Inside The Gestapo. Hitler’s Shadow Over the World
By HANSJURGEN KOEHLER (1941)
[An excerpt from the chapter entitled: “The Fatal File”. . .]
. . . By stubborn and tenacious work he [ von Papen ] slowly organized his agents at the police, the law courts, the different state institutions, and even in the Chancellery. He had someone everywhere on whom he could count, ” just in case …”This was the moment when Germany changed her policy towards Austria.
The ground was well enough prepared to start a decisive action on a large scale. And then-suddenly it seemed as if everything was lost. . . . That was the reason why von Papen returned to Germany and had a long conference with Himmler and Heydrich.It was almost a catastrophe. What had happened?
Heydrich only gave the answer to this question when I was left alone with him in the privacy of his office. “This Jesuit Schuschnigg,” he said, “wants to-blackmail the Fuehrer. I really wouldn’t have thought that he had it in him. . . He has a file containing data against Adolf Hitler and now he threatens to publish it in a ‘ White Book.’ “” Well, what are the contents of this file? ” Heydrich shrugged.” This impudent Schuschnigg is so sure of his position, so sure of the data contained in the File that he sent a copy through Mussolini to Hitler himself.
Your task will be-and that’s why I sent for you-to get the original documents of the file … at any cost.”” But…”” There is no but. This file has cost three lives up to now. It doesn’t matter if it costs a dozen more. . .we have to get it.” He took a blue file from his desk and gave me the copy of the tragic Schuschnigg documents.” Sit down here in my room and go through it,” he told me. ” These copies are all typewritten, which seems to prove that they have not been photographed. This is our only hope, because otherwise not only the originals but the negatives, would have to be destroyed.”
I sat down and began to read. I want to emphasize here and now that I have never seen the originals of these documents. They may have been forgeries. I have no proof that they were genuine. But they certainly caused such a havoc as no file in the world has ever caused before. Heydrich had prepared three groups. The first was headed:Documents collected by General Schleicher General Schleicher, who was the last Chancellor of pre-Nazi Germany, and who had so tenaciously withstood Hitler’s demands, wanted to prevent the Fuehrer’s coming to power.
At the last moment when the Nazis had “become the strongest political party in Germany, he tried to make GregorStrasser Chancellor in Hitler’s place. During his own chancellorship he began to collect the documents against Hitler.His file dealt mostly with Hitler’s war service. Adolf Hitler was an Austrian subject. On the 3 rd August, 1914, he sent a petition to Louis III, Kingof Bavaria, asking permission to serve in the Munich 16th Regiment, as he was living at Munich and did not want to go to Linz for mobilization.
The different propaganda books of Nazism have always maintained that Hitler had spent the four years of the war in the front-line trenches, and fought in such a heroic way that he had earned the First Class Iron Cross.But the investigations conducted by Schleicher purported to have ascertained the following facts:Hitler never served in a trench or in the front line. After he had been attached to the 16th Munich Regiment (called the Lister Regiment after its commanding officer) he was trained and sent with his troop to the Western Front. There he was attached to the Regimental Staff, where he served as a runner.
Naturally the Regimental Staff was never in the front line; according to the lie of the land it took up a position at a distance of 4-5 or 10-15 kilometres from the trenches. Here they constantly needed a few efficient and trusted men. These runners had two kinds of service. First they had to care for the comfort of the officers and to do all the dull office work; second-and this was the most dangerous, but also the most coveted work,-they had to remit orders to the different company commanders.
The runners liked this work best, because such errands sometimes took them to the hinterland or the neighbouring regiments. Of course, sometimes such work could become very dangerous if the runners had to pass through ground shelled by the enemy taking the orders to the front lines.” There is no doubt,” the report continued, “that such service can well be construed as front line service. But contrary to the romantic legends that Hitler had fought in the trenches, it has been ascertained that he never spent a day there.”
The Schleicher documents also dealt with Hitler’s rank of corporal. Whoever knew what a terrible scarcity of N.C. officers there was in the German Army about the end of the war, must find it highly mysterious that Hitler, being a good and efficient soldier, was still a corporal after four years. There was only one answer. If he had been promoted to a sergeant he could not have remained a runner. The Regiment Staff had a strictly limited strength; all supernumerary men.
The Catholic priests changed their robes for the uniforms of the dreaded Ustachi killer squads, and led the most barbaric, brutal raids upon those people and practiced satanic torture never before known in this century. We are not talking 800 years ago. We are talking 1940. I was in high school then.