At 12, I grasped for the first time who he was. There was a photograph of him in our history textbook with the caption: “Reichsjugendführer Baldur von Schirach” — leader of the Hitler Youth. I can still see it in front of me: My name was really in our textbook. On the facing page was a photograph of Claus von Stauffenberg, the leader of the failed July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, next to the caption “resistance fighter.” The word “fighter” sounded much better. I sat in class next to a Stauffenberg, a grandson like me; we are still friends to this day. He didn’t know anything more than I did.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.