• Wilczy Szaniec | Wolfsschanze | Wolf's Lair

Fritz Todt

Fritz Todt

4.08.1891 – 8.02.1942 Minister of the German armaments industry.

During World War I, he fought as an officer on the Eastern Front. Already in 1922 he joined the NSDAP, and in 1931 he became the inspector general for the construction of roads and highways.

From 1938 worked as the chief representative for the construction industry. In 1940, he was appointed minister of the German armaments industry.

Todt created the paramilitary Organization Todt (OT, German Organization Todt), which in 1938-1945 dealt mainly with the construction of military facilities (mainly the Siegfried Line, the Atlantic Wall and a number of Hitler’s war quarters – in this, of course, Wolfsschanze).

The organization had its own labor camps and also employed prisoners from concentration camps. OT it’s own uniform and, just like in the army, grades for private, non-commissioned officers and officers. In the later years of the war, the participation of forced laborers in the OT ranks was very large.

On February 8, 1942, Todt died in a plane crash near Kętrzyn Airport. The accident happened at 8 am when Todt was to return to Berlin after talking with Hitler. The conversations were conducted in four eyes and it is not known what they were about. Todt left Hitler late at night and there were some emotions. He made an appointment with Albert Speer for a joint return by one plane to Berlin. Albert Speer resigned from traveling together because of his bad mood. The weather was nice, the view was excellent. The plane, Heinkel 111, took off and began to gain altitude. Suddenly, the plane made a desperate maneuver, trying to return to the airport and land. The maneuver of return was successful, then a strong explosion occurred in the front of the plane and the plane fell to the ground. Everyone on the plane died. As the cause of the explosion, the initiation of the factory-installed self-destructing device was mistakenly included. It was a one-kilogram explosive charge designed to destroy an airplane in the event of landing on enemy territory. The device switch was next to the pilot’s seat. After its launch, the explosion took place after three minutes – however, as witnesses from airport service said, the explosion occurred much faster.

Fritz Todt did not like Adolf Hitler’s party careerists, such as Hermann Göring or Albert Speer. Todt was always praised for his professionalism, good qualifications and excellent organizational talent. Göring appeared immediately after the death of Todd in Wolf’s Lair, where – as Albert Speer mentioned – he proposed his candidacy as the successor of Fritz Todt organization. Hitler, however, appointed another successor in the person of Speer.

The mistery of Fritz Todt’s death has not been resolved yet.