Neumann, Friedrich Wilhelm.

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Neumann, Friedrich Wilhelm, born 22-01-1889, three months before Adolf Hitler (did you know),in the royal palace of Osterode/East Prussia, the third child from the royal pensioner Louis Neuman and Anna Neumann, born Berger. Friedrich hat two brothers, Otto and Franzl, and one sister, Hertha. Friedrich was married in Mühlheim to Hanna Emma Luise Hubertina Erdmann ( 08-12-1883/ 24-03-1992). Daughter Ursula Marie-Anne Ute Helena Dora Neumann born in Stettin, deceased in Bad Wiessee. Friedrich after his education joined the Army Service, age 17, as a Fahnenjunker in the 2nd Ermlandisches Infantry Regiment Nr. 151 .He went to the Infantry School and on 18-11-1907 promoted to Leutnant. On 01-10-1913 he became an Adjutant of the III. Battalions in the 37th Infantry Division, in Lensburg. He was in the fields with this Division and assigned to Oberleutnant. He was wounded in his back during action and awarded with the wounded badge He never completely recovered from these wounds. After he war he as many desperate soldiers joined one of the many Frei Corpse’s and allowed in the new 100.000 men Reichswehr. He climbed up the ranks to Oberst on 01-04-1936. Neumann never was a fan of the Nazi party and hated that he took the oath on Hitler, but had no choise like all Wehrmacht soldiers. “That was our biggest mistake” he will say to Erwin Rommel later in France.

Friedrich Wilhelm appointed as commander of the 17th Infantry Regiment on 01-04-1938, in Braunschweig and led this Regiment in the Poland Invasion.

One of Adolf Hitler’s first major foreign policy initiatives after coming to power in 1933 was to sign a non-aggression pact with Poland in January 1934. This move was unpopular with many Germans who supported Hitler but resented the fact that Poland had received the former German provinces of West Prussia, Poznan (Poznań), and Upper Silesia after World War I under the Treaty of Versailles. However, Hitler sought the non-aggression pact in order to neutralize the possibility of a French-Polish military alliance against Germany before Germany had a chance to rearm in the aftermath of the Great War.

On 01-12-1939 Neumann was  assigned as commander of the 19th Infantry Division  and mid November 1940 commander of 340th Infantry Division, by redesignating the 572. Volksgrenadier-Division , under the command of General Theodor Tolsdorff “The Mad”.

  He was transferred with his division to France in Mai 1941, region of Lille, with headquarters in Roubaix. In june 1941 his division was transferred again, now to the Canal coast near Calais, with headquarters in Ardesch and was promoted to Generalleutnant on 01-02-1942. He lost his command on 01-03-1942 and landed in the Fuhrer Reserve. In April 1942 he was assigned as commander of the 712th Infantry Division , in Sens, he succeeded Generalmajor der Infanterie, Georg Döhren.

In June he was transferred to Holland (see About), between Blankenberg, Belgium and Terneuzen, Holland, with headquarters in Oostburg, Province of Zeeland. His task was the expansion of the Atlantic Wall and on 30-10-1943 he received the German Cross in Gold. He got temporary command of the LXXXIX Army Corps in Antwerpen, Belgium. He then took command again of the 712th Division and half January 1944 his division was renamed in “Corps Neumann” and his name was in the Wehrmacht Report for bravery in the retreating battles after Normandy

    Felix Schwalbe (left), Friedrich-Wilhelm Neumann (center) and Günther “Hans” von Kluge (right) in April 1944  His division destroyed 161 Sherman tanks and he was awarded with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 16-10-1944. From end November 1944 he was the temporary commander of the XXX Army Corps and again the command of the 712th. He lost his command on the eastern Front end January 1945 and in the Reserve  until 25-02-1945. He then was assigned as commander of Corps von Tettau, but as this corps already was surrounded he couldn’t take over this command. His last command was of the General Command XXXIII Army Corps from 05-04-1945 and from 22-04-1945 the General Command of Trondheim until the end of the war. He was in captivity from 08-05-1945 in different prison camps and first released end February 1948.

Back in Germany he was visited by an American intelligence officer: “Finally we got you.” But he made a mistake about the name. The search was still on for the escaped Waffen SS Brigadeführer and Kommandant of Einsatzgruppe B. Eric Naumann,   who had been responsible for the raids during the hunger winter in the Netherlands when masses of men were picked up to work as slave laborers in Germany. Life during the hunger winter has come to a standstill, especially in the big cities. Food is the only thing that matters. The number of victims is not recorded. The number of fatalities is estimated between 15,000 and 25,000.

Neumann can talk like Brugman, they didn’t believe him. He has made all kinds of attempts to prove his innocence. When Neumann is released after months unjustly in a cell as a war criminal, his health is in bad shape. The American intelligence service finally found out that she had made a mistake about Neumann and apologized to him. Finally he returned sick to Bad Wiessee near Munich where he saw his wife and daughter again. Mrs. Neumann worked in a factory where she packed chocolates to earn some income. Neumann himself went to work as a porter in a nightclub. Later, when the Allies agreed, he received his pension. He made himself valuable as chairman of a foundation for help to widows of fallen officers.

Death and burial ground of Neumann, Friedrich Wilhelm.

Living in Bad Wiessee, Bavaria, he at the old age of 86 died, on 26-01-1975 and is buried with his wife Hanna, who died very old age 98, on 24-03-1992, on the cemetery of Bad Wiessee, The couple had on daughter, Ursula, who as an only child, admired her father

Only steps away the graves of Field Marshal, Smiling, Albert Kesselring

  and Field Marshal, Werner Blomberg. Bad Wiessee was the place where the Knight of the Long Knives took place as SA leader, Ernst Röhm was taken prisoner and other SA leaders Edmund Heines and August Schneidhuber    were killed. The Night of the Long Knives between 30 June and 02-07-1934 saw the killing of approximately 82 SA men, including almost its entire leadership, effectively ending the power of the SA.


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