Hitler and His Generals: The Hidden Crisis, January-June 1938

By Harold C. Deutsch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
Conclusion: Looking Backand Ahead

The torments of Werner von Fritsch did not end with the affair associated with his name but only with his death some fifteen months later. To all intents and purposes that affair terminated at the point of Hitler's meeting with the military leaders at Barth, the final occasion on which they might have confronted him on behalf of Fritsch. Thereafter his personal fate ceased to be an issue and the bestowal of the honorary colonelcy on him seven weeks later was no more than an anticlimax.

In his Achterberg retreat Fritsch had ample opportunity to pursue further the introspective thoughts which had lain so heavily upon him during his weeks of sorest trial. His letters to the Baroness Schutzbar convey much gloom and occasionally a flash of illtemper, for which he would apologize in his next communication. Though making no effort to hide his bitter feelings against the dictator, he avoided comment that could be used against him or his friends. He was more than ever convinced that his mail was under surveillance and repeatedly cut short what threatened to become a condemnatory outburst with such words as "Since this letter, like so many others, will be opened, I will not write any more [about this]."1

Achterberg in no way became a focus of pilgrimage for Fritsch's

____________________
1
Letter of August 7, 1939. Fritsch Letters. The general's letters only occasionally reveal something about the depth of his relationship with the Baroness Schutzbar. He undoubtedly appreciated the opportunity, which the correspondence gave him, to unburden himself more fully than he probably did to his male friends. Since Baroness Schutzbar's own letters appear to be lost, we can judge of her feelings only from some of his responses, such as that he felt unable to reciprocate the degree of affection she professed.

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