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ColinRF

Autographs of the German Resistance & July 20 plot

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AMAZING COLLECTION!love.gif BEST IN THE WORLD!

I hope you are putting all this in a book, I love to buy a copy. Thank you for all your hard work on this topic we most Honor themcheers.gif

Lorenzo

I will second that!

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Very kinds words gents - perhaps a retirement project. There are many books already on the market that are better than anything I could write. Perhaps a series of bios in context with autographs and portraits - like an expanded version of what's in Hamilton's book.

Colin

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I just received this urkunde for the War Merit Cross Second Class with Swords, signed by Eduard Wagner as Deputy Chief of Staff and Quartiermeister General of the German army. It is unclear how early Wagner became heavily involved in the conspiracy. Specialist historians count his involvement from as early as the Oster conspiracy in 1938 when he joined the conspiracy with Stuelpnagel. Other historians looking to cast Wagner in a less favourable light claim that he was a late addition, joining in early 1944 and only when the Russians began to threaten German borders.

Throughout the run up to July 20, Wagner was heavily involved in planning the coup. In May 1944 he traveled to France to co-ordinate coup plans with Rommel. Wagner briefed the Desert Fox on previous coup attempts and he found the Field Marshal to still be against assassination at this time. He met with Lindemann, Fellgiebel and Stieff on July 3 at the Bertchtesgadenhof Hotel to discuss preparations. On July 14, he pushed Stauffenberg to ensure that Himmler was present before carrying out the attack. Wagner was informed of the impending attack on July 18 and spent an hour hunting rabbits with Stauffenberg and talking over preparations on July 19.

On July 20, Wagner was responsible for supplying Stauffenberg and Haeften with their speedy Heinkel 111 aircraft for leaving Wolfschanze after their bomb attack on Hitler. Wagner was told of the attempt at about 1:30 on July 20 by Fellgiebel's Chief of Staff Kurt Hahn and soon after learned of Hitler's survival. Wagner's office passed to code word "Exercise" to Paris, signalling the start of the coup there. Field Marshal von Witzleben and his ADC Graf Zu Lynar visited Wagner at Zossen before moving on to the Bendlerstrasse to criticize the conspirators for messing up. He returned to Wagner at Zossen to report the status of the coup and abruptly left after 5 minutes with the comment "We're going home!"

Recent revisionist historians in Germany investigating the involvement of the Heer with war crimes and the Holocaust have tried to link Wagner to atrocities by arguing that he met with Heydrich before the invasion of Russia and agreed to provide logistical support to the Einsatzgruppen killing squads roaming in the army's rear areas. Wagner seems to have been aware of the planned roll of the SS in suppressing partisan activity but it is not clear that he knew that the plan was to slaughter civilians en masse.

Wagner was highly incriminated due to his meetings with Witzleben and from providing Stauffenberg's mode of escape on the 20th. On July 23, 1944, at 12:41 PM, he committed suicide in his office in Zossen by shooting himself in the head. He determined that this would be the only way to avoid torture and betrayal of other members of the conspiracy.

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Edited by ColinRF

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I just received this urkunde for the War Merit Cross Second Class with Swords, signed by Eduard Wagner as Deputy Chief of Staff and Quartiermeister General of the German army. It is unclear how early Wagner became heavily involved in the conspiracy. Specialist historians count his involvement from as early as the Oster conspiracy in 1938 when he joined the conspiracy with Stuelpnagel. Other historians looking to cast Wagner in a less favourable light claim that he was a late addition, joining in early 1944 and only when the Russians began to threaten German borders.

Very nice piece, Colin. I love those award docs! Thank you very much for sharing it with the forum.

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This June 1978 party invitation to Ludwig von Hammerstein-Equord and his wife was signed on the reverse by Hammerstein as well as “Triumph of the Will” director Leni Riefenstahl.

Hammerstein was one of two sons of Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord who had been head of the German army in the years before WWII. The elder Hammerstein was an early and virile opponent to Hitler, threatening to arrest the Fuehrer if he ever visited his HQ. As C-in-C, Hammerstein lived in the Bendlerstrasse complex in a private apartment. Ludwig grew up there and was very familiar with the layout, a key factor in his escape from the Gestapo on the early hours of July 21.

Hammerstein and his brother Kunrat were both on leave in Germany recovering from war wounds when Valkyrie occurred. Like many other resisters and other junior officers who were seconded to support the coup by Fritz Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg, Hammerstein was a member of the 9th Potsdam Infantry Regiment, a unit that Axel von dem Bussche noted had more officers arrested or executed for conspiring against Hitler than any other.

Both Hammerstein brothers were present throughout the day until the eve when the final gun fight broke out in the Bendler and Stauffenberg was wounded by “loyal” officers. Ludwig was attached to Stauffenberg while Kunrat was a courier for Goerdeler. seeing that discretion was the better part of valour, Ludwig Hammerstein left by a little known back stair prior to the Berlin Guard Battalion and the Gestapo gaining full control of the site. However, he left his maps and pistol behind as evidence of his complicity. He initially hid in a nearby city park and then fled to his home, staying long enough to say goodbye to his mother. Ludwig and his brother, who escaped from the Bendler in similar circumstances, both went underground in Berlin, using one of the ‘rat lines’ that existed to shelter Jews. Until April 1945, Ludwig stayed with the widow of an officer killed in Russia who was already sheltering a Jewish woman.

Hammerstein’s mother and siblings were arrested as Sippenhaft prisoners, becoming part of the large column of prisoners liberated by US and Heer forces in Italy prior to their execution by the escorting SS guards.

After the war, the Hammerstein family spread across the globe with many settling in the U.S. and others in Australia and Canada. They also intermarried with other surviving July 20 surviving family members. Two sisters became communists and other parts of the family inter-married with Jewish families. Kurt Hammerstein, an enlightened man ahead of his time, would have been proud of all of them.

Update October 2016 - It has come to my attention that this Hammerstein signature may have been misattributed and that it may no in fact be that of Ludwig. I shall research further and confirm by way of a new post when I am sure.

 

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Signed photo of Ernst Freiherr von Weizsäcker as Secretary of State at the Foreign Office from 1938 to 1943 and German Ambassador to the Vatican until 1945..

Weizsäcker was born in Stuttgart to Karl Hugo von Weizsäcker Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Württemberg. In 1900, Weizsäcker joined the Imperial German Navy and served as an officer, including as Flag Lieutenant to Admiral Reinhard Scheer aboard the German flagship Friedrich der Grosse during the battle of Jutland. In 1917, during the latter portion of World War I he earned the Iron Cross (both classes) and was promoted to Korvettenkapitän.

Weizsäcker joined the German Foreign Service in 1920 and was appointed as Consul to Basel in 1921. He served in many senior European capitals until he became Director of the Policy Department at the Foreign Office in 1937. The following year he was appointed as State Secretary, ranking second only to the Foreign Minister in the German Foreign Office. A In common with other senior government appointments, this posting was accompanied by rank in the SS.

Weizsäcker claimed after the war, with several reputable witnesses backing him up, that he only remained in his position to work against Hitler’s plans to cause a major European war. Subsequent historical evidence tends to support this view. However, Weizsäcker was seen by the Western Allies, at least publicly, as a fully engaged member of Hitler’s bureaucracy. This may be because Weizsäcker knew too much about pre-war efforts by later resisters such as Ewald von Kleist, Adam von Trott and Helmuth James von Moltke to encourage the British government not to appease Hitler. Instead, Chamberlain’s government ignored warnings by these senior representatives of the resistance and invitations to stand firm against Hitler in favour of settling at the Munich Conference in 1938.

It seems clear that Weizsäcker was an enemy of Hitler and that he shared the opinion of Ulrich von Hassell that the Final Solution was a "devilish campaign." In his messages to Berlin, Weizsäcker purposely painted Pope Pius XII as mild, diplomatic, indecisive, and pro-German, in order to help the Pope and to avoid anti-German sentiment in Italy. Like the commanding Waffen SS General Karl Wolff, Weizsäcker was clearly opposed to Hitler’s plan to occupy the Vatican, during which, Weizsäcker feared, the Pope could have been shot, "fleeing while avoiding arrest."

Weizsäcker was indirectly supportive of Hans Oster’s plan to arrest or kill Hitler in 1938, should the attack on Czechoslovakia have been carried out. He had full knowledge of Erik Kordt’s plans to allow Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz’ team of commandos into the Chancellery to arrest or murder Hitler.

After the end of the war, Weizsäcker initially remained in the Vatican City with his wife, as a guest of the Pope and a member of the diplomatic corps, only returning to Germany in 1946. Weizsäcker was arrested on July 25, 1947, in Nuremberg in connection with the Ministries Trial, also known as the Wilhelmstrasse Trial, after the location of the German Foreign Office in Berlin. This American military tribunal started before and finished during the Berlin blockade confrontation with the Soviets and proceeded without participation of the USSR. No European judges were involved in the trial, which was very controversial because Weizsäcker was considered by many to be closely associated with the anti-Nazi resistance and as a moderate force at the Foreign Office during the war; Winston Churchill called his trial a "deadly error."

Weizsäcker was charged with active co-operation with the deportation of French Jews to Auschwitz, as a crime against humanity. His son Richard (later President of the Federal Republic) appeared as his assistant defense counsel (he was a law student during the trial), claiming that he had no knowledge of the purpose for which Auschwitz had been designed and believed that Jewish prisoners would face less danger if deported to the east.

In 1949, the Americans sentenced him to 7 years in prison (one of the three judges voted to acquit him), but the same year, the sentence was reduced to five years, and the following year, he was amnestied, thus removing any legal remembrance of the sentence, and he was freed. He subsequently published his memoirs, in which he portrayed himself as a supporter of the resistance. He died of a stroke in 1951.

Weizsäcker was a member of the prominent Weizsäcker family, and the father of German President Richard von Weizsäcker and physicist and philosopher Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker

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Edited by ColinRF

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Colin, this is an incredible collection, you have my congratulations. I have collected autographs since 1984, and have never seen such a detailed collection pertaining to the plotters. I have a particular interest in the plot, as my great-grandfather was an intimate associate of Roland Freisler for many years. He was the district court judge for Kassel and was actually replaced by Freisler after the Nazi takeover due to his less-than-zealous stance towards the new regime. On a side note, my grandmother used to like to tell the story of how Freisler helped her hang her drapes in her apartment about 1930. Of course he was later notorious for other types of hanging. My uncle was a fighter pilot, but in civilian life he was a lawyer, and in the late 1930's was a judge at the Volksgericht, before assuming front-line commands when the war broke out. So I come by it honestly on both sides of my family.

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Interestinq quote from Nina v. Stauffenberg in "Courageous Hearts" ed. by Dorothy v. Medding:

Q. So you mean it was good that the Attentat (i.e. assassination attempt) failed?

A. NvS -Yes, but even if it had succeeded, I don't know how he (i.e Claus) would have coped. All in all, seen from afar, it was best that the business ended as it did."

Q. What do you mean?

A. NvS - I mean, if the Attentat had succeeded, the 'stab in the back legend' would have gained currency once again.And then, disappointment was sure to follow, for the Widerstand (i.e. resistance) brought together very different people who, after a successful Attentat, would at once have split into many groups. There would have been endless wrangling. My husband was spared all that.

What a wise and accepting woman she was!

Colin

That is a very insightful comment

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Colin, this is an incredible collection, you have my congratulations. I have collected autographs since 1984, and have never seen such a detailed collection pertaining to the plotters. I have a particular interest in the plot, as my great-grandfather was an intimate associate of Roland Freisler for many years. He was the district court judge for Kassel and was actually replaced by Freisler after the Nazi takeover due to his less-than-zealous stance towards the new regime. On a side note, my grandmother used to like to tell the story of how Freisler helped her hang her drapes in her apartment about 1930. Of course he was later notorious for other types of hanging. My uncle was a fighter pilot, but in civilian life he was a lawyer, and in the late 1930's was a judge at the Volksgericht, before assuming front-line commands when the war broke out. So I come by it honestly on both sides of my family.

Its relatively easy to pull together a good collection when you specialise in a niche area and are paitent. Add a little luck and available funds at critical moments when once in a lifetime opportunties arise.

Interesting to have the history you write about in your family. Freisler has the misfortune to be ranked among the more odious Nazis - deservedly so in my view as he seems to have been completely corrupt, blowing with the communist or Nazi wind and enjoying humiliating brave men for his own advancement. The hanging curtains story is a great family story. I have had the opportunity to add his signature to my collection from time to time. I couldn't bring myself to do it, partially due to cost and partially because I really don't want to expand the collection to the regime. Also its harder to get 'controlling shareholder' (aka wife) approval for such acquisitions. I will stay with the resisters I think.

Good for your uncle that he got out of the Nazi judicial branch and did something more respectable.

I have recently added a few more signatures tot he collection and will post them when they arrive in the mail. I am alos looking forward to working with a local academic who is writing a book on the bomb plot and some of the lesser knowns.

Cheers

Colin

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That is a very insightful comment

Doc - she was a very classy and wise woman.

I highly recommend the book the quote comes form. I have a large library on the bomb plot including all standard texts and bios in English and many in German. This book ranks in the the top 5 along with Hoffmann's classic "History of the German Resistance" and "Stauffenberg." Its a superb book of interviews of the women in the lives of those resisters who did not survive. I particularly liked Margarethe von Oven's piece on Henning von Tresckow. I can't recommend this work enough.

Colin

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I just received a fascinating file of student materials from a c.1937 Austrian war studies course. The approx. 40 pp. of material appears to include a marked theoretical problem focused on logistics. The solution is stamped and signed by Oberleutnant Heinrich Kodré. Kodré would go on to a distinguished career as a general staff officer in the Wehrmacht, winning a Knight's Cross, suffering a serious wound attacking the Barrikady at Stalingrad, playing a major role in the bomb plot and finishing up in KZ Mauthausen.

At Stalingrad, Kodré was wounded three times and flown out, probably to minimize the number of highly decorated officers falling into the Soviet net. He received a poor evaluation from his absent division commander although this seems to have been ignored as he was subsequently promoted.

His assessment from the time reads: "Fully proven as a divisional chief-of-staff during the summer campaign of 1942. During the fighting in Stalingrad, responsibility for commanding the division lay completely with him at times because his division commander, without reporting himself ill, was impeded by a nervous disorder. Kodré could not completely cope with this overload, to which his own state of health contributed."

On July 20, 1944, Oberst Kodré was Chief of Staff to the Deputy Commanding General of Wehrkreis XVII in Vienna. Kodré's commander General von Esebeck was absent on July 20 when the "Valkyrie" command was received. Both Kodré and von Esebeck were in the know about the plot. Kodré was acquainted with other Austrian resisters including Robert Bernardis, Rudolf von Marogna Redwitz, and Erwin Lahousen-Vivremont. The coup's effectiveness in Vienna was second only to Paris. While all ranks of SS, SD and Gestapo were arrested in Paris, only senior police, party and security functionaries were put on ice under a rather gentlemanly house arrest in Vienna. But arrested they were. Only when it was painfully evident that the plot had misfired in Berlin did Kodré release his prisoners with apologies.

Kodré was arrested by the Gestapo but faired better than his alternate numbers in Paris. He was locked in solitary confinement and taken to a camp in Fürstenberg in Mecklenburg. In court he was acquitted for lack of evidence and based on his "only following orders" defence, then set free and placed in "reserve officer" status. In early November 1944 he was again arrested and kept in solitary confinement until early January 1945 in the Vienna police jail. On 31 January 1945, he was expelled from the army. He was then moved as a political prisoner to the Mauthausen concentration camp. His treatment improved in mid-April 1945 when it became apparent to the guards that Germany faced inevitable defeat. On 5 May 1945 he took command of the security forces formed to protect prisoners in the camp. He held this position until 3.30 PM on May 6th, when he secured the Mauthausen railway bridge and then handed over the command to a Soviet commander. On 15 May 1945 Kodré was released from Mauthausen.

Just before the reorganization of the Austrian army in the autumn of 1955 he published a series of articles in which he criticized the reorganization. As a result he was not taken into the new army was not. In 1958 he was Secretary to the Ministry of Interior and Civil Defense. He died on 22 May 1977 in Linz, Austria.

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Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller was an anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran minister. Niemoeller was not an active resister as he was already under arrest in 1937. However, Niemoeller’s example was felt by his peers, including Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and his congregation, which included the brothers von Haeften and Ulrich von Sell.

Niemoeller was a decorated U Boat commander in WWI. He was a monarchist conservative and like many other soldiers and aristocrats in the resistance, he was initially supportive of the Nazis. He was one of the founders of the Confessing Church, which tried to some extent to halt or turn aside the Nazis’ take over of the traditional Christian churches. For his opposition to the Nazis' state control of the churches, Niemöller was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau. He narrowly escaped execution as part of the column of Sippenhaft and other VIP prisoners. After his imprisonment, he expressed his deep regret about not having done enough to help the victims of the Nazis. He turned away from his earlier nationalistic beliefs and was one of the initiators of the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt. From the 1950s, he was a vocal pacifist and anti-nuclear activist.

In 2008, I had the honour of hearing Niemoeller’s widow and daughter of conspirator Ulrich von Sell provide her memories of growing up in a resistance household. Amazing to hear history from someone who experienced it personally!

Niemoeller is most famous for his iconic poem:

They came first for the Communists,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me

and by that time no one was left to speak up.

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Letter signed in 1954 by Jakob Kaiser, a socialist politician and close friend of Claus von Stauffenberg. Kaiser was one of the few survivors of the innermost group of plotters. Trained as a bookbinder, he joined the Centre Party in 1933 and was one of the more important trade union leaders under the Weimar Republic. He was a representative in the Reichstag until November 1933 and, from 1924 to 1933, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Christian Trade Union.

Kaiser was an early opponent of the Nazis. In 1934, he joined the resistance movement and worked closely with Wilhelm Leuschner and Max Habermann. With them, Kaiser spoke out in support of a single amalgamated labour union. He spent several months under Gestapo arrest in 1938 under suspicion of treasonable activities. After 1941, he continued to resist Hitler and he collaborated with Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and other leaders of the military opposition. In the run up to Valkyrie, Kaiser was personally involved in last minute strategic planning, performing a role similar to a member of the conspirators' Board of Directors. Kaiser was involved in drawing up the lists of Wehrkreis political representatives. He was also a close friend of labour union leader Julius Leber, Stauffenberg's close friend and mentor, who was arrested by the Gestapo a short time before July 20. Kaiser had tried in vain to dissuade Leber from attending a meeting between labour leaders and communists that was infiltrated by a Gestapo informer. Leber was arrested as a result.

Kaiser also took par tin several high level meetings to plan the nature of the German government after the success of the coup. He met Stauffenberg several times in June and July 1944, being much impressed by his personality, just as many others before him were. After the unsuccessful assassination attempt of July 20, 1944, Kaiser was wanted by the Gestapo. However, with the aid of his later wife and long-time political associate Elfriede Nebgen, he was one of the few who were able to successfully go underground, hiding in a cellar in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Kaiser was the only survivor of the inner circle of the resistance in Berlin. His wife Thérèse and the older daughter Elisabeth were taken into custody, as were his wife's brothers.

After the war, Kaiser founded the CDU party with Andreas Hermes and Joseph Ersing. Ahead of this time, he favored a non-aligned Germany that would perform a bridging function between West and East. After a distinguished political career, Jakob Kaiser died in Berlin after a long illness on May 7, 1961. He received many posthumous honours throughout Germany after his death.

 

 

 

 

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Berthold Graf von Stauffenberg - Claus' Uncle, not his brother - was not a resister. But nevertheless he died as a result of Claus' assassination attempt. His signature appears on the memento document that once belonged to Claus (posted earlier in this string at http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=34308&view=findpost&p=323560). Berthold was Colonel of 1. Bayerisches Schwere Reiter in WWI. The following excerpt from the memoirs of Elisabeth von Guttenburg (Holding the Stirrup) describes his last days:

"Almost daily, word was received of the tragic death of some close friend or relative at the hands of the Gestapo. I had scarcely reached home when I received a message from one of the guards at the civil prison in Wiirzburg. This guard said that he had always had great respect and admiration for Old Count Berthold Stauffenberg. He informed me that Count Berthold was gravely ill in the hospital in Wiirzburg. So Berthold was not in Silesia with the others! Nothing would keep me from seeing this dear friend before he died. I set out immediately for Wiirzburg. It was late at night when I reached the hospital. In spite of the Nazi persecution of religion, nuns were kept on the nursing staff of many hospitals. The sister who was assigned to care for Count Stauffenberg took me down dark hallways and up back stairs-without lights and on tiptoe. Like a thief, I made my way to the room. At last we came to a door which she un-locked. The room was scarcely more than a cell; Berthold was a prisoner and not a patient. I had to stifle a cry. What a sight! On an iron cot lay a man, thin as a skeleton, his face like that of an old bird's. If I had not been told that this was Berthold Stauffenberg, I would never have recognized him.

I could not believe that this human wreck was Berthold. He did not recognize me; his mind wandered as he babbled incoherently. His hands moved constantly on the bed cover as though searching for something. I learned that, for no medical reason, he had been given injections in prison. Under the effect of drugs his strong and vital mind and body had gradually given way. There was nothing that I could do for him. I took his old, claw-like hand in mine and prayed. I was told. that he would not live more than a day or two; so I decided to stay with my mother-in-law, who was living in our Wiirzburg home. The news about Count Berthold was a terrible shock to her for they had been friends from childhood. She was now eighty-two years old, and I could see that she was failing rapidly. I tried to persuade her to return to Guttenberg with me, but she refused to go.

The end came swiftly for Berthold Stauffenberg on November 9, I944. The Gestapo forbade anyone to at-tend the burial, but a few of us, including my brave, courageous mother-in-law, accompanied the coffin to the cemetery. There, at the graveside, to our astonishment and joy, stood the Bishop of Wiirzburg in full vestments. He also had defied Gestapo orders! Farewell, Berthold, beloved, knightly friend!"

 

 

 

 

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Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg was the last German Ambassabor to the Soviet Union prior to the outbreak of war between the two countries. His diplomatic career began before WWI and his postings included Lviv, Prague, Warsaw, Tbilisi (Georgia), Tehran, Bucharest and Beirut. This letter to his mother dates form 1918 during his Tbilisi posting.

In 1934, Schulenburg began his history-making posting to R|ussia. He was instrumental in bringing about the rapprochement between Hitler and Stalin that set the scene for the attack on Poland and the outbreak of the Second World War. He knew of Hans Werwarth von Bittenfeld's decision to warn the U.S. legation of the upcoming treaty.

He was in favour of an ongoing non-aggression pact with the Russians and he did all he could to forestall the attack on Russia. He did his best to play up the might of the Russian military and its industrial base to German intelligence. On the morning of the June 1941 attack on |Russia, he is noted to have stated to Molotov "For the last six years I've personally tried to do everything I could to encourage friendship between the Soviet Union and Germany. But you can't stand in the way of destiny."

After the attack, Schulenburg was interned for a few months and then sent back to Germany. He was put in charge of a relatively meaningless commitee in the Foreign Office. Schulenburg was seen as a likely Foreign Minister in the post-coup government. His ties to the military conspiracy were tenuous but were strong enough to condemn him. He was arrested by the Gestapo on October 23, 1944 and was hanged at Ploetzensee on November 10, 1944.

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Ulrich von Hassell was a one of Hitler's most implacable enemies. He was a senior diplomat before and after WWI. During the war, von Hassell served in the Second Guards Regiment where he took a serious chest wound during the Battle of the Marne. The bullet was never removed.

Von Hassell was a respected lawyer who began his diplomatic career in 1909, serving in embassies in several major cities including Tsingtao, London, Barcelona, Belgrade, Copenhagen and Rome. In 1932, von Hassell was appointed to be ambassador to the Kingdom of Italy, one of Germany's most significant diplomatic assignments.

He was an outspoken opponent of Hitler's foreign and domestic policy from the very beginning as he was convinced that it would lead to war and a loss of Germany's hard won international reputation as a seat of Western culture. He joined the Nazi party as this was 'de rigueur' for senior foreign service staff.

After the Blomberg-Fritsch crisis and the appointment of von Ribbentrop to replace Neurath as Foreign Minister, Hassell was foreceably retired from active service on February 17, 1938. Nevertheless, he continued to travel to various western countries representing the German opposition groups around Goerdeler and Beck in an effort to promote their goals. Hassell vocally and unsuccessfully supported a continued western orientation for Germany rather than the creation of the Axis.

Von Hassell was as senior member of the Order of St. John, a protestant noblemen's organization. He was also a regular attendee at the Wednesday club, an elite think tank attended by Ludwig Beck and Johannes Popitz.

Hassell had a well founded sense of irony and humour as is evidenced from his diaries. He referred to Beck and Goerdeler collectively as "his majesty's loyal opposition" and he repeated many of the scathing jokes heard among the populace brave enough to mock the regime. Hassell's diaries (1938-1944) are the best source for getting an insight into the mind and motivation of the senior conservative members of the German Resistance throughout the war. The diaries were smuggled into Switzerland during the war or, when this became too risky, were buried in Hassell's own garden where they were never discovered by the Gestapo. First published in 1946, and taken together with Schlabrendorff's memoir, they provided the Western public with the first indications that there had indeed been an effective German opposition throughout the war years.

In February 1940, Hassell met a confidant of British foreign minister Halifax in Arosa. Ulrich von Hassell presented a memorandum outlining the foreign policy aspirations of the groups close to him. The principles of a European postwar order were also communicated to the British government. Hassell also advised Carl Goerdeler, Ludwig Beck, and Johannes Popitz on domestic policy plans and on plans for a coup. Following Hitler's assassination, Hassell was designated to become Foreign Minister.

Von Hassell knew that he would be arrested by the regime after the failure of Stauffenberg's bomb. Even so, he continued to go to work each day. When the secret police came for him his wife politely informed them that her husband could be found at his desk at his place of work. On July 28, 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo. After a two-day sham trial before the Volksgerichtshof or People's Court, Ulrich von Hassell was sentenced to death on September 8, 1944, and murdered the same day in Berlin-Plötzensee.

The signature below is found in one of von Hassel's own books, "Tar a Ri" by Georg Quabbe. Von Hassell signs to indicate his ownership, the year (1927) and the place (Copenhagen). At this time von Hassell was the German ambassador to Sweden.

Edited by ColinRF

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Ulrich von Hassell before Freisler's court. Deprived of his neck tie, shoe laces and belt he still sports his pocket hankerchief....a gentleman of the old school can't let standards fall in front of a bunch of thugs!

Colin

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Colin

I think all before have said all the words that need to be said. Absolutely awesome !!!!!

Have you researched the actual 20th July bomb day, the placement of the people present, the type of wounds caused to the survivors and do you have any pictures other than the ones on the web ?

Thanks again for a superb post.

Darren in the UK.

Ulrich von Hassell before Freisler's court. Deprived of his neck tie, shoe laces and belt he still sports his pocket hankerchief....a gentleman of the old school can't let standards fall in front of a bunch of thugs!

Colin

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Colin

I think all before have said all the words that need to be said. Absolutely awesome !!!!!

Have you researched the actual 20th July bomb day, the placement of the people present, the type of wounds caused to the survivors and do you have any pictures other than the ones on the web ?

Thanks again for a superb post.

Darren in the UK.

Thanks Darren - I think all the bomb plot pix of interest have already been widely disseminated. I have a library of > 100 books on the resistance and July 20 and most available DVDs.

Its a fascinating topic. Re. the "victims" and survivors, I actually don't have a lot of interest in the wounds etc. I did consider doing a diorama of the conference hut and still might at some point.

Colin

Edited by ColinRF

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given your sculpting talents, my vote is FOR the diorama!

fascinating accounts posted recently, for which i offer

my thanks!

joe

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given your sculpting talents, my vote is FOR the diorama!

fascinating accounts posted recently, for which i offer

my thanks!

joe

Thansk Joe - will let you know If I ever kick one off. Right now I am having fun doing my little portrait busts.

Colin

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