Germany honors officers who tried to kill Hitler

BONN — Germany has honored a group of army officers on the 54th anniversary of their unsuccessful attempt to kill Hitler.

Rita Sussmuth, the president of the lower house of the German Parliament, said at a Berlin military ceremony last week that the assassination attempt was a reminder of German opposition to the Nazi regime.

Chancellor Helmut Kohl issued a statement saying the anniversary should remind Germans of the need to protect their democracy from political extremists.

The prime minister of the state of Brandenburg, Manfred Stolpe, called for an increased alertness against racial and anti-Semitic bias.

The July 20, 1944, assassination attempt was led by Count von Stauffenberg, who wanted to oust the Nazi regime and end World War II.

The conspirators placed a bomb in a briefcase that was left under a desk where Hitler was holding a meeting. The bomb exploded, but Hitler emerged unhurt.

Stauffenberg and the other officers involved in the plot were sentenced to death and hanged at Gestapo offices in Berlin. Other civilians involved in the attempt escaped.