Kurt von Priesdorff

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Wilhelm Werner Kurt von Priesdorff (born October 19, 1881 in Berlin ; † September 5, 1967 in Naumburg (Saale) ) was a Prussian major and a secret government councilor , military historian and author .


Kurt came from a Bohemian noble family and was the son of the Prussian major Louis von Priesdorff (1838–1900) and his wife Minna, née Krause (1844–1889). His siblings were Margarethe (* 1868), Elisabeth (* 1869), and Hans (Friedrich Wilhelm Adalbert) (* 1870).

Priesdorff married on October 5, 1912 in Berlin Wera Foerster (born May 18, 1892 in Freyburg (Unstrut) ; † April 12, 1986 in Hanover), the daughter of the factory owner and councilor Rudolf Foerster and Olga Minlos. Since the couple had seven daughters, the sex with him died out in the male line. In 1947 Priesdorff's daughter Wera gave birth to her illegitimate son Harald, who continues the name of the sex.


From 1892 to 1900 Priesdorff was a cadet in Oranienstein and Lichterfelde and was employed as a page at the Imperial Court in Berlin in 1899 and 1900 . After graduating from high school in January 1900, he joined the Grenadier Regiment "Kronprinz" (1st East Prussian) No. 1 in Stettin in February of the same year as an ensign . He attended the war school in Danzig from April to December of the same year and on January 18, 1901 was appointed lieutenant in the Grenadier Regiment "King Friedrich Wilhelm IV." (1st Pomeranian) No. 2 , with a patent from June 20, 1899. from 1905 to 1908 he was there battalion - adjutant and received from his commander Colonel Georg Bock of Wülfingen the order to compile a list officer strain of the regiment. For research, Priesdorff often stayed in the archives of the Secret War Chancellery, the Prussian War Ministry and the Great General Staff . This aroused his interest in the résumés of all Prussian generals . On October 1, 1910, he was ordered to the Prussian War Academy in Berlin, where he was promoted to first lieutenant in 1909 . After graduating in 1910, he returned to his regiment on October 1 as a regimental adjutant. Promoted to captain on October 1, 1913 , he became adjutant of the 37th Infantry Brigade in Oldenburg on October 1 .

The First World War, spent Priesdorff from the end of 1914 in the central department of the Ministry of War, in 1915 as a companion of the Austrian commander of the imperial troops, Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf . This was followed by promotion to major and retirement from active service. In 1918 he was briefly under discussion as the successor to War Minister Scheuch . On April 1, 1918, he was appointed to the Reichstag department of the Prussian War Ministry, where he served as Chief of Staff to Undersecretary Paul Göhre from the end of June 1919 ; later he was a consultant in the Reichsabwicklungsamt .

After the failure of the Kapp Putsch on March 17, 1920, officers hostile to the republic were removed from the service of the Berlin Security Police (Sipo) and replaced by those loyal to the government. In the course of this, Priesdorff was appointed police chief and privy councilor (commander) on March 23, 1920, and shortly thereafter became inspector of the Berlin security police.

Priesdorff's task was to dissolve the Sipo, which had to be carried out in accordance with an order from the Allies from June 1920. After his office in Berlin, he moved to his wife's family home in Freyburg an der Unstrut in 1921, and in 1922 began again to search for materials for his military-historical works. As a guest of the Secret State Archives , he was able to carefully study and copy the personnel files of the former Secret War Chancellery.

The result of these studies was the work Soldatisches Führertum , which was laid out in 15 volumes. Ten volumes have appeared, the others have survived as manuscripts. These became the most important source for further investigation because the archives of the Secret War Chancellery had largely been destroyed by bombing.

In 1923 Gustav Stresemann appointed him to the Foreign Office in Berlin. In the mid-1930s he was brief historical advisor for the feature film Fridericus (1936).

Moved back to Freyburg an der Unstrut in 1943, after the war in 1945 he became an alderman for the city of Freyburg, head of the refugee system (August 1945 to 1947), justice of the peace (1946) and deputy chairman of the Freyburg parish council. In 1947 he resigned all offices for health reasons.

Kurt von Priesdorff died on September 5, 1967 in Naumburg (Saale) in the Dr. Schiele. On September 9, 1967, he was buried in the new churchyard in Freyburg an der Unstrut.



  • List of officers of the Grenadier Regiment King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. (1st Pomeranian) No. 2 . Mittler , Berlin 1906 (Volume 2 was published in 1931 in Stettin, supplement to Volume 2 was published by Mittler in Berlin in 1933)
  • Members of the von Hertzberg family . [Berlin 1929] [typesetting]
  • Seydlitz . German publishing company, Berlin 1933
  • Gessler . German publishing company, Berlin 1934
  • from Oppen . German publishing company, Berlin 1934
  • Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia . German publishing company, Berlin 1935
  • Soldier leadership . Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1935–1942 (10 volumes)
  • Scharnhorst . Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1937
  • Gneisenau . Hanseatic Publishing House, Hamburg [1939]
  • Prince Eugene . Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1940
  • Saldern, the Great King's drill master . Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, Hamburg 1943

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Genealogical manual of the nobility , Adelige Häuser B Volume II, page 319, Volume 12 of the complete series, CA Starke Verlag, Limburg (Lahn) 1956, ISSN  0435-2408
  2. ^ Albert Grzesinski, Eberhard Kolb (ed.): In the struggle for the German republic: memories of a social democrat . Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2001, ISBN 3-486-56591-5 ; P. 106 f.
  3. Hsi-huey Liang: The Berlin Police in the Weimar Republic . Walter de Gruyter, 1977, ISBN 3-11-006520-7 ; Pp. 54–59 and 99.
  4. Johannes Buder: The Reorganization of the Prussian Police, 1918-1923 . Peter Lang Verlag, 1986, ISBN 3-8204-9215-1 ; P. 206.
  5. Fridericus in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  6. ^ Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation, 'Der Alte Fritz'. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012 ; Retrieved April 24, 2009 .
  7. a b c d Ranking list of the Royal Prussian Army and the XIII. (Royal Württemberg) Army Corps for 1914 , Ed .: War Ministry , Ernst Siegfried Mittler & Sohn , Berlin 1914, p. 86