Erich Alfons Justus Freiherr von Brandt is the father of the Von Brandt siblings, and the wife of Gretel von Brandt.
Erich comes from a long line of noble war heroes and veterans, with ancestors that have served in the Prussian and Imperial Russian military. Erich himself is a veteran, particularly of World War I.
He served in the Russian Imperial Army as an Ober-ofizer. He fought to the bitter end, and seeing the writings on the wall, switched sides after the Russians lost. He fought in the Baltische Landeswehr against the Bolsheviks. However, after having his twin boys, he refused to continue fighting in the Russian Civil Wars. He spent most of his days spending whatever time he had left with his family, in fear that they may not live to see another day in their now war-torn homeland.
The uncertainty of their once-stable live gave Erich PTSD, which would eventually be passed onto Vinzenz...
Erich treated his family poorly due to his shell shock and refused to seek help out of pride, as well as fear of being viewed as a coward. Vinzenz began holding disdain for his father due to this, and it wasn't until Helene's insisting that Erich receive electro-shock therapy. Although it alleviated the symptoms, it erased part of Erich's memory for a while.
After WWI, Erich found work as a politician in Latvia. Shortly after, he found himself as a conscript in the Wehrmacht during WWII. Although he never joined the Nazi party, he held some of their views with fervor, and as a desperate attempt to grasp at straws for the cause of his war neurosis. He blamed the Jews and Bolsheviks for his mental state, and hoped that obliterating the Red Army would make his problems go away.
He was later taken as a prisoner of war by the Red Army when they bombed the building his unit was in. Fearing that being captured alive was a "fate worse than death", Erich tried to escape. Instead, he was made to carry out hard labor, often in extreme weather conditions. His accommodation was basic at best, and eventually he died from disease and lack of food.