|Klaus von Bismarck|
Klaus von Bismarck, 11 July 1961
|Born||6 March 1912|
|Died||22 May 1997(aged 85)|
|Place of birth||estate Jarchlin, Farther Pomerania|
|Place of death||Hamburg|
|Years of service||1934–1945|
|Rank||Oberstleutnant der Reserve|
|Commands held||Grenadier-Regiment 4|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves|
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 Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag 1977–1979 and a member of its presidium 1950–1995, as well as President of the Goethe Institute 1977–1989.
He was a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel (Oberstleutnant der Reserve) in the Wehrmacht during World War II. 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 Kommisar 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
- Iron Cross (1939)
- Wound Badge
- in Silver (1939)
- Eastern Front Medal (15 July 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on 24 November 1944
- Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (3 October 1973)
- Grand Federal Cross of Merit with Star (1982)
- Grand Federal Cross of Merit with Star and Sash (2 June 1989)
- Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1989)
- Honorary Doctorate of Theology from the University of Münster
- Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal (formerly Main Hall) at WDR Radio Cologne
|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.||The 4th Greandier-Regiment under the leadership of Major Bismarck distinguished themselves by showing exceptional firmness.|
- Thomas 1997, p. 46.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 114.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 223.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 78.
- Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 3, p. 344.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). 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 [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- Thomas, Franz (1997) (in German). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1: A–K [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 1: A–K]. Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6.
- (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 3, 1. Januar 1944 bis 9. Mai 1945 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 3, 1 January 1944 to 9 May 1945]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2.