77 years ago, a group of officers around assassin Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg tried to eliminate Adolf Hitler and end the war.
On the 77th anniversary of the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, the Federal Government and the Berlin Senate paid tribute to the resistance movement against the Nazi regime.
The women and men of July 20, 1944 are still role models today, said Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) on Tuesday at a ceremony at the Berlin-Plötzensee memorial. Because despite different political, ideological or religious motives, they had the strength to reflect on what they had in common, and in doing so, they had shown greatness.
Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller (SPD) pointed out in a statement that the uprising by Wehrmacht officers had failed. ‘Nevertheless, the attempted assassination attempt and insurrection is a process of the greatest moral weight and an important step on the way back to freedom and self-respect.’
Heil recalled that other people and groups also resisted National Socialism and that all of this was around eight decades ago – that is, the span of a human life. ‘The greater the time, the greater the responsibility of our society,’ warned the minister. «Our responsibility not to forget this past. Neither the crimes of National Socialism, nor the resistance to it. We must never forget what people are capable of – in every respect. ‘
Today it is also important to take decisive action against the abuse of resistance. It is infamous ‘to politically capture a resistance fighter like Sophie Scholl at demonstrations and at the same time march with notorious neo-Nazis,’ said Heil, referring to incidents during protests against the Corona policy.
Müller pointed out that it was only the military defeat brought about by the Allies that led to the smashing of the Nazi regime. ‘The Germans did not manage to do this on their own.’ In his estimation, Germany can still learn lessons from this today. ‘Vigilance and the ability to defend themselves are necessary in order to secure freedom and democracy for all of us,’ emphasized the Berlin head of government. Authoritarian tendencies hostile to freedom, racism and anti-Semitism are an existential threat to our community.
On July 20, 1944, Wehrmacht officers around Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg tried in vain to kill Hitler with a bomb and end the war. Stauffenberg and three co-conspirators were shot in the courtyard of the Bendler block on the evening of the attack. In the weeks and months that followed, the Nazis executed around 90 other participants and supporters.
On the occasion of the day of remembrance, Bundeswehr recruits were supposed to make their solemn vows in the afternoon on Paradeplatz on Bendlerblock, the Berlin headquarters of the Ministry of Defense.