Friedrich Paulus

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Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus (23 September 1890 – 1 February 1957) was a German general who commanded the 6th Army during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Paulus had been a staff officer, doing paper work, having never even commanded a regiment, and appointing him as commander of the 6th Army has been described as a mistake. On the second to last day of the battle, Adolf Hitler promoted Paulus to the second highest military rank, field marshal. In his last message, Hitler stated that "not one German field marshal has ever been taken prisoner", expecting Paulus to commit suicide, but he instead surrendered. After this, in Soviet captivity, Paulus first refused to collaborate with the Soviet Union, but changed his mind as Germany's situation worsened and a friend was executed after the July 20 plot. Paulus participated in Soviet anti-German propaganda. He was a prosecution witness during the Nuremburg Trials, testifying against Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, who were executed. After the war, while other prisoners of war from Stalingrad died in the Gulag system, Paulus lived in relative comfort in a dacha near Moscow, continuing to contribute to Soviet propaganda. He moved to East Germany after Stalin's death.[1]