The Stauffenbergs are an aristocratic Roman Catholic family from Swabia in Germany, whose best known member was Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg - the key figure in the 1944 "July 20 plot" to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
The Stauffenbergs originally came from Burg Stauffenberg (not related to the town and castle of Staufenberg, Hesse), a former castle located in Germany in the Land Württemberg between the small town Hechingen and its suburb Rangendingen, near Burg Hohenzollern, home of the family of Zollern (today House of Hohenzollern). In 1255 the existence of nobleman Schenk von Stauffenberg is documented for the first time. In the middle ages the Stauffenbergs served the Counts of Zollern in the ceremonial office of Mundschenk (cupbearer, sommelier, butler), which in reality meant they were in charge of the counts' wine cellars and vineyards. Since that time they have held the hereditary title Schenk (see also maior domus, marshal, Chamberlain).
In the 17th century, the Stauffenberg family inherited Burg Straßberg, the castle in Lautlingen, located in the vicinity of nearby Albstadt, Amerdingen as well as Rißtissen 20 km south of Ulm. The family gained the rank of Freiherr (Baron) in 1698. Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg was Monarch and Bishop of Bamberg in the 17th century and Johann Franz Schenk von Stauffenberg was Monarch and Bishop of Konstanz and Augsburg in the 18th century.
All Stauffenbergs born after 1830 are members of the Amerdingen branch. The elder brother of the then only existing two male Stauffenbergs was raised to the rank of Graf (Count) in the Kingdom of Bavaria by King Ludwig II in 1874, whereas the younger brother continued with the rank gained in 1698 of Freiherr (Baron). After 1918, when the constitution of the Weimar Republic abolished all noble titles in Germany and declared them to be part of the family name, one branch of the family adopted the surname Schenk Graf (Count) von Stauffenberg and the other Schenk Freiherr (Baron) von Stauffenberg to preserve the former titles Graf, Freiherr and Schenk as part of their last name.
A Good German? Roger Moorhouse Takes Issue with the Secular Sainthood Bestowed on Claus Von Stauffenberg, Subject of the New Film, Valkyrie
Jan 01, 2009; This month sees the release of Bryan Singer's new Hollywood movie Valkyrie, a dramatic retelling of the July 20th Plot to kill...