Franz Ritter Halder (June 30, 1884 – April 2, 1972) was a German general and the head of the Army General Staff from 1938 to September 1942, when he was dismissed after frequent disagreements with Adolf Hitler.
As chief of the German Staff, he was aware of the deep resentment of army officers towards Hitler. Like most of the rest of the upper core of the military and the greater part of the population, he was disgusted by the senseless terrorism of the stormroopers. Moreover, he disapproved of interference in military matters. He was torn between his opposition to Nazism and his oath of loyalty. He was the leader of the first officers' resistance, the Halder plot, but it came to nothing. Halder was opposed to the war, but he chose to follow orders.
He was dismissed in 1942 and arrested after the July Plot. He was kept in a concentration camp until it was liberated by the Allies.
- The Russian colossus...has been underestimated by us...whenever a dozen divisions are destroyed the Russians replace them with another dozen.
- August 1941, from "The World at War" - Page 129 - by Mark Arnold-Forster - World War, 1939-1945 - 1981
- Bad weather has grounded the Luftwaffe and now we must stand by and watch countless thousands of the enemy getting away to England under our noses.
- May 30, 1940 diary entry, quoted in "The Struggle for Europe" - Page 20 - by Chester Wilmot - History - 1972.
- The Führer confirms my impressions of yesterday. He would like an understanding with Great Britain. He knows that war with the British will be hard and bloody, and knows also that people everywhere today are averse to bloodshed.
- July 14, 1940 diary entry, quoted in "Their Finest Hour" - Page 230 - by Winston Churchill - History - 1986.
- It was a distance about twice as long as this room; then there was a wall, and just beyond it the crematory. When the wind blew in at the south I got smoke in my cell. It was a fat smoke, big flakes of smoke - human smoke.
- To Leon Goldensohn, April 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
- In Flossenbürg, you noticed things more; you had to notice every day so many people hanged in the courtyard. People were brought to their execution completely naked. They were driven into the courtyard and I could hear the noise of naked feet on the court ground right outside my window. Stretchers with corpses were carried past the doors of our cells. If by chance the peek holes were open, one could see them going by. In the courtyard where you took a walk, they had gallows arranged in such a way that you were obliged to look at them.
- To Leon Goldensohn, April 5, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004.
- There were daily quarrels all summer. The point upon which we had our final disagreement was the decision of an offensive on the Caucasus and Stalingrad - a mistake, and Hitler didn't want to see it. I told him the Russians would put in another million men in 1942 and get another million in 1943. Hitler told me that I was an idiot - that the Russians were practically dead already. When I told Hitler about Russian armament potentials, especially for tank materials, Hitler flew into a rage of fury and threatened me with his fists.
- To Leon Goldensohn, April 12, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004.
- Whenever I go and see the Führer, I've got a loaded pistol in my pocket.
- Explaining his fear of Hitler, from "The Guardian," July 11, 2004.