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German History in Documents and Images
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People's Court President Roland Freisler Presides over the Trial of the Participants in the July 20th Plot (August 8, 1944)
The July 20th plot was the most wide-ranging resistance action in the Third Reich. Correspondingly, its failure was a great triumph for the Nazi regime. The Gestapo succeeded in unearthing large numbers of co-conspirators in the military, civilian, and church opposition. The Nazis' revenge was not limited to active participants, but often included their family members as well. Additionally, the Nazi leadership used the failed coup as an opportunity to eliminate other enemies through arbitrary arrests, mock trials, and executions. The Gestapo-led investigations continued until the end of the war. Altogether, about 1,500 persons were arrested and 200 killed. The photo shows, from left to right, General Hermann Reinecke, presiding judge Roland Freisler, and People's Court judge Lammele, who acted as associate judge.