Wilhelm Mohnke bigraphy, stories - German general

Wilhelm Mohnke : biography

15 March 1911 - 6 August 2001

SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke (15 March 1911 – 6 August 2001) was one of the original 120 members of the SS-Staff Guard (Stabswache) "Berlin" formed in March 1933. From those ranks, Mohnke rose to become one of Adolf Hitler's last remaining generals. He joined the Nazi Party in September 1931.

Mohnke saw action with the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler in France, Poland and the Balkans. After several failed attempts to introduce a Panzer arm to the Leibstandarte, he was transferred to the replacement battalion until he was given command of a regiment in the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. It was with this regiment that he fought in the Battle for Caen. For his superior conduct in battle, he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 11 July 1944. After participating in most of the French campaign, he was given command of his original division, the Leibstandarte, during the Battle of the Bulge, which commenced on 16 December 1944. He served until the very last day of the war in Europe; during the Battle of Berlin, he commanded the Kampfgruppe Mohnke and was charged with defending the Berlin government district, including the Reich Chancellery and Reichstag (nicknamed Die Zitadelle or "The Citadel").Fischer, Thomas. Soldiers of the Leibstandarte, pp. 42-43.


21 September 1939 Iron Cross Second Class
8 November 1939 Iron Cross First Class
10 February 1940 Wound Badge (Black)
3 October 1940 Infantry Assault Badge (General)
War Merit Cross with Swords
15 September 1941 Wound Badge (Silver)
26 December 1941 German Cross (Gold)
11 July 1944 Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Portrayal in the media

Wilhelm Mohnke has been portrayed by the following actors in film and television productions:

  • Michael Culver in the 1981 United States television production The Bunker. Depicting Mohnke during the last days of Hitler in the Führerbunker; Berlin.
  • Ralph Michael in the 1981 British T.V. mini-series Selling Hitler.
  • André Hennicke in the 2004 German film Downfall (Der Untergang). Depicting Mohnke during the Battle in Berlin and the last days of Hitler in the Führerbunker.

Post-war life

Following their surrender Mohnke and other senior German officers were treated to a banquet by the Chief of Staff of the 8th Guards Army. He was then handed over to the NKVD. On 9 May 1945, he was flown to Moscow for interrogation and kept in solitary confinement for six years, after being transferred to Lubjanka Prison. Thereafter, Mohnke was transferred again to the Generals' Prison in Woikowo. He remained in captivity until 10 October 1955.Fischer, Thomas. Soldiers of the Leibstandarte, p. 51. Following his release, he worked as a dealer in small trucks and trailers, living in Barsbüttel, West Germany.

Despite a campaign, led by the British Member of Parliament Jeff Rooker, to prosecute him for his alleged involvement in war crimes during the early part of the war, Wilhelm Mohnke was able to live out the remainder of his years in peace. Mohnke strongly denied the accusations, telling historian Thomas Fischer, "I issued no orders not to take English prisoners or to execute prisoners."Fischer, Thomas. Soldiers of the Leibstandarte, p. 26. He died on 6 August 2001 in Barsbüttel-Hamburg, aged 90.Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag, p. 549.Some other sources place his death in the coastal village of Damp, near Eckernförde in Schleswig-Holstein.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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