Bernhard von Lippe

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Bernhard von Lippe
Bernhard Joseph Adolph von Lippe.jpg
Bernhard von Lippe was Flügeladjutant (Wing or Personal Adjutant) of Kaiser Wilhelm I, Kaiser Friedrich III and Kaiser Wilhelm II[1]
Birth name Bernhard Joseph Adolph von Lippe
Birth date 14 March 1846(1846-03-14)
Place of birth Düben, Kreis Bitterfeld, Regierungsbezirk Merseburg, Province of Saxony, Kingdom of Prussia, German Confederation
Death date 20 December 1896 (aged 50)
Place of death Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony, German Empire
Allegiance Germany Prussian Eagle.jpg Kingdom of Prussia
Wappen des Deutschen Bundes.jpg German Confederation
Coat of arms of North German Confederation.png North German Confederation
 German Empire
Service/branch War and service flag of Prussia (1895–1918).png Prussian Army
Years of service 1864–1896
Rank Generalmajor
Awards Iron Cross (1870)
Red Eagle Order
Relations ∞ 1879 Marie Hildegard Freiin von Ungern-Sternberg

Bernhard Joseph Adolph von Lippe (14 March 1846 – 20 December 1896) was a German officer of the Prussian Army, finally Generalmajor and diensttuender General à la suite SM des Kaiser und Königs (active General à la suite in HM Wilhelm II's court). He must not be confused with Generalmajor Bernhard Friedrich Gustav Adolph von der Lippe (1845–1919).


Heilmagnetiseur Gössel in Dresden und Generalmajor von Lippe, Flügel-Adjutant Sr. Majestät des deutschen Kaisers oder die Schulmedizin im Kampf mit der Naturheilkunde.png

Bernhard von Lippe joined the 3. Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Königin Elsabeth (renamed Königin Elisabeth Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 3 in 1892) in Breslau on 22 March 1864 as a three-year volunteer. He was made a officer cadet in 1864 and was commissioned in 1865. He took part in the Second Schleswig War in 1864 (at the Düppeler Schanzen three flags were captured), the Austro-Prussian War in 1866 (as part of the II Army, the regiment took part in the Battle of Trautenau during the German War. At Alt-Rognitz the grenadiers managed to capture a flag. It was active in the Battle of Königgrätz and occupied the Saxon royal seat of Dresden from 21 August 1866 to 27 May 1867.) and the Franco-German War (1870/71). In the war against France, the regiment was first used in the Battle of Gravelotte, then fought on 1 September 1870 at Sedan and worked from 19 September 1870 to 28 January 1871 in the encirclement and siege of Paris. During this time parts of the regiment were involved in the fighting at Le Bourget, where von Lippe, since 22 September 1870 adjutant of his regiment, was wounded.

In 1874, he was commanded to the to the 3. Garde-Infanterie-Brigade as adjutant and was transferred, also as adjutant, to the 13th Division on 22 December 1874. In 1875 and again in 1876, he was transferred to new regiments. In 1877, he became adjutant in the 28th Division. In 1878, he was transferred to the Prussian General Staff of the Army. On 19 November 1881, he became commander of the Company of the 8th Company/1. Hessisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 81, renamed Infanterie-Regiment Landgraf Friedrich I. von Hessen-Cassel (1. Kurhessisches) Nr. 81 in 1913. On 31 January 1884, he was commanded back to the General Staff of the Army, now subordinated to the Prussian Great General Staff (Großer Generalstab), and transferred on this day to the General Staff of the 1. Garde-Infanterie-Division. As of October 1886, he was transferred to the Great General Staff and was named commander of the 2nd Battalion/1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß.

Bernhard von Lippe became diensttuender Flügeladjutant (active Wing Adjutant) of Kaiser Wilhelm I on 27 January 1888 and of Kaiser Friedrich III on 22 March 1888. On 19 June 1888, he was named commander of the Schloßgarde-Kompanie as successor of Ernst von Petersdorff and on 3 December 1888 became Wing Adjutant of Kaiser Wilhelm II. On 24 December 1888, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (Oberstleutnant). On 24 March 1890, he was kommanded to the Prussian Military Cabinet simultaneously still serving as Wing Adjutant.

On 14 February 1891, he was promoted to Colonel. On 20 September 1890, he handed over command of the Schloßgarde-Kompanie to Gustav von Kessel and took over command of a department (Abteilung) in the Military Cabinet. In 1895, after his promotion to Generalmajor, he became General à la suite to the emperor and in 1896 was named diensttuender General à la suite SM des Kaiser und Königs (Orderly General à la suite in HM Wilhelm II's court).


Von Lippe had fallen very sick and hospitalized (Kaiserin-Augusta-Hospital in Berlin) on 2 February 1896 with a "severe organic disease of the spinal cord" (presumably spinal cancer), but the doctors under Prof. Dr. med. Carl Anton Emil Ewald (1845–1915), Head of the Department of Internal Medicine, were unable to cure him. His wife consultated with the Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria and was allowed to send for Naturopath Gottfried Moritz Gössel from Dresden for magnetopathic treatments. This caused a technical dispute between representatives of conventional medicine and naturopathy, which was also fueled by almost daily newspaper reports, mostly to the detriment of Gössel. After three weeks, von Lippe's condition surprisingly improved.[2] He had an attendant of his own and his food was sent in from the Royal kitchen. He finally left the hospital and Berlin, and settled down in Dresden to be near Gössel. After a few months of ups and downs, the disease ran it's course.[3]


Grabmal Generalmajor Bernhard von Lippe II.jpg
Grabmal Generalmajor Bernhard von Lippe III.jpg
Grabmal Generalmajor Bernhard von Lippe.jpg

Generalmajor von Lippe died on 20 December 1896 in Dresden. Because Kaiser Wilhelm II was so very fond of this general, he ordered the body returned to Berlin and awarded him an honorary grave (Ehrengrab) at the Neuer Garnisonfriedhof (New Garrison Cemetery),[4] which is now known as Friedhof Columbiadamm. The opulent tomb was badly damaged in World War II and only restored in 1997.


Bernhard von Lippe comes from the ancient lineage Lippa (Lyppa) von Kozarzow, since 1590 nobles of Upper Silesia from the Duchy of Opole, a fiefdom of the Bohemian Crown (until 1742), an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire. The descendants almost all just called themselves "von Lippa" or "von Lippe", not to be confused with the noble family "von der Lippe" from Oldenburg, Prussian nobles since 10 November 1887.

Bernhard's parents were Bernhard Johann Nepomuk von Lippe (1798–1875), Lieutenant Colonel of the Prussian Army, and his wife (∞ 1845) Agathe Marianne Elisabeth, née von Götz aus dem Hause Hohenbocka (1820–1888). Bernhard's sister was Agathe Antonie (b. 6 July 1849 at Gut Hohenbocka) who married Generalleutnant Hans Stephan Friedrich von Bojanowsky (1836–1909) on 6 April 1869.

His grandfather was Joseph Johann Nepomuk von Lippe (1745–1808), officer of the Imperial Army (Holy Roman Empire) and then of the the Electorate of Saxony (for deployment with the Army of the Holy Roman Empire), later landowner and lord of the manor (Gut Schwientochlowitz, Kreis Beuthen).

Bernhard's father had five sisters and seven brothers, all officers and some wealthy landwoners. His uncle Michael Felix (b. 1794) fell () in 1812 during the French invasion of Russia. His uncle Guido Felix (b. 1790), a Prussian Lieutenant of the cavalry, fell () on 14 October 1813 at the Cavalry Battle at Liebertwolkwitz against the French under Joachim Murat.[5]


On 22 October 1879, Captain von Lippe married in Karlsruhe his fiancée Marie Hildegard Freiin von Ungern-Sternberg (b. 11 August 1859 in Heidelberg),[6] daughter of Johann Paul Friedrich August Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg, Grand-Ducal Chamberlain of Baden, Real Privy Councilor and Head of the Grand-Ducal Secret Cabinet in Karlsruhe. They had three children:

  • Hildegard "Hilda" Agathe Emilie (24 August 1880–17 April 1883)
  • Margaretha Frances Ida (b. 2 March 1882)
  • Albrecht (b. 24 April 1885)[7]


  • 22 March 1864 Three-year volunteer (Dreijährig-Freiwilliger)
  • 11 October 1864 Portepée-Fähnrich (Officer Cadet)
  • 11 October 1865 Sekondeleutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
  • 12 December 1871 Premierleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
    • later received a patent from 15 August 1871
  • 27 January 1876 Hauptmann (Captain)
  • 15 April 1884 Major
  • 24 December 1888 Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 14 February 1891 Oberst (Colonel)
    • 2 November 1893 Rank as brigade commander (Brigadekommandeur)
  • 27 January 1895 Generalmajor

Awards and decorations

  • War Commemorative Medal of 1864 (Kriegs-Denkmünze für 1864; KD64)
  • Commemorative Cross for the Campaign of 1866 (Erinnerungs-Kreuz für den Feldzug von 1866)
  • Iron Cross (1870), 2nd and 1st Class
  • War Commemorative Medal of 1870–1871 (Kaiserliche Kriegsdenkmünze 1870/71; KD70/71) with several Battle Clasps
  • Baden Order of the Zähringer Lion (Orden vom Zähringer Löwen), Knight's Cross I. Class (BZL3a/BZ3a)
  • Prussian Long Service Cross for 25 years (Königlich Preußisches Dienstauszeichnungskreuz; DA) as of Rangliste 1886
  • Red Eagle Order (Roter Adlerorden), 4th Class (PRAO4/PrA4)
  • Commemorative plaque for the royal princes, general adjutants and adjutants (Gedenkzeichen für die Königlichen Prinzen, Generaladjutanten und Flügeladjutanten)
  • Prussian Order of the Crown (Preußischer Kronenorden), 3rd Class
  • Order of Henry the Lion (Herzoglich Braunschweigischer Orden Heinrichs des Löwen), Commander's Cross 2nd Class (BrHL2b/BrH2b)
  • Danish Order of Dannebrog, Commander 2nd Class (DD2b) on 25 August 1888
  • Order of the Crown of Italy, Commander (JK3)
  • Royal Norwegian Order of Saint Olav, Commander II. Class with Swords (NO2b⚔) on 24 September 1888
  • House Order of the Wendish Crown (Hausorden der Wendischen Krone), Commander (MWK2b/MK2b)
  • House and Merit Order of Peter Frederick Louis, Ehren-Komturkreuz or Honour Commanders Cross (OV2b)
  • Albrechts-Orden of Saxony, Commander 2nd Class (SA2b)
  • Order of the Redeemer (Greece), Commander (GE2b)
  • Order of the Iron Crown (Austria), 2nd Class (ÖEK2)
  • Order of the Crown of Romania (Orden der Krone von Rumänien), Commander (RumK3)
  • Russian Order of Saint Anna (St.-Annen-Orden), II. Class (RA2)
  • Ottoman Medschidie-Orden (Medjidie-Orden), 2nd Class (TM2)
  • Red Eagle Order, 3rd Class with the Bow
  • House Order of Hohenzollern, Knight's Cross (HOH3)
  • Order of Albert the Bear, Commander 2nd Class (AAB2b/AB2b)
  • Hesse Order of Merit of Philip the Magnanimous (Verdienstorden Philipps des Großmütigen), Commander 2nd Class (GHVP2b)
    • later (as of Rangliste 1894) received the swords to the Commander 2nd Class (GHVP2b⚔/HP2b⚔)
  • Order of Leopold (Belgium), Officer (BL2b)
  • Prussian Order of the Crown, 2nd Class
  • Bavarian Military Merit Order, Commander's Cross (BMV2b)
  • Friedrichs-Orden, Commander's Cross (Kommenturkreuz) 2nd Class (WF2b)
  • Austrian-Hungarian Imperial Order of Leopold, Commander (ÖL2)
  • Order of the Star of Romania, Commander (StvRum2b/RumSt2b/RumSt3)
  • Order of the Crown of Italy, Grand Officer (JK2)
  • Order of Orange-Nassau, Grand Officer (NN2) in 1892
  • Russian Order of Saint Stanislaus, 2nd Class with Star (RSt2mSt)
  • House Order of Hohenzollern, Commander's Cross (HOH2)
  • Albrechts-Orden of Saxony, Commander 1st Class (SA2a)
  • Baden Order of the Zähringer Lion, Commander 2nd Class with Oak Leaves (BZL2bmE/BZ2bmE)
  • Württemberg Order of the Crown, Commander (WK2b)
  • Friedrichs-Orden, Commander's Cross (Kommenturkreuz) 1st Class (WF2a)
  • Italian Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Grand Officer (JMuL2/JM2)
  • Princely House Order of Hohenzollern (Fürstlich Hohenzollern'sches Ehrenzeichen), Commander's Cross of Honour (HEK2a)
  • Schaumburg Lippe House Order, Cross of Honour 1st Class (SLH.EK1/SLHK1/SLH1)
  • Swedish Order of the Sword (Schwertorden), Grand Cross (SS1) on 12 July 1895
  • Anniversary Oak Leaves (Jubiläums-Eichenlaub „25“ 1870/1895) to the Iron Cross 2nd Class
  • Franz-Joseph-Orden, Grand Cross (ÖFJ1)
  • Red Eagle Order, 2nd Class with Oak Leaves