Hans Oster

Hans Oster ( Dresden , 9 of August of 1887 – Flossenburg , 9 of April of 1945 ) was a General of the Wehrmacht , head of the Abwehr with Wilhelm Canaris and one of the first opponents Adolf Hitler and Nazism . He was one of the leaders of the German Resistance to Nazism between 1938 and 1943 .

He was the son of a Calvinist pastor of the French parish in Dresden. He served on the Western Front in World War I and in 1916 was promoted to captain. At the end of the contest was in the staff of the 23rd Division. Then he passed to the Reichswehr . He was assigned to the 4th Division in Dresden, from 1924 to 1929 he was in Mecklenburg and, promoted to commander, went to the General Staff of the 6th Division in Münster . In 1935 was destined to the Abwehr to the orders of Wilhelm Canaris with the degree of colonel. At this time already began to establish contacts with opponents to the Nazi regime in the public administration and the security organs. In 1939 he ascended to colonel. With the consent of Canaris, during the war he came into contact with members of the OKH opposed to invade Poland and France and even got to warn Belgium and the Netherlands before the date scheduled for the German attack. In 1942 he was appointed general.

When the Gestapo arrested Hans von Dohnanyi and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1943 for “Operation 7”, in discovering the group’s efforts to rescue Jews, the Gestapo conceived suspicions of Oster’s attitude. He was arrested a day after the July 20 plot and when the Admiral Canaris newspapers were discovered, Hitler ordered the conspirators to be executed. 1

On 8 April, together with Dietrich Bonhoeffer , Wilhelm Canaris and others, they were brought to trial by a military court presided over by Otto Thorbeck . At Flossenbürg they were forced to climb the scaffold naked and hanged with piano strings to prolong the agony. Two weeks later the camp was released by the Allies.

Resistance survivor Fabian von Schlabrendorff described him as “a man as God wants: lucid, serene and imperturbable in the face of danger.” 2


  1. Back to top↑ Joachim Fest (1994). Plotting Hitler’s Death: The German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945 . Weidenfield & Nicholson. ISBN 0-297-81774-4 .
  2. Back to top↑ Shirer, William L. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich . P. 1024.