Hammerstein -Equord`s opposition to Hitler was well-known and in February, 1934, he was dismissed from office. During World War II he was involved in several plots to overthrow Hitler. Kurt Hammerstein-Equord died in Berlin on 25th April, 1943. This is what he had to say about his officers:
I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!