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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The orders came from the very top--from Marshal Wilhelm Keitel himself--but lower officers acted on their own as well.
Those defendants included Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring, weapons and war production head Albert Speer, Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel, and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.
The only one who had mildly impressed him was Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, until lately head of the German armed forces and de facto War Minister, who snapped to attention when handed the charge-sheet.
He summoned the Chief of the German General Staff, General Wilhelm Keitel, to Berchtesgaden as well as the German foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop.
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.
"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.
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.
The letters also showed something of the nature of interaction with defendants, perceptions of the on-going trials of Nazis, consideration of the other prosecutors, including the Russians, and, surprisingly, regular discussions between Thomas Dodd and two particular Nuremberg defendants, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel (found guilty and executed) and Hitler's Reich Vice Chancellor to 1934, Franz von Papen (sentenced to eight years of hard labor).
(2.) Testimony of German General Wilhelm Keitel during the Nuremberg trials, quoted in G.J.
May 9: Nazi Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signs unconditional surrender to Red Army in Berlin.