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see Berthold Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (born 1934) for Claus's son and Berthold's nephew

Berthold Alfred Maria Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg (born 15 March 1905 in Stuttgart ‚Äď executed 10 August 1944 in Berlin-Pl√∂tzensee) was a German aristocrat, lawyer and conspirator in the 20 July plot of 1944, along with his brother, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, an army colonel. Claus had named his eldest son Berthold Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg after his brother.

Contents

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 W√ľrttemberg, Alfred Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and Caroline n√©e von √úxk√ľll-Gyllenband. Among his ancestors were several famous Prussians, including most notably August von Gneisenau.

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 T√ľbingen, 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‚Äď32 and married at Berlin-Zehlendorf on 20 June 1936 Maria (Mika) Classen (Marenskaja, S√ľdrussland, 5 February 1900 - Sigmaringen, 13 September 1977). They had two children:

  • Alfred Claus Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (T√ľbingen, 8 November 1937 - Berlin, 28 October 1987), married at Wilflingen on 24 April 1962 to his distant cousin Marie Sophie Schenk Freiin von Stauffenberg (b. Berlin, 23 September 1937), and had three sons:
    • Berthold Franz Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (b. Riedlingen, 26 May 1963), married to Mar√≠a Jesus Alejandra Carabias (b. 17 July 1961), and had one son:
      • Alfred Friedrich Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
    • Philipp Friedrich Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (b. Neuilly, 17 May 1964), married at Lautlingen to Bettina Baatz (b. Frankfurt am Main), without issue
    • Alexander Clemens Juan Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (b. Madrid, 8 February 1967), unmarried and without issue
  • Elisabeth Caroline Margarete Maria Schenk Gr√§fin von Stauffenberg (b. 13 June 1939), married to Piero Roberti (b. 26 December 1935)

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.

Stauffenberg at the Volksgerichtshof

Berthold's apartment at Tristanstra√üe in Berlin, where his brother Claus also lived for some time, was a meeting place for the July 20 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 F√ľhrer's briefing hut at the military high command in Rastenburg, East Prussia on July 20, 1944. Claus then flew to Rangsdorf airfield south of Berlin where he met with Berthold. They went together to Bendlerstra√üe, which the coup leaders intended to utilize as the centre of their operations in Berlin.

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 ‚ÄúHe and his brother had basically approved of the racial principle of National Socialism, but considered it to be exaggerated and excessive‚ÄĚ[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 by Roland Freisler on 10 August and was one of eight conspirators executed by strangulation, hanged in Plötzensee Prison, Berlin, later that day.

Endnotes

  1. ^ L√∂ttel, Holger (2007-07-22) (in German) (PDF), Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (1907‚Äď1944): Leben und W√ľrdigung- Vortrag anl√§√ülich der Gedenkveranstaltung zum 100.Geburtstag von Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Ketrzyn/Rastenburg, 22.Juli 2007, http://www.forschungsgemeinschaft-20-juli.de/downloads/vortraege/Loettel%20zu%20Stauffenberg.pdf, retrieved 2008-02-07  
  2. ^ Kiesewetter, Renate (in German) (PDF), Im Portr√§t: Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg, http://www.br-online.de/wissen-bildung/collegeradio/medien/geschichte/stauffenberg/manuskript/stauffenberg_manuskript.pdf, retrieved 2008-02-07  
  3. ^ Bentzien, Hans (2004) (in German). Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg-Der T√§ter und seine Zeit. Berlin: Das Neue Berlin Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. pp. 24-29.  
  4. ^ Zeller, Eberhard (2008) (in German). Oberst Claus Graf Stauffenberg. Paderborn-Munich-Vienna-Z√ľrich: Ferdinand Sch√∂ningh. pp. 7-10.  
  5. ^ a b Noakes, Jeremy Nazism, Volume 4, University of Exeter Press, 1998 page 633

Terminology note

  • Regarding personal names, Graf is a German title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The feminine form is Gr√§fin.

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