Eberhard Kinzel

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Eberhard Kinzel (1943)

Eberhard Kinzel (born October 18, 1897 in Friedenau near Berlin , † June 25, 1945 near Idstedt ) was a German officer , most recently a general of the infantry . At the beginning of May 1945 he belonged to the delegation under General Admiral von Friedeburg , which signed the German partial surrender of the Wehrmacht for north-west Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands .


After the beginning of the First World War on October 16, 1914, Kinzel joined the infantry regiment "Graf Tauentzien von Wittenberg" (3rd Brandenburg) No. 20 as a war volunteer . After his appointment as ensign on May 8, 1915, he was used as leader of the grenade launcher division of the 6th Infantry Division . In this function he was wounded on the Western Front on May 22, 1915 and returned to his regiment on July 12, 1915 after hospital stay and recovery. There he was promoted to lieutenant on July 30, 1915 . From April 19, 1917 he was a company commander and from August 6, 1917 an orderly officer at the headquarters of the II Battalion. From March 3, 1918, Kinzel served in the same function with the staff of III. Battalions.

After the end of the war and demobilization , he joined the Oven Freikorps formed from parts of his old regiment on March 1, 1919 and served there from October 1, 1919 as an adjutant of the 1st Battalion. After the formation of the provisional Reichswehr , the 91st Infantry Regiment emerged. On May 15, 1920, Kinzel joined the staff of III as an orderly officer. Battalion of the 6th Infantry Regiment of the Reichswehr and was used a short time later in the same function in the staff of the replacement battalion of the 5th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment . From January 1, 1921, Kinzel was an officer in the 14th Company and from April 1, 1923 adjutant of the training battalion. In this function he was promoted to first lieutenant on July 31, 1925 . From July 1 to September 15, 1926, he was assigned to the 7th (Bavarian) Artillery Regiment and on October 1, 1926 for the training of assistant leaders in the staff of the 2nd Division in Stettin . He was then sent to the commandant's office in Berlin on October 1, 1928, to accompany Russian officers from June 6, 1929, and to the Reichswehr Ministry in Berlin from October 1, 1929 . A year later he was transferred here to the Foreign Armies T3 department of the Troops Office and on February 1, 1932, he was promoted to captain . From October 1, 1933 to March 31, 1936, Kinzel was an assistant to the military attaché at the German embassy in Warsaw . As a major (since January 18, 1936) he was transferred to the 66th Infantry Regiment in Magdeburg on April 1, 1936 . A year later Kinzel Ia became the 19th Infantry Division , and on November 10, 1938 he was entrusted with the management of the chief of the Foreign Armies East Department in the Army General Staff. At the same time as the promotion to lieutenant colonel on March 1, 1939, he was appointed head of the department.

He remained its leader until April 30, 1942. On February 1, 1941 he was promoted to colonel . He was Reinhard Gehlen's predecessor . On May 1, 1942 he was transferred to the Führerreserve and was then Chief of Staff of the XXIX from May 23 to November 11, 1942 . Army corps that fought in southern Russia at this time. This was followed by a renewed transfer to the Führerreserve and on January 1, 1943, promotion to major general . From the end of January 1943 to July 1944 he was Chief of Staff of Army Group North . He was promoted to lieutenant general on September 1, 1943 .

In September 1944 he became commander of the 570th (later renamed 337th) People's Grenadier Division . He then became Chief of Staff of Army Group Vistula in March 1945 and shortly thereafter promoted to General of the Infantry.

On April 22, 1945, Karl Dönitz was appointed Chief of Staff of the Northern Command . As such, he was part of the delegation under Admiral General von Friedeburg, which met on May 3 at Wendisch Evern for surrender negotiations with Field Marshal Montgomery . After the German total surrender , Kinzel became chief of the liaison staff to Montgomery's 21st Army Group . Even after the Dönitz government was arrested on May 23, he and this staff were still busy with processing. At the end of June, however, Kinzel was informed by his British superiors that his work was now done and that he could expect to be transferred to prisoner-of-war soon . Thereupon the general and his lover Erika von Aschhoff, who had accompanied him to Schleswig-Holstein as a typist, decided to commit suicide in view of their impending separation and committed suicide on June 25 on the banks of the Langsee between Idstedt and Süderfahrenstedt .



  • Dermot Bradley (ed.): Germany's generals and admirals. Part 4: The Army Generals 1921–1945. The military careers of the generals, as well as the doctors, veterinarians, intendants, judges and ministerial officials with the rank of general. Volume 6: Hochbaum - Klutmann. Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück 2002, ISBN 3-7648-2582-0 , pp. 458-460.

Individual evidence

  1. a b See Karel Magry, The suicide of General Kinzel , in After the Battle , No. 128 (2005), pp. 30-34.
  2. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA436298&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf , pages 41-43
  3. a b c Ranking list of the German Reichsheeres , Ed .: Reichswehrministerium , Mittler & Sohn Verlag, Berlin 1925, p. 182