Werner von Haeften

Werner von Haeften Karl ( Berlin , Germany ; 9 of October of 1908 – 21 of July of 1944 1 ) was a lieutenant in the Wehrmacht and one of the main members of the plot of July 20 , 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitler . He is considered a hero of the German resistance .


Haeften and his older brother Hans Bernd von Haeften were born in Berlin as children of the army officer Hans von Haeften, President of the Reichsarchiv . He studied law and worked in the Hamburg banking until the beginning of World War II when he enlisted in the German army.

In 1943, recovering from a wound sustained on the Eastern Front, he joined Claus von Stauffenberg as a member of Operation Valkyrie . On 20 July he accompanied Stauffenberg to Rastenburg where they located the bomb in the bunker Wolfsschanze marching to Berlin after the explosion without confirming the death of Hitler and initiating the coup that was to fail.

Bendlerblock Memorial

On that same day Stauffenberg along with General Friedrich Olbricht and Oberst Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim , were arrested and shot by General Friedrich Fromm in the Bendlerblock . 2 When Stauffenberg was to be shot, Haeften tried to interpose himself by falling on the spot. 3

His brother Hans Bernd von Haeften who was a lawyer, was summarily tried by the infamous judge Roland Freisler and executed the 15 of August of 1944 in the prison of Plötzensee .


  1. Back to top↑ (Fest, 1996) pp. 277-278 puts the date of the four executions the “after midnight” and so Werner’s death was on the 21st July.
  2. Back to top↑ (Moorhouse, 2006) p.207
  3. Back to top↑ (Fest, 1996) p.278
  • Fest, Joachim (1996), Plotting Hitler’s Death (translation of ‘Staatsstreich: Der lange Weg zum 20 Juli’) , Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN  0297817744
  • Moorhouse, Roger (2006), Killing Hitler , Jonathan Cape, ISBN  0224071211