STAUFFENBERG- The 'Myth' of the Would-Be Hitler Assassin

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by v2, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    Claus Graf von Stauffenberg, who tried to kill Adolf Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, is everywhere these days. But does he really deserve all the attention?
    Considering he's been dead for more than half of the 100 years since his birth, Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg sure is making a lot of headlines these days. Not only is Tom Cruise playing the colonel, who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, in the movie "Valkyrie," set to come out next summer. But on Thursday, Germany's Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung honored the courageous young man on the occasion of his centennial.

    Stauffenberg's assassination attempt, which took place in the Führer's forest headquarters known as the "Wolf's Lair," was "an act of liberation," Jung said. Moreover, the courageous act formed a model for today's military. "The men of July 20, 1944," Jung said, obeyed "responsibility, honor and conscience" when the military leader was forsaking them. "Very few had the courage that Stauffenberg had," Jung said.

    But not everybody is happy with the overblown idolization of Stauffenberg seen in recent months. In a Thursday radio interview, Peter Steinbach -- head of the German Resistance Memorial Center -- warned against "myth formation."

    Steinbach noted that any understanding of Stauffenberg, a complex figure not easily reducible to the unquestionable Hollywood appeal of the attempt on Hitler's life, must include the fact that he followed the Nazi cause without qualification for most of his career. Indeed, he rose high in the ranks of the Nazi military, becoming a staff officer during the western offensive against France. Only gradually did he begin turning against the government in 1942 and 1943.

    Steinbach's German Resistance Memorial Center honors the men and women who struggled against the Nazi regime and perished because of it. Stauffenberg, along with his co-conspirators, was executed at the so-called "Bendler Block," a historic building complex located at the southern end of Berlin's Tiergarten park that was once the site of the Army High Command.

    The street where the Bendler Block stands was renamed Stauffenbergstrasse in 1955, and in 1967 the Berlin Senate resolved to create a permanent memorial to the resistance there.

    source: The Spiegel
     
  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Stauffenberg was not acting alone. The members of the Schwarz Kapelle
    tried to overthrow Hitler at first, then resorted to assassination. He was not the first to try, either.

    Charles
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    No he was not.

    Also to me it does not matter if he was a Nazi at first and only gradually began to turn against the government. The fact that the saw the light says eneogh for me.
     
  4. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I agree with you Adler. I don't see being a nazi a crime when one looks at it in its original timeframe.
    Just as long as nazi's don't start killing Untermenschen in cold blood, there not any worse than fascists.

    One can also wonder if Germany or the world would have been better off if the assassination attempt had succeeded. Either the war would have been over sooner. Or, with better leadership, the war could have continued longer which means more death and destruction. If the SS would still be in charge it's doubtful any jews would be saved from the extermination camps.

    Perhaps Stauffenberg would have opened the box of Pandora...
    Kris
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Good point. I think with Himmler in charge things could have been worse. That is saying that Himmler would have taken power. I sometimes wonder if Himmler would have tried a coup even if Hitler were still alive. I think he allways craved the power and he certainly had quite a bit of power with the SS.

    All what ifs ofcourse...
     
  6. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I read your post yesterday and I agreed on Himmler.

    But by accident I came across this page Real History and interrogations about Himmler about an interrogation of 2 German officers. They have some very credible things to say but then at the end they start talking about Himmler in the most positive way. And then it hit me, they're right! Despiccable as the guy may be, he did lead one of the best organised systems in human history, the SS. It's mainly due to him that the organisation was able to become so powerful. It's mainly because of him that it was just a rigidly organised organisation. And also for a big part the Waffen SS formations were so succesful because he made sure they got the best training and equipment.
    So I pity all the Untermenschen in German and occupied territories, but just maybe Himmler would have been better at leading Germany at war, than Hitler did.

    What do you think??
    Kris
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I to believe that Himmler would have led Germany better. It is a good thing he was not the man in power.

    I wonder however what Himmler's stance on the Jews would have been had Hitler not been there. Hitler pretty much brought that whole thing into the Party.
     
  8. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Wasn't the original plan, as composed by the Schwarz Kapelle, if Hitler was
    eliminated, that Rommel would step in to lead the country ?

    Charles
     
  9. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Interesting. At least it's clear that Himmler embraced the whole idea and he vigorously persecuted the jews. To me it even seems that Hitler hardly took any interest in persecuting the jews once the war had started.

    But again, it could be that Himmler's actions were a result of his thriving to please Hitler. So was Himmler a primary instigator or simply the executor of Hitler’s direct orders with unconditional loyalty? It seems that throughout the years Himmler always followed Hitler's orders. I can't come up with one incident where Himmler argued with Hitler like some generals did.

    Reminds me a bit of Eichmann. A cold hearted killer on the one hand, a grey dull administrative clerk trying to do his job to the best of his abilities on the other.

    Kris
     
  10. Pflueger

    Pflueger Member

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    There was actually a decent documentary regarding this affair on the military history channel a couple nights ago. I admire von Stauffenberg and his cohorts greatly, the fact that they saw the light and bravely attempted action in my mind should be enough to clear their names. I can only imagine their despair when they got the news that the fuhrer was alive - to their credit they continued their efforts to the bitter end.

    What the documentary was not clear on was who would be annointed leader post Adolph. I am naively assuming that the plotters would have realised that Himmler was a candidate to be avoided and would have had a follow-up plan to ensure that suitable leader was installed - is this the case?

    Also must comment that I have a hard time accepting Tom Cruise in the role of von Stauffenberg, I am hoping that any scenes of him dancing around in his scivvies/wearing eyepatch do not make the final cut.
     
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