Köstring, Ernst August.

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Köstring, Ernst August, born 20-06-1876 in Moscow, Russia, son of Roland Köster, former diplomat in Paris and his wife Emilie, born Gade, grew up in St Petersburg and was fluent in Russian at an early age. The upbringing in the family was shaped by Protestant values. From August 1885 he attended the secondary school of St. Michaelis Church in Moscow. Here he received his school leaving certificate in 1894. He joined the Army on 01-10-1895, age 19, as a young volunteer in the Königlich Preußische Armee, with the 1st Pommersches Ulanen-Regiment „von Schmidt“ Nr.4  in Thorn. During the first was he as a Rittmeister was serving in different Staffs and severely wounded in 1916 . He took part in World War I, serving under Major General Hans von Seeckt in the Austro-Hungarian Seventh Army. Recovered and with the both Iron Crosses  he was sent to Turkey as a Military Attaché. He remained in the new Reichswehr after the war and again sent as a Military Attaché, now to Moscow, where he was born. He was retired from the active Army as a Generalmajor, on 31-03-1933, age 56.

From 01-08-1935 he was in active service again, in the growing Wehrmacht as a Military Attaché sent to Russia and Litauen. Promoted to Generalleutnant on 01-08-1937- and on 01-10-1940 as General of the Kavallerie, still in Moscow.

On 08-08-1940 Köstring was warned by General Franz Halder that “he would have to answer a lot of questions soon”. Making him one of a few people who knew what would happen with Russia despite the Non-aggression pact. With the beginning of the Russian campaign where he had been involved in the intrigue leading up to Operation Barbarossa his position in Moscow was untenable and was repatriated under diplomatic immunity and assigned to the Führerreserve awaiting the next assignment. At the beginning of Operation Barbarossa he was placed in the Führer Reserve and on 01-09-1942 responsible for Kaukasus question with the Army Group A, under Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Sigmund List.

 Köstring again landed in the Reserve in the spring of 1943 and became the Inspector of the Turkish/ German Forces. He was appointed as General of the Volunteer Corpses in the High Command of the OKW . For this command he was awarded with the Knight’s Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords  on 04-11-1944.

On 04-05-1945 Ernst-August Köstring was taken prisoner of war near Bad Aibling in the United States. He spent the first few weeks in the Bad Aibling camp near Rosenheim. He was then flown out to the USA and stayed for about three months in a special camp near Washington to answer questions about German-Russian military events, especially about the years of military cooperation in the Weimar Republic and after 1933. When he returned to Germany, he was to testify in court as a defense witness in the case of Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop

  during the Nuremberg Trial. However, the representatives of the Soviet Prosecution at the trial rejected this request. He continued to stay in prisoner-of-war camps on German territory, most recently in the Ludwigsburg prison camp. He was released home from here in 1947. In Mai 1945 in was in captivity and released in 1947.

Death and burial ground of Köstring, Ernst August.

Living in Unterwössen, Köstring died at the age of 77, on 20-11-1953 and is buried with his wife Theodora Angelika Hyacinthe Helene Maria Köstring (Freiin von Liebieg), who died age 82 on 06-12-1984 in Prien am Chiemsee, on the cemetery of Unterwössen, near the Austrian border, close to the grave of honour of WWII General der Gebirgstruppe, Kommandeur der 30th Infanterie Division , Karl Le Suire and State Secretary, Otto Meissner.

 

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