Nicolaus von Below

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Nicolaus von Below
Georg Ludwig Heinrich Nicolaus von Below I.JPG
Major von Below as Adjutant of the Wehrmacht (Luftwaffe) to the Führer and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Führerhauptquartier, 1942
Birth date 20 September 1907(1907-09-20)
Place of birth Jargelin estate near Ziethen, north-west of Anklam, Greifswald District (Kreis), Province of Pomerania, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Death date 24 July 1983 (aged 75)
Place of death Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
Allegiance  Weimar Republic
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch War Ensign of Germany (1921–1933).png Reichswehr
Luftwaffe eagle.jpg Luftwaffe
Years of service 1928–1945
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars World War II
Relations ∞ 1937 Tilla Maria Kühne

Georg Ludwig Heinrich Nicolaus von Below (20 September 1907 – 24 July 1983) was a German officer of the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht who served as a personal Luftwaffe adjutant to Adolf Hitler from 1937 until Hitler's death at the end of WWII. He was a witness to the last will and testament of Adolf Hitler. He did not sign the Political Testament but added his signature to the Private Testament of the document. He was not a Freiherr, as sometimes suggested.


In March 1941, Hitler awarded Flight Captain (Flugkapitän) Hanna Reitsch the Iron Cross, 2nd Class, and congratulates with a handshake. Watching are from right: Generalmajor Karl-Heinrich Bodenschatz (liaison officer between the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe and the Führerhauptquartier), Hermann Göring and adjutant Major von Below (with Adjutantenschnur).
Jargelin was first mentioned in a document of the Holy Roman Empire in 1305 as Ghergelin. It wasn't until 1782 that the spelling "J" became established. The Jargelin estate came to the family von Below in 1808 through the marriage of Friederike von Krauthoff-Salchow (1786–1862) to Heinrich Karl von Below-Wendhof.
Daughter Gunda

Nicolaus von Below joined the Reichswehr on 1 April 1928 and ws commanded to the commercial flying school Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (DVS) in Schleißheim for pre-military flight training. From May to 30 September 192, he was commanded to the Flying-School Lipezk, USSR, for advanced training (with the later Major General Carl-August von Schoenebeck). On 1 October 1929, he joined the 12. Infanterie-Regiment in Halberstadt. In 1932, he was commanded to the Infantry School in Dresden. On 1 October 1932, he was commissioned as Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant). He also undertook flight training in Rechlin.

On 1 July 1933, he was transferred to the still unmasked Luftwaffe and ordered to Italy for fighter pilot training (to 30 September 1933). On 1 October 1933, he was assigned as an observation pilot for the Heer (Army) at Berlin-Staaken, belonging to the secretive Reklame-Abteilung Staaken. On 1 October 1934, he was appointed adjutant and commander (Staffelkapitän) of the 3. Staffel/Jagdgeschwader 132. On 12 March 1936, he was appointed commander (Staffelkapitän) of the 7. Staffel/Jagdgeschwader 134 at Lippstadt and Döberitz. On 1 June 1936, he was appointed commander (Staffelkapitän) of the 5. Staffel/JG 134 “Horst Wessel” at Düsseldorf, then JG 234, then JG 132 “Schlageter”, later JG 2 “Richthofen”.


From 16 June 1937 to 29 April 1945, he was Luftwaffen-Adjutant of the "Adjutantur der Wehrmacht beim Führer und Reichskanzler" (Adjutancy of the Wehrmacht to the the Führer and Reich Chancellor). In January 1941, he was promoted to Major, on 1 March 1943 to Lieutenant Colonel and on 1 May 1944 (rank seniority date) to Colonel.

On 20 July 1944, he was severely wounded with concussion during the assassination attempt on Hitler in the Führerhauptquartier in East Prussia. At the beginning of August 1944, he fell ill and collapsed for three weeks, was then sent to a spa in Salzbrunn, Silesia (his deputy: Major Gerhard on Szymonski), and returned to "Wolfsschnaze" cured on 24 October 1944. On 29 April 1945, he witnessed Hitler's Last Will and Testament.

In the night from 29 to 30 April 1945, he departed the Führerbunker on Hitler's orders and escaped using the pseudonym "Claus Nagel". With him he had a message fom Hitler for Wilhelm Keitel, but not the testament, as sometimes suggested. The three couriers with Hitler's testament were Major Willy Johannmeyer (Heeres-Adjutantur), SS-Standartenführer Wilhelm Zander (Bormann's Adjutant) and HJ-Hauptbannführer Heinz Lorenz (Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro). He found his family in the Magdeburg-area and took them west. Von Below evaded capture until 7 January 1946, when he was betrayed and subsequently arrested by the British in Bad Godesberg. In 1946, he was held as a material witness for the Nuremburg Trials. Nicolaus von Below was released on 14 May 1948, found his family, went back to school and earned a degree in Economics.


Germar Rudolf states that von Below "provides a detailed report on how the Allies kept him in preventive custody for a very long time after the war, until he “confessed” what they wanted to hear. In his own words, he “told the English a load of lies”".[1]

In 1980, his memoirs was published. A politically correct review states that "As is the case with all members of Hitler's entourage, Below claims to have known nothing about the Holocaust. Nonetheless, he is honest enough to acknowledge that Heinrich Himmler never would have undertaken the extermination of Europe's Jews without Hitler's order. He also states that a young communications officer spoke with him about witnessing what must have been an Einsatzgruppe action in which women and children were murdered. Below asked SS liaison officer Karl Wolff to look into the matter, but upon being told that the victims were "saboteurs" he dropped the matter. In an even more shocking passage, he claims to have visited the notorious Dora-Mittelbau complex, the underground factory near Nordhausen where slave laborers worked under appalling conditions to manufacture V-2 rockets. Below, however, remarks that "the prisoners seemed well treated and were in good physical condition so far as I could determine" (p. 227).""[2]

The use of forced labor and that the Einsatzgruppen killed certain groups is not something denied by revisionists, see the article on the Einsatzgruppen and Posen speeches: The Einsatzgruppen. That von Below, even shortly before his death, stated that he did not know of a deliberate genocide of Jews, despite admitting knowing the above, is problematic for the politically correct view on the Holocaust, as is similar statements by other members of Hitler's entourage.



Nicolaus was the son of Günther Friedrich Wilhelm von Below (1868–1933), Colonel of the Prussian Army and Lieutenant Colonel of the Army of Chile. and his wife Mathilda Julie, née von Below (1875–1937). His uncle, his father's oldest brother, was General of the Infantry Otto Ernst Vinzent Leo von Below.[3] He had two siblings:

  • Hugo Heinrich Franz Günther (1905–1979); ∞ 11 May 1935 in Opach Charlotte Gertrud Irmgard Schulz, two children
    • Günther was officer of the Wehrmacht, served 1942 with the 71. Infanterie-Division, was captured on 31 January 1943 in Stalingrad as Lieutenant Colonel in General Staff (Oberstleutnant i. G.) and Chief of Operations (Ia) of the 6th Army. On 1 August 1944, he was promoted to Colonel in General Staff (Oberst i. G.) during his captivity and was finally released in November 1955. He was decorated with both classes of the Iron Cross and the German Cross in Gold (28 January 1943). After his return to Germany, he joined the Bundeswehr and served as an Oberst i. G..
  • Luise Alexandra Mathilde (b. 2 February 1911 in Berlin)
    • I ∞ Berlin 30 November 1938 SS rune.png officer Robert Frank (b. 24 February 1914 in Braunschweig), one daughter (Wiete-Irene; b. 1940; Frank served as staff officer with the SS-Division Nord under General Karl-Maria Demelhuber and was as SS-Hauptsturmführer on 1 July 1941 in Keskimäinen-Särkivaara (Finland) near Salla.
    • II ∞ Bremen 3 October 1951 Johann "Hans" Peter Bote (b. 29 May 1896 in Bremen), wealthy merchant


On 26 June 1937 in Nienhagen, Nicolaus von Below married his fiancée Ottilie "Tilla" Maria Kühne (b. 12 September 1918 in Magdeburg), daughter of lord of the manor Otto Albert Stephan Kühne (1882–1957) and his wife Marie Alwine Barbara Getrud Ottilie, née Bennecke (1895–1987). They had four children:

  • Claus-Dirk (b. 22 June 1939 in Berlin), banker; ∞ Braunschweig 25 August 1961 Beate Clasen
  • Hilke-Maria (b. 27 August 1940 in Berlin), physiotherapist, as of 2023 Hilke von Below-Hotze
    • I ∞ Escheberg 25 April 1964 Dr. jur. Gerlach von der Malsburg (o¦o 3 June 1980 in Frankfurt am Main)
    • II ∞ Clausthal-Zellerfeld 25 August 1981 in Dipl.-Ing. Herbert Aly (o¦o 22 October 1987 in Clausthal-Zellerfeld), one daughter
    • III ∞ Bad Salzdetfurth Dipl.-Ing. (TU) Horst H. Hotze
  • Gunda-Maria (b. 28 November 1942 in Berlin; d. 23 November 2020 in Brussels); ∞ Kettwig an der Ruhr 26 July 1969 Dr.-Ing. Manfredo Macioti
  • Christa-Maria (b. 28 July 1945 in Wernigerode); ∞ Bochum 14 June 1968 Dipl.-Kaufmann Klaus Friedrich-Wilhelm von Livonius (1938–2009)

Awards and decorations (excerpt)


See also


  1. Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition.
  2. Eight Years with Hitler
  3. Gothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch der Adeligen Häuser, Teil A, 1939, pp. 27 f.
  4. Pilot Badge with Diamonds Recipients (Archive)