Resistance Within Germany

Resistance of German Aristocracy

1938 -  First Coup Attempt

1942 - Plan Valkyrie

1943 - The "Perfect" Assassination Attempt

July 15, 1944

July 20, 1944

General Friedrich Olbricht

An Obsolete Honor
Hitler's Demons-Kindle Edition

Codename Valkyrie

Allies Response to Germany's Resistance

Hitler's Popularity

Sources - Further

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Valkyrie title graphic
Valkyrie Conspiracy Title
Codename Valkyrie
Non fiction biography (in English)
by Helena P. Schrader

Codename Valkyrie cover

Olbricht reviewing troopsGeneral Friedrich Olbricht was a leading member of the German Resistance to Hitler and the originator of Plan Valkyrie. This is his story, the first biography of him in the English language. It is based on documents from the former East Germany and hundreds of interviews with survivors of the war. It demonstrates Olbricht's central role in the July 20th Plot and refutes the claims (originating with Hitler himself) that only a small number of conspirators were involved and that Graf Stauffenberg was the sole important participant.

On the night of July 20, 1944, Adolf Hitler gave a radio speech to the German nation to reassure them that he had survived an assassination attempt.  He described the men who had tried to kill him as "a tiny clique of ambitious, unscrupulous and criminally stupid officers."  The only conspirator he named was Graf Stauffenberg.  Rarely has Hitler been so successful in shaping opinion even to our day. 

Polish CampaignThe Western Allies picked up Hitler's theme at once: only a tiny clique of officers had been involved.  A "tiny clique" meant that not enough people had been involved to cancel the call for Unconditional Surrender or to upset the policy of collective guilt.  Furthermore, the civilian component in the conspiracy was completely ignored.  The West insisted on seeing the coup attempt of July 20, 1944 as a "Generals' Plot." 

Because the attempt failed, it was equally easy to accept Hitler's characterization of the conspirators as incompetent.  In retrospect they had done everything wrong.  The bomb had failed to kill the victim.  The conspirators failed to cut off communications to and from Hitler's HQ.  The orders went out too late.  The conspirators didn’t even have control of their own troops, who soon turned against them.  Was any more evidence needed that these men were "criminally stupid?" 

stairway to executionAnd just as Hitler named only one person, the predominant image presented in the literature to this day is of a single heroic figure – Stauffenberg – struggling alone to achieve the goal of eliminating Hitler. 

But the world rarely corresponded to Hitler's – or Hollywood's – vision of it.  If one is prepared to suspend one's prejudice and follow the journey of an individual man through the forge of history, one can come closer to the truth.  This is Friedrich Olbricht's story, the first biography of the originator of Plan Valkyrie in the English language.

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