|“||My most profound confidence is however based upon the fact that at the head of Germany there stands a man by his entire development, his desires, and striving can only have been destined by fate to lead our people into a brighter future.||„|
|~ Alfred Jodl, 1943|
In 1890, Jodl was born under a man also named Alfred Jodl and Therese Baumgärtler. He was educated then graduated from Cadet school in Munich. His younger brother Ferdinand would also be a Nazi. In World War I, he fought as an artillery officer and was wounded twice in the fighting. 1917, he fought on the Eastern front before being a staff officer in the west. When the carnage was over in 1918, Jodl joined the Reichswehr.
Towards the end of the Weimar Republic, Jodl was put under the care of Ludwig Beck. He met Adolf Hitler on September 1939. At the Battle of Britain, he wrote "The final German victory over England is now only a question of time". He was first Artilleriekommandeur of the 44th division then went through the rest of the war as Chef des Wehrmachtsführungsstabes. While Jodl was taking Norway and Denmark, Hitler interrupted him when the flotilla destroyer was sunk outside Narvik. Jodl disagreed with his boss. He signed the Commando Order of 28 October 1942 and the Commissar Order of June 6th, 1941. In a meeting with Hitler on July 20th, 1944; Jodl was badly wounded by the bomb meant for Hitler. After surviving, he was given the special wounded badge.
Following Hitler's suicide on 30 April 1945, Jodl was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by Admiral Karl Dönitz, Hitler's successor, on 6 May. At the end of World War II in Europe, Jodl signed the instruments of unconditional surrender on 7 May 1945 in Reims as the representative of Dönitz.
At the Nuremberg War Trials, Jodl was indicted for crimes against peace, humanity, war crimes, etc. On all four charges, Jodl was announced guilty and sentenced to hang. He said his last words: "Ich grüße Dich, mein ewiges Deutschland - My greetings to you, my eternal Germany." before he was hanged.
On February 28th, 1953; the München Hauptspruchkammer (main denazification court) declared Jodl not guilty of the main charges brought against him at Nuremberg, citing the French co-President of the Tribunal, Henri Donnedieu de Vabres, who had in 1946 called the verdict against Jodl a mistake. His property, which had been confiscated in 1946, was returned to his widow. The declaration was politically revoked on September 3rd, 1953 by the Minister of Political Liberation for Bavaria, after pressure from American officers. This decision had no juridical impact, his wife could keep his property.