Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
Born in the Bavarian part of Swabia and raised as a Catholic, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg displayed a sense of responsibility based on social and ethical concepts at an early age. He was deeply interested in fundamental questions of human existence and the principles of political systems. His brother Berthold shared these interests. Stauffenberg trained for the General Staff and was regarded as a particularly talented officer. Over the course of the war, he realized the criminal character of National Socialist policy. Only gradually, however, was he able to break free from the fascination that Hitler’s military successes held for him. After being seriously wounded, he was assigned to the Army General Office as chief of staff in September 1943. At that point, he was part of the innermost circle of resolute opponents to the Nazi regime and became a focal point of the military conspiracy. Following the failure of various assassination plans in 1943, Stauffenberg resolved to try and assassinate Hitler himself. On July 20, 1944 he successfully smuggled a bomb into the “Wolf’s Lair”, the Führer’s closely guarded headquarters near Rastenburg in East Prussia, and detonated it during a meeting. Returned to Berlin in the afternoon, he feverishly attempted to persuade senior officers to support the coup. After the attempt to overthrow the regime had failed, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was shot dead on the same night, in the courtyard of the Bendler Block, along with his fellow conspirators.