THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: ‘Hitler system is cracking’, German General talks of revolt
From the News Letter, August 11, 1944
General Walter von Seydlitz, president of the Free German National Committee in Moscow, broadcasting from Moscow the previous night, said: “I know, not only by the events of July 20 [the von Stauffenberg conspiracy to assassinate Hitler], but also by other happenings in Germany that the whole Hitler system is cracking, militarily and politically.
“The movement has reached such proportions that Hitler was compelled to admit to his gauleiters, what many Germans already know, that the men behind the uprising were important because of their far-reaching influence. We know that large parts of the armed forces were involved in the action.
“A signal, a beginning, an abyss, which cannot be bridged, has been opened.
“What can a German general do, at this juncture, to further the action? If the Army group in the north, engaged in a lost battle, were to come over, the resistance movement inside Germany would receive such impetus that the signal could be given to all German to rise against Hitler.
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“There are great possibilities which can be exploited by German generals. Their first duty must be to imprison ail those lackeys of Hitler - especially the SS - when the proper hour strikes.
“German generals, rest assured that your troops will be completely with you in your actions against the present regime, which they see has brought them to their present dilemma.
“Fear already holds in his grip Hitler and his circle. The resistance movement is growing. The boat with Hitler and his clique is rocking dangerously.”
Meanwhile it was reported that Goebbels, acting in his new role of ‘Reich Trustee for Total Mobilisation’ had announced “essential restrictions in Germany’s public life affecting the whole population”.
A statement, issued by the German News Agency, said: “The meaning and aim of these measures is to free labour for armament and war production and soldiers for the front.
“All foreign domestic helps will be drafted into the armament industry. German domestic helps will either be employed in the war industry or sent to households where they are urgently needed.
“Whole age groups of exempted persons, badly wanted at the front, will have their exemptions cancelled either at once or in the case of war workers as soon as replacements have been trained.
“Those circles of the population which hitherto have had little opportunity of taking part in the common war effort will be put to use for work on war productions in their homes.
“Cultural life in all its branches will be limited to the essential. All the younger generation of German film and theatre actors will be sent en bloc to war industry.
“Public life must conform to the requirements of total war.”
Writing in Das Reich, Goebbels, after explaining his new measures, added: “Dire political and military necessities force our hands.”