Saturday, 20 July 2019

unternehmen walküre

On this day in 1944, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg orchestrated a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and remove the Nazi party from power. The culmination of several co-conspirators representing a coalition of resistance groups from across Germany, the coup d’état (Putsch) was to dislodge the party loyals and the Gestapo and make peace with the Western Allies as soon as possible.
The attempt to detonate an explosive planted in the conference room in the Wolfsschanze failed to achieve their objective and precipitated in the arrest and execution of hundreds of co-conspirators and a purge of military personnel—the army using the event as a pretence to settle old scores and a way to settle grudges even if there was only a very tenuous connection to the opposition. Had the plot succeeded, members had been designated ahead of time to assume government and cabinet positions and leave no room for others to claim power in the ensuing chaos, including Stauffenberg as the Minister of State to the War Department and staunch detractor of the Nazi regime Carl Friedrich Goerdeler as chancellor—though the latter was a source of incriminating evidence and was apparently willing to implicate others, consigning all to the same fate as martyrs. Despite the fact that the Führer’s reign of terror continued for almost another year afterwards with more death and destruction, the bravery of the plotters showed to the world that Germany was not monolithic in their thinking and outlook.