Attempted Assassination Of Adolf Hitler 20th July 1944

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by spidge, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    Whist I was serving with the RAF in West Berlin in the late 80s and early 90s, I was extremely lucky to be able to visit the building that the show trials of the Hitler assination plot were undertaken. This building at the time was occupied by the Berlin Air Safety Center (BASC). During the hour long tour I took a few pics.

    The photos attached are mostly of the ballroom, where the show trials were held. The ceiling frescos were amazing. One photo shows where the bust of Hitler once sat. I remember seeing the rug with the hole in it where a camera recorded the proceedings.

    The staircase was reportedly the only one left in Berlin which had the original wrought iron as the rest had been melted down to make tanks. Around the staircase is riddled with bullet holes when a Russian guard reportedly saw a ghost.

    The peoples court buildings had some 600 rooms of which 599 were fully reconditioned (BASC occupied just 10!).

    One photo is of a room however down in the basement which was exactly how the Russians found it in 1945 except for a sodium light. Legend has it that some of those who were sentenced to death that could not get transported to Potsdam prison for execution, because of air raids, were stung up on a beam on the back wall with chicken wire.

    Enjoy the pics


    Attached Files:

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  2. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    While the motives of many in the plot were mixed, I think a moment of respect is due to those in it who acted out of conscience and genuine love of their country. Some had been convinced Nazis and had collaborated in the regime's crimes, but in the end they made the right choice. Whether they succeeded or not was morally immaterial; as Stauffenburg said. 'it must be done, coute que coute.'
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  3. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day cooler king.yesterday.04:09pm, assasination of adolf hitler.20th july are correct re the britich preferd him alive.he was making some great blunders and doing the allies a lot of good battle wise.i think if the generals had been in charge we would have had a whole new ball game so to speack.interesting post.regards bernard85
  4. The Cooler King

    The Cooler King Elite Member

    No doubt Bernard,....... following the Wehrmacht's failue to take Moscow in the winter of 41, Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch had his heart attack....."offered" his resignation and then Hitler took over personal command of the Armed Forces.

    Hitler was an effective Politician, an experienced front line soldier but what he was not was a General.... and the rest is history as they say....................
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  5. Drusus Nero

    Drusus Nero Banned

    Its not for me to speculate what would have happened had assassination attempt suceeded, but I do know one thing.

    The German officer Corps conspired with the Nazi party to keep the SS and their supporters in power in 1934. The Deutschland Pact was also signed by industrialists, wishing to profit from full rearmament. The Army and other service chiefs wanted the Nazi's in power, and they got what they wanted.

    When it all started to go pear shaped in 1938, Beck blamed appeasement and Chamberlain for them not acting. From then on they found one excuse after another to keep things ticking along just the way they wanted. Plots came and went, because they were half-hearted affairs, without the support of the same German officers profitting from the Hitler Government. Large bribes were paid out of Nazi slush fund accounts under the table. Other 'rewards' like confiscated estates of rich Jewish people were offered (and accepted) to people like Guderian.

    The German Officer Corps had sold it's collective soul when it married the Nazi Partei. It had no intention of 'honouring' anything. As a group, they always fell back on their 'oath' to Hitler as the principle reason why they did not act to remove him a helluvalot sooner. This is whitewash, because they all had oaths to the Weimar Republic that were never 'honoured'.

    The conspiritors of 1944 were johnny- come- too- latelys. Their stated objectives were "to eliminate Hitler", and for Stauffenburg, "even at the cost of his life". Simpler, then, it would have been for someone to simply walk up to Adolf and blow his brains out with a pistol. The assassins of '44 were big on statements like "even at the cost of my own life" and small on finding someone other than themselves to carry it through. Look at Stauffenburg on July 20. If he was sincere about his own statements, he would have hung around in the conference room to make absolutely sure that nothing went awry. Had he done so, he could have moved the briefcase back to where it was placed initially. But no. Stauffenburg acted for his own preservation, despite the sentiments expressed during plotting. The would be assassins of '44 did not have the courage of their convictions.. Yes, they showed great courage when it was all over, yes, but most were given an opportunity for at least a last word or two. Many Nazi victims right throughout the war never even got that privelage.

    In 1944, the German Officer Corps reaped what it sowed from it's previous years of collaboration, deception and inaction.

    The idea that British intelligence was keeping Hitler alive to profit by his mistakes is a good idea, but still just an after the fact excuse for the reason that they really couldn't get close enough to him without co-operation from the 'inner circle'. And that is what was lacking. The Generals that could have made it happen were too busy feathering their own nests, and waiting too long to see which way the wind finally blew. Millions of people died in the last two years of the war for their inactions, on every level.

    They had no 'honour' left to salvage.
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  6. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    I don't agree with your assessment:
    Foxley was planned for july 1944 (and cancelled same time):..where were the indications that the intact/live Hitler is helping the wareffort of Allies or Uk in particular ?
    (think of V1 attacks going on, knowledge of V2 coming soon, anxiety if DDay would indeed be successful with Eisenhower, development of Abomb for hitting Germany).

    I think they cancelled it because they realise it would not matter and in a way make surrender more difficult:
    A killed hitler would be replaced by another nazi leadership, and war wld continue. (thus in itself ineffective)
    Demanding an unconditional surrender is easier with the original Führer alive. In one go, one signature, one radio announcement: all of germany stops.
    With any other spokesman, general, staffmember, there is confusion, mistrust, and germans that won't give up the fight (and go underground).
    Thus considering all it is an ineffective deed.

    (assassination wld have been smartest before the nazi acts of aggression started).
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  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The watershed point regarding the future role that the Wehrmacht would play in the German military structure was enacted in 1938 when the Wehrmacht pledged their loyality to Hitler and not the German state.For his part,Hitler always kept his generals sweet by awarding them grants or estates.

    Only the Wehrmacht could preside over the topping of Hitler and they were proved to be a polically neutered organisation from1938.Only if Beck could have saved Germany in 1938 by effective opposition would the territorial ambitions and aggression be halted .As it was Hitler reinforced his hold on Germany by his enabling act as soon as he entered office in 1933 and ensured that there would be no such thing as democratic elections.

    But as regards the postion of Germany and her territorial demands.While Stauffenberg and his coherts wished to depose Hitler,Stauffenberg's intentions on the Polish question was not much different to Hitler's.I cannot see that Stauffenburg's demands bearing fruit if the assassination attempt had been successful as the Allies would not have been moved from their position of unconditional surrender....there was no chance that those who had been involved deeply in this German era would have been entertained as German statesman.

    Hitler being assasssinated by the Allies was thought not to be advantageous to the Allied cause.It was thought it would be far better politically for the destruction of Nazism if this was done internally.Any help that the conspirators expected,certainly from the Brtiish would amount to no interest,following the Venlo incident when British intelligence was hoodwinked by the Abwehr/SD deception plan on supposed Wehrmacht oppositon of General rank to Hitler.The anti Hitler Wehrmacht faction were entirely on their own and proved to be ineffective against the greater forces of evil.
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  8. spidge


  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    BBC Radio 4 - Witness, The Man Who Tried to Kill Hitler

    The Man Who Tried to Kill Hitler
    In July 1944, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg attempted to kill Adolf Hitler by planting a briefcase bomb in a meeting at Hitler's headquarters. The attack was supposed to be the trigger for a coup against the Nazi regime. We hear from von Stuaffenberg's son, General Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg.

    And an accompanying BBC magazine article here on von Stuaffenberg's son, General Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg: My father tried to kill Hitler
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Partly re. the July 20th 1944 attempt on Hitler's life, my grandfather wrote this in July 1944, in Normandy:

    Re_Hitler_24thL_RASC tranfer - pre 24th L breakup.JPG

    Sgt. B. Symes
    24th Lancers

    Dearest Phyl + Rob,

    We have had some rain here but it has fined up and we have been able to wash clothes and generally tidy up. Our bivouac stood up to it very well, we found water seeping under but quickly dug a drain. We always dig in wherever we go, it pays it and gives one confidence, some of our efforts are very good when there’s timber handy.

    I have heard from Spud again. He’s still in hosp. but mending nicely.

    The effort on Hitler’s life was a big boost to everyone it’s a pity it failed as so much suffering could have been cut short if that terrible man were put away. However every little helps and that may make him think it’s time to clear out before others try with greater success.

    The weather has held up the mail too and only odd letters are finding their way out. But since writing that sentence I’ve had one from you and Spud. I can’t write the same to both of you so you will write any news in this letter to him + ask him to write news from his letter to you, then it will add up for both of you.

    I have applied for a transfer to the R.A.S.C. I shall have to stay in Normandy of course. I can’t write my reason* but perhaps Spud will be able to tell you. I shall transfer as a Sgt and there is no disgrace or anything like that at all,

    * It had just been announced that the 24th Lancers were to be disbanded and the soldiers transferred to other units as reinforcements.
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  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Apparently the explosive used was captured SOE stock.
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  12. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Let me add an interview with Berthold Maria Schenk Graf Stauffenberg in a German newspaper, I translated,
    I try to add the Word file later on today, still need to do some fine tuning. If you guys are interested.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  13. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    I tried to upload a docx file, but it keeps stating: uploaded file does not have an alowed extension.
  14. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    This is my humble and rough translation of the recent interview in a local newspaper.

    Berthold Maria Schenk Graf Stauffenberg Interview

    What do you remember of the 20th July 1944?

    I was 10 and just finished the entrance examination for the high school in Bamberg. During summer holidays, we were always at the family place in Lautlingen.It did not take long to find out about the assassination attempt. My mum told us on 21st July that our father was the driving force behind the assassination . My vounger brother, only 8, started to cry and asked: “but why did he want to kill The Führer ? Like all others, we were growing up as little Nazis.

    Mum answered, dad believed, he had to do it forGermany. And, both of us did not understand it.

    And how was the rest of the day?

    Mum told us about her new pregnancy and during that very night,she was picked up by the GestapoHer sister in the following night.

    How were you treated?

    I cannot remember anything terrible. The folks of Lautlingen, knowing us for a long time treated us in a pitiful way and without acausations

    Hitler wanted revenge on all members of the families too

    We were picked up on 17th August and taken to a Kindergarten in Bad Sachsa

    Originally the Kinderegarten was meant for working class kids, build by a businessman from Bremen Eventually all kids from the combatantswere taken there, 43 all in all. Most of them could return home around X-mas 1944. This joint liability was only used for families known to be involved in the attempt.

    How were you treated?

    Very correct, the assassination, in a mutual agreement,was never mentioned.

    What is your recollection of the end of the war?

    On the Tuesday after Easter, we were “booked” for Buchenwald. For a short while, some relatives were also there, before being transfered o Dachau.On the way to Buchenwald and just moving into Nordhausen railway station, the train was bombed by the allies, so we returned to Bad Sachsa, which probably saved our lives.

    And your return?

    Bad Sachsa was liberated by US forces and the new Buergermeister came to us and said: “you are free!”. But it took until June, before we returned to Lautlingen. One of our grandaunts organised the trip back home.Of course, we were happy to be liberated as a family, but as german people we felt being conquered and were also treated accordingly.

    Let’s talk about your father, what memories do you have about him?

    During the war, we have seen him only from time to time when he was on leave.

    You lost your father when you were 10, do you have any idea, how different your life would have been?

    No, not really.

    Did your father talk about his experience in the war?

    Our father was with us during the Normandy invasion. I asked him about it, but he only shrug his shoulders.

    You also became an officer, do you see any paralels?

    No, we probably were totally different. I believe, we were alsotrained more encompassed and differently. I believe, had he known, that there was no need to prime the second bomb, but simply “forget” his bag. The explosion would have been much stronger and all in the room would have been killed.

    The interview went on, if you like to red more, let me know.
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  15. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    captured SOE stock? Where did you get this information from?
  16. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Stefan apologies for a late response.

    It appears that British SOE explosive stock was preferred to German because German fuzes generated a hissing noise,while the British fuzes were silent.

    All attempts on Hitler's life by bombs were made using British explosives....the first failed on the aircraft in the Fuhrer's transit by aircraft to Rastenburg.It was found by the plotters to have functioned as far as the detonator but the explosive failed to function.....thought to be due to low temperatures in flight.....the second was to be a suicide bomb but Hitler did not stay long enough at a war booty exhibition in Berlin for the bomb carried by Gersdorff to be detonated.

    The final one at Rastenburg by Stauffenberg consisted of two bombs but Stauffenberg was unable to prime the second bomb in the ablutions as he was interrupted when called to the conference room....all were required to be present before Hitler entered the room.The room being used was a portable building being used a a map room and not as expected, a concrete bunker.

    Interestingly Stauffenberg made use of a modified pair of pliers to accommodate his disability to prime the bomb.(The remains of the pliers are reported to be on display in the building which once was the Reserve Army HQ on the Blendlerstrasse,now the Stauffenbergstrasse.)

    Schlabrendorff,it would appear supplied captured British SOE explosives but it may have been Major Joachim Kuhn at Organisations Abt Army General Staff who carried out the procurement.After 20 July 1944,his Divisional Commander,von Ziehlberg was instructed to arrest Kuhn and bring him to Berlin.He advised Kuhn of this to give him the opportunity of shooting himself.Instead Kuln saved his life by crossing the Red Army lines on 27 July 1944..

    By disclosing to Kuhn of his intended arrest and following a second court-martial,von Ziehlberg was found guilty of "premeditated disobedience to an order in the face of the enemy"and executed by firing squad at Spandau prison on 2 February 1945.

    A very good insight to the various attempts on Hitler's life is covered by "Secret Germany...Claus von Stauffenberg and the Mystical Crusade Against Hitler by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh".
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  17. Little Friend

    Little Friend Senior Member

    Does anyone know if the explosives used in this bomb were made from captured British Commandos ?
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  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Do you mean explosives taken from captured commandos or made out of dead commandos bodies ?
  19. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    The internet states it was plastique with British made silent fuses

    The group came up with other plans to assassinate Hitler. Colonel Rudolph von Gersdorff, who supplied the captured British explosive and detonators, even volunteered to be a suicide bomber but each time an accident or simple bad luck frustrated their attempts.

    Strange tales: Hitler and the ‘Cointreau’ bomb plot - The Drinks Business
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
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  20. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    The investigators remained vague at first: "Combined German-English explosive material", the members of the "Special Commission 20 July" wrote in their report of 10 August 1944.
    Later they said:
    "The criminal investigation of a second explosive found has shown that it is a special explosive (hexogenite). It is modelled on an English explosive and is even more effective with a simpler structure."

    It was WASAG who had been given the task of replicating a plastic explosive captured in considerable quantities by the Wehrmacht during the British commando raid against St. Nazaire and to develop it further.
    Inspired by the captured British explosive, the WASAG chemists continued their research and found a new mixture: almost 64 percent hexogen, 24 percent dinitrotoluene, nine percent mononitronaphthalene, three percent collodion wool and a trace of dinitronapthalene.
    They gave the material the name Plastit W.

    It has also been clarified where the English-labelled metal pin came from, a standard acid detonator from British production: At the beginning of July 1944, an official of the Reich Criminal Police Office had picked up several such detonators from the Forensic Institute - where captured enemy special equipment was stored. This is probably also how the bombers got hold of the detonators.

    Second explosive package that Stauffenberg threw from the car during his escape:
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
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