A the Site of Resistance

            As I marveled at the vast country of Germany, it was undeniable how deep the history runs. Throughout my studies in the States, we have analyzed countless sources to further our understanding and prepare us for the journey we embarked on overseas. Truthfully, nothing could have prepared us for the emotions and level of comprehension achieved when being physically present in the locations instead of just reading about them.

            Upon entering the Resistance Memorial Museum in Germany, you are greeted by a large statue of Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who led Operation Valkyrie. This operation was a failed bomb attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in late July 1944. The wall to your left holds a wreath that marks the exact  spot where Stauffenberg was shot and killed after being captured. Although we had discussed this man, his crew, and his plot in class, nothing prepared us for being in the execution place of a man who was just moments away from saving millions of lives.

            The Memorial Museum did a phenomenal job explaining the significance of minor mistakes made. Stauffenberg had sustained injuries and was forced to use special pliers and equipment to compensate for his damaged hand. As he drove off away from the blast of the bomb, the equipment was discarded on the side of the road. Once found he was convicted almost immediately due to his special equipment. The site itself was historic and told a story. The men were speaking loudly against the Nazi party in prayer until the rifles were fired, killing them instantly. Stauffenberg was a Nazi but was revolting against the corruption of the Nazi party. He aimed to keep Germany whole and “cleansed” but was unsupportive of Hitler’s plans.

            Grasping the concept of war is difficult and treacherous, especially a war as horrendous as World War II. Germans were in a time of peril, and Hitler rose to power by offering them everything the people wanted, he just painted it through a rose- tinted lens. But there were opponents. Operation Valkyrie was a prime example of a coup formed against the Nazi party.

            A large portion of the Nazi party supported Hitler due to his promises of bettering the economy and state of being. Soon, Hitler began utilizing his brute force to ensure compliance leading to a compliant majority. The Resistance Memorial Museum offers insight that sites are sources themselves because they offer a personal experience to the few who kept their humility and humanity by resisting a force they felt was in control of too much power. Even with the majority of the people supporting the Nazi party, there were few who decided their ideas were worth fighting for.