Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg


from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (born November 15, 1907 in Jettingen Castle , Jettingen , Kingdom of Bavaria , † July 21, 1944 in Berlin ) was a German officer in the Wehrmacht .

Although he welcomed the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor in 1933, he became one of the most famous personalities of the military resistance against National Socialism during the Second World War . Colonel von Stauffenberg was the main actor in the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944 on Adolf Hitler and, as chief of staff at the commander of the replacement army, was instrumental in the subsequent " Operation Valkyrie ", an attempt at a coup d'état . After its failure, on the orders of Colonel General Friedrich Fromm , he was shot dead on July 20 or 21, 1944 in the courtyard of the Berlin Bendler Block .

Graf von Stauffenberg was "an ardent patriot , a passionate German nationalist " and initially supported the nationalist and revisionist aspects of National Socialism before he recognized the criminal character of the National Socialist dictatorship and also because of the hopelessness of the overall military situation of the German Reich after Stalingrad for active resistance found.

Childhood and youth

Family coat of arms of the Stauffenbergs

Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was born on November 15, 1907 at Jettingen Castle in Jettingen , Bavaria ; his twin brother Konrad Maria died the next day. He was the youngest son of Alfred Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (1860–1936) and his wife Caroline nee. Countess von Üxküll-Gyllenband (1875–1957). The line of ancestors of the Swabian - Franconian noble family of Counts Stauffenberg can be documented until the 13th century, the property was in Bavarian Swabia , Württemberg and Upper Franconia . The mother came from the old German-Baltic family Üxküll-Gyllenband , the important Prussian army reformer August Neidhardt von Gneisenau was one of her ancestors.

Stauffenberg Castle in Lautlingen

The father served the Württemberg King Wilhelm II. As chief court marshal , the mother was lady-in-waiting and companion of the queen. For this reason, Stauffenberg lived next to his twin brothers, Berthold and Alexander, who were two years older than him, mostly in Stuttgart's Old Castle , while the family spent the summer at the Lautlingen country estate on the Swabian Alb . The political change of the November Revolution of 1918 affected the family little and even after the abdication of the monarch, Alfred Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg remained in the service of the House of Württemberg as president of the ducal-Württemberg rent chamber until 1928 .

True to family tradition, the Stauffenberg children were raised in the Catholic faith , although the mother belonged to the Protestant denomination . All in all, dealing with religious questions played a central role in education. As an adult, Stauffenberg was only very loosely connected to the denomination in which he had been brought up and did not consider it to be decisive for his political and intellectual ideas, as his brother Berthold stated in the Gestapo interrogation:

“We are not what people actually call Catholics. We rarely went to church and never to confession. My brother and I are of the opinion that hardly anything creative can come out of Christianity. "

- Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

The parental home was characterized by a tolerant attitude and an enlightened - liberal atmosphere. Mother Caroline provided a comprehensive education and attached great importance to the thorough occupation of her sons with literature, music and theater. The musically versatile Stauffenberg played the violoncello and developed into a passionate rider despite his poor health in his youth .

Stauffenberg began his school career in 1913 when he attended a private school in Stuttgart for elementary instruction, before he followed his brothers to the traditional Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium in autumn 1916 . During his time at the grammar school, Stauffenberg joined the Bund Deutscher Newfadfinder , a group of the Bündische Jugend . The movement cultivated knightly ideals , followed medieval romanticism and revered the symbolist poet Stefan George . After the twin brothers and shortly afterwards Stauffenberg himself were introduced to the "master" in the spring of 1923, they belonged to the closest circle of friends in George's elitist - platonic "state" ( George circle ). Stauffenberg's older brother Berthold dedicated two poems to George in his last volume of poetry, Das Neue Reich (1928), with the poem Secret Germany, which was written in 1922 . Within the district, Stauffenberg was considered a deed and for him George's world of thought, especially the concept of Secret Germany, played a central role. Throughout his life he felt committed to the legacy of the poet and honored him without reservation until the end of his life.

On March 5, 1926, Stauffenberg passed the Abitur . Despite a keen interest in architecture and, to the surprise of its surroundings, the ailing Stauffenberg decided to pursue a military career.

Career in the Reichswehr

Stauffenberg in the 17th Cavalry Regiment (1926)
Cavalrymen of the Reichswehr (1930)

On April 1, 1926, Stauffenberg joined the traditional 17th Bavarian Cavalry Regiment in Bamberg as a flag squire . He later justified his decision to pursue a career in the Reichswehr with his thirst for action and his desire to serve the state. Given the family's military tradition, entry was particularly favored by the father and encouraged.

Stauffenberg initially served in Bamberg before taking a ten-month Fahnenjunker course at the infantry school of the Reichswehr in Dresden - Albertstadt between October 1927 and August 1928 , which all officer candidates from all branches of the army had to complete. He completed this as an ensign on August 1, 1928 and immediately switched to the cavalry school of the Reichswehr in Hanover . The course there was also compulsory for officer candidates. Stauffenberg completed the final officer's examination as the sixth-best of his year and at the same time as the best of the cavalry year, receiving a saber of honor for his outstanding achievements .

Under promotion to lieutenant Stauffenberg received his on January 1, 1930 officer's commission and then took over the command of the mortar - train its Bamberger Reiter Regiment .

Stauffenberg was interested in politics throughout his life. As a member of the Reichswehr, however, he was forbidden from any political demonstration or party membership and very few concrete statements from that time have come down to us. Like his brother Berthold, Stauffenberg was close to the Conservative Revolution towards the end of the Weimar Republic and was a nationally minded, enthusiastic patriot. Because of his self-image as an officer, he had mainly disdain for the emerging National Socialism and decidedly rejected the movement of the SA , which he perceived as plebeian . During the presidential election in April 1932 Stauffenberg, however, spoke against the conservative - monarchist incumbent Paul von Hindenburg and Adolf Hitler , since there were numerous points of contact in the political thought:

"The idea of leadership [...] combined with that of a national community , the principle of 'common good comes before self-interest ' and the fight against corruption, the fight against the spirit of the big cities, the racial idea and the will to a new German legal system appear healthy to us and promising. "

- Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Like many other officers captured the national spirit of optimism of 1933 Stauffenberg, the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor and the subsequent DC circuit expressly welcomed. A letter to Stefan George from June 1933 reveals an aristocratic attitude and at the same time shows that he was able to gain positive aspects from the “national uprising”.

On May 1, 1933, he was promoted to first lieutenant .

Marriage and offspring

On September 26, 1933, he married his long-time fiancée Nina Freiin von Lerchenfeld in Bamberg . Her father had served in the imperial consular service and the Lerchenfeld family belonged to the old Bavarian nobility .

The marriage produced five offspring:

Most recently, Nina lived near Bamberg and was very committed to old Bamberg. She died on April 2nd, 2006 at the age of 92 in Kirchlauter near Bamberg.

time of the nationalsocialism

Stauffenberg (left) with Mertz von Quirnheim
Stauffenberg bust by Frank Mehnert (1930)

After the death of Reich President Paul von Hindenburg, the Reichswehr took the oath of leadership on the person of Adolf Hitler on August 2, 1934 . The power-political concentration on a “ Führer and Reich Chancellor ” basically corresponded to Stauffenberg's understanding of the outstanding role of the individual in history. From September 1, 1934, Stauffenberg was employed for two years as a rider officer at the cavalry school in Hanover, which primarily brought fulfillment from a sporting point of view. In addition to his training responsibility, his above-average ability as a rider was shown and he achieved excellent results in dressage and military competitions.

On 1 October 1936 Stauffenberg was among the first 100 officers for general staff training at the Military Academy of Berlin-Moabit were detailed. The rearmament of the Wehrmacht , promoted by Hitler, increased the need for General Staff officers and training was shortened to two years in view of the rapid increase in the army. The core contents included tactics , war history, army supplies, army transport, army organization, military economy, poinier service, land fortifications and map studies. At the same time, Stauffenberg completed an interpreting course in English and attended evening lectures by the German Society for Defense Policy and Defense Sciences . At the war academy he met Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim and Eberhard Finckh , who later belonged to the military resistance. In 1937, Stauffenberg, promoted to Rittmeister on January 1, wrote a thesis on "Thoughts on how to defend against enemy parachute units in the home area", with which he won a competition from the German Society for Defense Policy and Defense Sciences. The work was published in the military journal Wissen und Wehr . A second scientific study dealt with the interaction between army cavalry and tank units and emphasized the importance of operational mobility in combat. Here, the use of a cavalry in addition to tank units is crucial:

“The often heard question: cavalry or tanks? arises from an error. The demand must be: Army cavalry and tank formations [...] Tactical and operational breakthroughs are hardly conceivable without the mass deployment of combat vehicles. "

- Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

After successfully completing the War Academy, Stauffenberg's first staff assignment led to the 1st Light Division in Wuppertal , commanded by Lieutenant General Erich Hoepner . There he took over the quartermaster's department on July 1, 1938 as second general staff officer (1b) and was responsible for supplying the divisions . Stauffenberg was certified as having “great organizational talent” and he developed recognized qualities in planning, procurement and supply. The Division participated after the Munich Agreement in October 1938 the German invasion of the Sudetenland .

Second World War

attack on Poland

In August 1939 the 1st Light Division was mobilized and transferred to Silesia . As part of Army Group South, she was subordinate to the 10th Army under General der Artillerie Walter von Reichenau , which was to lead the main attack on the Polish capital Warsaw with its motorized units . The professional soldier Stauffenberg felt that the outbreak of war on September 1, 1939 was a “salvation” and he marched with his division in south-west Poland . After the occupation of Wieluń on September 2, it crossed the Warta and advanced to Radom by September 12 . The rapid advance at the speed of the Blitzkrieg caused logistical difficulties for the Wehrmacht and also for Stauffenberg as the quartermaster responsible. During the campaign, Stauffenberg had a German officer brought before a military tribunal who had two Polish women shot.

In a letter to his wife, Stauffenberg described his experiences at the front and impressions from Poland:

“The population is an unbelievable mob , a lot of Jews and a lot of mixed people. A people who only feel comfortable under the knuckle . The thousands of prisoners will do our agriculture pretty good. In Germany they are certainly good to use, hard-working, willing and frugal. "

- Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

The historian Heinrich August Winkler cites the quotation from the letter as evidence that Stauffenberg at that time basically affirmed the racial policy of the National Socialists , even if he thought it was exaggerated. The Israeli historian Saul Friedländer also assumes that Stauffenberg's attitude towards Judaism differed only gradually, but not in principle, from the anti-Semitism of the National Socialists. The Stauffenberg biographer Peter Hoffmann rejects the term "anti-Semite" for Stauffenberg and claims to have interpreted the field post letter in context. His granddaughter Sophie von Bechtolsheim also sees Stauffenberg as a child of his time, but refuses to derive central aspects of her grandfather's personality from this one quote.

At the end of the fighting in Poland, the division was in the disposition area between Modlin and Warsaw . Subsequently, on October 18, 1939, the 1st Light Division in Wuppertal was reclassified to the 6th Panzer Division and, under the command of Major General Werner Kempf, relocated to its staging area on the western front. Stauffenberg kept his position as 1b in the division staff .

Western campaign

In the west, the front initially remained in the passive phase of the seated war . The Army High Command under Walther von Brauchitsch and his chief of staff, Franz Halder , considered the military conflict with the Western Allies announced by Hitler unreasonable. They temporarily approached the military opposition and at the turn of the year 1939/40 declared themselves ready to arrest Hitler as soon as he gave the order to attack. Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg and Ulrich Wilhelm Graf Schwerin von Schwanenfeld , who had been part of the military resistance since the September conspiracy, asked Stauffenberg to be appointed as Brauchitsch's adjutant in order to take part in a planned coup attempt. Stauffenberg, since January 1940 captain i. G. , Declined the request of his extended relative Yorck von Wartenburg with reference to the Fuehrer's oath. Brauchitsch and Halder also finally submitted to Hitler and refrained from a putsch .

Stauffenberg's 6th Panzer Division was subordinate to Panzergruppe Kleist ( Army Group A ) and, after the start of the German offensive on May 10, 1940, formed a shock wedge for the advance through the Ardennes . This attack through the allegedly traffic-blocking forest mountains, which was unexpected for the French army command, was the starting point of the sickle-cut plan . During the subsequent Battle of Sedan , the Division crossed at Monthermé the Maas and pushed virtually unimpeded to the English Channel before.

In a field post letter from May 19, 1940, Stauffenberg was deeply impressed by the looming military victory over France :

“Since then we have experienced the beginning of the collapse of a great nation in a shocking form , not only militarily but also psychologically (...) We are doing deliciously. How could it be otherwise with such successes? "

- Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Before the end of the Western Offensive, Stauffenberg was withdrawn from his Panzer Division on May 27, 1940 and transferred to the Army High Command. On May 31, 1940, he received the Iron Cross 1st Class for his military service .

In the high command of the army

In December 1941, von Stauffenberg approved the unification of the authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht in Hitler's hands. His promotion to Major i. G. was issued in April 1941. As group leader of Group II of the Organization Department in the Army High Command, he was one of the leading officers who consciously worked towards a change in politics in the occupied territories. Especially in connection with the fighting of Army Group A , which was advancing into the Caucasus , he had turned to the questions of the volunteers in the so-called Eastern Legions . It was about recruiting released prisoners of war and defectors for the fight on the German side. For this purpose, his department issued guidelines for the treatment of Turkestan and Caucasian soldiers on June 2, 1942, and in August 1942 controlled the organization and deployment of the Eastern Legions.

Commemorative plaque on Tristanstrasse 8-10 in Berlin-Nikolassee

Until mid-November 1942, the 10th Panzer Division was still involved in the occupation of the previously unoccupied zone of France. Immediately afterwards the division was transferred to Tunis . Von Stauffenberg was in the meantime used in the General Staff of the Army and was on January 1, 1943 to lieutenant colonel i. G. been promoted. In March 1943 he was transferred to the 10th Panzer Division as Ia ( First General Staff Officer of the Leadership Group), which was supposed to cover the retreat of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's army against the Allies who had landed in North Africa . He was seriously wounded in a low-flying attack by Commonwealth troops in Tunisia on April 7, 1943 . In field hospital 200 near Sfax , his left eye, through which a bullet had penetrated the skull bone, was removed, and the shot right hand and the ring and little fingers of the left hand were amputated. He was first transferred to the war hospital 950 near Carthago and from there on April 21st to the reserve hospital Munich 1, where he was treated in the surgical department of Max Lebsche . A Bavarian-Austrian post-war solution was discussed. In addition, von Stauffenberg spent several convalescence vacations in Lautlingen . After being brought to Berlin by plane, he was a patient of the famous surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch and, as a cavalry master in the Bamberg cavalry regiment, a comrade of his son Peter Sauerbruch . On April 14, 1943, he was awarded the Golden Wound Badge for his wounding . This was given to him personally by General Kurt Zeitzler , the Chief of the Army General Staff (according to Zeitzler, he would have given such an award to any other seriously wounded General Staff officer). On May 8, 1943, von Stauffenberg was awarded the German Cross in Gold .

Certificate of the award of the German Cross in Gold to von Stauffenberg

In mid-June 1944 von Stauffenberg became Chief of Staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Replacement Army Colonel-General Friedrich Fromm ; on July 1, 1944 he was promoted to Colonel i. G. promoted.

Turning away from Hitler

While the staff officer Henning von Tresckow had already joined the Berlin resistance group around Ludwig Beck , Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Hans Oster in the fall of 1941 , von Stauffenberg, like many other military officials, initially felt that his oath of allegiance kept him tied to Hitler. It was not until the autumn of 1943 that he was transferred to Berlin, where he consciously sought contact with the Hitlerite opponents around General der Infanterie Friedrich Olbricht , the head of the General Army Office , and von Tresckow. He was aware that only the Wehrmacht was the only organization that had hardly been infiltrated by the Secret State Police ( Gestapo ) or the Security Service ( SD ) had the necessary means of overthrowing it. Together with his brother Berthold and the members of the Kreisau Circle , he was involved in drafting government statements for the period after the coup. The conspirators set their goals on ending the war and the persecution of the Jews and on restoring the rule of law, as it had existed until 1933. They could not agree on a desired form of government. A large number of the conspirators, who came from the conservative circles of the bourgeoisie, the nobility and the military, rejected parliamentary democracy, including von Stauffenberg. On the other hand, despite (or even because of) some elitist-paternalistic values, Stauffenberg also seems to have had a sympathy for “Prussian socialism”. He demanded the admission of social democrats like Julius Leber to the new government to be formed, which he is said to have even favored for the office of Chancellor at times. Through the mediation of his cousin Count Peter Yorck von Wartenburg, he had met Leber. A close relationship of trust developed.

According to co-conspirator Hans Bernd Gisevius, the inner circle around von Stauffenberg sought an alliance with the communists from 1944 in order to gain the broadest possible support for the overthrow and a reorganization of the state to be created afterwards. On June 22, 1944, in consultation with von Stauffenberg, a conversation took place between the social democrats Julius Leber and Adolf Reichwein and the communists Anton Saefkow and Franz Jacob , who were at the forefront of the communist resistance in Berlin. Further meetings should follow as the conversation was extremely constructive. However, Stauffenberg's confidante Julius Leber was arrested as a result of a meeting with representatives of the Saefkow-Jacob-Bästlein organization , at which a Gestapo spy ( Ernst Rambow ) was also present. Efforts to involve the communists more closely in the plans for the coup failed to this extent primarily because of the repression of the persecutors. After Leber's arrest in early July 1944, von Stauffenberg is said to have repeatedly declared to Adam von Trott zu Solz : “I'll get him out.” From Stauffenberg's point of view, no price seemed too high for Leber's rescue. Ultimately, he took the view that the most important thing was first of all the elimination of the Nazi regime, everything else would then be found.

Inwardly, Stauffenberg was also very close to Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg , who gradually expanded the broadest possible network of the conspiracy. In July 1944, the inner circle of conspirators met in Berlin-Wannsee in Berthold's house. They took an oath drafted by Rudolf Fahrner and Berthold, in which they undertook to act together after the coup, even in the event of the occupation of Germany.

“We profess in spirit and in fact to the great traditions of our people, which created western humanity through the fusion of Hellenic and Christian origins in a Germanic essence. We want a new order that makes all Germans bearers of the state and guarantees them law and justice, but we despise the lie of equality and demand recognition of natural ranks. We want a people who, rooted in the earth of their homeland, remain close to the natural powers, who find happiness and satisfaction in their work in the given spheres of life and who, in free pride, overcomes the lower instincts of envy and envy. "

- Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Because of this elitist attitude, interpreted as “anti-democratic” and “nationalistic”, which was indebted to the thinking of the George Circle right down to the formulation , the British historian Richard J. Evans believes that von Stauffenberg “has nothing to offer in terms of forward-looking political ideas " would have. "As a role model for future generations" he is "badly suited".

Operation "Valkyrie"

The planning

At the latest with the Allied invasion of Normandy in early June 1944, it had become clear that a military defeat and thus a "collapse" of the German Reich could no longer be averted. For reasons similar to von Tresckow's, von Stauffenberg nevertheless felt obliged to press ahead with the preparations for the coup d'état by violently eliminating the National Socialist leadership:

“It is time something was done now. However, he who dares to do something must be aware that he will go down in German history as a traitor. However, if he fails to do so, he would be a traitor in front of his own conscience. [...] I could not look the women and children of the fallen in the eyes if I did not do everything to prevent this senseless human sacrifice. "

- Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Together with General Friedrich Olbricht, Colonel Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim and Henning von Tresckow, von Stauffenberg worked out the Walküre operation plan . Officially, the plan served to put down possible internal unrest , for example in the event of a revolt by the numerous foreign workers . Von Stauffenberg and Tresckow added a few more orders to the plan, turning Valkyrie into an operational plan for the coup . He envisaged that the murder of Hitler should initially be blamed on a group of “party functionaries outside the front” in order to have a reason for the arrest of members of the NSDAP , SS , security service and Gestapo. The commanders of the military district commands throughout the Greater German Reich were to receive appropriate orders immediately after the Valkyrie was triggered . The military should take over the executive power. For von Stauffenberg, the overturn plans envisaged the rank of State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of War .

Von Stauffenberg was appointed Chief of Staff of the General Army Office in Berlin's Bendler Block , which gave him access to the briefings at the Führer headquarters . He was subordinate to Olbricht and built up a military-opposition network with his support. He coordinated the assassination plans with Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Colonel General Ludwig Beck and kept in touch with the civil resistance around Julius Leber , Wilhelm Leuschner and the members of the Kreisau Circle , to which his cousin Count Peter Yorck von Wartenburg belonged. After Helmuth James Graf von Moltke's arrest in January 1944, there were no more meetings of the Kreisau Circle. The majority of the members made themselves available from Stauffenberg - despite Moltke's reservations against killing Hitler.

Stauffenberg (far left) on July 15, 1944 with Adolf Hitler and Wilhelm Keitel in Wolfsschanze

On July 1, 1944, he became Chief of Staff at the Commander of the Replacement Army (BdE) Colonel General Fromm. With that he was now sitting with Olbricht and Mertz von Quirnheim in the control center for the planned Operation Walküre . A sensitive point of the plan was that von Stauffenberg had to carry out the assassination as well as lead the coup attempt from Berlin. Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Adolf Hitler on July 11th at the Berghof and on July 15th at the Wolfsschanze headquarters . He broke off both attempts prematurely because either Heinrich Himmler and / or Hermann Göring were not present. Under no circumstances should the stop be moved a third time.

Assassination attempt and coup

The next opportunity arose purely by chance on July 18, when von Stauffenberg was ordered to go to the Fuehrer's headquarters for the day after next to report on planned new troops. The resistance group had already chosen the members of a successor government. All that was left to do was to “get rid of” Hitler. Von Stauffenberg flew on July 20 at 7:00 a.m. with his adjutant , Oberleutnant Werner von Haeften , from Rangsdorf airfield near Berlin to Wolfsschanze near Rastenburg in East Prussia .

Since the meeting was unexpectedly brought forward by half an hour because of a planned visit from Benito Mussolini , he only managed to use one of the two explosives packages with one of the specially adapted pliers (he only had three fingers on his left hand) activated British pencil detonator (chemical-mechanical time detonator ). He did not put the second package of explosives, which would undoubtedly have increased the explosive effect, in his briefcase. In addition, the meeting did not take place in a concrete bunker, as usual, but in a light wooden barracks and the explosive charge could not develop the desired effect. Von Stauffenberg parked her about two meters away from Hitler next to a massive table block (which probably further weakened the effect) and left the barracks under the pretext of having to make a phone call. The explosive charge detonated at 12:42 p.m. in the wooden barracks filled with 24 people. Hitler and 19 other people in attendance survived the detonation.

Camp barracks destroyed after the attack, July 1944

In the general confusion after the attack, von Stauffenberg and Haeften were able to leave Wolfsschanze in good time, threw the remaining explosive charge out of the open car on the way to Rastenburg airfield and flew back to Berlin, firmly believing that Hitler was dead. Just a few minutes after the After the explosion, the news that Hitler had survived reached Berlin: Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels received notification of the unsuccessful attack by telephone in Berlin at around 1 p.m. Shortly afterwards, the co-conspirator Colonel Hahn explicitly confirmed to General Thiele in the Bendlerblock in another phone call from Wolfsschanze that Hitler had survived the assassination attempt. Thiele informed Generals Friedrich Olbricht and Hoepner of the long-distance calls, and they agreed not to trigger Valkyrie for the time being. While von Stauffenberg was on his return flight to Berlin, Heinrich Müller , head of the Gestapo , received the order to arrest von Stauffenberg. About 3:45 p.m. von Stauffenberg landed in Berlin, asserted in a phone call with Olbricht, untruthfully, that he had seen with his own eyes that Hitler was dead, and went to Olbricht in the Bendlerblock. It wasn't until around 4:30 p.m., almost four hours after the attack, that Valkyrie was triggered. But now there were serious shortcomings in the preparation and implementation of the coup attempt. The sending of telexes from the Bendler block to the military districts dragged on for hours and already crossed with telex from the Wolfsschanze from around 4 p.m. that commands from the Bendler block were invalid. Most of the officers outside the Bendler Block were waiting because of this contradicting situation. The telexes from the conspirators with the Valkyrie orders were largely ignored.

While talking Georg and Philipp von Boeselager ready to march with their regiments to the "leaderless" Berlin, and von Stauffenberg, Olbricht, Mertz von Quirnheim and Haeften were General Fromm arrested who had covered up to then, but given the uncertain news of a participation in the coup attempt no longer wanted to know. The troops did not march in, however, and in the late evening Hitler spoke up in a radio address.

The end of the coup attempt

Stauffenberg's death certificate, issued in 1951 in Bamberg
Memorial stone in Berlin-Schöneberg at the short-term grave of Stauffenberg and other victims of July 20th
German postage stamp (2007) for the 100th birthday from the series " Upright Democrats "

Around 10:30 p.m., a group of officers loyal to the regime arrested, among them Otto Ernst Remer , von Stauffenberg and the co-conspirators. Colonel-General Fromm, citing a court martial that allegedly took place, gave the order on the evening of July 20 to shoot Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg together with Werner von Haeften, Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim and Friedrich Olbricht; "[T] he shootings could have occurred shortly before or shortly after midnight". The execution took place in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock , Stauffenberg's last words are said to have been the exclamation "Long live holy Germany!", According to other sources he shouted, alluding to Stefan George's world of ideas, "Long live the 'Secret Germany' !". The following day, the bodies of those shot with their uniforms and decorations were buried in the Old St. Matthew Cemetery in Berlin . Himmler had them excavated and ordered them to be cremated in the Berlin-Wedding crematorium . Their ashes were scattered over the sewage fields of Berlin .

Consequences for the families of the conspirators

Himmler planned to murder the families of the conspirators and to wipe out the family names. The blood revenge initially envisaged was discarded and instead extensive clan liability was ordered. Stauffenberg's pregnant wife Nina Schenk, Countess von Stauffenberg , was deported to the Ravensbrück concentration camp . In her solitary confinement in 1944, she wrote a poem in memory of her husband:

You are with me,
even if your body perished.
And it's always as if
your arm was still around me.

Your eye shines on me when I am
awake and in dreams.
Your mouth tilts towards me.
Your whisper swings in the room:

"Beloved child! Be strong,
be heir to me!
Wherever you are,
I am with you!"

Due to the impending birth, she was transferred to a Nazi maternity home in Frankfurt (Oder) , where the fifth child of the family, Konstanze , was born on January 27, 1945. The children were taken to a children's home near Bad Sachsa . There were plans to hand them over to National Socialist families for adoption . They were given different surnames (the Stauffenberg children were now called "Meister") and stayed there until the end of the war .

Afterlife

In connection with the attack, there were numerous posthumous honors: memorial plaques can be found in the German Resistance Memorial Center in the Bendler Block in Berlin (since 1960), in Lönsstrasse in Wuppertal (since 1984) and in Bamberg Cathedral . In several German cities there are streets or squares named after Graf von Stauffenberg. On July 20, 1955, the previous Bendlerstrasse on the Bendlerblock was renamed Stauffenbergstrasse.

The Bundeswehr barracks in Sigmaringen has been called Graf-Stauffenberg-Kaserne since July 20, 1961 . In 1964 a memorial stone in memory of von Stauffenberg was unveiled on its site. In order to keep the name despite the closure of the barracks in Sigmaringen, the Albertstadt barracks in Dresden were renamed Graf-Stauffenberg-Kaserne in 2013 .

In 1964, the German Federal Post Office dedicated a stamp from one block designed by E. and Gerd Aretz to von Stauffenberg on the 20th anniversary of the assassination attempt . A stamp from the series Upright Democrats for the 100th birthday of von Stauffenberg and Helmuth James Graf von Moltke from 2007 was designed by Irmgard Hesse.

The school, founded in 1965 as the 4th boys' high school in Osnabrück , has been called Graf-Stauffenberg-Gymnasium since 1967 .

Since February 9, 1979, the municipal secondary school in Bamberg has been called Graf-Stauffenberg-Realschule. The city's business school has also had the resistance fighter as its namesake since 1979. A business grammar school, which was previously housed in the same building but has now been integrated into another grammar school, also bore the name Graf-Stauffenberg grammar school . There is also a Graf-Stauffenberg-Gymnasium in Flörsheim am Main .

On April 3, 2000, a bust of Stauffenberg was unveiled in the Bavarian Hall of Fame . In 2006, a memorial for the state of Baden-Württemberg was opened in Stuttgart's “Old Castle” .

On November 15, 2007, a new memorial was opened in the Stauffenberg Castle in Lautlingen for the 100th birthday of the Stauffenbergs, which was celebrated with a major tattoo by a Bundeswehr division, among other things ; it was funded by the Landesstiftung Baden-Württemberg and sponsors from business.

The city of Dresden named a street in the Albertstadt district “ Stauffenbergallee ”. The army officers' school adjacent to this street, at which he himself had been trained, named the large traditional classroom "Stauffenbergsaal". In honor of von Stauffenberg, the officer courses of the 71st OAJ (officer candidate year) of the German Army bear his name.

Every year on the 20th of July celebration hour the federal government and public swearing of the Bundeswehr in memory of the failed attempt on Hitler instead. Since 2008, the solemn pledge has been held alternately at the Berlin office of the BMVg , Bendlerblock and in front of the Reichstag building .

Movie

Von Stauffenberg was portrayed in the film by the following actors, among others:

Stage play

See also

literature

Books

items

Web links

Commons : Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Venohr : Stauffenberg: Symbol of resistance. 3. Edition. Herbig, 2000, ISBN 3-7766-2156-7 , p. 278 (cited).
  2. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 15.
  3. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 20.
  4. ^ Hans Bentzien: Claus Schenk Graf v. Stauffenberg: The perpetrator and his time. Edition, 2015.
  5. Harald Steffahn: Claus von Stauffenberg. 5th edition. Rowohlt, 1994, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 34.
  6. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 50.
  7. ^ Wolfgang Venohr: Stauffenberg. Symbol of resistance. A political biography. Herbig Verlag, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-7766-2156-7 , p. 35.
  8. Harald Steffahn: Claus von Stauffenberg. 5th edition. Rowohlt, 1994, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 36.
  9. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 45.
  10. ^ Hans Bentzien: Claus Schenk Graf v. Stauffenberg: The perpetrator and his time. Edition, 2015.
  11. Manfred Riedel: Secret Germany, Stefan George and the Stauffenberg brothers. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne 2006, p. 174.
  12. Herbert Ammon : From George's spirit to Stauffenberg's act - Manfred Riedel's rescue of the empire. In: Iablis 2007 .
  13. Manfred Riedel: Secret Germany, Stefan George and the Stauffenberg brothers. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne 2006, p. 176.
  14. Nico Raab: Adeligkeit and resistance. The example of the Catholic Claus Schenk Graf von Staufenberg. In: Markus Raasch (Ed.): Nobility, Catholicism, Myth. New perspectives on the nobility history of the modern age. Oldenbourg, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-036383-8 , pp. 235–261, here p. 248. (books.google.de)
  15. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 63.
  16. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 73.
  17. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 37.
  18. Harald Steffahn: Stauffenberg. 3. Edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 39.
  19. a b c d e f Eberhard Zeller: Colonel Claus Graf Stauffenberg. A picture of life. Schöningh, 1994, ISBN 3-506-79770-0 , pp. 298-301.
  20. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 72.
  21. ^ Eberhard Zeller: Colonel Claus Graf Stauffenberg. A picture of life. Schöningh, 1994, ISBN 3-506-79770-0 , pp. 298-301.
  22. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 75.
  23. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 75.
  24. Harald Steffahn: Stauffenberg. 3. Edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 39.
  25. Steven Krolak: The Way to the New Kingdom. Claus Stauffenberg's political ideas. A contribution to the intellectual history of the German resistance. In: Jürgen Schmädeke , Peter Steinbach (Ed.): The resistance against National Socialism. German society and the resistance against Hitler. Piper, Munich 1986, p. 550.
  26. Wolfgang Venohr: Stauffenberg: Symbol of resistance. 3. Edition. Herbig, 2000, ISBN 3-7766-2156-7 , p. 267.
  27. Harald Steffahn: Stauffenberg. 3. Edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 .
  28. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 76.
  29. ^ Schenk von Stauffenberg, Claus Philipp Maria Graf. In: German biography . Retrieved January 6, 2020 .
  30. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 78.
  31. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 82.
  32. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 84.
  33. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 85.
  34. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 86.
  35. ^ Eberhard Zeller: Colonel Claus Graf Stauffenberg. A picture of life. Schöningh, 1994, ISBN 3-506-79770-0 , pp. 298-301.
  36. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 86.
  37. ^ Eberhard Zeller: Colonel Claus Graf Stauffenberg. A picture of life. Schöningh, 1994, ISBN 3-506-79770-0 , p. 40.
  38. ^ Eberhard Zeller: Colonel Claus Graf Stauffenberg. A picture of life. Schöningh, 1994, ISBN 3-506-79770-0 , p. 40.
  39. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 90.
  40. Harald Steffahn: Claus von Stauffenberg. 5th edition. Rowohlt, 1994, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 69.
  41. Harald Steffahn: Claus von Stauffenberg. 5th edition. Rowohlt, 1994, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 67.
  42. Harald Steffahn: Stauffenberg. 3. Edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 71.
  43. ^ Sophie von Bechtolsheim: Stauffenberg - My grandfather was not an assassin. Herder, Freiburg 2019, ISBN 978-3-451-07217-8 , p. 94.
  44. Harald Steffahn: Stauffenberg. 3. Edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 71.
  45. ^ Heinrich August Winkler : The long way to the west . Volume 2: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Munich 2000, p. 103.
  46. Saul Friedländer: The Third Reich and the Jews. Volume 2: The Years of Annihilation 1933–1945. Bonn 2006, p. 664 f.
  47. “You have to analyze the statement and see it in context. As a historian, it is my job to determine and convey the context, and not to give scraps of information about myself. ”- Nico Nissen: Stauffenberg: The really true story. Interview with Stauffenberg biographer Peter Hoffmann in the online magazine Telepolis , January 22, 2009.
  48. ^ Sophie von Bechtolsheim: Stauffenberg - My grandfather was not an assassin. Herder, Freiburg 2019, ISBN 978-3-451-07217-8 .
  49. ^ Raymond Cartier: The Second World War. Volume 1, Lingen Verlag, 1967, p. 66.
  50. a b c d in the General Staff .
  51. ^ Ulrich Schlie: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: Biography. 1st edition. Herder, 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-03147-2 , p. 93.
  52. Harald Steffahn: Stauffenberg. 3. Edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-499-50520-7 , p. 75.
  53. ^ Peter Hoffmann: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: The biography. 4th edition. Pantheon, 2007, ISBN 978-3-570-55046-5 , p. 114.
  54. ^ Ferdinand Sauerbruch, Hans Rudolf Berndorff: That was my life. Kindler & Schiermeyer, Bad Wörishofen 1951; cited: Licensed edition for Bertelsmann Lesering, Gütersloh 1956, p. 415 f.
  55. Volker Klimpel: Famous amputees. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 23, 2004, pp. 313-327, here: p. 324.
  56. a b Anja Blum: The arm of resistance. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . 3rd July 2019.
  57. ^ Ferdinand Sauerbruch, Hans Rudolf Berndorff : That was my life. Kindler & Schiermeyer, Bad Wörishofen 1951; cited: Licensed edition for Bertelsmann Lesering, Gütersloh 1956, p. 402 f. and 415-419.
  58. ^ Peter Hoffmann: Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: The biography. 4th edition. Pantheon, 2007, ISBN 978-3-570-55046-5 , p. 311.
  59. Gerd R. Ueberschär: For another Germany. The German resistance against the Nazi state 1933–1945. Knowledge Buchges., 2005, ISBN 3-534-18497-1 , p. 294.
  60. ^ Matthias Kohlmaier: Hitler assassination attempt on July 20, 1944: "Stauffenberg did not want a parliamentary democracy." In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. July 21, 2012.
  61. Hans Mommsen: Count Stauffenberg and the hatred of Hitler. In: The world . November 15, 2007.
  62. ^ Marion Yorck von Wartenburg : The strength of the silence. Memories of a life in the resistance. Moers 1998, p. 61.
  63. Hans Bernd Gisevius: Until the bitter end. Volume II, Fretz & Wasmuth, Zurich 1946, p. 279.
  64. For details cf. Annette Neumann, Bärbel Schindler-Saefkow: The Saefkow-Jacob-Bästlein-Organization 111942 to 1945. In: Hans Coppi , Stefan Heinz (Ed.): The forgotten resistance of the workers. Trade unionists, communists, social democrats, Trotskyists, anarchists and forced laborers . Dietz, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-320-02264-8 , pp. 144–157, here p. 154 ff.
  65. For details cf. ibid.
  66. Clarita von Trott zu Solz: Adam von Trott zu Solz. A biography. German Resistance Memorial Center, Berlin 1994, p. 194.
  67. Eberhard Zeller: Spirit of Freedom. July 20th. Munich 1963, p. 489 f.
  68. Steven Krolak: The Way to the New Kingdom. Claus Stauffenberg's political ideas. A contribution to the intellectual history of the German resistance. In: Jürgen Schmädeke, Peter Steinbach (Ed.): The resistance against National Socialism. German society and the resistance against Hitler. Piper, Munich 1986, pp. 555 f.
  69. Richard J. Evans: His True Face. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin. Issue 4, 2009, p. 9 ff.
  70. Stauffenberg shortly before July 20, 1944, quoted from Joachim Kramarz: Claus Graf von Stauffenberg. November 15, 1907 - July 20, 1944. An officer's life. Bernard & Graefe, Frankfurt am Main 1965, p. 201 and p. 132).
  71. Hans-Adolf Jacobsen (Ed.): "Mirror image of a conspiracy". The opposition to Hitler and the coup d'état of July 20, 1944 in the SD reporting. Secret documents from the former Reich Security Main Office. 2 volumes. Seewald, Stuttgart-Degerloch 1984, ISBN 3-512-00657-4 , p. 757.
  72. See for example Hans Bentzien : Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: The perpetrator and his time. Das Neue Berlin, 2004, p. 350.
  73. ^ Peter Hoffmann: Resistance - Coup - Assassination. The fight of the opposition against Hitler. 2nd, expanded and revised edition. Munich 1970, p. 861.
  74. Wolfgang Benz : The military resistance - July 20, 1944. (No longer available online.) In: Information on political education , issue 243. Federal Agency for Political Education , 1994, archived from the original on January 11, 2009 ; accessed on December 1, 2019 .
  75. ^ Peter Hoffmann: Resistance - Coup - Assassination. The fight of the opposition against Hitler. 2nd, expanded and revised edition. Munich 1970, p. 603 and p. 861–862 (in the endnotes one page of reasons that according to the statements of the witnesses to the shooting, this version is correct).
  76. Manfred Riedel: Secret Germany. Stefan George and the Stauffenberg brothers. Böhlau, 2006, p. 5.
  77. "The Graf Stauffenberg family will be wiped out to the last member." (Here the minutes record the applause of the audience.) See Theodor Eschenburg (Ed.): Himmler's speech to the Gauleiter in Posen on August 3, 1944. In: Vierteljahrshefte for Contemporary history . Vol. 1, 1953, issue 4, pp. 357-394, here: p. 385 (PDF).
  78. ^ Sophie von Bechtolsheim: Stauffenberg - My grandfather was not an assassin. Herder, Freiburg 2019, ISBN 978-3-451-07217-8 , pp. 67-68.
  79. Our namesake. (No longer available online.) Graf-Stauffenberg-Realschule, Bamberg, archived from the original on October 4, 2013 ; accessed on April 6, 2018 .
  80. Our namesake. (No longer available online.) Graf-Stauffenberg-Wirtschaftsschule, Bamberg, archived from the original on December 11, 2012 ; Retrieved May 13, 2011 .
  81. Interview with the Stauffenberg son Bertold in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on June 22, 2007 about the Cruise film.