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Gedenken an die hingerichteten Hitler-Attentäter im Bendlerblock.
© Wolfgang Kumm/dpa

July 20th, 1944 – July 20th, 2018: A call for a united Europe

On the anniversary of Operation Valkyrie – July 20, 1944, 400 descendants of German resistance fighters are making an appeal: national unilateralism must not endanger a united, strong, and peaceful Europe.

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What might one day be remembered as a fateful week in the post-WWII era finally came to a close. Two remarkable events took place, the NATO summit and the Helsinki Summit between U.S. President Trump and Russian President Putin. Both occasions revealed striking divisions between the world’s powers as well as between partners and friends. Those divisions that radiate all over the world – especially in Europe. German President Steinmeier said it best: Moving together is the order of the day.

A new European self-confidence; a deep understanding of everything that has grown in democracy in the seven decades since the Second World War; and the desire that Europe should stay together, not fall apart – that is what is at stake, after this week more than ever. It’s appropriate that the events of the past week lined up with the anniversary of Operation Valkyrie, which at its roots holds significance to the issues Europe faces today.

The anniversary has become a symbol of the fact that even in the darkest times of the Nazi era, there was a better Germany. As much as this day can fill us with pride, equally so, it reminds us of an obligation we own. That obligation perseveres. That is what drives the concerns of those, from whom we want to hear today: the descendants of the men and women of the German resistance against National Socialism. Read their appeal. (Stephan-Andreas Casdorff)

Call for a united Europe

Seventy-four years ago today, on July 20th, Operation Valkyrie, an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, failed. Where would Europe be today if that day had taken a different course? If Claus von Stauffenberg's assassination had succeeded and Hitler had been killed, Germany's dictatorship would have ended in 1944.

We know from the Kreisau Circle and the many resistance fighters sentenced to death after that fateful day, that it was important to the conspirators to build a united Europe that championed people before nations, and in which the shared values that bring people together would carry more weight than the differences between them. They weren't alone in their vision. Other resistance groups such as the White Rose also dreamt of a united Europe – they believed correctly that peace can only exist in a united Europe.

Today, the European Union is facing an existential test. The principles of humanity, solidarity and justice that were developed during the Enlightenment and through the experiences of two world wars seem to be worth less with each passing day. Instead of working together on the challenges of the future, more citizens are withdrawing. As populist sentiments gain traction, politicians adapt their rhetoric and are betting on isolation.

Die Titelseite des Tagesspiegel am 20. Juli 2018.
Die Titelseite des Tagesspiegel am 20. Juli 2018.

This is not the legacy that the men and women of July 20, from the workers' movement, the Red Orchestra and other resistance circles had in mind. They set an example with their resistance that applies today just as it did then. It requires guts and the courage of one’s convictions to defend justice, freedom and democracy – but also humanity and solidarity. Over the past decades, Europe has grown together into a community based on the rule of law, freedom of thought and action, tolerance, respect and esteem for human dignity. We should be careful not to put such an incredible achievement at risk.

On this day we would like to remember the courage and visionary strength of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, great-aunts and great-uncles and hope that national unilateralism will not endanger the united, strong, and peaceful Europe they envisioned for themselves, us and our children.

Signed by:

Monica Gräfin Adelmann, Marcel Albert, Jutta Anders von Koenen, Agnes Barm, Florian Barm, Philippe Barm, Cornelia Eleonore Beck, Lilli von der Becke, Maitane Luisa von der Becke, Sophie von Bechtolsheim, Esther von Bernuth, Horst von Bernuth, Jesko von Bernuth, Alexander Bielenberg, Kim Bielenberg, Jenny Bielenberg, Katharina Bielenberg, Gottfried von Bismarck, Maria von Bismarck, Corinna Bleienheuft, Christine Blumenberg-Lampe, Götz Blumenberg, Thyra von Boddien, Angela Bohrer, Franz-Alexander Freiherr von dem Bottlenberg-Landsberg, Sonja Böttger-Jura, Michael Braulke, Albrecht von Breitenbuch, Hanna Brinkmann, Barbara Brinkmann, Peter Brinkmann, Saskia von Brockdorff, Annika Bruhns Petersson, Wibke Bruhns

Elisabeth Conradi, Friedrich Conradi, Hans Coppi, Ehrengard von Cossel, Christa Anna von der Decken, Benjamin Decker, Barbara Decker, Hans Jürgen Delbrück, Esther Delp, Andreas Dieckmann, Justus von Dohnanyi, Tatjana Gräfin Dönhoff, Christian Donner, Ferdinand Graf von Drechsel, Hester M. Eick, Sebastian Eick, Florian Feinen, Amélie Fellgiebel, Barbara Fellgiebel, Max Fischer, Peter Fischer, Martin C. Fischer, Lorenz Franken, Andreas Baron Freytag von Loringhoven, Julius Baron Freytag von Loringhoven, Katja Baronin Freytag von Loringhoven, Konstantin Baron Freytag von Loringhoven, Wessel Baron Freytag von Loringhoven, Ulrich Graf Fugger

Eberhard von Gemmingen, Joana-Maria Sanllehy Espinas de Georgi, Louisanne Gräfin von Galen, Maria-Ifigenia Georgi, Ernst-Alexander von Gersdorff, Rudolf Georgi, Andreas Goerdeler, Berthold Goerdeler, Felix Goerdeler, André Goldstein, Charlott Goldstein, Edgar Goldstein, Rebekka Goldstein, Benita Grosser, Adelheid Gowrie, Julia Graf, Christopher von Greverode, Hans-Jörg Groscurth, Helmuth-M. Groscurth, Jan Groscurth, Cornelius Grossmann, Johannes Grossmann, Kerstin Gutsche-Borck

Ella Haberland, Alexandra Habermann, Günther Habermann, Hans-Hinrich Habermann, Anna von Haeften, Dirk von Haeften, Dorothea von Haeften, Marie Louise Freifrau von Hammerstein-Equord, Kaspar Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, Verena Freifrau von Hammerstein-Equord, S. Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, Karsten Hansen, Kirsten Hansen-Knorr, Jörn Hansen, Ole Hansen Silke Hansen, Reinhard von Hanxleden, Hermann und Kerstin Harder, Nele Harder, Erika Harke, Claas Harmsen, Dirk-Michael Harmsen, Frithjof Harmsen, Jan Harmsen, Rieke Harmsen, Agnes Hautz, Konstanze Hayessen, Moritz Hayessen, Volker Hayessen

David Heinemann, Julia Heinemann, Andreas Heintze, Beatrix Heintze, Marielle Hemingway, Alexandra Hendrikoff, Stephanie G. Hendrikoff, Cäcilia Hermes, Alexandra Hildebrandt, Helmut Hirsch, Kornelia Hocke, Herbert Hocke, Tamara Hocke, Adda Benita von Hofacker, Alfred von Hofacker, Ariane von Hofacker, Christiane von Hofacker, Liselotte von Hofacker, Michael von Hofacker, Nikolaus von Hofacker, Sarah von Hofacker, Sophia von Hofacker, Lena Hoffmann, Levin Holle, Ludwig Holle, Hans Holm, Christian Holthaus, Matthias Horst, Sylvia Horst, Carola Horstmann, Cecilia-Louise von Ilsemann

Friedrich von Jagow, Henriette von Jagow, Konstantin von Jagow, Moritz von Jagow, Peter von Jagow, Philipp von Jagow, Helmi Jaskiewicz, Ursula Kadereit, Sonja von Kaehne, Peter M. Kaiser, Christopher Kappelhoff-Wulff, Jakob Kappelhoff-Wulf, Nina Katzemich, Familie Kennemann, Thyra von Kessel, Sabine Klamroth, Charlotte Korenke, Clara Korenke, Jakob Korenke, Jonas Korenke, Theresa Korenke, Tobias Korenke, Jan Kordt, Fritz Kretz, Monika Kretz, Nikolaus Kretz, Marietheres Kreuz-Katzer, Stephanie Kreuz, Britt-Kristina Kroll, Christa Kubiessa, Fabian von Kuenheim, Konstanze von Kuenheim

Klaus J. Lampe, Rainer Lampe, Vera Gräfin von Lehndorff, Luca Leitz, Walter Leitz, Clarissa Lejeune-Jung, Benjamin Limbach, Daniel Limbach, Christian Lindemann, Constantin Lindenmeyer, Anne-Katrin von Linstow, Hans-Harald von Linstow, Alexandra von Lochow, André Lohmar, Rainer Löwenberg, Joachim Lüninck, Bettina zu Lynar, Joachim Frhr. von Maltzan, Claudia Marquard, Anna Martin, Christian Martin, Christoph Graf von Matuschka, Mario Graf von Matuschka, Marie-Louise Gräfin von Matuschka, Gerrit von Medem, Rose Medwedeff, Rahel Melis, Götz Bachert, Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim, Frieder Meyer-Krahmer, Katharina Meyer-Krahmer, Kristina Meyer-Krahmer, Sabine Moffett

Daniel von Moltke, Dorothea von Moltke, Helmuth Caspar von Moltke, Jakob von Moltke, Ulrike von Moltke, Rita Moormann, Christian Müller, Brigitte Müller-Bülow, Caroline Müller-Hofstede, Cornelie Müller-Hofstede, Daniel Müller-Hofstede, Luise Müller-Hofstede, Ernst Freiherr von Münchhausen, Clara von Nathusius, Moritz von Nathusius, Caroline Neubaur, Michaela Niemeyer, Alessa Ojala, Patrick Olbricht, Verena Onken von Trott, Miguel von Oppen, Renata von Oppen, Dorothea Ostendorf, Johann Gottfried Paasche, Clarita Müller-Plantenberg, Nikolas Müller-Plantenberg, Karl-Wilhelm Freiherr von Plettenberg

Charlotte Palmer, Jobst Freiherr von Palombini, Nikolaus Freiherr von Palombini, Georg Perels, Eva-Clarita Pettai, Cordula von Pezold, Hans von Pfuhlstein, Anke Plener, Patricia Gräfin von Plettenberg, Karin von Plessen, Gabriele von Plotho, Verus von Plotho, Katrin Potel, Petra Potel, Gemma Pörzgen, Mascha Pörzgen, Harald Potente, Tilman Pünder, Johanna Preuschkat, Peter Prokopp, Sandro Prüser, Siegfried von Rabenau, Christina Rahtgens, Elisabeth Rahtgens, Hans-Manfred Rahtgens, Nikolaus Rauch, Roland Reichwein, Sabine Reichwein, Beate Reimer, Hartmut Reimer, Heike Reimer, Thomas Reimer, Stefan Reinsch, Frank Reuter, Andreas Roll, Friederike Roll, Boris Ruge, Elisabeth Ruge

Carolin Sadrozinski, Christian Sadrozinski, Hartmut Sadrozinski, Heike Sadrozinski, Jörg Sadrozinski, Rainer Sadrozinski, Sabine Sänger-Leitz, Katharina von Saucken-Griebel, Clemens Schaeffer, Ingrid Schaeffer-Rahtgens, Philippe Schaeffer, Sandra Schaeffer-Lubitz, Peter-Timm Scheel, Bärbel Schindler-Saefkow, Ursula von Schirmeister, Carl von Schlabrendorff, Fabian von Schlabrendorff, Anna Hermes-Schmitz, Johannes Schmitz, Liane Schoefer-Happ, Charlotte von Schönfeld, Ursula von Schönfeld-Hermes, Friedrich von Schönfeld, Karl-Viktor und Carmen von Schöning, Tania von Schöning, Inga Schröder, Konstanze von Schulthess Rechberg, Helmut und Gesa-Mariette Schweckendieck

Albrecht Graf von Schwerin, Alexander Graf von Schwerin, Alexandra Gräfin von Schwerin, Andreas Graf von Schwerin, Detlef Graf von Schwerin, Franz Graf von Schwerin, Kerrin Gräfin von Schwerin, Maximilian Graf von Schwerin, Ulrich Graf von Schwerin, Angela Semmerow, Moritz Senarclens de Grancy, John Sieber, Lennart Smend, Axel Smend, Julian Smend, Kerstin Laura Smend, Percy Smend, Rudolf Smend, Simon Smend, Victoria Smend, Sabine Solf, Eugen und Maria Solf, Hans Speidel

Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Christoph Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Franz Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Karl Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Mechtild Grafin von Stauffenberg, Stephan Frhr. von Stenglin, Thomas Frhr. von Stenglin, Giso von Steinau-Steinrück, Caroline von Steinau-Steinrück, Christiane von Steinau-Steinrück, Robert von Steinau-Steinrück, Sandra von Steinau-Steinrück, Rubina Steinhardt, Jonathan Stökl, Herzeleide Stökl, Albrecht v. Stülpnagel

Corinna Ter-Nedden, Marianne und Klaus Tobeck, Beatrice von Thielmann, Georg Tobien, Caspar von Trott zu Solz, Clemens von Trott zu Solz, Friedrich von Trott zu Solz, Heinrich von Trott zu Solz, Katharina von Trott zu Solz, Friederike von Truchseß, Hanns Martin von Truchseß, Kolja Unger, Barbara von Uthmann-Finckh, Rüdiger von Voss

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