German royal family lawsuit could backfire and reveal nobles’ support for Nazis | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

German royal family lawsuit could backfire and reveal nobles’ support for Nazis

No moment in the story of the German resistance to Nazism has received greater attention — or been more mythologized — than the 1944 “July Plot” when Count Claus von Stauffenberg’s bomb came close to assassinating Adolf Hitler. The plotters, former German chancellor Helmut Kohl proclaimed in 1994, were “the most noble and greatest” individuals “that have ever been produced in the history of mankind.”

Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators’ bravery — and their aristocratic backgrounds — has cemented in the popular imagination the notion that the German nobility were at the forefront of the domestic opposition to National Socialism.

But, argues Dr. Stephan Malinowski in “Nazis & Nobles: The History of a Misalliance,” the real picture is somewhat more complex. Not only did the overwhelming majority of the plotters’ peers make a “substantial contribution to the rise of the Nazi dictatorship,” he writes, but many of those who attempted to kill Hitler in the summer of 1944 as Germany hurtled towards defeat had themselves previously had a deeply ambiguous relationship with the Third Reich.

The role of the upper echelons of German society in helping the Nazis to power is a largely overlooked and forgotten story.

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