Berghof Coup (Blood and Soil)

The Berghof Coup was a military coup against the government of Martin Bormann that occured on Easter Sunday 1967.

Berghof Coup

The Berghof as seen in 1963
Date26 March 1967
Bormann Government
Commanders and leaders
Henning von Tresckow
Kurk Georg Kiesinger
Erwin Rommel
Axel von dem Bussche

Roland von Hößlin
Martin Bormann
Joseph Goebbels
Reinhard Heydrich
Otto Remer
Otto Skorzeny

Plans to topple the Bormann government had been circulating for years as the German economy deteriorated and the Slavic Rebellion intensified. Bormann had been unable to solidify his power base since he became President of Germany and was distrusted by both the military and other NSDAP politicians. The central plot, led by Generalfeldmarschall Henning von Tresckow and Reichstag member Kurt Georg Kiesinger, was codenamed Operation Hawk (Unternehmen Hawk) By March 1967, the situation in the east had turned against Germany's favor. Bormann resorted to a grand display of force by ordering the atomic bombings of Volgaburg and Kazan on 24 March 1967. The high command and much of the government, including Chancellor Goebbels, did not learn about the bombings until after both cities were destroyed. The bombings drew international condemnation and leading members of the Oceanic Pact began to mobilize their forces. As it appeared that a world war was looming, von Tresckow gave the order to prepare Operation Hawk and execute the morning of 26 March.

At 11:30 AM, Colonel Werner von Haeften arrived at the Berghof for a meeting with Bormann and his cabinet. In attendance were Martin Bormann, Chancellor Joseph Goebbels, Reichstag President Heinrich Lübke, OKW Commander Heinrich Trettner, and other military figures. Colonel Haeften's briefcase was armed with a timed explosive device with a ten minute timer. At 11:36 AM, Haeften was informed by Lieutenant Adolf Wegener that an urgent phone call had come in from Germania, and excused himself from the meeting. At 11:41 AM, the briefcase detonated, killing everyone in the room. Haeften left the compound just seconds before detonation, avoiding the subsequent lockdown by security personnel.