von_Hammerstein-Equord - general openly hated Nazis and died in 1943 of cancer; not a team player

the article is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_von_Hammerstein-Equord

Some highlights of his life and activites, per wikipedia:

  • earned the nickname, “The Red General,” for fraternizing with the trade unions.
  • personally warned Adolf Hitler in December 1932, against trying a coup by illegal means, promising that in that case he would give the order to shoot.
  • as late as 1933 referring to the Nazis as “criminal gang and perverts”
  • recalled to military service as the commander of Army Group A on 10 September 1939 but retired again on 21 September 1939
  • was involved in several plots to overthrow Hitler. He tried repeatedly to lure Hitler into visiting a fortified base under his command along the Siegfried Line of the Western Front. He confided to retired former army chief of staff and leading conspirator Colonel-General Ludwig Beck that “a fatal accident will occur” when the Führer visits his base
  • was transferred to command in Wehrkreis (Defense District) VIII in Silesia, then relieved of his command on personal orders by Hitler, for his “negative attitude towards National Socialism”
  • became active in the German Resistance, working with Carl Friedrich Goerdeler.
  • died of cancer in Berlin on April 25, 1943

I am sure this was covered on Discovery ad nauseum, but a concise textual summary does not hurt.

Kinda incredible. Nowadays they say that people can be denied promotion and even fired for being insufficiently PC or for slighting some affirmative action XX political appointee. I wonder how a modern Western military outfit would handle a von Hammerstein-Equord type of guy nowadays.

So what’s the point you’re struggling to make here? Why can’t we be more like the Nazis?

just think of it as mundane pointless “adventures in comparative totalitarianism” I must share.

Substitute the name of one of the last 3 American presidents and his party for Hitler and his party and any of our wars since 1992 for what that guy was involved in, and see if it all would somehow make sense. Because to me it just doesn’t. It does not compute, except maybe as a stand-up comedy routine.

They kept him around because they were to cheap to buy a gold retirement watch big enough to engrave “Von Hammerstein Equord” on.

Well he did have the picture of Eva with the pony.

On the one hand, you seem to be asking how a guy who openly expressed contempt for the head of state, and even conspired to kill him, would be would remain in the military and offered important posts. Well… I’m quite sure that if the Gestapo knew, at the time, what he was plotting Hitler’s death, they would have strung him up. His conspiracies may have become public long after his death.

OTOH, you seem to be equating the situation with contemporary American politics. I don’t get this at all.

Are you suggesting that we’re currently living in a totalitarian state?

Okay, let’s try that:

Some highlights of his life and activites, per wikipedia:

  • earned the nickname, “The Red General,” for fraternizing with the trade unions.
  • personally warned Barrack Obama in December 2008, against trying a coup by illegal means, promising that in that case he would give the order to shoot.
  • as late as 2008 referring to the Democrats as “criminal gang and perverts”
  • recalled to military service as the commander of Army Group A on 10 September 2009 but retired again on 21 September 2009
  • was involved in several plots to overthrow Obama. He tried repeatedly to lure Obama into visiting a fortified base under his command along the Siegfried Line of the Western Front. He confided to retired former army chief of staff and leading conspirator General Colin Powell that “a fatal accident will occur” when the President visits his base
  • was transferred to command in Wehrkreis (Defense District) VIII in Silesia, then relieved of his command on personal orders by Obama, for his “negative attitude towards the Democratic party”
  • became active in the Tea Party Resistance, working with Carl Friedrich Goerdeler.
  • died of cancer in Berlin on April 25, 2016
    You’re right, that does look really stupid. Turns out, that happens a lot when you try to compare the German political situation between 1938 and 1945, with American politics of the late 20th/early 21st century. Because the two situations aren’t really comparable in a meaningful sense.

yes, Boyo Jim seems to be closest to my take on all this. This guy did his utmost to make the head of state his personal enemy and openly and continually expressed contempt for the political agenda of the national government. Yet, his fate overall sounds like the ups and downs of run-off-the-mill corporate politics. Sometimes he is in, sometimes he is out. YMMV.

Compare that to the apparently inability of the various officers who came into contact with the perpetrator of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Hood_shooting to publicly express outrage not even with the overall diversitization policy but even specifically with Mr. Nidal Malik Hasan and his outspoken jihadist views. Apparently our current political system polices expression of officers’ political views to an extent not known in Nazi Germany.

incidentally, FWIW, on a Russian forum this story would have sounded even more surreal. In Soviet Russia you couldn’t be a lieutenant without being a party member, and keeping your mouth shut would have generally been a very advisable thing to do. Especially for a general.

OTOH maybe in biographies of Japanese officers this would all be par the course. Assassinate the prime minister, bitch about what the government is doing, try stage a coup against the government, openly disobey superiors’ orders and do stuff you feel like doing - I mean, isn’t this what being a pre 1945 Japanese officer all about.

I blame the culture gap! :slight_smile:

This just makes no sense at all. From your own link, whole bunches of people were disturbed by Hasan’s behavior and spoke about it, wrote it up in reports, had meetings about him, etc. What do you mean they were unwilling to “publicly express” outrage? Do you expect people to go to the press with a story about a creepy co-worker?

If there is any similarity it is that bureaucratic inertia allowed these guys to continue operating. Your suggestion that the American military suppresses the beliefs of its officers to a greater extent than Nazi Germany is total bullshit, given the evidence you’ve presented here.

Boyo Jim, point well taken. My ignorance has been fought decisively.

So whereas we could hypothetically blame this alleged “bureaucratic inertia” of the higher ups on self-censorship and fear of persecution for islamophobia, it could also be just that. Bureaucratic inertia. It certainly is true, as you point out, that this guy’s pronouncements were sufficiently extreme that the people immediately in contact with him were not self-censoring their concerns.

Here’s another little known fact about the man. He ended all his telegraphs with, “Stop. Hammertime.”

No, I meant Hammerstein! :smack:

Uhm, seems to me that the more apt analogy here is between the Red General (not gonna try to spell that name on my iPhone) and Major Hasan. Both were military officers who had agendas radically different than the governments that they served, even though the Red General’s views are much more accepted by everyone today, and both plotted cold-blooded murder.

If the OP is trying to make a convoluted point that militaries should give more deference to allowing officers to embrace agendas that are at odds with the interests of the government, then isn’t that a defense of why Major Hasan should NOT have been kicked out of the Army prior to his killing spree?

Personally, I think expelling soldiers from the US Army who hold increasingly radical political positions (like Major Hasan, for one) is a fine thing to do. I think if the Nazis wanted to oust this general for his views, that would be understandable, even though I would admire the General’s courage to attempt to murder one of the worst humans ever to walk the planet.

You can’t touch that!

Ravenman, and I would argue that:

  • the German guy was in accord with the zeitgeist of at a segment of his colleagues and radically opposed to the government
  • the [del]Palestinian[/del] err Arab American guy was violently out of character with his colleagues but quite in keeping with the spirit of the American diversity policy. “Thou shalt be sensitive to diverse Muslims, even unto death in the event of sudden outbreak of jihad upon your military bases”. So the willingness of his superiors to ignore his antics could be attributed to their understanding of the political (totalitarian, IMHO) zeitgeist. OTOH it could also be attributed to other things, all the more so since the people involved are still alive - maybe they should just come forth and spill the beans about their reasoning.

To respond to a question upthread whether I consider modern America to be totalitarian, my answer would be “it depends”. Much like Oceania was all totalitarian on the Inner Party but did not really care about the proles, I think that there are population segments in America subject to a lot more totalitarian propaganda and / or thought police effort than others. E.g. there is a lot of propaganda aimed at young people, especially college freshmen, and there is a lot of effort to make employees of large corporations, government and military to keep their mouths shut (if in private business it may be done by non-government agents at the threat of lawsuits it does not get any less totalitarian in its outcome). By contrast, employees of smaller businesses or retirees for the time being are quite spared, knock knock on wood.

That’s why is said the metaphor was struggling. I couldn’t tell if the OP was saying that the United States government was too tolerant or was not tolerant enough.

The metaphor has been shot trying to escape.

The OP describes some German general who apparently opposed Hitler but was allowed to stay in the military.

Then he writes: “Nowadays they say that people can be denied promotion and even fired for being insufficiently PC or for slighting some affirmative action XX political appointee. I wonder how a modern Western military outfit would handle a von Hammerstein-Equord type of guy nowadays.”

So what’s the point we’re supposed to be taking away from this? That the United States is not like Nazi Germany? Well, good for us - we don’t want to be like Nazi Germany. And it’s political correctness and affirmative action that make us different from the Nazis? Again, good for political correctness and affirmative action. We should be glad that, unlike the Nazis, we have those values.