Ulrich de Maizière

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Ulrich de Maizière
General Ulrich de Maiziere - Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr.jpg
de Maizière in 1969
Born(1912-02-24)24 February 1912
Stade, Province of Hanover, German Empire; [1]
Died26 August 2006(2006-08-26) (aged 94)
Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
AllegianceFlag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg  Weimar Republic (1930–1933)
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Nazi Germany (1933–1945)
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany (1955–1972)
Years of service1930–45
Rank General

Karl Ernst Ulrich de Maizière (German pronunciation: [də mɛˈzi̯ɛːɐ̯] ; 24 February 1912 – 26 August 2006) was a German General.


Early Life and Early Military Career

De Maizière was born in Stade on 24 February 1912 to Walter de Maizière, who was a jurist by profession, and Elsbeth (née Dückers). His family was of Huguenot origin, having fled from France in the 1700s. He grew up in Hanover and received his High School Certificate in 1930 before joining the Reichswehr in Stettin. From 1931 to 1933 he was at an infantry school in Dresden was promoted several times in the next few years, eventually becoming Captain in 1939.

World War 2 and Later Military Career

De Maizière took part in the Invasion of Poland and Eastern Front, as an aide to General Adolf Heusinger. In this time he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Upon the surrender of Germany, he went into British captivity and lived as a civilian from his release to 1955, when he joined the Bundeswehr and worked in the Federal Ministry of Defence.

[note 1] (Colonel) 1 April 1962 he became commander of the military academy of the German Armed forces. (1 August 1962 major general). 1 October 1964 Inspector of the Army (lieutenant general) and 25 August 1966 the fourth Inspector General of the Bundeswehr (General officer), succeeding Heusinger, holding the position from 1966 to 1972. In 1967 de Maizière formally congratulated Field Marshal Erich von Manstein at his 80th birthday. [2] He retired 31 March 1972 succeeded by Armin Zimmermann. During his retirement he wrote the books: "Führen im Frieden - 20 Jahre Dienst für bundeswehr und Staat." (1974) and "In der Pflicht - Lebensbericht eines deutschen Soldaten im 20. Jahrhundert." (1989). His brother Clemens de Maizière decided to stay in the Soviet-occupied part of Germany and became one of the founding members of the CDU (Ost), his nephew Lothar de Maizière was the last Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), while his son Thomas de Maizière served as Federal Minister of Defence as well as Federal Minister of the Interior.

He belonged to a noble family of French Huguenot origin, originally from Maizières-lès-Metz.


  1. Yet to be formatted.

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  1. John Zimmermann: Ulrich de Maizière – General der Bonner Republik, 1912–2006, München 2012, S. 11 f.
  2. Guido Knopp, "Hitler's Warriors" (Swedish "Hitlers Krigare", ISBN   91-89442-17-2), p.188
Military offices
Preceded by
General Heinz Trettner
Chief of Staff of the Federal Armed Forces
25 August 1966 – 31 March 1972
Succeeded by
Admiral Armin Zimmermann
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Alfred Zerbel
Inspector of the Army
1 October 1964 – 24 August 1966
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Josef Moll