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Caesar von Hofacker
File:Hofacker.gif
Caesar von Hofacker
Born (1896-03-02)2 March 1896
Died 20 December 1944(1944-12-20) (aged 48)
Place of birth Ludwigsburg, German Empire
Place of death Berlin, Plötzensee Prison
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1914 - 1920
1939 - 1944
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Relations Eberhard von Hofacker
Other work jurist

Caesar von Hofacker (sometimes Cäsar[1]) (2 March 1896 – 20 December 1944) was a German Luftwaffe Lieutenant Colonel and member of the 20 July plot against Adolf Hitler.

Early life and career

Hofacker was born in Ludwigsburg, his father Eberhard von Hofacker was a distinguished General in World War I who was awarded the Pour le Mérite.[2] He was also a cousin of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. During World War I he served with the Uhlan Regiment No.20 and trained with the FEA 5 as a pilot.[3] He then trained as a lawyer, gaining a doctorate in law in 1925 and he held a senior post in the steel industry.[4]

July 20 conspiracy

Hofacker's main activity in relation to the events culminating in the attempted assassination of Hitler at the Wolf's Lair on 20 July 1944 consisted of acting as a secret liaison between his cousin and another plotter in occupied Paris, General Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, France's military governor, to whom he was personal adviser. Hofacker assessed the chances of the coup attempt as "only ten percent".[5] He had a point of introduction to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel as he considered his father something of a hero, having served under him in World War I.[6][7] He tried to draw him into the plot to rid Germany of Hitler, but although Rommel gave his backing to the conspiracy he did not agree that he should be killed.[8] General von Stülpnagel or Hofacker later revealed that Rommel had been aware of the plot under Gestapo interrogation, forcing him to take his own life.

He also unsuccessfully tried to win Field Marshal Günther von Kluge over to the cause on 20 July 1944, the day of the attempted coup d'état. Even after General von Stülpnagel had had all members of the Gestapo and SS in Paris rounded up, Kluge would not join, despite Hofacker's exhortations. (Kluge later committed suicide, believing that he had been implicated).

Arrest, trial and execution

Once it became apparent that Hitler had not been killed in the assassination attempt at his secret headquarters, things did not go well for Hofacker or any other member of the plot. Stülpnagel and Hofacker destroyed as many documents as they could to prevent fellow plotters from being implicated in the attempt on Hitler's life, but on 26 July 1944, Hofacker was arrested in Paris before he could go into hiding. He was tortured by the Gestapo. At first, he steadfastly assumed all responsibility for actions related to the plot in Paris, but later, he was made to yield Rommel's name to his interrogators.

Hofacker's behaviour before the Volksgerichtshof could only be called defiant. He condemned Hitler, and even told Chief Justice Roland Freisler that his only regret was not having had the opportunity to carry out the assassination attempt himself. Hofacker was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin.

Notes

  1. Hofacker's memorial, using the umlaut spelling variant
  2. http://home.comcast.net/~jcviser/aka/hofacker.htm Eberhard von Hofacker. Retrieved 17 December 2012
  3. Caesar von Hofacker's unit? - The Aerodrome Forum at www.theaerodrome.com
  4. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Hofacker.html Hofacker biography. Retrieved 17 December 2012
  5. Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death: The German Resistance to Hitler, 1933–1945, 1996, p. 362.
  6. Caddick-Adams, Peter (2011). Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives. Preface Publishing. ISBN 1-84809-152-4. 
  7. Peter Hoffmann, The History of the German resistance, 1933-1945, McGill-Queen's Press, 1996, p. 354
  8. William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Simon and Schuster, 1960, p. 1047.

Sources

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