Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

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Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2008-0184, Berlin, Berthold Schenk Graf v. Stauffenberg.jpg

Stauffenberg at the Volksgerichtshof
Born(1905-03-15)15 March 1905
Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire
Died 10 August 1944(1944-08-10) (aged 39)
Berlin, Nazi Germany
Cause of death Execution by hanging
Nationality German
Known for 20 July plot coordinator
Home town Albstadt, Germany
Spouse(s) Maria (Mika) Classen
Parent(s) Alfred Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
Caroline Schenk Gräfin
(von Stauffenberg family)
Relatives Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg Alexander Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Berthold Alfred Maria Schenk Graf [A 1] von Stauffenberg (15 March 1905, Stuttgart – 10 August 1944, Berlin-Plötzensee) was a German aristocrat and lawyer who was a key conspirator in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944, alongside his younger brother, Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg. After the plot failed, Berthold was tried and executed by the Nazi regime.

Stuttgart Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron." It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 609,219, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.7 million people live in the city's administrative region and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

20 July plot coup in Konoha

On 20 July 1944, Claus von Stauffenberg and other conspirators attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of Nazi Germany, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The name Operation Valkyrie—originally referring to part of the conspiracy—has become associated with the entire event.


Early life

Berthold was the oldest of four brothers (the second being Berthold's twin Alexander Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg) born into an old and distinguished aristocratic South German Catholic family. His parents were the last Oberhofmarschall of the Kingdom of Württemberg, Alfred Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and Caroline née von Üxküll-Gyllenband. Among his ancestors were several famous Prussians, including most notably August von Gneisenau.

Alexander Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg German historian

Alexander Franz Clemens Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was a German aristocrat and historian. His twin brother Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and younger brother Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg were among the leaders of the 20 July Plot against Hitler in 1944.

Württemberg Describes Württemburg in different forms from 1092 until 1945 - not to be confused with articles on parts of this period.

Württemberg is a historical German territory roughly corresponding to the cultural and linguistic region of Swabia. Together with Baden and Hohenzollern, two other historical territories, it now forms the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. Württemberg was formerly also spelled Würtemberg and Wirtemberg.

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

In his youth, he and his brothers were members of the Neupfadfinder, a German Scout association and part of the German Youth movement. [1] [2] [3] [4]

After having studied law at Tübingen, he became assistant professor of international law at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Foreign and International Law in 1927. He and his brother Claus were introduced by Albrecht von Blumenthal to the circle of the mystic symbolist poet Stefan George, many of whose followers became members of the German Resistance to National Socialism. He worked at the Hague from 1930 to 1932 and in 1936 married Maria (Mika) Classen (1900–1977). They had two children: Alfred Claus Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (1937–1987) and Elisabeth Caroline Margarete Maria Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg (b. 13 June 1939).

Tübingen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 30 km (19 mi) south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers. As of 2014 about one in three people living in Tübingen is a student.

Albrecht von Blumenthal was a German Prussian landowner and Classicist.

Stefan George German poet, editor, and translator

Stefan Anton George was a German symbolist poet and a translator of Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, and Charles Baudelaire.

Career and coup attempt

In 1939, he joined the German Navy, working in the High Command as a staff judge and advisor for international law.

<i>Kriegsmarine</i> 1935-1945 naval warfare branch of Germanys armed forces

The Kriegsmarine was the navy of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It superseded the Imperial German Navy of the German Empire (1871–1918) and the inter-war Reichsmarine (1919–1935) of the Weimar Republic. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches, along with the Heer (Army) and the Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht, the German armed forces from 1933 to 1945.

Stauffenberg at the Volksgerichtshof Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2008-0185, Berlin, Berthold Schenk Graf v. Stauffenberg.jpg
Stauffenberg at the Volksgerichtshof

Berthold's apartment at Tristanstraße in Berlin, where his brother Claus also lived for some time, was a meeting place for the 20 July conspirators, including their cousin Peter Yorck von Wartenburg. As Claus had access to the inner circle around Hitler, he was assigned to plant a bomb at the Führer's briefing hut at the military high command in Rastenburg, East Prussia, on 20 July 1944. Claus then flew to Rangsdorf airfield south of Berlin where he met with Berthold. They went together to Bendlerstraße, which the coup leaders intended to use as the centre of their operations in Berlin.

Peter Yorck von Wartenburg German resistance fighter

Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg was a German jurist and a member of the German Resistance against Nazism. He studied law and politics in Bonn and Breslau from 1923 to 1926, gaining his doctorate in Breslau in 1927 and passing the civil service entrance examination for lawyers in Berlin in 1930. He married Marion Winter that same year.

East Prussia province of Prussia

East Prussia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and again from 1878 ; following World War I it formed part of the Weimar Republic's Free State of Prussia, until 1945. Its capital city was Königsberg. East Prussia was the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast.

Rangsdorf Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Rangsdorf is a municipality in the district of Teltow-Fläming in Brandenburg in Germany. It has an airfield [up to 1940 a genuine commercial airport] from where on 20 July 1944 Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg took off on his fateful attempt to assassinate German leader Adolf Hitler at his military headquarters in East Prussia, the Wolfsschanze. Reich Minister of Armaments and Ammunition Fritz Todt was killed in a Heinkel He 111 crash departing the airfield on 8 February 1942.

Hitler survived the bomb blast and the coup failed. Berthold and his brother were arrested at Bendlerstraße the same night. Claus was executed by firing squad shortly afterwards.

After his arrest, Stauffenberg was questioned by the Gestapo about his views about the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Stauffenberg told the Gestapo that “he and his brother had basically approved of the racial principle of National Socialism, but considered it to be 'exaggerated' and 'excessive'” [5] Stauffenberg went on to state,

The racial idea has been grossly betrayed in this war in that the best German blood is being irrevocably sacrificed, while simultaneously Germany is populated by millions of foreign workers, who certainly cannot be described as of high racial quality. [5]

Berthold was tried in the Volksgerichtshof ("People's Court") by Roland Freisler on 10 August and was one of eight conspirators executed by strangulation, hanged in Plötzensee Prison, Berlin, later that day. Before he was killed Berthold was strangled and then revived multiple times. [6] The entire execution and multiple resuscitations were filmed for Hitler to view at his leisure. [6]


  1. Regarding personal names, Graf is a German title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The feminine form is Gräfin .


  1. Löttel, Holger (2007-07-22), Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (1907–1944): Leben und Würdigung- Vortrag anläßlich der Gedenkveranstaltung zum 100.Geburtstag von Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Ketrzyn/Rastenburg, 22.Juli 2007 (PDF) (in German), retrieved 2008-02-07
  2. Kiesewetter, Renate, Im Porträt: Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg (PDF) (in German), retrieved 2008-02-07
  3. Bentzien, Hans (2004). Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg-Der Täter und seine Zeit (in German). Berlin: Das Neue Berlin Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. pp. 24–29.
  4. Zeller, Eberhard (2008). Oberst Claus Graf Stauffenberg (in German). Paderborn-Munich-Vienna-Zürich: Ferdinand Schöningh. pp. 7–10.
  5. 1 2 Noakes, Jeremy Nazism, Volume 4, University of Exeter Press, 1998 page 633
  6. 1 2 Hoffmann 1994 , p. 127

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