Fabian von Schlabrendorff

Fabian von Schlabrendorff ( Halle , 1 of July of 1907 – Wiesbaden , 3 of September of 1980 ) was a lawyer and German military career that took part in the German Resistance and the plot of July 20 , 1944 to kill Hitler .


He studied law, then entered the German army. During World War II , and with the rank of lieutenant , he became assistant to his cousin , then – Colonel Henning von Tresckow , implicating him in the activities of anti-Nazi resistance within the Wehrmacht .

On March 13, 1943 , von Schlabrendorff placed a bomb on the plane that was to take Adolf Hitler back to Wolfsschanze, then in Germany (today in Poland ) from a visit to the headquarters of the Eastern Army in Smolensko . The bomb failed to detonate due to the low temperatures in the cargo compartment of the Hitler Condor aircraft .

Fabian had connected with the resistance forces to another cousin, General Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff, who offered to immolate himself in the failed attack of 21 March 1943 at the Zeughaus in Berlin and later in the 20 July plot ( Operation Valkyrie ).

Later, von Schlabrendorff was arrested following the failed attempt to kill Hitler , the 20 of July of 1944 by Colonel Count von Stauffenberg .

Arrested in the headquarters of the Gestapo in Berlin , Von Schlabrendorff was subjected to torture, without betraying any of his accomplices.

During his trial before a special court constituted by Hitler after the attack of 20 July 1944 and called the People’s Court ( Volksgerichtshof ), von Schlabrendorff remained defiant before the implacable Judge Roland Freisler (who condemned Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl , Reverend Dietrich Bonhoeffer , Hans von Dohnanyi and Rüdiger Schleicher, among others), which undoubtedly led to its implementation.

On February 3, 1945, Freisler told him that he would “send him straight to hell,” to which von Schlabrendorff replied that “I gladly let him go .

Before the end of the hearing, an allied aerial bombardment of the city was unleashed so sudden that it prevented the evacuation of the room. After the bombing, Freisler was found dead under a column with the file of Schlabrendorff in his hand.

Subsequently, new Judge Harry Haffner acquitted him for lack of evidence. Nevertheless, he was interned in successive concentration camps in Sachsenhausen , Flossenbürg , Dachau , Innsbruck , until being released by the Americans the 5 of May of 1945 .

After the war, von Schlabrendorff continued his legal career, becoming a judge of the German Supreme Constitutional Court or “Bundesverfassungsgericht” of the Federal Republic of Germany between 1967 and 1975 .

He also had an important role in the Order of St. John of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg , of which he was knight of honor (1950) and after justice (1957); Acted as Captain (legal adviser to the head) of the Order, from 1957 to 1964. 1

He married Luitgarde von Bismarck (granddaughter of resistance fighter Ruth von Kleist-Retzow , member of the Confessing Church and grandmother of Maria von Wedemeyer , betrothed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer ) with whom he had Herzeleide von Schlabrendorff (Berlin 1940) Dieprand Ludwig Carl Hans-Otto von Schlabrendorff (Stettin, 1941), Jürgen-Lewin Hans von Schlabrendorff (Lasbeck, 1943), Fabian Gotthard Herbert von Schlabrendorff (Berlin, 1944), Maria von Schlabrendorff (Buch am Forst, 1948) Joachim Henning von Schlabrendorff (Wiesbaden, 1950). He died in 1980 .


  1. Back to top↑ Robert M. Clark, Jr., The Evangelical Knights of Saint John ; Dallas, Texas, USA: 2003.