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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Valkyrie

Highly recommended: Valkyrie. I first learned about the July 20 plot from when as a kid I read William Shirer's Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich. Later I read a biography that I believe was Stauffenberg,: The architect of the famous July 20th conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. I've always been fascinated by the conspiracy and the man who drove it forward. In Berlin in 1990 I saw the courtyard (and an exhibit inside) where Stauffenberg and others were executed.

The film does an excellent job of telling the story. I understand some details have been changed (as far as I know, Hitler did not slam the tabletop thus causing the briefcase to topple and then be moved), but many of the details correlate well with history. The film doesn't entirely capture Stauffenberg's eclectic personality (he was, unusual for a Wehrmacht officer, a poetry afficionado). Still, it shows what an extraordinarily courageous and charismatic individual he was.

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