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Claus von Stauffenberg

Colonel Claus Philip Schenk von Stauffenberg (1907 - 1944) together with his brother were leading figures of anti-Nazi resistance movements during the WW II.

He was born in Swabia near Ulm to one of the oldest and most distinguished aristocratic South German Catholic families. Among his ancestors were several famous Prussians. His name points to the imperial Stauffen Berg mountain and castle. Stauffenberg was very well educated and was inclined to literature but eventually took up a military career.

It was his individual conscience that urged him to stand up and be counted. The date was chosen for an earlier July 20 event, that of July 20, 1932. That day a military coup had ousted Otto Braun[?] out of his Berlin office and made way for Hitler's takeover.

Von Stauffenberg took part in the July 20 Plot against the life of the German Führer Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944. The plan had the fatal flaw of requiring Von Stauffenberg to place the bomb to assassinate Hitler then immediately travel to Berlin to command the troops of the uprising. A new government had already been formed, but due to a mishap Hitler survived the bombing. Because the day was unusually hot, the meeting at which Hitler was to have been killed took place above ground rather than in a bunker. Furthermore, Von Stauffenberg could not place the briefcase with the bomb next to Hitler and Hitler was shielded from the blast by the conference table.

Later Stauffenberg and all others involved in the plot were caught and immediately shot by firing squad in the courtyard of the Bendler-Block (War Ministry).



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