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Friedrich Olbricht

October 04, 1888 - July 20, 1944
Friedrich Olbricht Friedrich Olbricht 

After completing his training as an officer of the General Staff, which had been interrupted by the First World War, Olbricht was assigned to the Reichwehr Ministry, Department of Foreign Armies, in 1926; in 1933 he was sent to Dresden as chief of staff. He was married to Eva Koeppel, with whom he had a daughter and a son. In March 1940, Olbricht headed the Allgemeines Heeresamt (General Army Office) of the Army High Command in Berlin; from 1943 on, he also headed the Wehrersatzamt (Recruiting Office) of the Armed Forces High Command. From 1942 on, he helped prepare the "Valkyrie" plans in cooperation with civilian opposition groups around Ludwig Beck and Carl Goerdeler. These plans were intended to enable the conspirators to seize executive power in Germany. In the fall of 1943, he requested Stauffenberg as chief of staff for his office, where Stauffenberg remained until his transfer to the staff of General Fromm, commander of the Ersatzheer (Reserve Army). After having been repeatedly postponed, the assassination of Hitler was finally attempted on July 20, 1944, and Olbricht issued the orders to begin Operation "Valkyrie" in Berlin that afternoon. After the attempted coup had failed, Olbricht was executed by a firing squad in the inner courtyard of the Bendler Block that same night together with Stauffenberg, Mertz von Quirnheim, and Werner von Haeften.