Ulrich Wilhelm Graf
- Schwerin von Schwanenfeld, Ulrich Wilhelm Graf
Oberkommando der Wehrmacht.
- 21-12-1902, Kopenhagen, Denmark.
- 08-09-1944, hanged, age 41, Plötzensee.
Berlin, Dahlem, Waldfriedhof. Blok 10A 11-Feld 38-Graf 013.
Graf Schwerin von Schwannenfeld, born 21-12-1902 Kopenhagen, Denmark, as the son of a diplomat. He finished school at the convent of Roßleben in 1921 and went to study agronomy at the Technical University of Munich. As a witness of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, (see Bauriedl) he found Nazism loathsome to his Christian and social convictions (he was a Knight of Justice in the Protestant Order of Saint John, to which he had been admitted in 1933. Schwerin was graduated at Breslau in 1926 and administered his family's manors in Göhren (today part of Woldegk, Mecklenburg) and Sartowice near Świecie, Pomerelia in Poland. In 1928, he was married to Marianne Sahm, a daughter of Heinrich Sahm, then president of the Free City of Danzig senate. Already by 1935, he held the view that Adolf Hitler (see Adolf Hitler) must be killed to be brought down. Beginning in 1938 ahead of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Schwerin belonged to the tightest circle of the resistance along with his personal friends Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg and Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg,
and later also to the Kreisau Circle. With the beginning of World War II, he was called up to the Wehrmachtas an officer in the staff of Generaloberst Erwin von Witzleben. After Witzleben's dismissal in 1942, Schwerin was transferred to Utrechtuntil in March 1943, Major General Hans Oster (see Oster) appointed him to the Abwehroffice at the Oberkommando der Wehrmachtin Berlin. Schwerinparticipated in the failed attempt on Hitler's life and coup d'état on 20 July 1944 from his position at the Bendlerblock, where the plotters' headquarters were, although he had been saying for weeks that the chances for a successful coup were very slight. There, on the night of 21 July 1944, he was arrested, and on 21 August was sentenced to death by the Volksgerichtshof, with Roland Freisler (see Freisler) presiding. The recordings of the show trial attest how Schwerin, brought to court without tie and belt, tried to preserve his dignity. He stated that his opposition to Hitler was due to "the many murders (...) in Germany and abroad" constantly interrupted by furious Freisler who finally shouted him down in rage. On 08-09-1944, age 41, Schwerin was hanged at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. He is buried at the Waldfriedhof Dahlem, very close to the grave of Roland Freisler who not much later got a an Allied bomb on his head.