Plotting Hitler's Death: The Story of German Resistance

Front Cover
Henry Holt and Company, Oct 15, 1996 - History - 432 pages
On July 20, 1944, as World War II reached its climax, a group of German anti-Nazi conspirators, led by a dashing, highly decorated young count, Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, detonated a powerful bomb at the East Prussia military headquarters of Adolf Hitler. Although the bomb miraculously failed to maim or kill Hitler, the explosion dramatically announced to the world the existence of a secret, indigenous opposition to the Nazi regime.
In this definitive and compelling new book, Joachim Fest, the acclaimed biographer of Adolf Hitler, recounts in vivid detail the events leading up to July 20, the tense and confused moments before the explosion, and the terrifying roundup and executions that followed. Fest recounts the heroic (and unsuccessful) efforts of senior military officials to persuade the Allies to help them oust the Nazis. He recreates the ill-fated schemes to blow up Hitler's private plane and to kill the Fuhrer at the opening of a museum exhibition. Cataloged here are no fewer than fifteen separate assassination attempts during Hitler's reign, attempts that on several occasions came within minutes - or inches - of succeeding, but tragically always failed: in some instances because of bad timing or poor planning; in others, because of the omnipresent scrutiny of the Gestapo or Hitler's own unerring instinct for danger.
In the end, however, Joachim Fest's singular accomplishment is to portray the human side of the German resistance - the conviction and resolve that gave them the courage to defy almost impossible odds, and the fatal indecisiveness that caused them to fail time and again. Plotting Hitler's Death will stands as one of the definitive accounts of a tortured and misunderstood era.

What people are saying - Write a review

PLOTTING HITLER'S DEATH: The Story of the German Resistance

User Review  - Kirkus

Sure to fuel the continuing controversy over the response of German citizens to National Socialism. Fest is one of the preeminent scholars of the Nazi period whose previous books (Hitler, 1974; The ... Read full review

Plotting Hitler's death: the story of the German resistance

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners (LJ 3/15/96) again stirred an ongoing debate with his assertion that Germans willingly participated in Adoph Hitler's policies. Historian Fest ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1996)

Joachim Fest is a highly acclaimed historian and journalist, and the author of several widely respected books on Nazi Germany, including The Face of the Third Reich, Plotting Hitler's Death, and Speer. He worked closely with Albert Speer as the editor of Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: The Secret Diaries. He lives near Frankfurt.

Bruce Little has worked as a journalist and policy analyst primarily at the Globe and Mail as an economics writer and columnist, and recently as Special Adviser to the Governor of the Bank of Canada.

Bibliographic information