Otto Schröder-Zollinger

Commander of the German Air Force Sector West during WW II, 1898 - 1980

Otto Schröder-Zollinger is from an exotic branch of Zollingers who emigrated from Zürich to Syria around 1850, where they became prominent business family first in Haifa, and later in Aleppo. The family owned trading firms and a bank, and while in Syria decided to change from Swiss to German citizenship. Otto's grandfather Johann Jakob Zollinger became the German Consul General in Aleppo, and his son later followed in his footsteps. Of the two sons born to the family, one died young, and the other remained single, but the five daughters all married, and ended up living in Greece, France, Italy and Germany. Otto Schröder is the son of the youngest daughter Lucia Zollinger, and he was born in Brumana, Syria. His parents must have returned to Germany, as he entered the Naval School in Mürwick as a cadet in 1917. He then served on the battleship "Oldenburg" in 1918, on the minesweeper "M 90" in 1921 and on the battleship"Braunschweig" from 1923 to 1925. By 1927 he was First Watch Officer and Torpedo Officer on the torpedo boat "Seeadler", and Torpedo Officer on the battleship "Königsberg" by 1932.

In 1933 he was transferred to the Air Force (Luftwaffe), and became military airfield commander in Rügen. In 1936 he was promoted to Group Leader at the Air Force Sea-Command in Kiel, and in 1939 he joined the staff of the Commander-in Chief of the German Navy. In 1940 he became commander of the aviation School in Parow, and by 1943 he was a member of the German Luftwaffe High Command. He was on the staff of the Air Force Command Belgium-Northern France in 1944, as well as staff member of the Luftgau Command XIV in Wiesbaden. He was apprehended by Allied Forces in May 1945, and was a prisoner of war in Britain from 1945 to 1948.

Little is known about his life after WW II, except that he retired to Schmalenbeck, a suburb of Hamburg, where he died in 1980.

Reference: Web Site on British Prisoners of War.

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