From Stauffenberg to PEGIDA: How the Far Right Adopted the Flag of the Anti-Hitler Resistance.

Superfluous Answers to Necessary Questions

Kundgebung Pegida in Dresden PEGIDA rally in 2015

On July 20, 1944 – 73 years ago today –  Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg carried out a plot to assassinate Hitler with a bomb. The attack failed and Stauffenberg along with several dozen military and conservative elites involved were arrested, tortured and executed.

Since WWII, the bomb plot has been an important part of Germany’s political culture – Stauffenberg and the plotters are seen as evidence that not all Germans supported the Nazis and that within the elite there were still men who represented the traditional values of the nation and were willing to die for this. This interpretation is contested, but within the public sphere, commemoration of the plotters and their efforts is a touchstone of mainstream German politics.

widerstand monument Memorial to the German Resistance in Berlin

All of this makes it puzzling that the flag of the conservative anti-Hitler resistance has become a symbol of…

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