Hermann Preusker

Hans Rudolf Hermann Preusker was a Major, the commander of the second battalion of 155 infantry regiment in the Imperial German army. He is notable for the destruction he brought to the Polish city of Kalisz during the Great War. He is known in Poland for his savage acts during this time. He ordered shooting the city with heavy artillery, as an act of revenge for the alleged attack of partisans, which in fact, never took place. Many civilians were rounded up and murdered on his command. Later on, he gave an order to burn the city - in consequence 95% of the town was completely destroyed. Nearly all the houses within the borders of the mediaeval town were burnt to the ground. The only buildings which survived were the churches and public offices. A great number of citizens were shot. Kalisz, had had a population of 65.400 before the war, but had only 5.000 inhabitants after the August exodus. The city did not recover from these events for years afterwards.


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