von Stülpnagel, Otto and Carl-Heinrich
These two Wehrmacht generals were cousins, and from 1940 to 1944, they were the main commanders of the German military administration en occupied France (Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich or MBF). Otto von Stülpnagel, who had previously been deputy commander of the Vienna military area, took up this new post on October 25, 1940. The High Command of the army wanted this executive leadership to be strong; the new head of the MBF, who was 61 years old, had the necessary qualities for the job. But he resigned prematurely on February 16, 1942, following a major conflict with Berlin over the way he was implementing the German repressive policy in occupied France. He was replaced by his cousin, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, another infantry general who had commanded the 2nd army corps during the battle for France. At the end of June 1940, he had become president of the German Armistice Commission in Wiesbaden; he was then put in charge of the 17th army in Belarus from February to November 1941. Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel resigned from his post as MBF after the failed attempt on Hitler’s life on July 20, 1944; he was condemned to death for his role in this attempted assassination and executed. When France was liberated, Otto, his cousin and predecessor, was awaiting trial before a French military court when he committed suicide in the Cherche-Midi prison in February 1948 (G. Eismann, 2005).