"Nina" Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg (27 August 1913 – 2 April 2006) was the wife of Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the leader of the failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944. Following the plot's failure, she was arrested and imprisoned, during which time she delivered her youngest child.
Born Magdalena Elisabeth Vera Lydia Herta von Lerchenfeld in Kowno, Imperial Russia (now Kaunas, Lithuania), she was known by her nickname "Nina". Her father was the Bavarian nobleman and politician General Consul Gustav Freiherr von Lerchenfeld (1871–1944) and her mother Anna Freiin von Stackelberg (1880–1945), a Baltic-German noblewoman.
Nina von Lerchenfeld first met Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg around 1930. They were married on 26 September 1933 in Bamberg, Bavaria, making Nina the Countess (Gräfin) von Stauffenberg. Although Nina's and Claus von Stauffenberg's mothers were both Lutherans, the couple's children were raised as Roman Catholics, in accordance with the wishes of Stauffenberg's father.
The marriage produced five children:Berthold Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (born 1934).Heimeran Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (born 9 July 1936 in Bamberg, Bavaria), unmarried and without issue.Franz-Ludwig Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (born 1938).Valerie Ida Huberta Karoline Anna Maria Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg (born 15 November 1940 in Bamberg; died 4 June 1966 in Munich, Bavaria of leukemia), married Heino von L'Estocq (born 6 April 1935 in Potsdam, Brandenburg) on 4 April 1964.Konstanze Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg (born 27 January 1945 in Frankfurt an der Oder, Brandenburg), married Dietrich von Schultheiss-Rechberg (born 13 October 1937 in Zurich, Switzerland) on 8 April 1967.
After her husband's failed attempt to assassinate Hitler – he was summarily executed the following evening – the Countess von Stauffenberg was arrested by the Gestapo and taken into custody under the ancient Sippenhaft law reinstated by the Nazi government. Her five children were placed in an orphanage in Bad Sachsa, Lower Saxony, under the surname of Meister.
At the time of her husband's death, Stauffenberg was pregnant and in January 1945 she gave birth to her fifth child, Konstanze, while imprisoned in a Nazi maternity center in Frankfurt an der Oder. That same year, her own mother, Anna, died in a Russian detention camp.
By the end of the Second World War, Stauffenberg had been moved to the Italian province of South Tyrol. There she was held as a hostage in return for the redemption of Nazi property. After the war, she was reunited with her family at the Stauffenberg family seat in Lautlingen, Baden-Württemberg.
Nina Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg died in Kirchlauter, near Bamberg, Bavaria, on 2 April 2006. She was 92. She was buried in Kirchlauter six days later.
In the 1990 telemovie The Plot to Kill Hitler, Nina von Stauffenberg was portrayed by American actress Madolyn Smith. In the 2004 German film Stauffenberg, she was portrayed by actress Nina Kunzendorf. Dutch actress Carice van Houten portrayed her in the 2008 film Valkyrie.
The biography Nina Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg - Ein Porträt by Konstanze von Schulthess-Rechberg, von Stauffenberg's youngest daughter, was published in 2008 (Munich: Pendo Verlag, ISBN 3-85842-652-0 / ISBN 978-3-85842-652-9).