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

18. Hitler's striving for peace

BeckThe Resistance fighters and traitors who came in all shapes and flavors, from the Communists to the Junkers, did have a Führer of their own in Herrn Beck, albeit one not as modest as Hitler who liked to have Providence31 direct and protect him; rather, Beck's followers generally referred to their leader as "God". Nevertheless, he was quite unable to turn the goals (much less the actions) of the various dissident groups into a uniform channel, even though - according to Dr. O.A.W. John, the President of the Office for Defence of the Constitution and, as goes without saying, another prominent one of the traitors - the Social-Democratic Party and its Herr Leuschner actually agreed to the plan of establishing a monarchy under Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia! All I can say to that is, "some Republicans you are!". John But the main thing was that, according to Dr. John, "all party-political conflicts were easily reconciled in light of the common foe, Hitler." At the same time, however, all of them maintained their own connections and channels to abroad.

In the absence of any 'planning', the activities of these 'civilian' conspirators consisted in the main of:

a) since 1933, inciting foreign nations against the leadership of the Reich by serving them exaggerated reports about alleged oppression and other abuses, and pointing out the dangers of National-Socialism. Those circles interested in a conflict with Germany made use of these reports in their press organs, as propaganda with which to prepare their people for conflict;

b) disseminating Hitler's alleged intentions for war abroad, namely by consistently exaggerating and magnifying the minor instances in which the person in question, being quite blind to the true context, believed to discern a desire for war.

I could easily fill an entire volume with evidence of Hitler's honest wish for peace, but that is not my purpose here. Still, I will not take the easy way out, like Karl Strölin in his work Verräter oder Patrioten, in which he tried to prove Hitler's fundamental desire for war by quoting Hermann Rauschning, that psychopath whose Gespräche mit Hitler one can see to be fake after only a few pages and whose historical value even renowned British historians dispute. Hence, I will not list all of Hitler's proclamations of peace, but just point out the following:

1. Ambassador Abetz who was very critical of Hitler, wrote in his book Das offene Problem:

"This was also the time of that particular one of Hitler's public speeches that first shook my distrust of him and convinced me of the sincerity of his professed love of peace. 'A medium-sized modern shell,' he set out before a large assembly, 'costs 3,500 Mark. A small single-family home for a working-class family also costs 3,500 Mark. To arm my country, I would need at least 10 million shells. These will then lie in storage in the arsenals, and no-one will thank me for them. But if I build 10 million homes for working-class families, I will have the gratitude of the greatest part of my nation. So how could I not want the others to disarm, that I may save myself arming in turn? But at the heart of a Europe armed to the teeth, Germany cannot be the only one to remain unarmed.' - I must admit that the simplicity and logic of this argument impressed me deeply. I began to believe Hitler's claim that he desired to put all the means at his disposal at the service of the social cause, and to achieve Germany's reconstruction through works of peace."

2. From the very first day onward, Hitler had taken great pains to settle all differences with the Great Powers and especially with Germany's neighbours in a peaceful manner, but when he found that he was never met half-way he eventually resorted to those politics that were inevitable in light of the inconsistent attitude of the former enemy nations. However, he always maintained his wish to avoid a war.

In the Polish Question in particular, indisputable documents prove beyond any doubt that he proceeded so cautiously that a settlement must have been reached if only the other side had been willing; and indeed there were circles on the other side - I would rank the British Ambassador Henderson among these first and foremost - which desired a settlement, but were not sufficiently decisive forces in the matter. I am pointing this out on purpose because their wishes are often cited in favor of the enemy side, which can easily lead to misapprehensions. It is amazing to see with what patience Hitler took up each and every offer of mediation, right up to September 3, 1939. Since this fact is particularly annoying to those who would falsify history to Germany's detriment - and this also includes German historians - they invent the lie that at the Conference in Berchtesgaden on August 22, 1939 Hitler had allegedly expressed concern that "some son of a bitch might interfere at the last minute with an offer to mediate." Thank God there is at least one officer, General Hermann Boehm, Admiral (ret'd.), who has taken it upon himself to refute, under oath, this and other lies contained in the so-called minutes of this Conference. Did not Hitler offer peace terms to the enemy powers on October 6, 1939 after the victory over Poland, and on July 19, 1940 after the victory over France, and did he not later respond favorably to several attempts made by neutral parties to restore peace - all of which attempts were rejected out of hand by Germany's enemies?32 The spirit in which our present historians judge these efforts towards peace is shown by the fact that they are either not mentioned at all - just like all those other insignificant details - or else are downplayed with a sneer.

With respect to the speech of July 19, 1940, one of these gentlemen has actually written: "The flood of promotions and honors conferred hardly reflects the intended tenor of a peace speech."

It is all the more pleasant, therefore, to hear a Frenchman's view:

3. Jean Montigny in his book La Defaite:

"The goals for which the Allies entered the war - the rescue or recovery of Poland - can no longer be realized. At the same time, the danger to France is becoming clearer. The German divisions are rushing from Poland to France: from this point on, the German army has an indisputable advantage over France which is at least equally as great as that of May 1940. The moment has come when [Hitler] can throw his entire strength behind one single battle front; the dreaded situation whose specter the war-mongers always exploited for the sake of their own policies has now become reality...: 'We must join in the war as soon as ever a conflict in the East affords us the opportunity to do so, otherwise Hitler will one day make use of our isolation in the West in order to destroy us.' Now - late September 1939 - there is no longer an Eastern front, and France practically stands alone. If Hitler really has the ulterior motive that the war-mongers impute to him, then he will show his true colors and attack. If on the other hand he desists and does not attack, then it is a sign that he was in fact sincere all these years when he strove for the consolidation of peace with France and Great Britain; when he declared the Franco-German border to be a permanent one after the settlement of the Saar troubles; and when he solemnly relinquished the old German claims on Alsace-Lorraine, for the sake of preserving peace in the West.

"The facts will have the final say here.

"The situation is now one where Hitler not only has not attacked, but has even declared publicly in a speech in the Reichstag (October 6, 1939) that he is willing to engage in peace talks with France.

"Another task is to clarify the goals of European foreign politics. The Reich is willing to participate in such clarification as far as her own intentions are concerned. She has no more demands save that for colonies. The German demands in this respect are legitimate and justified. They are not of the nature of an ultimatum.

"[Hitler] further points out that Europe will one day be faced with the necessity for arms control and co-operation between nations: 'It would be more sensible to begin working on this problem before millions of lives are lost. Those peoples and Heads of State who believe that everyone is the loser in a war should take the hand I offer them.'

"Chronologically, this speech lies between Hitler's devastating victory in Poland and his equally devastating victory in the West. Who would not be deeply affected by it today? But back then, London and Paris responded with jeers and mockery: 'Hitler is afraid, he knows his inferiority and impotence.'"

4. In closing, two quotations from letters Hitler wrote. Their contents, not being intended for the public, no doubt are the most accurate reflections of his motives:

a) September 3, 1939, to Benito Mussolini:
"Duce! First of all, I thank you for your last attempt at mediation. I would have been prepared to accept, albeit only on the condition that the means would have been found to give me somewhat of a guarantee respecting the successful outcome of the conference. For two days now the German troops have been advancing in Poland, at times very rapidly. It would have been impossible to let the casualties incurred in the process be devalued by more political intrigue. Nevertheless I believe that a way could have been found, had not Britain been resolved from the start to have matters come to war at all costs. I did not back off in the face of the British threat because, Duce, I no longer believe that peace could have been preserved anyhow for any longer than six months, or say one year at the most. Under these circumstances I nevertheless considered the present time more suited to resistance. At the present the superiority, in all technical respects, of the German Wehrmacht in Poland is so immense that the Polish army will collapse in a very short time. I cannot but doubt that a similar rapid success could still have been achieved one or two years hence. England and France would certainly have armed their ally sufficiently by then that the decisive superiority of the German Wehrmacht could not have been as dramatically evident."

b) October 30, 1942, to Sven Hedin:
"...If Poland had been willing to come to an agreement such as I offered, war would not have broken out. In such a case, however, Russia could have completed her arms program on a scale such as we can only recognize and gauge properly today. Five more years of peace, and Europe would have been simply squashed flat by the force of the Bolshevist machinery of war. It is, after all, clear that after the German-Polish dispute was settled, the Reich and especially the National-Socialist Movement would have turned its attention primarily to cultural matters and, first and foremost, to social issues. While we would not have neglected our arms status outright, it would have remained very limited, and this could not but have resulted in a helpless inferiority to this Asiatic colossus a few years later.

"Under these circumstances, the fate of Europe and hence of a culture several millennia old would probably have been sealed."



31Incidentally, the Pope told Mussolini that he was a "man of Providence". ...back...

32Interesting details of this may also be found in the book England - Nürnberg - Spandau (1952) by Ilse Hess, in which she writes about her husband who, after all, did not risk his life in his flight to England in the capacity of Reich Minister merely for the sake of a pleasant weekend excursion, but rather in order to bring about peace with Britain before the outbreak of the war against Russia. ...back...

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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