• Wilczy Szaniec | Wolfsschanze | Wolf's Lair

Wilhelm Keitel

Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel

Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel (born September 22, 1882 in Helmscherode near Bad Gandersheim, executed on October 16, 1946 in Nuremberg).

German field marshal (from July 1940) served during World War II, a war criminal.

From 1938 the head of the newly created Wehrmacht Supreme Command (OKW) Keitel was one of Hitler’s closest associates in military matters, a zealous executor of his will, co-responsible for the ordinances on the basis of which Wehrmacht committed crimes against prisoners of war and the population of the occupied countries.

On May 8th, 1945, he signed in Berlin an unconditional act of surrender of German armed forces, after which he was arrested on May 13th, 1945 and tried by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. He was sentenced to death by hanging for war crimes.

Keitel asked to change the way the sentence was executed (he wanted to be shot), but the Allied Control Council of Germany rejected the request. The sentence was carried out on October 16, 1946.