Wilhelm Keitel: biography, photos, quotes


2018-03-17 17:46:19




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German field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel (1882-1946), a senior military adviser to Adolf Hitler during the Second world war, was convicted at the Nuremberg trials in 1946 for crimes against humanity. What do we know about this man and how is it that, rising to chief of the armed forces of Nazi Germany, he so ignominiously ended their journey?Wilhelm Keitel surrender

Little Willie

22 Sep 1882 in a small estate Helmert, which is located in the scenic Harz mountains the province of Braunschweig in Northern Germany, was born the Wilhelm Johann Gustav Keitel. The family of Carl Keitel and Apollonia Keitel, parents of the future field Marshal of Nazi Germany, was not very rich. All his life farming, father William was forced to pay its creditors for the estate, purchased at the time of his father, the Royal Advisor for the Northern district of Lower Saxony Karl Keitel.

The Wedding, the parents of Wilhelm was played in 1881, and in September of the following year was born their first son Willie. Unfortunately, the happiness did not last long, and at the age of 6 years Wilhelm Keitel was orphaned. Apollonia, giving life in birth pains Bodewin, second son and future General, commander of land forces of the Wehrmacht died in childbirth from infection.

Childhood and adolescence V. Keitel

Up To 10 years Willy was in the house under the supervision of his father. Learning school science was conducted by the home teachers, who specially came from göttingen. Only in 1892 Wilhelm Keitel was accepted for study at the Royal gymnasium of the city of göttingen. Special desire to study the boy did not show. The school years passed slowly and without interest. All thoughts of the future General was of a military career. He imagined himself a military leader on a spirited horse, which is subordinate to the hundreds of loyal soldiers. William begged his father to send him for training in the cavalry corps.


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But the parent was not sufficient funds for the maintenance of the horse, and then it was decided to send the fellow to the field artillery. So in 1900, Wilhelm Keitel becoming a volunteer, lower Saxony 46 th artillery regiment, which was stationed near the family estate in Helmscherode. Defining Wilhelm military service, Carl Keitel married A. Gregoire, teacher at home teaching his younger son Boudewijn.

Wilhelm Keitel: biography of a young officer

1901 – at the age of nineteen, Keitel becomes fanin Chamberlain 46 of the first division artillery regiment in wolfenbüttel.

1902 – after graduating from the military College in the city of Anklam, Wilhelm Keitel is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and appointed second Deputy commander of 2 Brunswick battery of artillery regiment 46. It is noteworthy that the neighboring 3rd battery, commanded by the future field Marshal günther von Kluge, famous for the fact that he delivered a speech in front of the Fuhrer about the inhumane treatment of Soviet prisoners of war.Wilhelm Keitel

Of 1904-1905, the year – the courses in artillery-infantry school near the town of Jüterbog, and then Keitel was promoted to regimental adjutant and began to serve under the command of von Stolzenberg.

18 APR 1909 heart 27-year-old officer won a young Lisa Fontaine, the daughter of the industrialist and the farmer from Hanover. The young people married. In the family of William and Lisa were born six children - three daughters and three sons. All the boys became military, and the daughter of William married officers of the third Reich.

The Continuation of military career

The News of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 caught spouses Keitel in Switzerland, where the young couple spent their next holiday. Wilhelm was forced to interrupt rest and to go urgently to the place of service.

In September 1914 in Flanders, Wilhelm Keitel received a severe shrapnel wound to the right forearm. After returning from the hospital to the regiment, Wilhelm Keitel in October, 1914, made in the rank of captain and appointed commander of his battery of the 46th artillery regiment. Further promotion of military officer on the career ladder took place very rapidly.

Wilhelm Keitel penalty

In March 1915 Wilhelm Keitel (photo presented in the review) is transferred to the General staff of 17th reserve corps. At the end of 1917, Keitel received the appointment of chief of military operations Department of the General staff of the marine corps. During the service until 1915 for the benefit of Germany, Keitel was repeatedly awarded by awards and medals, including the Iron cross of two degrees.

Between the First and Second

After the adoption of a new democratic Constitution on 31 July 1919 at the National constituent Assembly in Weimar was created by the Weimar Republic with its own army and Navy. Keitel gets into the ranks of the newly created army and was appointed chief quartermaster of the army corps.

In 1923, after teaching at the cavalry school (come true childhood dream), Keitel becomes a major. In subsequent years, he works in the Ministry of defence, was appointed Deputy chief of staff for tactical training, then - head of the Department of the Ministry of defence. In the summer of 1931 Keitel, the German delegation visited the Soviet Union.

field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel

In 1935, as major-General Wilhelm Keitel was appointed chief of the office of the German armed forces. After all the career ladder, February 4, 1938, Colonel-General Wilhelm Keitel becomes the Supreme commander of the armed forces of Germany.

Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel

This is a high military rank Keitel received for the successful Polish (in 1939) and the French (in 1940) campaign. It is noteworthy that he was a staunch opponent of the German attack on Poland and France, and the Soviet Union, as repeatedly mentioned Adolf Hitler. Prove it by historical documents. Twice Keitel because of disagreement with the policy of his boss to resign, but Hitler did not accept.

“Bloody” orders

Nevertheless, field Marshal remained loyal to the oath to the German people and its führer. June 6, 1941, on the eve of the great Patriotic war, he had signed “the Commissar Order" which read: “All captured military commanders, political officers, and the citizens of Jewish nationality are subject to immediate liquidation, i.e. shot on the spot”.

Wilhelm Keitel quotes16 September 1941, the Supreme commander of Nazi Germany issued a decree, under which all hostages on the Eastern front should be shot. By order of field Marshal the prisoners, the pilots of the regiment “Normandy-Neman” were not prisoners of war and were to be executed on the spot. Later at the Nuremberg trials in 1946, the military prosecutors read numerous decrees and orders, the author of which was Wilhelm Keitel. Execution of civilians, the shooting of Communists and non-party, the elimination of towns and villages in the occupied territories - all this was on the conscience of field Marshal W. Keitel.

Unconditional surrender

This legal document on the world with Germany, the Soviet people have waited long 1418 days. The people came to this great victory, spraying blood their land, step by step, meter by meter, losing on the way husbands, wives, children, brothers and sisters. May 8, 1945 in the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst was signed this historic document. On the Soviet side the act was signed by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, Germany - Wilhelm Keitel. The surrender is signed, now the world is no longer a threat of the brown plague.Wilhelm Keitel photo

The Fate of a German officer

Germany above all! These were the last words spoken by Keitel with a noose around his neck. After signing the act of unconditional surrender of Germany on 12 may 1945 field Marshal General Keitel, along with other war criminals of Nazi Germany was taken into custody. Soon the international military Tribunal called upon to answer all the minions of Adolf Hitler. They were charged with conspiracy against the world community, the preparation and conduct of military operations on the territory of other States, as well as crimes against humanity.

Field Marshal Keitel on the court desperately justified and said that all the orders he acted under the personal direction of Hitler. However, this argument was not evidence in court, and by all counts he was found guilty.

Wilhelm Keitel biography

On the Morning of 16 October 1946 were executed by the Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany, the personal adviser to the führer on foreign policy, Joachim von Ribbentrop. The second to the scaffold with her head held high went Keitel. The sentence of the German criminal was executed. The field Marshal has gone to join his soldiers.


After some of the Nuremberg Tribunal war criminals began to analyze the reasons for the defeat of the Third...

Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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