amejoy Thank you for your comments on my A TURNING POINT entry. It was a lot more difficult than it looks because the background is so complicated. I could have done with another few (hundred) word’s allowance really!
For example, it was not just in comparing notes with other senior officers that changed Paulus’ mind. There had always been resistance among a few of the Wehrmacht’s generals to Hitler’s strategies which didn’t become real opposition until 1942. A clandestine ‘OFFICER’S CLUB’ was formed in that year which culminated in the (unsuccessful) 20 July1944 assassination attempt. Paulus, although doubtful about Hitler’s competence, was not a part of this plot, but Hitler, having promoted him to Field Marshal during the attack on Stalingrad, expected him to commit suicide rather than be the first in German history of that rank to surrender. Paulus, however, was answering to a higher call, that of conscience. By surrendering to the Russians and trusting himself to their mercy, he might, if moved (or allowed) to do so at some stage in the future, be able to speak his mind. It was while captive 1943-6 and after the July plot that he decided, in modern parlance, to finally ‘come out’.
Incidentally, Paulus was treated well while a prisoner in Russia, being released after 10 years (1953). He then went to live in Dresden, East Germany, writing his memoirs and working to promote peace with the west and German reunification. He died in 1957 aged 66, not having seen his wife since leaving for the Eastern Front in 1942 (she died in 1949).