DAHLERUS, BIRGER Swiss businessman and friend of Hermann Goering who flew to England (August 1939), in Goering's private plane to personally deliver copies of Hitler's proposals for a peaceful settlement of the Danzig problem to Lord Halifax. Dahlerus is also said to have passed along the date of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, at Goering's request, in May/June 1942.
DALUEGE, KURT (1897-1946) Commander-in-Chief of the Police of the German Reich and later Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Daluege joined the NSDAP in 1922 and in March 1926 founded and led the first SA group in Berlin and North Germany, a position he held until 1928, when he transferred to the SS. For the next five years he was Commander of SS units in East Germany, organizing special shock battalions for surprise attacks on opponents. After Hitler came to power in 1933, he was given the special assignment of purging the police apparatus of Hitler's opponents, and was largely responsible for turning the police into an instrument of the Nazi regime. Promoted to SS General in 1934, he subsequently became the most powerful policeman in the SS, second in rank only to Himmler. After Heydrich's death, he became Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia in 1942, and was said to have been responsible for the destruction of the village of Lidice. He was executed by the Czechs in October 1946.
DARRE, RICHARD WALTHER (1895-1953) One of Heinrich Himmler's early ideological mentors and author of the Nazi "blood and soil" doctrine, which extrolled the virtues of Nordic peasants. He was Director of the SS Office of Race and Resettlement and later Reich Agriculture minister. He was the English-educated son of Argentinian-German parents.
DAWES, CHARLES GATES (1865-1951) Vice President of the U.S. under Calvin Coolidge from 1925 to 1929. He won the 1925 Nobel peace prize for arranging the Dawes Plan for Germany's WWI war reparations. Served as ambassador to Great Britain from 1929 to 1932. Dawes was chairman of the City National Bank & Trust Company of Chicago from 1932 until his death.
DE GAULLE, CHARLES (1890-1970) French general and one of the pioneers of modern armored warfare as practiced in the Second World War. His writings, although initially ignored, eventually led to his assuming command of the newly-created French 4th Mechanized Division in May, 1940, just as the German invasion began. The counterattack he made did not save his country, but was one of the few bright moments in the national disaster and led to his appointment as Under-Secretary for War. De Gaulle was in London, meeting with the British, when France fell and his government was replaced by the pro-German "Vichy" government, led by Marshal Petain. De Gaulle refused to accept the new government and made a radio broadcast to the French people, saying - "France has lost a battle, she has not lost the war." - and urging them to continue the fight. The British quickly recognized de Gaulle as leader of the "Free French." Unfortunately for de Gaulle, the British, fearing that the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, in North Africa, was about to surrender to Germany, tried to force it to defect to him. When the French refused, the British attacked, sinking the ships and killing more French sailors than the Germans had during the entire invasion. De Gaulle's hope of widespread support in France was crushed. Another problem for de Gaulle was that the U.S. had already recognized the "Vichy" government and Roosevelt felt he could not legally recognize the Free French as well. When America entered the war, this led to a confusing "Two France Policy." After the U.S. invaded French North Africa in November, 1942, Roosevelt wanted to replace de Gaulle with his rival, General Giraud, and this led to endless friction in the Allied high command. By 1942, in spite of Mers-el-Kebir, the brutality of life under the Nazis convinced most Frenchmen that de Gaulle had been right to reject the surrender and he became a national hero.
NOTE: De Gaulle died on November 9, 1970. Some Neo-Nazi groups claim that his death was staged to occur on that date. (See Blutzeuge)
DETERDING, SIR HENRY (1866-1939) General Manager of the Shell Syndicate from 1907. He is said to have sympathized with Hitler and helped in financing the Nazi party.
DIETRICH, OTTO (1897-1952) Established important contacts between the Nazis and a number of industrialists during the 1920s. Reich press chief of the party, 1933-45. In 1949, Dietrich was sentenced to seven years in prison but was released in 1950.
DIETRICH, SEPP (1892-1966) One of Adolf Hitler's earliest supporters, head of the Leibstandarte -SS Adolf Hitler Regiment and later Commander of the Sixth SS Panzer Army during World War II. Captured by the American Seventh Army in May 1945. Tried in 1946 and given a life sentence for his role in the massacre of American soldiers at Malmedy. He was secretly released on 22 October 1955 from the American War crimes prison at Landsberg on the recommendatioin of a joint Allied-Germany clemency board. He was rearrested in 1956 and charged with aiding and abetting in the Rohm murders. He was found guilty by a Munich court of being an accessory to premeditted murder and sentenced to 19 months in prison. Released again in February 1959, he died of a heart attack in Ludwigsburg on 21 April 1966. (See Leibstandarte-SS)
DIESEL, RUDOLF (1858-1913) German thermal engineer who invented the internal-combustion engine that bears his name. He was also a distinguished connoisseur of the arts, a linguist, and a social theorist. Diesel, the son of German-born parents, was born and grew up in Paris until the family was deported to England in 1870 following the outbreak of the Franco-German War. From London Diesel was sent to Augsburg, his father's native town, to continue his schooling. There and later at the Technische Hochschule (Technical High School) in Munich he established a brilliant scholastic record in fields of engineering. At Munich he was a protégé of the refrigeration engineer Carl von Linde, whose Paris firm he joined in 1880. About 1890, in which year he moved to a new post with the Linde firm in Berlin, he conceived the idea for the diesel engine. He obtained a German development patent in 1892 and the following year published a description of his engine under the title Theorie und Konstruktion eines rationellen Wäremotors (Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat Motor). With support from the Maschinenfabrik Augsburg and the Krupp firms, he produced a series of increasingly successful models, culminating in his demonstration in 1897 of a 25-horsepower, four-stroke, single vertical cylinder compression engine. The high efficiency of Diesel's engine, together with its comparative simplicity of design, made it an immediate commercial success, and royalty fees brought great wealth to its inventor. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
NOTE: Diesel mysteriously disappeared from the mail steamer Dresden en route to London and was assumed to have drowned ar sea. Legend says, he was on his way to London to patent a new invention and was carrying plans for a new engine that ran on nothing but water. (See Timeline)
DÖNITZ (DOENITZ), KARL (1891-1980) Grand Admiral and Commander in Chief of the German Navy after January 1943. Doenitz served in U-boats during World War I and remained in the German Navy, although the Versailles Treaty had stripped Germany of all its submarines. When Germany began to rearm, Doenitz was chosen to organize the new submarine service, and became Chief of U-boat Forces. When war broke out, in 1939, he was promoted to Rear Admiral, but had far fewer submarines than were required by the war plans (which did not anticipate a war before 1942). In spite of this, Doenitz' U-boats were highly successful, scoring one coup after another, while the warships of the German surface navy, like the Bismark or Graf Spee, seemed to make headlines only by being hunted down and sunk! Hitler was highly impressed with Doenitz' character and ability, and in his last political testament, named Doenitz to succeed him as Fuehrer, though he held the position for only eight days. After the surrender, Doenitz was tried for war crimes at Nuremburg, but was able to convince the tribunal that he had been kept ignorant of the murder of millions in the death camps of "the final solution." He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment for "Planning Agressive War."
(Note: Doenitz said there had been an organized program of deception designed to convince anyone who could not simply be silenced that the concentration camps were just big prisons and any rumors one heard about mass murder were only "Allied lies." Doenitz' claimed to have been taken in by this operation.)
DONOVAN, WILLIAM J. (18??-19??) Head of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA. In early 1920, Donovan, a lawyer and highly decorated WWI officer, was hired by as a private detective by J.P. (Jack) Morgan to investigate the Communist International (Comintern) and the new emerging nations of Eastern Europe. (Chernow II)
DREXLER, ANTON (1884-1941) Co-founder of the "German Workers Party" (DAP). It was Drexler who invited Hitler to join the DAP and then accompanied him on speaking engagements throughout Germany and Austria during the early twenties. Drexler broke with Hitler in 1925 and died in Munich virtually forgotten.
Copyright © 1999 R.H. Perez
All Rights Reserved.