Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Fromm, Friedrich (1888–1945)

German army general. Born in Berlin on 8 October 1888, Friedrich Fromm joined the German army and rose to the rank of lieutenant during World War I. He remained in the Reichswehr after the war, holding a series of staff positions. Promoted to colonel in February 1933, Fromm headed the general army office in the Reich War Ministry. In 1937, Fromm was promoted to colonel general and named commander of the reserve army and chief of army equipment. In his posts, Fromm worked closely with Albert Speer and promoted research into new weapons that might win the war.

Fromm is best remembered for his role in the July 1944 plot against Hitler. From late 1941, Fromm believed the war was lost and urged negotiations to end it. When he was approached by his chief of staff, Colonel Count Klaus von Stauffenberg, Fromm agreed to join the conspiracy against Hitler. When he learned that Hitler had survived the bomb blast of 20 July, Fromm lost his nerve and promptly ordered the arrest and execution of Stauffenberg and other conspirators. This action, designed to conceal his own participation in the conspiracy, failed to save Fromm from Nazi vengeance. He was arrested the next day on orders of Schutzstaffel (SS, bodyguard units) chief Heinrich Himmler and was imprisoned. He was subsequently brought before the People's Court on a charge of failing to reveal what he knew of the conspiracy. Found guilty, he was executed in Brandenburg Prison, Berlin, by firing squad on 12 March 1945.

Joseph C. Greaney


Further Reading
Burleigh, Michael. The Third Reich: A New History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2000.; Gill, Anton. An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler, 1933–1945. New York: Henry Holt, 1994.; Speer, Albert. Inside the Third Reich. New York: Macmillan, 1970.
 

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