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Jim Pool

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  1. Hi Colin, I'm actually surprised that Professor Hoffmann took the time to respond and I never expected him to scan his files for me. Hes still teaching and working on another book on Henning von Tresckow. He also interviewed Urban in 1978 and gave me a copy of his handwritten notes. I'm not sure I will be able to decipher them though. They are in German and I'm not sure of the context. I also sent the Professor a copy of Urbans Soldbuch for his files. I absolutely loved the Cruise version of Valkyrie. I just found out Stauffenbergs grandson had a bit part in the movie. I just watched the TV version of the plot and it was okay. I also bought the German movie on the plot and will need to make some time to watch it. While the loss of those documents is sad from a historical perspective, their destruction may have saved a few folks. Finding the Canaris diary was certainly a blow to many plotters. The more I find out about LT. Thriesch the more thrilled I get. The fact this Soldbuch had to have been on him, as he met with so many of the plotters in the few weeks prior to the assassination attempt, is amazing. Jim PS Professor Hoffmann is looking for anything related to Henning von Tresckow . His contact info is located at this site: https://www.mcgill.ca/history/peter-hoffmann
  2. I have been trying to locate as much information about the life of Urban Thiersch especially his wartime exploits. The National Archives are backlogged but may yield some records. I reached out to Professor Peter Hoffmann who is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading authorities on the Stauffenberg plot. To my surprise he took the time to respond to my request for help and provided me copies referenced in his book on Stauffenberg. I translated (as best I can) one of the documents which is shown below along with the translation. Peter C.W. Hoffmann, was born 13 August 1930, in Dresden is a professor of history at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His principal area of research deals with the German Resistance against National Socialism and in particular, the resistance efforts of Claus von Stauffenberg. His works include: Widerstand, Staatsstreich, Attentat - Der Kampf der Opposition gegen Hitler; German Resistance to Hitler; Stauffenberg und der 20. Juli 1944; Hitler's Personal Security; Stauffenbergs Freund. Die tragische Geschichte des Widerstandskämpfers Joachim Kuhn; Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg. Die Biographie; Carl Goerdeler and the Jewish Question, 1933–1942; Behind Valkyrie. German Resistance to Hitler. Documents. So it’s not surprising the writers of Valkyrie (Tom Cruise version) relied heavily on his massive 1969 history of the assassination attempt and his later, equally massive biography of Stauffenberg for background material for the movie. Here is my attempt at translating the attached document. After suffering a bullet wound in September 1942 I spent over a year in hospitals recovering. In the autumn of 1943 Professor Rudolph Fahrner visited me for a few days in Überlingen (City on the North shore of Lake Constance). I met him through my late father Professor Paul Thiersch. (The rest is almost impossible to read but appears to discuss how his relationship with Rudolph Fahrner grew over time). At the end of June 1944 (I was the Commander of an Artillery Replacement Battery in Regensburg), my adjutant Dr. Klimm now a teacher in (unreadable), informed that a message arrived informing me to immediately report to Chief of Staff in Bendlerstrasse. I reported to Stauffenberg on the 2nd or 3rd of July (most books give the date as 1 July). Stauffenberg told me that it he requested me based on the recommendation of Rudolph Fahrner. He explained to me his plans for a (regime) change and asked me if I was ready to participate. On my request, he informed me of my part and told me to come back the next morning to meet with Rudolph Fahrner. Rudolph Fahrner and I met the next day in the OKH and scheduled another meeting the following morning in Wannsee (SW Berlin). We met Berthold Graf Stauffenberg at the train station and we all went to the Stauffenberg apartment in the Tristanstrasse (No. 8 Tristanstrasse in Wansee-Berlin, residence of Berthold von Stauffenberg and temporary-September 1943-July 1944, residence of Claus von Stauffenberg ) for further discussions. Rudolph Fahrner slept. At noon we took Berthold Graf Stauffenberg to the train station and returned to the apartment, where Rudolph Fahrner told me about his talks with the brothers Stauffenberg. Particularly urgent was the question whether Claus Stauffenberg should carry out the assassination. In the evening I took the overnight express train with Rudolph Fahrner in the direction of Munich, Berchtesgaden. I got out in Regensburg while he continued on his way. I was particularly concerned that the cars for the Führer headquarters were part of the train along with the accompanying security agencies. Rudolph Fahrner was concerned that his briefcase in which he had the details of the plot would be discovered. I have determined that the events surrounding my subsequent return to Berlin, my part within the plot, as well as the circumstances which prevented my discovery, as being inconsequential in regards to this accounting. After the 20th of July, I took the first opportunity to get into personal contact with Rudolph Fahrner (August 44), and visited him in Überlingen, where we destroyed our correspondence. Numerous letters from the Stauffenberg brothers to Rudolph Fahrner were burned. I took some letters of a personal nature with me and gave them to my friend Dr. Max Weather in München-Selln for safe keeping. Certified statement of Urban Thiersch April 27, 1953
  3. I tied to find the book but so far no luck. You wouldn't happen to know where its located on his site? If not I'll continue to search. I appreciate all your help. Warm Regards Jim
  4. Thank you Colin, I saw the Hansen piece, fantastic. I know Urban was a bit player but he hung around with some of the key players like Hansen, von Haeften, and of course Stauffenburg. He had to have met with Hansen too. Did he know Hansen was leaving? Was he in Berlin on 20 July ? I believe some of the answers are in a file somewhere. I was also fascinated by your GD docement. I also have a similar Document signed by members of the Replacement Bn commanded by Col. Bandelow, when Von Schumacher visited the unit. I haven't deciphered all the signatures yet so I haven't checked them for a 20 July connection. I downloaded your document so I can sort out the signatures better. Jim
  5. What a wonderful thread. I'll echo the call of others by saying you should write a book. Its rare to see actual artifacts that can be attributed to the Resistance against Hitler. Recently I was able to acquire a Soldbuch that belonged to a conspirator Urban Thiersch. While he did join the plot late in the game he was able to associate with some of the key players in the assassination attempt, including Colonel Stauffenberg himself. LT. Thiersch did survive and was a successful sculpture. He is mentioned in many of the key works on the July 20th plot. Even though he survived he seemed to have avoided publicity after the war. I only found one postwar picture of him. He was interrogated/interviewed shortly after the war, but so far finding a copy of the transcripts has alluded me. Anyway having an artifact in my collection that was actually carried by someone who actually met with Stauffenberg and von Haeften, was something I never dreamed of. Urban Thiersch and the July 20, 1944 Plot: Urban Thiersch did not become an active member of the resistance until 1944. The circumstances that resulted in him joining the resistance were tied to another conspirator Colonel Georg Alexander Hansen (July 5, 1904 to September 8, 1944). “Colonel Georg Alexander Hansen joined the military in 1924. In 1935, Colonel Hansen met the head of the General Staff Ludwig Beck and Colonel Claus Schenk Count von Stauffenberg at the War Academy in Berlin-Moabit. In 1937 he was transferred to the Department of Counterintelligence and Foreign Intelligence (Department of Foreign Armies East) of the Reich War Ministry, headed by Konteradmiral Canaris. In 1939, this office was named the Abwehr. From 1943 onward; Hansen used his position within the Abwehr to support the resistance. Colonel Hansen became opposed to Hitler’s regime in 1938 and was one of most important participants of the resistance, alongside Generalmajor Henning von Tresckow and Colonel Claus Schenk Count von Stauffenberg. In 1944 he participated in most of the important meetings to overthrow Hitler. He organized transportation and security for his fellow conspirators. His house in Ransdorf often served as a meeting place. In the event the plot to overthrow Hitler succeeded Hansen would play a prominent role in the new regime. After Canaris, resigned in February 1944, plans to reorganize the Abwehr were set into motion. Two months later, in May 1944, Colonel Hansen and most of his staff were transferred to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), where he served as the deputy under his immediate superior, SS General Schellenberg. This change in leadership left Colonel Hansen surrounded by people he could not trust. This situation was a problem for Claus Stauffenberg, since he needed a reliable officer within the intelligence apparatus. Stauffenberg asked Rudolph Fahrner if he could recommend someone to act as a liaison between himself and Col. Hanson. Rudolph Fahrner gave him Urban Thiersch’s name. At the end of June 1944 Stauffenberg ordered Thiersch by telegram to Berlin. Urban Thiersch met with Stauffenberg on the 1st of July. Stauffenberg greeted him by saying ‘Let us come straight to the point: I am engaged in high treason with all the means available to me.’ Thiersch's function within the circle of the conspirators was to act as a liaison between Stauffenberg and Georg Hansen. He was assigned to Colonel Hansen as an ordnance officer, in order to carry out this function. Thiersch would meet with 1st Lieutenant Werner Karl von Haeften (Oct. 9, 1908 - July 20/21, 1944), Stauffenberg’s adjutant on 8 July, 1944. Thiersch also briefly met with Stauffenberg on the same day. According to Urban Thiersch's adopted son Paul Thiersch, his father was to serve as a persona ladjutant to Stauffenberg in the days prior to the assassination attempt. After the plot failed LT. Thiersch was able to go into hiding until the end of the war. I have posted more information as well as a page by page look at the Soldbuch on the WAF. http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/showthread.php?t=925492 Thank you for your time: If I can figure this out I will attach a picture of the Soldbuch and how I'm displaying it. Warm regards Jim
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