Kamptz, Gerhard von, born 27-12-1902 in Koppaschütz, district of Posen, in a noble family, was a Kapitän zur See with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves . The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. On 26-10-1933 he married Ruth Erna Elisabeth Jutta Sibylla Eleonore von Richthofen. He received the Knight’s Cross on 06-10-1940 as Korvettenkapitän and Chief of the 2nd Räumbootflottille. The 225th Oak Leaves on 14-04-1943 as Fregattenkapitän and Chief of the 8th Räumbootsflottille.
At the age of 14 he became a student at the Wahlstatt cadet institution in Silesia and two years later he joined the elite cadet institution Groß Lichterfelde in Berlin. From 01-04-1919 he was a cadet on the Main Cadet School in Gross Lichterfelde.
He on 03-04-1923 joined the Marine School in Kiel. On 08-04-1923 he was transferred to the II Schiffsstamm Division in the Ost Sea, for an infantry education with the 5th Company. After the training he came for service on board of the Line Ship “Hanover”, age 20 on 01-10-1923. With the outbreak of World War II he was the Chief of the 2nd Mine Hunter Flotilla. From 07-01-1941 as commander of the Security Region West. Appointed as Chief of the 4th Escorte Flotilla from 17-03-1943. Gerhard von Kamptz was made commander of the Danish island Bornholm on 05-03-1945, as part of the reorganisation of military authority during the German military and civilian evacuation of the Eastern regions of German-occupied Europe before the advancing Soviet Red Army. Von Kamptz refused to surrender the island to the Soviet forces, his instructions were to surrender only to British forces. As a result of this refusal, the Soviet Air Force bombed the towns of Rønne and Nexø on May 7-8, killing 9 Danes, destroying many hundreds of private homes, and damaging thousands.
Eventually, a German General, who had only recently arrived on the island, removed von Kamptz and informed the Soviets that he was willing to discuss terms of surrender. The Soviets occupied Bornholm, peacefully enough, and without mistreating the German POWs, and remained until April 1946. The legacy of the bombings was an enormous housing problem, which was, in part, alleviated by aid from neighbouring Sweden, which provided tools and materials for reconstruction. Kamptz was taken prisoner of war and first released on 01-01-1954 after invention of the new German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer.
Death and burial ground of Kamptz, Gerhard von.
Von Kamptz died at a very old age 95, on 16-05-1998 in Kiel and is buried with his wife Hedwig, born Schmetel, who died age 78, on 14-10-1959, on the Nordfriedhof of Kiel. Close by the graves of Vice Admiral, Karl Kaufmann, General Admiral Hermann Boehm, Chief of the Navy, General Admiral Walter Warzecha, Generaladmiral and commander of the Naval station Command East, Rolf Carls, General Admiral, commander of the SMS “Hessen” Wilhelm Marschall and Gross Admiral, Erich Raeder.