Bernd von Brauchitsch

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Bernd von Brauchitsch
Bernd v Brauchitsch.jpg
Bernd von Brauchitsch at the Nuremberg trials
Birth name Bernd von Brauchitsch
Born 30 September 1911
Died 19 December 1974
Allegiance Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
Rank General
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Iron Cross 1st Class
Children 1
Relations Walther von Brauchitsch, Adolf von Brauchitsch and Manfred von Brauchitsch

Bernd von Brauchitsch (30 September 1911 - 19 December 1974)[1] was a German aristocratic Luftwaffe colonel during World War II and adjutant to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring.

Born in 1911, as the son of Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch, he embarked on a military career. He took part in the invasion of France and the Low Countries, as the commander of a bombing unit. In April 1945, he was arrested together with Göring by the SS for charges on cowardice and betrayal.

After the war, he first served as a witness to major war crimes at the Nuremberg trials, and spent the rest of his life in German steel business, working as managing director of two large Krupp-steel companies.


Early life

Brauchitsch was born in 1911 as the eldest son of the future Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch, and his first wife Elisabeth von Karstedt, a rich heiress in Pomerania.

Military career

In 1931, Brauchitsch joined the pilot training at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (German Air Transport School) at Schleißheim. He and 29 other trainees attended what was called Kameradschaft 31 (camaraderie of 1931), abbreviated "K 31". Among the members of "K 31" were future Luftwaffe staff officers Günther Lützow, Wolfgang Falck, Günther Radusch and Hannes Trautloft. In 1932, he joined a cavalry regiment of the army, and in 1934 was promoted to lieutenant. In the same year, he stepped over to the air force. He first served as a pilot at the Test Center in Rechlin, and from 1935, as a technical officer in a Stukastaffel. In 1936, he was promoted to first lieutenant and the transfer to a Stukagruppe, in Lübeck. In December that year he was promoted to squadron commander of a Stukastaffel. In 1939, he attended the air war academy in Gatow. Also, he served as an aide to the Supreme Commander of the air force, Hermann Göring. Later that year, he was promoted to captain.

World War II

In the Second World War, between May to August 1940, Brauchitsch was used as group commander of a dive bomber unit during the lighting campaign against France and the Low Countries. In 1941, he worked with the General Staff, and by the end of 1941, he was appointment chief adjutant to Göring. In 1942, he was promoted to major, in 1943, to lieutenant colonel, and in 1944, to colonel. Also in 1944, he was awarder the Pilot and Observer Badge, by Goering, in gold and diamonds. He was arrested in later April 1945 by the SS, together with Göring, at Berchtesgaden. The SS had orders to shoot Göring, but for some reason decided not to.

In May 1945, Brauchitsch, in accordance with Goring's orders, approached the 36th U.S. Division of the 7th American Army, as a negotiator. As a representative of Göring, he informed the Americans that Göring believed the war was over, and he was ready to surrender. Brauchitsch was then held in captivity, from which he was released in 1948 (the same year his father died). In March 1946, he was interrogated at the Nuremberg Trial's as a witness to major war crimes as well as his own personal experience of Göring and top Nazi chieftains.[2][3]

Later life

In the postwar period, Brauchitsch worked as a manager of the German GmbH construction and assembly company, and since 1956, as a member of the board, set up by the Krupp steel barons and brothers, Berthold and Harald. In 1961, he became managing director of the sister company WASAG. He was also Chairman of the National Association of Schleswig-Holstein Employers Organizations, the employers' association for the chemical industry and plastics processing in Schleswig-Holstein. In addition, he served on the board of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations.

Brauchitsch died in December 1974.


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  2. "Brauchitsch testifies at Nuremberg Trial". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 2014-18-06.
  3. "Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany 12 March to 22 March, 1946". Nizkor. Retrieved 2014-18-06.