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Helmuth Weidling

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Helmuth Weidling
Weidling
Weidling's face when he hears Burgdorf singing.

Name:

Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling

Born

2 November 1891

Died

17 November 1955 (aged 64)

Nicknames

The Dog-faced Man
Gandalf's younger brother
Ian McKellen

Notable for

Stopping Burgdorf from shooting Fritzsche

Portrayed by

Michael Mendl

“Is that a joke? I'd rather become an ice-cream seller or any shit like that.”
―Weidling, after he finds out Hitler appointed him Commander of the Berlin Defence Area.
“We must protect civilians!”
―Weidling kicking off the argument between the generals in the Goebbels Rants Scene.
“Bitte ein Glas Wasser.”
―Weidling after recording the surrender announcement
Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling [IPA: hɛlmʊt vaɪdlɪŋ] (2 November 1891 – 17 November 1955) was an officer in the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) before and during World War II.

Weidling was born on November 2, 1891 in Halberstadt, Province of Saxony. He entered the military in 1911 initially serving in a field artillery regiment in Breslau. His next assignment was to a balloon battalion in the Tegel district of Berlin and whilst in Berlin he was promoted to lieutenant on 10 August 1912.

In November 1938, Weidling became a Colonel (Oberst) of the 56th Artillery Regiment. He fought with this regiment in the Polish Campaign of 1939. In April 1940, Weidling was appointed Artillery Commander of the XL Tank Corps (XL Panzer Korps). He commanded this corps during the Battle of France and during the early stages of Operation Barbarossa.

On 15 October 1943, Weidling became the Commanding General of the XLI Tank Corps.

On 16 April 1945, Weidling prepared to take part in the Battle of the Seelow Heights, which was part of the broader Battle of the Oder-Neisse. Weidling's LVI Tank Corps was in the center, flanked by the CI Army Corps to his left and the XI SS Tank Corps to his right. All three corps were part of General Theodor Busse's 9th Army, which was defending the heights above the Oder River.

On 22 April, Hitler ordered that Weidling be executed by firing squad for having retreated in the face of advancing Soviet forces, which was in defiance of standing orders to the contrary. As such, Weidling's actions required a death sentence. This situation turned out to be a misunderstanding, and it was cleared up before Weidling's execution could take place. On 23 April, Hitler appointed Weidling as the commander of the Berlin Defence Area. Weidling replaced Lieutenant General (Generalleutnant) Helmuth Reymann, Colonel (Oberst) Ernst Kaether, and Hitler himself.

Weidling was the last commander of the Berlin Defence Area during the Battle of Berlin, and led the defence of the city against Soviet forces, finally surrendering just before the end of World War II in Europe.

On 27 February 1952, a Soviet military tribunal in Moscow sentenced Weidling to 25 years of imprisonment for not surrendering Berlin sooner. Weidling died on 17 November 1955, apparently in the custody of the KGB, in the Vladimir camp. KGB records listed the cause of death as "arterial and cardiac sclerosis along with circulatory collapse."

During Weidling's military career, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.

Downfall Parody Universe

Weidling, like Keitel, is considered by Untergangers to be the most serious character in the Downfall parodies. While Hitler and his generals focus their effort to thwart Fegelein and Himmler, Weidling focuses on the more obvious issue at hand: the siege of Berlin by the Red Army. Burgdorf coined his nickname "The Dog-Faced Man", poking fun at Weidling's aged and dirt-smothered face. He was also called "Grandpa Nazi".

On several occasions he has rebelled against Hitler's rule, specifically in Benad361's parodies focusing on "The Bunker Civil War" in which Weidling, BurgdorfMohnke, Fegelein and Himmler defect and form their own faction. Weidling aims to become the Führer in revenge for a failed "Pencil of Doom" attack on him, which failed to kill him due to Fegelein's sabotage of the pencil. He formed the "Anti Führer Weidling for Führer" (A.F.W.F) organisation, and began a civil war. However, Fegelein manipulated the war to his advantage, using it to gain personal control of the faction, and rename it the "Anti Führer Fegelein for Führer" (A.F.F.F) organisation, and (as seen in "The Battle of Fegelosis" parody) getting the other leaders killed and turned into subservient battle droids to be used to the advantage of himself and Himmler (until Himmler's death at the hands of Hitler on Fegelosis).

He is also sometimes responsible for the warning announcements like the one seen in Viva la Fegel.

Trivia

  • On 2 May, General Weidling had his Chief-of-Staff, von Dufving, arrange a meeting with General Chuikov. Weidling and Chuikov had the following conversation:
Chuikov: "You are the commander of the Berlin garrison?"
Weidling: "Yes, I am the commander of the LVI Tank Corps."
Chuikov: "Where is Krebs?"
Weidling: "I saw him yesterday in the Reich Chancellery. I thought he would commit suicide. At first he (Krebs) criticized me because unofficial capitulation started yesterday. The order regarding capitulation has been issued today.
Sokolovsky: "Where have Hitler and Goebbels gone?"
Weidling: "So far as I know, Goebbels and his family were to commit suicide. The Führer took poison on April 30. His wife also poisoned herself."
Chuikov: "Did you hear that or see that?"
Weidling: "I was in the Reich Chancellery on the evening of April 30. Krebs, Bormann, and Goebbels told me about it."
Chuikov: "So the war is over?"
Weidling: "I think that every unnecessary death is a crime . . . madness."
Sokolovsky: "Issue an order regarding complete surrender, so that there will be no resistance in individual sectors. Better late than never."
Weidling: "We have neither ammunition nor heavy weapons, therefore, resistance cannot last long. All the Germans have become confused, and they will not believe me that the Führer is dead."
Chuikov: "Write an order regarding complete capitulation. Then your conscience will be clear."

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