Ludwig August Theodor Beck (29 June 1880 – 20 July 1944) was a German general and Chief of the German General Staff during the early years of the Nazi regime in Germany before World War II. Ludwig Beck never became a member of the Nazi Party, though in the early 1930s he supported Adolf Hitler's forceful denunciation of the Versailles Treaty and his belief in the need for Germany to rearm. Beck had grave misgivings regarding the Nazi demand that all German officers swear an oath of fealty to the person of Hitler in 1934, though he believed that Germany needed strong government and that Hitler could successfully provide this so long as the Führer was influenced by traditional elements within the military rather than by the SA and SS. In serving as Chief of Staff of the German Army between 1935 and 1938, Beck became increasingly disillusioned, standing in opposition to the increasing totalitarianism of the Nazi regime and to Hitler's aggressive foreign policy. Due to public foreign-policy disagreements with Hitler, Beck resigned as Chief of Staff in August 1938. From this point Beck came to believe that Hitler could not be influenced for good, and that both Hitler and the Nazi party needed to be removed from government. He became a major leader within the conspiracy against Hitler, and would have served as head of state—with the title of either President or regent ("Reichsverweser"), depending on the source—had the 20 July plot succeeded. However, when the plot failed, Beck was arrested. He reportedly made an unsuccessful attempt at suicide, and was then shot dead.