Choltitz, Dietrich Hugo Hermann von, born 09-11-1894 in his family’s castle in Gräflich Wiese the son of Hans von Choltitz (1865-1935), who was a major of the Prussian Army and his German wife Gertrud von Rosenberg. He had two sons, Hans and Job. He came from a Moavian-Silesian noble family of Sedinitzky and his German wife Gertrud von Rosenberg. He had two brothers Hans and Job. He came from a Moravian-Silesian noble family of Sedinitzky von Choltitz. His uncle was a governor of Landkreis Neustadt from 1907 to 1920. His family owned a forest between Prudnik and Niemyslowice. In 1907 Dietrich von Choltitz enrolled in the Dresden Cadet School. He became a German Army officer who was the last commander of Nazi-occupied Paris in World War II.
In World War I, von Choltitz served at the Western frontier, eventually as a Leutnant. Dietrich von Choltitz joined the 8. Infanterie-Regiment Prinz Johann Georg Nr. 107 of the Royal Saxon Army as a Fähnrich just months before the First World War broke out. His unit served on the Western Front, where he was promoted to Leutnant and became Adjutant of the regiment’s third Battalion within a year of joining. After World War I he came back to Prudnik, where on 20-08-1929 he married Huberta (1902–2001), the daughter of General of the Cavalry Otto von Garnier . The couple had two daughters, Maria Angelika (1930–2016) and Anna Barbara (born 1936), and a son, Timo (born 1944). Dietrich was transferred to the riding school in Soltau, as a rider he successfully participates in domestic and international riding competitions. Promoted to Major in 1937, he was made commander of third battalion, Infanterie-Regiment 16 “Oldenburg”, a part of 22. Luftlande-Division under command of Generalleutnant Adolf Strauß In 1938 he was promoted again, this time to Oberstleutnant. He participated in occupation of Sudetenland in 1938 and in the invasion of Poland in 1939, where he fought under Łódź and the river Bzura.In May of 1940, Choltitz participated in the Battle of Rotterdam , 600 Dutch civilians lost their life, making an air landing and seizing some of the city’s key bridges. After the bombardment of Rotterdam, during a meeting with the Dutch discussing the terms of surrender of all Dutch forces in Rotterdam, the German Generalleutnant Kurt Student was shot in the head. Student was very popular with his troops and when the German forces moved to execute surrendering Dutch officers in reprisal von Choltitz intervened and was able to prevent the massacre. His actions during the assault on Rotterdam earned him the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross . In September of the same year, he was given command of the regiment, and the following spring was made Oberst.
He remained in the Reichswehr during the Weimar Republic. In World war II, von Choltitz’ battalion was engaged in the occupation of Rotterdam via air landings in 1940, with General der Flieger, Kurt Student..In September 1940, he became commander of the whole regiment, from 1941 as a full Oberst. In the war against the Soviet Union, von Choltitz’s regiment was engaged in the conquest of the fortress Sevastopol in June 1942. In the same year he became a Generalmajor, in 1943 a Generalleutnant. His command posts included, for example, the Infantry Division 260, under command of Generalleutnant Robert Schlüter
Death and burial ground of Choltitz, Dietrich Hugo Hermann von
Dietrich von Choltitz died in November 1966, age 71, due to a long standing war illness in the city hospital of Baden-Baden. He is buried with his wife Huberta, born Garnier, who died old age 88 on 09-08-2001, on the cemetery of Baden-Baden only a few steps from Stalingrad Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus “Der Lord”, General der Flieger, Commander of Directing Office of Catch Command West, Erich Fitzau, General der Luftnachtrichtentruppe, Kommandeur Luftsignal Instruction Staff, Friedrich Fähnert, Generalleutnant der Artillerie, Kommandeur der XXXXI Panzerkorps, Rudolf Holste, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur 172th Infanterie Division, Woldemar Rieberg and Wolfgang Preiss the WWII war movies actor. Von Choltitz’s funeral was attended by a number of high ranking French Army officers.
Dietrich von Choltitz was a man with two sides. “In the first years of the war, my father was a feared officer who drove his people and was seen as a city killer,” says son Timo (75). Especially the brutal battle for Sevastopol (Crimea) cemented his reputation. On the other hand, the General wrote maudlin letters. To wounded soldiers (“Dear God protect you and make you well”), to the parents of fallen soldiers (“Your boy was so dear to my heart”), to the family. The longer the war lasted, the more Choltitz’s doubts about the regime grew. He didn’t want to be Nero in modern times, ”says Timo von Choltitz.