Lt. Michael Kitzelmann was a Wehrmacht company commander at twenty-four and recipient of the Iron Cross 2nd Class for bravery and the Wound Badge in Gold for seven stays in field hospitals.

A devout Catholic born in Bavaria, Kitzelmann witnessed atrocities committed by the Einsatzgruppen (SS and Security Police killing squads) against the Russian population and Jews. Shocked, he began to openly criticize the war and criminal Nazi activities.

Kitzelmann was denounced by a comrade as he lay wounded in a hospital, court-martialed and executed in June 1942.