Friedrich Gollwitzer

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Friedrich Gollwitzer
1944 kapitulation witebsk vasilevsky chernyakovski gallwitzer hitter 3.jpg
206th Infantry Division's commander, Alfons Hitter (second from right) and corps commander Gollwitzer surrender to Soviet forces.
Born 27 April 1889
Died 25 March 1977(1977-03-25) (aged 87)
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1908–45
Rank General der Infanterie
Commands held 193. Infanterie-Division
88. Infanterie-Division
LIII. Armeekorps
Battles/wars World War I

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Friedrich Gollwitzer (27 April 1889 – 25 March 1977) was a highly decorated General der Infanterie in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the LIII. corps. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Friedrich Gollwitzer was captured by Soviet troops in June 1944 during the Vitebsk–Orsha Offensive, and was not released until October 1955.

Allegations of war crimes

In 1964 the public prosecutor's office in Amberg (West Germany) started an inquiry against Gollwitzer over his alleged involvement in war crimes. In 1968 Central Office of the State Justice Administrations for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes in Ludwigsburg received a letter from Ferdinand D. – a Wehrmacht veteran – who accused Gollwitzer of committing several atrocities during the Invasion of Poland in 1939. In his letter the veteran stated that: “activities of 41st Infantry Regiment under the command of Colonel Gollwitzer (...) were nothing less than genocide. Despite the fact that in Poland there were no partisans at that time almost no village from Kalisz to Warsaw had survived because Gollwitzer sparked an obsession with the partisans in his soldiers' minds”. In particular, Gollwitzer was accused of ordering the execution of 18 Poles in a village Torzeniec which was blamed for the of death of three German soldiers (in fact the soldiers were victims of friendly fire). However, the prosecutor's office in Amberg decided to drop the investigation against Gollwitzer.[1]

Awards and decorations



  1. Jochen Böhler: Zbrodnie Wehrmachtu w Polsce ("Wehrmacht war crimes in Poland"), wydawnictwo Znak, Kraków 2009, p. 123-125
  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 166.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of 193. Infanterie-Division
29 November 1939 – 2 February 1940
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Werner Sanne
Preceded by
Generalmajor Georg Lang
Commander of 88. Infanterie-Division
2 February 1940 – 10 March 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Heinrich Roth
Preceded by
General der Infanterie Heinrich Clößner
Commander of LIII. Armeekorps
22 June 1943 – 26 June 1944
Succeeded by
General der Kavallerie Edwin Graf von Rothkirch und Trach