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60th Anniversary of the Bomb Plot to kill Hitler

Today is the 60th Anniversary of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg’s attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler and remove the Nazi Party from power in Germany. In the 12 long years of the Third Reich, it was the only serious attempt that was made to remove Hitler and his vile regime.

Graf von Stauffenberg was a mid-ranking Colonel who had been severely injured during service in North Africa but he was a talented officer so he was sent to Berlin. to fulfill a staff role in the ‘Home Army’. As part of his duties, he was to give briefings to Hitler at his Rastenburg headquaters.

On the day itself, Colonel von Staufffenburg hid a bomb in his briefcase and made sure he left in in Hitler’s main working room. It was placed so that the blast would be lethal to the dictator. But another officer found it was in his way and moved it, critically, so that a leg of the heavy table that the papers and maps for the briefing was between the bomb and Hitler. So when the bomb went off, although many were killed, Hitler himself survived.

Colonel von Stauffenburg had planned his escape well, and flew back to Berlin, blissfully unaware that Hitler had survived. There, he tried to organise his co-conspirators into taking power, but their attempt was feeble, and once word reached Berlin that Hitler was still alive, the attempt failed miserably. Colonel von Stauffenburg was shot that night; a merciful end compared to the barbaric fate that awaited some of his collegues, and many more who had done nothing.

The ramifications of the affair sent shockwaves through Germany until the total destruction of the Nazi regime. Although it is not well remembered, Germans now honour Colonel von Stauffenberg and his collegues who tried to actually do something about the hideous regime.

6 comments to 60th Anniversary of the Bomb Plot to kill Hitler

  • zmollusc

    If only the fashion for crappy chipboard flatpack furniture had started earlier…..

  • Kreisau

    Stauffenberg’s attempt failed because he was not prepared to be a suicide bomber and ensure the job was done properly.

  • Chris Harper

    Colonel von Staffenberg and the wehrmacht only became disillusioned with Hitler once it had become clear that Germany was losing the war. Prior to that the monster had their full support. The plot allowed Hitler to finally purge and NAZIfy the armed forces, but it does not mean that they had previously disagreed with his aims.

    von Staffenberg does not deserve our admiration, and he doesn’t have mine.

  • lemuel

    Chris Harper, you should probably read this:


  • Chris Harper

    Ok, there were decent Germans. even in the wehrmacht high command. The German armed forces were an arm of the German state, not the NAZI party, and were sufficiently powerful in their own right to fend off NAZIfication until after the plot. Sorry, grade school history here. There were individuals both in and outside these organisations who were not NAZIs and who were unhappy with and sought to undermine NAZI policies throughout the NAZI period. True. However, despite its headline there is nothing in this article to indicate von Stauffenberg was one of these people. He was never a NAZI, but he didn’t become a revolutionary until after it became clear Germany was going to lose the war. The intention of the plotters was to sue the Western Allies for peace, even hoping to keep some of their territorial gains, but leaving them free to concentrate on fighting the Soviet Union in the East.

    I repeat my statement –

    von Stauffenberg does not deserve our admiration, and he doesn’t have mine.

  • Donald

    Chris Harper:

    From “Body Guard of Lies” by Anthony Cave Brown Copyright 1975, Published by Harper & Row pages 204-205 Bantam Books edition:

    July 19, 1940 (after the fall of France)

    “…even as the German nation and armed forces celebrated his new military victory and the conspirators of the Schwarze Kapelle once more dispaired of mounting a successful revolution. Yet, incredibly, at the very moment of seeming invicibility a new phase of the conspiracy against Hitler was beginning to take shape in a suite at the Hotel Meurice in Paris. There, several members of the conspiracy met for the ostensible purpose of planning the Fuehrer’s triumphant entry into the French capital. They included General Karl-Heinrich von Stuelpnagel, General Eduard Wagner, the chief of the OKW economics branch, General Erich Fellgiebel, and two colonels whose names may be remembered—Henning von Tresckow and Klaus Count von Stauffenberg. When the meeting ended, the conspirators went to Stuelpnagel’s room, where they agreed that Hitler’s victories had crushed all hope, for the moment, of rebellion. The thing to do now was to plan for a coup d’etat along General Staff lines. And it was during these bold and dangerous conversations that Stauffenberg uttered singular words. Hitler, he said, was not a great general. All the great generals of history had also been great lawmakers. But Hitler was not a lawmaker; he was not a Charlemagne, a Justinian, or even a Napoleon. He was a man possesed with a lust for nihilistic power and a passion for cruel display, and therefore, said Stauffenberg, he must be removed. The idea of tyrannicide, so long rejected by Beck and only indirectly considered by Canaris and Oster, was beginning to occur to Stauffenberg.” (emphasis mine)

    “…He joined the 6th Panzer Division and fought in Poland and France and then, on the eve of France’s surrender, was ordered to the General Staff. With the staff, Stauffenberg began to travel between all headquarters of the Wehrmacht, and he learned of the SS’s work in Poland. It was the mass extermination of the Polish aristocracy and Jews the finally launched him on the road to tyrannicide. And Stauffenberg, as a fighting soldier, was not deterred by the burden of the Fahneneid or the Christian belief that a new state cannot be founded upon assassination.”

    So as you can see, Stauffenberg became committed to the main conspiracy at the height of Germany’s military victories… not, as you contend, when the tide had turned. Do you still feel he is not worth yours or anyone elses admiration?