24 Frank, Im Angesicht des Galgens. Hitler's extraordinary suggestive power affected not only his National Socialist followers. Hindenburg, Papen, Blomberg, industrialists and professors came under his spell to a greater or lesser degree of indignity. In November 1939 General von Brauchitsch simply withdrew from an attempted rebellion by the generals when Hitler shouted at him, and even Hjalmar Schacht, who was firmly protected by his professional arrogance, admitted once that he never left a talk with Hitler 'without feeling uplifted and strengthened' (Rauschning, Voice of Destruction). The single exception among the top leadership seems to have been Reinhard Heydrich. This could very well have been because he was not in such close personal contact with Hitler but instead had access to his 'man of straw', Himmler. Rohm's case was quite different. He held himself aloof from the humiliating acts of Byzantinism which were contrary to his soldierly sense of honour, but was evidently no less under Hitler's spell than the other top leaders. This state of affairs, which is easily obscured by the events preceding 30th June 1934, is confirmed by Rohm's conduct during his years in exile and by his precipitate return from Bolivia once he received Hitler's offer to take over the post of Chief of Staff of the SA. Another exception in a certain sense is Albert Speer. But he at least admitted that
'to be in [Hitler's] presence for any length of time made me tired, exhausted and void. The capacity for independent work was paralysed' (Trevor-Roper, Last Days of Hitler).
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