London: A former chief aide to Adolf Hitler - the man who recommended him for the Iron Cross and who became a father figure to the future dictator - urged British intelligence “to strike as hard as possible” against the “madman” dictator after he defeated France in 1940, a new research has revealed.
Fritz Wiedemann claimed peace was impossible without the removal of Hitler, according to Dr Thomas Weber, a professor at the University of Aberdeen, who conducted the research.
“The fact that Wiedemann was entirely against Hitler is, up until now, unknown,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Weber as telling Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.
In 1935 Wiedemann, who was a senior officer in the List Regiment in which Hitler served as a messenger in France and Belgium during WW1, and who put the Austrian corporal’s name forward for the Iron Cross First Class for bravery, was appointed as his adjutant.
Wiedemann was a fervent supporter of Hitler in the early years following defeat in 1918 but grew disillusioned with Nazism as time went on.
In 1939 Hitler sent him to San Francisco as Consul General - an exile seen as punishment for his increasing criticism of the party’s lust for world domination and his fears of a new global conflict.
Dr Weber’s research shows that while there he met British intelligence’s US head Sir William Wiseman after the outbreak of war in September 1939.
Dr Weber has found the records of Wiedemann’s talks with him in 1940 in which Wiedemann openly warned against Hitler and claimed Hitler had a “split personality and numbered among the most cruel people in the world, saw himself better than Napoleon and that peace with him was impossible.”
He told Wiseman of the Fuhrer’s plans to attack and conquer the UK and “recommended strongly” that the British themselves strike as quickly and as “hard as possible” against him.
He also told Wiseman that the morale of the German population and the support of Hitler were lower than generally believed.
Dr Weber said if Hitler had known about Wiedemann’s “treason,” he would have given him the death pentalty.
But after Germany declared war on America in December 1941, Wiedemann was dismissed from America and moved to China where he saw out the conflict.
He testified at Nuremberg against several of the Nazi elite and became a farmer after 1945, dying aged 81 in 1970.
First Published: Monday, August 20, 2012, 12:04