Worm in the Apple
German Traitors and Other Influences
That Pushed the World Into War:

The little-known story of the men who destroyed Adolf Hitler's Germany

Friedrich Lenz

2. Overview
"The Germans are their own worst enemy."

The cornerstone for July 20, 1944 and for all the acts associated with it was laid the day that 'leading' persons realized that Hitler would become Chancellor of the Reich.

These gentlemen would dearly have liked to prevent his 'seizure of power' by 'lawful' means, but no matter how they racked their brains - it could not be done, Hitler & Hindenburgfor all suggestions to the point foundered not only on the wording of the Constitution itself, but also on Hindenburg's loyalty to this Constitution and most of all on the mood prevailing among the people.

Hitler had achieved what he had resolved on as private first class, and had sworn to in the Leipzig Supreme Court: he had gained the leadership of his people - legally, albeit in the opinion of his enemies only because his electors were not nearly as smart as they.1 It did not signify to them that in April 1932, at a time when the legality of the elections could not yet be disputed, these 'ignorant' Germans already numbered 13 million, and many millions more only one year later. While they do question the legality of the elections after the seizure of power, no reasonable and truth-loving person can dispute that propaganda or illusory victories or 'compulsion' did in fact add so many more 'ignorants' to the ranks of Hitler's adherents that the Enabling Act, and hence all measures to amend the Constitution, had a completely lawful foundation.

One can also doubt neither the legitimacy of the Saar plebiscite, conducted as it was under international control, nor the enthusiastic approval voiced by the vast majority of the people at public proclamations.2 It is curious that with respect to major political decisions, which he could easily have implemented on his own, Hitler the dictator bothered time and again to have the legitimacy of these decisions affirmed by the people through plebiscites, either before or at least after the fact.

In defense of their meek attitudes towards the methods employed by Hitler after his seizure of power, the opponents now plead the terrorist measures3 that awaited them, had they done otherwise, but they keep silent about the real reason, which is that in light of the clear wish of the people to give Hitler a chance and to help him, they could not have dared offer any practical resistance if they did not want to risk making fools of themselves or being swept away by their own followers. This was also the reason for the stance taken by the Social Democrats in the vote on the Enabling Act.4 Today, in light of the fact that the SPD refers so persistently to its attitude of 1933, it is necessary to make this point quite clear. This party could vote against the Act, and had to do so for fundamental reasons of principle, but in light of the mood of the people it did not dare to thwart the bill's being passed into law simply by absenting itself from the debate, as it might have done and which would have been much easier.

Mass rally
What modern-day politician
gets this kind of enthusiasm
from his voters?!
No-one could have the slightest doubt that Hitler's government fulfilled the true criteria of democracy in Germany for the first time, namely that the people let themselves be governed by their own, their elected leader, in other words, they 'governed themselves'. And nowadays no-one would be happier than Chancellor Adenauer if he had something even approaching a fraction of such a majority backing his General and EVG Agreements, instead of the bare and reserved majority of the Bundestag which is utterly devoid of the legitimacy that is bestowed by a clear and definite plebiscite. No doubt he would also be happy to have his Bundestag made fun of as a 'choral society' instead of having to desperately repeat "Ladies and gentlemen!" 165 times like a prayer wheel in order to win the Members of Parliament over to his propositions through prophecies of doom and gloom - not to mention the fact that he has to put up with the impertinence of constant interruptions from the floor. The people as well would prefer a 'choral society' that at least knew which hymn to sing, and which would see a reason for singing such a hymn in the unity of its national bearing. No doubt the people would be happier if they had less of a 'say', yet the little they really wanted to say counted for something. The matter of the German contribution to NATO defense forces is perhaps the clearest proof of that.5

The will of the people and Hitler's success were the reasons why his opponents kept fairly quiet after the seizure of power. Herr Schleicher also deemed it expedient to give up his (now thoroughly manifest) plan to thwart the legal seizure of power by means of a military putsch the day before. Emil Henk, the intended South German representative of the putsch government (as he himself declares in his Beitrag zur politischen Vorgeschichte des 20. Juli), states clearly enough at the start of this publication: "The Resistance Movement against Adolf Hitler is as old as Hitler's dictatorship itself. The day he gained power was the day his enemies began to fight his system and his terrorism. Hitler had devoted followers, but he also had opponents no less resolute and prepared to die for their beliefs, from the very first day right until the day of defeat."6

From the very first day! It is important to take note of this, for the rationale that is offered in justification of the July 20 assassination attempt, and most of all in justification of opposition at all, is that a stop was to be put to the desperate war in hopes of preventing senseless sacrifice.

It is clear that from the very start all actions directed against Hitler were also in effect directed against the will of the people, since after all they had chosen this man Hitler as their leader. Chancellor Adenauer would judge the same way if his opponents were to attempt to sabotage laws he has created through today's - not even legitimate - Bundestag.

And why should Hitler not have had the right to effect amendments to the Constitution with the help of his Reichstag, if Adenauer can do the same today? Incidentally, the fact that our Constitutional Court must practically work overtime does not say much for the present-day Federal government's 'loyalty to the Constitution'!

The simple logic that if Hitler's measures had the approval of the vast majority of the people, then all of Hitler's opponents were also opponents of this majority, did not bother these conspirators in the least. Those individuals who did grasp this fact, simply described this majority as stupid and themselves as intelligence double-distilled,7 whose mission in the interests of the people was to ensure that this majority would be speedily liberated again from the leader they in their stupidity had elected by democratic means.

This wonderful realization was summarized in the following 'democratic' statement by FDP Representative Dr. H. Schäfer in the course of the debate about the German contribution to NATO defense forces: "It was clear to us in the Parliamentary Council back then that in a modern mass-state the institution of the plebiscite is a dangerous thing for democracy as such. We know from experience that all tyranny in the world has ever had its origins in a plebiscite." It is hardly necessary to comment on this.

But since the opponents, being a minority, wanted 'in the interests of the Fatherland' to 'keep their foot in the door' at all costs, with salary or pension if at all possible, they acted in a manner somewhat like this: whenever Hitler approached the engine-room of the very complex machinery of state, they made haste to greet him with right arm raised in ostentatious respect and their left hand busily polishing the machinery, just to take a spanner as soon as they felt unobserved, and throw it in the works - thus making their 'contribution' in the interests of the Fatherland.

previous pagetable of contentsnext page


1In the words of a prominent Member of Parliament, the people were: politically naive, uncritical, dull and slavishly following authority, half-educated, bewitched, vulgar, blind, servile, and disaccustomed to critical thought. ...back...

2Henry Bernhard, Stresemann's Secretary, commented on this as follows: These 9.5% (votes against the annexation of the Saarland to Germany) were not a vote against Germany, but rather a protest against National Socialism and its policies of aggression. This percentage also corresponds to the dissenting votes that were recorded in the various elections in Germany and proves that, on the whole, one cannot question the counts of the votes. ...back...

3The true degree of such mental terrorism is revealed in two places by the books of F. v. Schlabrendorff and H. B. Gisevius: namely, that even in 1938 one could still say and write a good deal without disowning one's basic convictions. ...back...

4This goes for the approval of the war loans of 1914 no less than for the attitude towards the General Agreement and, since 'Aurich', in the matter of war criminals as well. ...back...

5Or, today - to give a more current example - the debate about the "Euro". [-trans.] ...back...

6Of the numerous statements regarding the 'age' of the conspiracy against Hitler, I will confine myself to quoting just one, for the sake of its classical phrasing - Allen Welsh Dulles, in his book Germany's Underground: "The attempt of July 20 was the culmination of a series of plots and conspiracies that had begun before the outbreak of war. It was not an isolated, spontaneous putsch, but part of a planned, last, desperate effort to crush Nazi tyranny. The German conspirators had been secretly at work for years." ...back...

7When one has read the body of Resistance literature and has noted with amazement the character assessments and political evaluations of persons still living, as well as the magnificent plans for the future shaping of our nation, then one cannot help but marvel that we do not live in a model state, and ask oneself what happened to that formerly unshakeable unity that is now so sorely lacking in our party-political relations. ...back...

previous pagetable of contentsnext page

Worm in the Apple
German Traitors and Other Influences That Pushed the World Into War:
The little-known story of the men who destroyed Adolf Hitler's Germany