Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin

Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin (Belgard, Pomerania , Prussia , October of July of 1922 – Munich , Germany , 8 of March of 2013 ) was a career military German retired and publisher, active member of the German resistance to Nazism and Last survivor of the plot of 20 of July of 1944 (Operation Valquiria). 1


He was born in a noble family of Pomerania in Köslin . His father was Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin (1890-1945). Both of them hated Nazi ideology by criticizing it in publications since 1929. 1 These feelings deepened with the Night of the Long Knives .

In 1940 he was recruited into the infantry of the Wehrmacht and then personally chosen for the resistance by Claus von Stauffenberg . 1

In January 1944, with the blessing of his father, he volunteered to replace Axel Freiherr von dem Bussche-Streithorst in a failed suicide attempt against Hitler. 1 On July 20 , was one of the participants in the Bendlerblock in Berlin , and managed to slip away after failure of procedures People ‘s Court ( Volksgerichtshof ) that ended the life of his father, hanged in Plötzensee.

Anyway, he was taken to Ravensbrück concentration camp and prominent in the front the last days of the war.

After the war he became editor and in 1962 founded his publishing house Ewald-von-Kleist-Verlag. 1

He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany .

In the German film of 2004, Stauffenberg , is interpreted by the actor Sebastian Rüger .


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e “The last member of the plot passes away” (in English) . The Economist . March 23, 2013.