Fromm and the Valkyries

Generaloberst Friedrich Fromm (Case Study 26) was the Commander of the Replacement Army or Ersatzheer and Chief of Army Equipment under Adolf Hitler. He was in charge of the army in Germany itself and training new recruits. He was also in charge of getting the armaments and supplies for the army, much of it from slave labor of those in concentration camps.

Fromm’s staff had decided to stage a coup against Hitler. They informed Fromm but he would have no part in it. Several members of his staff smuggled a bomb into Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s hideout headquarters on the 20th of July, 1944. The attempt failed. Fromm knew his officers had been involved and had them arrested and executed. The orders had been to arrest the plotters and turn them over alive to the SS. Fromm knew he would could be incriminated by their testimony.

People have romanticized this event. There was even a movie made about it; Valkyrie in 2008. Most people haven’t really thought it through. The plotters, notably Claus von Stauffenburg an German aristocrat, were Nazis, avowed anti-semites and war criminals. None of them were against the attempted extermination of the Jews. They knew in 1944 Germany was going to lose the war. They wanted to negotiate a surrender so they could stay in charge of the country. Fromm, head of the German Army, could have ended up running the country after. This was why he didn’t interfere with the plot. Point is, we don’t know things would have changed in fascist Germany. We can say for certain the plotters had no intentions of making great democratic changes or humanitarian strides. The Holocaust could and have continued unabated. If Rudolph Hess would have successfully negotiated a peace deal it certainly would have. Remember, the fascist Franco of Spain ruled until 1975.

Fromm was arrested after the affair because he had the plotters executed before they could be questioned. He was executed 8 months later; 12 March, 1945. His staff had been dead long enough to be programmed to be his boys again on their way to the next life. If you were to meet Fromm in this life he would probably have those same guys working for him. They would be 1 to 2 years older unless they had gone to Vietnam and become a casualty. According to Nazi records ( ie questionable), he was executed by firing squad.