Valkyrie: The Story of the Plot to Kill Hitler, by Its Last Member

Valkyrie: The Story of the Plot to Kill Hitler, by Its Last Member


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Valkyrie: The Story of the Plot to Kill Hitler, by Its Last Member by Philip Freiherr Von Boeselager, Jerome Fehrenbach, Florence Fehrenbach

When the Second World War broke out, Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, age twenty-five, fought for his country enthusiastically as a cavalry officer. His rearing on the family estate in the Rhineland had instilled in him a strong Catholic faith, a reverence for the fatherland, and a love of horsemanship and the hunt. And so, like his brother Georg, he accepted a commission when the call came to restore the pride Germany had lost in the humiliating peace of Versailles.

Soon, however, beyond the regimented and honor-bound world of the cavalry, von Boeselager would discover what shocking brutality the SS was perpetrating at the behest of the Third Reich’s highest authorities. When, in the summer of 1942, he heard that five Roma had been killed in cold blood, von Boeselager’s patriotism quickly turned to disgust. Under his commanding officer, Field Marshal von Kluge, Philipp and his brother joined a group of conspirators in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler.

It was planned that Philipp would shoot both the Führer and Himmler in the officers’ casino during a camp inspection visit, but when that attempt had to be aborted at the last moment, the plotters resolved to use a bomb to assassinate Hitler alone. Once von Boeselager had delivered the explosives to Claus von Stauffenberg, a leader of the plot, he and Georg led an unauthorized retreat of cavalry units from the eastern front, a surreal night maneuver indelibly described here. The mission: to take control of Berlin and effect the coup d’etat.

When the bomb failed to kill Hitler, the SS launched a terrifying purge of senior army officers. The von Boeselager brothers barely managed to return with their units to the eastern front in time to escape detection. One by one their fellow plotters were found out, tortured, and executed, but steadfast in their cause, they never gave up the von Boeselagers’ names. Georg would eventually fall in battle on the Russian front, but Philipp survived the war.

In this elegant but unflinching testimony, Philipp von Boeselager, until his death in 2008 the last surviving member of the plot code-named Valkyrie, gives voice to the spirit of the small but determined band of men whose sense of justice and honor could not be dissolved by the diabolical glamour of the Third Reich. Here is an invaluable new perspective on one of the most fascinating near misses of twentieth-century history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307270757
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/12/2009
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Florence Fehrenbach is the granddaughter of Karl von Wendt, a co-conspirator and close friend of Philipp von Boeselager.

Jerôme Fehrenbach helped his wife, Florence Fehrenbach, to convince Philipp von Boeselager to recount his experience in the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler.

Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, a commanding lieutenant in the German army, joined the German Resistance in 1941 and lived to be the last surviving member of Valkyrie, the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Michael Prichard has recorded well over five hundred audiobooks and was named one of SmartMoney magazine's Top Ten Golden Voices. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award and several AudioFile Earphones Awards.

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Valkyrie: The Story of the Plot to Kill Hitler, by Its Last Member 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
kaluabeach More than 1 year ago
Being a college student majoring in Equine Studies ,and someone who has always been very interested in learning about the World War II era I found this book very fascinating. It really showed a different side to what we know Nazi Germany was like, and revealed the unique comradeship between men in the German calvary. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.
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DvSS More than 1 year ago
Incredible story and incredible man. I had the honor of meeting him years ago; he emanated a dignified strength and humility but I had no idea how much he went through in the war. Though the title is a bit misleading (he would have cringed to know it was re-named Valkyre in the English translation) this personal history is truly inspiring... The last of the old school hero's. When I finished the book on a flight back to the US I sat stunned for at least an hour in deep thought and admiration. Then flipped to page 1 and began again... This does not happen often. Highly recommended! DvS
Immigrant More than 1 year ago
The description of Freiherr von Boeselager is interesting information, yet it is a little to drawn out in areas not directly related to the subject of the assassination on Hitler. Very little is mentioned of von Stauffenberg, who actually carried to explosives to the meeting with Hitler. The book is more of a biography for von Boeselager than a description of the assassination attempt.
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BeardedDerek More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for any history nerd or to someone just wanting an interesting read.Very thought provoking to the point of almost feeling bad for German troops.It shows that there was a difference to the German troops from there Nazi Allys.Pick it up, its a quick read.