Claus von Stauffenberg

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Claus Philip Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (November 15, 1907 Jettingen - July 20, 1944, Berlin) was the Wehrmacht Colonel who masterminded the 20 July plot against the life of Adolf Hitler. He is now regarded as one of the great heroes in German History.

Early Life

Count Claus von Stauffenberg was born in 1907 to Count Alfred von Stauffenberg, Lord Chamberlain of the Kingdom of Württemberg, and Countess Caroline von Üxküll-Gyllenband. His bearing and that of his brothers was influenced by their father's responsibilities at the Royal Court in Stuttgart. Germany's defeat in World War I and the collapse of the monarchy devastated the Stauffenberg family. In 1918, Claus was heard to say, "My Germany cannot perish: if she goes down now, she will rise again strong and great: after all, there is still a God."[1]

Beginning in their teens, the Stauffenberg brothers were received into the Circle of conservative poet Stefan George. George's ideals, which remained a mystery to those outside the Circle, had a massive influence over the Stauffenberg brothers, especially with regard to the special destiny of an idealistic elite. In the lead-up to the attempt on Hitler's life, Claus would frequently quote Stefan George's poetry, especially the poem Der Widerchrist ("The Anti-Christ").[2]

Further Reading

  • Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death: The Story of the German Resistance, 1996.
  • Peter Hoffmann, Stauffenberg: A Family History 1905-1945 Third Edition, 2003.

References

  1. Peter Hoffmann, "Stauffenberg: A Family History 1905-1944," page 13.
  2. Joachim Fest, "Plotting Hitler's Death: the Story of the German Resistance," page 216.
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