The film "Valkyrie" (2008) depicts that while Stauffenberg was on his way to Berlin, Friedrich Fromm called Keitel to ask him about the rumors circulating in Berlin about Hitler's death.

Fromm to Bendlerblock operator: Yes, get me the Wolf's lair.
Fromm to Wolf's lair operator: Yes, general Fromm ; field marshal Keitel ; urgent.
Keitel: Keitel.
Fromm to Keitel: Yes, I am, I am sorry to, a, disturb you sir but I wonder if you could tell me what's happening; most incredible rumors are circulating in Berlin.
Keitel: I don't know what you mean.
Fromm to Keitel: There is talk that the Fuhrer has been assassinated.
Keitel: Another failed attempt - the further was never in danger; by the way - where is your men Stauffenberg?
Fromm to Keitel: Stauffenberg, he, he('s?) on his way back to Berlin I would think.
Ketiel: Let me know when he arrives, I'd like a word with him (hangs up).

The following depicted phone call is very "cold" ; no hello, no goodbye; just "yes" for start and hanging up without further notice of finishing conversation.

I don't know about phone call manners in the 40's anywhere, but:
Did the Nazi Army have a telephone conversation pattern?

That is to ask; did officers avoid starting with "hello" and finishing with "thank you" and "goodbye" in the end of phone calls in general and if so was it because of a "commander-commanded distance" and maybe also other reasons?

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    Welcome to History:SE. Could you edit your question to clarify what you've looked into already, complete with links and references, and context if applicable? In particular, please let us know what you find missing or unclear about the Wikipedia entry on the topic, if one exists. This allows those who might want to answer to do so without needing to redo the work you've already done. You might find it helpful to review the site tour and Help Centre and, in particular, How to Ask.
    – MCW
    Mar 19, 2020 at 15:08
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    @JohnDoea Perhaps you should request the moderators see if they can link this account with the previous one, so your other questions and history are reconnected.
    – justCal
    Mar 19, 2020 at 15:32
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    Like most SE sites, we expect the question to contain evidence of an attempt to solve it. I did a quick search for "telephone etiquette" and found nothing. I suspect that the abrupt nature of the call is intended to convey that the urgency of the situation overrode any requirement for courtesy.
    – MCW
    Mar 19, 2020 at 15:32
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    @justCal thank you; I try to reduce activity in the network; hence I deleted the old account.
    – user42505
    Mar 19, 2020 at 15:37
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    My grandmother (American) who was born in 1905 never said good bye when she ended a call either. Separately, this behavior is a common trope in film and tv. tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TVTelephoneEtiquette
    – AllInOne
    Mar 19, 2020 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


The German army had the general directive H.Dv. 95/13 Der Feldfernsprecher 33 (Heeres-Druckvorschriften) (no digitised version available, current physical copies in corona lockdown).

But that is probably not really what you look for.

Apart from deducing anything from a Hollywood movie about nazis… That is in general just not a venue of inquiry to learn much of anything.

It seems more fruitful to look into 'Prussian officer's jargon' and speech style. Admittedly being more of an issue for sociolinguistics.

While the movie just focusses on making a general 'military' impression, the actual speech style of that army was still very much the Kaiser's army one. Full of ellipses and fragments. Shortness, brashness, flippancy, nominal style. Sometimes a tiny bit subverted if Saxon, Bavarian or Austrian officers were involved?

In the actual situation of a conspiracy-fueled assassination attempt and coup d'etat, it seems also quite impractical to focus anything on the redundancy of politeness. After all, any German speaking telephone user, including private ones, was issued this directive:

enter image description here

From Wikipedia; Telefon
("Nimm Rücksicht auf Wartende. Fasse dich kurz!)
("Be considerate of people waiting. Keep it short!" (ie efficient))

  • Himm ruedlidlt auf watende ; faffe dich furz? Is that a correct transliteration?
    – user42505
    Mar 20, 2020 at 2:21
  • Somehow I am reminded of: "The Wehrmacht is not a discussion forum, its phone-lines not made for extended conversation. Let's continue in the casino…!" Mar 20, 2020 at 10:42
  • @JohnDoea No, 'Take into consideration those waiting, keep it short'. This I believe was a general rule for all callers, not only in the military. Mar 20, 2020 at 13:02
  • @JohnDoea, it is "Fasse dich kurz". Long s's, funny k... Mar 20, 2020 at 15:28

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