The October 1939 plot was the second attempt by Wehrmacht officers to oust Adolf Hitler from power. Unlike the Generals' Plot, which had been discovered in January 1939, the October plotters actually put their plan into action.[1] For a period of about 24 hours, various officers of the Wehrmacht battled the Waffen-SS in several cities in Germany.[2] In the end, however, the coup failed as completely as the first one,[3] although this time, the German government had to acknowledge that a coup had been attempted.[4] The Waffen-SS had the task of purging the Wehrmacht of anti-Hitler elements, which they did ruthlessly, rounding up and executing several officers.[5]

Shortly after, Hitler traveled to Münster and gave a speech denouncing the traitors and assuring the German people that they would be hanged. He also promised the "purified" Wehrmacht would carry the country to victory.[6] The city of the Münster was also put under heavy guard after the protest at the arrest of Bishop Clemens August von Galen, shattering the images of a satisfied and obedient people the Nazis cultivated.

The people of Germany, soldiers and civilians alike, began to display an lack of faith in the Nazi Party and its government. So strong was their resentment, people began to show solidarity, albeit in subtle ways, towards the Jews, whom the Nazis oppressed even more.


  1. West and East, pg. 372, HC.
  2. Ibid. pgs., 372-374, 378-380.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 378-380.
  4. Ibid, pgs. 376-377.
  5. See, e.g., ibid., pgs. 380-381, 387-389.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 434-436.
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