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Monday, 2 March 2015

Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg

Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg

Career:

Branch: Heer
Born: 2 September 1878 in Stargard Szczecinski, Poland.
Died: 4 March 1946 in, Nuremberg, Germany.

Ranks:
Generalfeldmarschall 20 April 1936
Generaloberst 31 August 1933
General der Infanterie 30 January 1933
Generalleutnant 1 October 1929
Generalmajor 1 April 1928
Oberst 1 April 1925
Oberstleutnant 20 December 1920
Major 22 March 1916
Hauptmann 20 March 1911
Oberleutnant 18 May 1907
Leutnant 13 March 1897

Decorations:
Pour le Mérite
Iron Cross

Commands:

Personal Information:

Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg was a German Generalfeldmarschall, Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces until January 1938. Born in Stargard, Pomerania, Prussia (present-day Stargard Szczecinski, West Pomeranian Voivodeship), Werner von Blomberg joined the army at a young age and attended the Prussian Military Academy in 1904. In April 1904,Werner von Blomberg married Charlotte Hellmich.

After graduating in 1907, Werner von Blomberg entered the General Staff in 1908. Serving with distinction on the Western Front during World War I, Werner von Blomberg was awarded the Pour le Mérite.

In 1920, Werner von 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, Werner von Blomberg was made Chief of Army Training by General Hans von Seeckt. By 1927, Werner von Blomberg was a major-general and Chief of the Troop Office. In 1928, Werner von Blomberg visited the Soviet Union, whereWerner von Blomberg was much impressed by the high status of the Red Army, and left a convinced believer in the value of dictatorship as the prerequisite for military power.

After arguing with the powerful General Kurt von Schleicher in 1929, however, Werner von Blomberg was removed from his post and made military commander of East Prussia. During his time as commander of Wehrkreis I, the military district which comprised East Prussia, Werner von Blomberg fell under the influence of a Nazi-sympathizing Lutheran chaplain, Ludwig Müller, who introduced Werner von Blomberg to National Socialism.

Werner von Blomberg cared little for National Socialist doctrines per se, his support for the Nazis being motivated by his belief that only a dictatorship could make Germany a great military power, and that the Nazis were the best party to create a dictatorship for Germany. In 1931, Werner von Blomberg visited the U.S., whereWerner von Blomberg openly proclaimed his belief in the certainty and the benefits of a National Socialist government for Germany. Werner von Blomberg's first wife Charlotte died on 11 May, 1932, leaving him with two sons and three daughters.

In 1932, Werner von Blomberg served as part of the German delegation to the World Disarmament Conference in Geneva, where during his time as the German chief military delegate, Werner von Blomberg not only continued his pro-National Socialist remarks to the press, but used his status of chief military delegate to communicate his views to Paul von Hindenburg, whose position as President made him Supreme Commander in Chief.

In late January 1933, Werner von Blomberg was recalled from the World Disarmament Conference to return to Berlin by President Paul von Hindenburg, who did so without informing the Chancellor, General von Schleicher or the Army Commander, General Kurt von Hammerstein. Upon learning of this, Schleicher guessed correctly that the order to recall Werner von Blomberg to Berlin meant his government was doomed.

When Werner von Blomberg arrived at the railroad station in Berlin,Werner von Blomberg was met at by Major von Kuntzen ordering him to report at once to the Defence Ministry on behalf of General von Hammerstein, and by Major Oskar von Hindenburg ordering him to report at once to the Presidential palace.Over Kuntzen's protests, Werner von Blomberg chose to go with Paul von Hindenburg to meet his father, who swore him in as Defence Minister.

In 1933, Werner von Blomberg rose to national prominence whenWerner von Blomberg was appointed Minister of Defense in Adolf Hitler's government. Werner von Blomberg became one of Adolf Hitler's most devoted followers, and worked feverishly to expand the size and power of the army.

In 1933 Werner von Blomberg was made a colonel general for his services. In February 1934, acting on his own initiative, Werner von Blomberg had all of the Jews serving in the Reichswehr given an automatic and immediate dishonorable discharge. In this way, 74 Jewish soldiers lost their jobs for no other reason than there were Jewish.

The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service had excluded those Jews who were World War I veterans, so Werner von Blomberg's discharge order was his way getting arould the law. In 1935, Werner von Blomberg worked hard to ensure that the Wehrmacht complied with Nuremberg Laws by preventing so-called Mischling from serving.

Werner von Blomberg had a reputation as something of a lackey to Adolf Hitler. As such,Werner von Blomberg was nicknamed Rubber Lion by some of his critics in the army who were less than enthusiastic about Adolf Hitler. One of the few notable exceptions was during the run-up to the Night of the Long Knives in 1934. In early June, Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg decided that unless Adolf Hitler did something to end the growing political tension in Germany,Werner von Blomberg would declare martial law and turn over control of the government to the army. Werner von Blomberg, who had been known to oppose the growing power of the SA, was chosen to inform Adolf Hitler of this decision on the President's behalf.

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

In 1935, the Ministry of Defense was renamed the Ministry of War Werner von Blomberg also took the title of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In 1936, the loyal Werner von Blomberg was the first Generalfeldmarschall appointed by Adolf Hitler.

Unfortunately for Werner von Blomberg, his position as the ranking officer of the Third Reich alienated Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, who conspired to oust him from power. Hermann Göring, in particular, had ambitions of becoming Commander-in-Chief himself.

On 5 November 1937, the conference between the Reich's top military-foreign policy leadership and Adolf Hitler recorded in the so-called Hossbach Memorandum occurred. At the conference, Adolf Hitler stated that it was the time for war, or, more accurately, wars, as what Adolf Hitler envisioned were a series of localized wars in Central and Eastern Europe in the near future. Adolf Hitler argued that because these wars were necessary to provide Germany with Lebensraum, autarky and the arms race with France and Britain made it imperative to act before the Western powers developed an insurmountable lead in the arms race.

Of those invited to the conference, objections arose from the Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath, Werner von Blomberg and the Army Commander in Chief, General Werner von Fritsch that any German aggression in Eastern Europe was bound to trigger a war with France because of the French alliance system in Eastern Europe, the so-called cordon sanitaire, and if a Franco-German war broke out, then Britain was almost certain to intervene rather than risk the prospect of France's defeat. Moreover, it was objected that Adolf Hitler's assumption that Britain and France would just ignore the projected wars because they had started their re-armament later than Germany was flawed

Accordingly, Werner von Fritsch, Werner von Blomberg and Konstantin von Neurath advised Adolf Hitler to wait until Germany had more time to re-arm before pursuing a high-risk strategy of localized wars that was likely to trigger a general war before Germany was ready (none of those present at the conference had any moral objections to Adolf Hitler's strategy, with which they were in basic agreement only the question of timing divided them). After the Hossbach Memorandum meeting of November 1937, Werner von Blomberg was one of the few who criticised Adolf Hitler's plans to go to war no later than 1942, much to Adolf Hitler's displeasure.

Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler struck in January 1938, when on 12 JanuaryWerner von Blomberg, then 59, married 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 (taken by a Jew with whom she was living at the time) and reported this to the Gestapo and Hermann Göring (who had served as best man to Werner von Blomberg at the wedding).

It has long been claimed that Frau von Werner von Blomberg had a criminal record for prostitution, but this is false Hermann Göring chose to misrepresent Frau Werner von Blomberg's criminal record as being for prostitution as a way of smearing her husband. Hermann Göring then informed Adolf Hitler (who had also been a witness at the wedding), and Adolf Hitler ordered Werner von Blomberg to annul the marriage in order to avoid a scandal and to preserve the integrity of the army. Werner von Blomberg refused to annul the marriage, and consequently resigned all of his posts on 27 January 1938 when Hermann Göring threatened to make his wife's past public knowledge.

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

Werner von Blomberg and his wife were subsequently exiled for a year to the isle of Capri. Spending World War II in obscurity, Werner von Blomberg was captured by the Allies in 1945, after which timeWerner von Blomberg gave evidence at the Nuremberg Trials. While in detention at Nuremberg, Werner von Blomberg died of cancer on 14 March, 1946, and was buried without ceremony in an unmarked grave. Later, his remains were cremated and interred in his residence in Bad Wiessee.

His daughter Dorothea became engaged to Leutnant Karl-Heinz Keitel General Wilhelm Keitel's eldest son in January 1938. They were married in May the same year.

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