January 11, 2009
For my culture project, I attended the movie, Valkyrie. This movie takes place in Europe, mostly in Germany, during the time when Hitler conquered over all. Tom Cruise played Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the real-life mastermind behind Project Valkyrie- the plan to kill Hitler, reconstruct German government and change the world.
Claus Von Stauffenberg did not believe in Adolf Hitler?s customs although he did work under his government. Von Stauffenberg believed that not only was the Fuhrer enemy of Europe, but Germany as well, if everyone continued to sit back and watch him terrorize people. One day while on duty, there was a bombing, causing him to lose his left eye, some fingers, and a hand. While laying half-conscious on the ground, he was enlightened with the fact that when he finally dies, he would have nothing left for his children but a passive and shameful tribute. From that point he decided to make a stand. He joined the resistance movement, risking not only his life, but the life of his family, to change the world. Von Stauffenberg secretly worked with high-ranking officials who had access to private work and meeting places of the government, giving him great opportunities to strike. His plan was to first kill Hitler, and when he is gone and the people no longer know who or what to believe, take over, country by country. As mentioned by a colleague early in the movie, ?This is war, nothing ever turns out according to plan,? von Stauffenberg begins with the suitcase bombing. In a confidential meeting with Hitler present, he leaves his suitcase near Hitler in the room. Making a fast escape, he heads back to his headquarters. His partner, who was supposed to receive a call saying ?Hitler is dead? before sending the troops the order, was disconnected while speaking with a witness of the bombing. Eager and confident, von Stauffenberg demands he send out the order. He later was informed that Hitler was in fact alive, but continues on with his plan. Eventually he and his colleagues are arrested under Hitler and sentenced to death. Seconds before he is shot, he stares all the gunmen down and screams, ?Long live free Germany!? True he was killed in the process, but Claus von Stauffenberg made an impact on the people, and 18 months later, Adolf Hitler committed suicide, being completely surrounded by the troops.
Overall, this Valkyrie was intriguing and eye opening. It was interesting watching the extents Colonel con Stauffenberg went to help his country. A lot of parts in the movie were familiar from when I had learned about World War II in Jr. High and, now, in high school. For example, I immediately recognized the suitcase bombing when it was being set up. I also learned many minor details such as the Colonel losing his body parts. After seeing the movie, I am satisfied but at the same time curious as to whether his family was hunted down and killed or simply left alone? Overall though, Valkyrie was a great movie and I highly recommend seeing it.