Hugo Gutmann

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Hugo Gutmann
Gutmann, c. 1918
Born (1880-11-19)19 November 1880
Nuremberg, German Empire
(now Germany)
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
San Diego, California, United States
Allegiance German Empire German Empire
Service/branch Artillery Branch, German Army
Years of service 1902-1919
Rank Leutnant
Unit Regiment "List"
Commands held 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment
Awards Iron Cross
(First and Second Class)

Hugo Gutmann later known as Henry G. Grant (19 November 1880 – 22 June 1962) was a German-Jewish veteran of World War I who is famously known as one of Adolf Hitler's superior officers during the war, as well as the man responsible for recommending Hitler for the award of the Iron Cross, First Class.[1]

Early life and army career

Gutmann was born on 19 November 1880 in Nuremberg. In 1902, Gutmann joined the Bavarian Army and had risen to the rank of highest ranking NCO (Feldwebel) by 1904, when he was transferred to the reserves. When World War I began in 1914, Gutmann was recalled and soon after he joined a unit known (after its first commander) as the "List" Regiment. On 15 April 1915, he was promoted to Lieutenant (Leutnant), and appointed as a company commander and acting adjutant for the Regiment's artillery battalion.

Throughout most of 1918, from 29 January to 31 August, Lt. Gutmann served as Adolf Hitler's direct superior. Gutmann later recommended Hitler's award of the Iron Cross First Class (a decoration rarely awarded to one of Hitler's Gefreiter rank).[2] The decoration was presented to Hitler on 4 August 1918, near Soissons, by the regimental commander, Major von Tubeuf.[2] Hitler would wear this medal throughout the remainder of his career, including while serving as Führer of Nazi Germany.

Gutmann himself was an Iron Cross recipient, having been awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 2 December 1914 (incidentally the same day as Hitler), as well as the Iron Cross 1st Class on 4 December 1915.

Post World War I and Nazi years

On 8 February 8,1919, Gutmann was demobilized from the German Army but still maintained on the army rolls as a reserve lieutenant. He married later that year and would go on to father two children. During the 1920s, Gutmann owned and operated an office-furniture shop in Vordere Steingasse 3 in Nuremberg.

In the fall of 1933, Gutmann applied for a veteran's war pension, which was granted (President Hindenburg had passed several decrees protecting Jewish war veterans from the rising tide of antisemitism). In 1935, after the passing of the Nuremberg Laws, Gutmann lost his German citizenship and was formally discharged from the veteran rolls of the army, but still continued to receive a pension, possibly due to Hitler's influence.[3]

In 1938, Gutmann was arrested by the Gestapo, but released as a result of the influence of SS personnel who knew his history.[4] In 1939, Gutmann and his family left for Belgium as World War II was beginning. In 1940 he immigrated to the United States just prior to the invasion of the Low Countries.

Portrayal in media

In the 2003 television mini-series, Hitler: The Rise of Evil, Hugo Gutmann is portrayed by actor Brendan Hughes.

Post World War II

Gutman eventually settled in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where he changed his name to Henry G. Grant and went back into the furniture business. He died in 1962.


  1. Henry George Grant (Hugo Gutmann) on
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kershaw 2008, p. 59.
  3. According to the historian Werner Maser, Gutmann received, by Hitler's intervention, a pension from the Third Reich down to the end of the war.
  4. Thomas Weber. Hitler's First War. Oxford University Press 2010 p 344 ff


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External links