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Publisher's Summary

When World War II erupted, Philipp von Boeselager, son of an aristocratic Catholic family, fought enthusiastically for his country as a cavalry lieutenant. But in the summer of 1942, when he witnessed the regime's criminal brutality toward Jews and Gypsies, his patriotism quickly turned to disgust, and he joined a group of officers intent on killing Hitler. After one aborted attempt---in which Boeselager was assigned to shoot both Hitler and Heinrich Himmler---it was decided that a bomb would be used to assassinate the Fuhrer. Boeselager delivered the explosives and then led his unwitting men toward Berlin in order to carry out the coup d'etat. When the bomb failed to kill Hitler, the SS launched a terrifying purge of senior army officers. Boeselager managed to return his units to the front before, one by one, the other conspirators were rounded up, tortured, and executed. None of them betrayed Boeselager. In his unvarnished, harrowing testimony, Philipp von Boeselager - who died on May 1, 2008 - gives eloquent voice to the courageous spirit of these men whose profound sense of honor could not be dimmed by the diabolical propaganda of the Third Reich.
©2009 Weidenfeld & Nicolson; (P)2009 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"A rare firsthand memoir." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Michael on 11-01-09

More Of An Autobiography

This book read less as an overall story of Valkyrie than it did as an autobiography of Philipp von Boeselager. While the book did have some interesting information, the focus of much of the book surrounded the author and his brother, another German officer involved in the plot. If you want an interesting story of a former German soldier, this is it. If you want an in depth overall view of Valkyrie, I would not recommend this.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Parola138 on 12-17-10

Very well-done

I agree with the previous reviewer who said this does not contain so much about Valkyrie itself, however it illuminates many other areas of what inspired operation Valkyrie. Actually, I assumed this book was about Von Stauffenberg (portrayed in the film, Valkyrie) but barely mentioned his character at all. This book gave me a unique insight into how high-ranking officers and generals quickly became disgusted with the SS and Adolf Hitler. I think people could easily watch a dozen or so Private Ryan movies and think that the whole German army was populated with nazis, but that was not the case. I don't think this book would have succeeded as an 8+ hour audio, but 4 hours was just right. I feel that the information I pulled from it is invaluable in helping me shape a greater understanding of the complex second world war.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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