By Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg
This was the opportunity for which I had prayed and striven. At last I was going to be able to get to him directly. The generals definitely weren’t going to do anything. It was up to the colonels. It was up to me, the new chief of staff to General Fromm, who commanded the Replacement Army. This collection of the too old, the too young, and the feeble was the source our great Fuehrer now called on to stop the bleeding where his Wehrmacht was being ripped apart. Hitler, you see, was not merely the enemy of Germany’s victims. He was the enemy of Germany. He was the enemy of the world.
I had not realized how wrong everything was until I traveled in occupied territories. The unimaginable developments there were not at all what those of us from aristocratic families had really desired. We had simply wanted the destruction of Versailles, and we’d wanted the Anschluss, and the Sudetenland if it had been absorbed in a proper way, and we’d been delighted by the quick conquests of our enemy neighbors, Poland and France. But we had not wanted Russia. We hadn’t wanted anything in the East after a while. Nor did we want to keep fighting England and the United States and be bombed into a primitive state. We did not want anyone to suffer anymore.
We wanted to kill the man responsible. I was the only one who could do it, the only one with access. On July sixth at the Berghof I carried a bomb in my briefcase. Himmler was there, too. That was essential. I had to get them both. I was going to. I merely had to activate the bomb. But I could not do so in front of everyone. Where would I do it? And after I did it, where would Hitler be?