Hermann von Bilfinger

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Hermann Freiherr von Bilfinger in uniform

Hermann Bilfinger , from 1902 Baron von Bilfinger (* 1 March 1843 in Friolzheim; † 14 March 1919 at Harteneck Castle near Ludwigsburg) was a Württemberg General of the Infantry and Royal Württemberg Adjutant General of King Wilhelm II


Bilfinger was the second of four children of the pastor Dr. Carl Bilfinger and Adelheid Bilfinger, née Frank. When his father exchanged the Friolzheim parish with the one in Rohracker, he attended the Stuttgart grammar school from there. Despite his upper middle-class career, he had a strong connection to his home parish throughout his life

At the age of 16 he attended the war school in Ludwigsburg. After his 21st birthday he became a lieutenant with the 1st Hunter Battalion at Hohenasperg. He repeatedly distinguished himself in the campaigns of the German War of 1866 and Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71. He was appointed to the General Staff of Württemberg and in 1877 also to the Grand General Staff in Berlin. In 1901 he became General of the Infantry.

In 1896 Bilfinger was appointed by the King of Württemberg as his Adjudicator General. For fifteen years he enjoyed the full confidence of the king, with whom he had a cordial relationship. His in-depth knowledge of the country, its customs and traditions, as well as his openness and considered and sober judgment made him a reliable advisor. In recognition of Bilfinger’s merits, he was elevated by the king to the hereditary rank of baron.[1] In 1911 he asked the King for retirement. The King complied with this request, but at the same time appointed him for life as a member of the First Chamber of the Diet of Württemberg. Even after his official retirement, von Bilfinger remained closely and amicably connected to the King. The abdication of the king in November 1918 and his withdrawal, as well as the political upheavals hit him hard.


Harteneck Castle

Von Bilfinger was married to Freifrau Marie Henriette von Bilfinger, née Rouff, a merchant’s daughter from Ludwigsburg, with whom he had a daughter and five sons.[2] The family’s residence was Schloss Harteneck, which was acquired by von Bilfinger’s father-in-law in 1851

Honours and awards

  • War commemorative coin (1866)
  • Iron Cross (1871)
  • Order of Military Merit of Württemberg (1898)
  • General of the Infantry (1901)
  • Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (1904)[3]
  • Honorary citizenship of Friolzheim (1905)

Individual references

  1. Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Abt. Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart – Findbuch E 157/1: Ministerium des Innern: Kommission für die Adelsmatrikel – Strukturansicht.Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  2. Imanuel Stutzmann, Michael Seiß et al: Friolzheim – a village and its people remember and celebrate Geiger Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-86595-081-7
  3. The London Gazette, issue 27991, p. 737