Philipp von Boeselager often met Hitler in person. He claims that he was never impressed by Hitler’s so called charisma. On the contrary… he didn’t like him at all. Philipp also was responsible for establishing (radio)contact between his Fieldmarshall von Kluge and Hitler. According to Von Boeselager, Hitler could be very shy (!) … so shy that he did’t know how to start talking to Von Kluge. “Sometimes, I could only hear him breathing… he just didn’t know how to introduce himself to Von Kluge”. Von Boeselager says that Hitler was only shy in the presence of people he secretely admired… people like Von Kluge.
The Freiherr (88), showing a photo of his Fieldmarshall
The plot to kill Hitler
Phillip Von Boeselager served, together with his brother, Georg at the Eastern front. They worked with Romanian troops of the Romanian Third Army, training them to fight alongside the German Sixth Army which at first advanced deep into the Soviet Union, but was destined to surrender at Stalingrad. After an audience with Field Marshall General Günther von Kluge, then the commander of Army Group Centre, Georg Boeselager was assigned as Deputy Commander, Cavalry Regiments Centre, a freestanding cavalry unit fighting on the Eastern Front. Philipp Boeselager became a member of Von Kluge’s staff and made frequent trips to confer with von Kluge, sometimes flying along with the field marshall's staff on his transport plane.
At a 1943 field conference the feasiblity of an assassination of Hitler was discussed among some of the officers present. Some suggested killing Hitler with a pistol, but no officer could be found who would dare attempt it. Many who would gladly give their lives in battle in the company of their comrades abhorred the idea of going alone assasinate an unarmed head of state. One year earlier, a Luftwaffe officer had lain in wait for Hitler while the Führer was out walking in the woods, but found he was unable to move his arms when the critical moment came.
Both Boeselager brothers were asked to take part in a plot to kill Hitler. The Boeselagers had come to believe that they had a duty to God and his fellowmen to kill Hitler, who was the antithesis of all that their religious upbringing represented.
Fieldmarshall Gunther von Kluge
Instead of a lone assasination , Georg Boeselager envisioned a scenario where, in command of a cavalry honor guard, he would overwhelm Hitler's SS bodyguard and shoot the Führer in a fair fight; this course was rejected because von Kluge did not like the prospect of a large numbers of German soldiers fighting each other. Boeselager later offered to charge the Wolf's Lair with a full battalion of cavalry; this was rejected because of the extremely high casualties the unit would likely suffer and because it was impossible to transfer the unit from Prussia. Another suggestion was that a bomb be smuggled into Hitler's plane. This last idea was indeed attempted, with the bomb being placed by lawyer Fabian von Schlabrendorff, but the device failed to detonate.
After receiving another wound in February 1944, Georg Boeselager, still not fully recuperated in June, was assigned to a rear echelon squadron. There he began to plot a new attempt on Hitler in league with von Tresckow. He asked his brother Philipp to test several types of explosives. A British explosive came out best and would be used for the bomb.
In support of the German resistance, Georg von Boeselager would bide with the greater part of his brigade in the Prussian hinterlands, then advance to take Berlin and hold it. At the appointed time, The Von Boeselager brothers began marching their columns on Berlin. But before they could reach Berlin, they were informed by about the unsuccessful bombing carried out on July 20 by Claus von Stauffenberg. Boeselager accordingly led his troops back to the front with great celerity and doing the utmost to camouflage the reason for the troop movement; thus, Georg and his brother Phillip were not implicated in the plot. Approximately 5,000 others were not so lucky, and were executed for their roles, however minor.
Edited by Bart, 27 April 2006 - 06:51 AM.