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Hellmut von Leipzig (18 July 1921 — 24 October 2016) was an officer (Leutnant) of the Brandenburgers in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany. Following the war, Leipzig became involved in leadership roles in the German-speaking community in Namibia.

Hellmut von Leipzig
Hellmut von Leipzig.jpg
Hellmut von Leipzig (2014)
Born18 July 1921
Keetmanshoop, South West Africa
Died24 October 2016 (aged 95)
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Years of service1939–45
RankLeutnant of the Reserves
UnitAfrika Korps
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross



Leipzig was born in German South West Africa, son of a naval officer. In 1941, he volunteered for the Afrika Korps. He became driver to Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, whom Leipzig describes as "the craziest passenger ever", because he always said "Faster!" and when encountering an enemy's minefield, would insist on going and personally guiding Leipzig around the mines. Leipzig fought in the "Battle of Berlin", became a POW in 1945 and spent 10 years in Soviet captivity.[1][2]

In later life he resided in Namibia, where he founded the German Cultural Council, the largest organisation of the German-speaking community in Namibia. He chaired the organisation from 1986 to 1997. He also sat on the board of The Association of German School Societies in Namibia (AGDS).[3] Leipzig died in Namibia in October 2016 at the age of 95.[4]



  1. ^ Vogelsang, Lucas (5 Aug 2016). "Hellmut von Leipzig". FOCUS. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  2. ^ Opielok, Yasmin (2001-02-25). "Rommels Fahrer in Afrika entdeckt". WELT. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Hellmut von Leipzig wird 90 Jahre alt". Allgemeine Zeitung. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  4. ^ Muere el chofer militar que salvo la vida a Erwin Rommel, el general nazi al que odiaba Hitler
  5. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 500.


  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.