Breaking the bad news to Adolf

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by Robert-w, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Hansard for March 1947 provides the following account of a report from Speer to Hitler sometime in 1945 "the final collapse of the German economy can be counted on with certainty within from four to eight weeks. After this collapse even military continuation of the war will become impossible.". Does anyone have the date on which this was actually delivered to Adolf?

    Hansard 17 March 1947
    Volume 435
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

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  3. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    I thought it was 23rd September 1941 when Eva said : Wolfie, I’ve got to tell you something , I’ve been faking my orgasms “
  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Thanks for this - it does give a date but still leaves the question what was Tedder's source. I've maxed my 2nd hand book buying quota this month - anyone have a copy - does it quote a source?
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It would appear that Tedder or indeed the Allies,did not have access to the intelligence of Speer's assessed state of Germany's economy until the postwar trials.The state of the German economy was raised by Speer as a memorandum on 15 March 1945 in preparation for a meeting with Hitler.Speer was silent on any wireless communication on the matter.

    Did Tedder have any relevant information relating to the state of the German economy in March 1945,through the postwar interrogation,pre trial of Speer is not clear?

    This meeting took place on the evening of 18 March 1945 when Speer personally presented it to Hitler.Speer had for some time anticipated a barbarous "burnt earth" directive from Hitler when in his opinion the war was lost.There was an extended dialogue between the two on the subject but Hitler knowing his fate was sealed was not interested in the future of the German people,a people he had always declared his dedication to.

    The next day on the 19 March 1945 Hitler laid down his "burnt earth" directive which was followed by a decree from Bormann on 23 March 1945 that the German population,including foreign workers and POWs should be drawn into the centre of Germany without no means of transport or subsistence. of many directives if carried out would have resulted in the loss of more German and Allied lives.

    Speer's memorandum including the dialogue between Hitler and himself was revealed when he took the stand at Nuremberg on 20 June 1946 and further, summarised comprehensively the destruction to be carried out to Germany's industry,communications and infrastructure under Hitler's "burnt earth" directive.

    These documents referred to above were used by Speer in presenting in his defence.They are likely the source of information for Tedder's Air Power in War lecture.Speer's defence is well documented in the Nuremberg Tribunal files.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
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  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Thanks - but did the documents survive or are we reliant on Speer's defence?
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The Nuremberg Tribunal proceedings involving the trial of Speer and others.... did the documents survive?.....rather a strange question to ask since it marked a clear testimony of what had happened in Nazi Germany during the totalitarian rule of the Third Reich a little over 12 years....crimes against peace,against humanity and against defenceless minorities from a regime headed by Hitler who assured the world he only wished for peace but from 1935 outwardly was planning to wage war.

    As the testimony proceeded of what had happened it was observed that fewer were against the trial.The occupation forces in the west had this in mind when German civilians were made to visit and observe concentration camps immediately after the Third Reich defeat to see for themselves what had been done in the name of Germany.

    The allies had defeated the Hitler regime,flushed with victory but divided upon the majority of all policies for postwar, but had one agreed policy and that was that the German war criminals would be punished.On 8 August 1945, an agreement of the US,GB and the SU was made to proceed with the trial of German war criminals and this was endorsed by 19 members of the United Nations.

    There are a number of sources where the proceedings are recorded...a prime example being an official US one.


    Another.....Nuremberg Trials

    All tribunal documents were printed in German for the defendants and then in the language of the Allies.There had been some complaint from the defendants that they were at a disadvantage with the English language regarding the proceedings.However this complaint was not upheld since the defendants were aware of the proceeding from their German language documents and the court had the continuous support from translators as the proceedings developed.

    As regards the 22 Third Reich principals on trial as war criminals,the custody of these was undertaken by the US in "Ashcan",he code for a requisitioned hotel in Mondorf les Bains in Luxembourg.This POW camp and detention centre enabled the US authorities to study the personality traits of these principals and importantly extract deeper intelligence of them,their depth of involvement in war crimes and that of the Third Reich by interrogation. A record of what was extracted from these principals and their individual behaviour and that as group is available from many sources.

    The British file on "Ashcan" is at the NA as shown below.

    War Criminals: Ashcan (S.H.A.E.F. detention and interrogation camp) Visit of P.I.D.... | The National Archives

    An interesting casual comment from Goring to a US interrogator at "Ashcan"....will you be obeying the Geneva Convention?
  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Obviously the Nuremberg proceedings survive what I was asking was did the original memorandum from Speer to Hitler survive or are we dependant on Speer's evidence to the tribunal?
  9. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    Going back to the original question, Kershaw (in 'Nemesis') writes that the memorandum was drafted by Speer on 15th March and passed to Hitler by Below (Hitler's Adjutant) on 18th March. He cites Speer in 'Inside the Third Reich'. But in the footnotes Kershaw states that there is some confusion here as Speer suggests elsewhere that he himself actually handed the memorandum to Hitler, after midnight and on 19th March. Below writes of Speer handing the memorandum to him.
  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    That question was put by you in post #6 and answered as below from #5

    Speer's memorandum including the dialogue between Hitler and himself was revealed when he took the stand at Nuremberg on 20 June 1946 and further, summarised comprehensively the destruction to be carried out to Germany's industry,communications and infrastructure under Hitler's "burnt earth" directive.[/QUOTE]

    Do you think that Speer's memorandum and the dialogue between himself and Hitler would not be recorded at the Tribunal when Speer took the stand on 20 June 1946?

    The Nuremberg Tribunal proceedings recording the text of Speer's memorandum and his dialogue with Hitler are to be found in TMWC,Volume XLI

    The Nuremberg Tribunal proceedings recording the documents which Speer presented in his defence are given in Volume XLI
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
  11. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The "bad news" document may be referred to in Exhibit Speer 23

    " 20 June 46

    I sent a new memorandum to Hitler on 18 March 1945, the contents of which were very clear and in which I did not allow him any further excuses for the measures he had planned. The memorandum was brought to the attention of numerous of his associates.

    DR. FLACHSNER: The Tribunal will find extracts from that memorandum on Page 69 of the English text of the document book (Exhibit Speer 23).

    Will you continue, please?

    SPEER: I shall quote something more from that memorandum; on Page 69, Mr. President:

    "The enemy air force has concentrated further on traffic installations. Economic transportation has thereby been considerably reduced... In 4 to 8 weeks the final collapse of German economy must therefore be expected with certainty... After that collapse, the war cannot even be continued militarily... We at the head have the duty to help the nation in the difficult times which must be expected. In this connection we must soberly, and without regard for our fate, ask ourselves the question as to how this can be done even in the more remote future. If the opponent wishes to destroy the nation and the basis of its existence, then he must do the job himself. We must do everything to maintain, even if perhaps in a most primitive manner, a basis of existence for the nation to the last."

    Then there follow a few of my demands, and I shall summarize them briefly. I quote:

    "It must be insured that, if the battle advances farther into the territory of the Reich, nobody has the right to destroy industrial plants, coal mines, electric plants, and other supply facilities, as well as traffic facilities and inland shipping routes, et cetera. The blowing-up of bridges to the extent which has been planned would mean that traffic facilities would be more thoroughly destroyed than the air attacks of the last years have been able to achieve. Their destruction means the removal of any further possibilities of existence for the German nation."

    Then, I shall quote briefly the conclusion of the memorandum:

    "We have no right, at this stage of the war, to carry out destructions on our part which might affect the life of the people. If the enemies wish to destroy this nation, which has fought with unique bravery, then this historical shame shall rest exclusively upon them. We have the obligation of leaving to the nation all possibilities which, in the more

    497 "

    Etc., etc.
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  12. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Speers mentioned quote comes from his six-page "Denkschrift Wirtschaftslage März - April 1945" available at the Bundearchiv under 1976 R 3/1536
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  13. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    right page, lower half in b r o a d t e x t
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  14. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Exhibit Speer 23 is not referred to in cross-examination, final defence speech, or in the judgment.

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