Otto Ernst Remer Knights Cross
Otto Ernst Remer Knights Cross

Major Otto Ernst Remer Signed

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Post WW2 photo of Oakleaves winner “Major Otto Ernst Remer” who served with the “GD / Grossdeutchland Division”. The photo is in very good condition. It is approx. 6 inches high by 4 inches across. He signed this in about 1992.

Otto-Ernst Remer (18 August 1912 – 4 October 1997) was a German Wehrmacht officer who played a decisive role in stopping the 1944 20 July Plot against Adolf Hitler. During the war he was wounded nine times in combat.

By the time of the attack on Poland, in September 1939, he was an Oberleutnant in a motorised infantry company, and went on to serve in the Balkans Campaign, as well as in Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union.

By April 1942, he was a battalion commander, and he joined the Infantry Regiment Großdeutschland, in order to lead the special-weapons 4th (Heavy) Battalion, which supported the three rifle battalions of the elite regiment.

By February 1943, he commanded the 1st (armoured) battalion of Grenadier Regiment Grossdeutschland (GD), after the original Infantry Regiment GD expanded to become a full division. His troops, mounted in halftracks, covered the withdrawal of an entire Waffen-SS tank corps during the fighting at Kharkov.

He was awarded the Knight’s Cross for his service as battalion commander, and in November 1943, he was awarded the Oak leaves to the Knight’s Cross for leadership at Krivoi Rog, which was presented by Adolf Hitler personally.

In March 1944, after being wounded, Major Remer was chosen to command the Infantry Regiment Großdeutschland, a unit that performed public and security duties in Berlin. During this time, Remer and his men successfully stopped the 20 July plot to seize control of the German government, following the assassination attempt on Hitler.

Upon being ordered by General Paul von Hase to arrest Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, Remer went to Goebbels’ office to do so, pistol in hand. However, Goebbels used his oratory skills to dissuade Remer from arresting him, insisting instead that Hitler was still alive.

When Remer asked for proof, Goebbels picked up the phone and asked to be put through to Hitler. Within the minute, Hitler was on the phone, and Goebbels handed the receiver to Remer. Hitler asked Remer whether he recognized his voice, then gave Remer orders to crush the plot with his troops, which he did. That same night Remer was promoted two ranks to Oberst (colonel).

Remer went on to command an expanded Führer Begleit Brigade (FBB), a field unit formed from a Grossdeutschland cadre, in East Prussia with little success. The brigade was then transferred to the west for the Ardennes Offensive, in December 1944, and again suffered high casualties for little gain.

In 1945, when the FBB was expanded to divisional status, he was promoted to Generalmajor (Brigadier General), and appointed to command it. He was not considered a successful division commander, for when the FBD moved to Silesia in March 1945, Remer was criticised for lack of ability. He was eventually captured by American troops, and remained a prisoner until 1947.