We are surprised by the thought that there was only one attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler. That tyrant made himself hated among that class most likely to create assassins, the notables. They started by viewing the man with contempt, learning by degrees fear & therefore hatred. The notables were convinced beyond doubt that Germany needed order & they learned that they could not order Germany. So the unloved Weimar orders were destroyed; the hateful Nazi orders replaced them.
Now, Hitler could not protect himself adequately from the notables because they were the army. What Germany could there be if you kill her spirit? Now, Stalin was more cunning – that tyrant slaughtered the Russian Army officers, & therefore never had to fear their conspiracies. But perhaps he paid a price, lacking for good captains. But Hitler knew something the notables did not – he added, like Stalin, a political army besides the old army, as a new mode of humbling the proud.
This is the story of the prince Stauffenberg, the only man daring enough to attempt to kill Hitler. This man entered a conspiracy he did not create & brought the resolve to commit murder. Three reasons lead men to assassination: Blood, fortune, & honor. Hitler was not naïve enough to allow the former close to him. It was therefore revealed that many that thought themselves honorable were merely fortunate.
But a captain like Stauffenberg does not know fear & he can harden the hearts of those he leads, so that their resolve to do the unthinkable binds them to each other. & indeed, in his death scene, he said, None will be spared. – & many died with him, whether they knew his conspiracy or not, because they had dared to hear the unthinkable, but not to see it.
With men like these, no conspiracy can succeed, & the more that find out about it, the more it is doomed, for men often speak in anger, but rarely act. Stauffenberg, though a cripple & half-blind, himself armed & delivered the bomb & barely escaped the blast, & flew to Berlin to lead the attack on the Nazi orders. In this he was cunning, for he planned to use the German army against the Nazis. But his honor cost him allies, for he committed no slaughter.
Finally, we know that many plots failed because German officers were shocked to see how well Hitler guessed the weakness of the democracies. But perhaps they also were impressed with a criminal so vulgar & so rash, being that he was nevertheless successful. & then Hitler forced the army to do the unthinkable, which is the way to secure the loyalty of the doomed.
The story of a noble man’s attempt to save his country from the devil