Beck, Ludwig (lōtˈvĭkh bĕk) [key], 1880–1944, German general, leader of resistance to Hitler. A highly cultivated career soldier, he served on the general staff during World War I and by 1933 had become in effect head of the army general staff. He opposed Hitler's plans for aggression and his attempts to destroy the independence of the army. In 1938 he resigned in protest against the planned attack on Czechoslovakia. With Carl F. Goerdeler he thereafter conspired to overthrow the regime. Their efforts were repeatedly frustrated until July 20, 1944, when a bomb was placed in Hitler's conference room. Hitler escaped. Beck was arrested and shot.
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