to Germany. The background for the replacement was apparently several letters from Kriebel to Hitler in which he openly spoke out against pro-Japanese policies.

Its further professional use remained unclear at first. Kriebel felt “quite handicapped by the uncertainty of my future”, but hoped for an ambassadorial post. But he had fallen out of favor with Hitler: "Kr [iebel] can become an envoy in Bulgaria or whatever, but he can no longer get to an important position." After waiting for more than a year, he resigned on May 10th January 1939 began his service in the Foreign Office, where he did not receive a diplomatic post with political influence, but was appointed head of the personnel and administration department on April 20, 1939 and carried out this activity until his death.

In the election for the “Greater German Reichstag” on April 10, 1938 , for which only the candidates on the “List of the Führer” stood, he was given a Reichstag mandate. In September 1940 he was promoted to colonel by Hitler and awarded him the title of ambassador on his 65th birthday in January 1941. Almost four weeks after receiving this honor, Kriebel died after a short illness. Four days after his death he was honored in Munich with a state ceremony paid for from the budget of the Propaganda Ministry in the presence of Hitler, Göring, Ribbentrop and Hess and then buried in Niederaschau in Chiemgau .

"It wasn't a great career for a man who had spent a year in a fortress with Hitler," said Wickert, looking back on Kriebel's professional career.

Kriebel's son Rainer (1908–1989) also became an officer and, temporarily working for the military enemy reconnaissance under Reinhard Gehlen , became a colonel.

Biografi [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

Hermann Kriebel var son till den bayerske generalmajoren Karl Kriebel (1834–1895). Efter avslutad skolgång skrev han in sig på Bayerische Kadettenkorps, en officersskola i München. 1894 blev han fänrik, och två år senare löjtnant. Som militär i Kaiserliche Marine deltog Kriebel 1901 i kväsandet av det kinesiska boxarupproret. Under första världskriget kämpade Kriebel till en början i Frankrike. Senare tjänstgjorde han som generalstabsofficer, och under slutet av kriget tillhörde han general Erich Ludendorffs stab.

Efter första världskriget deltog Kriebel i uppbyggandet av Einwohnerwehr, [ 1 ] en paramilitär organisation med tydlig antibolsjevikisk prägel. År 1922 kom Kriebel i kontakt med Adolf Hitler, partiordförande för Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP). På initiativ av Ernst Röhm bildades i februari 1923 paraplyorganisationen Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Vaterländischen Kampfverbände (AVK), [ 2 ] och Hitler föreslog Kriebel som dess militäre ledare. AVK samlade till exempel Friedrich Webers Bund Oberland samt det av Adolf Heiß grundade Reichsflagge. I september 1923 omformades AVK till Deutscher Kampfbund militär ledare blev Kriebel, och Hitler tog över det politiska ledarskapet.

Ölkällarkuppen [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

Tillsammans med Erich Ludendorff var Kriebel och Hitler de drivande krafterna bakom planeringen av ölkällarkuppen i november 1923. Kuppen, som förövades den 8 och 9 november 1923, misslyckades, och den 1 april 1924 dömdes Kriebel till fem års fängelse. [ 3 ] Kriebel avtjänade sitt straff på Landsbergs fästning tillsammans med bland andra Hitler och Weber. Kriebel och Hitler släpptes dock redan den 20 december 1924. Efter frisläppandet utsåg Hitler Kriebel till redaktör för dagstidningen Völkischer Beobachters militära bilaga. Han ägnade sig även åt hemvärnsrörelsen.

År 1929 skickades Kriebel som diplomat till Kina, där han rådgav Chiang Kai-shek i militära frågor. Från 1934 till 1939 tjänstgjorde Kriebel som tysk konsul i Shanghai. Efter en kort tids sjukdom avled Kriebel i februari 1941.

Here come the Germans!

Chiang sent an invitation to Gen. Erich Ludendorff to bring military and civil experts to China. Ludendorff declined the invitation, fearing his high profile would attract unwanted attention. Still, he saw potential in the offer, and recommended retired Col. Max Bauer—a logistics specialist with war experience—to lead a proposed German Advisory Group.

After a quick tour of China, Bauer returned to Berlin and handpicked a team of 25 advisers. Immediately upon arriving in November 1928, the advisers set to work training young Chinese officers.

Despite most of the advisers being retired—and technically civilians—in the employ of the Chinese government, the activities of German military men abroad was a touchy subject due to post-war limitations on what Germany could legally do.

As a result, Bauer gave strict orders to the group to avoid diplomats and journalists. Despite this, American military observers in 1929 reported seeing Chinese troops undergoing close-order drill under German supervision.

Bauer worked to standardize the acquisition of equipment and weapons, urging Chiang to cut out expensive middlemen and buy directly from manufacturers.

Unsurprisingly, many of these manufacturers were German, resulting in increased business for German companies. But the retail boom was cut short by Bauer’s unexpected death in May 1929.

Bauer was succeeded by Col. Hermann Kriebel, a Nazi fanatic. He had been a member of the paramilitary Freikorps and had a long record of putschist activity with Hitler in Bavaria. One rumor has it that as a member of the German 1919 Armistice delegation, his parting words were, “See you again in 20 years.”

Kriebel was arrogant, contemptuous of the Chinese and clashed with Bauer’s selected officers. His attitude almost doomed the mission, and Chiang demanded he be replaced.

Kriebel was succeeded by Gen. Georg Wetzell. He helped plan anti-Communist operations and advised Gen. Ling during the 1932 Shanghai War against the Japanese. He also convinced Chiang to set up an artillery school. Chinese artillery would play a huge role years later against Japanese invaders.

Gen. Hans von Seeckt, an influential German army staff officer and Wetzell’s successor, built Chinese capacity further. Seeckt, vividly recalling the bloody cost of static trench warfare, believed in a war of movement.

He used his connections with German industrialists to bring in a huge influx of modern German equipment, ranging from helmets to artillery. One journalist suggested that as much as 60 percent of Chinese war material at this time was imported from Germany.

The last and arguably best chief adviser was Gen. Alexander von Falkenhausen. He had been military attaché in Tokyo from 1910 to 1914 and traveled to China to observe the revolution in 1911. During World War I, he served in France, East Prussia and Turkey and as a commander was credited with two victories over the British in East Jordan in 1918.

As a world traveler and professional soldier who’d worked in a variety of cultures, Falkenhausen was immune to the extremism that drove many of his predecessors. He also had little love for the Nazis, having lost his brother to a violent internal struggle in the party that solidified Hitler’s control.

As a result, he was better able to develop close personal and professional ties with the Chinese.


In the early 20th century, many of the larger cities of southern Germany had beer halls, where hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people would socialise in the evenings, drink beer and participate in political and social debates. Such beer halls also became the host of occasional political rallies. One of Munich's largest beer halls was the Bürgerbräukeller, which became the site where the putsch began.

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, led to the decline of Germany as a major European power. Like many Germans of the period, Hitler, who had fought in the German Army but still held Austrian citizenship at the time, believed the treaty to be a betrayal, with the country having been "stabbed in the back" by its own government, particularly as the German Army was popularly thought to have been undefeated in the field. For the defeat, Hitler scapegoated civilian leaders and Marxists, later called the "November Criminals". [7]

Hitler remained in the army in Munich after the war. He participated in various "national thinking" courses, organised by the Education and Propaganda Department of the Bavarian Army under Captain Karl Mayr, [8] of which Hitler became an agent. Captain Mayr ordered Hitler, then an army Gefreiter (not the equivalent of lance corporal, but a special class of private) and holder of the Iron Cross, First Class, to infiltrate the tiny Deutsche Arbeiterpartei ("German Workers' Party", abbreviated DAP). [9] Hitler joined the DAP on 12 September 1919. [10] He soon realised that he was in agreement with many of the underlying tenets of the DAP, and rose to its top post in the ensuing chaotic political atmosphere of postwar Munich. [11] By agreement, Hitler assumed the political leadership of a number of Bavarian revanchist "patriotic associations", called the Kampfbund. [12] This political base extended to include about 15,000 Sturmabteilung (SA, literally "Storm Detachment"), the paramilitary wing of the NSDAP.

On 26 September 1923, following a period of turmoil and political violence, Bavarian Prime Minister Eugen von Knilling declared a state of emergency, and Gustav Ritter von Kahr was appointed Staatskomissar ("state commissioner"), with dictatorial powers to govern the state. In addition to von Kahr , Bavarian state police chief Colonel Hans Ritter von Seisser and Reichswehr General Otto von Lossow formed a ruling triumvirate. [13] Hitler announced that he would hold 14 mass meetings beginning on 27 September 1923. Afraid of the potential disruption, one of Kahr 's first actions was to ban the announced meetings, [14] placing Hitler under pressure to act. The Nazis, with other leaders in the Kampfbund, felt they had to march upon Berlin and seize power or their followers would turn to the communists. [15] Hitler enlisted the help of World War I general Erich Ludendorff in an attempt to gain the support of Kahr and his triumvirate. However, Kahr had his own plan with Seisser and Lossow to install a nationalist dictatorship without Hitler. [15]

The putsch was inspired by Benito Mussolini's successful March on Rome. From 22 to 29 October 1923, Hitler and his associates planned to use Munich as a base for a march against Germany's Weimar Republic government. But circumstances differed from those in Italy. Hitler came to the realisation that Kahr sought to control him and was not ready to act against the government in Berlin. Hitler wanted to seize a critical moment for successful popular agitation and support. [16] He decided to take matters into his own hands. Hitler, along with a large detachment of SA, marched on the Bürgerbräukeller, where Kahr was making a speech in front of 3,000 people. [17]

In the evening, 603 SA surrounded the beer hall and a machine gun was set up in the auditorium. Hitler, surrounded by his associates Hermann Göring, Alfred Rosenberg, Rudolf Hess, Ernst Hanfstaengl, Ulrich Graf, Johann Aigner, Adolf Lenk, Max Amann, Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, Wilhelm Adam, Robert Wagner and others (some 20 in all), advanced through the crowded auditorium. Unable to be heard above the crowd, Hitler fired a shot into the ceiling and jumped on a chair, yelling: "The national revolution has broken out! The hall is surrounded by six hundred men. Nobody is allowed to leave." He went on to state that the Bavarian government was deposed and declared the formation of a new government with Ludendorff. [18]

Hitler, accompanied by Hess, Lenk, and Graf, ordered the triumvirate of Kahr, Seisser and Lossow into an adjoining room at gunpoint and demanded they support the putsch. [19] Hitler demanded they accept government positions he assigned them. [20] Hitler had promised Lossow a few days earlier that he would not attempt a coup, [21] but now thought that he would get an immediate response of affirmation from them, imploring Kahr to accept the position of Regent of Bavaria. Kahr replied that he could not be expected to collaborate, especially as he had been taken out of the auditorium under heavy guard. [22]

Heinz Pernet, Johann Aigne and Scheubner-Richter were dispatched to pick up Ludendorff, whose personal prestige was being harnessed to give the Nazis credibility. A telephone call was made from the kitchen by Hermann Kriebel to Ernst Röhm, who was waiting with his Bund Reichskriegsflagge in the Löwenbräukeller, another beer hall, and he was ordered to seize key buildings throughout the city. At the same time, co-conspirators under Gerhard Rossbach mobilised the students of a nearby infantry officers' school to seize other objectives.

Hitler became irritated by Kahr and summoned Ernst Pöhner, Friedrich Weber, and Hermann Kriebel to stand in for him while he returned to the auditorium flanked by Rudolf Hess and Adolf Lenk. He followed up on Göring's speech and stated that the action was not directed at the police and Reichswehr, but against "the Berlin Jew government and the November criminals of 1918". [18] Dr. Karl Alexander von Mueller, a professor of modern history and political science at the University of Munich and a supporter of Kahr, was an eyewitness. He reported

I cannot remember in my entire life such a change in the attitude of a crowd in a few minutes, almost a few seconds . Hitler had turned them inside out, as one turns a glove inside out, with a few sentences. It had almost something of hocus-pocus, or magic about it.

Hitler ended his speech with: "Outside are Kahr, Lossow and Seisser. They are struggling hard to reach a decision. May I say to them that you will stand behind them?" [23]

The crowd in the hall backed Hitler with a roar of approval. [23] He finished triumphantly:

You can see that what motivates us is neither self-conceit nor self-interest, but only a burning desire to join the battle in this grave eleventh hour for our German Fatherland . One last thing I can tell you. Either the German revolution begins tonight or we will all be dead by dawn! [23]

Hitler returned to the antechamber, where the triumvirs remained, to ear-shattering acclaim, which the triumvirs could not have failed to notice. On his way back, Hitler ordered Göring and Hess to take Eugen von Knilling and seven other members of the Bavarian government into custody. [ citation needed ]

During Hitler's speech, Pöhner, Weber, and Kriebel had been trying in a conciliatory fashion to bring the triumvirate round to their point of view. The atmosphere in the room had become lighter, but Kahr continued to dig in his heels. Ludendorff showed up a little before 21:00 and, being shown into the antechamber, concentrated on Lossow and Seisser, appealing to their sense of duty. Eventually, the triumvirate reluctantly gave in. [ citation needed ]

Hitler, Ludendorff, et al., returned to the main hall's podium, where they gave speeches and shook hands. The crowd was then allowed to leave the hall. [23] In a tactical mistake, Hitler decided to leave the Bürgerbräukeller shortly thereafter to deal with a crisis elsewhere. Around 22:30, Ludendorff released Kahr and his associates.

The night was marked by confusion and unrest among government officials, armed forces, police units, and individuals deciding where their loyalties lay. Units of the Kampfbund were scurrying around to arm themselves from secret caches, and seizing buildings. At around 03:00, the first casualties of the putsch occurred when the local garrison of the Reichswehr spotted Röhm's men coming out of the beer hall. They were ambushed while trying to reach the Reichswehr barracks by soldiers and state police shots were fired, but there were no fatalities on either side. Encountering heavy resistance, Röhm and his men were forced to fall back. In the meantime, the Reichswehr officers put the whole garrison on alert and called for reinforcements. Foreign attachés were seized in their hotel rooms and put under house arrest. [ citation needed ]

In the morning, Hitler ordered the seizure of the Munich city council [de] as hostages. He further sent the communications officer of the Kampfbund, Max Neunzert [de] , to enlist the aid of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria to mediate between Kahr and the putschists. Neunzert failed in the mission. [ citation needed ]

By mid-morning on 9 November, Hitler realised that the putsch was going nowhere. The putschists did not know what to do and were about to give up. At this moment, Ludendorff cried out, "Wir marschieren!" ('We will march!'). Röhm's force together with Hitler's (a total of approximately 2000 men) marched out – but with no specific destination. On the spur of the moment, Ludendorff led them to the Bavarian Defence Ministry. However, at the Odeonsplatz in front of the Feldherrnhalle, they met a force of 130 soldiers blocking the way under the command of State Police Senior Lieutenant Michael von Godin [de] . The two groups exchanged fire, killing four state police officers and 16 Nazis. [24]

Although their defeat by the government forces forced Hitler and Ludendorff to flee Munich, [25] it was the origin of the Blutfahne ('blood flag'), which was stained with the blood of two SA members who were shot: the flag bearer Heinrich Trambauer, who was badly wounded, and Andreas Bauriedl, who fell dead onto the fallen flag. [26] A bullet killed Scheubner-Richter. [27] Göring was shot in the leg, but escaped. [28] The rest of the Nazis scattered or were arrested. Hitler was arrested two days later.

In a description of Ludendorff's funeral at the Feldherrnhalle in 1937 (which Hitler attended but without speaking) William L. Shirer wrote: "The World War [One] hero [Ludendorff] had refused to have anything to do with him [Hitler] ever since he had fled from in front of the Feldherrnhalle after the volley of bullets during the Beer Hall Putsch." However, when a consignment of papers relating to Landsberg prison (including the visitor book) were later sold at auction, it was noted that Ludendorff had visited Hitler a number of times. The case of the resurfacing papers was reported in Der Spiegel on 23 June 2006 the new information (which came out more than 30 years after Shirer wrote his book, and which Shirer did not have access to) nullifies Shirer's statement. [29] [30]

Counterattack Edit

Police units were first notified of trouble by three police detectives stationed at the Löwenbräukeller. These reports reached Major Sigmund von Imhoff of the state police. He immediately called all his green police units and had them seize the central telegraph office and the telephone exchange, although his most important act was to notify Major-General Jakob von Danner, the Reichswehr city commandant of Munich. As a staunch aristocrat, Danner loathed the "little corporal" and those "Freikorps bands of rowdies". He also did not much like his commanding officer, Generalleutnant Otto von Lossow, "a sorry figure of a man". He was determined to put down the putsch with or without Lossow. Danner set up a command post at the 19th Infantry Regiment barracks and alerted all military units. [31]

Meanwhile, Captain Karl Wild, learning of the putsch from marchers, mobilised his command to guard Kahr's government building, the Commissariat, with orders to shoot. [31]

Around 23:00, Major-General von Danner, along with fellow generals Adolf Ritter von Ruith [de] and Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, compelled Lossow to repudiate the putsch. [31]

There was one member of the cabinet who was not at the Bürgerbräukeller: Franz Matt, the vice-premier and minister of education and culture. A staunchly conservative Roman Catholic, he was having dinner with the Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber and with the Nuncio to Bavaria, Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli (who would later become Pope Pius XII), when he learned of the putsch. He immediately telephoned Kahr. When he found the man vacillating and unsure, Matt made plans to set up a rump government-in-exile in Regensburg and composed a proclamation calling upon all police officers, members of the armed forces, and civil servants to remain loyal to the government. The action of these few men spelled doom for those attempting the putsch. [31] The next day the archbishop and Rupprecht visited Kahr and persuaded him to repudiate Hitler. [25]

Three thousand students from the University of Munich rioted and marched to the Feldherrnhalle to lay wreaths. They continued to riot until 9 November, when they learned of Hitler's arrest. Kahr and Lossow were called Judases and traitors. [31]

Two days after the putsch, Hitler was arrested and charged with high treason in the special People's Court. [3] Some of his fellow conspirators, including Rudolf Hess, were also arrested, while others, including Hermann Göring and Ernst Hanfstaengl, escaped to Austria. [32] The Nazi Party's headquarters was raided, and its newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter (The People's Observer), was banned. In January 1924, the Emminger Reform, an emergency decree, abolished the jury as trier of fact and replaced it with a mixed system of judges and lay judges in Germany's judiciary. [33] [34] [35]

This was not the first time Hitler had been in trouble with the law. In an incident in September 1921, he and some men of the SA had disrupted a meeting of the Bayernbund ('Bavaria Union') which Otto Ballerstedt, a Bavarian federalist, was to have addressed, and the Nazi troublemakers were arrested as a result. Hitler ended up serving a little over a month of a three-month jail sentence. [36] Judge Georg Neithardt was the presiding judge at both of Hitler's trials. [4]

Hitler's trial began on 26 February 1924 and lasted until 1 April 1924. [5] Lossow acted as chief witness for the prosecution. [21] Hitler moderated his tone for the trial, centering his defence on his selfless devotion to the good of the people and the need for bold action to save them, dropping his usual anti-Semitism. [37] He claimed the putsch had been his sole responsibility, inspiring the title Führer or 'leader'. [38] The lay judges were fanatically pro-Nazi and had to be dissuaded by the presiding Judge, Georg Neithardt, from acquitting Hitler. [39] Hitler and Hess were both sentenced to five years in Festungshaft [de] ('fortress confinement') for treason. Festungshaft was the mildest of the three types of jail sentence available in German law at the time it excluded forced labour, provided reasonably comfortable cells, and allowed the prisoner to receive visitors almost daily for many hours. This was the customary sentence for those whom the judge believed to have had honourable but misguided motives, and it did not carry the stigma of a sentence of Gefängnis (common prison) or Zuchthaus (disciplinary prison). In the end, Hitler served only a little over eight months of this sentence before his early release for good behaviour. [40] Prison officials allegedly wanted to give Hitler deaf guards, to prevent him from persuading them to free him. [25]

Although the trial was the first time that Hitler's oratory was insufficient, [25] he used the trial as an opportunity to spread his ideas by giving speeches to the court room. The event was extensively covered in the newspapers the next day. The judges were impressed (Presiding Judge Neithardt was inclined to favouritism towards the defendants prior to the trial), and as a result, Hitler served a little over eight months and was fined 500 Reichsmarks. [4] Due to his story that he was present by accident, an explanation he had also used in the Kapp Putsch, along with his war service and connections, Ludendorff was acquitted. Both Röhm and Wilhelm Frick, though found guilty, were released. Göring, meanwhile, had fled after suffering a bullet wound to his leg, [28] which led him to become increasingly dependent on morphine and other painkilling drugs. This addiction continued throughout his life.

One of Hitler's greatest worries at the trial was that he was at risk of being deported back to his native Austria by the Bavarian government. [41] The trial judge, Neithardt, was sympathetic towards Hitler and held that the relevant laws of the Weimar Republic could not be applied to a man "who thinks and feels like a German, as Hitler does." The result was that the Nazi leader remained in Germany. [42] [note 3]

Though Hitler failed to achieve his immediate goal, the putsch did give the Nazis their first national attention and propaganda victory. [6] While serving their "fortress confinement" sentences at Landsberg am Lech, Hitler, Emil Maurice and Rudolf Hess wrote Mein Kampf. The putsch had changed Hitler's outlook on violent revolution to effect change. From then his modus operandi was to do everything "strictly legal". [44] [45]

The process of "combination", wherein the conservative-nationalist-monarchist group thought that its members could piggyback on, and control, the National Socialist movement to garner the seats of power, was to repeat itself ten years later in 1933 when Franz von Papen asked Hitler to form a legal coalition government.

Society of the Descendants of the Schwenkfeldian E

If you can trace your family back to an Anders, Beyer (Byer / Beer / Beier), Dietrich, Dresher (Drescher), Groh, Hartranft (Herterranft), Heebner (Hübner/Heavener/Hevener), Heydrick, Hoffman, Hoffrichter, John, Krauss (Krause), Kriebel (Krieble / Kribel), Mentzel, Meschter (Meishter / Meisther / Master), Muehmer, Neuman, Reynald, Rinewalt (Reinewald / Reinwald / Reinwalt), Scheps, Schultz (Scholtz / Scholtze), Schubert (Shubert / Shoebart), Seipt (Seibt), Teichman, Wagner (Wagener), Warmer, Weigner / Wiegner, Weiss, Yeakel (Yeakle / Jäckel / Jäkel), then perhaps you are a Schwenkfelder descendant and we are looking for you!

Commencing in 1980 the Exile Society began collecting, at the Schwenkfelder Library, genealogical data to supplement in cataloged clerical form the Genealogical Record of the Schwenkfelder Families published in 1923, edited by Dr. Samuel K. Brecht. A file of family supplement forms (numerically indexed) and of individual name cards (alphabetically indexed) was established. Descendants (not just members, but anyone who is a lineal descendant) are urged to provide their family information.

Hermann Kriebel var son till den bayerske generalmajoren Karl Kriebel (1834–1895). Efter avslutad skolgång skrev han in sig på Bayerische Kadettenkorps, en officersskola i München. 1894 blev han fänrik, och två år senare löjtnant. Som militär i Kaiserliche Marine deltog Kriebel 1901 i kväsandet av det kinesiska boxarupproret. Under första världskriget kämpade Kriebel till en början i Frankrike. Senare tjänstgjorde han som generalstabsofficer, och under slutet av kriget tillhörde han general Erich Ludendorffs stab.

Efter första världskriget deltog Kriebel i uppbyggandet av Einwohnerwehr, [ 1 ] en paramilitär organisation med tydlig antibolsjevikisk prägel. År 1922 kom Kriebel i kontakt med Adolf Hitler, partiordförande för Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP). På initiativ av Ernst Röhm bildades i februari 1923 paraplyorganisationen Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Vaterländischen Kampfverbände (AVK), [ 2 ] och Hitler föreslog Kriebel som dess militäre ledare. AVK samlade till exempel Friedrich Webers Bund Oberland samt det av Adolf Heiß grundade Reichsflagge. I september 1923 omformades AVK till Deutscher Kampfbund militär ledare blev Kriebel, och Hitler tog över det politiska ledarskapet.

Ölkällarkuppen Redigera

Tillsammans med Erich Ludendorff var Kriebel och Hitler de drivande krafterna bakom planeringen av ölkällarkuppen i november 1923. Kuppen, som förövades den 8 och 9 november 1923, misslyckades, och den 1 april 1924 dömdes Kriebel till fem års fängelse. [ 3 ] Kriebel avtjänade sitt straff på Landsbergs fästning tillsammans med bland andra Hitler och Weber. Kriebel och Hitler släpptes dock redan den 20 december 1924. Efter frisläppandet utsåg Hitler Kriebel till redaktör för dagstidningen Völkischer Beobachters militära bilaga. Han ägnade sig även åt hemvärnsrörelsen.

År 1929 skickades Kriebel som diplomat till Kina, där han rådgav Chiang Kai-shek i militära frågor. Från 1934 till 1939 tjänstgjorde Kriebel som tysk konsul i Shanghai. Efter en kort tids sjukdom avled Kriebel i februari 1941.

Hermann Kriebel - History

1941-02-26 - Die Deutsche Wochenschau Nr. 547

The "Deutsche Wochenschau" is a newsreel out of the Third Reich which has been produced from June 1940 until March 1945. Political, military, cultural and sporting events from Germany and foreign countries are shown.

Solemn state occasion for the commander hall in Munich for the deceased ambassador, head group leader Hermann Kriebel. Visit of the pilots in the west by Reich Marshal. The Reich Marshal with the Fuehrer on Berghof. Meeting with Mussolini and Franco in Bordighera, Italy. Reception of the new Japanese Ambassador, Lieutenant General Oshima, in the Reich capital. German Film Stars Attend Festivities in the Reich Film Chamber Speech of the Reich Minister Goebbels. Police celebration in Germany. Message of Max Schmelings to the paratroopers, leap exercises. Inspection of the SS Regiment Adolf Hitler. An air base at the coast of Sicily. Flight to Africa and inspection. German auxiliary cruiser on the Atlantic. Sinking of three English ships. An Auxiliary Cruiser on the Prowl in the Atlantic. Crew is on board taken.

Die Deutsche Wochenschau ist eine Wochenschau aus dem Dritten Reich, die von Juni 1940 bis Maerz 1945 produziert wurde. Es werden politische, militärische, kulturelle und sportliche Ereignisse aus Deutschland und dem Ausland gezeigt.

Feierlicher Staatsakt vor der Feldherrnhalle in München fuer den verstorbenen Botschafter SA-Obergruppenfuehrer Hermann Kriebel. Besuch der Flieger im Westen durch den Reichsmarschall. Der Reichsmarschall bei dem Führer auf dem Berghof. Treffen von Mussolini und Franco. Empfang des neuen japanischen Botschafters Generalleutnant Oshima in der Reichshauptstadt. Kriegstagung der Reichsfilmkammer in Berlin, Rede des Reichsministers Dr. Goebbels. Polizeisportfest in der Deutschlandhalle. Freiwillige Meldung Max Schmelings zu den Fallschirmjägern, Sprungübungen. Besichtigung des Regimentes SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. Ein Fliegerhorst an der Küste Siziliens, Flug nach Afrika und Besichtigung. Deutscher Hilfskreuzer auf dem Atlantik, Versenkung von drei englischen Schiffen und einem England wohlgesonnenem großen Bark, feindliche Besatzung wird an Bord genommen.

Keywords: German Newsreel Deutsche Wochenschau Third Reich Drittes Reich Deutschland Germany Feldherrnhalle Muenchen Hermann Kriebel SA-Obergruppenfuehrer Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering Fuehrer Adolf Hitler Hitler Berghof Mussolini Franco Caudillo Duce Generalleutnant Oshima Reichshauptstadt Reichsfilmkammer Berlin Dr.Goebbels Reichsminister Gobbels Deutschlandhalle Max Schmeling Fallschirmjaeger SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Sizilien Afrika Hilfskreuzer Wehrmacht Kriegsmarine Atlantik England

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The Trial and Detention of Adolf Hitler in 1924

In the early afternoon of November 9, 1923, the Nazis‘ wannabe-putsch had miserably failed at the Odeonsplatz in Munich under the guns of the Bavarian police. Adolf Hitler had dislocated his left arm as he fell on the pavement. Walter Schulze, head of the Munich SA Medical Unit, led him to Max-Joseph Platz, where they mounted Hitler’s old Selve 6/20 and fled southbound.

Selve 6/20 Model

After some errant manoeuvring, the car finally drove to Uffing at the Staffelsee Lake, to the house of the foreign press chief of the NSDAP, Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstängl. The landlord was not at home – he had not been on Odeonsplatz, but on a special mission in Munich’s Neuhausen district and was picked up by Heinrich Hoffmann, the party photographer, and brought to his apartment, whence he planned his escape to Austria.

  • Ernst Hanfstängl
  • Helene Hanfstängl

In Uffing, the refugees were taken care of by Putzi’s wife Helene Hanfstaengl, but the idyll did not last long – on Sunday, 11 November in the afternoon, the criminal police appeared and seized Hitler. He was first taken to Weilheim, the county seat, from where the magistrate examining the case transferred him to the custody of the state prison at Landsberg am Lech, where he arrived Monday at 11 o’clock.

The trial of Ludendorff, Hitler and the other defendants began on the morning of February 26, 1924, in the Munich Central Infantry School at Blutenburgstraße. 368 witnesses were heard in total. Lots of correspondents from all over the world and hundreds of spectators crowded the hall. Two battalions of police sealed the Mars- and Blutenburgstraße off with barbed wire and Spanish riders.

  • The Infantry School
  • The barriers

During the days of the trial at the Bavarian Peoples’ Court – established in violation of the Weimar Constitution and therefore actually illegal (the Reichsgericht at Leipzig – outside of Bavaria – would have been the proper court), he was housed in the local prison at Stadelheim in Munich.

  • Stadelheim Prison today
  • A cell (80 sq. ft)

The trial of Hitler et al. lasted from February 26 to April 1, 1924.

The Defendants: Heinz Pernet (Ludendorff’s son-in-law), Dr Friedrich Weber, Wilhelm Frick (Chief of the Munich Criminal Police), Hermann Kriebel, General Ludendorff, Hitler, Wilhelm Brückner (Leader of the SA München), Ernst Röhm, and Robert Wagner (Aide-de-Camp of Ludendorff)

The website of the Austrian historian Kurt Bauer features the statements of Hitler before the court (PDF link in German).

Here an excerpt of Hitler’s speech of February 26, 1924, before the court (in English, see link below):

[As the Putsch ended], I wanted to hear nothing more of this lying and libellous world, but in the course of the next few days, during the second week [of my arrest], as the campaign of lies which was being waged against us [by the Bavarian government] continued, and as one after another was arrested and brought to Landsberg prison, honest men whom I knew to be absolutely innocent, but whose sole crime was that they belonged to our Movement, men who knew nothing whatsoever about the events, but who were arrested because they shared our philosophy and the government was afraid that they would speak up in public, I came to a decision. I would defend myself before this court and fight to my last breath. Thus I have come into this room, not in order to explain things away, or lie about my responsibility no indeed! In fact, I protest that Oberstleutnant Kriebel has declared that he bears responsibility for what happened. Indeed, he had no responsibility for it at all. I alone bear the responsibility. I alone, when all is said and done, wanted to carry out the deed. The other gentlemen on trial here only negotiated with me at the end. I am convinced that I sought nothing bad. I bear the responsibility, and I will shoulder all the consequences. But one thing I must say: I am not a crook, and I do not feel like a criminal. On the contrary! …

If I stand here before the court [accused of being] a revolutionary, it is precisely because I am against revolution and against crimes. I do not consider myself guilty. I admit all the factual aspects of the charge. But I cannot plead that I am guilt of high treason for there can be no high treason against that treason to the Fatherland committed in 1918 [by the Republican Revolution].

It is impossible to prove that I began to commit high treason during the events of 8 and 9 November [1923], for the important points are my attitude and my whole activities which went on months before. Treason cannot arise from a single act, but in the preliminary conversations and planning for this act. If I really committed high treason thereby, I am astonished that the men with whom I planned all this [i.e. the Bavarian politicians], are not sitting in the dock beside me. I cannot plead guilty, since I am aware that the Prosecuting Attorney is legally obligated to charge everyone who discussed with us, and planned to carry out those acts I mean Messrs von Berchem, von Aufsaß, Kahr, Lossow, and Seißer and others. I must consider it an oversight that the Prosecuting Attorney has not charged these gentlemen too. And as I stated before, admit all the facts, disputing only the guilt, so long as my companions here in the dock are not increased by the presence of the gentlemen who wanted to the same things as we, and who in conversations with us planned to do the same thing—all of which I will be glad to tell the court, in the absence of the public! So long as these gentlemen do not stand here beside me, I reject the charge of high treason. …

I do not feel like a traitor, but as a good German, who wanted only the best for his people.

And, on March 27, at the trial’s conclusion:

My Lords!

The action on 8/9 November did not miscarry. I would have considered it a failure if even one mother had come to me and said, “Herr Hitler, you have my child on your conscience my child too fell that day.” But I assure you most solemnly: no mother ever said that to me. On the contrary, ten, hundreds, and ten thousand [men and women] have come, and have joined our ranks. An event which has not occurred in Germany since 1918 happened on that day: joyfully, young men went forth to death, to a death which one day will be hailed like the saying on the Obelisk: “They too died for the liberation of the Fatherland.” That is the most obvious sign of the success of that 8 November: for afterwards, the German people were not more depressed, but rather a wave of young Germany rose up, and joining together everywhere, and in powerful organizations, announced their new-found will. Thus, we see in this 8 November a great triumph, not only did it not produce depression, but it became the means for our Volk to become terribly enthusiastic to an extreme degree, and therefore I now believe that one day the hour will come when these masses who today bear our Swastika, and walk the streets carrying our swastika banners, will unite themselves with the very units which opposed us on 8 November. I thus believe that the blood which flowed on that day is not doomed to divide us forever.

When I learned, on the third day [of my arrest], that it was the Green Police [i.e. the riot-control police of Munich] a feeling of joy welled up within my soul at least it had not been the German army which had shot us down! I rejoiced that it was not the German army, which had befouled itself. Instead, the German army remained as it had been, and with certain exceptions, we could still express the conviction that one day the hour would come in which the German army, officers and men, would stand on our side, and the old Quartermaster-General of the World War [Ludendorff] could rejoin this military unit …

The army which we have been building grows and grows, from day to day, from hour to hour, faster than ever, and in these very days we can express the proud hope that in the near future these wild groups will become battalions, and the battalions will grow to be regiments, and the regiments to be divisions, and the old colours of the Empire will be picked up out of the slime, and our old flags will whip in the wind, and reconciliation will be attained, just as on the day of the last judgment! And we ourselves will be ready and willing to join in that reconciliation.

And then, my Lords, then out of our graves, our bones will appeal to that higher court which rules over all of us. For you, my Lords, will not speak the final judgment in this case that judgment will be up to “History,” the goddess of the highest court, which will speak over our graves and over yours. And when we appear before that court, I know its verdict in advance. It will not ask us: “Did you commit high treason?” for in the eyes of history, the Quartermaster-General of the World War, and his officers, who desired only the best, are considered to be only Germans who wanted to fight to defend their fatherland.

You may speak your verdict of “guilty” a thousand times over, but “History,” the goddess of a higher truth and a higher court, will one day laughingly tear up the charges of the Prosecution, and will laughingly tear up the verdict of this court, for she declares us to be innocent!
Proclamation of the Sentence, drawing by Otto. D. Franz Ludendorff, who was acquitted, leaves the Court

The trial never lost the character of a horse trade. Right at the beginning, the three lay judges Leonhard Beck (born May 6, 1867 in Schwandorn), Philipp Hermann (born October 21, 1865 in Nuremberg, † January 10, 1930 in Munich) and Christian Zimmerman told the court that they would agree to possible convictions only on the condition that any sentences would be suspended. To prevent the immediate disintegration of the trial and subsequent referral to the proper court in Leipzig, the court had to accept.

Newspaper Extra, April 1, 1924, at 10 a.m.

Ludendorff was acquitted and Hitler, Weber, Kriebel and Pöhner sentenced to a minimum sentence of five years of “Festungshaft” imprisonment and fines of 200 gold marks. Since pre-trial detention counted towards the time of incarceration, Frick, Röhm, Wagner and Brückner were immediately released on probation.

The term “Festungshaft” meant, according to the Reich Penal Code of 1871, imprisonment without compulsory labour and was a special provision for capital crimes on the occasion of duels or political crimes, in which “honourable reasons” were assumed – in contrast to greed, jealousy or other “lower” motives.

A few days after the end of the trial, Hitler, Herrmann Kriebel and Dr Friedrich Weber returned to Landsberg prison. The only other inmate in custody was the murderer of former Bavarian minister-president Kurt Eisner, Anton Count von Arco auf Valley, but he was released on probation on April 13, 1924, and pardoned in 1927. He had already been evicted from his old cell # 7, which Hitler took over.

Landsberg Prison, the main entrance Hitler’s Cell, no. 7

Hitler, Dr Weber, Kriebel, Emil Maurice and Rudolf Hess, who arrived in May, were brought to five cells that formed a separate wing of the building, where a common day room was available as well. The men met there almost every day for social gatherings.

A rather interesting point of view was first published on December 19, 2015, in an article by Sven Felix Kellerhoff, Chief Editor of the Department of History of the German newspaper “Die Welt“. Prisoners of the “Festungshaft” category had the privilege of self-sufficiency (at their own expense) and hence the judicial guard Franz Hemmrich, who was responsible for their orders, noted in the second half of 1924:

Hitler, Maurice, Kriebel, Hess and Dr Weber

Notable was his consumption of butter (34 kilograms), sugar (45 kilograms), eggs (515 pieces), potatoes (50 kilograms) and lemons (88 pieces). Otherwise, Hitler also ordered noodles (black and white vermicelli, spaghetti, macaroni), peas (one kilogram), onions (2.5 kilograms), rice (3.5 kilograms), salad oil, vinegar essence, soup cubes, coffee beans (5 pounds), condensed milk (one can), vanilla and cinnamon (50 grams).

Other purchases, however, shattered the image of the teetotaller, that Hitler claimed all his life in public:

More interesting, however, is what Hitler ordered in addition: beer. 62 bottles in July, 47 in August, 60 in September and 47 were delivered in October. For November, there are hardly any entries while 34 bottles accrued in December until one week before Christmas. These were half-litre bottles thus, Hitler drank an average of just under a litre a day. That the beer was actually intended for him, can be concluded from the fact that Hemmrich noted specifically, if occasionally one of the then three daily bottles was intended for Hitler’s friend Emil Maurice, later SS-member No. 2.

It may, therefore, be concluded that a circle of merry men knew how to spend the days of their imprisonment in a rather liberal fashion. Of Hitler’s literary work on his book “Four and a half years of a fight against falsehood, stupidity and cowardice” – whose bulky title he later renamed “Mein Kampf” on the advice of a publisher – party legend claimed later, that the author dictated the text to Rudolf Hess freewheelingly in the style of an ingenious rhetorician, but recent findings indicate that he probably typed the text himself on the old portable typewriter which can be clearly seen in cell picture # 2.

The treatment given to Hitler and his fellow prisoners regarding visits was, however, truly extraordinary. The director, senior government councillor Otto Leybold, described the men as “nationally-minded men” and for that reason authorized the admission of visitors far beyond the normal level. Until his release, Hitler received no fewer than 330 visits. The Historical Lexicon of Bavaria relates:

In addition to lawyer Lorenz Roder, the most frequent visitors were Berlin piano manufacturers Edwin Bechstein(1859-1934) and his wife Helene, Erich Ludendorff, Max Amann (Hitler’s war sergeant, 1891-1957), and Hermione Hoffmann.

Since the beginning of April, Kriebel and Dr Weber enjoyed the privilege of “receiving visits of their closest relatives without surveillance,” which extended to members of their sprawling families. From his own family environment, Hitler was visited only by his half-sister Angela Franziska Raubal from Vienna and her minor children Leo (1906-1977) and Angela Maria, called “Geli” (1908-1931). They were allowed to speak to their half-brother and/or uncle on 17 June and 14 July 1924 for a period of just under three and four hours, respectively, without supervision. In addition, Leybold had approved that Hitler was allowed to conduct confidential discussions with political friends regularly without the presence of a prison guard.

  • Angela Raubal and her brother
  • Geli

One probably will not err in characterizing the conditions of detention as rather mimicking a men’s pension than a prison. The inmates reckoned with their release on probation after serving the minimum detention period of nine months, estimating their release approximately on October 1, 1924. To their detriment, the Munich prosecutor found out that the prisoners had established smuggling of their correspondence, which torpedoed the earliest release date. Director Leybold was then asked for a written recommendation, which turned out quite surprisingly positive (here the German PDF of the document from a transcript in the Bavarian State Archives). After this hymn of praise – which allows us a few insights into the thoughts of the good Mr Leybold – their release on probation on 20 December 1924 was only a matter of form.

December 20, 1924, after release

Many relevant documents relating to Hitler’s detention were considered lost for years until they were offered for sale in July 2010 an action prevented, however, by the State of Bavaria, by seizure.

Inmate Hitler on the warden’s list – healthy, 175 cm height, 77 kg weight A visiting card by Ludendorff and various other documents

As it was to be expected, after 1933 the Nazis made Hitler’s cell and prison a national shrine – with much fanfare and millions of postcards a “place of pilgrimage to the German youth” – in the words of Reich Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach – where the hard time of the leader was to be honoured and kept in awe. [PDF in German by Manfred Deiler with pics] The city of Landsberg eventually crowned the adulation in 1937 she declared the room the “National Sanctuary Hitler Cell”.

  • Hitler Cell Monument
  • Postcard by Heinrich Hoffmann

Obviously, the US military government after 1945 wanted to erase the whole haunting affair as quickly as possible – and to make it clear to everyone where the madness had ultimately led, executed between 248 and 308 war criminals there (depending on the source), including Oswald Pohl, Head of the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt, Otto Ohlendorf, commander of Einsatzgruppe D and Paul Blobel, the butcher of Babi Yar.

Graves of the War Criminals

Surprisingly, the answer already exists on

OED says that the Manchester Guardian coined "World War No. 2" on 18 February 1919, "with reference to an imagined future war arising out of the social upheaval consequent upon the First World War (1914-18)."

Their next citation for "World War II" is Time Magazine on 11 September 1939.

So it seems that World War 2 (or variantly The Second World War) was always called by those names, at least in English speaking countries. The former seems the dominant usage in North America, and the second dominatn in the United Kingdom.

In Russia, the war has (I believe) always been called The Great Patriotic War, at least in regards to after the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Germans on June 22, 1941.


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