Werner Karl von Haeften (9 October 1908 – 21 July 1944) was an Oberleutnant in the Wehrmacht, who took part in the military-based conspiracy against Adolf Hitler known as the 20 July plot. He is considered a hero of the German anti-Nazi resistance.
Haeften and his brother Hans were born in Berlin, the sons of Hans von Haeften, an army officer and President of the Reichsarchiv (German National Archives). He studied law in his home town and then worked for a bank in Hamburg until the outbreak of the Second World War when he joined the German Army.
In 1943, having recovered from a severe wound he had suffered on the Eastern Front, Haeften became adjutant to Oberst Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, one of the leading figures in the German Resistance.
On 20 July 1944, Haeften accompanied Stauffenberg to the military high command of the Wehrmacht near Rastenburg, East Prussia (now Kętrzyn, in Poland), where Stauffenberg planted a briefcase bomb in a conference room at Hitler's Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) headquarters. After the detonation, Stauffenberg and Haeften rushed to Berlin and, not knowing that Hitler had survived the explosion, attempted to launch the long-planned coup d'état, which would swiftly fail.
On the same day, Haeften, along with Stauffenberg and fellow conspirators General Friedrich Olbricht and Oberst Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim, was arrested after a summary court martial and sentenced to death by General Friedrich Fromm, who was himself later arrested and executed by the Nazi regime for his tacit complicity. All four plotters were shot after midnight by a ten-man firing squad from the Grossdeutschland Guards Battalion in the courtyard of the War Ministry, the Bendlerblock. When Stauffenberg was about to be shot, in a last gesture of loyalty and defiance, Haeften placed himself in the path of the bullets meant for Stauffenberg.
Haeften's brother Hans Bernd von Haeften, who had also been involved in the anti-Hitler plot, was executed on 15 August at Plötzensee Prison.
In the Eastern Bloc co-production Liberation: Direction of the Main Blow (1971), Haeften was depicted by the East German actor Hans-Edgar Stecher. In the German production Stauffenberg (2004), his part was played by the actor Hardy Krüger junior, and in the film Valkyrie (2008) he was represented by the British actor Jamie Parker.