The Buchwäldchen Bohnstedt Line:
The Bohnstedts and Prussian Military Tradition

by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
     (the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)


"...many [Bohnstedt] family members were high-ranking officers in the German Army through WW I and up to and through WW II". This was the statement by Charlotte Bohnstedt on the occasion of Duane "Sparky" Bohnstedt's visit to her home in Los Angeles in 1978. As we will see this aptly characterizes this branch of the Bohnstedt family, the Buchwäldchen Line.

When the history of the Bohnstedt family was examined, particularly the Prussian Bohnstedt Branch (descendants of August Wilhelm Bohnstedt), we found that a number of males born under the Bohnstedt name were indeed officers in the Wehrmacht (German Military), some with senior ranks.

The militaristic culture of World War II Germany reached back to a military tradition of Prussia, in areas we now know as Eastern Germany and Northern Poland. This in turn can be traced back centuries earlier to the days of the German Teutonic Knights as the militaristic rulers of areas that later became East Prussia, Pomerania and portions of Western Russia, such as Estonia.

Just as Charlotte had told Sparky Bohnstedt, there were several Bohnstedts found in this large "Prussian Branch" of Bohnstedts who were officers in the German army. In several other cases the women born under the Bohnstedt name married German army officers, or their sons were found to be German Army officers.

For example, from the The Krämersdorf Line of Friedrich Wilhelm Eduard Bohnstedt came Oscar Hugo Edgar Victor Bohnstedt. Edgar compiled the information for the 1939 Stammbaum, and was a military legal official, having reached the rank of Generalrichter before his retirement.

1. Oscar Hugo Edgar Victor Bohnstedt was a career army officer and a military legal official. By 1945 he had been promoted to Oberst [Colonel].  There is also some evidence that he was promoted again, to general, when he was made a "generalrichter" [general judge], although his appointment to this rank did not last long since the war in Europe ended in early May, 1945.  I'm no expert on German military insignia, but I believe this picture was taken when Edgar was still an "Oberst [Colonel].

From the Lichtenrade Line of Ferdinand Wilhelm Adolf Bohnstedt came Eberhard Bohnstedt, who entered the Flying Service during World War I and was given command of a flying squadron. In the years before the Second World War broke out he formally retired from German military service and went to El Salvador, directing that country's military academy.  While he was directing the Salvadoran military academy Eberhard Bohnstedt had the honorary rank of General.  (Narrative).

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2. Eberhard Julius Georg Waldemar Bohnstedt as a junior officer.
3. A photograph of Eberhard Bohnstedt, circa 1938 - 1939, from the Salvadoran Military Academy. The last name under the portrait (appearing on the full size image) is incorrectly spelled "Bohnsted" (without the "t" at the end).

From the The Buchwäldchen Line of Albert Bohnstedt there were several military officers of senior rank. His brother, Richard was a Major in the Army, while Richard's son, Hans, held the rank of Lieutenant.

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4-5. Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General) Wilhelm Bohnstedt

Three sons of Conrad Albert Bohnstedt were known to be senior military officers; records indicate that Friedrich and Siegfried Bohnstedt were both army officers with the rank of Major. Friedrich and Siegfried's younger brother, Johannes Wilhelm Bohnstedt, reached the highest military rank ever obtained by a Bohnstedt that we are aware of; General. His story is told next in General Wilhelm Bohnstedt.


See Also:
1-25 /
The Lichtenrade Bohnstedt Line; Colonel Eberhard Bohnstedt
1-31 / The Buchwäldchen Bohnstedt Line; General Wilhelm Bohnstedt
1-44 /
Genealogy 1-6-3: Prussia and Eastern Germany: Buchwäldchen
5-7 /
Appendix F: Military Ranking Systems of Germany and the United States


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