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Helmuth Stieff

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Helmuth Stieff

Helmuth Stieff
Stieff in Russia, May 1942
Born (1901-06-06)6 June 1901
Deutsch Eylau, West Prussia
German Empire
Died 8 August 1944(1944-08-08) (aged 43)
Plötzensee Prison, Berlin
Nazi Germany
Allegiance Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1922–44
Rank Generalmajor
Commands held Chief of Organisation at OKH
Battles/wars World War II
Awards German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross 1st Class
Iron Cross 2nd Class

Helmuth Stieff (6 June 1901 – 8 August 1944) was a German general and a member of the OKH (German Army Headquarters) during World War II. He took part in attempts by the German resistance to assassinate Adolf Hitler, on 7 July and on 20 July 1944.


  • Career 1
  • Resistance fighter 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Stieff was born in Deutsch Eylau (now Iława, Poland) in the province of West Prussia. He was graduated from Infanterieschule München in 1922 and was commissioned a lieutenant of infantry. As early as 1927, young Stieff served in support of the German General Staff of the Reichswehr, the German army after World War I.

Stieff joined the

From the 1939 Invasion of Poland onwards, Stieff conceived an abhorrence for the Nazi military strategy. When in Warsaw in November 1939, he wrote letters to his wife expressing his disgust for and despair over Hitler's conduct of the war and the atrocities committed in occupied Poland. He wrote that he had become the "tool of a despotic will to destroy without regard for humanity and simple decency".[1]

Resistance fighter

Helmuth Stieff on trial at the People's Court

Invited by General von dem Bussche's cancelled assassination attempt on Hitler at the Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) in November.

As one of the officers who had occasional access to Hitler, he volunteered to kill Hitler himself in a suicide attack, but later backed away despite repeated requests from Tresckow and Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg to carry out the assassination. On 7 July 1944, during a demonstration of new uniforms to Hitler at Schloss Klessheim, a palace near Salzburg, Stieff was indisposed to trigger the bomb. Stauffenberg therefore decided to kill Hitler himself.

In the morning of 20 July, Stieff flew with Stauffenberg and Lieutenant Werner von Haeften in the Heinkel He 111 plane provided by General Eduard Wagner from Berlin to the Wolfsschanze. In the night he was arrested and brutally interrogated under torture by the Gestapo. Stieff held out for several days against all attempts to extract the names of fellow conspirators. Ousted by the Wehrmacht, he was tried by the People's Court (Volksgerichtshof) under President Roland Freisler and sentenced to death on 8 August 1944. At Hitler's personal request, Stieff was executed by hanging in the afternoon of that same day at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin.

See also


  1. ^  

External links

  • GDW-Biographies
  • (German) Biography, Protestant parish Charlottenburg-Nord
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