This book examines the role of one of the most charismatic leaders of the opposition to the Nazis within Germany. Adam von Trott zu Solz was a boy when Germany was defeated militarily in 1918 and in his youth witnessed its economic collapse. He was studying at Oxford University when Hitler came to power in 1933 and was convinced that opposition to the Nazis must come from within Germany and not outside it. Hitler enjoyed enormous support as the economy improved and, after 1939, as the German armies ravaged at will through Western Europe. Yet von Trott, by now a senior official in the Foreign Office, travelled frequently to Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey to talk with British and American contacts, pleading unsuccessfully for recognition of the resisters. In July 1944 he was one of the leaders of the group which attempted to assassinate Hitler. Refusing all offers to smuggle him out of Germany -- 'I shall take the blame for everything' -- he was executed on 26 August, aged only 35.
Based on extensive research and talks with some of those who knew him, this book details the life of a man of brilliant intellect who refused to compromise his conscience and sacrificed himself in a noble cause.
Kenneth A E Sears is a retired Education Officer. He read Modern History, followed by post-graduate studies in Government, at Lincoln College, Oxford and is also a member of Mansfield College. His schoolboy diary records the events of 20 July 1944 and the subsequent weeks as the news was received. His interests include Parliamentary procedure, psephology, classical music, poetry and art. He leads an annual pilgrimage to Ypres in Flanders and also visits Waterloo, the Somme and Agincourt.
Preface; Foreword by Diana Walford, Principal of Mansfield College; Foreword by David Marquand, Former Principal of Mansfield College; Early Years; University Life -- Munich & Gottingen; Mansfield College; University Life -- Gottingen & Berlin; Rhodes Scholar; The Years 1933-1936; The Far East; Return to Germany & to Resistance; The 3rd of September 1939; The Plea for Recognition; The Kreisau Circle; Fanning the Flames of Resistance; The Year 1944; Final Preparations; The 20th of July 1944; Aftermath; The Allied Reaction; The Military Situation; Epilogue; Index.