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Valkyrie: An Insider's Account of the Plot to Kill Hitler

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  162 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
When on July 20, 1944, a bomb—boldly placed inside Hitler’s headquarters by Colonel Count Claus von Stauffenberg— exploded without killing the FÃhrer, the subsequent coup d’état against the Third Reich collapsed. The conspirators were summarily shot or condemned in show trials and sadistically hanged. One of the few survivors of the conspiracy was Hans Bernd Gisevius,
Paperback, Abridged, 272 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by Da Capo Press (first published January 1st 1946)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 30, 2008 Conrad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I FINALLY TRACKED YOU DOWN, YOU BASTARD. Some people might remember early on in my goodreads life when I was trying to figure out the name of this book; I found it while pulling my books out of storage.

The reason I remembered it in the first place is that it's memorable, constituting a sort of underground history of the Nazi movement from the point of view of Gisevius, a member of the German State Department who worked actively against the Nazis from the inside. These pages include a history of
Michael Dorosh
Jul 16, 2013 Michael Dorosh rated it it was ok
One hates to speak ill of any of that gallant band of brave members of the conspiracy against Hitler, but Gisevius unfortunately comes off as a little bitter, and certainly less than impressed with von Stauffenberg. While one appreciates the counterpoint to the "usual" presentation of the heroic Stauffenberg, this book seems to lack a bit of perspective.

The problem may be in translation, but I think more that it suffers from what many histories written in the immediate post-war era suffer from (
Mar 31, 2009 Alycia rated it did not like it
This was tough going, and I finally gave up. I got close to page 100, and all the author had done was introduce various people who were part of one opposition circle or another. Some of the intros extended on for pages, while others were just a brief mention as though the reader should recognize the names. I did not recognize them ... The author also did not, in the portion that I got through, really give the reader the sense of how critical these people might have been to the Valkyrie plot.

Feb 12, 2009 John rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
Convoluted and confusing in a lot of places. Difficult to track who's who and who is doing what. I'm left with the impression that the author was only a tangential member of the group plotting Hitler's assassination and that he had an ax to grind against some of the major figures in the group.
Feb 21, 2010 Rich rated it did not like it
Ugh - this book was painful. Scattered notes all over the place, unnecessary details and no real flow. I expected a lot more, although I was warned.
Sep 19, 2011 Carson rated it it was ok
Very boring until it reaches the point when they plot in action.
Feb 28, 2017 Shelby rated it it was amazing
An excellent firsthand account of not only the Valkyrie plot, but also of the political and military personalities behind the several organizations involved, this memoir offers a unique perspective from one of the more involved conspirators. The detail with which Gisevius recalls the events leading up to the July 20th Putsch is remarkable, and gives a realistic view of the several opinions even within those seeking to establish the new government. This account is abridged, and piqued my interest ...more
May 12, 2012 Jerome rated it it was amazing
To get top of the heap, and to start a war, and to institute Death Camps for Jews and other undesirables, Hitler had to leave many corpses. Among this carnage are the dead bodies of some of Germany's Finest People. If there was any GOOD person more knowledgeable about where the corpses were buried, it was SS Agent H.B. Gisivius, who was also an insider in the tragically unsucessful attempts to get rid of Hitler. Agent Gisivius also distinguished himself as a witness at Nuremberg with his testimo ...more
Cynthia Haggard
Feb 18, 2013 Cynthia Haggard rated it it was amazing
TO THE BITTER END: AN INSIDER’S ACCOUNT OF THE PLOT TO KILL HITLER 1933-1944 is an interesting take on Hitler and his dictatorship, written by someone who was a quiet maverick and mischief-maker, and also a somewhat unreliable narrator.

Hans Bernd Gisevius wanted to be head of the Gestapo in 1933, when he was a young and up-coming lawyer. He was rejected. Perhaps that rejection stung, or maybe, he was revolted by the Night of Long Knives, which took place in June 1934. In any event, he became dis
Nick Black
Amazon 2008-12-12. How did I miss an important Hitler book!?? Thankfully, I've got Conrad watching my back...

Pretty good, and in parts exceptional; both the beginning and end were sorely in need of trimming, though. Gisevius's translation is exquisite, and his rich wordhorde of odd, midcentury amerikadeutsche solecisms is particularly savory -- selection made me laugh out loud, warmly, more than once. Gisevius makes some excellent points (although Primo Levi did better in Survival in Auschwitz)
Mar 30, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
This book is a lot of talk with very little action. So if you are looking for a WWII book with lots of gory details I would say to keep on looking. That being said, there was a reason for the lack of gore. The author, Hans Gisevius, was merely writing everything from HIS perspective -- which was mostly as a main conspiritor in the assasination of Hitler. I had already seen the movie, so it was different not seeing Stauffenbourg in the same kind of light (if you read the introduction you'll find ...more
Sep 24, 2013 Barry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How can you make a book about the plot to kill Hitler, written by one of the conspirators, less than thrilling, and, indeed, tedious? Beats me. The whole first half of the book was spent introducing the characters. The author seems to want to point out what "good Germans" each one was. Perhaps he felt the need to stress the fact that they were not Nazi sympathizers or Hitlerian acolytes, at least by war's end. The climate of the times in which this book was published may have necessitated such a ...more
Oct 21, 2013 Barry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How can you make a book about the plot to kill Hitler, written by one of the conspirators, less than thrilling, and, indeed, tedious? Beats me. The whole first half of the book was spent introducing the characters. The author seems to want to point how what "good Germans" each one was. Perhaps he felt the need to stress the fact that they were not Nazi sympathizers or Hitlerian acolytes, at least by war's end. The climate of the times in which this book was published may have necessitated such a ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it
After seeing the movie of the same name, I had to read the was a little difficult to figure out who was who, but that was okay. The author was one of the main "conspirators." If you read this book, be sure to read the prologue, because it explains his strained relationship with Col. Stauffenburg, whom he criticizes quite a bit in the book. The tragic sense of loss he expresses is sadly moving as he describes the fate of his dear friends one at a time. One of the most interesting parts ...more
Adam Bethon
Jun 21, 2016 Adam Bethon rated it it was ok
Couldn't make it far in this at all. The first half of the book has nothing to do with the story from the title and is essentially ramblings from a guy who seems to be incredibly jaded from the fact that he wasn't as involved as he'd like to be. I really wanted to enjoy this and this time period is my favorite to read and study, but this book wasn't even close to holding my interest. Avoid. 2 stars only because I think it's important for people to write history down no matter how little they're ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Allison rated it it was amazing
A remarkable account of the German resistance to the Third Reich. It's complicated writing but worth it to understand better what went on. It is history worth learning in order to avoid it in the future.

"In truth, perhaps the greatest perversion of human nature that takes place under a system of terror is that more character is needed, more courage required, to lie than to confess the truth." --Hans Bernd Gisevius
Feb 23, 2010 Seth rated it really liked it
I'd not realized that this book was written during and after the war. Gisevius ends with a tribute to his many friends who died ". . . not fighting destiny, but for their sincerest convictions. Few ages have produced so many martyrs as ours, and in time to come countless Germans will also be included in the roll of honor of those who perished for freedom and a better future." I have learned about and honored those as I have read this book.
Artin EVHS Montaseri
This book shows a lot about the beginning of the Jewish genocide led by Adolf Hitler around World War 2. While depicting Hitler's background, this book tells us of the many different plans used to assassinate Hitler, yet none ever succeeded. A little dry in content, but I recommend this book to anyone with fascinations towards history!
Nov 05, 2010 Karen is currently reading it
Fascinating account of someone who was actually right there through many historic moments that everyone spends time writing about over 60 years later. Very fascinating. Would like to know more about the author . . .
Tom Reynolds
Feb 20, 2010 Tom Reynolds rated it it was ok
A very dry read, but an interesting first person account of Operation Valkyrie. It's a bit self-serving, but it definitely gives you more perspective and insight into what went down than the movie did (and was a more accurate portrayal too).
Jul 28, 2011 José rated it really liked it
It starts out a bit slow, but the action really picks up as soon as the author (one of the few surviving plotters) dives into those fateful days of July 1944 when Stauffenberg makes his assassination attempt. Read it before watching the movie!
Javier A.
May 13, 2012 Javier A. rated it really liked it
I thought it was a good book and gave great back rounds of the plotters trying to kill Adolf Hitler. Also gave incredibly great descriptions of Hitler's Eastern Front Headquarters. I love top know that these men were killed enemies of the state, but legacies lived as heros.
Frankie Luu
Feb 09, 2016 Frankie Luu rated it liked it
I think this book is very interesting once you get past all the introduction and background information of the characters. I think once you get past that and get to see an insider's view on the plot to kill Hitler is becomes interesting.
Jan 09, 2009 Tim rated it liked it
It picked up in the middle (as you'd probably expect in an assassination thriller), but the events leading up to Jan. 20, 1944, which are essentially Gisevius' thoughts on those events, didn't hold my interest.
Jan 16, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read
I chose this book because the ads for the movie were all over the television I am not a Tom Cruise fan (sorry Scientolgy [sp:] fans), but I wanted to know more about the story.

Having read the book, I now need to see the movie to see how true the screenplay is to the book.
Chris Marks
Jan 22, 2009 Chris Marks marked it as to-read
I heard that this movie was really good and I thought that a plot against Hitler is pretty awesome so I ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nov 09, 2014 Marty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While very long the details are almost in given in real time. However a very compelling insiders story to Germany during WWII
Rodney rated it really liked it
Oct 10, 2011
Emily rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2012
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Hans Bernd Gisevius was a German diplomat and intelligence officer during World War II. A strong (but covert) opponent of the Nazi regime, he served as a liaison in Zürich between Allen Dulles, station chief for the American OSS and the German Resistance forces in Germany
More about Hans Bernd Gisevius...

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