Hitler’s would-be assassin, a prog-rock guitar god, a Welsh laundress turned princess: This week’s notable deaths

Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist delivers a speech as part of a German Army Bundeswehr ceremony at the Reichstag in Berlin.
Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist delivers a speech as part of a German Army Bundeswehr ceremony at the Reichstag in Berlin.
Image: AP Photo / Berthold Stadler
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Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist, aged 90 — The final surviving member of the cadre of Wehrmacht officers who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944 by placing a bomb under a table at his East Prussian field headquarters. Hitler survived and thousands of Germans were killed in reprisals for the plot, including von Kleist’s father. Von Kleist himself survived interrogation and was sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. He was later released for reasons which remain unclear, and was assigned to combat duties on the Eastern Front. This was thought akin to a death sentence, but he survived, and after the war, he founded a publishing house and went on to create the Munich Security Conference, which remains a must for the upper echelons of the global politics and diplomacy establishment.

Lilian Craig, 97 — Princess of Sweden and Duchess of Halland. After being told that the man making eyes at her in a wartime London gaming club was a Swedish prince she replied, “And I’m the Queen of Sheba.” Welsh by birth, she had been in a relationship with Sweden’s Prince Bertil for three decades before they could marry. She was a commoner and, as a young woman, had worked in her father’s market stall and at a laundry to make money for her family.  The pair had to wait until the death of tradition-minded King Gustaf VI in 1973 before they could wed.

Adel Khazri, 27 — Tunisian street vendor who died after setting himself alight. His death has become a focal point for economic discontent and grievances against the ruling Islamists.

Ieng Sary, 87 — Co-founder and foreign minister for Cambodia’s notorious Khmer Rouge regime, whose rule in the late 1970s resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians. The brother-in-law of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, Sary died while on trial in Cambodia for genocide and war crimes.

Masao Yamaguchi, 81 — Japanese cultural anthropologist and author of many books including “A Psychological History of Losers.”

Ahmad Shihadeh, 32 — A policy officer for the EU, Shihadeh was killed in a rocket attack in Daraya, a suburb of Damascus, where he lived. His death was confirmed by EU policy chief Catherine Ashton. She said he “died while providing humanitarian help to the community [of Daraya]” and “Ahmad was known for his courage and selflessness.”

Peter Banks, 65 — Founding guitarist for British prog-rock legends Yes. The group was known for its use of complex instrumentation, techniques and special effects to fuse jazz improvisation with psychedelia.

Harry Weathersby Stamps, 80 — “He was a member of a bacon-of-the-month club. He crowed like a rooster during phone calls to his grandchildren. He excelled in ‘never losing a game of competitive sickness.’ He referred to daylight-saving time as ‘The Devil’s Time.'” The entertaining obituary penned by the daughter of a colorful Mississippian caught fire on the social web this week.