This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
When Alexander von Falkenhausen born on 29th October 1878 in Silesia, he had already the prerequirements of a good career as an imperial officer. His father, served in the Army, owned property and a member of noble family.When Alexander was 12 years old he was sent to Infantry Regiment in Oldenburg, where Colonel Hindenburg took command.
In early summer 1900 he was excited: the "Boxer" revolt in China encouraged the world powers to intervene. When it was known that German troops should be sent, Falkenhausen tried everything to participate. With his uncles help, he was commissioned in the 3rd. East Asian Infantry Regiment. "This exprience was a decisive influence on my life."
Falkenhausen stayed one year in China. On August 1901 he went back to Oldenburg. His prespective had extended. He studied European colonial history and its economical and political "applications". The 26-years-old experienced a new career peak, he was chosen to 150 cadets out from 1000 candidates to attend Berlin Military Academy. Not long thereafter he married a daugther of Upperhouse and Housemarshall of Wedderkop, a man with worldwide experience and known of his long journeys, in Oldenburg.
In Berlin he got an extraordinary task. With the beginning of Russian-Japanese War, there was a demand of officers who can speak Japanese. Six others and he himself was chosen. His drawing talent made it easier for him to overcome this "great and continous work". After a prussian styled education in the military academy, he was commissioned for half a year in a seminar of oriental languages at the Berliner University, where he finished his study with excellence. The promotion could not wait. In 1908 he joined the great general's staff.
His assignment area was East Asia. "All material about Japan, Korea, and the Manchuria flowed through my hands: military-, embassy- and consular reports, newspapers and literature, military potential, politics, economy,...finally I knew about Japanese sphere of influence better than about German ones." In Fall 1909 he was sent to Japan : for two years he should study the army installations there. Besides, he was planned to visit North China and Korea as well. For one year, his young wife accompanied him. Their conclusion was: only Chinese and French cuisine are really good. 1911 he travelled through Indochina to went back to Europe. By playing roulette in Monte Carlo he won his traveling expense back. Back in Berlin, he was immediately sent back to Japan. This time as a Military attache. Until the beginning of World War on August 1914 he stayed in Far East.
Chinese heroine Qian Xiuling, who had settled in Belgium, saved nearly one hundred Belgians from the evil Nazi. Belgians respectfully call Ms. Qian "the Chinese woman at the gunpoint of Gestapo", "Chinese woman Schindler" and "Chinese mother in Belgium".
The World War II brought misfortune to Belgium and resistance started there in 1941. A young activist in Qian's village was sentenced to death for joining resistance campaign. Qian ventured to go to Brussels and persuaded German military officer Alexander von Falkenhausen, a best friend of her elder cousin, to change the sentence to hard labor.
In June 1944, Ms. Qian persuaded her husband and went to Falkenhausen's, regardless of her pregnancy. She at last saved 96 hostages of Belgium's Ecaussinnes city with her courage and wisdom as well as the help of Falkenhausen.
Falkenhausen was arrested by Gestapo after he returned to Germany and was about to be brought to court as dissident. In 1950, Falkenhausen was tried as Germany's top war criminal in Belgium.
Hearing the news, Qian went around appealing in support of Falkenhausen's righteous deed. She told Belgian reporters that although Falkenhausen was an invader, he also tried his best to free many Belgians from fatal disaster.
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