Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006
I am a trad. I like Franquistas. I hate Nazis!

Now that we've marked July 18, let's also mark today, July 20: the anniversary (though not a major one -- 62nd) of the tragically failed but nobly attempted Officers' Plot against Hitler. They got a bomb under the table he was standing at, but he moved and wasn't killed when it went off. The Gestapo rounded up the conspirators and hanged them with piano wire. The executions were filmed, and Hitler watched them frequently.

One interesting fact about the plot is how many conservatives were involved in it; that is, people who rejected communism and socialism, and found Nazism wanting not against the measure of leftism but against the measure of their own traditions. Count Stauffenberg was a socialist, but he was not typical of the group.

Of those associated with the anti-Hitler movement that led to the July 20 plot, my favorite has always been Ulrich von Hassell, who became Germany's ambassador in Rome in 1932, and was kept in that position by Hitler until 1938, when Hassell became disillusioned with the regime. He was executed like the others. This Wikipedia entry is accurate as far as I know, based on my readings about the plot and about Hassell in Shirer and elsewhere. Note:
Von Hassell's main function was to be a liaison between the conservative opposition groups centred about Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Ludwig Beck (von Hassell once ironically called this group "His Majesty's most loyal opposition" – using the English term) and the younger Reich-opponents in the Kreisau Circle.

Ulrich von Hassell

My focus on Hassell has of course nothing to do with the fact that in my high-school orchestra I shared a desk in the second-violin section with his grand-daughter. She looked exactly like him, only without the mustache and with shoulder-length blond hair. What I mean is, she sort of had his face. Only it looked better on her.

And so the memories of great men live on.