Julius von Zech-Burkersroda

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Julius von Zech-Burkersroda

Julius von Zech-Burkersroda (German: Dr Julius Graf von Zech-Burkersroda; 1885–1946) was the German ambassador to the Hague at the start of World War II.

Zech-Burkersroda studied law at universities in Germany,[1] and was commissioned as an officer in the cavalry.[2] After twenty years' service in the diplomatic corps, he was appointed minister to the Hague in 1928 during the Weimar Republic. He remained at the Hague for the next decade, during which Adolf Hitler gained power in Germany.

In February 1940, Zech-Burkersroda claimed that the Duke of Windsor had leaked the Allied war plans for the defence of Belgium,[3] which the Duke later denied.[4]

In May 1940, Zech-Burkersroda was given the responsibility of passing the German declaration of war against the Netherlands to Dutch foreign minister Eelco van Kleffens.[2] According to van Kleffens, Zech-Burkersroda was stunned speechless by the actions of the Nazis. On 7 June 1940, he retired from the diplomatic service, shortly after the Netherlands fell to the Nazis.[1] After the defeat of Nazi Germany five years later, he was arrested by the Soviet occupation forces, and died shortly thereafter in Bautzen.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Graf von Zech-Burkersroda, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam, retrieved 17 January 2011
  2. ^ a b van Kleffens, Eelco (1941) Juggernaut over Holland: the Dutch foreign minister's personal story of the invasion of the Netherlands, Columbia University Press
  3. ^ No. 621: Minister Zech to State Secretary Weizsäcker, 19 February 1940, in Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918–1945 (1954), Series D, Volume VIII, p. 785, quoted in Bradford, p. 434
  4. ^ McCormick, Donald (1963), The Mask of Merlin: A Critical Biography of David Lloyd George, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, p. 290, LCCN 64-20102