Zeitzler, Kurt.

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Zeitzler, Kurt, born 09-06-1895 in Cossmar-Luckau, the son of the pastor, from a family of pastors, Hermann Zeitzler, and his wife Elise Zeitzler, born Ullrich. At the age of 18 Kurt joined the 4th Thuringian Infantry Regiment of the German Army on 23-03-1914. Five months later Germany was at war. Zeitzler was promoted to Leutnant in December, 1914, and commanded various units, including a pioneer detachment. At the end of the war he was a regimental adjutant and joined the German Army. Zeitzler was chosen as one of the 4.000 officers selected to serve in the new  Reichswehr , the small German army permitted under the limits of the Treaty of Versailles. The Reichswehr was limited to a standing army of 100,000 men, and a navy of 15,000. Seven infantry divisions, and three cavalry divisions.

Zeitzler was promoted to Hauptmann in January, 1928  and became one of the early supporters of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. In 1934 he joined the first panzer forces and by 1938 had reached the rank of Oberst. On the outbreak of the World War II Zeitzler was in the 14th Army and served under Generaloberst Siegmund List  during the invasion of Poland, commanding the XXII (Motorized) Corps in the 14th Army. In 1940 he was appointed as Chief of Staff to General Paul von Kleist

  and saw action in France in 1940. He held this position with Kleist in Greece and in the Soviet Union. In January 1942, Zeitzler became Chief of Staff to General Gerd von Rundstedt  and played an important role in defeating the Allies at Dieppe on 19th August. Adolf Hitler (did you know), heard good reports of Zeitzler and considered appointing him to a senior post at GHQ. Despite objections from Wilhelm Keitel

and Alfred Jodl, Hitler decided in September 1942 that Zeitzler should replace General Franz Halder  as Chief of General Staff. At first Zeitzler went along with Hitler’s military decision but the two clashed over his “no withdrawal” policy in the Soviet Union. Zeitzler attempted to resign after the disaster at Stalingrad (see Friedrich Paulus) (see Walter Heitz) (see Carl Hilpert) but Adolf Hitler (did you know) refused to accept it.

  After further disagreements Zeitzler claimed ill-health and on 20th July 1944, after the bomb attack on Hitler in the Wolfschanze, left office.

The 20 July plot  was a failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, the chancellor and leader of Nazi Germany, and subsequently overthrow the Nazi regime on 20 July 1944. The plotters were part of the German resistance, mainly composed of Wehrmacht officers. The leader of the conspiracy, Claus von Stauffenberg,

planned to kill Hitler by detonating an explosive hidden in a briefcase. However, due to the location of the bomb at the time of detonation, the blast only dealt Hitler minor injuries. The planners’ subsequent coup attempt also failed and resulted in a purge of the Wehrmacht.

As early as 1938, German military officers had plotted to overthrow Hitler, but indecisive leadership and the pace of global events stymied action. Plotters gained a sense of urgency in 1943, after Germany lost the Battle of Stalingrad and Soviet forces began to push towards Germany. Under the leadership of Stauffenberg, plotters tried to assassinate Hitler at least five different times in 1943 and 1944. With the Gestapo closing in on the plotters, a final attempt was organized in July 1944. Stauffenberg personally took a briefcase full of explosives to a conference in the Wolf’s Lair. The explosives were armed and placed next to Hitler, but it appears they were moved unwittingly at the last moment behind a table leg by  Oberst i G Heinz Brandt,

saving Hitler’s life. Oberst i. G. Heinz Brandt,was the substitute for Generalleutnant Adolf Bruno Heusinger

  during this meeting, his most unlucky day. When the bomb detonated, it killed Brandt and tree others, and injured the rest of the room’s occupants, one of whom, Rudolf Schmundt    later died from his injuries. Hitler’s pants were singed by the blast, and he suffered a perforated eardrum and conjunctivitis, but was otherwise unharmed. Other victims are Heinrich BergerBerger, Heinrich stenographer and General der Flieger Günther Korten,

  Chef Generale Staf Luftwaffe.

Hitler was furious and dismissed him from the German Army. At the end of the war, Zeitzler was captured by British troops. He was a prisoner of war until the end of February, 1947. He appeared as a witness for the defense during the Nuremberg trials, and worked with the Operational History Section (German) of the Historical Division of the U. S. Army.

Death and burial ground of Zeitzler, Kurt.


The family said that Kurt had died “after a long hard time of suffering” at the age of 69 on 25-09-1963 in Hohenaschau and he is buried on the local cemetery of Aschau im Chiemgau, Abt II, alas his gravestone has been removed and the spot has a new grave as Wolfgang Linke reported me .

Message(s), tips or interesting graves for the webmaster:    robhopmans@outlook.com



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