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New documents reveal Hitler's loss of faith in his generals

i24NEWS

clock 2 min read

An undated and unlocated picture shows German Nazi chancellor Adolf Hitler looking at a tiara
AFP/GettyAn undated and unlocated picture shows German Nazi chancellor Adolf Hitler looking at a tiara

Hitler: 'I'm dead scared to be away for a day or only five hours, because something might happen'

A new document reveals that Adolf Hitler stopped trusting his generals much earlier than was previously thought, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday.

Discovered in the Russian Defense Ministry Archives by researchers Matthias Uhl and Johannes Harter, the document is the transcript of an 85 minute conversation between Hitler and Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel, who headed the high command of the German Army throughout most of the war. The discussion took place in Vinnitsa in Ukraine on September 18, 1942, a year after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Vinnitsa was one of the German headquarters on the Eastern front.

Although it is well known that Hitler was hysteric in a meeting with his top generals when the war was coming to an end, as depicted in the 2005 film "The Downfall," this shows he had lost faith in his generals much earlier on.

In the discussion, Hitler disparaged Colonel-General Franz Halder, chief of staff of the army, and said he "cannot decide if an attack is to be made with 100 men, with six battalions or two divisions."

Hitler was frustrated at the fact that the Wehrmacht leadership was "ignoring my commands," and that the fact that they did not listen to his orders was "an indecency."

Exasperated, Hitler expressed that "I speak to them every day. This is quite useless."

It is clear in the transcript that the Fuhrer felt that he was indispensable to the German cause. He went as far as to call one officer, Field Marshall Wilhelm List, commander of Army Group A, a "flabby leader."

"I'm dead scared to be away for a day or only five hours, because something might happen. If was today to get, for example, a canal root infection, I cannot leave, I must remain here," Hitler said.