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July 20Th, 2019. 75 Years After.

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#1 sunday

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 1914 PM

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.

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#2 Murph

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 1926 PM

Brave men, and an honorable cause.
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#3 Mikel2

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 2126 PM

Brave men, and an honorable cause.

 

Did they do it because the nazis were doing horrible things, or because they were going to destroy Germany?  I wonder how the plotters felt about Hitler when the war was going well for Germany.


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#4 Ssnake

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0221 AM

There isn't much of Stauffenberg's writings that survived so either extreme position about him would be conjecture. But Stuaffenberg wrote at least one letter before Stalingrad speaking of the crimes committed by Germans behind the east front, so I think that in his case it wasn't just an opportunistic motive. There's a lot of co-conspirators with a Christian background who joined the conspiracy for moral/religious reasons - which suggests that their motives weren't of opportunistic nature either. Of course, there were some whose motives are doubtful. But had there been more people doing the right thing for the wrong reasons the plot could have been successful.


Edited by Ssnake, 20 July 2019 - 0222 AM.

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#5 Martin M

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0234 AM

Said criticism of Stauffenberg and co has as far as I can remember always come from the Socialists etc.  All in all Stauffenberg and others got killed for their efforts. They could have just sit it out as is usual custom and tradition, and they would have lived another 20 to 50 years. IMO they shouldn´t be dishonored as they often are.


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#6 sunday

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0246 AM

Said criticism of Stauffenberg and co has as far as I can remember always come from the Socialists etc.  All in all Stauffenberg and others got killed for their efforts. They could have just sit it out as is usual custom and tradition, and they would have lived another 20 to 50 years. IMO they shouldn´t be dishonored as they often are.


The author of that twitter thread actually address that, stating they acted too late.


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#7 RETAC21

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0357 AM

There isn't much of Stauffenberg's writings that survived so either extreme position about him would be conjecture. But Stuaffenberg wrote at least one letter before Stalingrad speaking of the crimes committed by Germans behind the east front, so I think that in his case it wasn't just an opportunistic motive. There's a lot of co-conspirators with a Christian background who joined the conspiracy for moral/religious reasons - which suggests that their motives weren't of opportunistic nature either. Of course, there were some whose motives are doubtful. But had there been more people doing the right thing for the wrong reasons the plot could have been successful.

 

The end result of a successful coup wouldn't have been a democracy, but an authoritarian state, however, it would have been inmeasurably better than the Nazi regime, which not only had a genocidal program in the death camps and such, but was about to turn into the German people in 1944 and 1945. 


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#8 BansheeOne

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0458 AM

It has often been pointed out that as many Germans died after 20 July 1944 as before in WW II. So a successful coup could have saved a lot of lives - if, and that's a very big if, everything had gone perfectly to the plotters' plans, both in the attempt and after. But for starters, at this point the Allies weren't likely to grant Germany some sort of honorable peace like they imagined, let alone the Western powers siding with them against the Soviets as would nearly certainly have been required. Too much had happened.

 

For a long time after the war, Stauffenberg et al weren't honored by any political camp; German conservatives of the war generation regarded them as traitors. When I talked with my late grandmother abouther her father who had his own misgivings about and little acts of spite against the Nazis, she was very firm that he however wasn't one of "that kind". The popular view slowly changed between the mid-60s and 80s, along with the general judgement whether Germany had mostly been defeated or liberated by the Allies - a question that's still good for some controversy in its IMO artificial dichotomy.

 

It is a rather new development that the Bundeswehr considers the 20 July conspirators pretty much the only legit base of its tradition from the Wehrmacht. Of course the public swearing-in of recruits in the yard of the Bendlerblock where most of them were shot, later in front of the Reichstag, today alternating between both locations each year on the anniversary, could only happen after reunification and Berlin becoming the seat of government again in the late 90s anyway.


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#9 RETAC21

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0856 AM

It has often been pointed out that as many Germans died after 20 July 1944 as before in WW II. So a successful coup could have saved a lot of lives - if, and that's a very big if, everything had gone perfectly to the plotters' plans, both in the attempt and after. But for starters, at this point the Allies weren't likely to grant Germany some sort of honorable peace like they imagined, let alone the Western powers siding with them against the Soviets as would nearly certainly have been required. Too much had happened.

 

For a long time after the war, Stauffenberg et al weren't honored by any political camp; German conservatives of the war generation regarded them as traitors. When I talked with my late grandmother abouther her father who had his own misgivings about and little acts of spite against the Nazis, she was very firm that he however wasn't one of "that kind". The popular view slowly changed between the mid-60s and 80s, along with the general judgement whether Germany had mostly been defeated or liberated by the Allies - a question that's still good for some controversy in its IMO artificial dichotomy.

 

It is a rather new development that the Bundeswehr considers the 20 July conspirators pretty much the only legit base of its tradition from the Wehrmacht. Of course the public swearing-in of recruits in the yard of the Bendlerblock where most of them were shot, later in front of the Reichstag, today alternating between both locations each year on the anniversary, could only happen after reunification and Berlin becoming the seat of government again in the late 90s anyway.

 

The win win scenario would have seen Germany surrendering to the Western alles and allowing them to occupy the 1938 borders while fighting the Soviets. How that could be sold, I have no clue.


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#10 Murph

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0907 AM

Well despite the naysayers, I have always considered them heros.  


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#11 Jeff

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1000 AM

If they had succeeded and brought an end to the war, capitulation?, would it have led to a stabbed in the back 2.0 myth?


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#12 urbanoid

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1009 AM

If they had succeeded and brought an end to the war, capitulation?, would it have led to a stabbed in the back 2.0 myth?

 

Yes, probably.


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#13 Ssnake

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1025 AM

Human nature being what it is, I suppose it took complete moral bankrupty combined with utter military defeat (and then another 30 years) for German society to own up to its relapse into barbarism.


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#14 Markus Becker

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1406 PM

"A Spanish journalist, now member of the European Parliament,..."

A Lefty? They denounce the plotters as mere opportunists who only turned on Hitler because he failed to win. Never mind attempts to overthrow him prior to the Fall of France.
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#15 Markus Becker

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1411 PM


If they had succeeded and brought an end to the war, capitulation?, would it have led to a stabbed in the back 2.0 myth?

 
Yes, probably.


The poor man's Ersatz version. Shit was hitting the fan since late 42 in ever increasing volume. Defeating the invasion had been hyped as a decisive battle but t by July 20th that too had obviously gone the other way.

BTW, it would have saved millions. 50% of the German casualties were suffered in the last 12 months of the war, half a million Hungarian Jews were very much alive in July, Warsaw was still intact. Feel free to continue the list.
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#16 sunday

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1433 PM

"A Spanish journalist, now member of the European Parliament,..."

A Lefty? They denounce the plotters as mere opportunists who only turned on Hitler because he failed to win. Never mind attempts to overthrow him prior to the Fall of France.

 

Actually, he represents that "extreme right wing, Fascist and Populist" party called Vox.  :D His name is Hermann Terstch.

 

There is not that opportunistic vibe in the original Spanish.


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#17 Markus Becker

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1443 PM

Strange, again it could be me. I might be too sensitive to real and thus imagined denounciations. German media seems to be at it right now.

"Elser tried to kill Hitler to prevent him from winning, the men of July 20th tried to because Hitler didn't win."
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#18 Martin M

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1534 PM

shhhhh

 

pay your GEZ and be still


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#19 Markus Becker

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1546 PM

shhhhh
 
pay your GEZ and be still


It was a partially old school leftist blog, not the new left state media.
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#20 Nobu

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1556 PM

The way in which the plotters were perceived by the war generation is interesting. Could the oath breaking aspect have been a more difficult hurdle for that generation to come to terms with?

 

What is also interesting is that the older Japanese postwar generation considered Hotsumi Ozaki, hanged for treason by Japan for his espionage work in opposition to the mainstream dehumanization of the Chinese as a culture and a race, a patriot in various ways.


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