Wilhelm Voigt, Captain of Köpenick

Wilhelm Voigt, born in 1849, gained a level of notoriety as the ‘Captain of Köpenick.’


He was in fact an impostor who posed as a Prussian officer in a case of fraud in 1906.

In 1906 Voigt purchased all the various parts of a captain’s uniform and then went to the army barracks at Köpenick.

There he stopped four grenadiers and a sergeant who were on there way back to the barracks.

Being a captain meant they didn’t question him when he asked them to follow him into the local town where they then arrested town secretary Rosenkranz and also Mayor Georg Langerhans on charges of crooked bookkeeping.

In all Voigt confiscated 4000 marks and 70 pfennigs from the ‘fraudsters’.

Still posing as a captain he then commandeered two carriages and had some of the grenadiers take the Mayor and the treasurer to Berlin so that they could be interrogated by General Moltke.

He left the remaining guards at the town hall whilst he slipped off o the train station.

Despite changing into civilian clothes he was still caught and received a sentence of 4 years in prison for forgery, impersonating an officer and wrongful imprisonment.

However, German Kaiser Wilhelm II pardoned him in 1908 with some observers of the time claiming that the Kaiser had in fact been quite amused by the whole incident.

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