Enigste overlevende moordaanslag op Hitler spreekt!

Over het hier en nu (nieuwsberichten, actualiteiten en dergelijke, in relatie met WOII)

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Roel R.
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Enigste overlevende moordaanslag op Hitler spreekt!

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CLARE CHAPMAN
IN BERLIN


HIS mission was so treacherous that he carried a cyanide pill to take his own life.

On the signal that Adolf Hitler was assassinated, Philipp von Boeselager was to storm the Berlin headquarters of the dreaded SS and arrest its leaders.

Now 60 years on the last surviving conspirator of the 1944 plot to kill Hitler has spoken for the first time of his "bitter disappointment" that the murder attempt failed.

Boeselager was just 25 years old when he found out about the existence of a resistance movement within the Wehrmacht that was planning to kill the Führer in July that year.

Now 86, the former officer described the news that it had failed as "earth shattering".

After witnessing the indiscriminate killing of noncombatants by the SS, Boeselager said there was no doubt in his mind that the dictator and his cronies had to be stopped.

A soldier on the eastern front, Boeselager spent six months in a military hospital after being shot in the stomach. Released under the command of General Field Marshall Guenther von Kluge in May 1942, he served as an ordinance officer at an army base in Russia.

Within days of starting in his new position Boeselager learned that Hitler was not just fighting a war against the Allies, but against anyone who did not fit in with the Third Reich.

The former officer recalled: "I received a message for Kluge that said five gypsies had been awarded ‘special treatment’. I had no idea what this meant and Kluge had never heard it before either. But I knew this wasn’t a military term."

Some days later the note’s author, a high-ranking officer in the SS, told them it meant they would be shot without trial.

"That was when I first found out that Hitler had ordered his men to catch as many Jews and gypsies as they could, and kill them," said Boeselager.

Time and time again such information was filtered through to Kluge’s command centre and Boeselager’s already strong scepticism for the Nazis turned into complete rejection - sympathies which won him a place in the resistance movement.

After he was told by his commanding officer, Kluge, that he was "needed in the fight against Hitler", Boeselager knew his role in the war had changed. It was no longer to defeat the Allies, but to topple the man and the government that was leading his own country.

Having befriended General Henning von Tresckow, who led the plot together with Count Claus von Stauffenberg and a handful of others, Boeselager said he knew action against the Reich was inevitable.

"From then on it was clear to me that something was going to be done to Hitler, and I was OK with that," he said.

"Hitler’s filthy propaganda had spread so much, that I found it hard to sleep and to breathe."

The young officer also realised that Hitler knew nothing about leading an army. "As a soldier I saw that Hitler was militarily mad. It was clear to our regiment that the war was lost," said Boeselager, who has never concealed the fact that although he had never been a convinced Nazi he did support the war at the start.

"We didn’t know that Poland’s attack on Germany had been staged, and at the time I thought it was only right that we fought back," he admitted.

Although Boeselager was not alone in his struggle against the Nazis he admitted it was a lonely time. "You couldn’t talk about it with anyone," he said. "Not even with your parents. That would have been much too dangerous."

He also walked around each day with a cyanide pill in his pocket.

"People were caught and tortured. I wanted to know I had a way out before I said anything I shouldn’t. It also gave you a feeling of freedom."

After a series of failed attempts to take the Führer’s life, the resistance movement saw the July plot as their last chance to end the war - an attack which would have saved millions of lives.

Boeselager, who by this time had joined a special troop that built and tested bombs, was responsible for providing and wiring the explosives - and chose British materials, which he said were the best.

The plot required Count Claus von Stauffenberg to place a time bomb next to Hitler when he held a meeting at his Wolfschanze (Wolf’s Lair) headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia, and then to immediately travel to Berlin to command the troops in an uprising.

But when the bomb went off Hitler was shielded from the blast by the heavy wooden conference table and survived with minor injuries.

Boeselager, whose duty should have been to storm the SS headquarters and arrest Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels, had almost reached Berlin when he heard the news.

"I was imagining what it was going to be like when we reached Berlin, and then I heard that Hitler was still alive," he said. "I was bitterly disappointed and knew we were going to have to face heavy losses."

The plot ringleaders, including Stauffenberg, were captured by the SS later that evening. Some were executed by firing squad the same night and others hung with piano wire from meat hooks. Tresckow killed himself the following day on the eastern front.

From then on until the end of the war, Boeselager never felt safe. He believed he would be found out and killed. But he never was.

"I was unbelievably lucky," he said.

At the end of the war, Boeselager retreated to the picturesque village of Ahrtal, south of Bonn in West Germany, where he settled down to family life.

"Since the war I have not spoken much about what happened, not even to my wife, as the horrifying images of the war come flooding back and haunt me for days afterwards."
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Lord_Vetinari
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Bericht door Lord_Vetinari »

"EnigSTe".. Tsk, tsk, tsk...
Hij, die niet leert van de geschiedenis, is gedoemd deze te herhalen... / Si non confectus non reficiat / Fighting for peace is like making love for virginity
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Arjen
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Bericht door Arjen »

wel een erg interessant artikel hoor.
dit zijn zo van die artikelen die erg boeien.
Meester Zhuang's repliek op de vraag om minister te worden:
"Scheer je weg! Ik geef er de voorkeur aan om in mijn modderpoel te blijven spelen, in plaats van me door een potentaat in het gareel te laten slaan! Nooit van mijn leven zal ik een ambt aanvaarden, Maar altijd fijn blijven doen waar ik zin in heb."
http://odeon.xs4all.nl/
marloes
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Bericht door marloes »

"Enigste overlevende moordaanslag op Hitler spreekt!"
Eigenlijk de enige nog levende persoon, niet enige overlevende want meerdere mensen hebben die moordaanslag overleefd... ;)
Anyway, er was onlangs op duitse tv een enorm goede film over von Stauffenberg.
"Een volk dat voor tirannen zwicht zal meer dan lijf en goed verliezen... dan dooft het licht"
HM van Randwijk 1909-1966
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LHek
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Bericht door LHek »

marloes schreef: Anyway, er was onlangs op duitse tv een enorm goede film over von Stauffenberg.
Die heb ik ook gezien, ik verstond er helaas maar weinig van. Wel een mooie film.
Op zoek naar alles dat te maken heeft met de 101ste Airborne Divisie, 51st Highland Division en al het andere dat te maken heeft met operatie Market Garden en operatie Pheaseant
marloes
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Bericht door marloes »

Die ene die echt midden in de nacht uitgezonden werd?
Duitse acteurs, authentiek tot en met de executies bij koplamplicht.
"Een volk dat voor tirannen zwicht zal meer dan lijf en goed verliezen... dan dooft het licht"
HM van Randwijk 1909-1966
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LHek
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Bericht door LHek »

Nee niet midden in de nacht, het was in februari in de vroege avond. Maar wel met authentieke Duitse actuers, de executies heb ik niet gezien.
Op zoek naar alles dat te maken heeft met de 101ste Airborne Divisie, 51st Highland Division en al het andere dat te maken heeft met operatie Market Garden en operatie Pheaseant
marloes
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Bericht door marloes »

mmmmmh misschien was het toch een ander of een herhaling die aangepast was...hoedanook een top film.
"Een volk dat voor tirannen zwicht zal meer dan lijf en goed verliezen... dan dooft het licht"
HM van Randwijk 1909-1966
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