Klausing, Friedrich Karl.

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Klausing, Friedrich Karl, born 24-05-1920, in Munich, the third child and the second son of the lawyer Hermann Friedrich Klausing, and Marie-Sybille, born Lehman, Klausing, Brothers and sister are, Friedrich Benno (1915-1942), Mathilde (1919-1981) und Johann Hermann Otto (1926-1993). He is one of the Protestant scouts who joined the Hitler Youth and the Reichsarbeitsdienst (State Labour Service). in 1933.

His father was a prominent lawyer, professor at several universities, rector of the University of Prague and a convinced Nazi. When Friedrich Karl was 13 years old, he became a member of the Hitler Youth. After graduating from grammar school in 1938, he wanted to become a career officer in the German army, and he enlisted in the 9th Infantry Regiment in Potsdam. Klausing fought first in Poland and France, and then in Russia. He was wounded several times, including during the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942/1943. He received several military awards, including the Iron Cross first and second class. He was also promoted to Hauptmann. In the autumn of 1943 he was seriously injured in Russia. and flown out of Stalingrad. After being wounded again near Lake Ladoga near Leningrad in July 1943, After his discharge from the military hospital in January 1944, he left active combat service and was posted to the High Command of the German Army.

The Potsdam 9th Infantry Regiment was a prestigious regiment with a long historical tradition, nicknamed ‘Graaf Negen’ (in German: ‘Graf Neun’) because many members of the nobility served in this regiment. This also included a number of members of the resistance against Hitler, including Henning von Tresckow  and Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenburg. In the regiment, Klausing befriended Major Axel von dem Bussche-Streithorst, who was also involved in an attempt to assassinate Hitler, and Richard von Weizsäcker, later president of the Federal Republic of Germany. According to Weizsäcker, Axel von dem Bussche shared his shocking experiences as an eyewitness to the mass murders of Jews and other civilians behind the front with his friends. Because of this, and because he experienced the war itself as increasingly pointless, Klausing began to have serious doubts about the Nazi regime. Klausing gradually developed into a convinced opponent of Hitler and his regime. Fritz-Dietlof Graf von der Schulenbur was hanged age 41, on 10-08-1944 in Berlin-Plötzensee prison. Major Axel von dem Bussche-Streithorst spent many months in the Waffen-SS hospital in Lychen and so was not involved at all in the 20 July plot to kill Hitler. Bussche’s role in the earlier assassination plots was not suspected, and he was not betrayed by any of the officers who knew of his involvement. Consequently, he was one of the extremely few Army plotters to survive the war. Axel died 26-01-1993, age 73, in Bonn, Richard von Weizsäcker, survived the war also and died 31-01-2015, age 94, in Berlin.

Klausing’s transfer was partly due to Fritz-Dietlof von der Schulenburg. Schulenburg belonged to a group of officers who planned an attack on Hitler and was also well acquainted with the Kreisauer Kreis. Not later than 1943 Klausing got to know Oberst Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg through Schulenburg. The two men soon developed a relationship of trust and, at Stauffenberg’s request, Klausing became his adjutant and orderly officer. Klausing accompanied Stauffenberg in two attempts to bomb Hitler on July 11 and July 15, 1944. Both times the attack was called off because too few senior members of the Nazi regime were present. The plan was to murder Heinrich Himmler and preferably Hermann Goering in addition to Adolf Hitler. On July 20, 1944, Klausing was ill. Stauffenberg was therefore accompanied by Werner von Haeften to the Wolfsschanze where Stauffenberg committed the bomb attack. Klausing was, however, present at the headquarters of the conspirators in the Bendlerblock (the Ministry of War and headquarters of the German army) in Berlin from which the coup d’état, which was part of the Conspiracy of 20 July 1944, was conducted. It was Klausing who passed the so-called ‘Walküre orders’ to other conspirators and operated the telephones and telex.

Death and burial ground of Klausing, Friedrich Karl.

However, Hitler survived the attack and the coup failed.  Klausing managed to escape arrest by the Gestapo and fled to friends. There he considered his options: suicide, fleeing or turning himself in. He thought fleeing was cowardly and could endanger his friends. The latter also applied to suicide. He decided to turn himself in and returned to Bendlerblock at eight o’clock in the morning where he was arrested. According to witnesses, he did so calmly, confidently, without fear and knew exactly what he was doing.

On August 7 and 8, 1944, Klausing, along with seven other conspirators, was on trial before the Volksgerichtshof, a show trial led by Roland Freisler.

On August 8, he was sentenced to death and the same day hanged with a piano string in the Plötzensee prison, along with General Erwin von Witzleben, Generaloberst Erich Hoepner, Helmuth Stieff, age 43, Generalleutnant Paul von Hase, Oberstleutnant Robert Bernardis, Albrecht von Hagen, age 40 and Peter Yorck von Wartenburg, age 39 . Hauptmann Friedrich Karl Klausing was 24 years old when he died.and is buried at the Plötzensee cemetery in an anonymously grave like all Plötzensee Hitler victims. A few days earlier, Friedrich Klausing’s father, rector of the German University of Prague, was fired and committed suicide in his official residence.

 

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