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Wilhelm Groener

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Wilhelm Groener (November 22 1867 - May 3 1939) was a German soldier and politician.

He was born in Ludwigsburg, Württemberg, the son of a regimental paymaster. He entered the Württemburg Army in 1884, and attended the War Academy from 1893 until 1897, whereupon he was appointed to the General Staff (1899). For the next seventeen years he was attached to the railway section, becoming head of it in 1912. In November of 1916 he moved into the Prussian War Ministry as deputy war minister. In August 1917 he took a field command in Ukraine. On the resignation of Erich Ludendorff he became First Quartermaster General (Deputy Chief of the General Staff) under Hindenburg. In this capacity he counselled Kaiser Wilhelm II to abdicate and oversaw the retreat and demobilisation of the army after World War I.

After his resignation from the army (September 30 1919), he was in and out of retirement in the 1920's. He served as Transportation Minister between 1920 and 1923. He succeeded Otto Geßler as Defence Minister in 1928, a post he held until 1932. In 1931 he also became Interior Minister, and favoured the banning of the SA. After the removal of Brüning and the appointment of Franz von Papen as Chancellor, Groener retired from public life.

Groener was married twice: Helene Geyer (1864-1926), with one daughter, and Ruth Naeher-Glück, with whom he had a son. Groener died in Bornstedt b. Potsdam on May 3, 1939.


Preceded by:
Paul von Hindenburg
Chief of the General Staff
1919
Succeeded by:
Hans von Seeckt
Preceded by:
Gustav Bauer
Transportation Minister of Germany
1920–1923
Succeeded by:
Rudolf Oeser
Preceded by:
Otto Geßler
Defence Minister of Germany
1928–1932
Succeeded by:
Kurt von Schleicher
Preceded by:
Joseph Wirth
Interior Minister of Germany
1931–1932
Succeeded by:
Wilhelm Freiherr von Gayl

Template:End boxde:Wilhelm Groener nl:Wilhelm Groener

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