Valkyrie: The Story of the Plot to Kill Hitler, by Its Last Member

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jan 5, 2011 - History - 224 pages
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When the Second World War broke out, Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, then 25-years-old, fought enthusiastically for Germany as a cavalry officer. But after discovering Nazi crimes, von Boeselager’s patriotism quickly turned to disgust, and he joined a group of conspirators who plotted to kill Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. In this elegant but unflinching memoir, von Boeselager gives voice to the spirit of the small but determined band of men who took a stand against the Third Reich in what culminating in the failed “Valkyrie” plot—one of the most fascinating near misses of twentieth-century history.


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A rather interesting book to read. While the book does not cover the main core of the German resistance, it does however cover his story on the front lines, his reason to turn against Hitler and the Nazi regime, and his role in German resistance and the July 20 plot. After the failure of the plot, he and his brother's involvement went undetected, which makes them one of the very few to escape Hitler's reprisal.
One important thing that I should point out that in the book, it incorrectly stated that von Boeselager was the last survivor of the plot. Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin was the last survivor, however it is possible that von Boeselager probably did not know him.
 

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About the author (2011)

Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager was born in Bonn, Germany, in 1917, the fifth of nine children. He was raised with a liberal education, strong moral and religious values, and a love of hunting. In 1938, he enlisted and was placed in the cavalry regiment. He rose to the rank of commanding lieutenant, only to join the German resistance in 1941. His participation in Valkyrie went undetected, and he lived to be the last surviving member of the plot. In 2003, France awarded von Boeselager the Legion of Honor. He died on May 1, 2008.

Florence Fehrenbach is the granddaughter of Karl von Wendt, a coconspirator and close friend of Philipp von Boeselager. She and her husband, Jérôme Fehrenbach, convinced Boeselager, at the age of eighty-nine, to recount his experience.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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