Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
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The Soviets seem to have killed Paulus with kindness and persuasion. Paulus must have been quite mistaken regarding his own future role in post-war Germany too. He could've as well just shot himself while still encircled at Stalingrad, he only tarnished his memory. His life was over in February 1943. Even liberal Germany can't remember him as a hero because of warming up to stalinism. He felt he was mistaken in supporting Hitler and NS in 1944, but somehow it didn't register that he could be making another, even bigger (and more personal) mistake by changing sides in captivity and becoming a fellow traveler.

I detect opportunism mixed with disillusionment - perhaps also a limited political consciousness, typical for professional soldiers - and a whole lot of mental and spiritual weakness: because going from anti-communism to sympathetic to communism after a year in captivity; il faut le faire.

The vast majority of other officers, all the more so the junior ones (as well as several other high ranking generals), were quite upset with Paulus' treason. Paulus considered them all idiots.
I'd expect a bad cop, good cop game there. Turning a German General would be a price of High strategic value. Especially when you can have him speak over the radio. About 15% of Germans were sympathetic to communism, but those were usually not generals. It seems Roland Freisler was a Bolshevik at the end of World War One. He became a high ranking judge in NS-Germany. The DDR had no problem taking over ex-Wehrmacht soldiers. They also took over ex-National Socialists despite pretending not to.