Military history

CHAPTER 29

 1. Dorothy Thompson, Listen, Hans, pp. 137–38, 283.

 2. Hassell, op. cit., p. 283.

 3Zwischen Hitler und Stalin. Ribbentrop’s testimony, TMWC, X, p. 299.

 4. George Bell, The Church and Humanity, pp. 165–76. Also Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, pp. 553–57.

 5. Allen Dulles, op. cit., pp. 125–46. Dulles gives the text of a memorandum written for him by Jakob Wallenberg on his meetings with Goerdeler.

 6. The account of this whole episode is based largely on the report of Schlabrendorff, op. cit., pp. 51–61.

 7. To Rudolf Pechel, who quotes him at length in his book, Deutscher Widerstand.

 8. There are a number of accounts, some of them firsthand, of the students’ revolt: Inge Scholl, Die weisse Rose (Frankfurt, 1952); Karl Vossler, Gedenkrede fuer die Opfer an der Universitaet Muenchen (Munich, 1947); Ricarda Huch, “Die Aktion der Muenchner Studenten gegen Hitler,”Neue Schweizer Rundschau, Zurich, September-October 1948; “Der 18 Februar: Umriss einer deutschen Widerstandsbewegung,” Die Gegenwart, October 30,1940; Pechel, op. cit., pp. 96–104; Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, pp. 539–41; Dulles, op. cit., pp. 120–22.

 9. Dulles, op. cit., pp. 144–45.

10. Quoted by Constantine FitzGibbon in 20 July, p. 39.

11. Desmond Young, Rommel, pp. 223–24. Stroelin gave Young a personal account of the meeting. See also Stroelin’s Nuremberg testimony, TMWC, X, p. 56, and his book, Stuttgart in Endstadium des Krieges.

12. Speidel emphasizes the point in his book Invasion 1944, pp. 68, 73.

13Ibid., p. 65.

14lbid., p. 71.

15Ibid., pp. 72–74.

16. Dulles, op. cit., p. 139.

17. Schlabrendorff, op. cit., p. 97.

18. The telephone log of the Seventh Army headquarters. This revealing document was captured intact in August 1944 and provides an invaluable source for the German version of what happened to Hitler’s armies on D Day and during the subsequent Battle of Normandy.

19. Speidel, op. cit., p. 93.

20Ibid., on which this account is largely based. Gen. Blumentritt, Rundstedt’s chief of staff, has also left an account, and there is additional material in The Rommel Papers, ed. by Liddell Hart, p. 479.

21. The text of the letter is given in Speidel, op. cit., pp. 115–17. A slightly different version is in The Rommel Papers, pp. 486–87.

22. Speidel, op. cit., p. 117.

23Ibid.,

24Ibid.,

25. Schlabrendorff, op. cit., p. 103. He was still attached to Tresckow’s staff.

26. The sources for these meetings of the conspirators on July 16 are the stenographic account of the trial of Witzleben, Hoepner et al.; Kaltenbrunner’s reports on the July 20 uprising; Eberhard Zeller, Geist der Freiheit, pp. 213–14; Gerhard Ritter, Carl Goerdeler und die deutsche Widerstandsbewegung, pp. 401–3.

27. Heusinger, Befehl im Widerstreit, p. 352, tells of his last words that day.

28. Zeller, op. cit., p. 221.

29. Schmidt, op. cit., pp. 275–77.

30. A number of guests at the tea party, Italian and German, have given eyewitness accounts of it Eugen Dollmann, an S.S. liaison officer with Mussolini, has rendered the fullest description both in his book, Roma Nazista, pp. 393–400, and in his interrogation by Allied investigators, which is summed up by Dulles, op. cit., pp. 9–11. Zeller, op. cit., p. 367, n.69, and Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, pp. 644–46, have written graphic accounts, based mostly on Dollmann.

31. The transcript of this telephone conversation was put in evidence before the People’s Court. Schlabrendorff, op. cit., quotes it on p. 113.

32. Zeller, op. cit., p. 363n., cites two eyewitnesses to the executions, an Army chauffeur who observed them from a nearby window, and a woman secretary of Fromm.

33. This account of what went on in the Bendlerstrasse that evening is taken largely from General Hoepner’s frank testimony before the People’s Court during his trial and that of Witzleben and six other officers on Aug. 6–7, 1944. The records of the People’s Court were destroyed in an American bombing on Feb. 3, 1945, but one of the stenographers at this trial—at the risk of his life, he says—purloined the shorthand records before the bombing and after the war turned them over to the Nuremberg tribunal. They are published verbatim in German in TMWC, XXX-III, pp. 299–530.

There is a great deal of material on the July 20 plot, much of it conflicting and some quite confusing. The best reconstruction of it is by Zeller, op. cit., who gives a lengthy list of his sources on pp. 381–88. Gerhard Ritter’s book on Goerdeler, op. cit., is an invaluable contribution, though it naturally concentrates on its subject. Wheeler-Bennett’s Nemesis gives the best account available in English and uses, as does Zeller, Otto John’s unpublished memorandum. John, who after the war got into difficulties with the Bonn government and was imprisoned by it, was present at the Bendlerstrasse that day and recorded a great deal of what he saw and what Stauffenberg told him. Constantine FitzGibbon, op. cit., gives a lively account, based mostly on German sources, especially Zeller.

Also invaluable, though they must be read with caution, are the daily reports on the investigation of the plot carried out by the S.D. Gestapo, which date from July 21 to Dec. 15, 1944. They were signed by Kaltenbrunner and sent to Hitler, being drawn up in extra-large type so that the Fuehrer could read them without his spectacles. They represent the labors of the “Special Commission for July 20, 1944,” which numbered some 400 S.D.-Gestapo officials divided into eleven investigation groups. The Kaltenbrunner reports are among the captured documents. Microfilm copies are available at the National Archives in Washington—No. T–84, Serial No. 39, Rolls 19–21. See also Serial No. 40, Roll 22.

34. Zeller, op. cit., p. 372, n.10, quotes an officer who was present.

35. The account of the executions was later related by the prison warder, Hans Hoffmann, a second warden and the photographer, and is given in Wheeler-Bennett, Nemesis, pp. 683–84, among others.

36. Wilfred von Oven, Mit Goebbels bis zum Ende, II, p. 118.

37. Ritter, op. cit., pp. 419–29, gives the details of this interesting sidelight.

38. This figure is given in a commentary in the records of the Fuehrer’s conferences on naval affairs (FCNA, 1944, p. 46) and is accepted by Zeller, op. cit., p. 283. Pechel, op. cit., who found the official “Execution Register,” says, p. 327, there were 3,427 executions recorded in 1944, though a few of these probably were not connected with the July 20 plot.

39. Schlabrendorff, op. cit., pp. 119–20. I have altered the English text here given to make it conform more to the original German.

40. Gen. Blumentritt gave this account to Liddell Hart (The German Generals Talk, pp. 217–23).

41Ibid., There is considerable source material on the Paris end of the plot, including the account given by Speidel in his book and numerous articles in German magazines by eyewitnesses. The best over-all account has been rendered by Wilhelm von Schramm, an Army archivist stationed in the West: Der 20 Juli in Paris.

42. Felix Gilbert, op. cit., p. 101.

43. Speidel, op. cit., p. 152. My account of the death of Rommel is based on, besides Speidel, who questioned Frau Rommel and other witnesses, the following sources: two reports written by the Field Marshal’s son, Manfred, the first for British intelligence, quoted by Shulman, op. cit., pp. 138–39, the second for The Rommel Papers, ed. by Liddell Hart, pp. 495505; and Gen. Keitel’s interrogation by Col. John H. Amen on Sept. 28, 1945, at Nuremberg (NCA, Suppl. B, pp. 1256–71). Desmond Young, op. cit., has also given a full account, based on talks with the Rommel family and friends and on Gen. Maisel’s denazification trial after the war.

44TMWC, XXI, p. 47.

45. Speidel, op. cit., pp. 155,172.

46. Goerlitz, History of the German General Staff, p. 477.

47. Guderian, op. cit., p. 273.

48Ibid., p. 276.

49. Liddell Hart, The German Generals Talk, pp. 222–23.

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