Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin

Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin ( 22 of March of 1890 – 9 of April of 1945 ) was a German nobleman, lawyer, conservative politician and landowner in Pomerania , northeast of Berlin . He was a member of the resistance against Hitler and the July 20 plot .


Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin was the son of Hermann von Kleist (1849-1913) and as a conservative politician he supported the German national party ( Deutschnationale Volkspartei ), the Hohenzollern monarchy and Christian ideals.

An active opponent of Nazism , since before Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933. He was arrested that year for preventing the flag with the swastika from flaring in his castle. He supported the Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Confessing Church to which he came in contact by Ruth von Kleist Retzow .

In 1938 he traveled to London as secret emissary of Wilhelm Canaris and Ludwig Beck in order to inform the British government of the plans of dissidence within Germany using his contacts with Winston Churchill and Robert Vansittart. Unfortunately their efforts were in vain.

Kleist-Schmenzin joined Carl Friedrich Goerdeler in 1942 and 1943, favoring a coup to overthrow the Führer. Between several conspiracies and attacks, he urged his son, Lieutenant Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin , to immolate himself in a suicide bombing that could not be carried out.

He participated in the July 20 plot of Claus von Stauffenberg who highlighted him as a representative in the military district of Stettin in preparation for the coup.

Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin was arrested on 21 July and taken to the Volksgerichtshof People’s Court on 23 February 1945 before Judge Roland Freisler . He was hanged in the Plötzensee prison, Berlin.


  • Bodo Scheurig: Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin. Ein Konservativer gegen Hitler ; Berlin, Propyläen, 1994; ISBN 3-549-05324-X
  • Gerhard Ringshausen: Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin ; Widerstand und christlicher Glaube angesichts des Nationalsozialismus ; Lüneburger Theologische Beiträge, 3; Berlin 2008; ISBN 978-3-8258-8306-5
  • Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels. Adelige Häuser A, Band 25, Band 117 der Gesamtreihe; Limburg (Lahn): CA Starke, 1998; ISBN 3-7980-0817-5 ; S. 219