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Guenter Kiessling

Günter Kießling.

Günter Kießling (1925–2009) was a German general in the Bundeswehr, who became famous as the subject of what became known as the Kießling (or Kiessling) Affair.

Kießling was born in Frankfurt (Oder) in the Province of Brandenburg. In the Second World War, he was a lieutenant in the infantry and served on the Eastern Front. After the war, he joined the Bundesgrenzschutz and later transferred to the Bundeswehr. Before his early retirement he was Commander of NATO land forces and deputy to the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

In 1983 Kießling was secretly accused of homosexuality, which, in his position, was regarded as a security risk and led to his premature retirement. The allegations were later found to be without foundation and he was rehabilitated, being briefly reinstated before retiring with full honours.

Kießling again achieved public prominence in 1997 when he spoke at the funeral of Josef Rettemeier, a highly decorated World War II soldier and one of the few soldiers to be awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves.[1]

Günter Kießling died in Rendsburg, in Schleswig-Holstein, on 28 August 2009.[2]


  1. Gimson, Andrew (1998-01-15). "Bundeswehr signals end for the citizen's army". Weekly Telegraph (Electronic Telegraph, Issue 965). Telegraph Group Limited. Retrieved 2007-01-06. "Gen Günter Kiessling, 72, gave full vent to the anger felt by many German soldiers when he delivered the address last week at a Bundeswehr ceremony in honour of Col Josef Rettemeier. The colonel was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves for gallantry during the Second World War and later served in the Bundeswehr." 
  2. "Gunter Kiessling ist tot: Der General, der an Selbstmord dachte und siegte" Die Welt, 28 August 2009) (German)


  • Günter Kießling: Versäumter Widerspruch. Hase & Koehler, Mainz 1993, ISBN 3-7758-1294-6. Autobiography. (German)
Military offices
Preceded by
G Luther
Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe
With Sir Peter Terry

1982 – 1984
Succeeded by
Hans-Joachim Mack

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