The grandson of the prince who plotted against Hitler: “I ask for historical justice” – Corriere.it

Speak Friedrich Solms-Baruth, grandson of the noble who plotted against the Fuhrer, was tortured and stripped of all good. I’ll go to the European Court, with Lord Goldsmith

The Gestapo came to take his grandfather the day after the failed attempt to kill Adolf Hitler. My father trembled when he remembered that day, it was the beginning for his grandfather of 9 months of torture, nails ripped to steal confessions and much more. That is why I will now take to court on December 9 the legal battle started by my father, which I inherited when he died. And after me, if justice is not done, it will pass to the new generations, for a moral question. Prince Friedrich Solms-Baruth tells exclusively to the Courier service della Sera what happened in those excited hours the day after the failed attempt to kill Hitler. And how far he was determined to bring the question of the properties stolen by the Gestapo from the grandfather-conspirator against Hitler (who bore his name: Prince Friedrich Solms-Baruth). He was a sworn enemy of Himmler, who took all our possessions for himself and wanted to send my father, then a boy, to the Russian front to get rid of an awkward but powerful family.
The attack against Hitler of 20 July 1944 with Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, in the history of the twentieth century. And he would have changed history if he had succeeded. What went wrong, what did your grandfather, the third Prince Solms-Baruth, say, who plotted with von Stauffenberg?

He said he had warned the other conspirators when they met to take stock of the attack in the family castle. It was the eve of that 20 July when the bomb placed in a suitcase under the table at which Hitler sat should have killed the Fuhrer: too risky to leave the suitcase unattended, someone would have had to sacrifice their life in order not to be suspicious, to ensure that the explosion fulfilled his destiny. But none of the anti-Nazi conspirators wanted to sacrifice von Stauffenberg, he would have been too precious after Hitler … even if Stauffenberg himself volunteered. The rest was done by the massive oak table under which the suitcase was placed, the priming only partially successful (Stauffenberg was highly decorated but also war-maimed) … and the prefabricated wooden structure where the fuhrer attenuated was gathered. effect of the deflagration. Had he been in a brick building he would not have made it out alive.
It is the attack reconstructed from the film with Tom Cruise, “Valkyrie”. So his grandfather ended up imprisoned.

Nine months in the Gestapo house of horrors on Prinz Albrecht strasse. In the end they offered him, take it or leave it, to sign the sale of everything, in exchange for the life of his family: he had 24 hours to get on a train bound for Saxony, the Americans would be the days. The beginning of an escape in the woods, destroyed by torture, with nothing. His brother-in-law, the Duke of Schleswig Holstein suggested that he leave the country, perhaps take refuge in one of the former German colonies in Africa. Grandfather then tried to get in touch with the premier of South Africa, through part of the Greek royal family in exile there. General Smuts, leader of South Africa requested information from the British and British Intelligence confirmed his involvement in the anti-Nazi resistance: the conspiracy, the imprisonment. So much so that Smuts then invited my grandfather, who without anything, showed up with his old uniform from the First World War, the only good suit he had worn in the escape.
In his search for the truth he involved renowned historian Anthony Beevor, as well as investigative historian Nigel West.

Sir Anthony Beevor confirmed my grandfather’s involvement in the resistance against Hitler. Furthermore, investigative historian Nigel West tried to recover the British intelligence file confirming his involvement in the plot against Hitler. West verified that classified file, covered by a state secret. Per told me he had evidence that the conspirators were headquartered right in the back of his grandfather’s castle. Based on documents relating to a double agent, Otto John, sent by the British MI6 to Germany where he was officially a lawyer for Lufthansa, in reality he acted as a connection between London and the Abwehr conspirators, the resistance against Hitler: a discovery that sheds light. also on the involvement of the British in that attack. The point is that the MI6 file on Agent Otto John cannot be declassified for the “duty of Intelligence to protect the identity of its agents”, even though Otto John passed away in 1997.
Speaking of London: his grandfather was also related to Prince Philip, lo
missing Duke of Edinburgh, correct?

Yes, through my great-grandmother, he was linked to the family of the late duke, and for the post-Hitler he had an idea: a model of constitutional monarchy like the British one. After finding refuge in the Schleswig-Holstein estate in Saxony, my grandfather also sought refuge in Stockholm, from the hereditary princess to Hega Castle.
Let’s go back to his grandfather when the Gestapo arrived. What did his father remember?

Grandfather was destroying the conspiracy documents in the wood-burning oven, he tried to shoot because he knew they would come to get him but they threw a jacket over his head, blocked him and took him out in an open car. My father, a little boy, had gone up to the attic with his rifle ready to shoot at the men of the Gestapo. His grandfather then confessed that, imagining him up there ready to shoot, he offered no resistance: it would be immediate death for the whole family.
And when does the legal battle begin that on December 9 will return to court ready to land – if necessary – at the European Court of Human Rights?

My grandfather was a man of great intelligence, he managed to start a land business in Namibia, and he told my father that the money would be used to bring to court the claims of what was stolen from him by the Gestapo. Once the Berlin Wall fell.
Yes, because the family’s properties were all in East Germany.

So in 1990 my father immediately started his battle that now comes to court in Cottbus in December. For some of the claimed properties, the legal battle has actually already reached the German Constitutional Court in Potsdam. And if I need it, I am ready to go to the European Court of Human Rights: to plead the case will be the lawyer, specialized in human rights, Lord Peter Goldsmith who was Attorney General for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Lord Peter already has all the cards.
What exactly are you claiming now, prince?

Nothing that over time was then purchased by private citizens in good faith, no house, building, land then bought by a German and which belonged to us. My father made me promise it when he died. I ask back 13 thousand hectares of timber land, and the castles of Golssen and Kasel, now in the hands of the German state: worth perhaps 10 million euros in all. We have only been able to buy back the Baruth family castle in part, just what the conspirators needed to plan the attack. But we never managed to get back the most historic part, where my grandfather lived.
Affected by the appeal are the state of Brandenburg, the cities of Baruth and Zossen and various companies, from Deutsche Telekom to Thyssen-Krupp. And there had already been an agreement between the German state and its family in 2003, to be honest.

An agreement on 30% of the property confiscated from my father, who passed me the historical responsibility of continuing the legal battle upon his death in 2006. The dispute now over the rest. And not for money. But for historical justice. Among other things, the fruit of that agreement was spent by the family to continue the process. And we will go on like this, from generation to generation, even if in Berlin they hope that what they call the “Biological Solution” will come: the extinction of all claims, for lack of heirs.
Why, if a matter of a few million euros, the state of Brandenburg, Germany, does not close the game?

Because the case would open the doors to similar claims of 10-20 thousand other families, from our investigations.
A question of principle for post-war Germany?

Rather, a purely fiscal, economic interest. Because every year in July, the anniversary of the plot, the Chancellor remembers the sacrifice of those who tried to kill the Fuhrer.
What makes this case so complex?

The fact that my father signed the transfer of assets to the Gestapo: but he signed after 9 months of torture, and it is clear how he agreed.

November 30, 2021 (change November 30, 2021 | 08:27)

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