The aristocratic von Boeselager brothers serving under von Kluge, appauled by attrocities they witnessed, were involved in attempts to kill Hitler--Walküre / Valkyrie (1943 and 44). Both brothers became Wehrmacht Heer officers and served on the eastern front. Pilippe was motivated to turn against Hitler in June 1942 when a group of Roma people (Gypsies) were shot in cold blood solely because of their ethnicity. The Roma like the Jews were assigned to death as part of the Holocaust. The crime was more than Phillip and his brother could endure, despite their oath of loyalty to Hitler. Unlike many involved in the Plot, the von Boeselager managed to remain undetected. Georg was, however, subsequently killed in fighting on thecWastern Front.
The von Boeselager family were devout Catholics. The photo here shows the children of the aristocratic von Boeselager family taken about 1930
Phillipp attended a Jesuit secondary school, Aloisiuscolleg (in Godesburg).
Phillipp and Georg von Boeselager used the middle name Freiherr (which is not really a name but a title meaning "baron"). Phillipp was born 6 September 1917 and was about 12 or 13 year old at the time the photo was taken. His older brother brother George was born in 1915 and was about 14 or 15 at the time of the photo. Phillip is shown wearing a sweater with an open-collar white shirt, short trousers, and beige long stockings. George, standing next to him, is
wearing knickers with brown stockings, a jacket, and also an open-collared shirt.
Both brothers became Wehrmacht Heer officers and served on the eastern front.
Pilippe was motivated to turn against Hitler in June 1942 when a group of Roma people (Gypsies) were shot in cold blood solely because of their ethnicity. The Roma like the Jews were assigned to death as part of the Holocaust. The crime was more than Phillip and his brother could endure, despite their oath of loyalty to Hitler.
Operation Walküre (Valkyrie was a plan developed for the Territorial Reserve Army to deal with a general breakdown in civil order as a result of the War. This happened at the end of World War I and Walküre was the plan from allowing it to happen again. Authorities were concerned with both the breakdown of civil authority as a result if the Allied bombing or an uprising of the millions of foreign workers (including slave labor) brought into Germany to support the war effort. General Friedrich Olbricht, Major General Henning von Tresckow, and Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg modified the plan to use it as a general uprisung against Hitler and rhe NAZIs. They planned to seize control of the major cities, disarm the SS, and arrest the NAZI leadership. Key to the plan was assassinating Hitler. This was the the July 20 Bomp Plot. Hitler's death and not just his arrest was essential. His death would free German officers from their oath of loyalty to him personally (Reichswehreid).
The von Boeselager brothers about 25 and 27) were supported in their attempt to kill Hitler by their commanding officer, Field Marshall Gunther von Kluge.
The first attempt occurred in 1943 when Hitler accompanied by Himmler had planned to join Kluge for a strategy meeting on the eastern front. Phillipp had planned to shoot both Himmler and Hitler at this meeting, but when Himmler at the last moment decided not to join Hitler, the plan was aborted because the von Boeselager brothers thought it would be too dangerous to assassinate Hitler and leave Himmler to replace him as Furher.
The second attempt in 1944 involved the attempt to blow Hitler up with a bomb concealed in another conspirator's
briefcase--the July Bomb Plot. This was von Staufenberg's attempt. Kluge and the von Boesenlager brothers were planning to order their troops to reverse direction and march upon Berlin once Hitler was dead, helping von Staufenberg to hold and consolidate a new government in the capital city. Unfortunately the brief case was moved from Hitler's side before it blew up but after von Staufenberg had left the room so that Hitler suffered only minor injuries. Von Staufenberg was immediately arrested
in Berlin and executed along with most of the other conspirators. But the von Boesenlager brothers were not detected and narrowly escaped execution at the hands of the SS which remained ardently loyal to Hitler. Phillipp was able to reverse the retreat of his troops in time to avoid being suspected of treason, and he survived the War to become an international and highly decorated hero. He wrote an account of the unsuccessful attempts to kill Hitler, which was published, and he died of natural causes in his old age. His brother Georg also escaped detection but was killed in combat on the eastern front.
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