Essay on Anti-Nazi Tendencies of Hitler’s Officers

Essay on Anti-Nazi Tendencies of Hitler’s Officers

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Hitler’s generals strongly disagreed with his policies even to the point of attempting an assassination. Multiple times Hitler’s officer tried to stop him from wreaking havoc on the German way of life. Their repeated warnings went unheard, resulting in Germany’s downfall. The German war effort was vastly influenced by the Anti-Nazi tendencies of Hitler’s senior officers.
The two staunchest opponents of Nazism were generals Ludwig Beck and Freihers Werner von Fritsch. Hitler was forced to keep these men on staff for multiple reasons. The Army already felt estranged by Hitler and removing Fritch and Beck could have further damaged that relationship. He also realized that the duo were some of the greatest generals Germany had to offer militarily. Furthermore, the German government that he had endorsed had chosen these men. With Beck as Chief of the General Staff of the Army, and Fritch as Commander-in-Chief Hitler knew he would experience difficulties with them. (Barnett 19)
General Fritch had virtually no personality. He was nearly impossible to relate to on a personal level. He chose not to spend much time on the social scene. Barnett writes, “ In a letter of 4 September 1938 he wrote: ‘When you write further that I am often difficult to understand, you are doubtless correct. From my earliest days, I have never spoken with anyone about myself. I simply cannot do it, and if anyone tries to penetrate me in this direction, he only achieves the reverse.’” (Barnett 21)
General von Fritsch was not appointed by Hitler. Hitler favored General von Reichenau because he was sympathetic to Hitler politically. Fritsch was chosen by Field Marshal von Hindenburg for his military prowess. Fritsch was one of the most superb officers of his time....

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...ed the Army they also took the time to spread Nazi propaganda. This indoctrination of the Army forced Beck and Fritsch to follow the wishes of the Third Reich. Any rebellion would have been put down before it started. Barnett describes the effects of this indoctrination of the Army, “ The effectiveness of the indoctrination was to be shown both by the hesitation which was induced in the minds of those generals who considered armed revolt in 1938 and 1939, and by the tenacity with which many soldiers clung to Nazi beliefs throughout the war. The predominant mood was appropriately summed up by the commander of the 17th Division, Lieutenant-General Friderici, in his farewell address to the division before his re-posting, on 30 March 1939, thus: ‘The Fuhrer Adolf Hitler gives us the example. We will follow him gladly into the German future- come what will!’” (Barnett 30)

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