Klaus von Bismarck

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Dr. h. c. theol.
Klaus von Bismarck
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F010980-0005, Klaus von Bismarck.jpg
Klaus von Bismarck, 11 July 1961
Born (1912-03-06)6 March 1912
Jarchlin, German Empire
Died 22 May 1997(1997-05-22) (aged 85)
Hamburg, Germany
Organisation Westdeutscher Rundfunk
German Evangelical Church Assembly
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Klaus von Bismarck (6 March 1912 – 22 May 1997) was the Director General of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (West German Broadcasting) from 1961 to 1976, and the President of the ARD from 1963 to 1964. He was also the President of the German Evangelical Church Assembly from 1977 to 1979 and a member of its presidium from 1950 to 1995, as well as President of the Goethe Institute, 1977 to 1989.

During World War II, Bismarck served as an officer in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. According to his memoirs published in 1992 he refused to obey Hitler's Commissar Order to execute all captured Russian political Commissars attached to the Russian Army whilst serving as an adjutant on the Russian front in 1941. (Gitta Sereny, 'Albert Speer - his battle with truth, Macmillan 1995)

He is a relative of Otto von Bismarck, Germany's first Chancellor, and was the son of Gottfried von Bismarck (1881–1928), Lord of Jarchlin and Kniephof, family estates located in Pomerania. Bismarck received an honorary Doctor of Theology degree (Dr. h. c. theol.) from the University of Münster.

Awards and decorations[edit]



  1. ^ a b Thomas & Wegmann 1992, p. 69.
  2. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 114.
  3. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 78.


  • 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. 
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1992). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil III: Infanterie Band 2: Bi–Bo [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part III: Infantry Volume 2: Bi–Bo] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-1734-3. 

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