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The Hitler Conspirator (Paperback)

The Story of Kurt Baron von Plettenberg and Stauffenberg’s Valkyrie Plot to Kill the Führer

Military > Frontline Books WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By Prof Eberhard Schmidt
Frontline Books
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 8 page plate section
ISBN: 9781399013215
Published: 7th July 2021



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Kurt Baron von Plettenberg (1891-1945) was the descendant of Westphalian aristocratic family, and a soldier in both world wars. The expectations, which he along with many of his later fellow conspirators of the 20 July 1944 plot to kill Hitler initially had of the “Third Reich”, are soon disappointed, when he recognises the true nature of the regime. When he accepts the office as general agent of the former Prussian royal house of the Hohenzollerns in 1942, he already belongs to the inner circle of the resistance planning Operation Valkyrie.

After the assassination attempt, however, he is not immediately discovered as one of the conspirators. Out of consideration for the house of Hohenzollern, which Hitler considers to be his most dangerous internal enemy, he acted more carefully than many others. Yet only a few weeks before the end of the war Plettenberg is finally denounced and arrested, too.

This biography shows for the first time how Kurt von Plettenberg, who belonged to the inner circle of conspirators around Stauffenberg, found a way to prevail during those difficult times and how significantly he influenced the resistance.

As an author who has researched and written about this period in our history, and who interviewed Albert Speer in Spandau Prison, I found this book about the well-placed and strongly anti-Nazi army officer, Kurt von Plettenberg, to be well researched, detailed yet fascinating. Accounts of the plots to kill Hitler following his rise to power are only now coming into the public domain and this book is a clear leader. We all know of the failed attempt to kill Hitler by Colonel Count von Stauffenberg and, indeed, Schmidt includes this brave attempt in his book but in greater and fascinating detail. He was among the bravest plotters I have read of. On his eventual arrest by the Gestapo he was taken for 'interrogation' but before his torture could commence he punched the interviewing Gestapo officer in the face and hurled himself from the third floor window to his immediate death - lest he gave away the names of his fellow conspirators under torture. A brave man indeed.

Highly recommended.

Dr Adrian Greaves, The Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society

This biography is an interesting account of one of the key figures in the resistance movement ans his brave sacrifice to save the lives of others.

Britain at War, September 2017 – reviewed by Robert Mitchell

About Prof Eberhard Schmidt

Professor Dr Eberhard Schmidt was born in Berlin in 1939. He studied German, History and Philosophy. In 1973, he received his professorial chair. In 2004, he became director of the Institute of Political Science at the University of Oldenburg.

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