Knight (Ritter) Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim ( Munich , Germany , 25 of March of 1905 – Berlin , 21 of July of 1944 ) was a German officer and member of the Resistance Nazi ( “Widerstand”), involved in the 20 plot July 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitler .
Descendant of Ernst Quirin Mertz – chancellor of the archbishop of Espira appointed knight of the Holy Roman Empire in 1675-, 1 Quirnheim was the son of Captain Hermann Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim (1866-1947) and Eleonore Hohmann (1875-1954). He grew up in Munich until his father was transferred to Potsdam as director of the Reich archive. His childhood friends were Hans-Jürgen von Blumenthal and the brothers Werner von Haeften and Hans Bernd von Haeften , future conspirators against Hitler. At the end of the Gymnasium in Potsdam, he enlisted in 1923 in the Reichswehr , where he became friends with Claus von Stauffenberg . At the outbreak of World War II it was officially designated staff .
In 1934 he married Charlotte Kraudzun, mother of his only son. 1
Initially Quirnheim supported Hitler’s rise to power, but began to distance himself as he checked the brutality of the regime. In 1941, he had conflicts with Alfred Rosenberg , the minister of the occupied eastern territories, and Erich Koch , Commissioner for Ukraine for supporting a more humane treatment of the civilian population on the eastern front, and in 1942 strengthened his ties with resistance through His brother-in-law Wilhelm Dieckmann , a member of the Confessing Church married to his sister Erika.
He was promoted to colonel in 1943 and destined to the General Staff of the XXIV Army Corps . That same year contracted marriage with Hilde Baier, widow of Lieutenant Colonel Otto Baier.
In September 1943, Quirnheim joined the plot to assassinate Hitler. His superior, General Friedrich Olbricht , and Stauffenberg planned Operation Valkyrie . Immediately after the attack, Quirnheim urged Olbricht to activate the process without confirming Hitler’s death.
Quirnheim, Stauffenberg, Olbricht and Werner von Haeften were arrested and tried by General Friedrich Fromm – who at first supported the operation but betrayed them upon learning of the plot’s failure -, shot in the Bendlerblock and buried in the camp of the church of San Matthew in Berlin. Later Heinrich Himmler ordered to unearth, to burn the bodies and to spread the ashes.
Days later the Gestapo arrested their parents, sisters, wife and son, who were interned in concentration camps following the policy of Sippenhaft . His brother-in-law Wilhelm Dieckmann was tortured and brutally executed on September 13, 1944.
- The Berlin actor Christian Berkel incarnated him in the film Valkyrie .