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Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf

(1896 - 1944)

Wolf-Heinrich Helldorf was born in Germany in 1896. He fought in the German Army during the First World War and in 1919 became a member of the Freikorps.

Helldorf joined the Nazi Party in 1925 and later became a member of Prussian state assembly. In 1931 he became a Sturm Abteilung (SA) leader in Brandenburg.

In 1935, Helldorf was appointed the Berlin prefect of police. During the riots of Kristallnacht, Helldorf rages at his police officers for obeying orders to stand down and vows that if he had been in Berlin he would have issued orders to shoot the rioters.

During the Second World War, he had growing doubts about Adolf Hitler and became involved in the conspiracy to overthrow the fuehrer. Helldorf was in Berlin on July 20, 1944, to assist Stauffenberg's coup attempt. The same day, he was arrested by the Gestapo. After being convicted of treason, he was hanged in Plotzensee prison on August 15, 1944.

Sources: Joric Center