15th Attempt to Kill Hitler and Operation Valkyrie!

Valkyrie_posterAfter the last samurai again I am impressed by Tom Cruise in Valkyrie. This film is based on the real historic evidence “German Resistance”. Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was alive again in Tom Cruise. If you’ve any interest about Hitler and Nazi please see this film. Here is the plot:

During World War II, Wehrmacht Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is serving with the 10th Panzer Division in Tunisia. A pair of British P-40 Warhawk fighters strafe the Germans, during which Stauffenberg is wounded, and is later evacuated home to Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Major General Henning von Tresckow (Branagh) attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler by smuggling a bomb aboard the Führer’s private airplane. The bomb, however, fails to detonate and Tresckow safely retrieves it to conceal his intentions. After learning that the Gestapo has arrested Major Hans Oster, he orders General Olbricht (Nighy) to find a replacement. After recruiting von Stauffenberg into the German Resistance, Olbricht delivers von Stauffenberg to a meeting of the secret committee which has coordinated previous attempts on Hitler’s life. The members include General Ludwig Beck (Stamp), Dr. Carl Goerdeler (McNally), and Erwin von Witzleben (Schofield). The Colonel is stunned to learn that no plans exist for after Hitler’s assassination.

After a bombing raid on Berlin, he lights upon using the plan Operation Valkyrie, which involves the deployment of the Reserve Army to maintain order in the event of a national emergency. The plotters carefully redraft the plan so that they can dismantle the Nazi regime after assassinating Hitler, by overthrowing the SS and imprisoning Hitler’s closest advisors. Realizing that only General Fromm (Wilkinson), the head of the Reserve Army, can initiate Valkyrie, they offer him a position as head of the Wehrmacht in a Post-Nazi Germany and recruit him into the fold: however, Fromm initially refuses. With the rewritten plan needing to be signed off by Hitler (Bamber) himself, von Stauffenberg visits the Führer at his Berghof estate in Bavaria. In the presence of his inner circle, Hitler praises von Stauffenberg’s heroism in North Africa and signs off on the plan without fully examining the modifications.

At Goerdeler’s insistence, von Stauffenberg is ordered to assassinate both Hitler and SS head Himmler at the Wolf’s Lair bunker. At a final briefing, Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim (Berkel) instructs the committee members in how to use pencil detonators. Von Stauffenberg also reaches out to General Fellgiebel (Izzard), who controls all communications at Wolf’s Lair, to cut off communications after the bomb blast. On July 15, 1944, von Stauffenberg attends a strategy meeting at Wolf’s Lair with the bomb in his briefcase, but with Himmler not present at the meeting, von Stauffenberg does not get the go-ahead from the committee leaders until the meeting is over. Meanwhile, the Reserve Army is mobilized by Olbricht, unbeknownst to Fromm, to stand by. With no action taken, von Stauffenberg safely extracts himself and the bomb from the bunker, and the Reserve Army is ordered to stand down, believing that the mobilization was training. Enraged, von Stauffenberg goes to the committee to protest the indecisiveness and blames the bungling of Goerdeler, who has been selected to be chancellor after the coup. When Goerdeler demands that von Stauffenberg be relieved, Beck informs him that the SS is searching for him and implores him to leave the country immediately.

On July 20, 1944, von Stauffenberg and his adjutant Lieutenant Haeften (Parker) return to the Wolf’s Lair. To von Stauffenberg’s dismay, he discovers that the conference is being held in an open-window summer barrack, whereas the plotters had intended to detonate the bomb within the walls of the bunker for maximum damage. While his adjuntant waits with a getaway car, von Stauffenberg leaves the briefcase at the meeting. With the bomb armed, von Stauffenberg leaves the barrack (thanks to a diversion caused by Fellgiebel) for the getaway car. When the bomb explodes, von Stauffenberg is certain that Hitler is dead and flees the Wolf’s Lair, bluffing his way past a checkpoint. Before shutting down communications, Fellgiebel calls Mertz about the explosion but cannot clearly convey whether or not the Führer is dead.

As von Stauffenberg flies back to Berlin, Olbricht refuses to mobilize the Reserve Army until he knows without a doubt that Hitler is dead. Behind Olbricht’s back, Mertz forges his signature and issues the orders anyway. With Operation Valkyrie underway, von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters order the arrest of Nazi party leaders and SS officers and begin to take control of Berlin’s government quarter, which will allow them to command the entire Reich. Rumors reach Berlin that Hitler survived the blast, but von Stauffenberg dismisses them as SS propaganda. Meanwhile, Fromm learns from Field Marshal Keitel that Hitler is still alive. The General refuses to join the plotters, resulting in his arrest. When Hitler reaches the Reserve Army by telephone, the SS officers are released and the plotters in turn are besieged inside the Bendlerblock. The headquarters staff flees, but the ringleaders are arrested. Most are eventually tried and executed, while some commit suicide. Von Stauffenberg shouts “Long live sacred Germany!” before being executed by a firing squad.

Operation Valkyrie

Eventually the conspirators came to rely more on Reserve Army in Berlin and other districts to stage a coup against Nazi regime. Olbricht now put forward a new strategy for staging a coup against Hitler. The Reserve Army had an operational plan called Operation Walküre (Valkyrie), which was to be used in the event that the disruption caused by the Allied bombing of German cities caused a breakdown in law and order, or a rising by the millions of slave laborers from occupied countries now being used in German factories. Olbricht suggested that this plan could be used to mobilize the Reserve Army to take control of German cities, disarm the SS and arrest the435px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1984-079-02,_Führerhauptquartier,_Stauffenberg,_Hitler,_Keitel---Stauffenberg Nazi leadership, once Hitler had been assassinated. During August and September 1943, Tresckow took long sick leave in Berlin to draft the “revised” Valkyrie plan with fine details and precise time tables. Revised orders and additional proclamations that would pin blame for the uprising on the Nazi party were typed by Tresckow’s wife, Erika, and his secretary, Countess Margarete von Oven, who wore gloves so as not to leave fingerprints. [25] These 1943 papers were recovered by the Soviets after the war and were finally published in 2007, which showed Tresckow’s central role in the conspiracy and idealistic motivations of the resistance group at that time. Knowledge of Jewish Holocaust was a major impetus for many officers involved. [26]

German World War II Colonel Von Stauffenberg (left) and actor Tom Cruise (right). Cruise was attracted to the role based on the resemblance of his profile to the colonel’s.[2]

However, when Tresckow was assigned to command of a battalion at the Eastern Front in October 1943, he was no longer in position to actively plan or effect the coup. Colonel Count Claus von Stauffenberg, who met Tresckow in August 1943 and worked together on revising Valkyrie plan, took the responsibility for planning and executing Hitler’s assassination. Even his promotion a month later to Chief of Staff of the Second Army did not bring him much closer. To gain access to Hitler, Tresckow proposed to his old comrade General Rudolf Schmundt, Hitler’s Chief Adjutant and Chief of Army Personnel, to create new department of psychological and political warfare to evaluate data and make reports directly to the Führer. Schmundt, who was still well-disposed to his old friend but came to impression that Tresckow disaproved of Führer, quietly let the matter drop. Tresckow also applied to become General Adolf Heusinger‘s delegate in the Army High Command (OKH) during the latter’s two month leave, which would also give him access to Hitler’s meetings, but Heusinger, who was earlier approached by conspirators, rejected it apparently for the same reason. [27]

By the time Stauffenberg was appointed Chief of Staff of Reserve Army and was ready to carry out the assassination attempt, the Allies had already landed in Normandy. When Stauffenberg sent a message to Tresckow through Lehndorff to ask whether there was any point in making attempt since there was no practical purpose to be served, Tresckow urged him not only to attempt the assassination but to go ahead with the coup in Berlin even if assassination were to fail. He argued that there must be an overt act of German opposition to Hitler regardless of consequences. He also told Philipp von Boeselager and Margarite von Oven that 16,000 people were being killed daily not as casualties of war but as result of murders perpetrated by the Germans. Hitler had to be killed to put an end to it. A few days before the coup attempt, Tresckow confided to a friend that “in all likelihood everything will go wrong”; asked if the action was necessary nevertheless, he replied, “Yes, even so.”

Dear Friends,

Please follow this link and you’ll be surprised http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claus_von_Stauffenberg

I am giving this film 4.3 out of 5. Bravo!

The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas: Novel to Film!

After long days I have seen such a good film! It is simply melting my heart and bringing tears. A fabulous masterwork by the director Mark Herman. In November 2008 this film was released in USA.image

The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas is originally a novel by Irish novelist John Boyne which was published in 2006. Here is the plot summery from Wikipedia:

This book is about a simple eight-year-old boy named Bruno who liked nothing more than going to school or playing around with his friends. But because of his father’s job, is forced to move from his home in Berlin to Poland, near a concentration camp. From his bedroom window, Bruno spots a fence behind which he sees men in ‘striped pyjamas’. These are Jews, and they are in a Nazi concentration camp. One day his parents come to an agreement that both Bruno and Gretel, his sister, need a tutor for their education, so they hire Herr Liszt. To Bruno, Herr Liszt is the most boring teacher anyone could ever have; he teaches social studies instead of reading and arts, which Bruno prefers. So, in boredom and confusion, Bruno wonders what is going on at "Out-With" and why people are always dressed in striped pyjamas there. One afternoon, he goes exploring, and meets a Jewish boy called Shmuel, a name Bruno has never before heard but that apparently is quite common in the concentration camp. Shmuel soon becomes Bruno’s friend and Bruno visits every afternoon to talk. Bruno is told by Gretel that the people in the striped pajamas on the other side of the fence are Jews and that he and his family are "the opposite".Theboyinthestripedpyjamas

The story ends with Bruno about to return to the family’s old home in Berlin. As a final adventure, he agrees to dress in a set of striped pyjamas and digs under the fence to help Shmuel find his father, who went missing in the camp. The boys are unable to find him, and just as it starts to rain and get dark, Bruno decides he would like to go home, yet the Nazis in the area of the camp force the boys to go on a march. Neither boy knows where this march will lead. However, they are soon crowded into a gas chamber, and the author leaves the story with Bruno pondering, yet unafraid, in the dark holding hands with Shmuel. "…Despite the chaos that followed, Bruno found that he was still holding Shmuel’s hand in his own and nothing in the world would have persuaded him to let go".

In an epilogue, Bruno’s family spend several hours at their home trying to find Bruno, before his mother and Gretel return to Berlin, only to discover he is not there as they had expected. A year afterwards, his father returns to the spot that the soldiers found Bruno’s clothes (the same spot Bruno spent the last year of his life) and, after a brief inspection, discovers that the fence is not properly attached at the base and can form a gap big enough for a boy of Bruno’s size to fit through. Using this information, his father eventually pieces together what happened to Bruno. Several months later, the Red Army arrives to liberate the camp and orders Bruno’s father to go with them. He goes without complaint, because "he didn’t really care what they did to him anymore".

Mark Herman simply makes this novel into a fantastic screenplay. But what I like most is the Cinematography and Lighting. I can’t forget the last shot where lots of Stripped Pajama was hanging in front of the gas chamber. That was a masterpiece of photography. Also the heartiest salute goes to James Horner for great music.


I am recommending to all you folks to watch this film.