Fabian von Schlabrendorff

Fabian von Schlabrendorff : Nazi Germany

Fabian von Schlabrendorff was born in Germany in 1907. Trained as a lawyer he joined the German Army and was promoted to adjutant to Henning von Tresckow. He joined the resistance against Adolf Hitler and on 14th March, he put a bomb on a plane carrying Hitler to Smolensk but the detonator malfunctioned and the bomb failed to explode.

Schlabrendorff was arrested after the July Plot and was tortured by the Gestapo. He refused to talk and was sent to Dachau. He was eventually acquitted of treason in March 1945 and was released at the end of the war.

After the war Schlabrendorff was a judge of the Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1967 to 1975. Fabian von Schlabrendorff died in 1980.

Primary Sources

(1) Roger Manvell, The Conspirators: 20th July 1944 (1971)

Schlabrendorff's arms were chained behind his back, and screws were attached to his hands which drove spikes into his fingertips. When this proved ineffective, he was strapped down on a bed-frame with his head wrapped in a blanket while another form of torture-equipment injected spikes into his legs and thighs. This, too, he managed to nerve himself to endure. Next, he was strapped in a medieval manner to a frame designed to stretch his body either with sudden jerks or by a gradual process of pulling.

(2) Fabian Schlabrendorff was tortured by the Gestapo but managed to survive and wrote about his experiences in his book, The Secret War Against Hitler (1982)

We all made the discovery that a man can endure far more pain that he would have deemed possible. Those of us who had never learned to pray did so now, and found that prayer, and only prayer, can bring comfort in such terrible straits, and that it gives a more than human endurance. We learned also that the prayers of our friends and relatives could transmit currents and strength to us.