These are, in all honesty and truth, are my favorite pictures of Claus. They’re not photographs of him looking perfectly groomed and dashing in his military uniform. They’re not pictures of him excelling in calvary drills, looking like a glorious, perfect horseman, excelling at his sport. They’re not pictures of him in his late teens, young and handsome, on fire with idealism.
No, these are just pictures of him and his kids, his family. He’s not in uniform, and he’s not even looking at the camera. But dang it, he looks so happy. His expression, his posture, the way he’s smiling that soft, patient smile of his… it just breaks my heart and makes me fall in love with him more every time I see these. You can tell how much he loves his children. And then, with all that came after, all that he did, all he gave up, with the whole national environment this family was in, I just… ugh.
And I know as an observer of history you can’t judge people by their photographs. But in this case, it fits.
Here’s to 105 years of Claus von Stauffenberg. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Herr Oberst.
July 20th 1944: Assassination attempt on Hitler
On this day in 1944, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler narrowly survived an assassination attempt in what became known as the July 1944 bomb plot. The plot was led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and several military figures who also planned a military coup d’etat after the assassination. The plan was to place a bomb under the table in a briefcase in a conference room in Hitler’s Prussian Wolf’s Lair headquarters. However one of the attendees at the meeting moved the case behind the table leg with his foot, thus deflecting the blast from Hitler, though the blast did kill four in attendance. The Gestapo arrested at least 7000 people in response to the attack and almost 5000 were executed.
John Singer Sargent