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    On this date, July 7, 1865, The Four conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln were hanged.


    1865: Four for Abraham Lincoln’s assassination

    On a sweltering July 7, 1865, a mere 12 weeks after Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater, four of his assassin’s accomplices were hanged in the courtyard of the District of Columbia’s Washington Arsenal — present-day Fort McNair, and specifically its tennis courts.

    The exact nature of the conspiracy against the man who had seen the North to victory in the Civil War has been debated ever since actor John Wilkes Booth lodged a ball from his one-shot Derringer behind Honest Abe’s ear. But it was a conspiracy— an astoundingly bold one.

    Simultaneous with Booth’s successful attack upon Lincoln, there was an unsuccessful attempt to kill Secretary of State William Seward; it would emerge in the investigation that another man had been detailed to murder Vice President Andrew Johnson, but got drunk and chickened out. The apparent upshot: with the President and Vice President dead, new national elections would be required to replace the Senator who would become acting president — and with the Secretary of State dead too, there’d be nobody to implement them. Booth was trying to paralyze the North with its own constitutional machinery in some desperate hope of reviving the defeated South.

    Ten Against D.C.

    Hundreds were detained in the stunning assassination’s immediate aftermath, but ten would ultimately be the federals’ targets. A massive manhunt pursued Booththrough southern Maryland and into Virginia, where he was killed in a shootout. John Surratt, who had conspired with Booth in an earlier plot to kidnap the president — that failed plot had been reconfigured into the assassination — escaped from the country.

    The other eight were rounded up and stashed at the Arsenal to face a military tribunal. It was a highly controversial arrangement: the war had entered a gray area — Robert E. Lee’s surrender just days before the murder had effectively ended the war, but when the trial opened in May Confederate President Jefferson Davis was still at large, and the last Southern general wouldn’t lay down his arms until late June. The District of Columbia was still technically under martial law … so would it do to use a military court?

    Military Tribunal

    So the government asked itself: government, would you rather have looser evidentiary rules and a lower bar of conviction than you would have in civil court? The government duly produced for the government an opinion that the military characteristic of the assassination — that is, to help whatever southern war effort still obtained — licensed the government to use the military courts.

    That didn’t sit well with everyone. One former Attorney General griped:


    If the offenders are done to death by that tribunal, however truly guilty, they will pass for martyrs with half the world.


    Indeed, a year later, the Supreme Court’s landmark ex parte Milligan ruling would forbid the use of military courts where civilian courts are open — which they were in Washington, D.C.

    That, of course, was too late to help Booth’s comrades. It would be a military trial, with a majority vote needed for conviction and no right of appeal but to the president for the most infamous crime of the Republic. Everyone had a pretty good idea what the results would be.

    Rogues’ Gallery

    Two of the four today were doomed from the outset under any juridical arrangement imaginable: Lewis Powell (also known as Lewis Paine or Lewis Payne) had made the attempt on Secretary of State Seward; David Herold had guided him there with the getaway horse, and later escaped along with Booth. They were in way past their eyeballs. George Atzerodt, the schmo who couldn’t rise to the occasion of popping Andrew Johnson, looks a bit more peripheral from the distance of a century and a half, but in the weeks following the assassination he was much too close to the action to have any hope. All received death sentences.

    Two others — Michael O’Laughlen and Samuel Arnold — had been involved in Booth’s earlier scheme to kidnap the president, but didn’t seem to have much to do with the murder. Still another two — Ned Spangler and Dr. Samuel Mudd* — were lesser participants. They all received long prison sentences for their pains, and the three of them still surviving were pardoned by Andrew Johnson as he left the presidency in 1869.

    That left Mary Surratt, mother of the fugitive John and the only woman in the dock, the focus of attention and controversy. The 42-year-old widow owned a downtown boardinghouse, plus a tavern of sufficient importance at a Prince George’s County, Maryland, crossroads, that its community was called Surrattsville.**

    The conspirators met frequently in her lodgings; Surratt maintained her innocence beyond that, but evidence and witness testimony began to pile up heavily against her … especially when Seward assailant Lewis Powell wandered into her place looking for refuge right while the police were questioning her. Booth and Herold turned out to have made a pit stop at her Surrattsville tavern to pick up a package of guns that Mary had prepared for them.

    Though Surratt’s avowal of ignorance was not widely believed, a gesture of presidential mercy was anticipated — many thought (and think) she went on trial as a virtual hostage for her absconded son, who declined to take the bait. Strangely, five members of the nine-judge panel who condemned Mary Surratt turned around and asked President Johnson for clemency. Johnson claimed never to have seen the memo, but his mind seemed pretty made up — when Surratt won a habeas corpus stay on the morning of her scheduled hanging, he promptly “specially-suspended” the writ specifically to hang her:


    I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States do hereby declare that the writ of habeas corpus had been heretofore suspended in such cases as this; and I do hereby specially-suspend this writ, and direct that you proceed to execute the order heretofore given upon the judgment of the Military Commission.


    Harsh treatment, and possibly well-deserved, for the first woman executed by the U.S. government. Even so, it does seem a curious thing when all is said and done that the mother of “the nest that hatched the egg” was worth a special suspension of the Great Writ, and even the stagehand who just held Booth’s horse for him caught six years, but old Jeff Davis — who apart from having figureheaded a treasonous four-year insurrection was implicated for giving Booth’s kidnapping plot official Confederate sanction— got to retire to write his memoirs.


    Walk of the damned: The condemned Lincoln conspirators can be seen on the scaffold at Fort McNair in Washington with officers on July 7, 1865, following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln


    Long drop and sudden stop: The bodies of the four conspirators were hanged for around 25 minutes before being cut down


    Bearing witness: Around 1,000 people gathered in the scorching Washington heat to watch the four conspirators hanged to death; reporters and military personnel can be seen in the background


    A grave matter: The pine coffins and open graves await the bodies of the condemned; volunteers were asked to dig the shallow graves


    Fine pages on the Lincoln assassination are here, here and here. There are also contemporary newspaper accounts posted online as filed for The Boston Post and The New York Herald.

    The Surratt houses, by the way, are still standing. The Maryland tavern is kept as the Surratt House Museum by the Surratt Society. The downtown boarding house is a Chinese restaurant … marked with a plaque remembering more momentous doings than bubble tea.

    * The panel voted 5-4 to hang Mudd, a Maryland doctor who not only set the leg Booth broke when he leaped onto the stage after shooting Lincoln, but then misdirected Booth’s pursuers. However, the rules for the trial said a two-thirds majority was required for execution.

    ** They changed the name after the unpleasantness. Today, it’s Clinton, Maryland.


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                On this date, July 10, 1949, a Japanese War Criminal, General Moritake Tanabe, was executed. I will post information about him from Wikipedia.


    Moritake Tanabe (田辺盛武Tanabe Moritake)
     
    Born
    February 26, 1889
    Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
    Died
    July 10, 1949 (aged 60)
    Medan, Netherlands East Indies
    Allegiance
    Imperial Japanese Army
    Years of service
    1910 - 1945
    Rank
    Lieutenant General
    Commands held
    41st Infantry Division
    25th Army
    Battles/wars
    Second Sino-Japanese War
    World War II

    Biography

    A native of Ishikawa prefecture, Tanabe graduated from the 22nd class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1910 and from the 30th class of the Army Staff College in 1918.

    After serving as instructor at the Toyama Army Infantry School from 1933–1934, Tanabe served as Chief of the Economic Mobilization Section in the Ministry of War. He returned to the field to command the IJA 34th Infantry Regiment from 1936–37, before returning to the Toyama Army Infantry School as its Commandant.

    With the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, Tanabe was appointed Chief of Staff of the IJA 10th Army. He served as commandant of the Tank School in 1938, and returned to the field as commander of the IJA 41st Division in 1939 and as Chief of Staff of the Japanese Northern China Area Army in 1941.

    Tanabe was recalled to Japan from 1941-1943 to serve as Vice Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, and was in this position at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which he had strenuously opposed. Once the war began, he favored a defensive strategy of luring the Allies into campaigns in areas away from their bases in hopes of stretching their supply lines to Japan's advantage. He was instrumental in helping put an end to the disastrous attrition of Japanese forces at Guadalcanal.

    As conditions began to deteriorate for Japan along its southern front in the Pacific War. Tanabe was dispatched to Japanese-occupied Sumatra in the Netherlands East Indies to take command of the 25th Army under the Japanese Seventh Area Army at Fort de Kock, in April 1943. He remained at this post for the remainder of the war.

    At the end of the war, he was arrested by Dutch authorities in Medan and faced a military tribunal which accused him of war crimes in connection with the treatment of Allied prisoners of war. He was sentenced to death on 30 December 1948 and executed in 1949.

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                On this date, 10 July 2008, an Indonesian Serial Killer, Ahmad Suradji was executed by the firing squad. Please go to this previous Blog Post to learn more about the serial killer. 


    Ahmad Suradji








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    In passing sentence on the accused the court is merely carrying out the laws of British and international justice. We are not taking our vengeance, but protecting society from the ravages of cruelty and imposing a sentence to act as a deterrent to others who, in the years to come, may be like minded.

    [Colonel J. L. McKinlay, Australian war crimes trials, Morotai, National Archives of Australia: A471, 80717.]
      

    Two Australian military policemen guard Japanese prisoners outside the court on Labuan Island, Borneo, December 1945. The prisoners are (from left): Lieutenant Ojima, Lieutenant Yamamoto, Captain Nakata and Captain Takino. All four were sentenced to death by shooting for their ill-treatment of prisoners during the war. [AWM 123170] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#]

     

    Two Australian military policemen guard Japanese prisoners outside the court on Labuan Island, Borneo, December 1945. The prisoners are (from left): Lieutenant Ojima, Lieutenant Yamamoto, Captain Nakata and Captain Takino. All four were sentenced to death by shooting for their ill-treatment of prisoners during the war. [AWM 123170] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#]


    War crimes trials

    Even before World War II ended Allied authorities began collecting evidence of war crimes committed by the Japanese in the countries they occupied. This culminated in a series of trials held throughout the Pacific between 1945 and 1951 which mirrored war crimes trials in Europe.

    There were three levels of trials conducted. A Class trials (conspiracy to wage and start war) saw twenty-eight high-ranking Japanese officers and politicians, including Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, tried in Tokyo by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. The IMTFE consisted of judges from eleven nations with an Australian High Court judge, William Webb, serving as president.

    Class B (violations of the laws and customs of war) and C (crimes against humanity) trials were held by national governments — Australia, Britain, China, France, Holland, Philippines and the United States — at various locations throughout the Pacific. In total 5379 Japanese, 173 Formosans and 148 Koreans were tried. Of these 984 were sentenced to death, 475 to life imprisonment and 2944 to some form of punishment.

    Neither the Japanese Emperor Hirohito, nor any member of his family, was tried in any category.


    General Tomoyuki Yamashita arriving at the military tribunal in Manila, Philippines, in 1945. Yamashita was the commanding general during the conquest of Malaya and in the Philippines. He was held responsible for atrocities committed by troops under his command and found guilty of failing to prevent them. The trial set a controversial precedent known as ‘command responsibility’, which held that an officer could be charged if he failed to control the acts of troops under his command. Yamashita was executed by hanging in February 1946. [AWM 119134] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#]
     

    The Australian War Crimes trial, Darwin, 1946. National trials such as these were held throughout the Pacific. Four Australians comprise the members of the court: Major D. F. Field, Major G. J. Ruse, Lieutenant Colonel A. Brown, Captain W. T. Smith. Out of frame, are the Japanese accused. [AWM NWA1067] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#]
    The Australian B and C Class trials, which included crimes against prisoners of war and the execution of Allied air men, were conducted by military courts under the Australian War Crimes Act of 1945. They were held at Morotai, Wewak, Labuan, Rabaul, Darwin, Singapore, Hong Kong and Manus Island. In all, Australia conducted nearly three hundred trials, in which 924 Japanese servicemen were accused of war crimes. Of these, 644 were convicted and 148 were sentenced to death, although 11 had their sentences commuted.

    Execution was carried out by firing squad or by hanging. This was the first and only time that the Australian military conducted executions. Indeed, such was the Australian inexperience that it was necessary to ask for British advice on gallows and firing squads.


    Accused Japanese bow before the Australian court in Darwin, 1946. [AWM NWA1064]
    Between June 1946 and July 1947 a total of 111 Japanese and Korean soldiers were convicted for crimes on the Thai–Burma railway in Singapore. Death sentences were given to 32 of these men.

    Among those tried were some of the most feared men on the railway. Sergeant Seiichi Okada, also known as ‘Doctor Death’ for his role as a medical orderly in the Hintok–Konyu area, was sentenced to ten years in prison in Singapore. The Korean Arai Koei, also known as the ‘Boy Bastard’, was sentenced to death by hanging for his role in the ill-treatment of prisoners on the Burma side of the railway.

    The Japanese soldiers who were sentenced to death reacted in different ways. Many maintained a pride in their service to the emperor. Lieutenant Seizo Tanaka, executed in 1946 on Morotai, wrote to a family member:



    It is decided I will be shot 7 o’clock 6 mar. I was sentenced to death, but not because I did a shameful act. Rather I think it an honour for me ... By my culture, I am resigned facing death.

    [AWM54 1010/1/29]


    Initially the Australian government maintained a prison on Manus Island, north of New Guinea, for Japanese prisoners. However, by 1953 all Japanese held in Australian camps had been returned to Japan to complete their sentences.

    Japanese prisoners playing cards, Morotai, 1945. These men had been sentenced to death for executing three Australian airmen and were waiting the outcome of their appeal. [AWM OG3692] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#]
    The war crimes trials have been criticised, particularly in Japan, as ‘victors’ justice’. Certainly much of the punishment fell on relatively lowly ranked Japanese who had little control over issues such as the pace of work or supply of food and medicine to the prisoners. The trials have also been criticised on procedural grounds; such as the fact that evidence was taken from witnesses, including POWs, who were not produced in court to be cross-examined. In addition, evidence that was prejudicial to the defendant but irrelevant to a particular case was introduced.

    Yet the trials were not necessarily a manifestation of vengeance: 280 of the 644 Japanese accused in Australian war crimes trials were acquitted. Moreover, victims of the Japanese, such as Stan Arneil and Lieutenant-Colonel E.E. ‘Weary’ Dunlop, did not call for reprisals against the Japanese. Many simply wanted to go home. Dunlop himself worked for post-war reconciliation with Asia.

    The gallows house in Changi gaol where eighteen Japanese war criminals were executed by hanging during 1946. [AWM P04279.005] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#]


    A convicted Japanese war criminal being led to the gallows at Changi gaol to be executed by hanging, 1946. A total of 18 Japanese war criminals were executed by hanging at Changi. [AWM P04279.007] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#]            


    A hangman positions a noose around the neck of a Japanese war criminal prior to his execution at Changi gaol, 1946. The condemned man is standing on a trapdoor which was opened to complete the execution. Done correctly, death by hanging was quick as death came from the snapping of the neck rather than strangulation. [AWM P04279.004] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#] 


    A Japanese war criminal falls to his death, Changi, 1946. The trapdoor has just been sprung by the operator whose hands are visible on the left. [AWM P04279.011] [PHOTO SOURCE: http://hellfire-pass.commemoration.gov.au/after-the-war/war-crimes-trials.php#]       



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                On this date, July 14, 2009, a serial killer by the name of John Joseph Fautenberry was executed by lethal injection in Ohio. He was the 30th person executed by the State of Ohio since 1976. Surprisingly, the abolitionists in Ohio kept quiet about his case. Please go to this previous Blog Post to learn more about this Serial Killer and please go to the Unit 1012 Blog Post to hear from his victims’ families.


    John Joseph Fautenberry





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    On this date, 15 July 1953, The Rillington Place Strangler, John Christie was executed by hanging at Pentonville Prison, London, England. I had blogged earlier about Timothy Evans whom I have doubts if he was truly innocent of the crime. Please go to this previous blog post to learn more about this serial killer.

     

    John Christie

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              On this date, July 15, 2008, the Singing Serial Killer, Very Idham Henyansyah, was apprehended. I will post information about him from Wikipedia and other links.


    Very Idham Henyansyah [PHOTO SOURCE: http://murderpedia.org/male.H/h/henyansyah.htm]

    Very Idham Henyansyah
    Born
    February 1, 1978
    Jombang, Indonesia
    Other names
    Ryan
    Singing serial killer
    Criminal penalty
    Death

    Conviction(s)
    Mutilation, Murder
    Killings
    Victims
    11
    Span of killings
    2006–2008
    Country
    Indonesia
    Date apprehended
    15 July 2008

    Very Idham Henyansyah (born 1 February 1978), also known as Ryan, is an Indonesian convicted serial killer. Very confessed to killing 11 people and was sentenced to death by the Indonesia criminal court. Very is awaiting execution at Kesambi Penitentiary in Cirebon. He was arrested in 2008.

    This case achieved notoriety throughout Indonesia due to the gruesome nature of the murders. The body of one of the victims was found at a roadside in Jakarta cut up into seven pieces and was skewered with a crowbar. Very buried his victims' bodies in the backyard of his home in Jombang Regency in East Java.

    After his arrest, he became known as the "singing serial killer" after entertaining the court officers, fellow inmates and media audience in his jail cell by singing a song from his upcoming album.

    In February 2009, Very released an autobiography titled The Untold Story of Ryan. In the autobiography, Very indicated that he was formerly a Qur'an recital teacher and later became a male model.

    Very is openly homosexual and he confessed that most of his victims were also homosexual men. Very admitted to killing one of his victims after the victim offered him money and a car to have sex with his boyfriend. However, in October 2010, he announced that he was planning to marry a female convicted drug dealer, Eny Wijaya, whom he had met in 2008 when they were both detained at the Jakarta Police Narcotics Detention Center. Eny Wijaya has released from Pondok Bambu Penitentiary around September 2010. One of his reasons for marrying Eny Wijaya despite him being homosexual is to fulfill his mother's wish that he be married to a woman.

    OTHER LINKS:

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                On this date, July 17, 2002, a Cop Killer, Tracy Alan Hansen was executed by lethal injection in Mississippi. He was convicted of shooting Trooper David Bruce Ladner on April 10, 1987, the trooper died 2 days later on April 12, 1987. Please go to this previous blog post to learn more about this cop killer. 


    Tracy Alan Hansen
     

    Trooper David Bruce Ladner

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  • 07/18/14--07:10: TEXAS SENATE BILL 5


  •             On this date, June 18, 2013, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law, Texas Senate Bill 5. I will post information from Wikipedia and another news source about this Pro-Life Bill.


    An illustration of Texas on Senator Bill 5 [PHOTO SOURCE: http://mountiewire.com/senator-wendy-davis-fillibusters-abortion-bill/]

    Texas Senate Bill 5 (or Texas SB 5) is a bill that was created on June 11, 2013, and was discussed during the First Special Session of the Eighty-third Texas Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on July 18, 2013.

    Bill content

    Texas Senate Bill 5 is a list of measures that would add and update abortion regulations in Texas. These measures include a ban on abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization and recognize that the state has a compelling interest to protect fetuses from pain. The bill would mandate that a doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and to require that clinics meet the same standards as other surgical health-care facilities in the state. Another provision would require oversight of women taking abortion-inducing drugs such as RU-486. The bill would not apply to abortions necessary to save the mother's life or to prevent permanent bodily damage from a pregnancy.

    History

    First Special Session

    On June 25, 2013, Senator Wendy Davisbegan a filibuster in attempt to block the bill by maintaining the floor until midnight, when the Senate's special session ended, after which the state Senate would no longer be able to vote on the measure. After ten hours, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst ruled that Davis had gone off topic after Davis began talking about a sonogram bill, forcing a vote on whether the filibuster could continue. Despite efforts to pass the bill, parliamentary enquiries from Leticia R. Van de Putte and other senators, as well as disruption from the gallery caused the session to go on through midnight, the official closure of the special session. Following the deadline, Republicans indicated that a vote had taken place and passed 19–11, while Democrats declared that the vote had taken place after midnight, making the vote void. Dewhurst later conceded that the bill was passed after the deadline and was considered dead.

    Timestamp issue

    After the bill was thought to have been passed, a record was added to the official web page on the history of the bill. According to the page, the timestamp of the bill's passage was listed as the 26th. Later, the page was taken down and altered to say that the bill was passed on the 25th. According to Texas Penal Code, Section 37.10, it is a crime to make an alteration that is false in a government document or record. According to the Legislative Reference Library of Texas the Texas Legislature Online system "... is not the official record of those actions, and [the Legislative Reference Library staff] enters actions on TLO as a public service independently of the officers of the house or senate." The Public Integrity Unit has begun an investigation into the events after receiving complaints.

    Second Special Session

    On the 26th, Governor Rick Perry added the bill as part of three bills in a second special session, with the name Senate Bill 2. Perry stated that it was due to the "[...] breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do."

    The second session began on July 1, with supporters and opponents of the bill showing up in large crowds at the Texas Legislative building while wearing blue or orange shirts in support of their side.

    The Texas House passed the bill on July 10, 2013, by a 96–49 margin and sent the measure to the Texas Senate.

    The Texas Senate passed the bill on July 13, 2013 with a bipartisan vote with a 19-11 margin. The bill was signed by Gov. Rick Perry on July 18, 2013.

    The bill was eventually passed by both the House and the Senate in the July 2013 second special session and was signed by Gov. Rick Perry, prompting one commentator to state that "Wendy Davis won the battle, but Rick Perry won the war."


    Billy Joe and Tuesday's controversial placard, that went viral on the net.
    Public response

    Organizations and people on both sides used websites like Twitter and the Texas Tribune to share their side and learn more, with several hashtags becoming popular on Twitter. Coverage and a livestream of the Texas Legislature by the Texas Tribune has been said to have been the reason that the bill became national, and later international, news.

    Images of the placard carried by pro-choice activists Billy Joe Cain, his daughter Tuesday, with the message "JESUS isn't a DICK; so keep him OUT of MY VAGINA!" went viral, the resultant controversy was reported nationally and internationally.

    Debate

    Many people who are against the bill have opposed the requirement that would force clinics to follow the same standards as surgical centers, since it could lead to the closure of the clinics and result in large areas of the state to not have access to a clinic. Supporters of the legislation have stated that the purpose of the new law is to protect women’s health and unborn children, citing precedents like the recent Kermit Gosnell case.

    Abortion access in the state of Texas has seen a serious decline since the passage of Senate bill 5. There were 44 facilities that performed abortions in Texas in 2011, When the law is fully implemented in September, that number is expected to drop to six. Amy Hagstrom Miller, the chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health, which has challenged provisions of the law in court. "I tried everything I can. I just can’t keep the doors open.”



    Things to Know About Senate Bill 5 [PHOTO SOURCE: http://joshfults.com/2013/06/27/things-to-know-about-senate-bill-5/]
    Things to Know About Senate Bill 5

    On June 25, Senate Bill 5 was under consideration for legislature in the state of Texas. The bill would require that all abortion clinics be certified as ambulatory surgical centers and would not allow abortions to be performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Democratic Senator, Wendy Davis, had other plans. She filibustered the bill and delivered a 10 hour speech in hopes of delaying the vote. The bill was eventually voted on, amidst the chaotic circus of protesters, and passed, but it occurred after midnight and was rendered null. On June 26, Governor Rick Perry called for a special session on July 1st to reconsider the bill.

    It is important for us to take into consideration the importance and dramatic scope of Senate Bill 5, for if it passes dramatic changes will take place involving how abortion services are delivered in the state of Texas. The passing of the bill would mean the closing of roughly 80% of abortion clinics in the second most populated state in the union! There are approximately 215 abortions performed daily in Texas. What would that number look like if Senate Bill 5 passes? How many lives will be spared from premature obliteration under surgical blades and suction hoses?

    I hold to the view that life begins at the moment of conception and believe that abortion is a moral evil regardless of when it is performed. I stand firmly on the substance view of human personhood, which states that every organism is a substance of a particular kind of being that undergoes changes, but these changes do not affect what they are essentially. Many try to delineate when exactly life begins based on many different criteria. In other words, they may speculate that life begins when the fetus reaches certain development milestones such as cognizance or sentience. Yet, just because a human cannot exhibit all of it’s capacities all the time through life does not mean it is not a full-fledged human being! This is the idea behind the substance view of personhood.

    When it comes to abortion, the argument about when life begins has become largely moot because many pro-choice advocates agree that the unborn child is alive. The issue has become that of autonomy and personal liberty. Many in favor of abortion view their right to personal liberty as taking precedence over the child’s right to life, which is completely absurd. One person’s freedom to choose overrides the unborn person’s right to live.

    The question I would like to pose, is why shouldn’t late term abortions (after 20 weeks) be abolished? It has been well documented that babies in late term abortion feel pain, possibly as early as 6-8 weeks gestation. Many will argue, well drugs are administered to send the child into cardiac arrest so the surgical procedure is not felt, yet, who says that being sent into cardiac arrest is not painful? I personally have no desire to see what it feels like, but I have spoken to some that say it is not pleasant, to say the least. Why wouldn’t we want to stop late term abortions if they potentially cause the unborn to experience even the slightest amount of anguish? Is it not humane to refrain from doing so? Yet, the real issue at hand is the closing of so many abortion clinics across the state. It appears that the pro-choice advocates are more concerned about availability than the potential pain it might inflict on the unborn. It would also make sense that these procedures should take place at surgical centers. We wouldn’t want women having abortions at chop shops, butcher houses, or in coat hanger closets would we? Why not pass this legislation? Because it would bottleneck the availability of abortions, that’s why.

    We should also be reminded of what late term abortions look like.  One must consider the development level the unborn has reached at this juncture. Francis Beckwith states that at 13 weeks the child can “kick his legs, turn his feet, curl his toes, make a fist, suck his thumb, bend his wrist, turn his head, frown, open his mouth, press his lips tightly together. He drinks amniotic fluid.” Then he says at 22 weeks, “He is now about a foot tall, weighs one pound. Fine baby hair begins to grow on his eye brows and head. He sleeps and wakes just as he will after birth.” If that sounds all too human, it is because it is human. This is the point of development reached by a child when late term abortions are performed.

    Recently, the highly credentialed, Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist who is now pro-life, described late term abortion procedures in explicit detail. He was testifying in support of a bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks nationwide. The procedure he describes is known as “Suction D&E”. In his testimony, he placed in display the primary instrument used to extract the fetus called a Sopher clamp. He states, “This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go.” He continues, “Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard – really hard…You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.” He laments that the most difficult part is removing the head. “You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.

    There have been 57 million legally induced abortions within the United States since 1973. Lets pray that Senate Bill 5 passes. It will save the lives of some, though the many will be killed.

    Every life matters. Let’s weep with the 57 million that never experienced all that life offers. Let’s pray for legislation to be enacted that speaks for those without a voice. Let’s create a culture of life.

    Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.

    Josh

    OTHER LINKS:


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                70 years ago on this date, July 20, 1944, the last attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler failed. I will post information on this historical assassination from Wikipedia and other links. I will also honor and remember the German Resistance to Nazism. 

     

    The Wolf's Lair conference room soon after the explosion

    Date
    • 20 July 1944 (bombing)
    • 1944–1945 (arrests / executions of plot's supporters)
    Location
    • Rastenburg, East Prussia, Germany
    • (today Kętrzyn, Warmia-Masuria, Poland)
    • 54.079344°N 21.493544°E
    Result
    Military coup d'état against the Nazi government fails. Nazi government victory.
    Belligerents
    Military-led German resistance
    Nazi government
    Commanders and leaders
    • Ludwig Beck
    • Henning von Tresckow
    • Eduard Wagner
    • Eugen Bolz
    • Albrecht von Bernstorff
    • Claus von Stauffenberg
    • C-H von Stülpnagel
    • Adolf Hitler
    • Wilhelm Keitel
    • Alfred Jodl
    • Walter Warlimont
    Casualties and losses
    • 5,000 executed
    • 7,000 arrested
    4 killed

    The 20 July plot refers to the attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führerof the Third Reich, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia, in July 1944. The apparent purpose of the assassination attempt was to seize political control of Germany and its armed forces from the Nazi Party (including the SS) in order to obtain peace with the Allies as soon as possible. The underlying desire of many of the involved high ranking Wehrmachtofficers was apparently to show to the world that not all Germans were like Hitler and the NSDAP. The details of the conspirators' peace initiatives remain unknown, but they likely would have included demands to accept wide reaching territorial annexations by Germany in Europe.

    The plot was the culmination of the efforts of several groups in the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi-led German government. The failure of both the assassination and the military coup d'état which was planned to follow it led to the arrest of at least 7,000 people by the Gestapo. According to records of the Führer Conferences on Naval Affairs, 4,980 of these were executed.

    Background

    Since 1938, conspiratorial groups planning an overthrow of some kind had existed in the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) and in the German Military Intelligence Organization (Abwehr). Early leaders of these plots included Brigadier-General Hans Oster, General Ludwig Beckand Field Marshal Erwin von Witzleben. Oster was the deputy head of the Military Intelligence Office. Beck was a former Chief-of-Staffof the German Army High Command (Oberkommando des Heeres, OKH). Von Witzleben was the former commander of the German 1st Army and the former Commander-in-Chief of the German Army Command in the West (Oberbefehlshaber West, or OB West). They soon established contacts with several prominent civilians, including Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, the former mayor of Leipzig, and Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, the great-grandnephew of the hero of the Franco-Prussian War.

    Military conspiratorial groups exchanged ideas with civilian, political and intellectual resistance groups in the Kreisauer Kreis (which met at the von Moltke estate in Kreisau) and in other secret circles. Moltke was against killing Hitler; instead, he wanted him placed on trial. Moltke said, "we are all amateurs and would only bungle it". Moltke also believed killing Hitler would be hypocritical. Hitler and National Socialism had turned "wrong-doing" into a system, something which the resistance should avoid.

    Plans to stage an overthrow and prevent Hitler from launching a new world war were developed in 1938 and 1939, but were aborted because of the indecision of Army Generals Franz Halder and Walther von Brauchitsch, and the failure of the western powers to oppose Hitler's aggressions until 1939. This first military resistance group delayed their plans after Hitler's extreme popularity following the unexpectedly rapid success in the battle for France.

    In 1942, a new conspiratorial group formed, led by Colonel Henning von Tresckow, a member of Field Marshal Fedor von Bock's staff, who commanded Army Group Centre in Operation Barbarossa. Tresckow systematically recruited oppositionists to the Group's staff, making it the nerve centre of the Army resistance. Little could be done against Hitler as he was heavily guarded, and none of the plotters could get near enough to him.

    During 1942, Oster and Tresckow nevertheless succeeded in rebuilding an effective resistance network. Their most important recruit was General Friedrich Olbricht, head of the General Army Office headquarters at the Bendlerblock in central Berlin, who controlled an independent system of communications to reserve units throughout Germany. Linking this asset to Tresckow's resistance group in Army Group Centre created a viable coup apparatus.

    In late 1942, Tresckow and Olbricht formulated a plan to assassinate Hitler and stage an overthrow during Hitler's visit to the headquarters of Army Group Centre at Smolensk in March 1943, by placing a bomb on his plane. The bomb failed to detonate, and a second attempt a week later with Hitler at an exhibition of captured Soviet weaponry in Berlin also failed. These failures demoralised the conspirators. During 1943 Tresckow tried without success to recruit senior Army field commanders such as Field Marshal Erich von Manstein and Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, to support a seizure of power. Tresckow in particular worked on his Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Centre, Field Marshal Günther von Kluge to persuade him to move against Hitler and at times succeeded in gaining his consent, only to find him indecisive at the last minute. Despite their refusals however, none of the Field Marshals reported their treasonous activities to the Gestapo or Hitler.

    Planning a coup

    Main article: Operation Valkyrie

    Stauffenberg joins the conspirators

    By mid-1943 the tide of war was turning decisively against Germany. The Army plotters and their civilian allies became convinced that Hitler should be assassinated, so that a government acceptable to the western Allies could be formed, and a separate peace negotiated in time to prevent a Soviet invasion of Germany. In August 1943 Tresckow met, for the first time, a young staff officer named Lieutenant Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg. Badly wounded in North Africa, Count von Stauffenberg was a political conservative, a zealous German nationalist and a Roman Catholic. From early in 1942, he had come to share two basic convictions with many military officers: that Germany was being led to disaster, and that Hitler's removal from power was necessary. After the Battle of Stalingrad in December 1942, despite his religious scruples, he concluded that the Führer's assassination was a lesser moral evil than Hitler's remaining in power. Stauffenberg brought a new tone of decisiveness to the ranks of the resistance movement. When Tresckow was assigned to the Eastern Front, Stauffenberg took charge of planning and executing the assassination attempt.

    A new plan

    Olbricht now put forward a new strategy for staging a coup against Hitler. The Reserve Army (Ersatzheer) had an operational plan called Operation Walküre (Valkyrie), which was to be used in the event that the disruption caused by the Allied bombing of German cities caused a breakdown in law and order, or an uprising by the millions of forced labourers from occupied countries now being used in German factories. Olbricht suggested that this plan could be used to mobilise the Reserve Army for the purpose of the coup. In August and September 1943, Tresckow drafted the "revised" Valkyrie plan and new supplementary orders. A secret declaration began with these words: "The Führer Adolf Hitler is dead! A treacherous group of party leaders has attempted to exploit the situation by attacking our embattled soldiers from the rear in order to seize power for themselves." Detailed instructions were written for occupation of government ministries in Berlin, Himmler's headquarters in East Prussia, radio stations and telephone offices, and other Nazi apparatus through military districts, and concentration camps. Previously, it was believed that Stauffenberg was mainly responsible for the Valkyrie plan, but documents recovered by the Soviet Union after the war and released in 2007 suggest that the plan was developed by Tresckow by autumn of 1943. All written information was handled by Tresckow's wife, Erika, and by Margarethe von Oven, his secretary. Both women wore gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. Tresckow had tried on at least two other occasions to assassinate the Fuhrer. The first plan was to shoot him during dinner at the army base camp, but this plan was aborted because it was widely believed that Hitler wore a bullet proof vest. The conspirators also considered poisoning him, but this wasn't possible because his food was specially prepared and tasted. This left a time bomb as the only option. Operation Valkyrie could only be put into effect by General Friedrich Fromm, commander of the Reserve Army, so he must either be won over to the conspiracy or in some way neutralised if the plan was to succeed. Fromm, like many senior officers, knew in general about the military conspiracies against Hitler but neither supported them nor reported them to the Gestapo.

    Previous failed attempts

    During 1943 and early 1944 there were at least four attempts organised by von Tresckow and von Stauffenberg, to get one of the military conspirators near enough to Hitler, for long enough to kill him with hand grenades, bombs or a revolver:
    As the war situation deteriorated, Hitler no longer appeared in public and rarely visited Berlin. He spent most of his time at his headquarters at the Wolfsschanze(Wolf's Lair) near Rastenburg in East Prussia, with occasional breaks at his Bavarian mountain retreat Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden. In both places he was heavily guarded and rarely saw people he did not know or trust. Himmler and the Gestapo were increasingly suspicious of plots against Hitler and rightly suspected the officers of the General Staff, which was indeed the source of many conspiracies against Hitler.

    Now or never, "whatever the cost"

    By the summer of 1944, the Gestapo was closing in on the conspirators. There was a sense that time was running out, both on the battlefield, where the Eastern front was in full retreat and where the Allies had landed in France on 6 June, and in Germany, where the resistance's room for manoeuvre was rapidly contracting. The belief that this was the last chance for action seized the conspirators. By this time, the core of the conspirators had begun to think of themselves as doomed men, whose actions were more symbolic than real. The purpose of the conspiracy came to be seen by some of them as saving the honour of themselves, their families, the army, and Germany through a grand, if futile gesture, rather than actually altering the course of history.

    The conspirators scored a major coup in early July when they managed to initiate Erwin Rommel, the famed "Desert Fox", into their ranks. Rommel was by far the most popular officer in Germany and was also the first active-duty field marshal to lend support to the plot. (Witzleben had been inactive since 1942.) Although Rommel felt he had to, as he put it, "come to the rescue of Germany," he thought killing Hitler would make him a martyr. Like some others, he wanted Hitler arrested and hauled before a court-martial for his many crimes.

    When Stauffenberg sent Tresckow a message through Lieutenant Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort asking whether there was any reason for trying to assassinate Hitler given that no political purpose would be served, Tresckow's response was: "The assassination must be attempted, coûte que coûte[whatever the cost]. Even if it fails, we must take action in Berlin. For the practical purpose no longer matters; what matters now is that the German resistance movement must take the plunge before the eyes of the world and of history. Compared to that, nothing else matters."

    Himmler had at least one conversation with a known oppositionist when, in August 1943, the Prussian Finance Minister Johannes Popitz, who was involved in Goerdeler's network, came to see him and offered him the support of the opposition if he would make a move to displace Hitler and secure a negotiated end to the war. Nothing came of this meeting, but Popitz was not immediately arrested (although he was later executed towards the end of the war), and Himmler apparently did nothing to track down the resistance network which he knew was operating within the state bureaucracy. It is possible that Himmler, who by late 1943 knew that the war was unwinnable, allowed the plot to go ahead in the knowledge that if it succeeded he would be Hitler's successor, and could then bring about a peace settlement.

    Popitz was not alone in seeing in Himmler a potential ally. General von Bock advised Tresckow to seek his support, but there is no evidence that he did so. Goerdeler was apparently also in indirect contact with Himmler via a mutual acquaintance, Carl Langbehn. Wilhelm Canaris biographer Heinz Höhne suggests that Canaris and Himmler were working together to bring about a change of regime, but this remains speculation.

    Tresckow and the inner circle of plotters had no intention of removing Hitler just to see him replaced by the dreaded and ruthless SS chief, and the plan was to kill them both if possible – to the extent that Stauffenberg's first attempt on 11 July was aborted because Himmler was not present.



    Countdown to Stauffenberg's attempt

    1–6 July

    On Saturday 1 July 1944 Stauffenberg was appointed chief of staff to General Fromm at the Reserve Army headquarters on Bendlerstraße in central Berlin. This position enabled Stauffenberg to attend Hitler's military conferences, either at the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia or at Berchtesgaden, and would thus give him an opportunity, perhaps the last that would present itself, to kill Hitler with a bomb or a pistol. Meanwhile new key allies had been gained. These included General Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, the German military commander in France, who would take control in Paris when Hitler was killed and, it was hoped, negotiate an immediate armistice with the invading Allied armies.

    7–14 July

    The plot was now fully prepared. On 7 July 1944 General Stieffwas to kill Hitler at a display of new uniforms at Klessheim castle near Salzburg. However, Stieff felt unable to kill Hitler. Stauffenberg now decided to do both: to assassinate Hitler, wherever he was, and to manage the plot in Berlin. On 15 July Stauffenberg attended Hitler's conferences carrying a bomb in his briefcase, but because the conspirators had decided that Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Göring should be killed simultaneously if the planned mobilisation of Operation Valkyrie was to have a chance to succeed, he held back at the last minute because Himmler was not present. In fact, it was unusual for Himmler to attend military conferences.


    At Rastenburgon 15 July 1944. Stauffenberg at left, Hitler center, Keitelon right. The person shaking hands with Hitler is General Karl Bodenschatz, who was seriously wounded five days later, by Stauffenberg's bomb.
    15 July: Aborted attempt

    By 15 July, when Stauffenberg again flew to the Wolfsschanze, this condition had been dropped. The plan was for Stauffenberg to plant the briefcase with the bomb in Hitler's conference room with a timer running, excuse himself from the meeting, wait for the explosion, then fly back to Berlin and join the other plotters at the Bendlerblock. Operation Valkyriewould be mobilised, the Reserve Army would take control of Germany and the other Nazi leaders would be arrested. Beck would be appointed provisional head of state, Goerdeler would be chancellor, and Witzleben would be commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

    Again on 15 July the attempt was called off at the last minute. Himmler and Göring were present, but Hitler was called out of the room at the last moment. Stauffenberg was able to intercept the bomb and prevent its discovery.

    17 July: Erwin Rommel strafed

    On 17 July, Erwin Rommel's staffcar was strafed by a Spitfire in France. The Field Marshal was hospitalized with major head injuries.


    The conference room after the bomb exploded
    20 July

    Operation Valkyrie initiated

    On 18 July rumours reached Stauffenberg that the Gestapo had wind of the conspiracy and that he might be arrested at any time—this was apparently not true, but there was a sense that the net was closing in and that the next opportunity to kill Hitler must be taken because there might not be another. At 10:00 on 20 July Stauffenberg flew back to the Wolfsschanze for another Hitler military conference, once again with a bomb in his briefcase.

    The conference took place in the main room of Wolf's Lair instead of the underground bunker due to weather.

    At around 12:30 as the conference began, Stauffenberg made an excuse to use a washroom in Wilhelm Keitel's office where he used pliers to crush the end of a pencil detonator inserted into a 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) block of plastic explosive wrapped in brown paper, that was prepared by Wessel von Freytag-Loringhoven. The detonator consisted of a thin copper tube containing copper chloride that would take about ten minutes to silently eat through wire holding back the firing pin from the percussion cap. He then placed the primed bomb quickly inside his briefcase, having been told his presence was required. A second block of explosive was retained by the pair rather than put into the suitcase. He entered the conference room and with the unwitting assistance of Major Ernst John von Freyend placed his briefcase under the table around which Hitler and more than 20 officers had gathered. After a few minutes, Stauffenberg received a planned telephone call and left the room. It is presumed that Colonel Heinz Brandt, who was standing next to Hitler, used his foot to move the briefcase aside by pushing it behind the leg of the conference table, thus unwittingly deflecting the blast from Hitler but causing his own death with the loss of one of his legs when the bomb detonated. Between 12:40 and 12:50 the bomb detonated, demolishing the conference room. Three officers and the stenographer were seriously injured and died soon after. Hitler survived, as did everyone else who was shielded from the blast by the conference table leg. Hitler's trousers were singed and tattered (see photograph below) and he suffered from a perforated eardrum, as did most of the other 24 people in the room. Had the second block of explosive been used, it is probable that everyone present would have been killed.


    A soldier holding the trousers Hitler wore during the failed assassination attempt.
    Escape from the Wolf's Lair and flight to Berlin

    Stauffenberg, hearing the explosion and seeing the smoke issuing from the broken windows of the concrete dispatch barracks, assumed that Hitler was dead, climbed into his staff car with his aide Werner von Haeften and managed to bluff his way past three checkpoints to exit the Wolfsschanze complex. Werner von Haeften then tossed the second unprimed bomb into the forest as they made a dash for Rastenburg airfield, reaching it before it could be realised that Stauffenberg could be responsible for the explosion. By 13:00 he was airborne in a Heinkel He 111 arranged by General Eduard Wagner.

    By the time Stauffenberg's aircraft reached Berlin about 16:00, General Erich Fellgiebel, an officer at the Wolfsschanze who was in on the plot, had phoned the Bendlerblock and told the plotters that Hitler had survived the explosion. As a result, the Berlin cohort to mobilise Operation Valkyriewould have no chance of succeeding once the officers of the Reserve Army knew that Hitler was alive. There was more confusion when Stauffenberg's aircraft landed and he phoned from the airport to say that Hitler was in fact dead. The Bendlerblock plotters did not know whom to believe. Finally at 16:00 Olbricht issued the orders for Operation Valkyrie to be mobilised. The vacillating General Fromm, however, phoned Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel at the Wolf's Lair and was assured that Hitler was alive. Keitel demanded to know Stauffenberg's whereabouts. This told Fromm that the plot had been traced to his headquarters, and that he was in mortal danger. Fromm replied that he thought Stauffenberg was with Hitler.

    Meanwhile, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, military governor of occupied France, managed to disarm the SDand SS, and captured most of their leadership. He travelled to Günther von Kluge's headquarters and asked him to contact the Allies, only to be informed that Hitler was alive. At 16:40 Stauffenberg and Haeften arrived at the Bendlerblock. Fromm, presumably to protect himself, changed sides and attempted to have Stauffenberg arrested. Olbricht and Stauffenberg restrained him at gunpoint and Olbricht then appointed General Erich Hoepner to take over his duties. By this time Himmler had taken charge of the situation and had issued orders countermanding Olbricht's mobilisation of Operation Valkyrie. In many places the coup was going ahead, led by officers who believed that Hitler was dead. City Commandant, and conspirator, General Paul von Hase ordered the Wachbataillon Großdeutschland, under the command of Major Otto Ernst Remer, to secure the Wilhelmstraßeand arrest Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. In Vienna, Prague, and many other places troops occupied Nazi Party offices and arrested Gauleitersand SS officers.


    Soldiers and Waffen SS at the Bendlerblock
    The coup fails

    At around 18:00 the commander of Military District (Wehrkreis) III (Berlin) General Joachim von Kortzfleisch was summoned to the Bendlerblock; he angrily refused Olbricht's orders, kept shouting "the Führer is alive", was arrested and held under guard. General Karl Freiherr von Thüngen was appointed in his place, but proved to be of little help. General Fritz Lindemann, who was supposed to make a proclamation to the German people over the radio, failed to appear and as he held the only copy, Beck had to work on a new one.

    The decisive moment came at 19:00, when Hitler was sufficiently recovered to make phone calls. He called Goebbels at the Propaganda Ministry. Goebbels arranged for Hitler to speak to Major Remer, commander of the troops surrounding the Ministry. After assuring him that he was still alive, Hitler ordered Remer to regain control of the situation in Berlin. Major Remer ordered his troops to surround and seal off the Bendlerblock, but not to enter the buildings. At 20:00 a furious Witzleben arrived at the Bendlerblock and had a bitter argument with Stauffenberg, who was still insisting that the coup could go ahead. Witzleben left shortly afterwards. At around this time the planned seizure of power in Paris was aborted when Field Marshal Günther von Kluge, who had recently been appointed commander-in-chief in the west, learned that Hitler was alive.

    As Remer regained control of the city and word spread that Hitler was still alive, the less resolute members of the conspiracy in Berlin began to change sides. Fighting broke out in the Bendlerblock between officers supporting and opposing the coup, and Stauffenberg was wounded. By 23:00 Fromm had regained control, hoping by a show of zealous loyalty to save himself. Beck, realising the situation was hopeless, shot himself—the first of many suicides in the coming days. Although at first Beck only just managed to seriously wound himself, he was shot in the neck by soldiers. Fromm convened an impromptu court martial consisting of himself, and sentenced Olbricht, Stauffenberg, Haeften and another officer, Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim, to death. At 00:10 on 21 July they were executed in the courtyard outside, possibly to prevent them from revealing Fromm's involvement. Others would have been executed as well, but at 00:30 SS personnel led by Otto Skorzeny arrived and further executions were forbidden.

    Alternative possibilities

    In 2005, the Military Channel's show Unsolved History aired an episode titled Killing Hitler in which each scenario was re-created using live explosives and test dummies. The results supported the conclusion that Hitler would have been killed had any of the three other scenarios occurred:
    • both bombs detonated;
    • the meeting was held inside Hitler's bunker;
    • the briefcase was not moved.
    Had Hitler in fact been killed by the plotters, some historians argue that the plot would have unfolded (and failed) in relatively the same fashion, but with Hermann Göring taking Hitler's place, and in turn ordering Major Remer to switch sides and arrest the plotters. A Nazi State under Göring would have been more receptive to peace with the allies and might also have "cleaned house" of several fanatical Nazis, including many senior SS and Nazi Party leaders.

    Participants at the meeting

    1. Adolf Hitler - Führer und Reichskanzler and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces as Head of State[a]
    2. Lieutenant-General Adolf Heusinger– Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Army[a]
    3. General Günther Korten– Chief of General Staff of the Air Force[b]
    4. Colonel Heinz Brandt– Aide to General Heusinger[b]
    5. General Karl BodenschatzHermann Göring's liaison officer at Führer Headquarters[c]
    6. Lieutenant-Colonel Heinz Waizenegger – Senior staff officer to Jodl
    7. General Rudolf Schmundt– Chief of the Army Staff Office[b]
    8. Lieutenant-Colonel Heinrich Borgmann– Hitler's army adjutant[c]
    9. General Walther Buhle– Chief of Army Staff at the OKW
    10. Rear Admiral Karl-Jesco von Puttkamer– Hitler's naval adjutant[a]
    11. Stenographer Heinz Berger[b]
    12. Captain Heinz Assmann– Naval staff officer in the OKW
    13. Major Ernst John von Freyend– Keitel's adjutant
    14. Major-General Walter Scherff– OKW historian[a]
    15. Rear Admiral Hans-Erich Voss– Naval liaison officer at Führer Headquarters
    16. Otto Günsche– Hitler's SS adjutant[a]
    17. Colonel Nicolaus von Below– Hitler's air force adjutant
    18. Lieutenant-General Hermann Fegelein– Waffen-SS representative at Führer Headquarters
    19. Stenographer Heinz Buchholz
    20. Major Herbert Büchs– Jodl's second adjutant
    21. Franz von Sonnleithner– Foreign Ministry representative at Führer Headquarters
    22. General Walter Warlimont– Deputy Chief of Staff of the OKW
    23. General Alfred Jodl– Chief of Staff of the OKW[a]
    24. Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel– Chief of the OKW
    • Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg
    1.    Slightly injured
    2.    Killed
    3.    Seriously injured

    All at the meeting except Keitel suffered perforated eardrums and Hitler had 200 wood splinters removed from his legs; his hair was singed and his uniform torn to ribbons.


    Approximate positions of the participants at the meeting in relation to the briefcase bomb when it exploded.

    The courtyard at the Bendlerblock, where Stauffenberg, Olbricht and others were executed


    Aftermath

    Over the following weeks Himmler's Gestapo, driven by a furious Hitler, rounded up nearly everyone who had the remotest connection with the plot. The discovery of letters and diaries in the homes and offices of those arrested revealed the plots of 1938, 1939, and 1943, and this led to further rounds of arrests, including that of Franz Halder, who finished the war in a concentration camp. Under Himmler's new Sippenhaft (blood guilt) laws, all the relatives of the principal plotters were also arrested.

    More than 7,000 people were arrested and 4,980 were executed. Not all of them were connected with the plot, since the Gestapo used the occasion to settle scores with many other people suspected of opposition sympathies. Alfons Heck, former Hitler Youth member and later historian, describes the reaction many Germans felt to the punishments imposed onto the conspirators:


    When I heard that German officers had tried to kill Adolf Hitler ... I was enraged. I fully concurred with the sentences imposed onto to them, strangling I felt was too good for them; this was the time, precisely, when we were at a very ... precarious military situation. And the only man who could possibly stave of disaster ... was Adolf Hitler. That opinion was shared by many Germans, Germans who did not adore Hitler, who did not belong to the [Nazi] Party.
    — Alfons Heck


     

    Hitler visits Admiral Karl-Jesco von Puttkamer in the hospital
     
    Funeral of General Günther Korten at the Tannenberg Memorial