Germany honors officers who tried to kill Hitler

German President Joachim Gauck, right, attends a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler at the courtyard of the Bendler Block, a part of the German Defense Ministry, in Berlin, Sunday, July 20, 2014.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
German President Joachim Gauck, right, attends a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler at the courtyard of the Bendler Block, a part of the German Defense Ministry, in Berlin, Sunday, July 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is honoring a group of Nazi-era officers who tried to kill Adolf Hitler 70 years ago.

In a somber ceremony Sunday, President Joachim Gauck called the attempted assassination on July 20, 1944, a “significant day in German history.”

Hitler survived the bomb attack and was able to continue his military campaign to conquer Europe and eradicate the continent’s Jewish population for another year.

Four officers including Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg were executed without trial. Some 200 supporters were killed later or driven to suicide.

Gauck said the conspiracy, recently portrayed in the Hollywood film “Valkyrie,” showed the world that there was a “different Germany” than that of Hitler’s regime.

German soldiers today are encouraged to refuse orders if they would result in a crime or violate human dignity.

 

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