SMGL-2848 12 year Service Award signed by Lieutenant General Erich Friderici DKiS Winner


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A Rear general, with a long military career. Awarded the German cross in Silver in march 1945. Captured and released without being tried for war crimes, although he must have participated in war crimes since rear troops supported the SS in ethic cleansing.

“Military service until the First World War

On March 8, 1905 , he joined the infantry regiment “Grand Duke Friedrich II of Baden” (4th Royal Saxon) No. 103 as an ensign . After being assigned to the war school in Neisse from April 26 to December 22, 1905, he was promoted to lieutenant in his regiment on January 15, 1906 . This was followed in 1909 and 1910 by assignments to the Spandau rifle factory and the military gymnastics school. On September 24, 1910, Friderici was transferred to the Saxon Cadet Corps as an educator. From there he came back to Infantry Regiment No. 103 on October 1, 1913 as a first lieutenant (since March 19, 1913) and was used there as a regimental adjutant.

First World War

Shortly after the outbreak of World War I , Friderici was wounded on the Western Front . After his recovery, Friderici was commissioned on September 30, 1914 to lead the machine gun company of his regiment. With his machine-gun company he was involved in trench warfare in northern France on the Aisne . On January 27, 1915, Erich Friderici became captain . He was now used as a company commander in his regiment. From the summer of 1916 he was used as an adjutant in the 63rd Infantry Brigade. From the spring of 1917 his general staff training took place. From autumn 1917 on, Friderici was deployed in various general staffs on the Western Front.


After the war he was taken over as a captain in the Reichswehr . He came to the Reichswehr Ministry in Berlin and was employed there as a speaker until 1923. From October 30, 1923 he was chief of the 3rd company of the 6th Infantry Regiment in Schwerin . His company was used in Saxony against communists, the so-called Reichsexekution against the Free State of Saxony. Details do not seem to be known. On April 1, 1925, he was promoted to major . From October 1, 1925, he was then used in the staff of Infantry Leader II in Schwerin. On February 1, 1927, he was transferred to the staff of the 4th Division in Dresden . There was Lieutenant Colonel Ludwig Beck , later Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Chief of Staff. He also worked on the staff with Captain Erich von Manstein , because he had known him since 1909. From November 1, 1928 he was in command of the III. Battalions of the 1st (Prussian) Infantry Regiment in Gumbinnen . In 1929 he was posted to a Swedish infantry regiment for a month. On February 1, 1930, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. This was followed by his transfer to the regimental staff of the 11th (Saxon) Infantry Regiment in Leipzig on November 1, 1930. On October 1, 1931, he was appointed regimental commander. His promotion to colonel took place on December 1, 1932. On October 1, 1933, he was appointed commandant of Leipzig. On October 1, 1934, Friderici, as the commander of Leipzig, was made division commander, later the 14th Infantry Division . On May 1, 1935, he was then made available to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army . On October 1, 1935 he was appointed military attaché for Hungary and Bulgaria with simultaneous promotion to major general with headquarters in Budapest . Before that he was assigned to the Bulgarian army for a month . He was involved in efforts to deliver armaments to Bulgaria on favorable terms. In autumn 1937 he was recalled to the Reich. On October 1, 1937, he was promoted to lieutenant general. On October 12, 1937, he was appointed commander of the 17th Infantry Division . He led this division when Austria was annexed to the German Reich in March 1938. His division occupied Linz and the surrounding area and was only moved back to its old barracks at the end of 1938. On April 1, 1939, he was appointed Armed Forces Plenipotentiary to the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia and at the same time the commanding general of the military district of Bohemia and Moravia based in Prague . On April 20, 1939, he was promoted to General of the Infantry. As Plenipotentiary to the Wehrmacht for the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, he reported directly to the chief of the OKW , Colonel General Wilhelm Keitel . As such, he was responsible for handling the Czech government troops (as head of the German liaison staff in the government troops of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia ), general location issues, military propaganda, military economic issues and various other tasks. In July he presented the memorandum The Czech Problem . In it he pleaded for the total dissolution of Czech society. This “end goal” he wanted u. a. by forcing the Czech intelligentsia to emigrate and “being absorbed in the greater German area”. His memorandum was written in the style of National Socialist theories. In it, he expanded his skills far beyond the actual tasks. In reality, he was soon embroiled in a power struggle with the civil administration and the SS .

Second World War

Helmuth Groscurth , an Abwehr officer, noted in his diary in November 1939:

“New incidents in Prague between the Wehrmacht and the police . Friderici behaves more than limp. Nothing else could be expected from him. “

When there were violent student protests in Prague, Friderici, Reich Protector Konstantin von Neurath and his State Secretary Karl Hermann Frank were ordered to see Adolf Hitler on November 15, 1939 . Thereafter, the German authorities tightened their procedures. There was constant friction within the German authorities, especially with Frank, who was not only State Secretary of the Reich Protector, but also Higher SS and Police Leader (HSSPF) of Bohemia and Moravia, which had an impact on Friderici’s health. At the beginning of July 1941, the attending physician attested that he was “overworked, exhausted, nervous, irritable, no longer fully efficient”. After a high point of acts of sabotage and arson, Hitler dismissed Neurath in September 1941 and had Friderici recalled. Both seem to have happened at Frank’s instigation. Friderici was transferred to the Führer Reserve . He complained in a personal letter to Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel about this transfer. In the letter he complained that he was the victim of intrigue. He stressed his own harshness in dealing with saboteurs. Colonel-General Fromm , Chief of Army Armaments and Commander of the Replacement Army , dealt with the dismissal as follows in his assessment of Friderici of November 15, 1943:

“Well proven in the leadership of the military district of Bohemia and Moravia in earlier times and only removed there because of the change in political leadership, he was represented in the military district XX without complaints.”

At the end of October 1941 he was appointed Commander of the Rear Army Area in Army Group South in the Soviet Union, on behalf of Karl von Roques , who was in cure . At the beginning of 1942 he was responsible for the reorganization of the 387th and 389th Infantry Divisions in Bohemia and Moravia . After a one-month cure, Friderici was appointed commanding general of the security troops and commander in the Army Area South on June 15, 1942. In an assessment of Friderici by Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, Commander of Army Group South from April 1, 1943, it says:

“Personality with a firm will and clear judgment. Mentally and physically fresh and agile. Impeccable national-socialist attitude. Can sometimes alienate weaker natures by emphasizing his self-confidence and his intellectual superiority. “

Manstein advocated the takeover of an army corps by Friderici. Because of the lack of experience in leading combat units, he should be deployed on a calm front. When the military administration of the occupied territories was dissolved in September 1943, they were transferred to the Führerreserve. Friderici took over the deputy military district commands XX ( Danzig and West Prussia ) and XVII ( Vienna ) one after the other . During this time he participated in the drafting of the pocket book for company commanders . On July 1, 1944, he was appointed commander of the Special Staff IV in the OKH. The Special Staff IV served as a reception organization for the soldiers of units that had been crushed during the Red Army’s summer offensive ( Operation Bagration ) in June 1944. In addition, the rear units of the 9th Army were to be combed for men who were capable of fighting. The soldiers were to be integrated into combat units that were still operational. After the successful work of the Special Staff IV in the summer and autumn of 1944, it was also deployed as a reception organization on other sections of the front. During this command, Friderici wrote reports and suggestions for improvement for the organizational restructuring of units for the OKH. In March 1945 Friderici was awarded the German Cross in Silver. Colonel-General Heinz Guderian praised the energetic and energetic leadership of the Special Staff IV. It is thanks to the personal intervention of Friderici that “thousands of soldiers and valuable equipment were freed for the fighting troops”. On May 8, 1945 he was taken prisoner of war , from which he was released in 1947.

After the end of the war

Friderici was apparently never prosecuted because of his command as Commander of the Rear Army Area, while another commander of the Rear Army Area South, Karl von Roques, whom Friderici had temporarily represented, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. After his release from captivity, he moved to Eschenlohe in Bavaria with his family, who had fled from Prague . In 1948, however, he was briefly employed in the German department of the war history research group of the US Army , the so-called ” Historical Division “, under the direction of Franz Halder , which researched the work of the Wehrmacht for the Americans. Friderici only wrote the 64-page study Securing the rear operational area of ​​Army Group South . The study dealt with the existing conditions, the fighting style of the partisans and the German anti-partisan strategy. In Friderici’s text neither names nor ratings appeared, presumably in order not to incriminate anyone. The study remained superficial with the character of a tactical partisan combat instruction. Until his pension entitlements were settled, he made money painting wooden dolls. He later worked for an insurance company”


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