Kluge and Kluge

70 years ago, in the days of the Battle of Moscow, in Germany, started collecting warm clothes for the soldier of the Eastern Front
Kluge and Kluge

A couple of years back, I participated in the Leipzig Book Fair. Meeting with readers grew into the everyday mundane conversation, and then I heard this story. Told her old germanka, a relative mentioned in the text Kluge Martha (Martha itself was no longer alive). So do not ask me, for example, the number of parts, which served as a captain Kluge — the interlocutor did not know that. But the family legends do not appear out of nowhere, and appeal to other sources (archives, literature) confirmed — similar situation took place. And if you still have people in Germany, in which a chain of associations slightly bitter to this day cause the word "Russia", "Moscow", "1941" — also "winter help."

Fur vest for dad

Myagenkoy Berlin winter 1941-42 family Infantry Captain Kurt Kluge to discover felt the icy breath of another winter — Russian, barbaric and ruthless. Stuck in the ice fields near Moscow army froze. December 20 Fuehrer personally appealed to Germans with a request to collect warm clothes for the Eastern Front.

After the war … the daughter of Captain Kluge Martha, in 1941 — second-form girl, recalled how they linked the family in a tight pack sweaters, wool socks, warm pants. In particular, she remembered a fur vest. A few more evenings mother was knitting mittens, and on weekends helping at the reception Fri warm clothes. Two malehankih brother of Martha in each package need to invest a drawing or a Christmas card. But the family of Captain von Kluge did not know what else to call collect warm odezhku for Hitler gave orders to the army, who played in the fate of their father's fatal.

"Such a small little thing"

In the night from 16 to 17 December 1941, removing von Brauchitsch, Hitler himself was the commander of the land forces of Germany. He said that the operational command — it's only "such a small little thing," which did not make for his talent and intuition much difficulty. Soon, not only humiliated the generals, and commanders and supervisors to feel for yourself what happens when the "little thing" falls into the hands of hard and arrogant amateur.

In the first order (entered into force 17 December 1941) The new commander had read about the "personal responsibility" of all commanders and officers for "fanatical resistance," which should be employed to defend the position, "ignoring the enemy advances on the flanks and in the the rear. " Similar orders of the army had not yet received. Fight, being surrounded by the enemy, the doctrine of the Wehrmacht did not consider optimal. Maybe that's why mid-level commanders suggested that order subordinates to "expound".

The order to withdraw

Part of Captain Kluge waged war near Moscow (when exactly, what I know of comparing data with historical sources, I concluded that the described action might have occurred somewhere near Dedilovo near Tula). The soldiers were mortally angry — at the Russian, the cold, on its own command. All that remained was the captain — barking at the guys, "Stand to Death," and encouraging hints that soon they will be replaced. But the order of the "fanatical resistance" means: do not budge even if you're on three sides surrounded by the enemy, deprived of fire support, ammunition, food.

But then came another order — a departure. Which was received with great gratification.

But it turned out, it seems, that's what. The regiment, which served as Kurt Kluge, came in the 2nd Panzer Army, General Guderian, who had the reputation of "the father of the soldiers." Despite the harsh cries and telephone messages from Berlin, Guderian, the ability to maintaining combat readiness, to withdraw its part with deadly products. And so it was: Kluge and his men walked away — and only later Guderian informed Hitler that this retreat was necessary, even "inevitable."

And in answer received the most severe dressing down.

— Are you still, believe that the Grenadiers of Frederick majestically were eager to breathe? — Reprimanding Fuhrer "Greyhound Heinz" (so called Guderian since the French campaign). — No! They want to live, but the lord has brought them to the victim, and he was right. I also feel entitled to ask the German soldier to sacrifice their own lives.

Goebbels, Hitler expresses the same idea with the mercantile frankness: "My intuition elected to their death."

The General's rout

Intuition seems to give a hint to Hitler and other: retreat near Moscow may be the beginning of the disaster. Anyway, a few records from a notebook Bormann also postwar testimony of a former Hitler's valet Heinz Linge show: Hitler then suffered severe depression, carefully concealed from the public under the guise of an energetic optimism and stormy arguments about the future coming of the springtime of 1942. But now the mood betrayed anger with which he drove down to this lucky Experts — Field Marshals von Bock and von Leeb, generals Forster Sponeck, Gopner … and deprived of all their retirement!

"The Fuhrer avoids any mention of the situation with the withdrawal of forces from the Russian capital. This theme for it is still painful, "- wrote Borman February 2, 1942.

Guderian also removed. Field Marshal von Kluge (the namesake of Captain), who replaced the commander of Army Group "Center" von Bock, Hitler asked for the resignation of "high-speed Heinz" and received "good". In addition, von Kluge sanctioned demonstration shootings at the forefront of a certain number of "trembling" officers. The fact is that most of them departed on the orders of the former commander, was not taken into account. Assumed to be exponential penalty. It is written in the same order of the Fuhrer, "will defend its position should inspire all military personnel all probable means, even cruel."

In the "black list" of Field Marshal von Kluge Kluge got the captain.

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

I do not know — sorry for the captain or not? If a human being — yes, hurt the innocent. On the other hand, he was, like, out of the rock, "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", and impartially, the smaller of the people in the camp of the enemy — the better for us. Especially then. So just tell you how to develop actions at his home.

Eight-year in March expecting father of letters from the front. And the letter came — but not family captain, and the factory where Kluge had previously worked in the Committee of the Labour Front (Nazi organization, replacing the trade unions). It was a notice that the last foreman, and now the captain of the Wehrmacht Kurt Kluge shot as a deserter.

The committee gasped. Until now only get messages about injuries and merits of the valiant hero. Kluge photos hung on the boards of all the distinguished name Kluge wore a Hitler Youth Squad, his family was under the special attention as a front-line officer's family.

In the factory committee decided to "hold the information" and an inquiry "up". Guided not so much by ethical considerations as particularly pronounced above: our hero … if you declare that shameful executed — will produce unprofitable experience … He remembered the fact that Frau Kluge currently heavily involved in the campa
ign to collect winter clothes.

But it turned out that the party propagandists also have not yet been invented, as in similar cases, to act. Committee recommended until just keep quiet and do not read anything — neither the family nor the factory. And then decide … Have not decided, it may be forgotten. From the Captain Kluge just did not come to lead. Or killed. Or missing. Or in captivity. A spouse all knitted mittens and waited and waited … Later she uttered that no matter how he died — but it was not an official document.

On the letter the family of Captain case only found out after the war. In general, the fate of his father learned in March 1960. German historians then began to teach the question of desertion in the Wehrmacht — and engaged, namely, those who had been shot in the 2nd Panzer Army after the retreat from Moscow.

"General Frost"

In Nazi Germany, yet the 1930s was created fund Winterhilfe («Winter Help") — a charity to raise funds for needy citizens. But there were endowed (and from time to time and just extorted from wealthy citizens) means specifically — and they were already on the device free lunches in the "day of the pot with the meat" on payments to the poor. In December 1941, were offered something else — to collect warm clothes! And immediately — for fighting in Russia fighter. This led to an underlying confusion: neuzh something a proud soldier Wehrmacht will warm your hands, for example in the ladies' fur collar? Although specifically so in the end times and came out.

We decided not to put "General Frost" as one of the main reasons for the defeat of the Germans at Moscow. Although what smuschyatsya? Heroes of 1941 disrupted the Germans blitzkrieg — and the walls of our capital opponent faced including with such inconsistencies, as the Russian winter (then — especially terrible). It turned out that the Wehrmacht to it actually is not ready. The German soldier did not know, for example, what is the boots, and the boots were chosen strictly on the leg — and put a warm sock was hard. The Germans were outfitted in blown coat for the winter relied cloth gloves. According to official statistics, the loss of the German side because of frostbite totaled 133 thousand. A separate issue — the problem with the technique and aircraft due to lack of multi-viscosity oils.

In the upcoming "national campaign to …" in Germany is often proclaimed. In reality they were all related to military needs. Even such seemingly neutral and purely recreational activities, such as, for example, the campaign against smoking, and later — with alcoholism, in fact intended to provide the army with additional tobacco and alcohol. The campaign to raise the birth rate ("Give the child to the Fuhrer!") Was intended to compensate for losses of humanity, and the title of the campaign "Every soldier — a letter from his beloved girl!" Says it all — there was a rise to the morale of the Wehrmacht.

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