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Encyclopedia > Sippenhaft
Fabian Graf zu Dohna, arrested in July 1944, aged 18, as a result of his father's involvement in the July 20 plot. He survived and as of 2006 is still alive. (Memorial to the German Resistance, Berlin)
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Fabian Graf zu Dohna, arrested in July 1944, aged 18, as a result of his father's involvement in the July 20 plot. He survived and as of 2006 is still alive. (Memorial to the German Resistance, Berlin)

Sippenhaft or Sippenhaftung (English: "arrest of relatives") was a legal practice in Nazi Germany whereby relatives of those accused of crimes against the state were held to be equally responsible and were arrested and sometimes executed. Many people who had not comitted any crimes were arrested and punished under Sippenhaft laws introduced following the failed July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944. A law of February 1945 also threatened death to the relatives of military commanders who showed what Hitler regarded as cowardice or defeatism in the face of the enemy. Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Claus von Stauffenberg The July 20 Plot was a failed coup détat and attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. ... Hitler redirects here. ...


After the failure of the July 20 plot, the SS chief Heinrich Himmler told a meeting of Gauleiters in Posen that he would "introduce absolute responsibility of kin... a very old custom practised among our forefathers." According to Himmler, this pracice had existed among the ancient Teutons. "When they placed a family under the ban and declared it outlawed or when there was a blood feud in the family, they were utterly consistent... This man has committed treason; his blood is bad; there is traitor's blood in him; that must be wiped out. And in the blood feud the entire clan was wiped out down to the last member. And so, too, will Count Stauffenberg's family be wiped out down to the last member." [1] The infamous double-sig rune SS insignia. ... (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. ... A Gauleiter was the party leader of a regional branch of the NSDAP (more commonly known as the Nazi Party) or the head of a Gau or of a Reichsgau. ... Posen (Polish: Poznań): is the German name of the city of Poznań, Poland. ... The term Germanic peoples may refer to: the Germanic tribes that in the first millennium were seen as a barbarian threat by the Roman Empire and its successors; the Germanic Christianity that in the second millennium came to dominate much of Northern Europe, politically organized in the Holy Roman Empire... Claus von Stauffenberg Claus Philipp Maria Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg (15 November 1907 – 21 July 1944) was a German aristocrat and army colonel during World War II. He was one of the leading figures of the July 20 Plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. ...


Accordingly, the family of Stauffenberg (who had planted the bomb which failed to kill Hitler) were all arrested. His wife, Nina Grafin Schenk von Stauffenberg, was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp (she survived and lived until 2006). His brother Alexander, who knew nothing of the plot and was serving with the German Army in Greece, was also sent to a concentration camp. Similar punishments were meted out to the relatives of Carl Goerdeler, Henning von Tresckow, Adam von Trott zu Solz and many other conspirators. The fact that most of these families belonged to the old Prussian aristocracy, a class detested by the Nazis, added to the zeal with which they were persecuted. Younger children of arrested plotters were sent to orphanges under new names: Stauffenberg's children were renamed "Meister." View of the barracks at Ravensbrück Ravensbrück was a German concentration camp located 90 km north of Berlin. ... Carl Friedrich Goerdeler Carl Friedrich Goerdeler (July 31, 1884 _ February 2, 1945) was a conservative German politician and opponent of the Nazi regime. ... Henning von Tresckow (January 10, 1901 – July 21, 1944) was a Major General in the German Wehrmacht. ... Adam von Trott zu Solz (born August 9, 1909 in Potsdam, Germany - died August 26, 1944 in Berlin, Germany) was a lawyer and diplomat who opposed the Nazi regime. ...


It should be noted that other totalitarian regimes have used similar practices, even if they have not codified them in law. During Joseph Stalin's Great Purge of the 1930s many thousands of people were arrested and executed or sent to labour camps as "relatives of the enemies of the people." One well-known example was Anna Larina, wife of Nikolai Bukharin. Similar practices took place in the People's Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. A prominent example is Deng Pufang, son of Deng Xiaoping. Totalitarianism is a typology employed by political scientists, especially those in the field of comparative politics, to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. ... Stalin redirects here. ... The Great Purge (Russian: ) is the name given to campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union during the late 1930s. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... Nikolai Bukharin Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (Russian: ), (October 9 [O.S. September 27] 1888 – March 13, 1938) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and intellectual, and later a Soviet politician. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Deng Pufang (邓朴方 pinyin deng4 pu2 fang1), (born in April 1944), is the first son of Deng Xiaoping and his third wife Zhuo Lin. ... Deng Xiaoping Deng Xiaoping (Simplified Chinese: 邓小平; Traditional Chinese: 鄧小平; Pinyin: Dèng Xiǎopíng; Wade-Giles: Teng Hsiao-ping; August 22, 1904–February 19, 1997) was a leader in the Communist Party of China (CPC). ...


[1] Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death, 303


 
 

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