- Blaskowitz, Johannes Albrecht
Generaloberst der Infanterie, OB Heeresgruppe G, Schwertenträger.
- 10-07-1883, Paterswalde, Ostpreussen.
- 05-02-1948, suicide Nurnberg prison, age 64.
Bommelsen, Village Cemetery.
Blaskowitz, Johannes Albrecht
Johannes Blaskowitz, born on 10-07-1883 in Paterswalde, East Prussia, now Poland. His father was the Lutheran pastor Hermann Blaskowitz and Marie Kühn . In 1894, Blaskowitz joined the cadet school at Köslin and he started his military career as a Fähnrich in an East Prussian Regiment in Osterode, in 1901. During World War I, Blaskowitz served on the Eastern and Western Front and was employed in the Generalstab. He rose to command an infantry company by 1918 and was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery. Blaskowitz's war service secured him a place in the postwar Reichswehr during the Weimar Republic, through whose ranks he rose until 1938, when Adolf Hitler sacked virtually all the other senior generals. His attitude towards the Nazis' seizure of power, Machtergreifung, was reportedly indifferent because he believed that the armed forces should be "politically neutral". In early 1939 he commanded the German forces that occupied Austria and Czechoslovakia, and was promoted to General of Infantry and given command of the 8th st Army just prior to the outbreak of World War II . . With the beginning of World War II he already a General Oberst, was Armee Oberbefehlhaber, High Commander, in Poland und France, later Commander of the occupation forces in the Netherlands (see About). As a traditional soldier, Blaskowitz kept a firm control on the men under his command in their dealings with civilians, Blaskowitz was opposed to the Army committing war crimes with the SS. Between November 1939 and February 1940 he wrote several memoranda to higher command, in which he detailed SS atrocities in Poland, their effects on Wehrmacht soldiers, and the insolent attitude of the SS to the army. However, his protests produced no condemnations of such behavior, and merely earned him the enmity of Hans Frank (see Frank) , Reinhard Heydrich (see Heydrich), Heinrich Himmler (see Himmler), and Adolf Hitler, while Chief of Staff Alfred Jodl (see Jodl) dismissed them as naive and "uncalled for". Commander-in-Chief Walther von Brauchitsch (see Von Brauchitsch) forwarded Blaskowitz's first memorandum to Hitler on 18 November, who launched a tirade against Blaskowitz, denouncing his concerns about due process as "childish" and poured scorn on his "Salvation Army attitude". As a result, Blaskowitz found himself placed on a blacklist, and he was relieved of his command on 29 May 1940. In late 1940, he was given command of the 1st Army stationed on the Spanish border, out of Hitler's eye and inheritance. In May 1944, following the appointment of Gerd von Rundstedt (see Rundstedt) as Commander-in-Chief in the West, he was appointed head of Army Group G. Blaskowitz's forces were reinforced by the 5th Panzer Army under Hasso von Manteuffel. (see Manteuffel) Blaskowitz wanted to entrench his forces, but Hitler ordered him to immediately counterattack the US third Army. Manteuffel and Blaskowitz realized the futility of such an action, obeyed their orders. Furious over this failure, Hitler (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know) summarily relieved Blaskowitz, replacing him with Hermann Balck (see Balck). Being Commander in Fortress Holland he allowed the Allied to drop the food supply for the hungry Dutch people, after the awful hungry winter period with ten thousands of death and also resisted against the destroying of the Dutch harbors, but could not prevent that. The Wieringermeer polder was flooded, with a lot of damage afterwards. On May 5, Blaskowitz was summoned to the Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen by General Charles Foulkes (see Foulkes) to discuss the surrender of the German forces in the Netherlands, (see Christiansen) Prince Bernhard, (see Lippe-Biesterfeld) acting as commander-in-chief of the Dutch Interior Forces, attended the meeting as well, Bernard after the surrender snapped up Blaskowitz's luxurious staffcar. Blaskowitz agreed with all proposals by Foulkes. However, nowhere in the building- some sources claim nowhere in whole town-could a typewriter been foun. Thus the surrender dopcument could not be typed. The next day, both parties returned and, in the presence of of both General Foulkes and Prince Bernhard Blaskowitz signed the surrender document which, in the meantime, Blaskowitz was first imprisoned in Dachau, then in Stadtallendorf and later in Nuremburg, where he was charged with war crimes during the Nuremberg Trials in the High Command Trial, but died before the process started, at the age of 64, on 05-02-1948 by committing suicide. ?
After breaking away from his guards, he threw himself off a balcony into the inner courtyard of the court building, but another story is that Blaskowitz, not beloved, is pushed of the stairs by fellow SS German prisoners after a conflict between keeping his word under oath and testifying against brother officers . Blaskowitz is buried with his wife Anna, born Diege, who died age 70 on 18-09-1950, on the small village cemetery of Bommelsen and the villagers take care of the grave, I understood.