George Stumme was born in Germany in 1886. He joined the German Army and by 1938 had reached the rank of lieutenant general and was appointed commander of the 2nd Light Division. The following year he led his troops into Poland. After being replaced by General Erwin Rommel on 15th February 1940, he became commander of the 40th Army Corps.
Stumme and the 40th Army Corps went to Bulgaria in February 1941 where he fought alongside General Siegmund List and the 12th Army. He then took part in the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece.
On 19th June, 1942, the Soviets captured a set of operational plans. Stumme was held responsible and Adolf Hitler ordered him to be court-martialed. He was found guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment but Fedor von Bock managed to get him released.
Anton Drexler, the original founder of the Party, was there most evenings, but by this time he was only its honorary president and had been pushed more or less to one side. A blacksmith by trade, he had a trade union background and although it was he who had thought up the original idea of appealing to the workers with a patriotic programme, he disapproved strongly of the street fighting and violence which was slowly becoming a factor in the Party's activities and wanted to build up as a working-class movement in an orderly fashion.