December 05, 2008


Last night I got to attend an advance showing of Valkyrie, the film about the July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler that is opening on Christmas day. I thought it was an excellent, suspenseful film, and one many Takimag readers might enjoy. The film’s hero is Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who was seriously wounded in combat in North Africa but had soured on the Nazis well before then. He and his fellow plotters are portrayed as sincere patriots, disgusted at how the Nazis had blotted the honor of Germany and its armed forces by their horrific crimes. Many of the plotters, like Stauffenberg himself, were aristocrats, genuine conservatives, and sincere Christians, and the movie does not shy away from these aspects of Stauffenberg’s character, subtly highlighting his Catholicism and showing him proclaiming his last words, “Long live our holy Germany!” It is a great tragedy that these men did not succeed; had they, it is just possible that the best aspects of Germany’s past, which they embodied, would have survived the calamity of World War II.

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