Stauffenberg – hero or traitor?

This is what a hero looks like – or maybe not. At any rate I think it’s safe to claim that his name is Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (1907–1944), instrumental in the 20 July 1944 plot against Adolf Hitler, one day prior to his inevitable demise, immortalised in Bryan Singer’s 2008 film, Valkyrie, starring U.S. actor Tom Cruise as the heroic count.

The highly decorated war hero eventually sprang to mind, now that we have put the attempted coup on Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 15 July this summer behind us, as western leaders humbly race to be the first to kiss Erdoğan’s feet – in united condemnation of the plotters.

Tyrkias president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (foto fra Wikipedia).
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photograph: Wikipedia.

Of course there’s every reason to question the legitimacy of a coup against a democratically elected head of state, such as Adolf Hitler. Granted der Führer did everything in his power to stay in power, by hook or by crook and all sorts of crookery, just like Turkey’s current president, forcing us to question whether or not Stauffenberg indeed was a hero.

After all, had he been a Turkish officer, living in Erdoğan’s Turkey today, chances are western leaders would condemn his actions, as they have been lining up to denounce this summer’s democratic plotters.

Agreed, as a rule I find military coups deplorable, but Stauffenberg, just like his Turkish modern-day successors, invoke praise every bit as much as their president calls for denunciation. Yet our leaders queue up to sing Erdoğan’s praise, while dissidents, judges, journalists or any individual failing to comply are dismissed, incarcerated, gagged, censored or ostracised, just as we know good old Hitler would.

In short: By today’s standards Stauffenberg would be considered a traitor, at least by NATO and the European Union – and, if I’m not mistaken, Russia, too.

Think about it.

Consider then, the leaders we have.

Whereas Stauffenberg and his cohorts …

Top photograph: The 21-year-old Claus von Stauffenberg in 1926, at the time officer in the 17th cavalry regiment. Photo from Deutsches Bundesarchiv/Wikipedia.

En kommentar om “Stauffenberg – hero or traitor?

  1. Great comparison. I couldn’t agree more. I’m also a democrat, but democracy is actually very overrated.

    The allies dismissal of the 20 July 1944 plotters simply because they were not democrats had resulted in millions of deaths. They only use democracy as an excuse to destroy one of the world power of that time. This is still happening. From Iraq, Libya to Syria, democracy had become a convenient excuse to colonize other nation by replacing a benevolent dictator with western puppet. The result is what we see today. I was so appalled when my friends posted some photos of what happens in Libya few days ago.

    To me, Stauffenberg is truly a hero. Can you really blame him for not being a democrat when democracy brought them Hitler? His case of not being a democrat was a simple case of not wanting being ruled by his inferior. Simple. Nothing wrong about it if you consider how many incompetent and corrupt government officials democracy has brought to power.


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