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Franz Halder : Nazi Germany

Franz Halder : Nazi Germany


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Franz Halder was born in Germany in 1884. He joined the German Army and during the First World War he was a member of the staff of the Crown Prince of Bavaria.

In 1938 Halder replaced General Ludwig Beck as Chief of General Staff. Halder organized the offensive against Poland but warned Adolf Hitler against the Invasion of France. Halder also helped plan the eventually abandoned Operation Sealion and Operation Barbarossa.

After the resignation of Walter von Brauchitsch Halder took over as Commander in Chief of the German Army. He was replaced by General Kurt Zeitzler in September, 1942 after a disagreement with Adolf Hitler.

Halder was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and accused of being involved in the July Plot. He was sent to Dachau Concentration Camp and was freed in 1945 by the USA Army.

In 1946 Halder gave evidence against leading members of the Nazi Party at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. His critics have pointed out that Halder's objections to Hitler were based on military differences rather than a rejection of Nazi philosophy. For example, he became involved in the July Plot because he believed that Hitler no longer had the ability to win the war. Franz Halder died in 1972.

It was Nicky Kaldor, now Lord Kaldor, who first told me about it the plot of the German generals in 1938. After the war he interrogated Halder, who was the Chief of the German General Staff in 1938. The plan was to arrest the Nazi leaders in Berlin, and proclaim a military government. All the leading German generals were in, or connived at, the plot: Brauchitsch, the Commander-in-Chief; von Rundstedt; Beck; Stulpnagel; Witzleben, Commander of the Berlin Garrison; and also Graf Helldorf, who was chief of the Berlin police. Nicky Kaldor gave me full details of the plot, which I passed on to Churchill who printed them in full, without acknowledgement, in The Gathering Storm. Halder said that he called off the plot at the eleventh hour when Chamberlain's flight to Berchtesgaden was announced. He decided that if Hitler could get away with this he could get away with anything. Of Munich he said: "Never in history has there been such a betrayal. A country, at least equal to ours, forced to give up the strongest defence line in Europe. How could I have foreseen it?" In his view Germany would have been defeated in three weeks in the event of war.

In regard to armoured forces Field-Marshal von Brauchitsch already showed understanding before the war-from the time when he became commander of Army Group 4, in Leipzig, which embraced the motorized and mechanized forces of the army. He had his own ideas on mechanized operations and tactics-without, however,

making full use of these. He liked to drive his car himself, and thus did not reject motorization as a whole. On the contrary, Halder was an officer of routine, of the old school. He did the inevitable, but nothing more. He did

not like panzer divisions at all. In his mind the infantry played the leading role now and for ever.

18th May, 1940: Every hour is precious. F H.Q. sees it quite differently. Führer keeps worrying about south flank. He rages and screams that we are on the way to ruin the whole campaign. He won't have any part in continuing the operation in a westward direction, let alone to the south-west, and still clings to the plan for the north-westerly drive.

24th May, 1940: The left-wing, which consists of armoured and motorized forces and has no enemy in front of it, will be stopped dead in its tracks upon direct order from the Führer. The finishing off of the encircled enemy army is to be left to the Luftwaffe.

26th May, 1940: Brauchitsch is very nervy. I can sympathize with him, for these orders from the top make no sense. In one area they call for a head-on attack against a front retiring in orderly fashion, and elsewhere

they freeze the troops to the spot where the enemy rear could be cut into at any time. Von Rundstedt, too, cannot stand it, and has gone up forward to Hoth and Kleist to look over the land for the next armoured moves.

30th May, 1940: Bad weather has grounded the Luffwaffe and now we must stand by and watch countless thousands of the enemy getting away to England under our noses.

13th July: The Führer is is greatly puzzled by Britain's persisting unwillingness to make peace. He sees the answer (as we do) in Britain's hope on Russia, and therefore counts on having to compel her by main force to agree to peace. Actually that is much against his grain. The reason is that a military defeat of Britain will bring about the disintegration of the British Empire. This would not be of any benefit to Germany. German blood would be shed to accomplish something that would benefit only Japan, the United States, and others.

14th July: The Führer confirms my impressions of yesterday. He would like an understanding with Great Britain. He knows that war with the British will be hard and bloody, and knows also that people everywhere today are averse to bloodshed.


Download this summary catalogue (PDF) &rsaquo HALDER, Generaloberst Franz, Chief of the General Staff of the Supreme Command of the German Army (OKH), 1939-1942: Private War Journal

Born Würzburg, Germany, 30 Jun 1884 entered 3 Royal Bavarian Field Artillery Regt, 1902 Second Lt, 1904 attended Artillery School, Munich, Germany, 1906-1907 attended Bavarian Staff College, 1911-1912 promoted to Lt, 1912 Ordnance Officer, 3 (Bavarian) Infantry Corps Headquarters, 1914 General Staff Officer, 6 (Bavarian) Div, 1915 Capt, 1915 Staff Officer, German 2 Army Headquarters, 1917 General Staff Officer, German 4 Army, 1917 General Staff Officer, Bavarian Cavalry Div, 1917 General Staff Officer, Supreme Commander, East, 1917 Staff Officer, German 15 Reserve Corps Headquarters, 1917 Staff Officer, Army Group Crown Prince Rupprecht, West, 1917 Adjutant, Bavarian General Staff, 1918 Training Branch, Reichswehr Ministry, 1919 Tactics Instructor, Staff Courses, Munich, Germany, 1921 Officer Commanding 4 Mountain Battery, 7 Artillery Regt Maj, 1923 Director of General Staff Training, Munich, 1927-1929 Lt Col, 1929 Chief of Staff, Wehrkreis, the Divisional Military District of the German Army, Westphalia, 1931 Col, 1931 Maj Gen, 1934 General Officer Commanding, German 7 Div, 1935 Lt Gen, 1936 Commander, German Army Manoeuvres Staff, 1936 Head, Training Branch, General Staff of the Army, 1936 General of the Artillery, 1938 Chief of the General Staff, Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH), Supreme Command of the German Army, 1938 awarded Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, 1939 suffered nervous collapse, having been forced to alter plans at the last moment for a German winter offensive in the West, 1940 Col Gen, 1940 instructed staff to formulate plans for an Eastern offensive, 1940 removed from office following the failure of German advances in the East, 1942 arrested by the Gestapo on suspicion of complicity in the Jul assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler's life, 1944 dismissed from the German Army, 1945 imprisoned at Flossenburg and Dachau concentration camps, 1945 prisoner of war, United States, 1945-1947 released, 1947 Head, Historical Liaison Group, Historical Division, US Army, 1948-1961 awarded Meritorious Civilian Service Award of the USA, 1961 died 2 Apr 1972 Halder's journal first published in translated form, 1950.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

University Publications of America, Inc., Bethesda, MD, USA.


Interrogation of General Franz Halder, former Chief of Staff of the German Armed Forces at the IMT Nuremberg commission hearings investigating indicted Nazi organizations.

Commissioner McIlwraith is pictured in the background.

About This Photograph

Event History The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg indicted several Nazi groups and organizations which it declared to be criminal, in addition to the 21 individual leaders of the Third Reich that appeared in the defendants dock. These organizations included the Reich Cabinet, the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, the Elite Guard (SS), the Security Service (SD,) the Secret State Police (Gestapo), the Stormtroopers (SA), and the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces.

The idea behind this novel and controversial proposal was the desire to deal with two problems: (a) finding a legal basis for punishing German crimes committed before the war, and (b) developing a procedure for dealing with the hundreds of thousands of members of the SS and other Nazi organizations implicated in German atrocities. The prosecutors felt that in these organizations there were so many war criminals that individual trials were impossible and that the perpetrators could only be punished on the basis of their proven membership in a criminal organization.

The tribunal, in accordance with its charter, ordered that notices of the impending trials be disseminated throughout Germany. Announcements were published in the German press, broadcast over the radio and posted in internment and POW camps where many of those affected were being held. The response to the trial notices was overwhelming. The deluge of letters, affidavits and applications to be heard in support of the Nazi organizations presented the tribunal with staggering logistical problems. In response, the judges on March 12, 1946 announced their decision to appoint a commissioner charged with the responsibility of reviewing the submissions and hearing witnesses. He was to report to the tribunal the results of his examinations. The judges also gave permission to defense counsel to visit the camps to select witnesses to testify about the accused organizations.

Lt. Col. Airey Neave, a highly decorated British officer, was named commissioner. On May 20, 1946 he began to hear witnesses, but quickly found that there were too many for him to cope with alone. As a result, several assistant commissioners, one each from the US, the USSR and France, were appointed. Over the life of the commission (May 20-August 12, 1946), 101 witnesses were heard in person and hundreds of thousands of affidavits, submitted on behalf of the various Nazi organizations, were reviewed.

The hearings were held in a large room at the Nuremberg courthouse that was dominated by an elevated platform, where the commissioner or his assistant sat. Next to him was the court reporter. In front and to the left of the court reporter were the representatives of the prosecution and defense, and on the right, at the front was the witness. Commission sessions usually lasted about three hours and were held in the morning and again in the afternoon. The single interpreter, who sat to the right and in front of the commissioner, was responsible for the consecutive interpretation from English to German and from German to English, the only two languages used in the proceedings. (The Russian prosecutor was usually accompanied by his personal interpreter.) A second interpreter (who was expected to relieve the one on duty at the break), usually sat behind the interpreter on duty. (There were a total of three interpreters, working two days on and one day off.) In the rear of the room were seats for perhaps twenty visitors.

Examination of the witnesses was handled by lawyers designated to defend the organizations or, on occasion, by the lawyers of the individual defendants before the tribunal. Cross examination was generally handled by Robert Kempner, one of the American assistant prosecutors and Mervyn Griffith-Jones of the UK, and less frequently by Col. Yuri Pokrovsky of the USSR and Henri Monneray of France. The witnesses heard by the commission ranged from the top to the bottom of the hierarchical ladder, from Gauleiter, deputy minister and field marshal to local officials. Among the more prominent witnesses were: Dr. Helmut Knochen, head of the SD in France Dieter Wilisceny, deputy to Adolf Eichmann, SS Dr. Franz Schlegelberger, State Secretary/Deputy Minister of Justice Walter Schellenberg, Chief, SS Foreign Intelligence and General Field Marshalls Gerd von Rundstedt and Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb.

After receiving the six reports submitted by the commission, the tribunal issued its judgement on September 30 and October 1, 1946. While the leadership corps of the Nazi Party, the Gestapo, SD and the SS were all found guilty, the SA, Reich Cabinet and General Staff and the High Command were found not guilty.

[Source, Schwab, Gerald, "The Trial of Nazi Organizations as Part of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal," (unpublished article, June 14, 2002)].

The International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg opened in the fall of 1945, but by the winter of 1942, the governments of the Allied powers had already announced their determination to punish Nazi war criminals. On December 17, 1942, the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union issued the first joint declaration officially noting the mass murder of European Jewry and resolving to prosecute those responsible for violence against civilian populations. Though some political leaders advocated for summary executions instead of trials, eventually the Allies decided to hold an International Military Tribunal so that, in the words of Cordell Hull, "a condemnation after such a proceeding will meet the judgment of history, so that the Germans will not be able to claim that an admission of war guilt was extracted from them under duress." The October 1943 Moscow Declaration, signed by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin, stated that at the time of an armistice persons deemed responsible for war crimes would be sent back to those countries in which the crimes had been committed and adjudged according to the laws of the nation concerned. Major war criminals, whose crimes could be assigned no particular geographic location, would be punished by joint decisions of the Allied governments.

The trials of leading German officials before the International Military Tribunal (IMT), the best known of the postwar war crimes trials, formally opened in Nuremberg on November 20, 1945, only six and a half months after Germany surrendered. Each of the four Allied nations -- the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and France -- supplied a judge and a prosecution team. Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence of Great Britain served as the court's presiding judge. The trial's rules were the result of delicate reconciliations of the Continental and Anglo-American judicial systems. A team of translators provided simultaneous translations of all proceedings in four languages: English, French, German, and Russian. After much debate, 24 defendants were selected to represent a cross-section of Nazi diplomatic, economic, political, and military leadership. Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels never stood trial,having committed suicide before the end of the war. The IMT decided not to try them posthumously so as not to create an impression that they might still be alive. In fact, only 21 defendants appeared in court. German industrialist Gustav Krupp was included in the original indictment, but he was elderly and in failing health, and it was decided in preliminary hearings to exclude him from the proceedings. Nazi Party secretary Martin Bormann was tried and convicted in absentia, and Robert Ley committed suicide on the eve of the trial.

The IMT indicted the defendants on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The IMT defined crimes against humanity as "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation. or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds." A fourth charge of conspiracy was added both to cover crimes committed under domestic Nazi law before the start of World War II and so that subsequent tribunals would have jurisdiction to prosecute any individual belonging to a proven criminal organization. Therefore the IMT also indicted several Nazi organizations deemed to be criminal, namely the Reich Cabinet, the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, the Elite Guard (SS), the Security Service (SD), the Secret State Police (Gestapo), the Stormtroopers (SA), and the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces.

The defendants were entitled to a legal counsel of their choosing. Over 400 visitors attended the proceedings each day, as well as 325 correspondents representing 23 different countries. American chief prosecutor Robert Jackson decided to argue his case primarily on the basis of mounds of documents written by the Nazis themselves rather than eyewitness testimony so that the trial could not be accused of relying on biased or tainted testimony. Testimony presented at Nuremberg revealed much of what we know about the Holocaust including the details of the Auschwitz death machinery, the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto, and the estimate of six million Jewish victims.

The judges delivered their verdict on October 1, 1946. Agreement among three out of four judges was needed for conviction. Twelve defendants were sentenced to death, among them Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hans Frank, Alfred Rosenberg, and Julius Streicher. They were hanged, cremated in Dachau, and their ashes were dropped in the Isar River. Hermann Goering escaped the hangman's noose by committing suicide the night before. The IMT sentenced three defendants to life imprisonment and four to prison terms ranging from 10 to 20 years. It acquitted three of the defendants.


Franz Halder

Franz Ritter Halder (June 30, 1884 – April 2, 1972) was a German general and the head of the Army General Staff from 1938 to September 1942, when he was dismissed after frequent disagreements with Adolf Hitler.

As chief of the German Staff, he was aware of the deep resentment of army officers towards Hitler. Like most of the rest of the upper core of the military and the greater part of the population, he was disgusted by the senseless terrorism of the stormroopers. Moreover, he disapproved of interference in military matters. He was torn between his opposition to Nazism and his oath of loyalty. He was the leader of the first officers' resistance, the Halder plot, but it came to nothing. Halder was opposed to the war, but he chose to follow orders.

He was dismissed in 1942 and arrested after the July Plot. He was kept in a concentration camp until it was liberated by the Allies.


FRANZ HALDER, 87, GERMAN GENERAL

ASCHAU, West Germany, April 3 (UPI)—Col.‐Gen. Franz Halder, who as chief of the German Army's general staff masterminded the Nazi blitz victories against neighboring European countries at the start of World War II, died last night at his home near Ba varia's Chiernsee Lake. He was 87 years old.

General Halder is regarded by some historians as the main architect of Nazi Germany's takeover of Poland, the Low Countries, France, the Balkans, Norway and Denmark and the German advance to the gates of Moscow.

At the height of his career, after the fall of France, Hitler promoted him to colonel‐gen eral, equivalent to a four‐star general in the United States Army.

But he finished the war in disgrace, confined with his family to a concentration camp at Flossenburg. He was accused of having known of the July, 1944, bomb plot that almost killed Hitler.

General Halder already had clashed with Hitler over his in terference in the Army's war policies. Hitler cashiered him in the fall of 1942 and the general, under constant surveil lance by the Gestapo, retired to the Bavarian Alpine village of Oberstdorf until his knowledge of the bomb plot was discovered and he was ar rested.

Advancing American troops liberated him from the con centration camp in 1945.

He was held by United States authorities for two years at Neustadt near Marburg, where he directed a research team of former high‐ranking German officers writing a World War II history. Because of his anti Nazi record, the Allies never indicted him as a war criminal.


2 Answers 2

The usual caveats on human nature aside, Halder is reliable and useful primary source. It is clear from his diary that he did not intend for it to be read by his own generation – he frequently made incriminating comments about his peers (for instance, he clearly had little time for Guderian), as well as his superiors. One particular entry which stands out for me in this respect (only due to my recent interaction with it), was the period around 21 August 1941, when Hitler decided to change his mind regarding the focus for Operation Barbarossa. If Hitler had to read this section alone, he would not have appreciated Halder’s scheming with Brauchitsch.

When the going got tough, Halder had to hide his diary by burying it in a neighbour’s garden. It appears to me that he expected that his diary would never be read – that he would not survive his arrest and that the diary would be lost.

Of course, one could argue that Halder still wrote with one eye on history. Yet at the time, Germany’s star was very much on the rise. There was no way for Halder to anticipate the actual outcome of the war until much later. His diary can therefore be accepted as personal, possibly for a restricted audience at most. His entries are also, as one would expect, insightful and relevant for any analysis of the period. As a bonus, his observations are astute, and his own analyses reveal a razor-sharp mind.


Subject/Index Terms

Repository: Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections

Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.

Acquisition Method: Donation the original acquisition records are unavailable. The journals were likely received through the efforts of Dr. Howard Russell, Secretary General of the American Military Tribunal. Dr. Russell was a Professor of English at UND prior entering government service during World War II.

Related Materials: Nuremberg War Crimes Trial Records: OGLMC 17

Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). Franz Halder Journals. OGLMC 26, Box #, Folder #. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid input to Archon in October 2014.


Franz Halder in The War That Came Early [ edit | edit source ]

When the Second World War broke out in October 1938, a conspiracy Ώ] led in part by Franz Halder ΐ] sought to overthrow Adolf Hitler. The plot, however, was quickly detected by the German government, and the conspirators were either killed or arrested and transferred to Dachau. Α] The German government took great care to insure that the plot was kept out of the press. Even as late as January 1939, the full details of the scheme, and Halder's personal fate, were unknown to many Germans. Β]

Subsequent investigations by the SS led to the "discovery" of more plotters, particularly those who'd associated with Halder in the past. Γ]


Contents

There was almost no organized resistance to Hitler’s regime in the period between his appointment as chancellor in January 1933 and the crisis over Czechoslovakia in 1938. By July 1933 all other political parties and the trade unions had been suppressed, the press and radio brought under state control, and most elements of civil society neutralised. The July 1933 Concordat between Germany and the Holy See ended any possibility of systematic resistance by the Catholic Church. The largest Protestant church, the German Evangelical Church, was generally pro-Nazi, although a small number of church members resisted this position. The breaking of the power of the SA in the "Night of the Long Knives" in July 1934 ended any possibility of a challenge from the "socialist" wing of the Nazi Party, and also brought the army into closer alliance with the regime.

Hitler’s regime was overwhelmingly popular with the German people during this period. The failures of the Weimar Republic had discredited democracy in the eyes of most Germans. Hitler’s apparent success in restoring full employment after the ravages of the Great Depression (achieved mainly through the reintroduction of conscription, a policy advocating that women stay home and raise children, a re-armament programme, and the incremental removal of Jews from the workforce as their jobs were tendered to Gentiles), and his bloodless foreign policy successes such as the reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936 and the annexation of Austria in 1938, brought him almost universal acclaim.

There remained, however, a substantial base for opposition to Hitler’s regime. Although the Nazi Party had taken control of the German state, it had not destroyed and rebuilt the state apparatus in the way the Bolshevik regime had done in the Soviet Union. Institutions such as the Foreign Office, the intelligence services and, above all, the army, retained some measure of independence, while outwardly submitting to the new regime.

While many army officers had initially welcomed the Nazi regime, their opinion soon soured after the 1934 Night of the Long Knives, in which the Schutzstaffel (SS) extrajudicially murdered many of the leaders of the rival Sturmabteilung (SA) and their political opponents, including General Kurt von Schleicher, last Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, and Major-General Ferdinand von Bredow, former head of the Military Intelligence Organization (Abwehr). In May 1934, Colonel General Ludwig Beck, Chief of Staff of the Army, had offered to resign if preparations were made for an offensive war against Czechoslovakia.

In a meeting on 5 November 1937 between Hitler and his military and foreign policy leadership, Hitler's future expansionist policies were outlined. In his view the German economy had reached such a state of crisis that the only way of stopping a drastic fall in living standards in Germany was to embark on a policy of aggression sooner rather than later to provide sufficient Lebensraum by seizing Austria and Czechoslovakia. In the aftermath of this meeting, Hitler had been dissatisfied with the War Minister, Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg, and the Army Chief, General Werner von Fritsch, and regarded them as too hesitant toward the war preparations he was demanding.

The independence of the army was eroded in 1938, when both the War Minister von Blomberg and Army Chief von Fritsch were removed from office as a result of the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair. On 4 February, Colonel General Walther von Brauchitsch was appointed the new army chief by Hitler, on the recommendation of the Army High Command. Brauchitsch, who often seemed intimidated by Hitler, now owed him his personal happiness, as Hitler had set aside his usual anti-divorce sentiments and allowed Brauchitsch to leave his wife to marry his mistress, even lending him 80,000 Reichsmarks so he could afford the divorce. Hitler also used the confusion surrounding the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair to inflict other massive and sudden changes to the army, ordering the summary retirement of 14 senior generals and the abrupt reassignment of 40 others to different commands.

However, despite the removal of Blomberg and Fritsch, the army retained considerable independence, and senior officers were able to discuss their political views in private fairly freely.

Origins of the plot: the Sudeten crisis

In May 1938 the army leadership was informed of Hitler's intention of invading Czechoslovakia by 1 October, even at the risk of war with Britain, France, and or the Soviet Union. The Army Chief of Staff, General Ludwig Beck, regarded this as not only immoral but reckless. Beck had no moral objection to the idea of war of aggression to eliminate Czechoslovakia as a state. However, Beck felt that Germany needed more time to rearm before starting such a war. In Beck's assessment, the earliest date Germany could risk a war was 1940, and any war started in 1938 would be a "premature war" that Germany would lose. While most of the generals felt the idea of starting a war in 1938 was highly risky, none of them would confront Hitler with a refusal to carry out orders, since the majority opinion was that Beck's arguments against war in 1938 were flawed. In the first of his memos, on 5 May 1938, Beck argued that the Sino-Japanese War meant Japan would be unable to come to Germany's aid, that the French Army was the best fighting force in Europe, and that Britain was certain to intervene on the side of France should Germany attack Czechoslovakia. The May Crisis of 21–22 May 1938 further convinced Beck of the dangers of going to war in 1938, and led him to increase his efforts to stop a war that he felt Germany could not win.

At first, Beck felt that Hitler's rush to war in 1938 was not caused by the Führer's personality, but was rather caused by Hitler receiving poor military advice, especially from Keitel. Only in June 1938 did Beck realize that it was Hitler who was behind the drive for war, and, in a memo to Brauchitsch, urge that all of the senior officers threaten a mass collective resignation to force Hitler to abandon his plans for Fall Grün in 1938. Beck ended his appeal to Brauchitsch with: "If they all act together, then it will be impossible to carry out military action. (. ) If a soldier in a position of highest authority in such times see his duties and tasks only within the limits of his military responsibilities, without consciousness of his higher responsibility to the whole people, then he shows a lack of greatness, a lack of comprehension of responsibility. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary actions!"

Beck's campaign for a mass resignation was not aimed at the overthrow of Hitler, but was rather intended to persuade Hitler to abandon his plans for war in 1938, and to purge certain "radical" elements from the Nazi Party, who Beck believed to have a negative influence on Hitler. Together with the Abwehr chief, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, and the German Foreign Office's State Secretary, Baron Ernst von Weizsäcker, Beck was a leader of the "anti-war" group in the German government, which was determined to avoid a war in 1938 that it felt Germany would lose. This group was not necessarily committed to the overthrow of the regime, but was loosely allied to another, more radical group, the "anti-Nazi" fraction centered around Colonel Hans Oster and Hans Bernd Gisevius, which wanted to use the crisis as an excuse for executing a putsch to overthrow the Nazi regime. The divergent aims between these two factions produced considerable tensions.

In a June 1938 General Staff study, Beck concluded that Germany could defeat Czechoslovakia, but that to do so would leave western Germany empty of troops, thus potentially allowing the French to seize the Rhineland with little difficulty. Beck maintained that Czechoslovak defences were very formidable, that Prague could mobilize at least 38 divisions, and that at least 30 German divisions would be needed to break through, requiring at a minimum a three-week-long campaign. Beck concluded that Hitler's assumptions about a limited war in 1938 were mistaken. In July 1938, upon being shown Beck's 5 May 1938 memo opposing Fall Grün by Brauchitsch, Hitler called Beck's arguments "kindische Kräfteberechnungen" ("childish calculations"). In another memo of July 1938, Beck contended that a war with Czechoslovakia, France and Britain could only end in Germany's defeat, and urged Hitler to postpone his plans for aggression until such a time as Germany was strong enough for such a war. In late July 1938, Erich von Manstein, a leading protégé of Beck's, wrote to his mentor urging him to stay at his post, and place his faith in Hitler. On 29 July, Beck wrote a memo stating the German Army had the duty to prepare for possible wars with foreign enemies and "for an internal conflict which need only take place in Berlin". The 29 July memo is normally considered the start of Beck's efforts to overthrow the Nazi regime.

In August 1938, Beck suggested to Brauchitsch that a "house-cleaning" of the Nazi regime was necessary, under which the influence of the SS be reduced, but Hitler would continue as dictator. At a 10 August summit the leading generals of the Reich, Hitler spent much of the time attacking Beck's arguments against Fall Grün, and won the majority of the generals over. Beck resigned alone on 18 August. Beck was highly respected in the army and his removal shocked the officer corps. He was replaced, as head of the General Staff, by General Franz Halder. At Hitler's request, Beck kept his resignation secret, and thus nullified the protest value of his resignation. Hitler promised Beck that if he kept his resignation secret, he would be rewarded with a major field command, and Beck was much disillusioned when he was instead put on the retired list. Beck's resignation removed him from the center of the opposition, but but would hover in the background and offer the conspirators support and advice. He remained in touch with Halder and Hans Oster, the deputy head of the Abwehr (Germany's military intelligence organization). Privately, he said that he considered Hitler “the incarnation of evil.”


TIL that the United States hired former Wehrmacht Chief of Staff Franz Halder to write their official history of the Eastern Front of WWII to downplay Nazi war crimes in order to make the Soviets appear as bad as possible and was even awarded by the American government for his work

This happened a lot. Getting West Germany back up and running was critical to the USA and the soon-to-be NATO allies and narratives that downplayed the involvement of critical bureaucrats and military experts were put forward for that purpose.

The reality is that many if not most technocrats and industry leaders were closely involved with the Nazi Party but if they had all been prosecuted or blacklisted there would have been no one left to run the country.

A lot of that is coming to light now.

Kurt fuckin’ Waldheim became the president of Austria & sec general of the UN

Like how most of the eastern serving troops became law enforcement in West Germany, and have openly been interviewed discussing their experiences like a ɼompassion killing' of a baby being held in the air by its Jewish mother while they were both in the pit? Yep, and it wasn't just one or ten or a hundred eastern posted troops who were out killing Jews. They all were.

If history is any indication, nothing will happen to China about the Uighurs. If anything, they'll win an Amazon contract for a new warehouse.


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