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 Gollwitzer surrender to the Soviet forces.
Born 27 April 1889
Died 25 March 1977(1977-03-25) (aged 87)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Army (Wehrmacht)
Rank General of the Infantry
Commands held 193d Infantry Division
88th Infantry Division
LIII Army Corps
Battles/wars Vitebsk–Orsha Offensive
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Friedrich Gollwitzer (27 April 1889 – 25 March 1977) was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany who commanded the LIII Army Corps. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Gollwitzer surrendered to the Soviet troops in June 1944 during the Vitebsk–Orsha Offensive. Convicted as a war criminal in the Soviet Union, he was held October 1955. In West Germany, Gollwitzer was investigated for war crimes allegedly committed under his command during the 1939 invasion of Poland.

Allegations of war crimes[edit]

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 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]




  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) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
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