Wilhelm Burgdorf was born in Furstenwalde, Brandenburg, German Empire on 15 February 1895, and he served as an infantry officer in a grenadier regiment of the Imperial German Army during World War I. He served in the Reichswehr between the wars and was promoted to captain in 1930, and he became an instructor at the Dresden military academy as a Major in 1935. From May 1940 to April 1942, he commanded the 529th Infantry Regiment, and he served in various staff positions in the following years. In October 1944, he became Chief of the Army Personnel Office and Adolf Hitler's chief adjutant, and he was responsible for Erwin Rommel's suicide, telling him that his family and staff would gain immunity if he killed himself. Burgdorf would join Hitler in the Fuhrerbunker during the Battle of Berlin, and he outlived Hitler by two days. On 2 May 1945, Burgdorf and Hans Krebs shot themselves in the head.