This same day, 75 years ago Oberst Claus Graf von Stauffenberg unsuccessfully attempted to kill Hitler.
A Spanish journalist, now member of the European Parliament, son of a German father that was imprisoned on the aftermath of the 20 July plot, just published a moving twitter thread. Here is a translation:
1. 75 years ago, on July 20, 1944, some remains of German elites finally reacted against Hitler and attempted an assassination, after 11 years of Nazi dictatorship and 4 of war. It was late for almost everything - to save millions of lives, and to redeem a colossal guilt. It failed.
2. Stauffenberg, the author of the attack, was executed that same night. Hundreds were arrested, and suffered atrocious treatment at the hands of the Gestapo. Many were slain. Von Moltke was executed in January. So was Admiral Canaris in Flössenburg on April 9, days before the end of the war.
3. Most of the conspirators had been National Socialists before. They had shared the enthusiasm about Hitler with the vast majority of Germans and Austrians and with so many foreign media and politicians who at the 1936 Olympics were raving about the Führer.
4. I met survivors of the reprisals on July 20. Men aware of failure and guilt. Even with success, the assassination would have been late. It could have redeemed them, and Germany, were it been done 5 or 4 years earlier. Before Dachau transformed into Auschwitz.
5. But it arrived once the tragedy was consummated, the black hole of the Holocaust opened forever, Europe on fire and Germany undone amid rubble and guilt. For too long, no one in the elites wanted to be the first to face the monster he had helped create.
6. Many see poetic justice in the fact that these elites, Hitler's accomplices for so long, did not eventually manage to become tyrant killers and liberators. July 20 did not avoid any horrors. But it added many of them. It reinforced even further Hitler's wish of having Germany succumbing with him.
7. I know the diabolical failure of the most educated, and morally demanding classes of the "people of the poets and thinkers" (Volk der Dichter und Denker). I know about the political and emotional evolution of the participants, and conspirators, and remote helpers. And of its social and cultural environment.
8. Because it is a determining date in the life of my family. My father was called to Berlin days later, and his first wife Mimi von Mallmann would not know until the end of the war that he spent that time in the Gestapo prison in Moabit and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
9. Today, 75 years after this central fact in the life of my father, he who is my maximum moral, political and intellectual reference, I offer this small tribute to those who rebelled against their own failure and their guilt for not having fought evil when it had not yet triumphed.
10. Once the country has been destroyed, its honor sunk under the weight of unprecedented crimes, laden with guilt for not having avoided the inconceivable, they recovered the moral strength they had not had in the triumph and died reconciled with the noble conscience of their faith and their elders.
Edited by sunday, 19 July 2019 - 1914 PM.