Note 005
by Joachim C. Fest

5 See Horkenbach, 1933. On Hammerstein's 'demarche' see Hermann Foertsch, Schuld und Verhängnis. Hammerstein's threat to Hitler became known through Alfred Rosenberg's Nuremberg notes: 'If you attain power legally, that is all right by me. Otherwise I shall shoot' (Lang and Schenck, Memoirs of Alfred Rosenberg). In comparison, the assertion which comes up all the time that Hammerstein had at the last moment attempted to thwart Hitler's appointment by means of a putsch lacks any foundation, as Foertsch, among others, has pointed out. On the other hand it is also necessary to counter the reproach which is raised again and again against the leaders of the Reichswehr for not attempting this putsch. Apart from the fact that the circumstances of this appointment appeared entirely legal and (ignoring for once the reliability of the Army) stood in the way of such considerations, as did the very identity of the Reich President, it cannot be the Army's job to prevent political mistakes through the use of armed force unless unforeseeable consequences are to be tolerated.

From Chapter 19, General von X , Part 3 of The Face Of The Third Reich by J.C. Fest -- See further Notes

« LAST » Note « NEXT »