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Monday, 13 April 2015

Hans Erich Voß


Career:

Branch: Kriegsmarine
Born: 30 October 1897 in Angermünde, Brandenburg, Germany.
Died: 18 November 1969 in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany.

Ranks:
Vizeadmiral 1 August 1944
Konteradmiral 1 March 1943
Kommodore
Kapitän zur See 1 November 1939
Fregattenkapitän 1 November 1937
Korvettenkapitän 1 October 1934
Kapitänleutnant 1 January 1928
Oberleutnant zur See 10 January 1921
Leutnant zur See 17 September 1917
Oberfähnrich zur See
Fähnrich zur See 19 April 1916

Decorations:
Wound Badge 20 July 1944

Commands:
Prinz Eugen
Takes command on 8 October 1942
Ends command on 28 February 1943

Personal Information:

Hans Erich Voß was born on 30 October 1897 in Angermünde, Brandenburg, Germany and was a serving member of the Kriegsmarine during World War II and managed to attain the rank of Vizeadmiral and among the final occupants of the Führerbunker during the battle of Berlin in 1945. Hans Erich Voß was also one of the last people to see both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels alive prior to them committing suicide.

Hans Erich Voß graduated from the German Naval Academy in 1917. And Hans Erich Voß served in the Reichsmarine through the Weimar Republic and national socialist periods. In 1942, Hans Erich Voß was the commander of the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, and got together with Joseph Goebbels, the then Reich Propaganda Minister, when Joseph Goebbels and a party of journalists came for a tour of heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. And because of this meeting, Joseph Goebbels arranged to have Hans Erich Voß appointed Naval Liaison Officer to Adolf Hitler's headquarters in March 1943.

Hans Erich Voß was present during the bomb plot against Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944. Hans Erich Voß was in the conference room at Adolf Hitler's Rastenburg HQ Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) as Kriegsmarine representative. Approximately 1230 hrs as the conference started, conspirator Claus von Stauffenberg made an excuse to use a toilet facilities in Wilhelm Keitel's office where he used pliers to crush the end of a pencil detonator inserted into a 1 kilogram block of plastic explosive wrapped in brown paper. The detonator, which comprised of a thin copper tube containing acid , took 10 minutes to silently eat through wire holding back the firing pin from the percussion cap. The primed bomb was then placed in a briefcase under a table around which Adolf Hitler, Hans Erich Voß and more than 20 military officers had assembled. Between 1240 hrs and 1250 hrs the bomb exploded, demolishing the conference room.

Whilst Adolf Hitler survived with minor wounds, 3 military officers and a shorthand typist were fatally wounded and died soon afterwards. Hans Erich Voß was also injured in the bomb blast but he promptly recovered. Hans Erich Voß became a recipient of the Wound Badge of 20 July 1944. At the start his award class was given in black but then it was upgraded to silver and eventually gold because he was injured a number of times after the first award. Hans Erich Voß was the only member of the Wehrmacht to have obtained all three badges.

In his capacity as Kriegsmarine Liaison Officer, Hans Erich Voß went with Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and there associates into the Führerbunker under the Reich Chancellery building in central Berlin in January 1945. In the closing months of the Third Reich, Hans Erich Voß became a close confidante of Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda Goebbels. Hans Erich Voß was well aware that the Joseph Goebbels and Magda Goebbels had decided that they'd not leave the bunker, but would kill their children and then themselves once Adolf Hitler was dead.

Hans Erich Voß became a Russian POW. In August 1951, Hans Erich Voß was prosecuted by the Russian authorities on charges that he held a command post in Adolf Hitler's war fleet, and that was involved in an belligerent war in violation of international laws and treaties. In February 1952, the Court Martial of the Moscow Military District sentenced Hans Erich Voß to 25 years' imprisonment. By a decree of the Praesidium of the Supreme Russian in December 1954, nevertheless, Hans Erich Voß was released and handed over to the East Germany authorities.

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