Hugo Gutmann

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Hugo Gutmann (1880-1962), born in Nuremberg, was a Jewish artillery lieutenant in the WW1 German army who made a huge effort to convince his division commander that Adolf Hitler was worthy of the Iron Cross (which was almost always reserved for commissioned officers), and personally pinned it to his chest. Hugo Gutmann was Hitler's immediate superior officer from January 29 to August 31, 1918. Hitler was presented with the Iron Cross 1st Class on August 4, 1918, near Soissons, on recommendation from Gutmann.

After World War I, Gutmann took over his father's office furniture company. Gutmann and his family were able to flee to Brussels in spring 1939; in May 1940, he fled, via France, Spain and Portugal, to the US, where he settled in St. Louis, changing his name to Henry G. Grant.

Gutmann's military papers have been preserved, and they tell that he was born on November 19, 1880 in Nuremberg as the son of the shop-keeper Salomon Gutmann and his wife Emma. He himself stated his religion as Jewish. In 1902 he volunteered for the army and was appointed non-commissioned officer before he was transferred to the reserve in 1904. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Hugo Gutmann was called up, and soon after he was transferred to Regiment List. On April 15, 1915, he was promoted to Lieutenant, and after that he acted as adjutant for the regiment's artillery battalion. On the same day that Hitler received his Iron Cross, the regimental commander, Freiherr von Tubeuf, wrote a recommendation on Gutmann which shows his energy as a front officer. Gutmann was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class on December 2, 1914.

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