Was Von Paulus coerced, tortured or forced to go against the Nazis?

May 2013
622
New Zealand
This thought has just occurred to me. Is it possible that Frederich Von Paulus was coerced or forced to go against his former masters?

I think this could be possible. He may have done this as a way to protect his captured troops or himself from punishment.

I also find it interesting that later on in life he developed Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis before dying at a young age. A reason for this might have been that he was perhaps tortured by the Soviets.
 

BRIAN GOWER

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
4,468
Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Good question. Just wish there was a good biography of the man I could read other than 'With Paulus at Stalingrad' by Wilhelm Adam and Otto Ruhle (2015) which I hope to read in the summer.
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
Von Paulus had a somewhat vested interest in backing the Soviet war effort: imagine what the Nazis would do to him if they got hold of him.

There's no direct evidence of torture, but I don't doubt that coercion was used.
 

BRIAN GOWER

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
4,468
Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
But why did he wait until after the failed July plot before backing the Committee for a Free Germany? He remains for me the most interesting figure in the German army.
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
Given the scarcity of sources, it's hard to say. But given his background, I doubt that he converted to socialism/communism of any sort, much less Soviet style. He may have seen the writing on the wall for Nazis with the bomb plot: a sign that some within Germany wanted Hitler gone? Don't forget, there was some high rankers involved in that plot.

Yes, he's an interesting figure. He didn't take Hitler's hint (of being promoted to Field Marshall) to commit suicide, although many put that down to his Catholicism. And he didn't surrender at what might he called a humane time for his men: they endured great suffering before he would surrender and then his hand was rather forced. It may have just been self preservation that made him switch loyalties. But it seems that he had no particular affection for Hitler.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,079
Navan, Ireland
I remember many years ago reading a book about Stalingrad (well a couple) and after the 'fight to the death' order German generals split into three 'camps'

1. Those who transmitted the order and followed it , fighting to the last. I remember an Artillery general who was last seen acting as a loader for an AT-gunner or a General who took his HQ staff and turned them into and infantry platoon and fought on-- the officer ADC commented that it was the happiest he'd seen him in the battle back to the 'junior officer' he'd been 20 years before.

I don't agree with such ardent Nazi's /loyal soldiers but I can respect them.

2. Officers who refused to transmit the order and told their subordinates that their duty was to their men first then themselves and they were to try and survive the ordeal to come and get home.

3. Those who transmitted the order and then packed their bags and wondered how they could make themselves useful to the Soviets and have a role in the 'new Germany'.

Not sure what Von Paulus was in.
 

BRIAN GOWER

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
4,468
Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
If scholars and teachers are uncertain about this man's motives then he must remain an enigma of even greater fascination for laymen like me. Thanks.
 
Jun 2013
745
Agraphur
This thought has just occurred to me. Is it possible that Frederich Von Paulus was coerced or forced to go against his former masters?

I think this could be possible. He may have done this as a way to protect his captured troops or himself from punishment.

I also find it interesting that later on in life he developed Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis before dying at a young age. A reason for this might have been that he was perhaps tortured by the Soviets.
I dunno but the way he was hung out to dry makes it rather understandable he was resentful, Hitler promoting him to fieldmarshal as a kiss of death, to encourage him to fight to the death as no German officer of this rank had ever surrendered.
If he collaborated to protect his troops, he gained nothing, virtually none of those who was captured survived Soviet captivity.