Lindemann, Georg Heinrich

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Lindemann, Georg Heinrich, born on 08-03-1884 in Osterburg Altmark in the Province of Saxony. Georg was a 1st cousin of Dr. jurist Ernst Lindemann, father of Kapitain zur See, Ernst Lindemann  , the only commander of the German battleship Bismarck. As the damaged Bismarck turned over, the two stood briefly to attention, then Lindemann and his messenger saluted. As the ship rolled to port, the messenger fell into the water. Lindemann, age 47, continued his salute while clinging to the flag mast, going under with the ship in the North Atlantic on 27-05-1941  .

Lindemann joined the Prussian Officer corps and served in the World War I on both the Eastern Front and the Western Front. After the war, he joined Von Lettow’s Freikorps, von Lettow died age 93, on 09-03-1964, in Pronstorf

 and during the civil unrest of 1919, helped to crush the Communist Workers Council in Hamburg. In 1930, Lindemann was serving as Commanding officer of the 13th Reiter Regiment. With the rise of the NSDAP, Lindemann was promoted to Commander of the Kriegsschule in Hanover. He occupied this position until 1936. In 1936, Lindemann was promoted to Generalleutnant and given command of the 36th Infanterie Division . The division was involved in guarding the Saar region during the Invasion of Poland, and it then took part in the Invasion of France. At the end of the Western campaign, Lindemann was promoted to Cavalry General and given command of the German L Army Corps  In June 1941, at the launch of Operation Barbarossa, Lindemann’s Corps was a part of Army Group North. Lindemann commanded the corps during the Army Group North’s advance towards Leningrad. His unit was briefly shifted to the command of Army Group Centre during the operations to capture Smolensk.  Lindemann’s corps was then shifted back to Army Group North. On 16-01-1942, Lindemann took the command of the German Eighteenth Army, a part of Army Group North. Later, in the summer of 1942, he was promoted to Generaloberst. Lindemann commanded the German Eighteenth Army throughout the campaigns around Leningrad and during the January 1944 retreat from Oranienbaum to Narva. Until 4 February 1944, the Sponheimer Group which defended the Narva Line was subordinated to the 18th Army commanded by Lindemann. Lindemann  here awarding the Knights Cross to Major Alfons Rebane , commander of a Estonian volunteer battalion, Summer 1944, was promoted to command of Army Group North on 31-03-1944. His command of the Army Group was short-lived, and on 04-07-1944 he was relieved and transferred to the Reserve Army. Allegedly German dictator Adolf Hitler (did you know) gave as reason for this change that Lindemann had become too old and too weak. After serving a few months in the Reserve Army, Lindemann was put in command of a new staff called “Führungsstab Ostseeküste”. From 01-02-1945, he held the post as the “Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces in Denmark”, thereby coming in command of all German troops in Denmark. Because of this Lindemann concentrated on erecting blocking-positions on the Great and Little Belt. When the end of the war loomed on the horizon, Lindemann telegraphed a message to Hitlers successor Großadmiral Karl Dönitz, in which he highlighted the hopelessness of a defence of Denmark.
On the 4th of May 1945 German forces in Denmark capitulated. The civilian administrator of Denmark, Werner Best    gestapo-mitgruender-werner, had put himself under the protection of the Danish Liberty movement. Lindemann himself though wanted to continue the fight. He reported to Dönitz that he had 230.000 men at his disposal and that he would have Best executed as a traitor. After the war, Best was part of a network that helped former Nazis and spent his time “campaigning for a general amnesty”. He died in Mülheim am Ruhr, old age 85, on 23-06-1989.
Dönitz ordered Lindemann to take Best prisoner and to cooperate with the British forces.  In April 1945, when the end of the war was apparent to almost all German commanders, Lindemann issued an order to his troops to preserve strict discipline. He further ordered that Denmark had to be defended to the last bullet. On 3 May, Lindemann went to the Naval Academy at Mürwik to participate in a meeting with the OKW, the new government and the new German Head of State, Großadmiral Karl Dönitz

    Lindmann informed Dönitz that he would be able to hold Denmark for at least some time, and he and his colleague in Norway, General der Gebirgstruppe, Franz Böhme , Böhme stood trial in Nuremberg for having massacred thousands of Serbian civilians. He committed suicide in prison, age 62, on 29-05-1947. Dönitz however, sued for immediate peace, and Germany surrendered unconditionally in northwest Germany, Holland and Denmark on 05-05-1945. As commander of “Army Lindemann”, Lindemann was then tasked with the dismantling of the German occupation of Denmark until 06-06-1945, when he was arrested at his headquarters in Silkeborg. Lindemann was a POW in American custody until 1948. He was not charged for war crimes by either the Allies or by Denmark. After his release, Lindemann went into retirement in Freudestadt. In 1948 Lindemann claimed that he quite often told leading members of the NSDAP  to keep out of his business. “I don’t mess with the political concerns of the party, so keep out of my military business. Otherwise I will turn hostile.” His statements are strengthened by a report of the former General of the Luftwaffe Herbert Rieckhoff who wrote in 1945 that “when during the war you were guest at Lindemann’s table, you could have classed every word said as high treason.”

Death and burial ground of Lindemann, Georg Heinrich.

 Georg Lindeman died on 25-09-1963, age 79 and is buried with his wife Maria, who died in 2005, very old age 96, on the Stadfriedhof of Freudestadt. We visited the graveside in 2005 just as Lindemann’s wife had died and their was a temporary wooden cross on the grave. Wolfgang Linke from Frankfurt am Main visited the grave much later in 2014 and found the original gravestone now with the name of his wife too. Wolfgang kindly sent me the latest grave pictures.

 

    

Cemetery and grave location of Lindemann, Georg Heinrich.

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