July 20, 1944 was a failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany, in his headquarter Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) and subsequently take power by means of an altered Operation Walküre plan which was supposed to subdue possible unrest. The key role was played by Wehrmacht officer Claus von Stauffenberg who was in charge of the German Reserve Army's Walküre, a role which allowed him access to Hitler for reports.
Stauffenberg and other directly involved officers were sentenced to death. At 00:10 on 21 July they were shot in the courtyard outside, possibly to prevent them from revealing Fromm's involvement. Others would have been executed as well, but at 00:30 the SS arrived on the scene and further executions were forbidden.
Very few of the plotters tried to escape or to deny their guilt when arrested. Those who survived interrogation were given perfunctory trials before the Peoples Court and its judge Roland Freisler. Eventually some 5,000 people were arrested and about 200 were executed not all of them connected with the July 20 plot, since the Gestapo used the occasion to settle scores with many other people suspected of opposition sympathies. The first trials were held in the People's Court on 7 and 8 August 1944. Hitler had ordered that those found guilty be "hung like cattle". The treatment that had been dealt out to those executed as a result of the Rote Kapelle was that of slow strangulation using suspension from a rope attached to a slaughterhouse meathook. For the July 20 plotters piano wire was used instead.