Krebs, Hans, born 04-03-1898 in Helmstedt, volunteered for service in the Imperial German Army in 1914, becoming an officer in 1915. Krebs spoke fluent Russian. He was promoted to leutnant in 1915, and to first leutnant in 1925. Krebs was a career officer, and reached the position of chief of staff of various army groups until he became a General of Infantry.
In 1931, Krebs worked in the Defence Ministry, where he maintained contacts with the Red Army in the context of joint military exercises conducted by the two countries. Krebs held strong racist and anti-Communist views, as evidenced by his description of the members of the Soviet military delegation that visited Berlin in 1932: “a sly and cunning Jew,… [and] a Jewish half-breed … insincere, with a suspicious and treacherous nature, apparently a fanatic Communist.” Krebs reached the position of chief of staff of various army groups. While serving on the Eastern Front, Krebs was promoted to the rank of Generalmajor when Chief of Staff of the 9th Army, under command of Marshal Walter Model, in February 1942. In March 1943, he was made Chief of Staff of Army Group Centre. In April 1943, he was promoted to Generalleutnant and became a General of Infantry in August 1944. Krebs served as Chief of Staff of Army Group B also under command of Marshal Model, on the Western Front from September 1944 until February 1945 when he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Army General Staff
In 1936, Krebs was posted to the German embassy in Moscow as acting military attache; he held this position up to the invasion of the Soviet Union. As such, he played a role in the Wehrmacht’s faulty intelligence into the capabilities of the Red Army
As Chief of the Army General Staff, Krebs was in the Führerbunker below the Reich Chancellery garden during the Battle of Berlin. On 28-04-1945, Krebs made his last telephone call from the Führerbunker. He called Generalfeldmarschall der Artillerie, Wilhelm Keitel at the new Supreme Command Headquarters in Fürstenberg. He told Keitel that, if relief did not arrive within 48 hours, all was lost. Keitel promised to exert the utmost pressure on General der Panzertruppe, Walter Wenckhe died age 81, on 01-05-1981, in a car accident, who commanded the German 12th Army and General der Infanterie, Theodor Busse,
Walter Wenck. Hermann Fegelein. Wilhelm Moncke. Wilhelm Burgdorf.
who commanded the German 9th Army. The 12th Army was attacking towards Berlin from the west and the 9th Army was attacking from the south. On 22 April, Adolf Hitler (did you know) had ordered both of these armies to link up and come to the relief of Berlin. In addition, forces under Generalleutnant der Artillerie, Rudolf Holste were to have attacked towards Berlin from the north. Later on 28 April, when it was discovered that SS Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler was trying to negotiate a backdoor surrender to the western Allie via Count Folke Bernadotte, Krebs became part of a military tribunal ordered by Hitler to court-martial Himmler’s SS liaison officer Hermann Fegelein. Fegelein, by that time was Eva Braun’s (see Braun parents) brother-in-law, as he married sister Gretl Braun. Fegelein was executed in the bunker garden for cowardice, age 38 on 29-04-1945, a day before Hitler’s and Eva Braun’s suicide. SS-Brigade General, Wilhelm Mohnke he died old age 90, on 06-08-2001, in Damp, presided over the tribunal which, in addition to Krebs and Mohnke, included SS-General, stayed in the Führerbunker till the end, Johan Rattenhuber and General Wilhelm Burgdorf, suicide age 50, on 02-02-1945. However, Fegelein was so drunk that he was determined to be in no condition to stand trial. Mohnke closed the proceedings and turned Fegelein over to Rattenhuber and his security squad. On 29 April, Krebs, Burgdorf, Joseph Goebbels (did you know) and Martin Bormann, suicide on 02-05-1945, age 43, witnessed and signed the last will and testament of Adolf Hitler.
Martin Bormann. Yuri Andropov. Helmut Weidling.
Hitler dictated the document to his personal private secretary, Traudl Junge-Humps.
Martin Bormann was head of the Party Chancellery and private secretary to Hitler. Late that evening, Krebs contacted Generaloberst Alfred Jodl (Supreme Army Command) by radio and made the following demands: “Request immediate report. Firstly, of the whereabouts of Wenck’s spearheads. Secondly, of time intended to attack. Thirdly, of the location of the 9th Army. Fourthly, of the precise place in which the 9th Army will break through. Fifthly, of the whereabouts of General Holste’s spearhead.” In the early morning of 30 April, Jodl replied to Krebs: “Firstly, Wenck’s spearhead bogged down south of Schwielow Lake. Secondly, 12th Army therefore unable to continue attack on Berlin. Thirdly, bulk of 9th Army surrounded. Fourthly, Holste’s Corps on the defensive.” Later that day, the Soviet forces continued to fight their way into the centre of Berlin. Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide at around 15:30 hrs, carried upstairs to the garden by SS Sturmbannführer, Otto Günsche, Martin Bormann and SS Obersturmbannführer, Hitler’s driver Erich Kempka and burned. In accordance with Hitler’s last will and testament, Grossadmiral, Karl Dönitz was named Hitler’s successor as Head of State, with the title of Reichspresident and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The same document named the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Joseph Goebbels as “Head of Government” with the title of Chancellor As Chief of the Army General Staff, OKH. On 1 May, within hours of Hitler’s suicide on April 30, Goebbels sent Krebs and Oberst Theodor von Dufving, under a white flag, to deliver a letter he had written to General, Vasily Chuikov. Oberst Dufving was General Helmuth Weidling’s, he died in Russia, age 64, on 17-11-1955, Chief of Staff. The letter contained surrender terms acceptable to Goebbels. General Vasillii Chuikov, as commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army, commanded the Soviet forces in central Berlin. Krebs arrived shortly before 4 a.m. and took Chuikov by surprise. Krebs, who spoke Russian, informed Chuikov that Hitler and Eva Braun, his wife, had killed themselves in the Führerbunker. Chuikov, who was not aware that there was a bunker complex under the Reich Chancellery or that Hitler was married, calmly said that he already knew all of this. Chuikov was not, however, prepared to accept the terms in Goebbels’ letter or to negotiate with Krebs. The Soviets were unwilling to accept anything other than unconditional surrender, as it was agreed with the other Allies. Krebs was not authorized by Goebbels to agree to such terms, however, and so the meeting ended with no agreement. According to Traudl Junge, Krebs returned to the bunker looking “worn out, exhausted”. Krebs’s surrender of Berlin was thus impeded as long as Goebbels was alive. At around 8 p.m. on the evening of 1 May, Goebbels removed this impediment. Shortly after killing their own children, Goebbels and his wife, Magda Goebbels, left the bunker complex and went up to the garden of the Reich Chancellery. They each bit on a cyanide ampule and either shot themselves at the same time, or were given a coup de grâce immediately afterwards by the SS guard. Their bodies were then burned by Goebbels’ adjutant, SS Hauptsturmführer Günther Schwägermann, he disappeared in 1947, escaped from American prison. After Goebbels’ death, Krebs was now suicidal himself. The responsibility for surrendering the city fell to General of the Artillery General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling, the commander of the Berlin Defense Area.
Death and burial ground of Krebs, Hans.
As the Soviets advanced on the Reich Chancellery, Krebs was last seen by others, including Junge, in the Führerbunker when they left to attempt to escape. Junge relates how she approached Krebs to say goodbye and how he straightened up and smoothed his uniform before greeting her for the last time. Krebs and at least two other senior officers, including General Wilhelm Burgdorf and SS Standartenführer Peter Högl, along with SS Untersturmführer Franz Schädle of the SS-Begleitkommando des Führers, stayed behind with the stated intention of committing suicide, with deatly pills. Franz Schädle Schädle stands to the right of the soldier greeted by Himmler (left) The bodies of Krebs and Burgdorf were found when Soviet personnel entered the bunker complex. They had committed suicide by gunshot to the head, Schädle also committed suicide and Högl was wounded in the head during an attempted crossing of the Weidendammer Bridge, during the break out and died of his injuries on 02-05-1945. His body was autopsied by the Russians. Thereafter, the corpses of Krebs, the Goebbels family along with the remains of Hitler, Eva Braun and Hitler’s dog Blondi were repeatedly buried and exhumed by the Soviets.
The last burial had been at the SMERSH facility in the Westendstrasse, No 32 and 36, Magdeburg on 21-02-1946. In 1970, KGB director Yuri Andropov authorized an operation to destroy the. On 04-04-1970, a Soviet KGB team with detailed burial charts secretly exhumed five wooden boxes. The remains from the boxes were thoroughly burned and crushed, after which the ashes were thrown into the Ehle river, from the bridge Schweinebrücke, Pig Bridge, Magdeburgerstrasse near Dieberitz. Picture Westendstrasse: Copyright After the Battle magazine
Schweinebrücke, Pig Bridge, over the river Ehle, Biederitz.