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I’m going to go out on a limb and guess this was not put together by the typical Facebook user.
Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist, the last surviving member of the July 20, 1944, plot to kill Adolf Hitler, died earlier this month at age 90.
Von Kleist had joined the Wehrmacht as an infantry officer in 1940 at age 18, but he did so out of an allegiance to country, not to the Führer. He came from a long line of Prussian landowners who had served the state for centuries in high-ranking military and administrative positions, according to the Associated Press.
However, von Kleist’s father, a Christian, conservative and monarchist, resisted Hitler, and the Nazi flag never flew from the Kleist castle in Pomerania nor was the Nazi salute ever given there, according to The Economist.
As the war progressed and its true nature was revealed to the younger von Kleist, he grew increasing troubled. Stationed on the Eastern Front, he saw some of the conflict’s most brutal action and was wounded in 1943.
In early 1944, Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, the leader of a group of anti-Nazi plotters, asked von Kleist to undertake a suicide mission to kill Hitler.
Von Kleist hesitated, according to The Economist, hoping that his father would object and save him. But his father paused for only a moment before he told him he must do it: “A man who doesn’t take such a chance will never again be happy in life.”
Seventy-five years ago today, Germany marched into, occupied and annexed Austria in what became known as the Anschluss.
As the above photo shows, many turned out to joyously greet Wehrmacht troops as they rolled through the Austrian countryside and cities, including Vienna.
Not all were advocates of the union, however.
Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg was committed to his country’s independence despite several years of bullying from Austrian and German Nazis.
Prior to the actual German annexation, Schuschnigg had scheduled a plebiscite on the issue of unification for March 13, 1938, expecting his fellow countrymen to reject the idea.
Adolf Hitler, ever the proponent of fair and honest elections, declared the vote would be tainted by fraud and stated that Germany would not abide by the results.
How remote is the area around Mount Elbrus, located in the western Caucasus Mountain range in Russia, near the border with Georgia?
Recently, five Nazi World War II artillery guns were discovered, along with ammunition and other explosives, where they’d apparently sat undisturbed for the past 70 years.
The guns – 76-mm cannons – are in good condition, according to police in Kalbardino-Balkaria region, the location of Mount Elbrus, the tallest mountain in Europe.
“If they fell into the wrong hands, they could be used as intended,” Elbrus police chief Muslim Bottayev said. Military engineers would soon remove the weapons and ammunition to a safe location.
During the period, a team of German high mountain troops scaled Elbrus, planting a swastika at its peak, according to the Indo-Asian News Service. “Intended as a propaganda coup, the stunt reportedly enraged Hitler, who viewed it as a frivolous diversion of effort.”
Adolf Hitler’s last surviving bodyguard has stopped responding to the flood of fan mail the 93-year-old receives, citing old age.
Rochus Misch, who uses a walking frame to move around his apartment, told the Berliner Kurier that with the deluge of letters he receives asking for autographs, it was “no longer possible” to reply because of his age.
“They (letters) come from Korea, from Knoxville, Tennessee, from Finland and Iceland – and not one has a bad word to say,” said Misch, who is believed to be the last man alive to have seen Hitler and other top-ranking Nazis in the flesh.
In the past Misch used to send fans autographed copies of wartime photos of himself in a neatly pressed SS uniform, according to Reuters. Now the incoming fan mail, including letters and packages, piles up in his flat in south Berlin’s leafy Rudow neighborhood.
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin cancelled two planned Soviet attempts to assassinate Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during World War II, fearing that his replacement would make a separate peace with the Western Allies, according to a top Russian general.
A plan to attack Hitler’s bunker in 1943 and a 1944 plot involving an assassin who had gained the trust of the Nazi leadership were both called off on Stalin’s orders, General Anatoly Kulikov told a historical conference in Moscow, Reuters reported.
“A plan to assassinate Hitler in his bunker was developed, but Stalin suddenly cancelled it in 1943 over fears that after Hitler’s death his associates would conclude a separate peace treaty with Britain and the United States,” Russia’s RIA news agency quoted Kulikov as saying.
Kulikov, according to RIA, also said the Soviet Union had a second opportunity to kill Hitler in 1944 when the intended assassin managed to infiltrate Hitler’s entourage and had a high degree of trust among the German leadership.
“A detailed assassination plan was prepared, but Stalin cancelled it again,” RIA quotes the former general as saying.
Kulikov was Russia’s Interior Minister from 1995 to 1998 under President Boris Yeltsin. He said that the Club of Military Leaders, which he heads, would include details of the assassination attempts in a forthcoming book on World War II, according to Reuters.
According to historians, there were more than 40 attempts on Hitler’s life.
The German dictator killed himself on April 30, 1945, as Soviet forces closed on Berlin, effectively ending the war in Europe and setting the stage for the Cold War stand-off between Russia and the West.
An estimated 27 million Soviet citizens died in the 1941-1945 war with Nazi Germany.