The Plot to Assassinate Hitler July 20, 1944: Page 2 of 3

Also forced to commit suicide or sent to concentration camps were thousands of family members of the plotters. Eight of the conspirators were hung on meathooks and their death agony was filmed and shown to Hitler. Some Army officers committed suicide by walking into the Russian no-man’s-land.

Hitler used the July 20 Plot as an excuse to destroy anyone in the Army he feared would oppose him. The traditional salute was replaced with the Nazi Sieg Heil. Eventually 20,000 were killed or sent to concentration camps in the purge.

Hitler, a manic hypochondriac, became obsessed with his health after the assassination attempt. His doctor prescribed drugs of his own design that contained hemlock. Hitler gulped so many pills he was slowly poisoning himself. The tremors in his right hand became acute, and he rarely allowed photographs or film after July 20.

The failure of the July 20 plot precluded any possibility of Germany negotiating a peace with the Allies. Hitler intended to fight to the death in a struggle that would see the end of National Socialism or the end of Germany’s enemies.