Rudolf Schmundt ( Metz , Alsace Lorraine , Germany , 13 of August of 1896 – Rastenburg , East Prussia , 1 of October of 1944 ) was a Lieutenant-General of theWehrmacht and army escort of Adolf Hitler during World War II . He was a very controversial person because of its proximity and alignment with Hitler; And their commitment to the needs of the OKH . In military circles and even by the SS themselves, he came to be regarded as Hitler’s natural successor in 1943.
Rudolf Schmundt, born in 1896 in Metz, came from a family of soldiers of the imperial army. His father was Richard Schmundt, a commander of a No. 35 Fusilier Regiment, Prinz Heinrich an der Havel . He joined the imperial army and entered the same regiment that served as a father and in 1914 he participated in the major battles of the Great War, such as the Somme , and in the Marne fields . He received the Iron Cross Second Class and then First Class for his outstanding attitudes as the field helper of the commander of his regiment. He ended the race with a record of having been wounded in battle and as a lieutenant.
He remained in the army forming ranks in Regiment No. 35 now of the Reichswehr located in Potsdam and Schmundt was commanding officer of several units until 1924. In 1925, he took a course at the Compulsory Aviation School for Army Officers for Company Formation Of Slavery belonging to Reischwehr and then in 1926 he was promoted to First Lieutenant.
He then became the Assistant to the Commander of the 9th Infantry Regiment, a very desirable function given the possibility of rapid advancement in the military ranks.
He married on October 14, 1926 with Anneliese von Kammer and had three daughters, Barbara (1927), Gisela (1933) and Ingrid (1940).
In 1929 he attended the War Academy of Könisbgerg where he was trained as a staff officer under the protection of General Werner von Blomberg . In 1932, it ascends captain of army of the Wehrmacht and passes under the direct command like assistant of the then colonel Wilhelm Keitel who was Head of the Department of Organization and Armaments of the Army, Major in 1936 like assistant of the general Hermann Hoth and in 1938 realizes A special course of Assistant General-in-Chief and in 1939, holds the rank of Oberts (colonel).
On January 29, 1938, following the Crisis Blomberg Fritsch , and at the suggestion of General Wilhelm Keitel, then serving as Chief of Staff of the Army in the Ministry of War, he was requested to be part of the staff dependent on Hitler as His personal assistant ( Army aide- de- camp ), and was very close to the statesman receiving orders and instructions many times in the usual oral mode of the German leader and he transcribed them, when appropriate, to the paper carrying a careful record. He was also a recipient of Hitler’s confidential comments, Hitler came to appreciate him a lot for his modesty, generosity, professional qualities and loyalty. In 1942 he was promoted to General of Division and with the additional charge of Chief of Personnel of the Army. Schmundt was vital to bring the positions of General Erich von Manstein and Hitler in the planning of the Invasion of France.
Schmundt had detailed knowledge more than any other member of the Wehrmacht of the atrocities committed against the Jewish population in the occupied territories, in fact, Walter Frentz , Hitler’s official war cameraman, traveled with Himmler to Minsk in 1941 and witnessed Of a massive execution which he had the opportunity to film. On his return, he consulted with Schmundt about these executions and this one told him to destroy the film and refrain from putting his nose in matters that did not concern him. 1
Schmundt played a key role in securing the cooperation of the Army and the activities of the Einsatzgruppen commandos in their dismal commission against the Jewish population during Operation Barbarossa when expressing that the Armed Forces owed an oath to the Fuehrer in his fight against Judaism .
In 1943, he was promoted to lieutenant-general. As divisions, estrangements and conflicts with the Army’s top commanders (OKH) began with Hitler, because of his intervention on the Eastern Front, Schmundt had the difficult task of acting as a mediator and messenger between the two sides, trying to reconcile The interests of both parties and gained a high degree of influence over the statesman. 2Such was the influence and power base reached by Schmundt that the same Himmler with whom he maintained a close relationship infidentió that he could become the successor of the same Hitler and that the army supported it. 3 Schmundt same without suspecting its reach, opened a door to Hitler the military conspirators , the 1 of July of 1944 , supporting in his appointment as Assistant Chief of Staff Army Reserve Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg . 4
Schmundt in his capacity as deputy Führer attended the 20 of July of 1944 to Wolfsschanze and because the dictator dismissed the bunker meetings for reasons of temperature, the conference moved to the house of planes Albert Speer where Schmundt with Heinz Brandt And Adolf Heusinger occupied a place to Hitler’s right in the makeshift conference room. 10 minutes after the meeting began, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg entered and a few minutes later he placed the bomb-case almost at Hitler’s feet under the counter and retired, Colonel Heinz Brandt tripped with the briefcase and placed it on the other Side of the paw of the inn practically in front of itself and Schmundt, probably saving the life of Hitler. Seven minutes later the briefcase exploded causing very serious injuries to Schmundt and the same Brandt next to other personalities. Schmundt lost his left eye, received shrapnel along with severe burns and shrapnel in both legs but survived being taken to the Rastenburg Hospital . Hitler, who left practically unharmed, visited Schmundt in the hospital and promoted him to Brigadier General on 1 September. Hitler demanded medical personnel to do everything possible to recover his favorite aide-de-camp.
When it seemed he would recover, Schmundt died suddenly the day 01 of October of 1944 because of his wounds and was buried with honors at the military cemetery Invalidenfriedhof of Berlin .
The notes scrupulously carried by Schmundt during his lifetime were found in the vault of General Walter Scherff , Hitler’s official historian, and served as testimony against the prosecutions of Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl . 5
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer-His struggle with the truth; Gitta Sereny; Pag.405
- Back to top↑ Bio of Rudolf Schmundt (in German)
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer-His struggle with the truth; Gitta Sereny; Pag.431
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer-His struggle with the truth; Gitta Sereny; Pag.510
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer-His struggle with the truth; Gitta Sereny; Pag.238