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Bogislaw von Bonin (January 17, 1908, Potsdam – 1980) was a German Wehrmacht officer and journalist.

Early life

Bonin was born in Potsdam, Province of Brandenburg and joined the 4. Reiterregiment (Cavalry Regiment) of the German Reichswehr in 1926. He was educated at the Infantry school Dresden together with Claus von Stauffenberg and Manfred von Brauchitsch in October 1927 - August 1928[1] and was promoted a Lieutenant in 1930. In 1937/38 he visited the War academy (Kriegsakademie) in Berlin and became a member of the Army High Command in 1938.

World War II

In 1943 he was the Commander of the XIV. Panzerkorps at Sicily and for a short time Chief of Staff of the LVI.Panzerkorps of the 1. Hungarian Army in 1944. He attained the rank of a Colonel, and became the Chief of the Operational Branch of the Army General Staff (Generalstab des Heeres).

Arrest

On January 16, 1945 Bonin gave Heeresgruppe A the permission to retreat from Warsaw during the Soviet Vistula-Oder Offensive rejecting a direct command from Adolf Hitler for them to hold fast. He was arrested by the Gestapo on January 19, 1945 and imprisoned first at Flossenbürg concentration camp and then Dachau concentration camp.

With several family members (Sippenhäftlingen) of the July 20 plot and other notable prisoners such as Léon Blum, Kurt Schuschnigg, Hjalmar Schacht, Franz Halder and Fritz Thyssen he was transferred to the Tyrol but the transfer ends up delivering them to Niederdorf/Villabassa in the South Tyrol. On April 30, 1945 he managed to contact senior Wehrmacht officers who used regular German troops to overwhelm the SS guards.[2] The Wehrmacht freed the prisoners and then assisted them in being accommodated at the Pragser Wildsee Hotel south of Niederdorf until US troops marched into Niederdorf on May 4, 1945 [3]

Post World War II

Bonin became a prisoner of war and started working as a freight forwarder in 1947, later on for Daimler Benz. In 1952 he joined the "Amt Blank" (Bureau Blank, named after its director Theodor Blank), the predecessor of the later Federal Ministry of Defence, as the head of the subdivision "military planning", to map out a strategy of the German contribution to the European Defence Community, but came into conflicts with the Adenauer government, as he favored a rather neutral or independent German concept. Already in 1955, before the German Bundeswehr was established, Bonin was released and became a journalist.

Bonin died in Lehrte.

Awards

External links

References

  1. Peter Hoffmann: "Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg", München 2007, ISBN 978-3-570-55046-5
  2. Pragser Wildsee.com
  3. Hans-Günter Richardi, SS-Geiseln in der Alpenfestung http://www.raetia.com/index.php?id=338
  4. Patzwall and Scherzer 2001, p. 51.

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