Colonel Stauffenberg and Tom Cruise´s movie

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Karl Heidenreich
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Colonel Stauffenberg and Tom Cruise´s movie

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:18 pm

Days ago I read that Tom Cruise is planning to film a movie about colonel Claus von Stauffenberg atempt to kill Hitler, which is tomorrow 63 years ago.
I don´t have any particular affinity for Cruise or his strange religion but it came to my attention the official German answer to all this. One German spokesman said, more or less, this: "It´s unthinkable that Cruise wants to play Germany´s greatest hero, Colonel Stauffenberg..." etc. etc. etc.

Greatest hero? :think:

I´ll think about the following scenario:

"London, between September 1940 and May 1941. All of Europe is on Hitler´s powerfull grip: France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Poland and many other lesser states are conquered.
The U-Boats attack mercant shipping and England is at the verge of collapse.
The Blitz rages over British cities killing thousands.
No one knows if the United States would enter the war. Japan is more than a year away to attack Pearl Harbor.
Churchill rejects an offering of Hitler for peace.

Then a British senior officer came, with a strong belief that if England makes peace with Hitler then thousands of innocents would live instead of dying; that England could survive those dark days and live in peace with the nazis on the other side of the Channel.

So he came to a meeting of military staff with Churchill with a bomb in a briefcase and, minutes before the detonation, runs away after planted the device. The briefcase explodes but fails in killing Churchill."


Could that guy be called a hero? What would British History call such a person? What would western History call such an officer?

Even, if it is succesfull and kills Churchill: can he be called a hero?

43,000 thousand people died during the Blitz. One million lost their homes. Churchill´s death would have prevent that. Again: Could this officer be called a hero?

For me such a person only deserves one name: traitor!

Stauffenberg was not a hero as much as Bennedict Arnold or Judas can be called heroes. No one that betrays the confidence his leaders had given him can be called a hero. Not in Churchill´s England, or Stalin´s Russia or Togo´s Japan or Hussein´s Irak or Roosevelt´s USA or even Hitler´s Germany.

If the Germans are looking for a WWII hero they had Gunther Prien, or Michael Wittman, or Adolf Galland or Eric Hartman, or Gerhard Barkhorn or those guys that fought in the eastern front against the hordes of communist vermin, or the panzer corps at Kursk figthing forces ten times their size, or the crew of Bismarck or those brave guys in the U-Boats fighting the destroyers or so many individuals that fought for their country regardless of the regime in power.
How can Stauffenberg be called a hero if young boys and old guys with panzerfausts and sticks and rocks defended Berlin to death in 1945 against two million soviet soldiers? Those that fought were the heroes.
Not a guy that tried to kill his own leader with a bomb while running away to safety.
He is a hero because the nazis lost the war. If don´t he would have been labeled worse than Bennedict Arnold in the US or Judas in Chrisitianity.
And, if he was such an hero why he didn´t try to kill Hitler when the Germans were winning? He tried to kill Hitler when defeat was months away. Was Hitler less evil when victorious? If the attempt had a reason then it was to try to save some Prussian butts of the hook when everything was destroyed. There was no moral there.
The real heroes were fighting and it´s sad they don´t deserve the recognition all warriors deserve, regardless their causes from the beginning of History until now. The rest is only cheap propaganda.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Post by Alatriste » Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:05 pm

von Stauffenberg was a traitor only to Hitler and his regime but not to Germany. Hitler betrayed Germany. But I agree von Stauffenberg can not be considered as Germany's greatest hero.

The last I read about Tom Cruise movie is that the family of von Stauffenberg did not approve it and wanted Cruise to quit.

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Post by Bgile » Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 pm

Alatriste wrote:von Stauffenberg was a traitor only to Hitler and his regime but not to Germany. Hitler betrayed Germany. But I agree von Stauffenberg can not be considered as Germany's greatest hero.

The last I read about Tom Cruise movie is that the family of von Stauffenberg did not approve it and wanted Cruise to quit.
My understanding is Cruise is very unpopular in Germany due to his cult association and not because of the movie.

Karl, I don't understand why you think Churchill's death would have caused the end of the war. Hitler's death might have done so. Probably not, but the Germans involved in the plot did so because they thought they could save German lives.

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Post by Gary » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:18 pm

Stauffenberg can be considered a hero because depsite his unsuitabilty to do the job (he had lost digits on both hands I believe due to earlier wartime injuries), he was the only guy willing to try.

By 1944 it should have been clear to anyone of a high rank that Germany was beat, it was only a question of when not if.
Hitler prolonged the war as long as possible and in 1945 when the Red army was at the gates of Berlin, Hitler sent kids and old folks out to do his dirty work and try to repel the Russians.

Perhaps Staffenberg thought that if he could remove Hitler then someone else would take over and try to barter a deal with the allies instead of fighting to the dire ends resulting in many more needless deaths.

Who knows, I doubt if the allies would have accepted any peace deal anyway :think:

I wouldnt label Stauffenberg as a villian but nor would I consider him "Germanys greatest hero" - off the top of my head, surely Manfred Von Richtofen (Red Baron) comes before him?

Oh and I think Tom Cruise is totally unsuitable to play him
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:33 pm

In order to continue this thread I must say, again, that I have no sympathy for Hitler and his thugs whatsoever.
But that doesn´t blind me about several things that are kept quiet because are political incorrect.

First, Bgile. I was assuming that someone, in 1940-1941 could have believed that by killing Churchill he could save England of destruction or at least save thounsands from death. I don´t say that it would, was or been so, just that, hypotheticaly, someone in those moments could have thought so. The idea was to bring a paralel argument to what Stauffenberg did.

Second, Alatrsite. I don´t agree with you. Stauffenberg, being a traitor to Hitler, was a traitor to Germany. Why? Because Hitler wasn´t betraying Germany. He published a book, Mein Kampf, that was very specific in what he intend to do, how he would do it and to whom he would do it. People read the book and went to the elections and vote for Hitler. People support the guy, the military support the guy, the industrialist give money to the guy, Hindenburg gave his blessing to Mr. Hitler. And everybody fell in love with him. When Hitler humilliated Poland, France and everybody else Germany cheered for him. When he was losing the war people support the war effort. When Germany was destroyed the people come from the rubble to fight the allies. Germans fought to the last man in Berlin. Not even in WWI the Germans fought so much and so well. So: Germany´s fate was Hitler´s. You betray one then you betray both. Anyhow all officers swore an oath to Hitler and by doing something against him then you are a traitor. Maybe we don´t like Hitler as we don´t like Stalin or Bush but if you are member of the armed forces you don´t go fooling around putting bombs against your leader, period.

Gary: I doubt that the allies would have accepted a peace deal without an unconditional surrender anyway. As I say, if Stauffenberg was such an idealist then why he didn´t blew Hitler before conquering France or the invasion to Russia? He waited until they were losing bad to kill his leader and save face for the allies.

Best regards...
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Post by Alatriste » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:42 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Second, Alatrsite. I don´t agree with you. Stauffenberg, being a traitor to Hitler, was a traitor to Germany. Why? Because Hitler wasn´t betraying Germany. He published a book, Mein Kampf, that was very specific in what he intend to do, how he would do it and to whom he would do it. People read the book and went to the elections and vote for Hitler. People support the guy, the military support the guy, the industrialist give money to the guy, Hindenburg gave his blessing to Mr. Hitler. And everybody fell in love with him. When Hitler humilliated Poland, France and everybody else Germany cheered for him. When he was losing the war people support the war effort. When Germany was destroyed the people come from the rubble to fight the allies. Germans fought to the last man in Berlin. Not even in WWI the Germans fought so much and so well. So: Germany´s fate was Hitler´s. You betray one then you betray both. Anyhow all officers swore an oath to Hitler and by doing something against him then you are a traitor. Maybe we don´t like Hitler as we don´t like Stalin or Bush but if you are member of the armed forces you don´t go fooling around putting bombs against your leader, period.
Germany already existed before Hitler.
Hitler betrayed Germany in almost every way. He promised a 1000 year Reich and instead of that he ruined his country. Stauffenberg conspirated against Hitler to try to avoid more destruction of Germany.

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Post by RF » Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:36 am

Bgile wrote:
Karl, I don't understand why you think Churchill's death would have caused the end of the war. Hitler's death might have done so. Probably not, but the Germans involved in the plot did so because they thought they could save German lives.
One aspect not mentioned here is that there was a very loose similarity between Stauffenburg trying to assassinate Hitler to end the war, and Lord Halifax's proposals to the British Cabinet during 10 - 28 May 1940 to end the war by negociating a peace settlement at a Munich style conference arranged via the Italians. Halifax was the foreign secretary in Chamberlain's appeasement government and stayed on in that post when Churchill succeeded Chamberlain as Prime Minister. This was because Halifax was the only rival to Churchill for the job of Prime Minister.

Without Churchill Britain would have ''tamely gone down the slippery slope of surrender, dragged down with the French'' to use Churchill's own words. Halifax's proposals only failed in the Cabinet because Attlee, the Labour Party leader, sided with Churchill, without which Churchill would have been outvoted in Cabinet and forced to resign as Prime Minister.

Coming back to Stauffenburg, I don't regard him as a hero at all. The July 1944 bomb plot was a conspiracy of monumental incompetance, as indeed all the plots against Hitler turned out to be. The plotters main motive was preservation of their own position and priveleges of the Junker and officer corps overall, which were threatened with total destruction if the Allies, and particulary the Russians, defeated and occupied Germany (as indeed they were - after the savage revenge of the Nazis and Roland Friesler's ''People's Court'').

Neither is Halifax regarded as any hero in Britain - he came to be regarded as the ''arch appeaser'' of the 1930's and Churchill packed him off to Washington as ambassador after the Dunkirk evacuations, when the public mood in Britain was for fighting to the end and no longer for appeasement.
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Post by Gary » Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:17 am

Hi all.

Not wanting to venture to far off topic, but even successful assassinations can come at a very high price.
After Rienhard Heydrichs death in 1942, the SS inflicted horrific revenge on the Czech population.
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:11 pm

I remember when my mother told me about what Stauffenberg had done and how happy she was. I was 9. In my Bohemian hometown there were photos of Hitler with black borders around the frames in the store windows for one or two days (at least that is what I recall in my imperfect memory). My uncle was, as Stauffenberg, also an honorary member of that cavalry regiment, "Reiterregiment 17" in Bamberg, otherwise known as the "Bamberger Reiter", which Stauffenberg belonged to. It was named after an equestrian statue in the cathedral there. And it is through my uncle's own deeds that a feel a particular admiration and affinity for Stauffenberg.

Now, after all these years, remembering that date 20 July each year, I really don't give a God damn about who impersonates my hero in a silly movie.
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Post by Orville H. Larson » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:41 am

So near, and yet so far. . . .

After Stauffenberg placed his briefcase as close to Hitler as possible, he left the room (which raised some eyebrows; not even a Field Marshal would leave the room while Hitler was present). Unfortunately, a Colonel Brandt pushed the briefcase under the heavy oak table because it blocked his feet. The table top, plus the heavy supports, shielded Hitler from the worst effects of the explosion.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:51 pm

Again, on moral grounds: why Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators didn´t try to kill Hitler in 1940, before the conquest of Europe? If they got Hitler dead early in 1940 some 50 million people would have been saved, including the 6 million jews that died in the holocaust.
But, no, they tried to kill him in 1944 when the ruskies were advancing westerly and the US-British-Canadian forces had already landed in Normandy and advancing easterly.
They tried to kill Hitler, as RF said, with monumental incompetence, only when their Prussian butts were in danger of losing all the privileges their oligarquic status had given them.
Again: if you are looking for German heroes then you have Michael Wittman, Otto Skorzeny, Adolf Galland or Ernst Lindemann...
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:12 pm

There would not have been a holocaust without the Nazis, but that war was inevitable anyway.........Remember what Clausewitz said.....Krieg ist die Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln ....war is the continuance of politcs by alternative means......
As to Stauffenberg, I would only say better late than never.
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:42 pm

Ulrich, I agree with you that war was inevitable between Germany and France at least, there was some unnecesary humilliation to get even with, but not the apocaliptic scorched earth (with final solution included) that the nazis unleashed over Europe.
Anyway, between 1939 and mid 1941 the conquests of the German Reich havençt claimed an incredible amount of lives in combat. But the occupation, the Gestapo and the reign of terror over civilians after the military campaigns claimed hundreds of thousands innocent lives. And after that came the invasion of Russia and the allied counterattack that was when millions lost their lives.
To kill Hitler in March 1940 and the war would have been an footnote in History books.
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Post by tommy303 » Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:06 pm

Hi Karl,

There were a number of attempts on Hitler's life by the anti-nazi groups:

Johann Elser attempts to kill Hitler in November 1939 in Munich by bomb--this was the only lone-assassin attempt. The others were by military conspirators. The first such attempt was in 1939 before the war began. Another was attempted in 1940. Fourteen more attempts, including the 20 Juli, were made between 1941 and 1945.

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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:10 pm

In fact, there were obviously 1000s involved in various plans and plots during those times, although most remain unknown forever.

There are some interesting and revealing segments of this part of history on Google video "Stauffenberg". Here is a sample.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... &plindex=6
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 3494407811
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... &plindex=7
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 3026185660
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 7688987949
http://www.spiegel.de/videoplayer/0,6298,20059,00.html
Ulrich

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