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Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Description:
GUNTHER BLUMENTRITT (1892 - 1967) German major general, served throughout the war, instrumental in planning the invasions of Poland and France, participated in Operation Barbarossa, and afterward planning the defense of the Atlantic Wall and Normandy. Implicated in the July 20 bomb plot, but never arrested as Hitler would not believe he had been involved. Important pair of handwritten notebooks containing Blumentritt’s handwritten account of the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The two notebooks, bearing a total of 80pp. of text, elaborately detail Blumentritt's service from 1942 until 1946, and include a lengthy description of the day of the attempted coup and his involvement in the plot itself. Far too detailed to realistically quote, it reads in small part: '...I myself did not have any part in the Assassination, not in thought, nor actively. Also not on any kind of secret preparations. I was also not in any way a confidant on the sideline. I found out for the first time, and for me a complete surprise, on July 20, 1944 at 15:00, after the assassination, about the events in our headquarters O.B. West in St. Germain near Paris...On July 20, around 15:00, Chief Quartermaster Colonel Finck reported to my office in St. Germain. I assumed he wanted to inform me about the situation [of the war]. But he reported: 'General, a coup has taken place in Berlin against the Gestapo... the Fuhrer is dead, von Witzleben, Beck, and Gordeler have formed a temporary government!' I was totally surprised, but mentioned afterwards that after the death of Hitler...the mentioned men at the helm will surely pursue peace...I asked Finck, where he got this news from. He said, 'From the military commanding officer'. I immediately called La Roche, around 15:30, in presence of both officers in order to inform Field Marshal Kluge. But General Speidel answered the phone and told me that the commanding officer was at the fighting front and would not return until evening. I cautiously indicated what I had heard and Speidel requested that I come as soon as possible. I left St. Germain around 17:00 in a motor vehicle and arrived in Roch-Guzan around 18:00. Kluge had just returned. I found him sitting at his desk and reported to him. But he took a piece of paper from his desk and told me: 'The Fuhrer is not dead, there were only injuries...the broadcast was wrong. I reported this to the Field Marshall. ‘A historical hour has arrived', said von Kluge...' Unlike Blumentritt, both von Kluge and Finckh were personally involved in the plot; von Kluge committed suicide after the failed coup, and Finckh was later executed by hanging in Hitler's purge. The notebooks are included with a transmittal T.L.S. in German, 2pp. 4to., Marburg, Oct. 11, 1959, sent to a collector, which explains: '...I am sending you my self-written curriculum vitae [not present], and two other red notebooks with my personal memories about July 20, 1944 in Paris...written by me in the spring of 1946 while in English captivity...' At the conclusion of this letter, Blumentritt's wife adds a handwritten post-script in English, in part: '...I think you will be very interested in these documents my husband is sending you. I hope they will be of value for your collection...' Also sold with the lot is an additional signed card from Blumentritt to the collector, as well as a signed copy of 'The July Plot' by ROGER MAXWELL and HEINRICH FRAENKEL (London: The Bodley Head), 1964. 272pp. 8vo. Blumentritt signs the book on the front flyleaf, adding rank and a dedication to the aforementioned collector. Clipped signatures of the book's authors have also been attached to the title page. A most important historical record.

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February 8, 2021 10:00 AM EST

Chesapeake City, MD, US

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