Förster, Otto Wilhelm, born 16-03-1885 in Ilmenau, Thüringen, joined the Army on 12-03-1903, age 17, as a Fahnenjunker in the Garde Pioneer Battalion in Berlin . With the outbreak of World War I he is adjutant of the General of the Pioneers with the 3rd Army. He ends the war in the General Staff of the 14th Replacement Division and was allowed in the new 100.000 men Reichswehr, eight Infantry and two Cavallerie Divisions. Förster becomes the rank of General major on 01-10-1934 and Generalleutnant on 01-01-1937. As Commanding General of the VI Army Corps , succeeding General der Artillerie Günther von Kluge
he participated in World War II, on the Western Front. He earns for bravery both the Iron Crosses and transferred to the East Front for the attack on Russia Centre. At the end of January 1941 he had to gave his post to General der Infanterie, Commander of the 73rd Infantry Division, Bruno Bieler
of the Infantry and landed in the infamous Führer Reserve (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know) (see William Hitler). The Führer reserve (“Officers Reserve”) was set up in 1939 as a pool of temporarily unoccupied high military officers waiting for new assignments in the German Armed Forces during World War II. The various military branches and army groups each had their own pool which they could use as they saw fit. The officers were required to remain at their assigned stations and be available to their superiors, but could not exercise any command function, which was equivalent to a temporary retirement while retaining their previous income. Especially in the second half of the war, more and more politically problematic, troublesome, or militarily incompetent officers were assigned to the Führer Reserve. Examples: Major Karl August Meinel, 01-08-1942, was shifted into the Führer Reserve, because on 13-01-1942 he wrote a critical report to General Hermann Reinecke
on the segregation and execution of Russian prisoners of war in prison camp Stalag VII-A by the Gestapo and the Sicherheitsdienst SD (security Service) of the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler Stalag VII-A was north of Moosberg, a Bavarian town close to Munich. Hermann Reinecke died old age 85, on 10-10-1973.
General Georg Thomas , head of the Military Economics and Armament Office of the Armed Forces Supreme Command, played an essential role in drawing up the starvation policy for the occupied Eastern territories. He was transferred to the Officers Reserve on 20-11-1942 and arrested after the 20 July 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler because of his contacts with the resistance. Thomas died, age 56, 29-12-1946. Generaloberst der Infanterie, Head of the Army General Staff from 1938 until September, 1942, Franz Halder,
head of the Army General Staff, planned army operations from 1939 to 1941. He was dismissed in 1942 and transferred to the Officers Reserve. After the assassination attempt on Hitler of 20 July 1944, his involvement in a conspiracy in 1938 came to light, which led to his arrest and imprisonment in Flossenbürg concentration camp
He was freed by U.S. troops in May 1945. In camp Flossenburg, Wilhelm Canaris and Hans Oster were killed only days before the end of the war. Feldmarschall der Artillerie, Walther von Brauchitsch
became Supreme Commander of the Army in 1938 and was decisively involved in planning Operation Barbarossa. He was dismissed on 19-12-1941 because of the military defeat at Moscow and transferred Officers Reserve. Not useful for Hitler’s war fare and without any command since 1941 anymore, he was retired on 31-01-1944, age 58. He still was captured by the Americans, who surrendered him to the Russian Forces, where he was in prison until 1955.
Death and burial ground of Förster, Otto Wilhelm.
He was released after the intervention of the Chancellor Konrad Adenauer,
after ten years in prison. Retiring in Walsrode, Otto Wilhelm Förster died at the age of 71, on 24-06-1966 and is buried with his wife Susanne, born Felsch, on the Stadtfriedhof of Walsrode.