Heinz Neukirchen

Heinz Neukirchen
Born (1915-01-13)January 13, 1915
Duisburg, German Empire
Died December 8, 1986(1986-12-08) (aged 71)
Rostock, East Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
 German Democratic Republic
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Rank Vizeadmiral
Commands held People's Navy (Volksmarine)
Battles/wars World War II

Heinz Neukirchen (January 13, 1915 - December 8, 1986) was an officer of the Kriegsmarine in World War II, and a Vizeadmiral in the People's Navy (Volksmarine) of the German Democratic Republic as well as President of the East German Directorate of Maritime and Port Industries. He was the author of several maritime books.

Neukirchen was born in Duisburg, Germany, the son of a small farmer and vegetable dealer. After graduation from high school he worked an internship from 1931 to 1932, then one year as a freelancer for the Düsseldorfer News. Neukirchen began service in Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine in 1935. As a crewmember of the German cruiser Köln Neukirchen served in the Spanish Civil War and received the Spanish Cross.[1] From 1939 to 1940, holding the rank of a boatswain, he was a harbor protection commander. Following several warrant officer courses, Neukirchen served from 1943 to 1944 as a watch officer on a mine ship. In the last year of World War II, he was a Lieutenant and commander of Submarine chaser stationed in Norway. In addition to this duty he became a National-Socialist guidance officer in 1944[2] and served in 1945 as a battery commander of Naval infantry. From 1945 to 1949 he was in Soviet captivity.

He joined the National Democratic Party of Germany (NDPD) in 1949, and worked until 1950 as a manager of the NDPD political department in Mecklenburg. After one year he became the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the NDPD for the Berlin district.

Neukirchen joined the Main Administration Sea Police (Hauptverwaltung Seepolizei (HVS)) on March 1, 1951. From 1954 to 1956, Neukirchen was Chief of Staff of the Sea Police. He was appointed to the rank of Rear Admiral on October 1, 1952. In 1956 he attended the Soviet Naval Academy. Upon his return, he served until 1961 as Deputy Chief of the People's Navy (Seestreitkräfte/Volksmarine) and as Chief of Staff of the People's Navy command.

In 1959, he married Irmgard Neukirchen, a mother of 6 children from a previous husband.

He commanded the People's Navy (Volksmarine) from 1961 to 1963, while Wilhelm Ehm attended the Soviet Naval Academy. After Ehm's return, he served again as a Deputy Chief of the People's Navy and Chief of Staff of the People's Navy command until his retirement from active service on November 30, 1965. On March 1, 1964, he was promoted to Vice Admiral.

After 1965, Neukirchen served as the President of East Germany's Directorate of Maritime and Port Industries. From 1965-67 he also served as the first chairman of the Football Club FC Hansa Rostock.

Neukirchen died in 1986 in Rostock, GDR.

Neukirchen's publications

His books have been translated into many languages.


  1. Harry Waibel: Diener vieler Herren : Ehemalige NS-Funktionäre in der SBZ/DDR. Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2011 ISBN 978-3-631-63542-1
  2. Siegfried Breyer, Peter Joachim Lapp: Die Volksmarine der DDR. Entwicklung – Aufgaben – Ausrüstung. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Koblenz 1985, ISBN 3-7637-5423-7 (German)

External links

Preceded by
Wilhelm Ehm
Chief of the Volksmarine - German Democratic Republic
Succeeded by
Wilhelm Ehm
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