Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager has died in Germany at age 90. He was the last survivor of the July 1944 plot that came within a whisker of assassinating Adolf Hitler.
Among his co-conspirators was Claus von Stauffenberg, the German military hero. Von Boeselager got the explosives, and von Stauffenberg planted the briefcase bomb during a strategy meeting at Hitler’s “Wolf’s Lair” headquarters. At the last moment an aide moved the briefcase and Hitler was shielded from the bomb’s blast by a heavy oak conference table.
Von Stauffenberg and dozens of co-conspirators were rounded up and executed over the next few days, but none of them identified von Boeselager and he survived, unsuspected.
It’s quite a story. Tom Cruise is playing von Stauffenberg in the film Valkyrie, which is due out later this year. As it happens, von Stauffenberg was one of Who2’s earliest profiles, because he’s a member of the early loop Celebs Missing Fingers.