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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

German Resistance Memorial Center

German Resistance Memorial Center

German Resistance Memorial Center

The German Resistance Memorial Center (German: Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand) is a memorial and museum. The monument commemorates those members of the German Army who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944; it is also a memorial to the German resistance in the broader sense. It was here that Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and other members of the failed 20 July plot that attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler were executed.

German Resistance Museum

The museum chronicles the history of Nazi Germany and of all those individuals and groups who opposed Nazism. All the various resistance groups are represented and are given equal respect. The museum shows the many strands of German society which engaged in resistance activity, even though there was not one effectively organised resistance movement.

The museum also demonstrates how Hitler exploited anti-Semitism to gain power and lead Germany into World War II. The museum reproduces many official documents, newspapers, posters, illegal handbills, private letters and photographs.

German Resistance Memorial

Particular attention is given to military resistance figures such as Claus von Stauffenberg, Ludwig Beck, Erwin von Witzleben, Günther von Kluge, Erich Hoepner, Hans Oster and Friedrich Olbricht. Even though there was no united, national resistance movement in Nazi Germany during Hitler’s years in power (1933–45). Elements of opposition and resistance to the Nazi Regime, included the underground networks of the Social Democrats and Communists, The White Rose, opposition activities in the Christian churches, and the resistance groups based in the civil service, intelligence organs and armed forces.

Highlights of the German Resistance Memorial Center and Museum

  • German Resistance Memorial
  • Nazi anti-Semitic Propaganda

German Resistance Memorial Center

  • Museum:  German Resistance Memorial Center
  • German:   Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand
  • City:          Berlin
  • Country:    Germany
  • Opened:  1980
  • Type:         Memorial and History Museums
  • Location:  Stauffenbergstrasse, south of the Großer Tiergarten in Tiergarten.

20 July Plot 1944

On 20 July 1944, Claus von Stauffenberg and other conspirators attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of Nazi Germany, inside his Wolf’s Lair field headquarters in East Prussia. The name Operation Valkyrie has become associated with the event.

The aim of the assassination attempt was to wrest political control of Germany and its armed forces from the Nazi Party and to make peace with the Western Allies as soon as possible. The plot was the culmination of efforts by several groups in the German resistance to overthrow the Nazi German government. The failure of the assassination attempt and the intended military coup d’état that was to follow led the Gestapo to arrest more than 7,000 people, of whom they executed nearly five thousand.

Bendlerblock

It was at the Bendlerblock that Stauffenberg and Major general Henning von Tresckow secretly modified the Wehrmacht “Operation Valkyrie” plan for the suppression of a possible revolt into a scheme for a coup attempt upon an assassination on Hitler.

Hitler survived the bomb, and as the day progressed and the news spread, the conspirators were unable to take control of Germany. Following the arrest of the conspirators in the Bendlerblock, the resistance fighters were executed by firing squad that same night in the courtyard of the building.

During the Battle of Berlin in the last days of World War II the commander of the Berlin area used the Bendlerblock as his headquarters before surrendering to the Soviet Red Army on May 2, 1945, less than twelve months after the failed plot.

Explore Germany’s Museums

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“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”
-Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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Photo Credit: Cor2701 [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

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