Erich Bärenfänger

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Erich Bärenfänger
Erich Bärenfänger.jpg
Born (1915-01-12)12 January 1915
Died 2 May 1945(1945-05-02) (aged 30)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Army (Wehrmacht)
Rank Generalmajor
Unit 50th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Battle of Berlin
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

Erich Bärenfänger (12 January 1915 – 2 May 1945) was a German general during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords of Nazi Germany. In the final days of the war, Bärenfänger was commander of several defense sectors during the Battle of Berlin; he committed suicide on 2 May 1945.

Berlin, 1945[edit]

Towards the end of World War II, Bärenfänger took part in the Battle for Berlin. On 24 April, due to the direct command of Hitler, Bärenfänger was given command of defence sectors A and one day later also command of sector B.[1] Bärenfänger mounted at least two unsuccessful armored attacks northwards up the Schönhauser Allee. The second was on 1 May.[2]

Members of SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke's "break out group" saw quite a sight thanks to Bärenfänger. On 1 May, the group left the surrounded central government sector, which included the Führerbunker. As they made their escape, there before them they saw a "host" of new Tiger II tanks and "artillery pieces" arrayed around the Flak tower as if "on parade". Bärenfänger was allegedly seated in the turret cupola of one of the Tigers thus arrayed.[3] On 2 May, Bärenfänger, a devoted Nazi, committed suicide with his young wife and her brother in a side street of Berlin.[2]




  1. ^ Thomas & Wegmann 1987, p. 176.
  2. ^ a b Beevor 2002, p. 384.
  3. ^ O'Donnell, James. (2001). The Bunker. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80958-3
  4. ^ a b c d e f Thomas & Wegmann 1987, p. 177.
  5. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 24.
  6. ^ a b c Scherzer 2007, p. 199.


  • Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin – The Downfall 1945. Viking-Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-670-03041-5. 
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. 
  • O'Donnell, James P. (2001) [1978]. The Bunker. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80958-3. 
  • 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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1987). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 1: A–Be [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part III: Infantry Volume 1: A–Be] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1153-2. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Ernst Kaether
Commanders of the Berlin Defense Area
(Deputy to Adolf Hitler)

22 April 1945
Succeeded by
Helmuth Weidling