Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf

Article

October 28, 2021

Count Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf (German: Wolf-Heinrich Graf von Helldorf), also "von Helldorff" (born October 14, 1896 in Merseburg, died August 15, 1944 in Berlin-Plötzensee) - German politician, member of the NSDAP, member of the Reichstag (1933–1944), president of the Berlin police (1935–1944), SA-Obergruppenführer, SS-Obergruppenführer (from 1936). From 1938, he was in contact with conspirators from the circle of Friedrich Goerdeler. For participating in the attack on Adolf Hitler on July 20, he was sentenced to death and executed in 1944.

Curriculum vitae

Hr. Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf was the son of Captain Ferdinand von Helldorf. He participated in World War I, serving as a cadet from 1914. In 1915 he was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. From 1918 he belonged to many paramilitary organizations, the so-called Freikorps, incl. to Freikorps Roßbach. In the years 1919–1920 he was a member of the Stahlhelm Front Soldiers' Union. In March 1920, he took part in the unsuccessful monarchist coup in the Weimar Republic, the so-called After the Kapp-Lüttwitz coup, he had to flee the country faced with a murder charge - he left for Italy, where he stayed for four years. After returning to Germany, von Helldorf worked in the family estate of knights (German Rittergut) (1921–1928) in Wohlmirstedt. In October 1920, he married Ingeborg von Wedel, with whom he had five children. In 1923 he was the commander of the Stahlhelm Union of Front Soldiers in the Unstruty region. In 1924 he joined the Nazi Party. In 1924–1928 and again in 1932–1933, von Helldorf was a member of the Saxon provincial assembly. Initially, on behalf of the National Socialist Freedom Party (German Nationalsozialistische Freiheitspartei, NSFP) in Prussia, and from 1925 representing the NSDAP. In 1932 von Helldorf became chairman of the NSDAP faction in the regional council. In the elections to the Reichstag on November 12, 1933, he was also elected a member of the NSDAP. In 1931 he joined the SA and became the commander of the SA in Berlin. Long before Hitler took power, on September 12, 1931, which was the holiday of the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah, von Helldorf, together with Goebbels, organized anti-Jewish actions in the capital (German: Krawall am Kurfürstendamm). Ok. 1000 SA-men chanted anti-Jewish slogans, incl. "Juda, verrecke" (Polish Jews die) and "Schlagt die Juden tot!" (Polish kill the Jews), taunting and beating Jews leaving the synagogue. A large group of people stormed the nearby Cafe Reimann at Kurfürstendamm 25, many guests were injured. Von Helldorf and Karl Ernst were on the scene giving instructions. Von Helldorf was even supposed to give the order to storm. 27 perpetrators, most of them SA-men, were identified and sentenced to between 9 and 21 months in prison. Von Helldorf, after being arrested by the police, was released. He later appeared voluntarily to testify in favor of his subordinates. However, he was arrested and awaited the judgment of the court under the expedited procedure (German: Schnellgericht), which had just sentenced his chauffeur to 18 months in prison. After Göring intervened with the Reich Chancellor Heinrich Brüning, von Helldorf was judged by the Charlottenburg jury court instead of the judges of the court operating under the expedited procedure. In return, at the behest of Brüning, the Nazis refrained from demonstrating during the French minister's visit to Berlin. Von Helldorf was sentenced to 6 months in prison and a fine of 100 Reichsmark. Due to poor health, he was released immediately. The SA men appealed against the verdict. Goebbels testified as a witness. The prison sentence for Helldorf, represented by Freisler and Frank, was canceled - Helldorf only had to pay a fine for insulting the Jews. In December 1931 von Helldorf assumed leadership of the SA in the Berlin region

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