Klaus von Bismarck

Klaus von Bismarck

Klaus von Bismarck
Klaus von Bismarck, 11 July 1961
Born (1912-03-06)6 March 1912
estate Jarchlin, Farther Pomerania
Died 22 May 1997(1997-05-22) (aged 85)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1934–45
Rank Oberstleutnant der Reserve
Commands held Grenadier-Regiment 4

Second World War

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Other work Head of Social Welfare for Evangelical Church of Westphalia
Artistic director of WDR

Klaus von Bismarck (6 March 1912 – 22 May 1997) was the Director General of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (West German Broadcasting) from 1961 to 1976, and the President of the ARD from 1963 to 1964. He was also the President of the German Evangelical Church Assembly from 1977 to 1979 and a member of its presidium from 1950 to 1995, as well as President of the Goethe Institute, 1977 to 1989.

Bismarck was a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel (Oberstleutnant der Reserve) in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. According to his memoirs published in 1992 he refused to obey Hitler's Commissar Order to execute all captured Russian political Commissars attached to the Russian Army whilst serving as an adjutant on the Russian front in 1941. (Gitta Sereny, 'Albert Speer - his battle with truth, Macmillan 1995)

He is a relative of Otto von Bismarck, Germany's first Chancellor, and was the son of Gottfried von Bismarck (1881–1928), Lord of Jarchlin and Kniephof, family estates located in Pomerania.

Bismarck received an honorary Doctor of Theology degree (Dr. h. c. theol.) from the University of Münster.

Awards and decorations

Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
24 November 1944 (addendum) In der Abwehrschlacht südöstlich von Libau zeichnete sich das Grenadier-Regiment 4 unter Führung von Major Bismarck durch hervorragende Standfestigkeit aus.[6] The 4th Greandier-Regiment under the leadership of Major Bismarck distinguished itself by showing exceptional endurance.


  1. ^ According to Scherzer as Oberleutnant of the Reserves.[4]
  2. ^ According to Scherzer as Major of the Reserves.[4]


  1. ^ a b Thomas 1997, p. 46.
  2. ^ a b c d Thomas and Wegmann 1992, p. 69.
  3. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 114.
  4. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 223.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 78.
  6. ^ Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945, vol. 3, p. 344

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Klaus von Bismarck in the German National Library catalogue
  • World War 2 Awards.com
  • Lexikon der Wehrmacht
  • Ritterkreuztraeger 1939-1945