From PRO file WO.208/5017.
C. S. D. I. C. (U.K.)
AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS
This report covers the reactions of the Senior Officer PW to the setting up of the Court of Honour and the subsequent executions of a Field Marshal and other High Ranking Germans Officers.
The conversation took place between 5th-8th August 1944.
The following are the names and secret numbers of the PW referred to in this report:-
CS/22 Generalleutnant von Schlieben [failed defender of Cherbourg] (Comd Cherbourg) Captured Cherbourg 26 Jun 44
M 179: Generalmajor Broich (G.O.C. 10th Pz. Division) Captd Tunisia 12 May 43
[Website note: only those officers quoted in the extracts below are included in the list above]
BY C.S.D.I.C. (U.K.)
M.I.19.a War Office
1. The first reactions of the Senior Officer PW at No. 11 Camp, to the attempted assassination of Hitler on 20th July 1944 were reported in GRGG 161. The day-to-day reactions have been included in subsequent GRGG and SRGG reports.
2. It is interesting to recall the conversations which have taken place in the past among the Senior Officer PW, on the possibility of a military coup d'état in Germany. This possibility has been discussed by them for over a year and a number of their colleagues have been mentioned as possible participants. A summary of these conversations and of the personalities mentioned is reproduced as Appendix B to this report.
II. THE PLOT
1. A BAO [British Army Officer] discussed the plot to assassinate Hitler with Generalleutnant Von Broich. He gave an outline of the plot as described by PW/DZ/121932, Graf von Helldorff, son of the 'Polizeipräsident' of Berlin, and contained in CSDIC (UK) PW Paper No. 12. Von Broich confirmed Helldorff's version of the plot, as can be seen from the following verbatim transcription of the conversation.(German text: Appendix (a))
Broich: Stauffenberg visited me as early as Summer, 1941, and we had intended doing it in January 1943. Then it was said: "It isn't possible, as the people won't back the officers. We must wait for the English to land first and then, when things start collapsing there, the people will see that it's all up."
BAO: So the 'Putsch' was to have taken place at the end of 1943 or beginning of 1944. I suppose they waited for the English to land. The matter was discussed at the 'Union' club, at Generaloberst Beck's house and also at Fromm's office. They wanted to arrest Hitler and he was to say that the SS had intended to revolt and, therefore, the Army was to take over. If he failed to say that, they would kill Hitler and announce that the SS had murdered Hitler and wanted to make a 'Putsch' and that, therefore, the Army had had to step in.
Broich: Those facts may be correct, as Stauffenberg told me exactly the same thing.
BAO: They included taking Berlin first; the CO of the Berlin 'Flak' was to take part in case Göring threw in the GAF.
BAO: Of course Helldorff was to take part and Regierungsdirecktor Trittel too; he was a subordinate of Helldorff's and thus the Police were to be brought in. They were to set up a military government; I wrote the names down. First the people involved: Helldorff, Fromm, Hoepner, Beck, Generalleutnant von Rost, Graf von der Schulenburg, Graf von Bismarck, Dr. Schacht, von Papen, Blaskowitz, Geyr von Schweppenburg, Sponeck and Regierungsdirektor Trittel.
Broich: I know all those people well; they are all of our opinion.
BAO: They also discussed the matter with Göring.
Broich: Really! Well, of course it's possible.
BAO: But he was a bit strange, on account of the drugs he takes.
BAO: The cabinet was to have consisted of the following: Beck was to have been at the head, Graf Helldorff, Minister of the Interior, Hoepner, Minister for War, Papen , Minister of Foreign Affairs and Schacht, Minister of Finance.
Broich: Yes, that's possibly right.
BAO: They had nothing to do with Seydlitz.
Broich: No, I can believe that.
BAO: Then there were three possibilities: either to establish a democratic Germany or --
Broich: A monarchy.
BAO: They discussed a monarchy with the Crown Prince. He wouldn't have anything to do with it, nor would his sons. The House of Brunswick was to get the throne.
Broich: One of the sons is a grand fellow, one of the best people to have. Two of the sons, the youngest and the middle one, each had one of my 'Schwadronen'. One was an 'Oberleutnant' and the other a 'Rittmeister' in my 'Regiment'.
I have the idea that the whole thing was betrayed and that the others got in first. We often discussed the way in which it was to be done. We agreed that if it were to be done it must be done properly, leaving nothing to chance, because we realized that a dreadful massacre would result if we failed. Therefore, I still believe it was betrayed. Himmler has his spies all over the place. Someone must have let the cat out of the bag' they resolved to strike at once and faked the whole thing, just in the same way as the 'Reichstag' fire and that Munich 'Putsch' in 1939 were put-up jobs.
BAO: I believe Helldorff was a Nazi.
Broich: Well, Helldorff is an adventurer. I know him through the 'Union'. I was a member of the 'Union' Club for years and was on the Committee. I was with Cavalry Inspection at the time and therefore automatically on the Committee. I was there with Papen -- Helldorff had also been less of the right type. He was included because they feared the club might otherwise be dissolved, even then in peacetime.
BAO: Was he Chief of Police?
Broich: Yes. I always used to lunch there. It was always very interesting there at lunch time, as there were a lot of industrialists and city men of Berlin there. Helldorff was there every day. I am convinced that Helldorff, who saw all that was going on, took part, although he has to be carefully handled because, as I said before, he is an absolute adventurer and opportunist.
BAO: Apparently they discussed the matter with Göring, too.
Broich: Yes. It was even rumoured that Himmler, too had been -- because Himmler always had the idea that he might take the Führer's place in case of emergency. However, I don't believe he would have been permitted to do that.
Papen is another peculiar person. I mean to say that it is incomprehensible to us how a man can stand by and watch three of his adjutants being shot and still run after the Führer. Of course you can't know what the final outcome -- I mean to say, Talleyrand proved to be a great man in the end, and, although he was attacked very bitterly, he did benefit his people. Papen hasn't the necessary personality for that, although he is extremely ambitious. He is, however, a man with whom other countries can negotiate. I am also convinced that this time Schacht. . . . . . .. I still can't believe that the plot really got going; I believe it was betrayed. At the time we said the danger -- in the evenings when we were in my . . . . . . .. -- we finished at midnight, then we turned on the wireless, listened to foreign broadcasts and made an appreciation of the situation, discussing how things would and must develop. We always said: "The greatest danger is in too many people knowing about it." It is such a pity that it didn't succeed. All said and done, those people are only fighting to save their own skins. I have realized since 1942 that the war is lost. The main thing is for things to progress in France. I hope you will all be able to get enough troops across. As I said before, our point of view is: "Co-operation with the Western Powers and not with Russia." In my opinion that would be to England's advantage, too, as England has always been interested in preserving the balance of Power on the continent. The danger lies in the fact that the longer it lasts the more readily Communism will take root. People who have lost everything will say: "The Monarchy has foundered, Social-Democracy has been unsuccessful, National-Socialism and Democracy have failed; the Russians are the ones now and the Russians have proved themselves right in their own country. An entirely new Intelligentsia has arisen and Stalin has achieved a great deal." The mass of the workers will say: "Well, if we have nothing left, Communism is the thing." That is the dreadful danger. Even today a lot of intellectuals are saying: "Perhaps co-operation with Russia is the answer."
BAO: The whole thing (attempt on Hitler's life) sounds so vague now.
Broich: No. The thing you were telling me about now was known to me; I could almost have named all the people myself. If only because I. . . . . . . . with Stauffenberg; besides, I have known him for fifteen years.
BAO: Thank God you're here.
Broich: Yes, I'd have been liquidated long ago.
2. Immediately after the above conversation, Generalleutnant von Broich discussed the matter with Generalleutnant von Schlieben as follows:- (German text: Appendix (b))
Broich: Well, it was exactly the same thing Stauffenberg told me at the time: they intended waiting until the English landed and then Rundstedt was to withdraw the Army. It was discussed at the 'Union' Club at the time. That's correct. Seydlitz and Helldorff were there always. Helldorff is involved; he was to have become Minister of the Interior' Schacht Minister of Finance, Papen Minister of External Affairs; Olbrecht was to occupy Northern Germany and finally, Kommandant von Hase was to occupy Berlin. Discussions took place at Beck's house, too. Hoeppner was to become Minister for War; it's possible, too. Geyr also was to --
Schlieben: Geyr von Schweppenburg?
Broich: Yes. He's been liquidated, too. They are supposed to have offered the Crown Prince -- they were either to have formed a democratic government or. . . . a monarchy. The Crown Prince, however, refused on behalf of himself and his sons. He didn't want to rule but he proposed a member of the House of Brunswick, a thing which had been tentatively considered before in Germany.
Schlieben: I can't think why they picked on that fool Hase.
Broich: Yes; well he was to occupy Berlin.
Schlieben: He'd have been much too stupid.
Broich: They intended keeping the Führer a prisoner, so to speak, and to spare his life because of the people. The intended ordering him about just as Himmler is doing at present. . . . . If that had not worked he would have been shot. That is exactly the same thing Stauffenberg told me, it's identical.
Generalleutnant von Broich has received a letter from his wife dated 14th June 1944, stating that General Cramer (recently repatriated), whom she had visited in Berlin had arranged for her to meet Stauffenberg on 17th June at Cramer's house. So far the receipt of this letter has brought no reaction except the natural worry of von Broich, as expressed to BAO, that it may have implicated his wife in the plot. Another letter dated 1st July 1944 made no mention of the meeting. [See also GRGG.173 for further letters]
2. General Lindemann
General von Thoma discussed with BAO the identity of General Lindemann mentioned by Hitler as having deserted to the Russians. Thoma said Lindemann was 'Artilleriekommandeur' in the 17th (?) Division when he commanded it before the war.
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