Meinhold, Günther.

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Meinhold, Günther, nicknamed “Father Meinhold” born 12-05-1989, one month after Adolf Hitler

in Altdamm, His father Julius Philipp Bogislaw Meinhold (1844-1889) was a senior medical officer in the Prussian Army.

Günther Meinhold joined the Army as a Fahnenjunker in the 54th Infantry Regiment, Regiment von Rüdiger von der Golz, 440px-RvonderGoltz age 18, on 11-01-1908. Von der Golz died old age 80 on 04-11-1946. Meinhold was promoted to Leutnant on 16-07-1909. He was in the fields of the first war with his regiment and was awarded with both the Iron Crosses and other high decorations. Meinhold retired on 11-06-1920 from the Army Service and entered the Police Service as a Major following, in Berlin, Cottbus and Gleiwitz. The Gleiwitz incident was a staged attack by Nazi forces posing as Poles on 31-08-1939, against the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, on the eve of World War II in Europe. gleiwitzHe was reactivated in the growing Wehrmacht and assigned as commander of the II Battalion of the 50th Infantry Regiment in Küstrin. Promoted to Oberst on 01-08-1937 in the Staff of the 50th Infantry Regiment in Landsberg/Warthe. He was appointed as Commander of the 122nd Border Infantry Regiment which was renamed in the 122nd Infantry Regiment with the begin of World War II, until February 1942. He received the decoration the Star of Rumania with Swords and became a Generamajor on 01-04-1942. Meinhold was the Battle Commander in Dnjepropetrowsk and Kriwoij-Rog between Mai 1942 and 05-03-1944. He then was assigned as Fortress Commander of Genua from 05-03-1944. He didn’t follow Hitler’s order to destroy the Genua, survived and he organized the capitulation of his German-Italian forces at the end of April 1945.Meinhold, who initially stayed with his companion in Villa Migone, then gave his units the order to stop fighting from 26-04-1945. After this was reported immediately to the headquarters, the German radio announced the death sentence on Meinhold. However, after he was already in custody of the partisans, he was protected against unauthorized attempts to enforce it by fanatic naval officers, who initially refused to surrender but had to surrender the following day. The partisans celebrated with the inhabitants of Genoa their liberation from the German occupation, which they had happily achieved themselves, and handed Meinhold and the German soldiers to them two days later after the arrival of the Allied troops. Meinhold was interned in various US Army prison camps in Italy and Germany, most recently in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, from 30-04-1945 and was interrogated as a witness in the OKW trial against Generaloberst Karl Adolf Hollidt in Nuremberg. His relative Wilhelm Meinhold sent me some papers with his original signature from 1945.  Meinhold was in American captivity for two years.

Death and burial ground of Meinhold, Günther.

 

After his release, he returned to his family in Hardegsen near Göttingen on 26-06-1947, where he was initially hostile to some of his fellow citizens because of his surrender. With his former soldiers, however, he was called “Father Meinhold” because of his responsible and caring attitude. He was a co-founder and later honorary chairman of the traditional community of the 50th Infantry Division and was involved in the creation of the division’s history. The divisional monument in Göttingen also goes back to his initiative. His efforts, particularly for the rescue of Genoa and the soldiers entrusted to him there, were recognized during his lifetime and on the occasion of his death on 21-02-1979 in his home country.

Meinhold died at the old age of 89 on 21-02-1979 and is buried with his wife Jenny, born Humbert, who died age 85, in 1986, on the Stadtfriedhof of Göttingen between many General colleagues. Wilhelm Meinhold kindly also sent me an original photo of the grave side.

 

 

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