Blaskowitz, Johannes Albrecht

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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 Army just prior to the outbreak of World War II. With the beginning of World War II he already a Generaloberst, was Armee Oberbefehlhaber, High Commander, in Poland and 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, here with General Maximillian von Weichs  
, was opposed to the Army committing war crimes with the SS. Between November 1939 and February 1940 he wrote several memorandum 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 Gestapo leader, Reinhard Heydrich, SS Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Hitler, while Chief of Staff, Alfred Jodl  dismissed them as naive and “uncalled for”. Commander-in-Chief, Walther 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 Generalfeldmarschall der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur Battle of the Bulge, Gerd von 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 General der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur der 7th Panzer Division , Hasso von 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, Adolf Hitler (did you know) summarily relieved Blaskowitz, replacing him with General der Panzertruppe, Kommandeur Heeresgruppe Balck, Hermann 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, in Wageningen for the German surrender on 5 May 1945, in Hotel De Wereld, Charles Foulkes to discuss the surrender of the German forces in the Netherlands, Friedrich Christiansen  Bernard von 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 staff car. Blaskowitz agreed with all proposals by Foulkes. However, nowhere in the building- some sources claim nowhere in whole town-could a typewriter been found. Thus the surrender document 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 in a smashed farm in the hamlet of Nude, on the road from Rhenen to Wageningen.

Death and burial ground of Blaskowitz, Johannes Albrecht.

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 and who deplored and protested Nazi atrocities, 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.
     

Cemetery Bommelsen location of Blaskowitz, Johannes Albrecht.

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