Johannes Erxleben was the son of a pastor. At the age of ten he was accepted into the Potsdam Cadet Corps and became a lieutenant in 1913. Erxleben was deployed in communications units during World War I and was promoted to first lieutenant in 1918. On October 1, 1919, he was accepted into the Reichswehr , where he was commander in various intelligence departments. In 1927 he became a captain and in 1934 a major. In 1937 he became a lieutenant colonel in the Wehrmacht . At the beginning of the Second World War, Erxleben became the news commander in the conquered Poznan . At the beginning of the western campaign , he was a colonel and commander of a news regiment. In preparation for Operation Barbarossa , he was deployed in the 11th Army and in Ukraine and the Baltic States. In early 1943 he was promoted to news leader in occupied France and major general.
In the summer of 1944, Erxleben was transferred to Kassel and on September 15, 1944, he became Wehrmacht commander of Kassel. His main task in this city, which is important for the armaments industry, was the organization of the military air raid protection; in fact, Kassel was completely destroyed in 40 air raids.
In March 1945 Erxleben was appointed combat commander of Kassel, which had been declared a fortress , and was thus the superior of all Wehrmacht units, the local police and also of three precautionary court courts . On the morning of April 3, he unceremoniously shot and killed a civilian whom he himself had captured in a large group of looters in a liquor store. The following night, the orderly officer Dirk Uhse , who he had sent to the 80th US Infantry Division as a member of parliament, surrendered, contrary to orders and unauthorized. Erxleben became a prisoner of war, from which he was released on June 6, 1947.
Because of the shooting of the civilian, Erxleben was sentenced to four months in prison by the Kassel jury on March 19, 1949 for negligent homicide . After an appeal by the public prosecutor's office, the Hesse Higher Regional Court overturned the judgment on July 7, 1949 for legal reasons. On February 14, 1950, the Kassel Regional Court sentenced Erxleben to ten months in prison for manslaughter and to pay the costs of the proceedings.
- Maximilian Fügen: "To the last man"? : the role of the combat commanders in major German cities in 1945 . Baden-Baden: Tectum, 2018 ISBN 978-3-8288-4182-6
- Michael Jäger: Gestapo murder in Kassel-Wehlheiden, Good Friday 1945: Remembrance of a forgotten crime from the last days of Nazi rule . Kassel: Brüder-Grimm-Verlag, 1987 ISBN 978-3-925010-05-7
- LG Kassel, February 14, 1950 . In: Justice and Nazi crimes . Collection of German criminal judgments for Nazi homicidal crimes 1945–1966, Vol. VI, edited by Adelheid L. Rüter-Ehlermann, HH Fuchs, CF Rüter . Amsterdam: University Press, 1971, No. 198, pp. 157–175 Shooting of a war-damaged civilian who had bought liquor from an alcohol warehouse shortly before the American invasion
- LG Kassel, May 14, 1952 . In: Justice and Nazi crimes . Collection of German criminal convictions for Nazi homicides 1945–1966, Vol. VIII, edited by Adelheid L. Rüter-Ehlermann, HH Fuchs, CF Rüter . Amsterdam: University Press, 1972, No. 317 pp. 631–639. Two foreign workers who were found looting were shot
- Dirk Uhse: The surrender of the "Kassel Fortress" on April 4, 1945 in front of the vineyard bunker near Weinberg Kassel
- Capture of Kassel by the US Army, April 4, 1945. Contemporary history in Hesse. In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German professional soldier and Wehrmacht general|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 1, 1893|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Quadricycle|
|DATE OF DEATH||2nd November 1972|
|Place of death||Bielefeld|