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TBR News July 20, 2018

Jul 20 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8

Washington, D.C. July 20, 2018:” People tend to get uptight when they are forced to look at the back of a dollar bill. And they have good reason to. There it is on the left — that goddamned pyramid with the freaky eyeball. And what the fuck is that at the bottom? NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM. Obviously some kind of incantation.

According to the official explanation, the phrase is Latin for “a new order of the ages.” The designer of the Great Seal, Charles Thomson, claimed that the “new order” he was referring to was that of the American republic. The year on the pyramid is 1776, which is the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

All right, fine. But what about that eyeball? That thing is definitely occult. Nothing says “Big Brother” quite like a hovering eyeball.

Thomson explained away that one by claiming the eyeball belonged to God (or “Providence,” as he put it), and that the phrase ANNUIT COEPTIS means “it has favored our undertakings.”

Taken together, they are intended to communicate the idea that God is rooting for America.”

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • A Court Decision in California Threatens to Erode the Constitutional Right to a Lawyer
  • Trump Stands His Ground on Putin
  • US firms try to protect themselves amid Trump trade battles
  • The Official Gestapo report on the 20th of July Assassination Plot
  • Events in Berlin, July 20, 1944
  • Stauffenberg’s background

 A Court Decision in California Threatens to Erode the Constitutional Right to a Lawyer

July 20 2018

by Jordan Smith

The Intercept

Ruth Lopez was leaving a bar in Fontana, California, when she was pulled over for a minor traffic offense. Instead of getting a ticket, she was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, a misdemeanor punishable by six months to a year in jail. But there was a problem with the evidence against her. It appeared Lopez was arrested by police employing a common and questionable tactic: Hang around a popular local bar and use a minor traffic infraction — say, failure to use a turn signal — as an excuse to pull a person over in order to determine if they might be doing something else illegal, like driving drunk.

Lopez, who speaks limited English, couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer, so in keeping with her constitutional right to representation, an attorney from the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office was appointed to handle her case. As a pretrial matter, that lawyer, Joy Hlavenka, challenged the legality of the stop that led the cops to secure evidence that Lopez was intoxicated. Hlavenka won the challenge, meaning the evidence against Lopez would be suppressed and prosecutors would not be able to use it to try her.

Without that evidence, they had no case, so the judge dismissed the charges. But the prosecutors were undeterred and filed what is known as an interlocutory appeal, challenging the judge’s decision to ditch the evidence. A panel of three trial judges from the San Bernardino Superior Court would hear the case. If they sided with the prosecution, the evidence would be re-introduced and Lopez would again have to face the DUI charge.

Given that the appeal was critical for Lopez, the public defender’s office sought to have a lawyer appointed to represent her interests before the appellate panel. The court refused, claiming Lopez didn’t have a right to counsel. If she had been convicted and sentenced to jail on the charge, she would have had counsel appointed to handle her first appeal. But here, the court said, since Lopez wasn’t yet jailed for any crime, she was not entitled to appellate representation.

The public defender’s office balked, challenging the decision before California’s 4th District Court of Appeal. After all, this was the state’s appeal, not Lopez’s, and denying her the right to defend the decision that had suppressed the evidence would be giving a second chance to the state — which, of course, always has an attorney to represent its position — without any pushback.

But the Court of Appeal agreed that Lopez had no constitutional right to a lawyer as the prosecutors sought to revive their evidence — logic that appears to pervert a defendant’s rights under the Sixth Amendment. At the request of the public defender’s office, the California Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

At issue is how to consider an interlocutory appeal, which is designed not to resolve the underlying charge (in this case, a DUI), but to address an issue that would impact the ability to resolve that charge (here, the suppression of evidence). The public defender’s office — along with members of the Innocence Network and a pair of noted law professors — argues that this kind of pretrial appeal is a “critical phase” of the initial court proceedings; if the prosecution were to win, Lopez would again be subject to potential incarceration. As such, she’s constitutionally entitled to counsel in order to protect her liberty interests.

The San Bernardino Superior Court contends that the prosecution’s appeal is inconsequential and Lopez would not be disadvantaged if the state were to win. “The state is not required to provide protection against every minor mishap that may follow from indigency,” the county court argues in its brief to the California Supreme Court.

If the high court agrees with the county court’s position, critics say, the fundamental right to counsel embodied in the Sixth Amendment would be dangerously eroded, and countless other California defendants could potentially be denied the ability to fend off criminal charges.

“A Grossly Unfair Advantage”

In 1961, Clarence Gideon was charged with burglarizing a pool hall in Panama City, Florida. He couldn’t afford an attorney, and the judge overseeing the case declined to appoint one, saying that state law only provided for appointed counsel in death penalty cases. Gideon defended himself at trial and was convicted. His case ultimately landed at the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in a landmark 1963 ruling, sided with Gideon and concluded that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel extended to state defendants facing felony charges.

Roughly a decade later, in a case known as Argersinger v. Hamlin, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the right to counsel and made clear that it also extended to defendants facing misdemeanor charges. The justices noted that the sheer number of misdemeanor cases brought before the courts created a hazard that a defendant’s interests wouldn’t be front and center. “The volume of misdemeanor cases, far greater in number than felony prosecutions, may create an obsession for speedy dispositions, regardless of the fairness of the result,” the court wrote.

The San Bernardino public defender and the Innocence Network now say that the California appeal court ruling in Lopez’s case threatens to neuter the guarantee of counsel expressed in both the Gideon and Argersinger cases. “In the Court of Appeal’s view, defendants who are still on trial — and who are, of course, presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty — can be deprived of counsel when they need it most,” reads a friend-of-the-court brief they filed with the state Supreme Court.

The case hinges on a specific section of the California Rules of Court that requires the appointment of appellate counsel to poor defendants who have been convicted of a misdemeanor. It is important to understand that the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly guarantee the right to appeal any criminal conviction, let alone the right to counsel on appeal. But the courts have held that where a state has laid out an appeal process, there must be rules to govern it, including for the appointment of counsel to indigent defendants. Failing to do so would create a two-tiered system — one for rich defendants and one for poor — that would offend the Constitution’s due process and equal protection provisions.

Notably, the court rule now in question does not speak directly to the situation that Lopez found herself in: not convicted but facing an appellate challenge from the state that could ultimately net her significant jail time. To Stephan Willms, a veteran public defender in San Bernardino who is handling the case before the California Supreme Court, it is clear that the rule doesn’t apply — because Lopez is still a pretrial defendant, she is guaranteed a lawyer under the Sixth Amendment.

Willms and others argue that the pretrial appeal is a critical stage of the case, one where Lopez’s liberty is in jeopardy, and thus clearly a phase during which she has the right to a lawyer. “The prosecution was forced to dismiss Ms. Lopez’s case after her suppression motion was granted. It is therefore obvious that the outcome of the hearing was crucial to the People’s case,” Willms wrote in a brief to the Supreme Court. And if prosecutors win their appeal, Lopez is back on the hook, meaning the result of the state’s pretrial appeal is just as important as the trial court’s decision to block the evidence in the first place.

The amicus brief filed by members of the Innocence Network amplifies what’s at stake: In order to defend the trial court’s decision to reject the evidence against her, Lopez would be tasked with arguing notoriously intricate case law regarding the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unlawful search and seizure on her own and with very limited English skills — an almost herculean task. “To effectively argue [the] appeal, Ms. Lopez presumably would need to be versed in jurisprudence under the Fourth Amendment” and protections afforded by California’s Constitution, “a complicated and nuanced subject for a layperson, to say the least,” the brief reads.

The Court of Appeal has essentially turned its back on these concerns. In its opinion, the court sidesteps the importance of the fact that Lopez hasn’t been convicted and has a strong interest in preserving the status quo, and instead rests its decision on the fact that the proceeding at issue is an appeal — and its reading that the court rules don’t require appointment of counsel because Lopez isn’t yet in jail. “While we agree that a defendant … in the appellate division would likely fare better with an attorney than without one, we stress that showing that something might be procedurally better is not the same as showing that the state is obligated to provide it,” the court wrote.

In a truly perverse twist, the appeal court actually invoked the Gideon case to support its decision, opining that just because a person doesn’t have a lawyer on an appeal doesn’t mean things can’t work out fine in the end. “The absence of counsel is not always fatal … on appeal,” the panel wrote, noting that Gideon “was himself without counsel for the majority” of his case.

To Chris Fabricant, director of strategic litigation for the Innocence Project, which has signed on to the amicus brief, the court’s ruling is at best deeply flawed. “As made plain by its citation to Gideon v. Wainwright, the appellate court’s decision is a cynical attack on the right to counsel,” Fabricant wrote in an email to The Intercept. “If allowed to stand, any significant pretrial ruling in the defendant’s favor could be appealed by the state, which will enjoy a grossly unfair advantage of arguing its position unopposed by defense counsel, unless the defendant is wealthy.”

Willms says that following the appeal court’s ruling to its logical end produces an absurd result. It would set the courts “free to deny a defendant’s request for counsel at any critical stage” of prosecution, including at trial, but then require them to appoint counsel to represent that person after they’ve been sentenced to jail — meaning that a person would have to wait to be convicted before asserting their right to counsel at trial, which would in turn require a wholesale do-over of the prosecution.

“If the defendant is convicted and the judge imposes a term of imprisonment, the entire process, including the trial, will have to be done over,” he wrote. “That argument is nonsensical, if not just silly, and is certainly not supported by any legal authority.”

(The San Bernardino County district attorney’s office has declined to play any part in the current litigation and as such, a spokesperson wrote to The Intercept, has no comment on it.)

While there are vastly more misdemeanor charges than felony charges filed every year in the U.S., unlike felony charges, many misdemeanor cases are ultimately dismissed or resolved by means that don’t include incarceration. And the majority of those that survive that first cut are resolved by a plea deal. In the end, very few misdemeanor cases make their way to trial, and there are even fewer where evidence is actually challenged. Rarer still is a case like Lopez’s, where the defense is successful in having that evidence suppressed.

But it isn’t only that particular circumstance in which a defendant might be hamstrung by the appeal court opinion, should it survive the scrutiny of the state’s high court. A defendant who wins a pretrial argument that an indictment is flawed, or a particular statute is unconstitutional, for example, might be thrust into the same position.

“Imagine that, and then the prosecutor appeals and you don’t have a lawyer for the defense arguing the constitutionality of the statute,” said Jenny Roberts, a professor at American University’s Washington College of Law and noted expert on the misdemeanor system, plea bargaining, and the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. “That seems crazy to me.”

Roberts, who signed on to the amicus brief, says that allowing the appeal court’s opinion to go unchecked threatens the very right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. “It doesn’t make sense. It’s counterintuitive. The court of appeals was making a sort of technical reading of the [court rule] and, more importantly, the constitutional right to counsel, in a way that is not just counterintuitive,” she said, “but I think is wrong.”

 

Trump Stands His Ground on Putin

July 20, 2018

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Anti War

“Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Under the Constitution, these are the offenses for which presidents can be impeached.

And to hear our elites, Donald Trump is guilty of them all.

Trump’s refusal to challenge Vladimir Putin’s claim at Helsinki – that his GRU boys did not hack Hillary Clinton’s campaign – has been called treason, a refusal to do his sworn duty to protect and defend the United States, by a former director of the CIA.

Famed journalists and former high officials of the U.S. government have called Russia’s hacking of the DNC “an act of war” comparable to Pearl Harbor.

The New York Times ran a story on how many are now charging Trump with treason. Others suggest Putin is blackmailing Trump, or has him on his payroll, or compromised Trump a long time ago.

Wailed Congressman Steve Cohen: “Where is our military folks? The Commander in Chief is in the hands of our enemy!”

Apparently, some on the left believe we need a military coup to save our democracy.

Not since Robert Welch of the John Birch Society called Dwight Eisenhower a “conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy,” have such charges been hurled at a president. But while the Birchers were a bit outside the mainstream, today it is the establishment itself bawling “Treason!”

What explains the hysteria?

The worst-case scenario would be that the establishment actually believes the nonsense it is spouting. But that is hard to credit. Like the boy who cried “Wolf!” the establishment has cried “Fascist!” too many times to be taken seriously.

A month ago, the never-Trumpers were comparing the separation of immigrant kids from detained adults, who brought them to the U.S. illegally, to FDR’s concentration camps for Japanese-Americans.

Some commentators equated the separations to what the Nazis did at Auschwitz.

If the establishment truly believed this nonsense, it would be an unacceptable security risk to let them near the levers of power ever again.

Using Occam’s razor, the real explanation for this behavior is the simplest one: America’s elites have been driven over the edge by Trump’s successes and their failure to block him.

Trump is deregulating the economy, cutting taxes, appointing record numbers of federal judges, reshaping the Supreme Court, and using tariffs to cut trade deficits and the bully pulpit to castigate freeloading allies.

Worst of all, Trump clearly intends to carry out his campaign pledge to improve relations with Russia and get along with Vladimir Putin.

“Over our dead bodies!” the Beltway elite seems to be shouting.

Hence the rhetorical WMDs hurled at Trump: Liar, dictator, authoritarian, Putin’s poodle, fascist, demagogue, traitor, Nazi.

Such language approaches incitement to violence. One wonders if the haters are considering the impact of the words they are so casually using. Some of us yet recall how Dallas was charged with complicity in the death of JFK for slurs far less toxic than this.

The post-Helsinki hysteria reveals not merely the mindset of the president’s enemies, but the depth of their determination to destroy him.

They intend to break Trump and bring him down, to see him impeached, removed, indicted and prosecuted, and the agenda on which he ran and was nominated and elected dumped onto the ash heap of history.

Thursday, Trump indicated that he knows exactly what is afoot, and threw down the gauntlet of defiance:

“The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war. They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.”

Spot on. Trump is saying: I am going to call off this Cold War II before it breaks out into the hot war that nine U.S. presidents avoided, despite Soviet provocations far graver than Putin’s pilfering of DNC emails showing how Debbie Wasserman Schultz stuck it to Bernie Sanders.

Then the White House suggested Vlad may be coming to dinner this fall.

Trump is edging toward the defining battle of his presidency: a reshaping of U.S. foreign policy to avoid clashes and conflicts with Russia, and the shedding of Cold War commitments no longer rooted in the national interests of this country.

Yet, should he attempt to carry out his agenda – to get out of Syria, pull troops out of Germany, take a second look at NATO’s Article 5 commitment to go to war for 29 nations, some of which, like Montenegro, most Americans have never heard of – he is headed for the most brutal battle of his presidency.

This Helsinki hysteria is but a taste.

By cheering Brexit, dissing the EU, suggesting NATO is obsolete, departing Syria, trying to get on with Putin, Trump is threatening the entire U.S. foreign policy establishment with what it fears most – irrelevance.

For if there is no war on, no war imminent, and no war wanted, what does a War Party do?

US firms try to protect themselves amid Trump trade battles

The trade conflicts between the US and several of its biggest partners are escalating. Among those wary of the consequences are American companies and thousands are scrambling to be made exempt from certain tariffs.

July 20, 2018

by Sophie Schimansky (aos)

DW

From September 2018, US President Donald Trump wants the US to have punitive tariffs of around 10 percent on handbags and clothing from China, among other things. For his daughter Ivanka, who owns her own fashion business, that may have quite a big effect because unfortunately for the First Daughter, the majority of her firm’s products are made in the country her father has targeted above all others in his trade war.

Trump’s protectionist approach has provoked reactions from his country’s biggest trading partners and the US is now appealing its case to the World Trade Organization (WTO). “One things leads to the other in a trade war,” said David Kotok, founder of asset management firm Cumberland Advisors. That trade war, it would appear, has begun.

US companies in the firing line

Since the earliest days of his election campaign, Trump has promised to revive struggling US industries. He spoke of them as victims of bad trade deals and unfair practices. But already, some American companies are feeling the negative effects of his trade policy: “In a globalized economy, there are no winners in a trade war,” says Kotok.

Above all, multinational corporations with international supply chains are going to be affected. On the one hand, their products become more expensive and less attractive in foreign markets, when compared with domestic alternatives. American whiskey, jeans and motorcycles are among those products already affected by this within the EU.

Since July 1, Canada has slapped tariffs on $16.6 billion (€14.2 billion) worth of US imports and in addition to US steel and aluminum, have made consumer goods such as coffee more expensive. In China alone, more than 500 individual US products, from soybeans to cars, are now more expensive.

We’re building a dearer product — and consumers are going to pay for it!

At the same time, production costs are rising for US companies that previously imported raw materials such as steel from abroad. These costs, explains Kotok, are in many cases passed on to retailers and consumers. Iconic US brands such as Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola and beermaker MillerCoors are among those affected.

The manufacturers themselves have already warned repeatedly against the negative effects. “We buy as much domestic can sheet aluminum as is available, however, there simply isn’t enough supply to satisfy the demands of American beverage makers like us,” MillerCoors wrote on Twitter. “American workers and American consumers will suffer as a result of this misguided tariff.”

Will the US economy suffer?

In the long term, many economists say Trump will harm the American economy. Financial services company Moody’s recently predicted up to 700,000 job losses by next summer. Growth will decline and rising prices will lead to inflation, Kotok reckons. “We are not going to see this in the data in the next three months, but only after the next quarter ends,” he said.

Accordingly, there is pressure coming from the worlds of both politics and business. The Business Roundtable (BRT), one of the largest lobby groups in Washington, warned a few weeks ago that the White House’s trade policy would “sabotage” the positive effects of last year’s tax reform. Jamie Dimon, chairman of the lobby group and CEO of investment bank JPMorgan Chase, said that tariffs “have unpredictable outcomes.”

So far though, only a few companies have made their feelings public. “People are afraid of offending Trump,” Kotok says. “In the past, he has sent stocks down with a single tweet

A few weeks ago, motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson incurred the wrath of Trump when it announced it would be moving production abroad to avoid the EU’s counter-tariffs. “If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura (sic) will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!” the US President tweeted.

The exception to the rule

Behind the scenes, many US companies are trying to cushion the impact of tariffs on their own businesses. More than 20,000 companies have filed applications with the US Department of Commerce to be exempted from customs duties on imported raw materials. The US government has struggled to deal with the volume of applications, with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross admitting at the end of June that less than 100 such applications had been processed.

According to Ron Wyden, a Democratic Senator who is on the Senate Finance Committee, companies are “in a bureaucratic twilight zone, waiting to see if they are going to escape.”

Wyden says that small companies in particular will suffer, as they won’t be able to afford adequate legal support. And even if they could, only 42 percent of the cases so far processed have been approved for derogation.

Claire McCaskill, a Democratic Senator for Missouri, has little faith in the process as it stands. “In a chaotic and frankly incompetent manner, you are picking winners and losers on a very technical basis,” she said

 

The Official Gestapo report on the 20th of July Assassination Plot

by Heinrich Müller, SS-Gruppenführer, Amtschef, Reichssicherheitshauptamt-IV-

Sonderkommission 20.7. 1944.

Berlin, den 26. Juli 1944.

Report on the assassination attempt against the Führer on 20 July, 1944.

I.

On 20 July, 1944, at approximately 12:50 PM, an explosion occurred in the “Wolfsschanze,” Restricted Area “A,” visitor’s barracks, during the situation conference. The Führer  suffered only slight injuries, although in the immediate vicinity of the center of the explosion.

Severely injured were:

General Korten,

Colonel Brandt and

Stenographer Berger,

…who have since died of their injuries, and

General Bodenschatz,

General Schmundt,

General Scherff and

Lt. Colonel Borgmann.

Less severely injured were:

General Buhle,

General Heusinger,

Rear Admiral v. Puttkamer and

Naval Captain Assmann.

Others present received lighter injuries.

II.

Immediately after he learned of the assassination attempt, the Reichsführer-SS appointed a Special Commission of the Reich Main Security Office to conduct a full investigation which began the same day.

The Reichsführer-SS noted in his report to the RSHA that the perpetrator of the attempt was presumed to be Colonel Graf von Stauffenberg, Chief of Staff to the Commander of the Reserve Army. He had been present at the briefing session, then left without notice before the detonation. Immediately thereafter, he flew to Berlin by aircraft.

III.

The locality of the incident is to be found in the Situation Room in which the daily situation conferences were held, a 12.5 meter long and 5 m wide room, in whose center is a large map table, on the right side a round table and left, a writing table and a phonograph. The immediate area and the furniture was heavily damaged. Right of the entrance was a 55 centimeter hole in the floor. For a wider radius, floor was depressed and charred. Points of impact of metal fragments not detectable, but splinters of wood and leather fragments are embedded into the wood. Bomb crater shows that the explosion occurred above the surface of the floor.

Reconstructed fragments of the right section of the three sections of the table clearly show the direction of the blast wave. This is indicated in photographs and sketches.

Lower pressure wave from detonation continued through cavities under floor of the entire barracks, noticeable by an upward buckling of the floor. Upper pressure wave destroyed the situation room to a large extent and exited through windows and doors, as well as through partition walls. Very exact sifting of mass of rubble has led to discovery of extremely small leather and metal fragments, obviously from a brief case; of two pieces of sheet metal and two compression springs from English chemical-mechanical time fuze detonators; also, part of flat iron pliers. Other material discovered has no obvious connection with these findings.

IV.

Recovered leather fragments have been identified by witnesses as belonging to Stauffenberg’s briefcase. Small parts of the fuze found at the locale come from two fuzes that are of the same type as the two English chemical-mechanical time fuzes found along the roadway. As two compression springs from this type of time fuze were found at the site of the explosion, the explosive charge must have contained two such time fuzes. The charge that was found along the roadway was also arranged for two fuzes. Therefore the explosive that was used for the attempt was presumably of exactly the same kind as that which was found later. According to the report of an explosive expert, the extent of damage at the site of the blast corresponds to the potential power of the recovered charge. The driver of the car that took Stauffenberg to the airport noted that he threw an object out the window in the general area from which explosives were recovered and the driver has supplied an affidavit.

Thus, Stauffenberg’s complicity has been objectively ascertained.

V.

As Chief of Staff under General Fromm, Stauffenberg has repeatedly taken part in briefings at the Führer’s headquarters. The locale was therefore well known to him. He landed at Rastenberg airport 20 July, 1944, at 10:15AM. Major General Stieff, chief of the Organizational Section of the Army General Staff, and 1st Lt. von Haeften, Stauffenberg’s orderly, arrived at the same time. Stauffenberg went directly to “Wolfsschanze,” Stieff to Army High Command quarters, von Haeften first with Stieff, was later to meet Stauffenberg at “Wolfsschanze.”

Stauffenberg had breakfast in the officers’ mess with headquarters commander and was later called to scheduled conference with General Buhle. General von Thadden, chief of staff of Military District I, Königsberg, also participated in this conference.

Afterwards, Buhle, von Thadden and Stauffenberg went to a conference with Field Marshal Keitel.

Throughout the entire time, Stauffenberg kept his briefcase with him. When all persons mentioned were ready to proceed to the daily situation conference from Keitel’s bunker at 12:30 PM, Stauffenberg went to a room next door with his briefcase for a short time, so that the other persons had to wait for him. Presumably while there he activated the time fuses by pushing them in, probably with the assistance of the pair of flat pliers as his right hand and two fingers of his left hand were missing. Activating the time fuses without such aid would have been difficult for him. In the situation room, Stauffenberg was presented to the Führer as a participant in the briefing session and was welcomed by the Führer. Following this, Stauffenberg went to the map table, putting the brief case under the table to the right of Colonel Brandt. After a short time, he left the situation room and also left Restricted Area A.

Stauffenberg’s absence was noted before the explosion, as he was expected to provide information. General Buhle looked for him. After the explosion, the telephone operator, Sgt. Adam, reported that he had seen Stauffenberg leave shortly after the start of the briefing session. Presumably latter was perpetrator of the explosion, said sergeant. From further interrogations and investigations, the following was developed: At about noon, General Fellgiebel, chief of the military signals office, appeared at the office of the headquarters signals officer (Lt. Col. Sander) in order to discuss several official matters with him. First, Fellgiebel and Sander went together to see Lt. Col. Waizenegger of General Jodl’s staff on signals matters. Later, Fellgiebel and Sander returned to the latter’s office in Bunker 88.

At about 12:30 PM, they noted that Field Marshal Keitel, accompanied by Stauffenberg and others, was headed for the situation conference.

In order to make sure that Stauffenberg would come to General Fellgiebel after the session, Sander telephoned Sgt. Adam and told him to have Stauffenberg come to Bunker 88 after the conclusion of the session.

Shortly after that, Lt. von Haeften appeared in Sander’s office and asked Fellgiebel for assistance in procuring a vehicle as Colonel Stauffenberg had to leave immediately. Accordingly, Sander telephoned headquarters to request a car. At that time he was asked by headquarters to remind Stauffenberg that he was expected for lunch with the headquarters commander, Lt. Col. Streve, and that General von Thadden would also be present.

While this phone conversation was in progress, Stauffenberg had looked into the room and announced himself to General Fellgiebel as being ready for their talk. Then Fellgiebel and Stauffenberg went out in front of the bunker and discussed fortifications in the East. Sander joined them and reported that a car was coming, adding that Stauffenberg was expected for lunch with the commander. Stauffenberg thereupon told Lt. Col. Sander that he first had to go back to the briefing session once more then would come to lunch. He also pointed out that he had a car at his disposal. When Sander had informed headquarters accordingly and returned to the front of the bunker, the explosion happened. At that moment Sander noticed a very nervous demeanor on the part of Stauffenberg. In reply to Fellgiebel’s question as to what was the matter, Sander stated, without giving much thought to the incident, that occasionally someone shot a gun or a land mine exploded.

Then Stauffenberg said he was not going back to the briefing session but instead would go to lunch with Lt. Col. Streve. He drove away with von Haeften, actually in order to go to the airfield.

The event in the visitors’ barracks was noted by Guard post I, so that the lieutenant on duty ordered the barriers closed. Accordingly, Stauffenberg was halted by the guard. He told the guard commander that he must get to the airfield urgently. As his pass was in order and additionally he was known to the guard commander, the latter let him pass, especially as the general alarm had not yet been sounded but came only 11⁄2 minutes later. At the outer southern guard post, Stauffenberg was halted again. He went to the guard commander, Sgt. Kolbe, whom he told that he had by all means to get to the airfield at once. Instead of being persuaded, Kolbe pointed out the closed barriers. Then Kolbe telephoned headquarters, at Stauffenberg’s request, and spoke with the adjutant, von Möllendorf, captain of cavalry, who was acting in the absence of the commander who was now at the scene of the explosion. Stauffenberg told Möllendorf that he had received the commander’s permission to leave the security area and that he had to take off by 1:15 PM at all events. The adjutant, who did not know the reason for the alarm that had been sounded, did know that Colonel Stauffenberg was authorized to be at the Wolfsschanze and agreed, on the strength of Stauffenberg’s statements, that he could depart and passed this to Sgt. Kolbe.

In this situation it should be considered that:

  1. The alarm is sounded rather frequently.
  2. Stauffenberg’s papers were in order.
  3. Since Stauffenberg was known as a seriously disabled man and an officer in excellent standing, von Möllendorf had no reason to be initially suspicious.

Stauffenberg also passed the outermost gate and took off at 1:15 PM from the Rastenberg airfield for Berlin-Rangsdorf. Inquiry as to the origin of the aircraft has revealed that it was provided for Stauffenberg by order of General Wagner, Army Quartermaster General, by arrangement with the 1st Air Liaison Wing (2) Berlin, from Lötzen airfield.       The aircraft was scheduled in any case to go to Berlin.

VI.

In light of the above report, the circumstances of the attempted assassination and the arrival and departure of the perpetrator can be considered as having been objectively determined.

It cannot be concluded that the security measures existing as a safeguard against such attempts broke down in this instance because the possibility that a General Staff officer summoned to a briefing session would lend himself to such a crime was not considered.

The incident does, however, require consideration of the future security measures to be taken for the protection of the Führer in all circumstances. Accordingly, proposals with regard to security measures will be submitted separately as per agreement with the RSHA.

 

Events in Berlin, July 20, 1944

by Otto-Ernst Remer, Generalmajor a.D.

General Remer, at that time a Lt. Colonel, was commander of the Berlin guard regiment and was ordered by the plotters to secure important sectors of the capitol. His prompt actions in putting down the revolt subsequently earned him the promotion to General and the enduring hatred of the postwar American-controlled German government and its many left-wing supporters.   

My assignment to the guard regiment “Großdeutschland” in Berlin was actually a form of rest and recreation — my first leave from the front — after my many wounds and in recognition of my combat decorations, including the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and the Close Combat Badge in Silver (forty-eight days of close combat). Later I would be wounded again. In all I was to command the guard regiment for only four months, since I felt obligated to be back with my comrades at the front.

My mission as commander of the guard regiment “Großdeutschland,” which I took over at the end of May 1944, was, aside from purely ceremonial duties, to safeguard the Reich government and the Reich capital. Since there were more than a million foreign workers in Berlin and its immediate vicinity, the possibility of internal unrest had to be taken into account. Around noon on July 20, 1944, 1st Lieutenant Dr. Hans Hagen, who had been severely wounded at the front, concluded his lecture on cultural history before the officers and NCO’s of the regiment. He was attached to my regiment only administratively and in no way as a National Socialist political officer, as has often been reported. I was the regiments’ sole leader, politically as well as militarily.

I had invited Hagen to lunch afterward in my quarters at the Rathenow barracks, together with my adjutant, 1st Lieutenant Siebert. Siebert, who had lost an eye in combat, was a pastor of the Confessional Church Protestant Church which he attended services every Sunday at the Garrison Church, with my express permission, although I myself had left the church. Among us personal freedom was the rule. Nor did it bother me that, after having been an SA Stormtrooper and a member of the party during the years of struggle before Hitler came to power, he had resigned from both organizations to protest defamatory remarks by his local party leader concerning the ancestry of Jesus Christ. Lt. Siebert suffered no adverse consequences due to his resignation.

In those days that sort of thing was entirely possible, with no repercussions. Indeed, before I chose Siebert, due to his character, as my adjutant, he confided to me that while still a Stormtrooper he had broken into a Gestapo office in order to obtain documents incriminating colleagues in the Confessional Church. For me Siebert’s frank admissions were just a further evidence of the personal élan that recommended him as a trustworthy adjutant That’s the way it was in the Third Reich, so widely execrated nowadays. Neither in my unit nor in the officer corps as a whole did there prevail the stubborn narrow- mindedness, not to mention the sort of terror against dissenting opinions, that is carried on against nationalists in West Germany today by the Office for Constitutional Protection. Nor have I ever heard that Pastor Siebert considered himself to be a “resistance fighter” or that he later pretended to have been one. Characteristic of our open-mindedness was a discourse which took place after lunch between Hagen, the top-notch cultural historian, and Pastor Siebert concerning the Heliand .The question involved the extent to which traditional Germanic structures were invoked in order to render the new and alien doctrine understandable. Thus Christ was represented as a warlord, and his disciples the warrior band. After a while, I lost interest in the two scholarly gamecocks’ wordy contention, so I placed a reconciliatory bottle of wine on the table and headed for the swimming pool at the nearby sports arena to keep myself fit for my next front assignment.

During the early afternoon of July 20, 1944 my regiment, like all units of the Replacement Army, was alerted by the codeword “Valkyrie.” “Valkyrie” provided for the mobilization of the Replacement Army in case of internal unrest. While my regiment automatically implemented the prescribed measures, I was summoned from the swimming pool. In compliance with my orders I drove immediately to my designated post, the Berlin City Command Center, directly across from the “Eternal Watch” honor guard. While the other unit commanders waited in the anteroom, I alone was admitted to the city commander, Major General von Hase, and given the following briefing on the situation and my assignment:

The Führer has had a fatal accident! Civil disorder has broken out The Army has assumed executive authority! The guard regiment is ordered to concentrate a strong force, reinforced for counterattack, to seal off the government quarter so that nobody, not even a general or a government minister, can enter or leave! To support you in sealing off the streets and subways I’m seconding Lieutenant Colonel Wolters to your command!

As these orders were being issued, I was struck by the circumstance that a younger officer of the general staff, Major Hayessen, assisted, while the former and senior general staff officer, whom I knew personally, stood about, idle and noticeably nervous.

I was naturally very shocked by the general’s words, since I felt that with Hitler’s death the possibility of a favorable turn in the war had almost disappeared. Immediately, I asked:

Is the Führer actually dead? Was it an accident or has he been assassinated? Where have civil disturbances occurred? I saw nothing unusual while driving here through Berlin Why is executive authority passing to the Army and not to the Wehrmacht? Who is the Führer’s successor? According to Hitler’s testament Hermann Goring is automatically his successor. Has he issued any orders or proclamations?

Since I received neither detailed information nor clear answers to my questions, the situation became even murkier, and I felt a certain sense of mistrust even from the beginning. When I tried to get a brief glimpse of the papers which lay before me on the table, above all to see who had signed the orders, Major Hayessen ostentatiously gathered them up and put them in a folder. As I returned to my regiment I was oppressed by the notion that “Hitler’s dead, now confusion reigns, various people will probably try to seize power.” I contemplated the future struggles for succession.

I decided that, in any case, I would not allow myself to be misused in my capacity as commander of the only elite unit on active duty in Berlin. My regiment was made up entirely of picked, proven combat soldiers with high decorations for bravery. Every officer sported the Knights Cross. I bore in mind as well the events of 1918, after which the Berlin guard units had been reproached for their hesitancy, which contributed to the success of the revolution. I had no desire to expose myself to a similar reproach before history.

When I returned to my troops, I gathered my officers and informed them of the situation and our orders. The alleged death of Adolf Hitler sent officers and men into shock. Never in my life, even at Germany’s final defeat, have I witnessed such despondency. Despite the numerous stories which flourish today, that is the absolute truth: I vouch for it

I made no secret to my officers that there was a lot that was still unclear, indeed mysterious to me, and that I would in no way allow myself or my unit to be exploited. I expressly demanded unconditional confidence and absolute obedience, just as at the front, from every one of my officers. This somewhat unusual demand was due to a telephone call I received during the briefing from a general I didn’t recognize — it was probably Major General Friedrich Olbricht — at the High Command of the Replacement Army, requisitioning a company from my unit for a special assignment. This demand I explicitly rejected, pointing out that I had been entrusted with a clearly defined mission and that dispersing my forces didn’t seem advisable.

After the briefing I received two reports which further disturbed me. The first was from 1st Lt Dr. Hagen, a member of my staff, who informed me that while on the way to the barracks he had seen Field Marshal Brauchitsch, in full uniform, driving his car on the streets of Berlin. This was strange, for Brauchitsch was retired. Given the circumstances, his appearance in uniform seemed remarkable. It later turned out that the officer seen by Dr. Hagen can’t have been Brauchitsch. Probably it was one of the conspirators.

The second disconcerting report was from Lt Colonel Wolters, who had been attached to my regiment as a liaison officer by the Command Center. He told me that I mustn’t believe he was there to keep tabs on me as an informer. Such a remark was completely uncalled for. Not only was it incongruous and annoying, it awoke precisely the suspicion it was designed to allay: somebody had something up his sleeve. As it turned out, the briefing I gave my officers caused the colonel misgivings. In order to avoid responsibility, he simply went home — an unthinkable course of action for an officer on active duty.

My doubts that Major General von Hase’s description of the situation matched the facts, doubts strengthened by another version which had Hitler murdered by the SS, convinced me that I had to determine the facts for myself. I decided to telephone every command post I could. This was just basic reconnaissance, a matter of course for every commander before committing his troops. Needless to say this type of thinking and acting is quite at odds with the notorious corpse-like obedience that denigrators of the Third Reich’s army attribute to it.

Among other things I decided to send 1st Lt Dr. Hagen, who had eagerly volunteered, to the Reich Defense Commissioner for Berlin, Dr. Joseph Goebbels. Dr. Hagen had earlier worked under Dr. Goebbels in the Propaganda Ministry, and I believed that by dispatching him to Dr. Goebbels I would be informed about not only the military but also the political situation. Gauleiter and Defense Commissioner for Berlin as well as Propaganda Minister, Dr. Goebbels was in consequence of the former positions patron of the “Grossßdeutschland” Division, which was made up of soldiers from all the provinces of the Reich.

About an hour and a half after the “Valkyrie” order was given, my regiment, by then combat-ready, moved into the areas to be sealed off in accordance with its orders. The normal guard units, such as those at the War Memorial and the Bendlerblock, the headquarters of the Commander of the Replacement Army and of the Defense Production Office, remained at their posts. At about 4:15 p.m. Lt. Arends, the duty officer in the Bendlerblock, reported to me that he had been ordered to seal off all entrances to the building. A Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim, whom Lt Arends didn’t know, had given him this assignment Lt Arends had further been instructed by General Olbricht to open fire on any SS units that might approach.

After personally inspecting my troops in their new positions, at about 5:00 p.m. I returned once more to the City Commander, General von Hase, to inform him that I had carried out his orders. At this time I was asked to established my command post there in the City Command Center, opposite the War Memorial. I had already set up a message center, commanded by Lt Gees, in the Rathenow Barracks, with which I maintained telephone contact Then von Hase gave me an additional assignment, to seal off a block of buildings north of the Anhalt Station (he showed me where on the map), very tightly.

As I commenced carrying out these orders, I ascertained that the block designated housed the Main Office of Reich Security. The unclearness, not to mention the deception, of this misleading order, could only strengthen my suspicions. Why wasn’t I given explicit orders to place the Main Office of Reich Security under guard? It goes without saying that I would have carried out even this order.

Thus, on my third visit to General von Hase, I asked him directly “Herr General, why am I receiving orders formulated so obscurely? Why wasn’t I simply told to pay special attention to the Main Office of Reich Security?” Von Hase was quite nervous and excited. He didn’t even respond to my question. If one wonders today how a young officer like me could allow himself such liberties with a general, it should be borne in mind that we young commanders saw ourselves as battle-hardened, proven combat leaders, and we had scant regard for the chair borne warriors of the home front.

In this connection I should like to point out something based on my long experience at the front just as in the First World War it was the veteran commanders of the shock companies who epitomized the front experience, so in the Second World War it was the young commanders, come of age on the front, who had forged with their troops a sworn fellowship of combat. These men could not only fight, they wanted to fight, particularly since they believed in Germany’s victory.

While in General von Hase’s office I overheard from a conversation between the General and his First General Staff Officer that Goebbels was now to be arrested, and that this assignment was to be mine. Since I found this an unpleasant duty in light of my attempt to contact Goebbels, I jumped in and told General von Hase:

Herr General I consider myself unsuitable for this assignment As you know, I’ve been with the “Grossßdeutschland” Division, I’ve worn its stripe, for years. For me your mission would be very unchivalrous, for as you are doubtless aware, Dr. Goebbels, in his capacity as Gauleiter of Berlin, is at the same time the patron of the “Großdeutschland.” Only two weeks ago I paid Goebbels my first call as new commander of the guard regiment. On these grounds I consider it inappropriate that I, in particular, be ordered to arrest my patron.

Possibly von Hase sympathized with my arguments; from whatever grounds he now ordered the military police to take Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels into custody.

Around 5:30 p.m. Lt Dr. Hagen finally met with Dr. Goebbels in his private residence, at 20 Hermann-Göring Strasse beside the Brandenburg Gate, after having tried in vain to see him at the Propaganda Ministry. The Reich Minister had no idea of the danger he was in. It was only after Hagen, in order to emphasize how serious the situation was, pointed out vehicles from the guard regiment as they drove by, that Goebbels took fright. He cried, This is impossible, what shall we do?”

To which Hagen suggested, “The best thing would be for you to summon my commander here.” Goebbels asked curtly: “Can your commander be trusted?” “I’d lay down my life for him!” replied Hagen.

As I was going down the corridor just after leaving the City Commander’s office, I finally found my bearings as a result of Hagen’s contacting Goebbels.

Hagen had driven back to the barracks, given Gees his instructions, and then driven to my new command post at the Command Center, which was being heavily guarded. To avoid any hindrance, he did not enter the building, but informed my adjutant, Lt Siebert, and my orderly, Lt. Buck, of the situation, asking them to inform me without delay. They reported as follows:

There’s a completely new situation! This is probably a military putsch! Nothing further is known! The Reich Defense Commissioner requests that you come to him as quickly as possible! If you’re not there within twenty minutes, he will assume that you are being forcibly restrained. In that case he will be compelled to alert the Waffen-SS. To avoid civil war, he has until then ordered the Leibstandarte to stay where it is.

When I learned these things from my adjutant, I decided to see General von Hase one more time. That I still trusted the Major General, even then, is shown by my having Lt. Buck repeat to me once again, in the presence of von Hase, the message from Goebbels. I didn’t want to seem an intriguer; as a veteran combat officer it was my practice to lay all my cards on the table. Von Hase bluntly rejected my request to comply with the Reich Defense Commissioner’s summons so that I might clarify the situation in the interest of all concerned. After leaving the Command Center without interference, I deliberated, together with my adjutant, Lt. Siebert -today a pastor in Nuremberg — as to what I should do. My key role in this difficult and obscure situation, which I had not caused, was increasingly clear to me. I felt that by now my head was on the line too. After evaluating the situation as carefully as I could at that time, I decided that in spite of von Hase’s order to the contrary I would go to Goebbels. My reasons were as follows:

  • First, I didn’t want to be deprived of my freedom of action under any circumstances, as often happened at the front Often there was a very thin line between being awarded a high decoration or being sentenced to death by a court martial.
  • Second, I felt myself still bound by my oath; so far the report of the Führer’s death was at least doubtful. Thus, I had to act in keeping with the oath I swore on the flag.
  • Third, at the front I had many times made responsible decisions on my own, decisions the correctness of which was confirmed by my being awarded high decorations. Many a situation can only be mastered by decisive action. I felt as one with my comrades at the front, who wouldn’t understand were I to stand idly by out of a lack of civic courage. I could not allow myself the responsibility of letting things come to a fatal head. I thought of 1918.
  • Fourth, I was under compulsion, since Goebbels had plans to alert the Waffen-SS, raising the possibility that a fraternal war between two forces, each proven in combat, might break out As the commander of the only elite unit in Berlin on active duty I was responsible for the lives of the men entrusted to me. To employ them in a totally confused affair was not my duty.

Nevertheless, I didn’t entirely trust Goebbels either, for I still assumed that Hitler was dead, and believed a struggle for succession was possible. I was far from wanting to let myself and my unit be thrust into a latterday Diadochian struggle. Inasmuch as Goebbels’ role remained unclear, I took along Lt Buck and a platoon of soldiers. Their orders were to come and get me if I didn’t emerge from Goebbels’ residence in fifteen minutes.

Then, after releasing the safety catch of my pistol, I entered the Reich Minister’s office, where I had been eagerly awaited, and asked Goebbels to orient me. With that Goebbels asked me to tell him everything I knew. I did so, although I didn’t reveal that von Hase intended to arrest him, since I was still unclear as to Goebbels’ role in all this. When he asked me what I intended to do, I told him that I would stick to my military orders and that I was determined to carry them out Even if the Führer were no longer alive, I felt bound by my oath and could only act in accord with my conscience as an officer. At that Goebbels looked at me in amazement and cried: “What are you talking about? The Führer is alive! I’ve spoken with him on the telephone. The assassination failed! You’ve been tricked.”

This information came as a complete surprise. When I heard that the Führer was still alive, I was greatly relieved. But I was still suspicious. Therefore I asked Goebbels to assure me, on his word of honor, that what he said was true and that he stood unconditionally behind the Führer. Goebbels hesitated at first, because he didn’t understand the reason for my request It was only after I repeated that as an officer I needed his word of honor in order to see my way clear that he obliged.

My wish to telephone the Führer’s headquarters coincided with his. Within seconds I was connected to the Wolf’s Lair at Rastenburg in East Prussia. To my great surprise Hitler himself came on the line Geobbels quickly explained the situation to the Führer and then handed me the receiver.

Adolf Hitler said to me, approximately, the following: “Major Remer, can you hear me, do you recognize my voice? Do you understand me?” I replied affirmatively, but I was nevertheless uncertain. It flashed through my mind that someone could possibly be imitating the Führer’s voice. To be sure I had become personally acquainted with the Führer’s voice during the previous year, when, after he had awarded me the Oak Leaf to the Knight’s Cross, I had been able to speak alone and completely frankly with him for an hour about the cares and miseries of the front. It was only as he continued speaking over the telephone that I became convinced that I was indeed speaking with Hitler. He went on:

As you can tell I’m alive. The assassination has failed, providence didn’t intend it. A small clique of ambitious, disloyal, and traitorous officers wanted to kill me. Now we’ve got these saboteurs of the front. We’ll make short work of this treacherous plague, by brute force if necessary.

From this moment on, Major Remer, I am giving you complete authority in Berlin. You are responsible to me personally and exclusively for the immediate restoration of peace and security in the Reich capital. You will remain under my personal command for this purpose until Reichsführer Himmler arrives there and relieves you of responsibility.

The Führer’s words were very calm, determined, and convincing. I could breathe a sigh of relief, for the conversation had removed all my doubts. The soldier’s oath which I had sworn to the Führer was still binding, and the guiding principle of my actions. Now my only concern was to eliminate misunderstandings and to avoid unnecessary bloodshed by acting quickly and decisively.

Goebbels asked me to inform him of the content of my conversation with Hitler, and asked me what I intended to do next He placed the downstairs rooms of his house at my disposal, and I set up a new command post there. By this time it was 6:30 p.m. The first report of the bomb attack in the Führer’s headquarters was broadcast over the Greater German Radio Network around fifteen minutes later.

Due to my visit to the Berlin City Command Center I had a rough idea, for the most part, of the dispositions of the units advancing on Berlin. To let their commanders know the real situation, I dispatched staff officers in all directions to bring the word. Success was total. The question “The Führer — with him or against him?” worked miracles. I would like to state unequivocally that every one of these commanding officers, who like me were outraged at what had happened, subordinated themselves unconditionally to my command, although they all outranked me. Thus, they demonstrated that their soldier’s oaths were binding for them as well. Difficulties, temporary in nature, arose here and there, where personal briefings were not immediately possible.

Due to the prevailing uncertainty and because of misunderstanding – some thought that the guard regiments sealing off its designated area meant that it had mutinied — on two occasions my regiment came within a hair’s breadth of being fired on by other units. At the Fehrbelliner Platz an armored brigade had assembled at the order of the conspirators, but an order radioed by Lt. General Guderian removed it from the conspirators’ control. Thereafter this unit undertook reconnaissance and mistakenly concluded that the guard regiment “Großdeutschland” was on the side of the conspirators and had apprehended Reich Minister Goebbels. Several of the brigade’s tanks advanced tentatively, and bloodshed would have been a near thing had I not intervened personally to clear up the confusion.

The same thing happened in front of the Bendlerblock, the headquarters of the Commander of the Replacement Army, when a Panzergrenadier company tried to take over from my guard, which had been authorized by the Führer. The energetic intervention of officers from my regiment made possible a clarification at the last moment and prevented German soldiers from firing on each other. Here too the question “Hitler-with him or against him?” proved decisive. I had sent one of my company commanders, Captain Schlee, to the Bendlerblock in order to clear things up. At this point I had no idea that the leadership of the conspiracy had its Headquarters there. Schlee had orders to withdraw our guards, because I wanted, as much as possible, to avoid bloodshed. When he arrived he was ordered to see General Olbricht. He took the precaution of telling the guard to bring him out by force in the event he didn’t return promptly. In fact he was placed under arrest in the General’s waiting room by Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim, who told him to stay there. When Mertz went into Olbricht’s office, however, Schlee simply walked away.

When he returned to our guard, Lt. Arends informed him of a strange occurrence. He’d heard shouts coming from an upper story of the building and just then a typewriter and a telephone came flying through the window and into the courtyard. Schlee did an about-face and led a patrol back up to find out what was going on. He quickly identified the room from which the noise was coming; it was locked, but not under guard, and the key was still in the lock Inside was General von Kortzfleisch, commanding general of the Berlin Military District it was he who had thrown the objects out the window. The general had been summoned to the Bendlerblock to receive his orders. On his arrival, he steadfastly refused to cooperate with the conspirators. He was arrested and locked in, but left unguarded. Now that he was free, he gave us our first information as to the leadership of the conspiracy.

At 7:30 p.m. our guards were relieved, in keeping with orders. Olbricht had to replace our guard detail with his own officers. The commander of the new guard was Lt. Colonel Fritz von der Lancken. As he was moving out Schlee learned from a captain in the communications center in the Benderblock that Major Remer had been ordered by the Führer to put down the putsch. They had been able to overhear my conversation with the Führer, and recognized that the telexes they were to send out were the conspirators’ orders. Thus the men in the communications center deliberately delayed sending the messages, or in some cases didn’t dispatch them at all.

Truly a masterfully prepared plan: the conspirators had no accomplices! Furthermore, telexes and telephone messages continued to come in from the Führer Headquarters, making the actual state of affairs quite clear.

Countless orders were given that late afternoon of the twentieth of July. Among other measures I moved the replacement brigade of the “Großdeutschland” from Cottbus to the outskirts of Berlin as a combat reserve. The brigade, too, had gotten different orders from the conspirators beforehand. Its tried and true commander, Colonel Schulte-Neuhaus, who had lost an arm in combat and whom I knew from the front, reported to my command post I introduced him to Goebbels. Meanwhile I concentrated my own troops more tightly around the Reich Chancery complex, and formed a strong combat reserve in the garden of Goebbels’ official residence. Goebbels asked me to address the troops assembled there, which I did. Their outrage at the traitorous goings-on was so great that they would have torn every single conspirator to pieces, had they been there.

Then I sealed off the City Command Center, for I’d gotten the impression that there was a number of questionable characters there. I also learned that after my refusal to arrest Goebbels, the military police had been ordered to do so. I waited in vain for them to appear. Later I heard that not a single unit was ready to arrest Dr. Goebbels, so that it was left to von Hase himself The City Commander was at this point at the headquarters of the deputy commander, to which he had driven in order to work out further measures with the general, who had been installed there by the Conspirators. They had discussed things for two hours without coming to a decision, typical behavior for these combat-shy conspirators.

After General von Hase’s return to the City Command Center was |reported to me, I asked him over the telephone to come by my command post at Goebbels’ residence in order to clarify the situation. At first he refused my invitation, and demanded that, since I was his subordinate, I should report to him at the Command Center. It was only after I informed him that I had been ordered personally by the Führer to restore peace and order, as his immediate subordinate; that thus von Hase was under my orders; and that I would come and get him if he didn’t appear of his own free will, that the general arrived. At this point I was still under the impression that von Hase, who had often been my guest at the officers’ club, who frequently expressed his solidarity with the soldiers at the front, and who on no account omitted a “Sieg Heil!” to his beloved Führer from any speech, had been deceived, just as I had been, and was unaware of the facts. Therefore I apologized for my unusual treatment. On his arrival von Hase was affability personified; he even praised me for my independence and decisiveness, and for seeking out Goebbels, by which I had averted a good deal of mischief.

Even with Goebbels von Hase played the innocent, and acted as if he had no inkling of any conspiracy. He was asked to stand by for further information, and a room was placed at his disposal. As von Hase left Goebbels’ office, there was an embarrassing incident, which made me, as a German officer, blush for shame. In these very tense circumstances, von Hase stated that he had been busy the whole day and hadn’t had a thing to eat. Goebbels immediately offered to have a sandwich prepared and asked him if he would like a glass of Mosel or Rhine wine as well. As soon as von Hase had left the office, Goebbels sneered:

‘My name is Hare [Hase], I know nothing.’ That’s the stuff our revolutionary putsch generals are made of. With the irons still in the fire they want to be wined and dined, and call their mommies on the telephone. In their place I’d see my tongue ripped out before I’d make such contemptible requests.

Two events illustrate how little thought and planning went into the putsch. My conversations and orders were routed through the same communications center in the Bendlerblock, headquarters of the conspiracy, from which the plotters’ orders were being disseminated n all directions. The communications officers could have delayed my orders or not transmitted them at all or they could have interrupted my telephone calls, none of which they did. I even received a message from the Reich Broadcasting Service, inquiring about what was going on. As a result, I was able to give the order that under no circumstances was any unscheduled transmission to be made. As a result this important communications medium was denied to the plotters as well. What transpired at the Broadcasting Center on the Masurenallee? Major Jacob had been ordered to occupy the Broadcasting Center. Astonishingly enough he had been ordered neither to broadcast any announcements nor to shut down the station. He attempted to telephone the conspirators to report his occupation of the radio station and to request additional orders. He had no luck, however he wasn’t put through, as happened at many offices. For front-line soldiers the loss of telephone connections was a frequent occurrence. In such a case the normal procedure was to establish radio communications or to send a courier. Major Jacob had a teleprinter at his disposal as well, but he used none of these methods. Stauffenberg, the General Staff officer who planned the putsch, gave no thought to furnishing motorcycle couriers — such trivial details were studiously overlooked!

Rudolf-Günther Wagner, the man who was to broadcast the conspirators’ proclamations, said later:

I had known for years that I was to broadcast the proclamation on the day of the putsch I awaited with feverish excitement the arrival of the lieutenant who was to bring me the proclamation. Unfortunately I waited in vain, until I heard from Goebbels’ loudspeakers that the assassination had failed.

As is now well known, General Lindemann, who had the text of the proclamation, was nowhere to be found. General Beck was not willing to step in; he ordered Hans-Bernd Gisevius, a conspirator with the Abwehr, to bring the proclamation. First, however, Gisevius had to speedily draft a new statement, while the conspirators Stauffenberg, Hoepner, Yorck, Schwerin, and Schulenburg shouted suggestions at him. For this fiasco, too, Stauffenberg, the “manager” of the conspiracy, bears responsibility. To keep a broadcasting station in operation requires skilled and trustworthy personnel. A team had been ordered to the City Command Center but waited there idly until it was arrested during the counteraction. Hans Kasper, who was part of Operation Jacob, later commented:

It was around that time that the twentieth of July collapsed. From the perspective of a radio editor it was tragic. Tragic because the way in which details were handled made it obvious that this revolt had had very lithe chance of succeeding.

In the meantime Lt. Schlee had reported to me what was happening at the Bendlerblock. I knew nothing of the inside story, nor that Lt. General Fromm, Commander in Chief of the l Replacement Army, had withdrawn from the plot and been arrested by the conspirators. Schlee was further ordered, after our guards had been relieved, to surround and seal off the Bendlerblock, without entering the buildings. At about 7:00 p.m. I felt I had the situation in Berlin in hand. The tension began to subside.

 

General Remer’s additional remarks

The uprising, or, better said, the revolt, of July 20, 1944, failed not because of my intervention, but rather because of the inner lack of goals and conceptualization by its heterogeneous participants, apparently a privileged but subdued nobility class, who were, of course, united in their rejection of Hitler, but who were completely disunited in all other issues. The putsch failed because it began with unclear ideas, was prepared with insufficient means, and was carried out with almost astonishing awkwardness. Moreover, it is also known that no political support was promised from outside of Germany, which meant that the only possible result would have been unconditional surrender.

No one needs to ask what would have happened if the July 20, 1944, undertaking had succeeded. The German eastern front, which at that time was involved in extremely serious defensive battles, would undoubtedly have collapsed as a result of the civil war that inevitably would have broken out, and the attendant interruption of supplies… A collapse of the eastern front, however, would not only have meant the deportation of further millions of German soldiers into the death camps of Russian captivity, but would also have prevented the evacuation of countless women and children who lived in the eastern territories of the Reich, or who had been evacuated to those areas as a result of the terror attacks from the air by the western Allies.

Precisely because of his experiences on the eastern front, every thinking soldier knew what would happen to us if we were to lose this war. German soldiers were quite deeply convinced of the necessity of this struggle in the interest of the survival of our continent. We had not attacked Russia out of pure zeal to conquer. Rather, we were forced to act because the Soviets had deployed superior forces of more than 256 divisions in order to invade Europe at an opportune hour.

During my lifetime I have gotten to know and understand more than 50 countries, particularly in the Arab world and black Africa. These countries live under diverse political systems. In contrast to us, these nations all love and respect their own homelands, and are proud of their own countries and traditions.

The system of “reeducation” after 1945 has turned the Germans into a neurotic people. This spiritual-psychic condition of society in the Federal Republic thereby renders it incapable of self-awareness or of taking decisive counter-measures against the leftist organized revaluation of the natural life order.

A democracy is not good and acceptable because it calls itself a democracy, but rather when it recognizes and respects the traditional and living values of its own national community. I also believe that in every western democratic country, including here in Germany, no one can be happy about a democracy that does not also have a positive regard for its own people, state and nation. Contrary to the prevailing dogma, I have gained the impression that human beings are not equal, if for no other reason than on the basis of their very different cultural views. Nevertheless, I have observed that everywhere in the world, nationalists and those who love their own countries are able to speak with each other in the same language and understand each other, which is not the case among democrats of each country.

When one observes the tumultuous defamation of the Third Reich and the continual and repulsive self-accusations, one has to ask himself: is Hitler still so strong and the German Federal Republic so weak that the ignorant citizens of Germany can be convinced of the value of this democracy only by repetitiously repeating the old confessions of self-guilt? I do not believe so. In the long run, the historical truth cannot be suppressed

 

Stauffenberg’s background

 

Observations of Heinrich Müller, formerly head of the Gestapo and also head of the 20. July, 1944 Special Commission. Taken from his initial interview with James Kronthal, CIA station chief in Bern, Switzerland in 1948 when Müller was being vetted for CIA employment

 

M I think that Stauffenberg’s personality is important to consider. Any competent police officer likes to know as much as he can about a suspect. There was a man named Stefan George, a poet, who died in 1933. He taught elitism and racial superiority to a circle of young men that always surrounded him. He was the Oscar Wilde type.

Q George was a homosexual in other words.

M Yes, of course. I learnt of this affair after the 20th of July through a comrade in the Munich Police who had access to a long official report about George from the earlier times. George had seduced a pretty boy in Munich and his family intercepted disgusting love poems George had written to this boy. Complaints were made and an investigation followed. The names of the brothers Stauffenberg came up at several points. George was up in Heidelberg and had a sort of religious cult with all kinds of secret ceremonies with young men performing nude dances and so on. Revolting behavior.

Q And Stauffenberg was in this group?

M Yes, he and his brothers. Stauffenberg was quite handsome if you have seen his pictures. He was tall and slender with good features so I suppose George was drawn to him. Stauffenberg himself joined this cult when he was seventeen. George fled from Germany after the taking over of power in 1933 and the Stauffenbergs and others joined him in Switzerland. George died in that year.

Q But was this a permanent way of life for Stauffenberg or just something he experimented with as a young man?

M I could never prove anything for certain but many of Stauffenberg’s fellow staff officers believed he was a fumbling auntie. Or a homosexual to be more formal. He always surrounded himself with pretty young officers whom he preached Greek culture to. He went on about the body beautiful and the soul perfect or however he termed it. Many older, normal, officers found him loud and obnoxious, very dirty in his personal hygiene and strongly objected to his male harem that he dragged around the offices.

Also, this George talked about a secret Germany that was to be led by his special young friends after he had converted them to his perverted way of life. I have many papers which show me that the so-called secret Germany was in reality a clique of homosexuals with an interest in younger men and I think a case might very well be made that some of the plotters who were allied with Stauffenberg were as interested in repealing the very strictly applied State laws against homosexuality as in overthrowing Hitler. The whole business reeked of perversion. Like the Redl case.

Q You have documentation on all this?

M Of course. I still have a huge file put away on these creatures. I told all of these things to Hitler who was disgusted and told me he wanted to hear nothing more about this. He said to me, “First there was Röhm and his gang of fairies and now this. Keep all that quiet for now. Later, we can bring it up and use it to clean out the degenerates from their positions but this is not the time.”

Q Could we have copies of these papers?

M Certainly. Perhaps you would like to find out who else was in this society so you could make use of their services. I don’t mean sexual services, of course, but such knowledge can assure better cooperation.

Q Let us say that we would be interested in more information in this area. I assure you we are not interested in blackmail…

M Oh, the furthest thing from my mind, I can tell you.

Q Do you think the Soviets know about this?

M They have a nose for such things. It is a cheap way to get free information and the Soviets are adept at sexual blackmail. I know that they were aware of this situation but exactly what they did about it is beyond my present knowledge.

Q Would…if the Soviets knew about Stauffenberg’s activities, would they have been…or would they be now…aware of surviving personalities who had connections with this group? The secret Germany group?

M Probably. If they have been running these people, you could turn them. While I am on that subject, I should tell you that there were a number of so-called heroes of that time who were very cooperative with me in supplying all kinds of information I needed, quite freely by the way, and helping me track down others in their various groups. Perhaps we could discuss someone whose name is probably known to you.

 

………..

Q Is there any proof of the Stauffenberg group’s Soviet connections?

M Certainly. The Gestapo seized all of Stauffenberg’s personal papers from every source. Actually, when we searched his quarters in Berlin…I mean his private living quarters in Potsdam…we found that Stauffenberg had put everything down on paper. Not only that, we found the house stuffed with illegal black market food, wine, clothing and other luxury items. A very law abiding and patriotic man was Stauffenberg. You asked me about perversion before? Several albums of pictures of naked young Italian boys by the infamous von Glöden. Those I don’t have in my papers. We followed up all the information we had and the Soviet thread came up almost at once. We missed Köstring although he was interrogated but we did get all of the others. Hitler ordered all these documents kept strictly secret and in my own hands because he wanted no one else to be aware of what he did or did not know. There were many frightened people after that time, let me assure you.

Q What happened to these documents?

M Stauffenberg’s papers?

Q Yes.

M I kept them. And to answer your unasked question, I still have them. Except for the pictures of the little boys.

 

……………

 

The ugly facets of Stauffenberg’s persona are entirely true and Müller’s inelegant but blunt reports are not fictions designed to entertain Hitler and his entourage.

The comments on the homosexual poet, George, are true. They might be interpreted differently by persons who find themselves in sympathy with his lifestyle but this does not change their veracity. There are still reports in the Munich police files, not generally available to the public,that cover the subject in detail. There is no question that Stauffenberg and his brothers were intimate members of George’s inner circle and accompanied him into exile in Switzerland. The point can be made that Stauffenberg’s sexual activities do not negate his political ones but to understand clearly the nature of the resistance movement, it is necessary to examine not only the motives but the character of its participants.

The Stauffenberg family was, even to sympathetic biographers, strange.

Stauffenberg’s father had been Hofmarschall, or major-domo, to the King of Württemberg. He managed the King’s financial affairs and after the deposed King died, members of the royal family accused the elder Stauffenberg of dipping into the treasury. The elder Stauffenbergs were considered to be eccentric to a degree. Stauffenberg’s father and uncle did not talk to each other but barked back and forth like dogs. Stauffenberg’s mother wandered about the town of Lautlingen dressed in flowing gowns, reading poetry aloud to no one in particular.

Stauffenberg was initially impressed with Hitler, being attracted to dominant male figures, but soon grew tired of the new head of state and began to seek other father figures.

Often stated to be a brilliant staff officer, Stauffenberg was a competent and energetic planner but was so abrasive and opinionated that he was generally shunned by his peers. Stauffenberg was one of those persons whom one either deeply admires or detests. His personal hygiene left much to be desired. He bathed occasionally, wore clean uniforms when he thought about it, sometimes had his hair cut by a barber and rarely used a toothbrush. These eccentricities, coupled with his loud, insistent domination of any conversation he chanced to encounter, did not endear him to members of the German General Staff whose motto was, “Be more than you seem.”

Merely because Stauffenberg possessed a number of irritating mannerisms does not mean that he was incompetent or in error in his actions. Stauffenberg was in error because he failed. He was also wrong because his overweening ego blinded him to the fact that his attempt was doomed to failure from the start. Killing Hitler and his top military leadership might have pleased Stalin but it would not have stopped the war with any degree of certainty and his plans for a quick and happy ending to the savage conflict are, at this remove, so idealistic as to border on lunacy.

Stauffenberg put a bomb under Hitler’s table and almost literally ran out of the room to watch the carnage at a distance. He was not a martyr in any sense of the word. When he returned to Berlin after a three hour trip by slow aircraft, he found the headquarters of the Reserve Army in a state of torpid inaction. It was at this point that Stauffenberg committed an unforgivable act: he lied to his fellow plotters and told them that he had actually seen Hitler’s corpse with his one good eye. On the strength of his insistence and the knowledge that if they did not take action, the Gestapo would soon be paying a visit to their headquarters in force, the reluctant Generals began to act. With his lie, Stauffenberg doomed most of the men around him to an ugly and degrading road to death but like most fanatics, to Stauffenberg the end justified the means.

A number of apocryphal stories about intended assassination attempts against Hitler have proliferated since the end of the war. Gersdorff’s story about the bomb in his pocket has been proven false and the Schlabrendorff aircraft bomb has been disproved by the discovery of Hitler’s official travel orders of the day in question that show Colonel Brandt on another aircraft. One story relates how intrepid officers were planning to bomb Hitler at an exhibition of new uniforms in Berlin. This failed, the story goes, because a bomb dropped by an Allied pilot destroyed the uniforms and the showing was canceled.

In fact the display was made but not in Berlin and the uniforms in question were not developed until a year after the date of the imaginary attack.

In his book, Putsch, (Wyden, New York, 1970) Richard Hanser discusses the homoerotic nature of George and his movement. The poems to a handsome Munich youth are also mentioned. (pps.54-57.). On the other hand, Stauffenberg biographer Joachim Kramarz devotes an entire chapter to George and his influence over Stauffenberg, mentions the suspicion of homosexuality but dismisses it out of hand. It should be noted that Kramarz has also dismissed any negative report on Stauffenberg as Nazi propaganda designed to smear a great hero of impeccable character and high motives. The forward to his book was written by Trevor-Roper. (Stauffenberg, Macmillan, New York, 1967, pps 29-35.)

 

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