Von Blomberg Scandal

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Durand
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Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by Durand » 10 May 2003 18:22

Hallo,

GFM Werner von Blomberg, then Germany's defence minister, married Margarethe Gruhn at the War Ministry on January 12, 1938. Hitler and Göring were the witnesses to the wedding. Von Blomberg first met Gruhn while taking a stroll through the Tiergarten in Berlin in September 1937. Margarethe Gruhn (I have also read that her first name was Erna or Eva) was approximately 30 years younger than von Blomberg. She was also a former prostitute who was formally registered as such with the German police and there were pornographic pictures of her that were in circulation. Due to his wife's past and his refusal to leave her, von Blomberg was forced to resign.

What did von Blomberg know about Margarethe's past before he married her? Was the scandal an accident of human emotions and hormones or was it the product of a deliberate scheme to remove von Blomberg? If a deliberate scheme, who was behind it and when was it initiated (was the meeting in the Tiergarten a set-up or did someone later take advantage of the relationship)?

Regards,

Durand

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White Leopard
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Detective Work

Post by White Leopard » 10 May 2003 18:45

What did von Blomberg know about Margarethe's past before he married her? Was the scandal an accident of human emotions and hormones or was it the product of a deliberate scheme to remove von Blomberg? If a deliberate scheme, who was behind it and when was it initiated (was the meeting in the Tiergarten a set-up or did someone later take advantage of the relationship)?
Most of the books I've read loose interest in the Blombergs as soon as he was out of office. Juding from the circumstances it looks like he may have known about her past and didn't care. Whether this was from true love, hormones, or just being a gentleman, I can't say. As for the situation itself, it looks very likely that "somebody" saw their chance and took advantage of the relationship. At any rate, Blomberg comes out the better person in the whole mess.

ajk74
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Post by ajk74 » 10 May 2003 19:35

Hi,
There is little doubt that it was a scheme to remove Blomberg (and Fritsch). Göring assured Blomberg before his wedding that everything would be fine, in spite of his wife's past. Both Hitler and Göring were witnesses at the wedding. Only after were lude photographs of Blomberg's wife "discovered", at which point Hitler requested his resignation.

Witch-King of Angmar
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Re: Detective Work

Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 10 May 2003 22:41

White Leopard wrote:At any rate, Blomberg comes out the better person in the whole mess.
The reason for the whole scheme being put into action("findings" etc) seems to have been the fact that Blomberg had been one of the state officials who asked/compelled Hitler, in 1933, to get rid of Roehm - fact which Hitler, despite his mistrust in his former associate, still wasn't eager to do; therefore, alongside political interests, there was also Hitler's desire to revenge.

I pretty much doubt there was a law/rule that forbade Blomberg to marry whomever he wanted to; in other versions of the story (which seem more plausible) he was not "forced to resign", but threatened that whatever about the past of Mrs. Blomberg would be published, and he was going to become the subject of public fun & contempt - which he sought to avoid by resignation. If he had more of a spine, he could simply stand at his job and play deaf - and this would have been a second defiance for Hitler. I would say that the good ole' Marshal comes out as the stupider person in the hole mess, after all.

~Regards

The Witch King of Angmar

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Post by ajk74 » 11 May 2003 00:38

I think it was considered inappropriate for the war minister to be married to a former prostitute who was well-known to the vice squad. The military, especially the officers' corps had very strict codes of conduct and officers' sometimes had to ask for permission to marry. Blomberg felt it necessary to ask Hitler's permission at Ludendorff's funeral. We aren't sure of what Hitler knew, although Göring did, about Eva Gruhn's past, although Hossbach intimates (in his memoirs) that they both knew and attempted to use it to get rid of Blomberg.

Durand
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Post by Durand » 14 May 2003 21:29

Hallo,

Based on what I have read thus far, my opinion is that the relationship was not a set-up, but rather one that was ripe for exploitation. I think Göring wanted to be the Defence Minister and took advantage of the situation in an effort to push Blomberg out of the way. Of course, the plan failed when Hitler directly assumed Blomberg's responsibilities.

I suppose it is also possible that Himmler could have been the architect of the scandal, but it is not quite clear to me what personal or political gain he would obtain from Blomberg's disgrace and removal.

Another angle was suggested to me wherein Margarethe was the victim of a mistaken identification. If I understand it correctly, this theory contends that some other woman similar in appearance to Margarethe had been a prostitute and had appeared in the pornographic photographs. The Gestapo used a photograph with a vague image of Margarethe and connected it with the image and background of the other woman. Any thoughts?

I would really like to see a good photograph of Margarethe. I am always curious about the those "Helen of Troy" beauties who cause catastrophes or bring down powerful individuals.

Regards,

Durand

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Panzerkampfwagen
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by Panzerkampfwagen » 09 Feb 2011 14:45

This forum just seems to be having everything under the third reich... really awesome .. does anyone more details about what happened to Blomberg and his wife after he resigned?

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Lassance
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by Lassance » 09 Feb 2011 17:12

Blomberg and his wife on vacation in Ceylon - May 1938.
Sorry I dont remember the source.
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Frankfurter
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by Frankfurter » 11 Feb 2011 18:21

Its some time since I read about this scandal. Cant remember the title, but there was a very good and highly detailed (German) book among it also covering the Fritsch scandal shortly afterwards. Seems the bad man here was Göring who let Blomberg fall into a trap with the help of the SS. I dont like Blomberg for his surrendering of the Wehrmacht to Hitler (including the infamous oath), but in this scandal he came out as a gentleman. I guess he knew before whom he married, although some say that she wasnt a real prostitute, but merely only posed for erotic photos which weren´t kept in pricvate. After early 1938 he and his wife totally disappeared from the public, and they basically could only enjoy marriage in wartime, as shortly afterwards the ex-Marshal died of natural causes.

ljadw
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by ljadw » 11 Feb 2011 18:39

Some times ago,I have read the following book :Tragodie (by Malte Plettenberg) ,and the author is suggesting,that ,if there was a machination,this was the work of elements of the Abwehr who were listening to Blomberg's private telephonic conversations and were following him,when he was 'discretely' meeting E.Grunn .
On von Blomberg :I can't have any compassion:he was an old fool,who disgraced himself and the Wehrmacht .His fate was sealed,imagine that after the war,Montgomery was marrying a women with a dark past .

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Geo K
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by Geo K » 11 Feb 2011 19:31


heviarti
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by heviarti » 12 Feb 2011 17:33

Yes, wasn't it Fritsch that received a large sum of money from Hitler to complete a divorce and then marry a woman also of questionable background? Or was that another member of the general staff? I know it was Either Fritsch, Beck, or Speidel.

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Frech
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by Frech » 12 Feb 2011 17:53

No, it was v. Brauchitsch.

Fritsch and Beck never were married.

Christian

ljadw
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by ljadw » 12 Feb 2011 18:32

Beck did marry,but his wife died in WWI

heviarti
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Re: Von Blomberg Scandal

Post by heviarti » 12 Feb 2011 18:54

Frech wrote:No, it was v. Brauchitsch.
That's right
Frech wrote:Fritsch and Beck never were married.
No, that would have caused quite a stir.... :P (sorry, had to.)

I knew I read it in the first section of Hitler's Generals by Correli Barnett. I set the book down somewhere in my house, and haven't figured out where I set it. I've been reading Infantry Attacks 'til i can find it.

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