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Valkyrie

Cover of Valkyrie

Valkyrie

The Story of the Plot to Kill Hitler, by Its Last Member
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When World War II erupted, Philipp von Boeselager, son of an aristocratic Catholic family, fought enthusiastically for his country as a cavalry lieutenant. But in the summer of 1942, when he witnessed the regime's criminal brutality toward Jews and Gypsies, his patriotism quickly turned to disgust, and he joined a group of officers intent on killing Hitler.

After one aborted attempt---in which Boeselager was assigned to shoot both Hitler and Heinrich Himmler---it was decided that a bomb would be used to assassinate the Führer. Boeselager delivered the explosives and then led his unwitting men toward Berlin in order to carry out the coup d'état. When the bomb failed to kill Hitler, the SS launched a terrifying purge of senior army officers. Boeselager managed to return his units to the front before, one by one, the other conspirators were rounded up, tortured, and executed. None of them betrayed Boeselager.

In his unvarnished, harrowing testimony, Philipp von Boeselager---who died on May 1, 2008---gives eloquent voice to the courageous spirit of these men whose profound sense of honor could not be dimmed by the diabolical propaganda of the Third Reich.

When World War II erupted, Philipp von Boeselager, son of an aristocratic Catholic family, fought enthusiastically for his country as a cavalry lieutenant. But in the summer of 1942, when he witnessed the regime's criminal brutality toward Jews and Gypsies, his patriotism quickly turned to disgust, and he joined a group of officers intent on killing Hitler.

After one aborted attempt---in which Boeselager was assigned to shoot both Hitler and Heinrich Himmler---it was decided that a bomb would be used to assassinate the Führer. Boeselager delivered the explosives and then led his unwitting men toward Berlin in order to carry out the coup d'état. When the bomb failed to kill Hitler, the SS launched a terrifying purge of senior army officers. Boeselager managed to return his units to the front before, one by one, the other conspirators were rounded up, tortured, and executed. None of them betrayed Boeselager.

In his unvarnished, harrowing testimony, Philipp von Boeselager---who died on May 1, 2008---gives eloquent voice to the courageous spirit of these men whose profound sense of honor could not be dimmed by the diabolical propaganda of the Third Reich.

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  • AudioFile Magazine Michael Prichard's gravelly, unaffected reading of this WWII memoir evokes the style and manner of a 1940s broadcaster--one who has witnessed firsthand the horrors and the perils of that desperate era but is honor bound to report what he has seen fairly, fully, and dispassionately. Von Boeselager's account of his and his brother Georg's involvement in the 1944 plot to kill Hitler is brief and somewhat peripheral, but interesting for its eyewitness perspective. Prichard breathes character and immediacy into a narrative that, composed when the author was 89, owes more to the leveling of the years than to the impressions of the moment. This VALKYRIE is tangential to the story told in the Tom Cruise film of the same name and is recommended for those who have seen that film, or already know something about this story. D.A.W. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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The Story of the Plot to Kill Hitler, by Its Last Member
Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager
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