About German Resistance Memorial Centre
The German Resistance Memorial Centre or “Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand” in Berlin in Germany is a monument and museum to those who fought against the National Socialist government led by Adolf Hitler – the Nazis – before and during World War II. In particular, it commemorates the attempted assassination of Hitler and subsequent attempted coup led by Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg on 20 July 1944, the so-called “July 20 Plot”.
The July 20 Plot
Together with a group of civilians and military personnel led by General Friedrich Olbricht, Stauffenberg developed a plot to assassinate Hitler. On 20 July 1944, he successfully detonated the bomb at Hitler’s headquarters, known as the Wolf’s Lair. At first, Stauffenberg was convinced the plan had worked and went on to try and achieve a coup in Berlin, desperately trying to convince others that the Fuhrer was dead. However Hitler had actually survived and, by the end of the day, Stauffenberg and most of his counterparts were arrested as news of this filtered through. This event was made into the 2008 film “Valkyrie” starring Tom Cruise.
The German Resistance Memorial Centre is located in the former Bendler Block in Berlin’s Mitte district, once the diplomatic quarter. As the headquarters of the Army High Command under Nazi rule, this was both the site where the July 20 Plot was planned and where its members were executed by firing squad.
Today, the German Resistance Memorial is located on a street formerly called Bendlerstrasse and now renamed “Stauffenbergstrasse”. The courtyard of the German Resistance Memorial Centre, where the executions took place, has a memorial statue. This bronze statue depicts a man with bound hands.
The German Resistance Memorial Centre Museum explores not only the July 20 Plot, but the whole issue of resistance, especially against National Socialism, but also in a wider context. Displaying thousands of documents and photographs, this exhibit offers an interesting insight into different elements and examples of resistance throughout history.
However, the focus of the German Resistance Memorial Centre Museum is the history of opposition to Nazi Germany, including the events in which National Socialism flourished and the attempts made to overthrow it. There are audio guides to the site and guided tours take place weekends at 3pm.