Das deutsche Alibi -

Das deutsche Alibi

The German Alibi

Ruth Hoffmann

© Valeska Achenbach



Foreign rights


About the book

Ruth Hoffmann comprehensively deconstructs the myth of the “Stauffenberg assassination” and traces how 20 July 1944 has been politically instrumentalised since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany. She makes a contribution to our understanding of a fateful date that still reflects the difficult relationship we have with our own history to this day.

Jury evaluation

The journalist Ruth Hoffmann has undertaken nothing less than to deconstruct a German myth. The assassination attempt against Hitler on 20 July 1944 has been instrumentalised again and again from different directions, becoming in the process, according to Hoffmann, a “German alibi”. She succeeds in convincingly explaining the various contexts and uncovering the often perfidious ways in which it has been exploited. What is particularly valuable is that she does not get stuck on her chosen example, instead illustrating the historical depth of the events and their impact to this day. The author shows how important it is – particularly against the backdrop of current debates – to take a holistic view, which also offers surprising insights. The fact that she writes about all this in a riveting way won the jury over.

Ruth Hoffmann

Ruth Hoffmann, born in 1973, studied ethnology, history and politics and is a graduate of the Henri Nannen School of Journalism. From 2004 to 2006 she was an editor at Stern and she has worked since as a freelance journalist for various outlets, including Geo, Stern, P.M. History and Spiegel Geschichte. She is a co-founder of the journalists’ association Plan 17 and :Freischreiber, the professional association of freelance journalists. In 2012 she published her book “Stasi-Kinder. Aufwachsen im Überwachungsstaat” (“Stasi Children. Growing Up in a Surveillance State”) about the children of full-time employees of the East German Ministry for State Security. She lives in Hamburg with her family.


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