Groppe, Theodor, born 16-08-1882 in Trier,
also called the “Black General”, came from a family of landowners, lawyers, doctors and officers from the Prince-Bishopric of Paderborn, where she provided Gultenmeister and tithe masters. Theodor attended the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium in Trier and then became an officer. He was strongly influenced by Catholicism.
Theodor Groppe’s father, Eduard Groppe, was first an officer and then a bookseller. Theodor Groppe was married to Anna Adelina Irma, born Schwarz, and had four children with her. One son was the writer Lothar Groppe SJ ( July 30, 1927 in Münster; † November 17, 2019)
in Berlin, he was a German Jesuit and military chaplain and publicist. After the war, Lothar Groppe studied law, entered the Jesuit order in 1948 and was ordained a priest on 31-07-1959. He taught at grammar schools, worked in military chaplaincy from 1962 and from 1963 to 1971 as a lecturer and military dean at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff Academy in Hamburg, which trains general and admiral staff officers. From 1973 to 1987 he held lectures and seminars for the Austrian general staff courses. For a time he headed the German section of Radio Vatican. From 1982 to 2006 he worked as a hospital chaplain in Berlin and Bad Pyrmont, then until the end of 2007 as a house chaplain in Berlin. In the meantime he lived in Cologne-Mülheim and as a pastor in the mother-child clinic “Maria Meeresstern” in Niendorf. Since August 2015 he has lived in the Peter Faber House, his order’s retirement home in Berlin-Kladow, where he died in November 2019. His grave is in the burial place of the Jesuits in the Catholic Cathedral Cemetery of St. Hedwig in Berlin-Reinickendorf
Theodor joined the Army on 25-04-1900, age 17, as a Fahnenjunker in the 2nd
Lothringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 131
. He is in the fields of the first war as a Hauptman in his Regiment and awarded with both the Iron Crosses
. Groppe is wounded in 1915
and assigned to the General Staff and is wounded again in 1918 and received the Pour le Merité
decoration. He is allowed in the new Reichswehr and on 31-01-1933 promoted to Generalmajor, under Generalfeldmarschall der Infanterie, Werner von Blomberg
. Meanwhile Generalleutnant, 01-11-1939, he is commander of the 214th
with the outbreak of World War II. His successor was Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Max Horn,
Horn would die at the old age of 92, on 02-11-1992, in Nuremburg. When Groppe heard of the excesses against Jews in his region, he ordered the whole 1st
Army under Generaloberst der Infanterie, Johannes Blaskowitz
to stop this, even when armed forces were necessary. He also protested when Heinrich Himmler
admonished the SS members to propagate themselves without marriage agreements. Because of these protests he looses his command and lands in the infamous Führer Reserve
. He is supported by Generaloberst der Artillerie, OB Army Group Noord
, Ritter Wilhem von Leeb
but they can’t change Himmler’s decision. He is retired from the Army, political unreliable, and looses also his rank and the rights of wearing a uniform anymore in the spring of 1942. He looses his retirement compensation too and pushed out from the community. Trailed by the Gestapo on 21-07-1944, for cowardice and resistance, he is condemned to death and transferred to the Fortress Küstrin.
On 26-04-1945 he escaped with the help of Major Leussing from the fortress, as his execution was ordered on 27-04-1945.
Death and burial of Groppe, Theodor, also called the “Black General”.