Hitler executed 84 German Generals


Nobody escaped the regime of Hitler, even those who served under him. Hitler executed 84 German Generals for various reasons like:

The commander of the German Home Army, General Friedrich Fromm,  is shot by a firing squad for his part in the July plot to assassinate the Fuhrer. Ludwig Beck  was in the custody of General Friedrich Fromm, and he offered to commit suicide (“accept the consequences”). His last words were “I am thinking of earlier times.” Beck then shot himself. In severe distress, Beck succeeded only in severely wounding himself, and a sergeant was brought in to administer the coup de grace by shooting Beck in the back of the neck. Job Wilhelm Georg Erdmann Erwin von Witzleben  was put to death that same day at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. By Hitler’s positive orders, he was strangled with piano wire which had been wound around a meat hook, and the execution was filmed. Erwin Rommel  was linked to the conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Because Rommel was a national hero, Hitler desired to eliminate him quietly. He forced Rommel to commit suicide with a cyanide pill, in return for assurances that Rommel’s family would not be persecuted following his death. Rommel died age 52 on 14-10-1944. He was given a state funeral, and it was announced that Rommel had succumbed to his injuries from an earlier strafing of his staff car in Normandy. General Erich Hoepner  was implicated in the failed 20 July Plot against Adolf Hitler and executed, age 27 on 08-08-1944. General Fritz Erich Fellgiebel  also a conspirator in the 20-07-Plot to assassinate the dictator Hitler. On 10 August 1944, he was found guilty by Roland Freisler and sentenced to death. He was executed, age 57, on 04-09-1944 at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. General Karl von Hase  he was sentenced to death and hanged later the same day 08-08-1944, age 59, at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. General der Flieger, Bernhard Waber condemned to death for mismanagement and hanged in the Spandau Prison, age 60 on 06-02-1945. Generalleutnant Hermann Becker  arrested and court marshalled on 01-12-1944 for impairing defence capabilities and condemned to death, loss of the honour  to serve in the defence of the country, executed by firing squad, age 60 on 06-02-1945. General Friedrich von Rabenau was arrested in the aftermath of the plot which culminated in the attempt on Hitler’s life on July 20 1944. On 15-04-1945, without having been charged or tried, General von Rabenau, one of the last inmates remaining in the Flossenburg concentration camp  was shot on the specific orders of Himmler, age 60 on 15-04-1945. General Major Otto Herfurt  arrested 14-08-1944 in Berlin, sentenced to death 09-09-1944 by order of the People’s Court and executed 09-09-1944, age 51, in Berlin-Plötzensee. General der Artillerie Fritz Lindemann,  arrested 03-09-1944 in Dresden, mortally wounded during arrest and died 22-09-1944, age 50 in Berlin, Generalleutnant Gustav Heistermann von Ziehlberg,  arrested 19-11-1944 in ? and executed 02-02-1945, age 46, in Spandau. Generalmajor Heinrich zu Dohna-Tolksdorf,  sentenced to death 14-09-1944 by order of the People’s Court and executed 14-09-1944, age 62, in Berlin-Plötzensee. General Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel,  arrested 21-07-1944 in Paris, sentenced to death 30-08-1944 by order of the People’s Court and executed 30-08-1944, age 58, in Berlin-Plötzensee.

2013 Berlin no 3 001

Hans Paul Oster was a General in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany and a leading figure of the German resistance from 1938 to 1943. As deputy head of the counter-espionage bureau in the Abwehr (German military intelligence), Oster was in a good position to conduct resistance operations under the guise of intelligence work; he was dismissed for helping Jews avoid arrest.

He was involved in the Oster Conspiracy of September 1938 and was arrested in 1943 on suspicion of helping Abwehr officers caught helping Jews escape Germany. After the failed 1944 July Plot on Hitler’s life, the Gestapo seized the diaries of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of Abwehr, in which Oster’s anti-Nazi activities were revealed. In April 1945, he was hanged with Canaris and Dietrich Bonhoeffer  at Flossenbürg concentration camp.


Generalmajorl Helmuth Stieff in the morning of 20 July, flew with Stauffenberg and Leutnant Werner von Haeften Haeften, Werner Karl Otto Theodore von in the Heinkel He 111 plane provided by General Eduard Wagner from Berlin to the Wolfsschanze. In the night he was arrested and brutally interrogated under torture by the Gestapo. Stieff held out for several days against all attempts to extract the names of fellow conspirators. Ousted by the Wehrmacht, he was tried by the People’s Court (Volksgerichtshof) under President Roland Freisler and sentenced to death on 8 August 1944. At Hitler’s personal request, Stieff was executed by hanging in the afternoon of that same day at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin.

General Karl Freiherr von Thüngen was executed on 24-10-1944, age 51, after the failed 20 July Plot.

Between 1943 and 1945, the People’s Courts under jurist Roland Freisler  sentenced around 7,000 people to death. In the first few months of 1945, some 800 people were executed in the Plötzensee prison, over 400 of them being German citizens.


On the morning of 3 February 1945, Freisler was conducting a Saturday session of the People’s Court when United States Army Air Forces bombers attacked Berlin, led by the B-17 of USAAF Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rosenthal. Government and Nazi Party buildings were hit, including the Reich Chancellery, the Gestapo headquarters, the Party Chancellery and the People’s Court house. Hearing the air-raid sirens, Freisler hastily adjourned the court and ordered that the prisoners before him be taken to an air-raid shelter, but stayed behind to gather files before leaving. A sudden direct hit on the court-building at 11:08 caused a partial internal collapse, with Freisler being crushed by a masonry column and killed while still in the courtroom.






  1. Ian Trousdell


    do you know of any German generals who were transferred back to Germany from Crete during WW2 and soon after died, either by execution or by suicide? My father (d2004 aged 92) told a story of being involved in a SOE mission which achieved this. (Not the Kreipe abduction apparently though there are some similarities). I am writing a book about this war stories he told us

  2. Ian Trousdell


    follow up – in particular who were the German generals running the G occupation of Crete after the Battle of Crete was over? I cannot find anything about this in Google search. I might recognise the name if I read it though I cannot remember it by myself.

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