Robert Bernardis

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Robert Bernardis
Born 7 August 1908
Innsbruck, Austria
Died 8 August 1944 (1944-08-09) (aged 36)
Berlin-Plötzensee, Germany
Allegiance  Austria
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Wehrmacht Heer
Rank Oberstleutnant
Unit German General Staff
Battles/wars World War II

Robert Bernardis (7 August 1908 in Innsbruck – 8 August 1944 in Berlin-Plötzensee) was an Austrian resistance fighter involved in the attempt to kill German dictator Adolf Hitler in the 20 July Plot in 1944.

After finishing the military akademie in Enns and Klosterneuburg Austria, Bernardis started his military career as a lieutenant in Linz. After the Austrian Anschluss in 1938, he accepted the new régime, but critically. However, once the Second World War had begun, experiences at the front such as witnessing the murder of civilians changed his mind and he became involved in the resistance movement against the Third Reich. He was assigned to the German General Staff by May 1942.

By 1944, though still relatively young, he held the rank of an Oberstleutnant. He was not stationed near Hitler's headquarters at Wolfsschanze near Rastenburg when the 20 July assassination attempt was carried out, but was in Berlin instead. Unaware that the bomb had failed to kill Hitler, Bernadis was responsible for the order that set Operation Valkyrie in motion. That same evening, he was arrested by the Gestapo. On 8 August he was sentenced to death by the German "People's Court" (Volksgerichtshof) and executed the same day.

Despite being deported to a concentration camp, Bernardis's family survived the war.

Portrayal in the media

In the 2004 German production, Stauffenberg, Bernardis is portrayed by actor Michael Bornhütter.


  • Karl-Reinhart Trauner:Mit Stauffenberg gegen Hitler:Oberstleutnant i.G. Robert Bernardis, Tillinger-Verlag, Szentendre 2008, ISBN 978-963-06-4558-4 (no translations)
  • Karl Glaubauf:Robert Bernardis-Österreichs Stauffenberg, Wien 1994, Eigenverlag
  • Karl Glaubauf:Robert Bernardis - Österreichs Stauffenberg, in: Austria-Forum, Internet - Lexicon,Graz 2010.