An original printed telegram (received copy) from Adolf Hitler, to Franz Bohme. The partially printed document bears a message from the Fuhrer, stating, in full, ‘On your birthday today I send you my best wishes’. With various received stamps and pencil annotations etc.
A typed summary of the telegram and an English translation is included within the sale.
During the opening years of World War II, Böhme held command of the 30th Infantry Division and 32nd Infantry Division, taking part in the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and in the Battle of France in May and June 1940. On 29 June 1940, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.
Between 16 September 1941 and 2 December 1941, as Commanding General and Commander of Serbia, Böhme ordered the reprisal executions of 2,000 communists and Jews in Topola after a partisan assault on 22 soldiers of the 421 Korps-Nachrichten-Abteilung.
In December 1943, Böhme was appointed Deputy Commanding General of the XVIII Corps and Commander of Wehrkreis [Military District] XVIII, Salzburg. O4 June 1944, he was delegated with[clarification needed] the leadership of the Second Panzer Army in the Balkans, Böhme succeeding Generaloberst Dr. jur. Lothar Rendulic.
In July 1944, Böhme was transferred to the Army’s High Command Leader Reserve, giving up control of the 2nd Panzer Army to General Maximilian de Angelis. Between 8 January 1945 and 7 May 1945, he was Armed Forces Commander of Norway and Commander-in-Chief of the 20th Mountain Army.
After being captured in Norway, he was brought before the Hostages Trial, a division of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, and charged with war crimes committed in Serbia during his control of the region in 1941. He had upped the ante of retaliatory strikes against Serbs, killing a hundred Serbs for every German killed, and fifty for every German wounded; this resulted in the massacre of thousands of civilians.When his extradition to Yugoslavia seemed imminent, Böhme committed suicide by jumping from the 4th story of the prison in which he was being held. His body was interred at St. Leonhard-Friedhof in Graz.