Oberst i.G. Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim

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Oberst i.G. Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim

Post by Alecci » 22 Sep 2004 00:58


I am trying to confirm and expand on my information regarding this officer, and would be very grateful for any corrections or additional information, particularly concerning his awards.

So far this is what I know of him:

- - -

Born 25 March 1905 in München and shot by order of court-martial on 20 July 1944 in Berlin. Son of General Hermann Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim and his wife ?. Married in 1943 to Hilde Baier, with whom he had no children.

04.1923: 19th (Bavarian) Infantry Regiment
01.1928: Promoted Second Lieutenant / Leutnant
??.1929: 8th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment
07.1931: Promoted Lieutenant / Oberleutnant
??.1933: 5th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment
01.1935: Promoted Captain / Hauptmann
10.1936: War Academy
08.1938: 5th Army Corps / Ic
10.1939: 290th Infantry Division / Ia
11.1939: Permanently appointed to the General Staff
05.1940: Awarded Iron Cross Ist Class
07.1940: OKH / Organisation Branch / Section Head IV
12.1940: Promoted Major (GS) / Major i.G.
12.1940: OKH / Organisation Branch / Section Head I
10.1942: Promoted Lieutenant-Colonel (GS) / Oberstleutnant i.G.
11.1942: 29th Army Corps / Ia
11.1943: Awarded German Cross in Gold
05.1944: Promoted Colonel (GS) / Oberst i.G.
06.1944: OKH / General Army Office / Chief of Staff
08.1944: Expelled from the Armed Forces

- - -

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Post by Michael Miller » 25 Jan 2008 20:27

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Re: Colonel (GS) Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim

Post by Alecci » 22 Dec 2008 18:46

Decent thread lift this... Through some effort I've been able to expand on my knowledge concerning this officer, and I though that I'd post it here for you all to read, comment and/or improve upon:


Albrecht was born on March 25th, 1905 in München as second child and first son to Hermann Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim (1866-1947) and his wife Eleonore Hohmann (1875-1954).

His father Hermann was, at that time, a captain serving in the Bavarian General Staff. During the Fist World War he received the Pour le Mérite and advanced to the rank of major-general, and after the war he was posted as president of the newly created Reichsarchiv in Potsdam. Hermann had married Eleonore in Bremen in 1899, and they had altogether three children; Erika, who was born in 1900 and 1925 married the later co-conspirator Wilhelm Dieckmann, Albrecht and Gudrun, born 1907 and 1929 married to the later Major-General Otto Korfes who would become reknown for being captured by the Soviets at the battle of Stalingad and subsequently joining the German Officer's League.

They hailed from an old family from Pfalz by the name of Mertz, one of whose members was Ernst Quirin Mertz, chancellor with the bishop of Speyer am Rhein and estate owner of Quirnheim and Boßweiler, who had been elevated to the rank of Imperial Knight by the Roman-German emperor on June 1st, 1675. Albrecht's grandfather, who was his namesake, was a royal Bavarian fire inspector in Ansbach, where Hermann was born.

When Hermann received his assignment to the Reichsarchiv the family moved to Potsdam. There Albrecht became a childhood friend of later co-conspirator Hans-Jürgen Graf von Blumenthal. In his teens he also befriended the brothers Hans-Bernd and Werner von Haeften, sons of one of Hermann's subordinates and newphews of the later supreme commander of the Armed Forces, Fieldmarshal Walther von Brauchitsch.

After completing his Abitur, Albrecht enrolled in the army of the republic, the Reichswehr, and subsequently joined the 19th (Bavarian) Infantry Regiment in Landshut in August 1925. After serving for a compulsory time-period in the lower ranks, he was sent to the Infantry School in Dresden in October 1927. Here he befriended later co-conspirator Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, two years his junior. One of their instructors at the infantry school was the later Colonel-General Eduard Dietl, a captain at that time. After completing the infantry course in August 1928, Albrecht received his commission as a second lieutenant with his regiment.

In 1929 he was transferred to the training battalion of the 8th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment, based in Liegnitz. Promoted to Lieutenant in December 1931, Albrecht In 1933 decided that the SA was the army of the future and succeeded in having himself transferred to one of the border garrisons in Silesia, where he became acquainted with SA-Gruppenführer Edmund Heines. His father Hermann, however, managed to arrange his transfer to the 5th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment in Stettin. The regiment's commanding officer, Colonel Max von Viebahn, restored Albrecht's grasp on the fundamentals of the soldier's profession.

In July 1934 he married Charlotte Kraudzun (born in 1911) in Potsdam. He would later divorce her in 1941, but the marriage produced Albrecht's only child, a son whose name or birth date remains unknown to me. In May 1944, just weeks short of the coup d'etat, he would marry Hilde Baier in Waldshut. Hilde was the widow of Lieutenant-Colonel (Res.) Otto Baier, who had fallen on the eastern front in February 1942, whom Albrecht and Hilde would from time to time refer to in their correspondence. After the unsuccessful uprisng, the national socialists attempted to use these references as proof that Albrecht was in fact a communist, interpreting the references to 'Otto' as meaning his brother-in-law, who had joined the German Officer's League following the 6th Army's surrender at Stalingrad.

In January 1935 Albrecht was promoted captain, and in october 1936 he was admitted to the War Academy in Berlin-Moabit, where he ended up in the same class as the afore-mentioned Graf Stauffenberg, another future co-conspirator, the later Colonel (GS) Eberhard Finck, as well as the future American four-star General Albert Wedemayer, one of about a dozen or so visiting War Academy students accepted each year.

While at the War Academy, Albrecht was described by his contemporaries as incisive, unorthodox and given to satire and sarcasm. Similarly with his friend Graf Stauffenberg, he was described as being cool towards the National Socialist regime, although not openly opposing it. He on the whole approved of the regime's policies, particularly the restrictions upon the Jews in various professions and the civil service. At the same time he always abhorred persecutions, and in April 1933 labeled the anti-Jewish boycott as 'shameful'.

Following his graduation from the War Academy in September 1938, Albrecht received his probationary posting with the General Staff in the field as Ib (quartermaster) with the 5th Army Corps, a posting he would retain throughout the first few months of the Second World War. In November the following year he was permanently transferred to the General Staff as Captain (GS) and posted as Ia (operations officer) with the 29th Infantry Division in anticipation of the invasion of France. Albrecht apparently performed his duties well, in May 1940 he was awarded the Iron Cross, Ist Class.

On the virtues of his outstanding organizational skills, he was posted to the General Staff headquarters in July 1940 as head of section IV (post-action documentation) of the Organisation Branch under the then Colonel (GS) Walther Buhle. Among his colleagues in Organisation Branch was Graf Stauffenberg as head of section II (peace-time organisation), Finckh (liaison-officer with the quartermaster-general) and Major (GS) Helmuth Reinhardt (deputy branch chief), who would later be Graf Stauffenberg's predecessor as chief of staff with the General Army Office.

In November 1940 Albrecht was promoted to the rank of major (GS), and one month later he became head of section I (war-time organisation) of his branch. Some sources state that during his service with the Organisation Branch, his support for more humane treatment of civilians in occupoed eastern Europe helped trigger a dispute between Alfred Rosenberg, Reich Minister of the Occupied Eastern Territories, and Erich Koch, Reich Commissar for the Ukraine.

Promoted lieutenant-colonel (GS) one month earlier, Albrecht was posted as chief of staff with the 24th Army Corps in November 1942.During his service there he was awarded the German Cross in Gold (November 16), and he also strengthened his ties to the resistance through his brother-in-law, Dieckmann.

In May 1944 Graf Stauffenberg was promoted colonel (GS) and posted as chief of staff to the commander-in-chief of the Replacement Army. Having served at the front for about eighteen months, Albrecht received the same promotion and was designated as Graf Stauffenberg's successor as chief of staff with the General Army Office under General Friedrich Olbricht. In this capacity he would take decisive action during the attempt at liberation on July 20, 1944. A description of his actions during that day will not, however, be included here at this point. Following the collapse of the uprising, Albecht received a drum-head court-martial presided over by Graf Stauffenberg's superios, Colonel-General Fritz Fromm, and was executed by a firing squad of the Wachbataillon Grossdeutschland during the night.

He was buried, along with Graf Stauffenberg, Olbricht and his childhood friend Lieutenant Werner von Haeften (who, incidently, served as Graf Stauffenberg's adjutant), at he nearby Matthäikirche. The next day Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered their bodies to be exhumed, cremated and their ashes strewn over the open fields.

His parents, his sisters, his wife and his son was later arrested by the Gestapo and held in various concentration camp until the end of the war, in keeping with the policies of the Sippenhaft doctrine.

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Re: Oberst i.G. Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim

Post by Ken S. » 25 Dec 2008 04:48

If you go to ancestry.de and enter "Quirnheim" in the field in the large yellow thing, it will lead you to an entry in the 1935 Address Book for Spandau with a partial image of the entry for Albrecht, who was residing on Schoenwalder Str.

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