Boeselager, Philipp von born 06-09-1917 at Burg Heimerzheim near Bonn. He was the fifth, and second surviving son, of the nine children of Albert Dominikus Hyacinthus Antonius Johannes Hubertus Vitus Joseph Maria Freiherr von Boeselager. Bonn 15.6.1883-Heimerzheim, region Euskirchen 20.5.1956), by his wife (they married, Kassel, 22.9.1910) Maria-Theresia Ferdinandine Antonie Alonsia Freiin von Salis-Soglio (1890–1968), daughter of Anton Joseph Alonsius Nepomuk Stanislaus Maria Freiherr v. Salis-Soglio (1860–1939), of Gemünden and Mandel, Kreuznach, by Maria Adelheid Theresia Gräfin von Bissingen und Nippenburg (daughter of Ernst Maria Ferdinand Adam Johann Nepomuk Joseph Graf von Bissingen-Nippenburg). He attended Aloisius Jesuit secondary school Aloisiuskolleg in Godesberg.
When Boeselager was a 25-year-old field leutnant , he was part of Operation Walküre , which was a plan developed to re-take control of Germany once Hitler had been assassinated. Boeselager’s role in the plan was to order his troops (who were unaware of the plot) to leave the front lines in Eastern Europe and ride west in order to be air-lifted to Berlin to seize crucial parts of the city in a full-scale coup d état after Hitler was dead.
Boeselager’s opinion turned against the Nazi government in June 1942, after he received news that five Roma people had been shot in cold blood, solely because of their ethnicity. Together with his commanding officer Field Marshal Günther von Kluge, he joined a conspiracy with Graf Schenck von Stauffenberg,
to assassinate Hitler. The first attempt was in March 1943, when both Adolf Hitler (did you know) and Heinrich Himmler were coming to the front to participate in a strategy meeting with Kluge’s troops. Boeselager seated in back middle, on the Eastern Front with General von Kluge Boeselager was given a Walther PP, with which he was to shoot both Hitler and Himmler at a dinner table in the officers’ mess. However, nothing ever came of this plan, because at the last minute, Himmler left Hitler’s company, and the risk of leaving him alive to succeed Hitler was too great.
The second assassination attempt was in summer 1944. No longer caring about Himmler, the conspiracy planned to kill Hitler with a bonmb when he was attending another strategy meeting in a wooden barracks. When the assassin’s bomb failed to kill the Führer, Boeselager was informed in time to turn his unexplained cavalry retreat around and return to the front before suspicions were unduly raised. Because of Boeselager’s fortunate timing, his involvement in the operation went undetected, and he was not executed along with the majority of the other conspirators. Philipp’s brother Oberst Georg von Boeselager was also a participant in the plot, and likewise remained undetected. Returning to the front after the plot failed, George von Boeselager was killed in action leading an assault against a heavily fortified Soviet position near Lomza on the Narev Riverr on 27-08-1944, age 29. Two days later, he was posthumously promoted to full colonel and awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords — one of only 159 German soldiers so decorated in the history of the award.
Shortly before the end of the war, Boeselager overheard General Wilhelm Burgsdorf saying, “When the war is over, we will have to purge, after the Jews, the Catholic officers in the army.” The devoutly Catholic Boeselager noisily objected, citing his own decorations for heroism in combat. Boeselager then left before General Burgdorf could respond. Burgdorf committed suicide, age 50, in the Führerbunker during the night of 1–2 May 1945. Many of the conspirators against Hitler were hanged in the Plötzensee prison. Von Stauffenberg was executed on the Bendler Block inner court.
After the war, Boeselager’s part in the failed attempt on Hitler’s life became known and he was regarded as a hero by many in Germany and France, receiving the highest military medals both countries could provide. He studied economics and became a forestry expert. Even in his old age, Boeselager still had nightmares about the conspiracy and the friends he lost in the war, and urged young people to become more involved in politics, as he felt apathy and the political inexperience of the German masses were two of the key reasons Hitler was able to come to power. The entrance to his residence in Kreuzberg bears the Latin motto “Et si omnes ego non — even if all, not I.”
Boeselager was a member of K.D.St.V. Ripuaria Bonn, a Roman Catholic student fraternity at the University of Bonn that now belongs to the Cartellverband der katholischen deutschen Studentenverbindungen. Up until his death on 01-05- 2008, he still had the Walther PP pistol he was given to use to shoot Hitler.
Death and burial ground of Boeselager Philipp von.
Philipp von Boeselager died old age 90 at his castle Burg Kreuzberg
in Altenahr on 01-05-2008 and is buried with his wife Gräfin Rosa von Westphalenwho died old age too, 89 on 27-08-2014, in the family crypt of the chapel in front of the castle.
Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin was the last survivor of the July 20 plot until his death on 08-03-2013. The couple had two daughters two sons, Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager. and Georg Freiherr von Boeselager