Biegeleben, Arnold Christiaan Rüdiger Joseph Maria Freiherr von, born on 16-04-1883 in Hanover the son of the Prussian Generalmajor Ludwig Maximilian von Biegeleben (1849-1921) and his wife Therese, born Freiin von Esebeck (* 1854), was a highly decorated Generalleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II, who commanded the 6th Infantry-Division. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Biegeleben entered the Army service as a Fahnenjunker in the 1st Großherzoglich Hessischen 25th Feld-Artillerie-Regiment, the Großherzoglichen Artillerie-Korps. Arnold was promoted to lieutenant in mid-August 1902 and graduated from the Jüterbog field artillery shooting school in the spring of 1905. From 1906 to 1908 Biegeleben was adjutant in the 2nd Department, then rose to regimental adjutant and was promoted to first lieutenant in this position on 18-08-1910. Biegeleben during World War I, at the age 31, is fighting at the Western Front, near the river Maas in Reims, at Verdun, Cambrai and at the Somme, all the big battles. At the end of the war he is an Adjutant in the Generalkommando of the VI. Reserve-Korps under command of General der Infantry Kurt von dem Borne . Von dem Borne died age 86 on 22-11-1933. Von Biegeleben also remained in the new 100.000 men Reichswehr . Biegeleben as commander of the 6th Infantry Division , succeeded General der Pioniere, Walter Kuntze,
Kuntze here with Fieldmarshal of the Infantry, Wilhelm Sigmund List in English prison, died age 77, on 01-04-1960 in Detmold, participated in the Western Invasion in 1940, where he with his division, as first and only, can cross the river Seine under Paris. His division destroyed the last defenders and Paris was captured. Von Biegeleben is awarded with the Knight’s Cross on 05-08-1940.
Death and burial ground of Biegeleben, Arnold Christiaan Rüdiger Joseph Maria Freiherr von.
Shortly after this battle, von Biegeleben died of heart failure in Jullouville, in France, on 11-10-1940, at the age of 57. Freiherr von Biegeleben is buried, between his soldiers, on the War Cemetery of La Cambe. Near his grave are also buried the man responsibly for the massacre of Oradour sur Glane,
SS Sturmbannführer, “ Das Reich Division, Adolf Reinhold Diekmann
The Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre took place on 10-06-1944 in the French town of Oradour-sur-Glane. That day the village was surrounded by the first regiment ‘Der Führer’ of the 2. SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich and eventually destroyed. 642 people were murdered during this robbery. Only six people survived the massacre.The army unit was commanded by General Heinz Lammerding, SS-Sturmbannführer (Major) Adolf Diekmann, SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain) Kahn and SS-Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) Heinz Barth.
Otto Erich Kahn (in the middle) with Heinz Barth (on the left). Heinz Lammerding (27-08-1905 – 13-01-1971) was a German SS officer convicted of war crimes during the Nazi era. During World War II, he commanded the SS Panzer Division Das Reich that perpetrated the Tulle and the Oradour-sur-Glane massacres in occupied France. After the war, Lammerding was convicted in absentia for having ordered the murder of approximately 750 French civilians, but remained protected by Germany after serving a prison sentence there. In 1953, Lammerding was tried in France for war crimes, for ordering two massacres in 1944: at Tulle and at Oradour-sur-Glane. He was sentenced to death in absentia by the court of Bordeaux, but he was never extradited from West Germany nor was he ever sentenced by a German court. According to Danny S. Parker, a life-long World War II historian, Lammerding had already been tried in West Germany, convicted of war crimes and had served a prison sentence. He, therefore, was not subject to extradition under the Bonn constitution, much to the consternation of the French. They threatened to send in a commando unit to seize him, as the Israelis did in the case of Adolf Eichmann. However, before this could occur, Lammerding died on 13-01-1971, age 65, from cancer. His funeral in 1971 turned into a reunion of over 200 former SS personnel ??.
The massacre was an act of revenge. The reason given is an action by the French Resistance on 08-06-1944. A railway bridge was blown up in Saint-Junien, a town near Oradour. Two German soldiers were said to have been killed, including SS-Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, who was a personal friend of SS-Sturmbannführer Diekmann. Another reading is that Kämpfe was kidnapped by the resistance. After his official vehicle was found empty, the SS division started a massive search for him and his driver.
Also buried there is the Panzer Ace SS Hauptsturmführer, Zugführer 13 SS Panzer Regiment 1 “LSSAH”, Michael Wittmann and his crew. Also the Generalmajor der Infanterie, Chef der ST Panzergruppe West, Sigismund Edler von Dawans
and Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kommandeur 326th Infanterie Division , Victor Drabich Waechter.
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