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German government pays tribute to resistance to Nazi regime

On 20 July 1944, an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler by officers of the Wehrmacht failed. On the attempt’s 78th anniversary, the German government paid tribute to the resistance to the Nazi regime.

Christine Lambrecht
© picture alliance/dpa

Berlin (dpa) - On the 78th anniversary of the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, the German government paid tribute to the military resistance to the Nazi regime. As Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on Twitter, the men and women led by the Wehrmacht officer Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg risked their lives to overthrow Hitler’s regime. “Their sacrifice obliges us to always stand up for democracy.” Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said at a swearing-in ceremony for some 400 recruits in Berlin that 20 July was a “very special day” for the Bundeswehr.

“On no other day of the year is it more fitting to commit recruits of the Bundeswehr to the values of our Basic Law, to democracy and to faithful service,” Lambrecht stressed. Though the assassination attempt had failed, she said that the attempt alone had a very high moral value. In addition, there is a direct legacy of 20 July 1944 that extends into the Bundeswehr: “German soldiers today have a compass: conscience takes precedence over obedience,” said the defence minister.

On 20 July 1944, Wehrmacht officers led by Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg had tried in vain to kill Hitler with a bomb and end the war. Stauffenberg and three co-conspirators were shot on the evening of the assassination. In the weeks and months that followed, the Nazis executed around 90 more participants and supporters.