Hitler Assassination Plotter Von Kleist Dies


Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist at a memorial in 2010

PHOTO: Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist, pictured in 2010, was the last surviving member of the July 20 Plot to assassinate Hitler(AFP: Rainer Jensen)

A former German army lieutenant who took part in two failed plots to assassinate Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler has died at the age of 90.

In 1944, aged 22, Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist volunteered to wear a suicide vest to kill Hitler, but the meeting never happened.


Several months later on July 20, he helped to plant a briefcase rigged with explosives in Hitler’s office in what was then East Prussia.

The bomb exploded but Hitler survived the blast, suffering only singed trousers and a perforated eardrum.

The conspiracy, known as Operation Valkyrie, was discovered quickly and key plotters were arrested and shot, including von Kleist’s father.

Von Kleist was arrested and questioned but proceedings against him were dropped for lack of evidence.

However, von Kleist was posted to combat duty on the frontlines of World War II.

After the war he founded a publishing house in Germany.

Germany, Poland and the United States have all paid tribute to von Kleist, who died at his home in Munich.

Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 – just days before Germany’s surrender.

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