Nina von Stauffenberg

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
User avatar
Nina van M.
Member
Posts: 290
Joined: 31 Oct 2003 23:55
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Nina von Stauffenberg

Postby Nina van M. » 01 Mar 2004 11:02

Can somebody please tell me what was her past before she got married to Claus like? When and where was she born, from what kind of family did she came from (I mean by status of family)?
If I can remember correctly she and Claus had 3 or 4 kids... What happened to Nina and children after Claus von Stauffenberg was executed?

Thank you in advance, von k.

PS: any picture of her would be welcomed, of course :D

Alecci
Member
Posts: 283
Joined: 05 Oct 2003 02:24
Location: Sweden

Postby Alecci » 02 Mar 2004 00:16

Nina Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg was born in Kowno of Litauen on 27 August 1913 as Nina Freiin von Lerchenfeld, the daughter of a fomer Bavarian Royal Chamberlain and Imperial Consul General, Gustav Freiherr von Lerchenfeld, and his wife Anna Freiin von Stackelberg.

I don't know much about her past, except that she was a Lutheran. On 15 November 1930, in her parents' home in Bamberg, she got engaged to Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg. It was her would-be husband's 23rd birthday. They got married on 26 September 1933 in Saint James's Catholic Church in Bamberg. Graf Stauffenberg wore uniform and a steel helmet ('To wed is to be on duty', he had explained to his wife).

The couple had 5 children:

Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
* Born in Bamberg on 3 July 1934
* Married in Thurn on 22 September 1958 to Mechtild Gräfin von Bentzel zu Sternau und Hohenau
* Three children (Claus, Sebastian & Gottfried)
* Occupation known as "Generalmajor a.D."

Heimeran Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
* Born in Bamberg on 9 July 1936
* Unmarried
* No children
* Occupation known as "Betriebswirt und Industriekaufmann"

Franz Ludwig Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
* Born in Bamberg on 4 May 1938
* Married in Guttenberg on 25 May 1965 to Elisabeth Freiin von und zu Guttenberg
* 4 children (Caspar, Sophie, Karl & Nina)
* Occupation known as "Rechtsanwalt und MdEP"

Valerie von L'Estocq (née Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg)
* Born in Bamberg on 15 November 1940 (same birthday as her father)
* Married in München on 4 April 1964 to Heino von L'Estocq
* No children
* No occupation known
* Died in München on 4 June 1966

Konstanze von Schulthess-Rechberg (née Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg)
* Born in Frankfurt an der Oder on 27 January 1945
* Married in Bamberg to Dietrich von Schulthess-Rechberg
* No children
* No occupation known

Nina Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg was in Lautlingen on 20 July 1944 with her children, mother-in-law and uncle-in-law. She learned on 21 July that her husband had been shot during the night as leader of the uprising. She was arrested by the Gestapo together with her uncle-in-law, Nikolaus Graf von Üxküll-Gyllenband, during the night of 22/23 July. The four first children were taken away by the Gestapo on 17 August, given the surname Meister and were sent to Bad Sachsa. In June 1945 they were reunited with their mother, who had meanwhile given birth to Graf Stauffenberg's posthumous daughter Konstanze during her internment. As far as I know, Gräfin Stauffenberg is still alive.

Pictures of her seems somewhat hard to find, sorry I cannot help you on that point.

User avatar
Nina van M.
Member
Posts: 290
Joined: 31 Oct 2003 23:55
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Postby Nina van M. » 02 Mar 2004 10:18

Thank you very much, Alecci! :) I appreciate your effort.
Nina is still alive? Wow, I didn't knew that...
She was a Lutheran and Claus was a Catholic, right? So, how did they deal with it? I know that there are few differences between those two branches of Christianity, but I've also read that he was very religious. Am I right?

I'd like to know if anybody watched movie "Stauffenberg" ( directed by Jo Baur, year 2004) on Wednesday, 25th February at 20:00h on ORF2 or VOX at 20:15? If you did, what's your opinion of it?

Regards, von k.

User avatar
Stauffenberg II
Member
Posts: 2509
Joined: 03 Jan 2003 17:43
Location: Austria

Postby Stauffenberg II » 02 Mar 2004 10:51

Have seen it!

It was a nice movie to introduce the topic to the broad mass of premium time TV-watching persons. And therefore a(n) (educational) success.

For an intense examination the movie was much too short, especially the time before 1943 was much too structured to only show some of the major events. Don´t know if I recall right but immediately after showing Poland 1939 (in some seconds, with Nebelwerfer 41) one saw a dialog with Tresckow (claiming civil casualties) and I couldn´t check out the situation (where, when). Was it already 1941? Some seconds and suddenly it was 1943. Some major award errors (Stauffenberg´s DKG, Fellgiebel wore a Ritterkreuz) and almost nothing about Stauffenberg´s very essential CV before 1943. Not very satisfying from the historical point of view.

Still the ultimate movie:
Operation Walküre (2 parts)
Autor Helmut Pigge und Regisseur Franz Peter Wirth

Regards,
Stauffenberg II

Alecci
Member
Posts: 283
Joined: 05 Oct 2003 02:24
Location: Sweden

Postby Alecci » 02 Mar 2004 17:36

Greetings von Kluge!

I seem to remember that I have read somewhere that Gräfin Stauffenberg converted to catholicism when they married. Some sources have led me to believe that this is the usual way of doing things in Germany when people of two different Christian branches marry. Hopefully someone can correct me on this point if I'm wrong.

Graf Stauffenberg was religious, but at the same time religion was not really an issue to him, it was just sort of part of his "business principles". His religious beliefs were always present and in some very small way directed most of his thoughts and actions, without stealing a major role on the scene so to speak. He went to church once a week (at least before and during the early stages of the war), in uniform, and brought his family with him as often as he could.

The Schenken von Stauffenberg as a whole is known as a quite religious clan, as all their members has belonged either to the service of royal (i.e. German sovereign) courts, the military or the church. For many centuries they served as cathedral canons or in the service of the prince-bishops of Bamberg and Konstanze (if I'm not mistaken), and some of them were themselves prince-bishops. This means that there have been members of the Stauffenberg clan holding the title of Prince (Fürst in German), but since that was a non-hereditary title its extinct.

The Schenken von Stauffenberg has held various titles of nobility, for example Imperial Baron (Reichsfreiherr, conferred by Emperor Leopold I in 1698), Imperial Count (Reichsgraf, conferred by Emperor Leopold II in 1791). The latter line has since become extinct. Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was descended from the baronial family, one of whom, Franz Ludwig Schenk Freiherr von Stauffenberg (Claus's great-grandfather), was made a Bavarian Count (Graf, conferred by King Ludwig II in 1874).

I'm always interested in further history of the Schenken von Stauffenberg, but as my German is very poor at best, it's quite hard to learn something searching the Internet, as this kind of information is often only available in German.

With kind regards
Alecci Lioncross

User avatar
Nina van M.
Member
Posts: 290
Joined: 31 Oct 2003 23:55
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Postby Nina van M. » 02 Mar 2004 18:17

Wow, Alecci - you made it again, thanks :wink:
You seem to be a real source for Stauffenberg family in general and I bet you put a lot of time and effort in your research! Well done, I must say I am very impressed! Keep on doing so and I hope by your own words "very poor German at best" won't present bigger problem to you. :) Stauffenberg's are indeed very interesting family, not to mention Claus at all.
I have one more question about Claus. Do you know perhaps any details from his execution? Who executed him and with which weapon, was any high ranked or important person present at that time, ...? I've read that his last words were: "Es lebe das heilige Deutschland".

Stauffenberg II,
the movie was good for those who don't know many details about Stauffenberg's life. For others without a slightest doubt too short for mentioning of every single thing of his exciting life (only 90 min). The scenes were indeed changing very quickly and as you said, there was possible to notice some mistakes in the movie. But all in all, I think Sebastian Koch did a good job playing Claus.
I haven't seen "Operation Walküre" yet. Was it broadcasted on ORF or where? Was this a long time ago?

Sending kind regards back to all of you, von k.

User avatar
Stauffenberg II
Member
Posts: 2509
Joined: 03 Jan 2003 17:43
Location: Austria

Postby Stauffenberg II » 02 Mar 2004 18:30

Hi Kluge!

The movie is from 1971 and was in TV some months ago (German TV Phönix, I think). I recorded the movie about 5 years ago from the Bavarian TV (BR). I´m pretty sure that the movie will soon be replayed. It is the most impressive Docu-Movie I have ever seen.

Alecci
Member
Posts: 283
Joined: 05 Oct 2003 02:24
Location: Sweden

Postby Alecci » 03 Mar 2004 09:27

von Kluge:

The time presented for Graf Stauffenberg's execution differ somewhat in the sources between 23:30 on 20 July 1944 and 00:30 on 21 July 1944. But since even those sources that claim the latter alternative, at the same time is inconsequent enough to list 20 July 1944 as date of death for all of the four officers - General of the Infantry Olbricht, Colonel (GS) Graf Stauffenberg, Colonel (GS) Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim, Lieutenant (Res.) von Haeften - I tend to believe that the executions occurred at 23:30 on 20 July. When reading about the coup d'etat there also seems to be a gap of time when nothing occurred during that time in most sources.

The four officers were executed by a detachment of the 4th Company (OC Lieutenant Rudolph Schlee) of the Wachbataillon Grossdeutschland (OC Major Otto-Ernst Remer). The detachment consisted of ten non-commissioned officers under the command of Second Lieutenant Werner Schady. Some sources indicate that Colonel-General Fritz Fromm witnessed the executions, but most sources make no such claim. In the report to his superiors, Remer states that the former commander of the Wachbataillon Grossdeutschland, Lieutenant-Colonel Rudolph Gehrke, was the OKW's representant and witness of the executions.

Alix von Winterfeldt, a secretary to Fromm, relates that that von Haeften jumped in front of Graf Stauffenberg and was shot first. Anni Lerche, a secretary to Olbricht, reports that Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim jumped in front of Graf Stauffenberg and was shot first. Captain Albert Thon, chief of the Bendlerstrasse motor-pool, claims no one jumped in front of Graf Stauffenberg. Schlee merely lists those shot in this order: Olbricht, Graf Stauffenberg, Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim, von Haeften.

Captain (Cav.) Wolfram Röhrig, chief of the Bendlerstrasse communications centre, says Graf Stauffenberg shouted the words "es lebe das geheiligte Deutschland". von Winterfeldt recall the exact same words as Röhrig. Corporal Karl Schweizer, the personal driver of Graf Stauffenberg, says the colonel's last words in the face of his executioners were "es lebe das heilige Deutschland". Delia Ziegler, another secretary to Olbricht, confirms his version. So does Lerche. Edgar Salin, his role and function at Bendlerstrasse unknown to me, claims that the correct words were "es lebe das geheime Deutschland".

The words "the secret Germany" was a phrase invented in the circle around the German poet Stefan George, to which all three Stauffenberg brothers belonged. Perhaps that phrase was so unlikely for the other witnesses that they more or less convinced themselves that his real words were "the holy Germany". What words Graf Stauffenberg actually shouted as he was executed, we will probably never know. In the end they have no real significance. What has significance is that his bravery and actions during that day justify the historians to call 20 July 1944 "Stauffenberg's Day".

As a side note, I believe the weapons used to execute him (and the other three gentlemen) were the ordinary Kar98 infantry rifle. After the executions had taken place, Colonel-General (Ret.) Beck received the coup de grace from a non-commissioned officer of the Wachbataillon Grossdeutschland. The bodies of the five officers were loaded onto a lorry and driven to the Matthäikirche cemetary in Schöneberg, where they were buried so quickly that they were buried with their uniforms and decorations. On the next day Reichsführer der SS Himmler had them exhumed, cremated and their ashes scattered over open fields.

Hope this helps.

With kind regards
Alecci Lioncross

User avatar
rh_LiteVixeN
Member
Posts: 147
Joined: 16 Sep 2003 21:51
Location: UK

Postby rh_LiteVixeN » 03 Mar 2004 17:43

That was very interesting,
Thanks :D

User avatar
Nina van M.
Member
Posts: 290
Joined: 31 Oct 2003 23:55
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Postby Nina van M. » 03 Mar 2004 20:03

Alecci, sure you helped a lot! I agree with rh_LiteVixeN! Thanks again :D
Graf Stauffenberg is still in some way (obviuosly) a great enigma :o ... So many different versions as many people present at the time there. It makes this man even more interesting.
I'm sure he deserved 20th July to be named after him - but is that officialy approved too, or just accepted by some people?

I thought Beck shot himself in the head with pistol as he was under pressure of people who weren't cooperating in plot ( and so commited suicide)? But obviously he wasn't dead yet if he recieved a "coup de grace" (shot of mercy)... How is with this Beck's thing?

Best regards, von k.

maskie
Member
Posts: 11
Joined: 10 Nov 2003 10:29
Location: Melbourne, Australia

What a fascinating topic!

Postby maskie » 04 Mar 2004 05:29

Thank you for raising such an interesting topic!! A number of years ago now, I did some intense amateur research on the von Stauffenberg family because I was very keen to understand what had made this particular German, the man that he was. In 1996, I went to Germany to discover more about the passions that inspired this man by visiting the parts of Germany that he had known and loved. I stood outside Grafin Nina's home in Bamberg one afternoon for quite sometime before justifying to myself that Australians have a reputation for being brash, so I rang the listed number. Much to my amazement, she answered the phone herself and had an excellent command of the English language and a wonderfully aristocratic tone of voice. I am normally not at a loss for words, but all I managed to ask her about was were there any local memorials to her husband and she said no. I wish now I had asked her a few more questions, but it could easily have ended up being an amateur 60 Minutes session. Anyway, it was quite a buzz for me coming this close to history. A day or so later I was on a train from Bamberg to somewhere I forget now, virtually sitting by myself in the first class section (I'm not a snob - my late father was an amateur railway enthusiast and he wanted me to do all the trips that he himself would have done had he gone to Europe, the way he would have liked to do them) ... anyway at one point a distinguished looking gentleman boarded and I looked up and it was just like looking at a mature age version of Claus von Stauffenberg had he lived to grow older - except that this was one of his sons. My Australian brashness failed me this time and I didn't rush up and introduce myself, but I was able to confirm later by means of a photograph someone showed me that he definitely was the genuine article. I then went on to Albstadt-Lautlingen and a local professor heard that I was making enquiries about Claus and his family and took me out to their childhood home and showed me around the house and gardens. I also managed to visit several other family residences. Obtaining copies of a substantial set of family photographs was a major plus because Mika, Berthold's widow, had in the last years of her life, 'lost the plot somewhat' due to illness and had thrown out several albums which in turn were rescued by another party. When I returned home, I wrote to Grafin Nina telling her in detail why I admired her husband so much and how my favourite photo of her was the beautiful young bride, very much in love with her exceptionally handsome husband. I told her about one very important thing that I had discovered in my research which was that despite the extremes of Hitler and his Third Reich, there was a Germany which they had known together that was worth defending and dying for. She wrote back a very nice letter which I still have. I was wondering recently if she still was alive at 89 but I've not come across anything on the Internet to the contrary. My trip to Germany was and still is a major highlight of my life's journey.

Alecci
Member
Posts: 283
Joined: 05 Oct 2003 02:24
Location: Sweden

Postby Alecci » 04 Mar 2004 18:55

Maskie:

That was a very interesting and moving story! Many thanks for sharing it with us.

von Kluge:

Since me and my wife fetched our recently bought puppy yesterday, my time at home is reserved for other means than the Internet to say the least. But I will return shortly to answer your inquiries about Colonel-General (Ret.) Ludwig Beck.

With kind regards
Alecci Lioncross

Alecci
Member
Posts: 283
Joined: 05 Oct 2003 02:24
Location: Sweden

Postby Alecci » 05 Mar 2004 16:21

von Kluge:

This is a quotation from a PM I sent to Beppo Schmidt, who had made inquiries about Graf Stauffenberg's eyepatch and his final hour.

Alecci wrote:Beck makes an attempt to commit suicide, but fails the first time, only receiving very light wounds. He attempts a second time, and with the aid of Graf Stauffenberg he succeeds in dealing himself a fatal blow, but witout dying on the spot.

[...]

In the offices above the courtyard, Fromm orders Lieutenant Rudolph Schlee, leader of the Grossdeutschland detachment, to end Beck's misery. Schlee pass the order on to a seargent, who fulfills the order.


If you have any further questions concerning Graf Stauffenberg or the coup d'etat of 20 July 1944, don't hesitate to ask.

With kind regards
Alecci Lioncross

User avatar
valkyrie
Member
Posts: 662
Joined: 20 Dec 2003 03:09
Location: canada

Nina von Stauffenberg's signature

Postby valkyrie » 05 Mar 2004 17:06

Maskie :

Fascinating tale. Could I ask you to post a scan of Grafin von Stauffenvberg's signature? I bought a signature that is supposed to be hers a few years ago on the dreaded eBay. I wouldn't mind comparing it with your authentic one as mine was rather inexpensive and could well be a forgery.

BTW - I collect signatures of those who were involved in the bomb plot and other resistance activities - I'm up to 21 signatures so far but ther are still many to go - I'm still looking for the elusive Claus.

Nina von Stauffenerbg was still alive a couple fo years ago as I wrote to Peter Hoffmann at McGill to ask whether he had certian personal details of Claus for a model I was making (eye colour, hair colour etc.) She responded to him and he in turn passed the info to me.

Regrards

Colin

User avatar
Nina van M.
Member
Posts: 290
Joined: 31 Oct 2003 23:55
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Postby Nina van M. » 05 Mar 2004 19:48

Hey, Valkyrie!
You said you have 21 signatures of those who were involved in 20 July plot. Can you please name some of them? :idea: If it's not too big secret... Where did you get them?

You all seem to have quite a few experiences with Nina von Stauffenberg so far, and all of them were good as it seems, huh? I wonder how she feels about her husband and what he did for Germany... But some things are strictly personal and not ment to became public matter - that's how it should be.
Can anybody share some more stories from personal experiences like Valkyrie and Maskie did?

But I wonder, how do Germans nowadays look on Claus Graf von Stauffenberg and whole "20th July plot thing"? What's their opinion of Stauffenberg?
What's YOUR view about him?

Salute to all, von k.


Return to “Women in the Reich”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot]