Freiherr von Blomberg

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Freiherr von Blomberg refers to a German family.

Freiherr is a German title of nobility. Situated between a Ritter (Chevalier) and a Graf (Comte), its modern equivalent is Baron.

Blomberg is a German city in the middle of Nordrhein-Westfalen, with Detmold as its capital.[dubious ] It was founded between 1231 and 1255. Part of the Prussian empire.

History[edit]

The ‘Freiherr von Blomberg’ families were typically based around North-Rhine-Westfalia and Lower Saxony, though Bavarian extensions are frequent. During the centuries the Family line spread throughout Eastern Europe from the Baltic sea through to Rumania.

The first von Blomberg of prominence was Heinrich Ulrich Freiherr von Blomberg (°1745 - + 1813). He was born in Königsberg on the Bavarian – Nordrheinish border.[dubious ] We know he was a student of Kant, for he enrolled in university on the 22nd of April 1761 and left in 1764. There exists a copy of a course of Kant, on which cover von Blomberg wrote “Collegium des Herrn Professor Kant über Meyers Auszug aus der Vernunft-Lehre nachgeschrieben von HU v Blomberg”.[dubious ]

Of the Bavarian branch, one member of the family (and this diametrically opposed to Heinrich Ulrich) was a devout –if not militant- Protestant, Friedrich Freiherr von Blomberg. His traces can be found in Strengberg, a town in the district of Amstetten in Lower Austria. Little more than the following details of him are known: quoted from contemporary archival sources “in a church, in the chapel under the north façade, we can find an altar-painting of the Holy Nicolaus, patron-saint of the boatsmen. Originally, it hung in the chapel of the Schloss Achleiten. This chapel was entirely demolished in 1836, when the Schloss became the property of the protestant Friedrich Freiherr von Blomberg”. But widely more numerous were the ‘pure’ North-Rhine-Westfalian von Blombergs.

Wilhelm Freiherr von Blomberg (1788-1846)[edit]

The Lippische Landesbibliothek Detmold holds all Prussian scientific and military archives of the time. We can consult the writings of the Offizier and Schriftsteller (Chroniqer) Wilhelm Freiherr von Blomberg. He went to the military academy and became a Major in the army; his main task, however, was that of chroniqueur. In those military times, his job was to write about all things regarding military life: how much was paid, what manoeuvres had what result, who was disciplined, as well as writing uplifting poems. In 1811, he was summoned to move from his casern situated in Lemgo to Bremen where Napoleon had just started what turned out to be his last campaign. (note: it may be of interest that the town of Lemgo witnessed a great amount of witch trials between 1667 and 1683).[dubious ] This was followed by another move in 1814 to do the same in Hamburg, for the same reason – both cities shortly were part of the French Empire until the Battle of Waterloo turned them German again. He stayed in Hamburg until 1842. In 1842, about a quarter of the inner city was destroyed in the "Great Fire". This fire started on the night of the 4 May 1842 and was extinguished on 8 May. It destroyed three churches, the town hall, and countless other buildings. It killed 51 people, and left an estimated 20,000 homeless. Reconstruction took more than 40 years. The von Blomberg house was one of them: it was destroyed entirely, together with all its possessions and family archives. A broken man, he and his wife and son moved to Lübeck in 1842 where, never having recovered from this tragedy, he remained until his death in 1846. Little if nothing is known about his wife, except that she was called Nina.[dubious ] His brother, Karl Alexander Freiherr von Blomberg (1886-1813) was equally an officer and chroniqueur, who fell in Berlin in 1813.

Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg (1821-1903)[dubious ][edit]

Born in Hamburg, son of Wilhelm Freiherr von Blomberg. He attended the Academisches Gymnasium where he studied Evangelic Theology and subsequently enrolled the University to study Biology. We lose his track due to the moving of the family; he resurfaces in 1856 when he is appointed Lektor at the Fachhochschule Lübeck. He holds the chair of Zoology and, fully within his iron Prussian upbringing, sports a fascination for all things theological. In 1869 he publishes a work called Die Verwandlung im Prinzipus: Thiere, Maenschen und Ihren Gottlosen Vereinen. Covering topics such as clinical lycanthropy and clinical vampirism, it is considered the first attempt in describing anthrozoology. Later, and unintentionally, he is the first to coin the term Human biology. Today, this term is used on an entirely different basis, but his use had the same roots of research, albeit distorted by religious motives. As Sanitätsrat (an honorary title given to physicians), Freiherr von Blomberg equally held a private medical practice in his estate in Lauenburg[dubious ]from 1889 until 1894. He retired from university two years later. He died in Lübeck in 1903.[dubious ]

In 1914, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg published the paper “Ein seltener fall von Hydrocephalus” (A Rare Case of Hydrocephalus), by Dr. Freiherr v. Blomberg, in the ‘Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie’. Although some online efforts have attempted to link this document to interests in vampirism, the paper is, in fact, a terse, observation-driven medical account of a child (known as C.K.) with hydrocephaly, commenting on the patient's general condition and observations made during autopsy.[1] The observations recorded, made well into 1913, preclude authorship by an author who died in 1903.

Trivia[edit]

  • Due to an administrative mix-up, he was often confused with contemporary Ernst von Bergmann. They both got each other's mail and, as a joke, subsequently called one another Doktor Blomberg and Doktor Bergmann.[dubious ]
  • Together with Ernst von Bergmann and Rudolf Leubuscher, Freiherr von Blomberg formed "Der Triumvirat". Between 1856 (when instated at the University) and 1861 (the death of Leubuscher), they did research and published about mental illnesses, triggered by Leubuscher's German translation of Louis-Florentin Calmeil's 'About Delusions' (Der Wahnsinn in den vier letzten Jahrhunderten).[dubious ]

Werner von Blomberg (°1878- +1946)[edit]

Born in Stargard, Pomerania, German Empire, Werner von Blomberg joined the Preußischen Hauptkadettenanstalt in Groß-Lichterfelde (near Berlin) in 1897 and became a Lieutenant in a preußischen Füsilierregiment. After graduating in 1907, Blomberg entered the General Staff in 1908. Serving with distinction on the Western Front during World War I, he was awarded the Pour le Mérite. In 1920, von Blomberg was appointed Chief of Staff of the Döberitz Brigade and in 1921 was made Chief of Staff of the Stuttgart Army Area. In 1925, Blomberg was made Chief of Army Training by General Hans von Seeckt. By 1927 Blomberg was a major-general and Chief of the Troop Office. After arguing with the powerful General Kurt von Schleicher in 1929, however, Blomberg was removed from his post and made military commander of East Prussia. In 1933, Blomberg rose to national prominence when he was appointed Minister of Defense in Adolf Hitler's government. Blomberg became one of Hitler's most devoted followers, and as such was nicknamed "Rubber Lion" by some of his critics in the army who were less than enthusiastic about Hitler. As Minister of Defense, Blomberg worked feverishly to expand the size and power of the army. In 1933 Blomberg was made a colonel-general for his services. In 1934, Blomberg encouraged Hitler to crack down on SA leader Ernst Röhm and his followers, whom he believed posed a serious threat to the army. As such, he condoned and participated in the Night of the Long Knives. In the same year, after Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg had died, he personally ordered all soldiers in the army to pledge the Reichswehreid oath of allegiance not to Volk and Fatherland, but to the new Reichspräsident and Führer Adolf Hitler, which proved to be a fateful decision as it limited opposition to Hitler (July 20 Plot etc.). In 1935 the Ministry of Defense was renamed to Ministry of War; Blomberg became Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In 1936, the loyal Blomberg was the first General Field Marshal appointed by Hitler.

Unfortunately for Blomberg, his position as the most influential man in the army alienated Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, who conspired to oust Blomberg from power. After the Hossbach Memorandum meeting of November 1937, Hitler was dissatisfied with him. They struck in January 1938, when Blomberg, then 60, married Erna Gruhn (sometimes referred to as "Eva" or "Margarete"), a 26-year-old typist. A police officer discovered that Gruhn had been a prostitute with a criminal record and reported this to the Gestapo and Göring (who, ironically, had served as a best man to Blomberg at the wedding). Göring then informed Hitler (who also had been a best man at the wedding) of the matter, and Hitler ordered Blomberg to annul the marriage in order to avoid a scandal and to preserve the integrity of the army. Blomberg refused to annul the marriage, and consequently resigned all of his posts on 27 January 1938 when Göring threatened to make his wife's past public knowledge. A few days later, Göring and Himmler accused Commander-in-Chief Werner von Fritsch of being a homosexual. Hitler used these opportunities for major reorganisation of the Wehrmacht. Fritsch was later acquitted, the events became known as Blomberg-Fritsch Affair. Blomberg and his wife were subsequently exiled for a year to the isle of Capri. Spending World War II in obscurity, Blomberg was captured by the Allies in 1945, after which time he gave evidence at the Nuremberg Trials. Blomberg died while in detention at Nuremberg in 1946. He had hated Hitler profoundly since his distitution in 1938 and is rumoured to have been an active supporter of the von Stauffenberg-plot.

Other family members[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • Selbständige Veröffentlichungen: (postum) Hinterlassene Poetische Schriften des Freiherrn Alexander von Blomberg. Mit der Lebensbeschreibung und dem Bildnis des Verfassers, auch einem Vorspiele von Freiherrn [Friedrich] de La Motte-Fouqué. Berlin: Maurer 1820. XVI, 315S. [Inhalt: Konrad in Deutschland. Vorspiel in einem Aufz.; Konrad in Welschland. Trauerspiel in 5 Aufz.; Waldemar von Dänemark, unvollendetes Schauspiel; Kleinere Gedichte] (Lipp. LB Detmold, StB Trier, StB Bielefeld) – Hinterlassene Gedichte. Berlin: Maurer 1819 – Die verhasste Wirklichkeit. Gedichte. Im Auftrag des Lipp. Heimatbundes hg. von H. Detering. Göttingen: Quo-Vadis-Verlag 1986. 47S.
  • Unselbständige Veröffentlichungen in: Morgenbl. vom 20.5.1817: Schwertfegerlied. Briefe an Karl Alexander von Blomberg: von Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué: 24.3.1816, 10.11.1816 und 16.2.1817, in: Heinemann 1926 (s.u.), S. 91f.
  • Literarische Zeugnisse: Pothmann: Westph. Taschenbuch 1815, S. 65-69: Der Tod fürs Vaterland – Georg Moritz von Blomberg: Alexander von Blomberg, das erste Opfer der Befreiungskriege. o.O. 1813 (Lipp. LB Detmold); Nachdr. Berlin: Tagesztg. 1913. 15S. (Lipp. LB Detmold) – Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué: Kosackenklage über Alexander von Blombergs Tod, in ders.: Gedichte, Bd. 2: Gedichte aus dem Manns-Alter, Stuttgart, Tübingen: Cotta 1817, S. 227f. (Grabbe-Archiv Detmold).
  • Selbständige Veröffentlichungen über Karl Alexander von Blomberg: B. Heinemann: Wilhelm und Alexander von Blomberg. Zwei westfälische Dichter. Bad Driburg o.J. Diss. Münster 1926. 92S. (Lipp. LB Detmold).
  • Unselbständige Veröffentlichungen über Karl Alexander von Blomberg: Alexander von Blomberg, in: Lipp. Landesztg. vom 9.2.1888 [anonym] (Lipp. LB Detmold) – J. Minn: Alexander von Blomberg 1788-1813. Ein westfälischer Sänger und Held aus den Freiheitskriegen, in: Dichterstimmen der Gegenwart 22, 1908, H. 2, S. 47-57 (Lipp. LB Detmold) – [...] Fritsch: Alexander von Blomberg, in: Mitt. zur lipp. Gesch. 8, 1910, S. 234-240 (Lipp. LB Detmold); ders.: Alexander Freiherr von Blomberg, in: Lipp. Landesztg. vom 30.9.1912 (Lipp. LB Detmold); ders.: Alexander Freiherr von Blomberg, in: Niedersachsen 17, 1911/1912, H. 1, S. 53ff. (StB Bielefeld) – E. Hammer: Zur Erinnerung an Alexander von Blomberg, in: Mitt. des Vereins für die Gesch. Berlins 1913 – [Lambrecht Karl]: Alexander Freiherr von Blomberg-Iggenhausen [1788-1813]. Dichter und Kämpfer in den Freiheitskriegen, in: Staercke 1936, S. 172-174 – A. Ebert: Alexander Blomberg zum Gedenken. Vor 150 Jahren in Iggenhausen bei Lage geboren, in: Lipp. Landesztg. 197, Nr. 40 vom 16.2.1963, S. 8 (Lipp. LB Detmold) – K. Wernicke: Wo Alexander von Blomberg fiel. Ein Berliner Denkmal an die deutsch-russische Waffenbrüderschaft von 1813, in: Neues Deutschland vom 27.3.1971, S. 15 (Lipp. LB Detmold) – H. Detering: Der Dichter Alexander von Blomberg, ein lippischer Schüler Fouqués, in: Lemgoer Hefte, Nr. 35, Dez. 1986-März 1987, S. 4-6.
  • Nachlaß, Handschriftliches: 1. StA Bielefeld – 2. StLB Dortmund – 3. BFDH Frankfurt – 4. Privatbesitz Schloß Iggenhausen: Die Wette. Lustspiel in 1 Aufz. (1807) Der Ueberfall. Schauspiel in 2 Aufz. (1808); Lodowico. Ein Schauspiel (1810); Der Sommerabend in Berlin. Lustspiel in einem Akt (1810); Ged., Briefe.
  • Nachschlagewerke: Hamberger/Meusel, 5. Aufl., Bd. 17, 1820 – Ersch/Gruber, Bd. 11, 1823; Bd. 22,1, 1829 – Raßmann 1826 – Wolff, Bd. 1, 1835 – ADB, Bd. 2, 1875 – Brümmer, Bd. 1, 1876 – Brümmer 1884 – Eckart 1891 – Kosch, 1. Aufl., Bd. 1, 1928; 3. Aufl., Bd. 1, 1968 – Goedeke, 2. Aufl., Bd. 7, 1904 – Lipp. Bibliogr., Bd. 1, 1957; Bd. 2, 1982 – Killy, Bd. 2, 1989 – Dt. Biogr. Archiv, Fiche 108, Sp. 401-404.
  • Ueber die Verwandlung im Prinzipus: Thiere, Maenschen und Ihren Gottlosen Vereinen. von Prof. Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg, Der Fachhochschule zu Luebeck. Druck und Verlag von G.Reimer, Hamburg 1869.
  • Ein seltener fall von Hydrocephalus; Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie. Publisher: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. ISSN 0303-4194 - Issue Volume 24, Number 1 / December, 1914 - Pages 200-216.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blomberg, Freiherr (1914). Ein seltener Fall von Hydrocephalus. Ztschr. f. d. ges. Neurol. u. Psychiat. 

External links[edit]