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Last of the plotters against Hitler passes away

Last of the plotters against Hitler passes away

THE last surviving member of the gang which plotted to assassinate Adolf Hitler has passed away at the age 90.

Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist was a young Army officer when in January 1944 he became involved in a plot to kill the Nazi leader. The plan involved him setting off a bomb while showing the Füher designs for new army uniforms. However, the plan had to be abandoned because Hitler kept rescheduling the event.

Mr. von Kleist’s father also opposed Hitler and had supported the bomb plan which had been masterminded by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. 

Months later, Colonel von Stauffenberg had come up with another assassination plan. This time a bomb, which had been hidden inside a briefcase, was placed close to Hitler at his headquarters known as the Wolf’s Lair at Rastenburg on July 20, 1944. But moments before the device exploded the briefcase was moved and the Nazi leader escaped with minor injuries.

Mr. von Kleist, his father and Col. von Stauffenberg were among a number of the plotters who were rounded-up in the wake of the failed assassination-bid.

The younger von Kleist was fortunate in that evidence of his involvement could not be established so he was spared a trial. However, he was sent to a concentration camp. The other plotters, including his father, were not so lucky. They were tried and sentenced to death. Hitler had all the executions filmed for his personal viewing.

Mr. von Kleist was eventually released from the Ravensbrück concentration camp and sent to serve on the frontline for the remainder of the war.

In peacetime, Mr. von Kleist established a publishing house and also set up the Munich Conference on Security Policy — an annual event which brings together decision-makers from around the world to debate current and future security challenges.

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