Wilhelm Keitel

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Keitel, Wilhelm


Born Sept. 22, 1882, in Helmscherode; died Oct. 16, 1946, in Nuremberg. Fascist German field marshal (1940).

Keitel entered the army in 1901, fought in World War I (1914–18), and later served in the Reichswehr. In 1934 he became closely associated with the fascists and advanced rapidly in military service. Keitel was chief of the military political department of the war ministry from 1935 to 1938 and chief of staff of the armed forces High Command from Feb. 4, 1938, to May 8, 1945. Keitel was directly involved in the development and implementation of the aggressive plans of fascist Germany. He signed a number of directives concerning the annihilation of prisoners of war and civilian population in occupied territory. After the June 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life by military conspirators, he became a member of the “court of honor.” On May 8, 1945, he signed the document on the unconditional surrender of fascist Germany. At the Nuremberg trial Keitel was sentenced to death as one of the chief war criminals and was hanged.

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Our army did commit crimes but these were more a result of poor individual choices made in the maelstrom of battle and not a policy of savagery as ordered by Erich von Manstein and Wilhelm Keitel on the Eastern Front.
He said: "Along with the political leadership of Nazi Germany, the chiefs of staff of the German army, Alfred Jodl and Wilhelm Keitel, were also charged with waging aggressive war.
Testimony of German General Wilhelm Keitel during the Nuremberg trials, quoted in G.
May 9: Nazi Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signs unconditional surrender to Red Army in Berlin.
Fifty-five years ago the Red Army--at the staggering cost of 350 thousand killed--took Berlin, cleared Hitler's Reichskanzlei, unfurled a Soviet flag over the Reichsrag, and jointly with the other Allied forces accepted the unconditional surrender of the Third Reich from OKW Chief Wilhelm Keitel in Karlshorst.
Gen Maj Westhoff recounted how an "excited and nervous" Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, one of Hitler's most loyal military followers who was also in charge of PoW camps, summoned him to a meeting shortly after the mass break-out in March 1944.
Westhoff told how an "excited and nervous" Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, who was also ultimately in charge of PoW camps, called him to a meeting shortly after the break-out in March 1944.
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht, jauntily munched biscuits while the prosecutor, Colonel Pokrovsky, read the fourth count, crimes against humanity.
He said top Hitler aide Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel told him: "The men who have escaped will be shot - probably the majority of them are dead already.