Adam von Trott zu Solz

Adam von Trott zu Solz


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Adam von Trott zu Solz, the fifth child of the Prussian Culture Minister August von Trott zu Solz, was born in Potsdam, Germany on 9th August 1909. When his father resigned from office in 1917, the family moved to Kassel where von Trott attended the Friedrichsgymnasium. From 1922 he lived in Hann. He obtained his Abitur degree in 1927 and went on to study law at the universities of Munich and Göttingen. In 1931 he went to Mansfield College at Oxford University. (1)

In 1934 he began to practice law in Kassel. In 1937 he was employed by the American Institute of Pacific Relations on a project in China. In October 1938 Trott went to Washington to inform his friends there of the German Resistance. (2)

Trott believed that Neville Chamberlain should make it clear to Adolf Hitler that the appeasement policy was going to end. On 1st June, 1939, he arrived in London to have talks with British officials, including Edward Wood (Lord Halifax) and Philip Henry Kerr (Lord Lothian). According to Peter Hoffmann: At this time Trott was wondering whether he should leave Germany for the duration of the Nazi regime which he loathed, or whether he could fight the regime in some way." (3)

On the outbreak of the Second World War he went to work for the Foreign Office. He joined the Nazi Party as a cover for his resistance activities. Trott married Clarita Tiefenbacher in June 1940. The daughter of a prominent Hamburg lawyer she met him when they were working China. Clarita fully supported his resistance activities. Trott wrote during this period he became a rebel because "the divine destiny of man has been trampled down into the dust" and set his hopes on "the sense of decency of the individual citizen." (4)

In 1940 Trott, Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg and Helmuth von Moltke joined forces to establish the Kreisau Circle, a small group of intellectuals who were ideologically opposed fascism. Other people who joined included Fritz-Dietlof von der Schulenburg, Wilhelm Leuschner, Julius Leber, Adolf Reichwein, Carlo Mierendorff, Alfred Delp, Eugen Gerstenmaier, Freya von Moltke, Theodor Haubach, Marion Yorck von Wartenburg, Ulrich-Wilhelm Graf von Schwerin, Dietrich Bonhoffer, Harald Poelchau and Jakob Kaiser. "Rather than a group of conspirators, these men were more of a discussion group looking for an exchange of ideas on the sort of Germany would arise from the detritus of the Third Reich, which they confidently expected ultimately to fail." (5)

The group represented a broad spectrum of social, political, and economic views, they were best described as Christian and Socialist. A. J. Ryder has pointed out that the Kreisau Circle "brought together a fascinating collection of gifted men from the most diverse backgrounds: noblemen, officers, lawyers, socialists, trade unionists, churchmen." (6) Joachim Fest argues that the "strong religious leanings" of this group, together with its ability to attract "devoted but undogmatic socialists," but has been described as its "most striking characteristic." (7)

Members of the group came mainly from the young landowning aristocracy, the Foreign Office, the Civil Service, the outlawed Social Democratic Party and the Church. "There were perhaps twenty core members of the circle, and they were all relatively young men. Half were under thirty-six and only two were over fifty. The young landowning aristocrats had left-wing ideals and sympathies and created a welcome haven for leading Social Democrats who had elected to stay like the journalist-turned-politician Carlo Mierendorff, and... Julius Leber, were the political leaders of the group, and their ideas struck lively sparks off older members of the Resistance like Goerdeler." (8)

The group disagreed about several different issues. Whereas Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg and Helmuth von Moltke were strongly anti-racist, others such as Fritz-Dietlof von der Schulenburg, believed that Jews should be eliminated from public service and evinced unmistakably anti-Semitic prejudice. "As late as 1938 he repeated his call for the removal of Jews from government and the civil service. His biographer, Albert Krebs, attests that he 'was never able to rid himself of feelings of alienation toward the intellectual and material world of Jewry.' He was appalled to learn of the crimes perpetrated against the Jewish population in the occupied Soviet Union, but this was not a major factor in his determination to see Hitler removed." (9)

Peter Hoffmann, the author of The History of German Resistance (1977) has argued that one of strengths of the Kreisau Circle was that it had no established leader: "It consisted of of highly independent personalities holding views of their own. They were both able and willing to compromise, for they knew that politics without compromise was impossible. In the discussion phase, however, they clung to their own views." (10) Although the Kreisau Circle did not have a leader, Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg and Helmuth von Moltke were the two most important figures in the group. Joachim Fest, the author of Plotting Hitler's Death (1997) has pointed out the Moltke has been described as the "engine" of the group, Wartenburg was its "heart". (11)

Adam von Trott became a very important member of the group. During the first winter of the war he began to think about the long-time future of Europe. He suggested that a European tariff and currency union, the setting up of a European Supreme Court and single European citizenship, as the basis for a future administrative unification of Europe. Moltke agreed and called for the setting up of a "supreme European legislature", which would be answerable, not to the national self-governing bodies, but to the individual citizens, by whom it would be elected. In other words, an European Parliament. (12)

Helmuth von Moltke agreed with Trott and expressed the expectation that "a great economic community would emerge from the demobilization of armed forces in Europe" and that it would be "managed by an internal European economic bureaucracy". Combined with this he hoped to see Europe divided up into self-governing territories of comparable size, which would break away from the principle of the nation-state. Although their domestic constitutions would be quite different from each other, he hoped that by the encouragement of "small communities" they would assume public duties. His idea was of a European community built up from below. (13)

Adam von Trott also made several attempts to negotiate with the British government. In May 1942 along with Moltke he arranged for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a member of the Kreisau Circle, and Hans Schönfeld, a fellow clergyman, to meet Bishop George Bell in Stockholm. Bonhoeffer and Schönfeld asked Bell: "Would the Allies adopt a different stance toward a Germany that had liberated itself from Hitler than they would toward a Germany still under his rule? Bell reported back to the British Foreign Office, but Anthony Eden wrote back only to say he was "satisfied that it is not in the national interest to provide an answer of any kind." A few months later, Bell approached the British Foreign Office again, Eden noted in the margin of his reply, "I see no reason whatsoever to encourage this pestilent priest!" (14)

The following year Helmuth von Moltke went to Stockholm with the latest leaflets being distributed by the White Rose resistance group. Adam von Trott and Eugen Gerstenmaier also went to the city to try and negotiate with representatives of the British government. Trott told them: "We cannot afford to wait any longer. We are so weak that we will only achieve our goal if everything goes our way and we get outside help." However, they received no encouragement. "The Allies did not even trouble themselves to reject the various attempts to contact them; they simply closed their eyes to the German resistance, acting as if it did not exist." (15)

On 8th January, 1943, a group of conspirators, including, Adam von Trott, Helmuth von Moltke, Fritz-Dietlof von der Schulenburg, Johannes Popitz, Ulrich Hassell, Eugen Gerstenmaier, Ludwig Beck and Carl Goerdeler met at the home of Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg. Hassell was uneasy with the utopianism of the of the Kreisau Circle, but believed that the "different resistance groups should not waste their strength nursing differences when they were in such extreme danger". Wartenburg, Moltke and Hassell were all concerned by the suggestion that Goerdeler should become Chancellor if Hitler was overthrown as they feared that he could become a Alexander Kerensky type leader. (16)

Claus von Stauffenberg decided to carry out the assassination of Adolf Hitler. But before he took action he wanted to make sure he agreed with the type of government that would come into being. Conservatives such as Carl Goerdeler and Johannes Popitz wanted Field Marshal Erwin von Witzleben to become the new Chancellor. However, socialists in the group, such as Julius Leber and Wilhelm Leuschner, argued this would therefore become a military dictatorship. At a meeting on 15th May 1944, they had a strong disagreement over the future of a post-Hitler Germany. (17)

Stauffenberg was highly critical of the conservatives led by Carl Goerdeler and was much closer to the socialist wing of the conspiracy around Julius Leber. Goerdeler later recalled: "Stauffenberg revealed himself as a cranky, obstinate fellow who wanted to play politics. I had many a row with him, but greatly esteemed him. He wanted to steer a dubious political course with the left-wing Socialists and the Communists, and gave me a bad time with his overwhelming egotism." (18)

The conspirators eventually agreed who would be members of the government. Head of State: Colonel-General Ludwig Beck, Chancellor: Carl Goerdeler; Vice Chancellor: Wilhelm Leuschner; State Secretary: Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg; State Secretary: Ulrich-Wilhelm Graf von Schwerin; Foreign Minister: Ulrich Hassell; Minister of the Interior: Julius Leber; State Secretary: Lieutenant Fritz-Dietlof von der Schulenburg; Chief of Police: General-Major Henning von Tresckow; Minister of Finance: Johannes Popitz; President of Reich Court: General-Major Hans Oster; Minister of War: Erich Hoepner; State Secretary of War: General Friedrich Olbricht; Minister of Propaganda: Carlo Mierendorff; Commander in Chief of Wehrmacht: Field Marshal Erwin von Witzleben; Minister of Justice: Josef Wirmer. (19)

On 22nd July, 1944, Julius Leber and Adolf Reichwein met with two members of the underground Central Committee of the German Communist Party (KPD). "The meeting place was the house of a Berlin doctor, Rudolf Schmid... It was agreed that no names would be given and no introductions made; one of the communists who knew Leber, however, exclaimed:'Oh you, Leber.' Two of the visitors were in fact communist party functionaries, Anton Saefkow and Franz Jacob." In fact, a third communist turned up to the meeting. He was Hermann Rambow, who was in fact a Gestapo agent. The following day, Leber, Reichwein, Saefkow and Jacob were arrested. (20)

On 20th July, 1944, Stauffenberg entered the wooden briefing hut, twenty-four senior officers were in assembled around a huge map table on two heavy oak supports. Stauffenberg had to elbow his way forward a little in order to get near enough to the table and he had to place the briefcase so that it was in no one's way. Despite all his efforts, however, he could only get to the right-hand corner of the table. After a few minutes, Stauffenberg excused himself, saying that he had to take a telephone call from Berlin. There was continual coming and going during the briefing conferences and this did not raise any suspicions. (21)

Stauffenberg went straight to a building about 200 hundred yards away consisting of bunkers and reinforced huts. Shortly afterwards, according to eyewitnesses: "A deafening crack shattered the midday quiet, and a bluish-yellow flame rocketed skyward... and a dark plume of smoke rose and hung in the air over the wreckage of the briefing barracks. Shards of glass, wood, and fiberboard swirled about, and scorched pieces of paper and insulation rained down." (22)

Stauffenberg observed a body covered with Hitler's cloak being carried out of the briefing hut on a stretcher and assumed he had been killed. He got into a car but luckily the alarm had not yet been given when they reached Guard Post 1. The Lieutenant in charge, who had heard the blast, stopped the car and asked to see their papers. Stauffenberg who was given immediate respect with his mutilations suffered on the front-line and his aristocratic commanding exterior; said he must go to the airfield at once. After a short pause the Lieutenant let the car go. (23)

According to eyewitness testimony and a subsequent investigation by the Gestapo, Stauffenberg's briefcase containing the bomb had been moved farther under the conference table in the last seconds before the explosion in order to provide additional room for the participants around the table. Consequently, the table acted as a partial shield, protecting Hitler from the full force of the blast, sparing him from serious injury of death. The stenographer Heinz Berger, died that afternoon, and three others, General Rudolf Schmundt, General Günther Korten, and Colonel Heinz Brandt did not recover from their wounds. Hitler's right arm was badly injured but he survived. (24)

However, General Erich Fellgiebel, Chief of Army Communications, sent a message to General Friedrich Olbricht to say that Hitler had survived the blast. The most calamitous flaw in Operation Valkyrie was the failure to consider the possibility that Hitler might survive the bomb attack. Olbricht told Hans Gisevius, they decided it was best to wait and to do nothing, to behave "routinely" and to follow their everyday habits. (25) Major Albrecht Metz von Quirnheim long closely involved in the plot, had already begun the action with a cabled message to regional military commanders, beginning with the words: "The Führer, Adolf Hitler, is dead." (26) As a result, Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg, Ludwig Beck, Eugen Gerstenmaier, and Fritz-Dietlof von der Schulenburg arrived at army headquarters in order to become members of the new government. (27)

Adolf Hitler had survived the blast. He was seized by a "titanic fury and an unquenchable thirst for revenge" ordered Heinrich Himmler and Ernst Kaltenbrunner to arrest "every last person who had dared to plot against him". Hitler laid down the procedure for killing them: "This time the criminals will be given short shrift. No military tribunals. We'll hail them before the People's Court. No long speeches from them. The court will act with lightning speed. And two hours after the sentence it will be carried out. By hanging - without mercy." (28)

Adam von Trott was arrested and tortured. His trial took place in front of by Roland Freisler on 15th August, 1944. Joseph Goebbels ordered that every minute of the trial should be filmed so that the movie could be shown to the troops and the civilian public as an example of what happened to traitors. (29) He was found guilty but his execution of the death sentence was postponed in order to extract further information: "Since Trott has undoubtedly withheld a great deal, the death sentence pronounced by the People's Court has not been carried out so that Trott may be available for further clarification." Adam von Trott zu Solz was executed at Ploetzwnsee Prison on 25th August, 1944. (30)

It is estimated that 4,980 people were arrested by the Gestapo. Heinrich Himmler gave instructions that these men should be tortured. He also ordered that family members should also be punished: "When they (the people's Germanic forbears) put a family under the ban and declared it outlawed or when there was a vendetta in the family, they were totally consistent about it. If the family was outlawed or banned; it will be exterminated. And in a vendetta they exterminated the entire clan down to its last member. The Stauffenberg family will be exterminated down to its last member." (31)

What became known as the Sippenhaft law (criminal liability of the next of kin to a person considered a criminal) was a particularly sophisticated form of torture. When interrogating suspects the Gestapo could, quite legally, threaten to ill-treat their wives, children, parents, brothers and sisters or other relatives. Under this law, Clarita Tiefenbacher was placed in custody in the Moabit prison in Berlin while her two daughters, aged respectively 2 years and nine months, were interned under false names in the SS-run children's home of Bornheim in Bad Sachsa (32)

Adam von Trott zu Solz studied at Oxford in 1932-33. Posted to China between 1937 and 1938, traveling by way of the United States. Used that trip and numerous others to establish contracts on behalf of the resistance, sometimes with exiled opponents of the regime. Joined the NSDAP in 1940 to provide a cover. Legation counselor in the Foreign Office's information division. Later worked in the India branch. Foreign policy adviser to the Kreisau Circle. Undertook further travels abroad in 1941 and 1943 to explore the Allied attitude toward a new German government but bitterly disappointed by the indifference of the Western Allies.

The son of a former Prussian minister of education, Adam von Trott zu Solz had an American grandmother who was the granddaughter of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States. After early training at Kurt Hahn's school at Schloss Salem, he went in 1931 to Mansfield College, Oxford, and later entered Balliol as a Rhodes scholar. He returned to Germany in 1934 and began to practice law in Kassel. From the beginning Von Trott zu Solz opposed the Nazi regime. He was a member of the small Kreisau Circle, which hoped to overthrow the Nazis and restore Germany to the social ethic of Christianity.

The name the Gestapo gave it (the Kreisau Circle) is misleading, for it gives the impression of an organised, coherent group, with definite aims. This is not true. The circle, which met formally at Kreisau only three times, was a large, loosely knit group of people who came mainly from the young landowning aristocracy, the Foreign Office, the Civil Service, the old Social Democratic Party and the Church. Its membership shifted and changed, and for a long time its leaders were averse to taking action of any kind against Hitler, preferring instead to let him run his course - a matter which they considered inevitable - while in the meantime they discussed what sort of Germany they would rebuild after his equally inevitable fall...

There were perhaps twenty core members of the circle, and they were all relatively young men. Julius Leber, were the political leaders of the group, and their ideas struck lively sparks off older members of the Resistance like Goerdeler.

(1) Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (1998) page 354

(2) Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death (1997) page 398

(3) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) pages 106-107

(4) Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (1998) page 354

(5) Louis R. Eltscher, Traitors or Patriots: A Story of the German Anti-Nazi Resistance (2014) page 298

(6) A. Ryder, Twentieth Century Germany: From Bismarck to Brandt (1973) page 425

(7) Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death (1997) page 157

(8) Anton Gill, An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler (1994) page 161

(9) Hans Mommsen, Alternatives to Hitler (2003) page 260

(10) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) page 192

(11) Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death (1997) page 81

(12) Hans Mommsen, Alternatives to Hitler (2003) page 189

(13) Hans Mommsen, Alternatives to Hitler (2003) page 188

(14) Patricia Meehan, The Unnecessary War: Whitehall and the German Resistance to Hitler (1992) page 337

(15) Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death (1997) page 209

(16) Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death (1997) page 164

(17) Elfriede Nebgen, Jakob Kaiser (1967) page 184

(18) Roger Manvell, The July Plot: The Attempt in 1944 on Hitler's Life and the Men Behind It (1964) page 77

(19) Gerhard Ritter, German Resistance: Carl Goerdeler's Struggle Against Tyranny (1984) pages 368-371

(20) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) pages 363-364

(21) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) page 400

(22) Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death (1997) page 258

(23) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) page 401

(24) Louis R. Eltscher, Traitors or Patriots: A Story of the German Anti-Nazi Resistance (2014) page 313

(25) Hans Gisevius, interviewed by Peter Hoffmann (8th September, 1972)

(26) Ian Kershaw, Luck of the Devil: The Story of Operation Valkyrie (2009) page 46

(27) Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death (1997) page 272

(28) William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1964) page 1272

(29) Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1962) page 750

(30) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) page 523

(31) Heinrich Himmler, speech (3rd August 1944)

(32) Peter Hoffmann, The History of German Resistance (1977) page 520

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Trade Unions in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

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The Adam von Trott Memorial Appeal

Imshausen, family home of Adam von Trott

Who was Adam von Trott?

Adam von Trott zu Solz, a central figure in the conspiracy to kill Hitler, was put to death by the Nazi regime on 26 August 1944. Born in Potsdam in 1909, he trained as a lawyer in Germany and studied at Oxford in 1929 and 1931-33. He travelled in Europe, the United States and China, and made many international contacts.

He loved his country, but abhorred the Nazis. With other opponents of the regime he made plans for a post-war Europe with federal structures and radical social reform, and risked his life in seeking the help of the Allied governments. His vision of European co-operation continues to have resonance today.

Why Mansfield College?

At the age of 20 Adam von Trott was invited to a conference of the Student Christian Movement in Liverpool, where he was offered a place at Oxford by Dr Selbie, Principal of Mansfield College. It was then a theological college in the nonconformist tradition with many links to Germany that helped it to mediate German theological ideas. Now it is a full college of Oxford University, offering courses in many subjects.

During his term at Mansfield College (January to March 1929), Adam von Trott studied theology and politics he wrote that this experience helped him to learn ‘what democracy means’. Later, as a Rhodes Scholar, he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College (October 1931 to July 1933).

The Appeal

The Adam von Trott Memorial Appeal, which was launched in 2004, organises lectures and other events on themes relevant to the life and ideas of Adam von Trott, and it supports the Adam von Trott Scholarship at Mansfield College. For more information on the Appeal, including its Patrons and Officers of its Committee view the leaflet here

Click here for a tribute to Elaine Kaye, one of the founders of the Appeal.

Lectures

Annual Lectures have been given at Mansfield College by distinguished scholars: Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Professor David Marquand (former Principal of Mansfield College), Dr Benigna von Krusenstjern (author of a biography of Adam von Trott), Professor Sir Ian Kershaw, Professor Michael Freeden, Professor Philippe Sands, Professor Martin Conway, Professor Margaret MacMillan, Dr Peter Ammon (German Ambassador to the United Kingdom) and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch.

Lectures have been given at the German Embassy in London by the Revd Dr Keith Clements (former General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches) and Dr David Owen (Lord Owen, former Foreign Secretary), and in Oxford by the Revd Dr Donald Norwood (Secretary of the Mansfield College Association). The speakers at a seminar in Oxford on ‘Britain and Germany in Europe’ included David Hannay (Lord Hannay, former British Ambassador to the EU & the UN).

Click here for reports of these events.

The next Adam von Trott Memorial Lecture will be given by Thomas Oppermann (Vice-President of the German Bundestag) at 5 pm on Friday 16 November 2018 at Mansfield College. His theme will be ‘Germany, Britain, and Europe: What Prospects?’

Scholars

The Adam von Trott Memorial Fund contributes to the cost of a Scholarship that gives young Germans the opportunity to study for a Master’s degree in Politics at Mansfield College for two years. Click here to find out more about the recent Scholars.

The German Foreign provides generous financial support for the Scholarship. Click here for photos of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by representatives of the German Embassy with members of the Adam von Trott Committee at Mansfield College.

The application process for Adam von Trott Scholars is now open. To find out more, please click here.

Conference Poster

How to support us

Please help us by supporting the Appeal – any amount, big or small, will be welcome – click here to download a donation form and make a gift.


Clarita von Trott: Activist whose husband was executed for plotting to assassinate Hitler

With the passing of Clarita von Trott zu Solz, the wife of Adam von Trott, the last living link with the German Resistance and the July Plot has gone. Clarita knew little of the preparations to kill Hitler – Adam kept her in the dark to protect her. But she knew from the start of their marriage that he was a member of the Resistance and heavily involved in what came to be called the Kreisau Circle. She was aware of the risks when he moved around wartime Europe, officially on Foreign Office missions for the third Reich, but actually attempting to negotiate with the Allies.

The assassination plot failed on 20 July 1944 and Adam was arrested five days later. On 15 August Clarita went to the People's Court, presided over by the appalling Judge Freisler, to try to reassure him by her presence (she already knew that, as part of Hitler's revenge on the conspirators and their families, their two young daughters, Verena and Clarita, aged two and a half and seven months, had been taken away by the Gestapo to an unknown destination, where their names would be changed). In the courtroom Clarita's identity was discovered and she was ejected she was not allowed to visit Adam in his cell and soon she herself was imprisoned.

Adam was executed on 26 August. Clarita was held in prison for two months, then after her release set about finding her children. Hitler's imposition of sippenhaft – punishment of the families of wrong-doers – seems to have been a step too far and in early 1945 Clarita was reunited with her unharmed daughters. But they had no home their Berlin flat had been destroyed in an Allied bombing raid.

After the war von Trott formed a strong bond with the wives of other members of the Resistance and they made considerable efforts to reveal exactly what the opposition to Hitler had done. There was a great deal of misinformation about Adam, and she eventually wrote a carefully researched and moving memoir of him which was published in 1994. She trained as a doctor, graduating in 1955. She specialised in psychiatry and neurology and trained in psychoanalysis she practised in Berlin until she was 80.

Clarita Tiefenbacher was the eldest of four children. Her father was a successful Hamburg lawyer and the family lived in Reinbek, then a semi-rural outpost. Clarita did her Abitur, trained as a secretary, did farm work and travelled abroad. She met Adam in 1935, then later at the home of Peter and Christabel Bielenberg – Peter, like Adam, was training to be a lawyer.

They fell in love five years later. Adam wrote to his mother, "I believe I can make her happy, in so far as it is at all possible these days . Hers is a humble yet brave, refined and serene nature she understands what is most important to me in life and will help me to fight for it." The ceremony was in Reinbek on 8 June 1940 Clarita was eight years younger than her husband. They lived in Berlin, drove around in a ridiculously small Fiat Toppolino and inhabited a largish flat in Rheinbabenallee in Dahlem, although after the serious bombing raids began Clarita often took the children to Adam's ancestral home, Imshausen, in Hessen. Their daughter Verena was born in 1942 and Clarita a year later.

They were soon involved in the anti-Hitler groups, including the Kreisau Circle, which made up the scattered and uncoordinated Resistance. Adam was often away, supposedly on German Foreign Office business, but frequently passing on messages encouraging the Allies to state their willingness to negotiate with a new German government in the event of Hitler's removal.

The von Trotts' telephone was tapped from early on. Adam sometimes brought home incriminating documents, so Clarita never went to bed without having a box of matches ready to burn the papers and flush the ashes down the lavatory. When she was at Imshausen, Adam would write to her using a simple but often rather confusing code to impart information.

Adam never mentioned Stauffenberg by name, but Clarita knew he had met someone he admired intensely and who offered hope of effective action against Hitler. Unfortunately Stauffenberg's driver conscientiously recorded his seven visits to Adam and this eventually led to Adam's arrest.

Clarita saw her husband for the last time in June 1944 at Imshausen. They walked in the woods and on a mountain close by and played with their children. Letters from Adam grew more infrequent in the following month she became desperate to speak to him and rang him in Berlin on the morning of the attempt on Hitler's life. After the coup failed he rang her every day while he waited for the inevitable knock on the door

Before he died Adam wrote a moving last letter to Clarita, which she did not receive until 1945. "Before all else, forgive me for the deep sorrow I had to cause you. Rest assured that in my thoughts I remain with you and I die in profound trust and faith… There would be so much to write still, but there is no time. May God keep you. I know that you will not let yourself be defeated and that you will struggle through to a life where I shall be in spirit standing by your side even if you seem to be all alone. I pray for strength for you – and please do the same for me… God bless you and the little ones, in steadfast love, your Adam."

Clarita dealt with her grief by honouring Adam's memory and by confronting the often ambiguous feelings some of her countrymen had about the July Plot. As recently as 2004 she said it had been important for her to clear her husband's name from the charge of "betraying his country". She also felt Adam had been much misunderstood in England and that his character had been distorted in Christopher Sykes' 1969 biography, Troubled Loyalty. More recently she was disappointed that an authoritative new book about him by the German historian Benigna von Krusenstjern had not yet found an English publisher.

Clarita joined with Adam's family in creating a memorial to him at the highest point in the Trottenwald, the wood surrounding the family's home. It reads: "Adam von Trott zu Solz. Executed with his friends in the struggle against the despoiler of our homeland. Pray for him. Heed their example." Her ashes now lie close to this cross.

Clarita Tiefenbacher, psychiatrist and anti-Nazi activist: born Hamburg 19 September 1917 married 1940 Adam von Trott zu Solz (died 1944 two daughters) died 28 March 2013.


History

The family first appeared in a document in 1252 with the knights Hermann and Berthold Trott , lords of Lispenhausen Castle and landlords in Solz . Hermann was also mentioned in 1261 as a Burgmann at the Reichsburg Boyneburg and with him the direct line of ancestors begins .

Two Burglehen to Rotenburg an der Fulda (the castle Trott local and Castle Rodenberg ) and two castle houses for Wildeck, including the 1337 acquired as fuldisches feudal castle Wildeck , were part of the early family ownership. 1332 Berthold (called "Bodo", knight and Burgmann zu Rotenburg) is mentioned as a feudal bearer of the Hersfeld Abbey in Solz, where there were, however, other feudal recipients Solz only came into the sole fiefdom of the Trotten in 1506. Even the Lispenhausener possession was more free goods divided instead of the dialed today Altenburg Lispenhausen the trotting built in the late middle ages, the still existing Wasserburg Lispenhausen . In Treffurt , the family owned the Trott'sche Hof . Around 1500 the Trotten then acquired the Imshausen estate , which is located next to Solz , and is surrounded by the Trotten forest. In 1527, the Treffurter Trott acquired Schwarzenhasel Castle (which remained in the family's possession until 1823 - along with the now ruinous Rodenberg Castle). The family also owned property in Niederellenbach and Ersrode , along with other goods, farms and slopes .

In 1640 Werner von Trott exchanged the Lispenhausen estate for the Iba suburb the Lispenhausen tribe, still resident on a residual estate, died out in 1707. The Solz tribe was divided into the lines Solz / Imshausen, Treffurt / Schwarzenhasel and the Brandenburg line, which, beginning with Adam von Trott, sat on Badingen from 1537 and from 1542 on the Himmelpfort monastery , from which it formed the Badingen and Himmelpfort rulership . After the line there died out in 1727, this was drawn in as a settled fief by the Brandenburg Elector .

On February 28, 1586, an imperial coats of arms association with the noble family von Trotha from the Saalkreis took place in Prague . However, the families are not of the same tribe and therefore no longer use the combined coat of arms.

Until 1616, the Trott estates in Hesse were mostly owned by all lines of the family, after which they were divided into the Solz and Imshausen branches, and separate branches also formed in Treffurt and Schwarzenhasel. In 1692 part of the Trott property in Solz and Imshausen fell through inheritance to the imperial barons von Verschuer , who still live in their own manor house in Solz. In the first half of the 18th century, the two families carried out a lawsuit for decades before the Imperial Court of Justice for the Imshausen property, which ended in a settlement, whereby the fief remained with the Trott, but the Verschuer received compensation. In 1901 the Verschuer sold their share of the Trottenwald.

The younger Imshausen branch was given the status of imperial baron on May 3, 1778, and the Solz branch was given the status of baron on November 5, 1812, although it did not make use of it. The line to Schwarzenhasel expired in 1813 in the male line with Carl Ludwig von Trott zu Schwarzenhasel. The Schwarzenhasel estate fell to Trott zu Solz, who owned it until 1823.


Friedrich Adam Von Trott Zu Solz

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About Friedrich Adam von Trott zu Solz

Adam von Trott zu Solz (9 August 1909 – 26 August 1944) was a German lawyer and diplomat who was involved in the conservative opposition to the Nazi regime, and who played a central part in the 20 July Plot. He was supposed to be appointed Secretary of State in the Foreign Office and lead negotiator with the western allies if the plot had succeeded.

Born in Potsdam, Germany, into the noble Protestant Hessian Trott zu Solz family, he was the fifth child of the Prussian Culture Minister August von Trott zu Solz and Emilie Eleonore (nພ von Schweinitz). Adam von Trott zu Solz went to the UK in 1931 on a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Mansfield College, Oxford where he became a close friend of the Hon. David Astor son of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor. Following his studies at Oxford, he spent six months in the United States. He was a great-great-great grandson of John Jay, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. In 1937 Trott was posted to China.

He took advantage of his travels to try to raise support outside Germany for the internal resistance against the Nazis. In 1939, he lobbied Lord Lothian and Lord Halifax to pressure the British government to abandon its policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler, visiting London three times. He also visited Washington, D.C., in October of that year in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain American support.

Friends warned Trott not to return to Germany but his conviction that he had to do something to stop the madness of Hitler and his henchmen led him to return. Once there, in 1940 Trott joined the Nazi Party in order to access party information and monitor its planning. At the same time, he served as a foreign policy advisor to the clandestine group of intellectuals planning the overthrow of the Nazi regime known as the Kreisau Circle.

However, during the war, Trott helped Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose in setting up the Special Bureau for India. Bose had escaped to Germany at the onset of the war, and later raised the Indische Legion in the country.

Trott was one of the leaders of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg's plot of 20 July 1944 to assassinate Hitler. He was arrested within days, placed on trial and found guilty. Sentenced to death on 15 August 1944 by the Volksgerichtshof, he was hanged in Berlin's Plötzensee Prison on 26 August.

Trott is one of five Germans who are commemorated on Balliol College's World War II memorial stone. His name is also recorded among the Rhodes Scholar war dead in the Rotunda of Rhodes House, Oxford.

Adam von Trott was survived by his wife, who was jailed for some months, and two daughters, aged 2 and 4, who were taken from their grandmother's house and given to Nazi Party families for adoption. Their mother recovered them in 1945. One daughter later became a teacher at the John F Kennedy Deutsche-Amerikanische Gemeinschaftschule in Zehlendorf, Berlin. The JFK School was created to foster understanding and similarities in both Germans and Americans growing up in the 1960s.

"I am also a Christian, as are those who are with me. We have prayed before the crucifix and have agreed that since we are Christians, we cannot violate the allegiance we owe God. We must therefore break our word given to him who has broken so many agreements and still is doing it. If only you knew what I know Goldmann! There is no other way! Since we are Germans and Christians we must act, and if not soon, then it will be too late. Think it over till tonight." (Adam von Trott zu Solz speaking in an attempt to recruit Lieutenant Gereon Goldmann, a Wehrmacht medic and former Roman Catholic seminarian. Lt. Goldmann had balked at violating the soldier's oath and had questioned the morality of assassinating Adolf Hitler. However, Goldmann overcame his qualms and joined the 20 July Plot as a carrier of dispatches).

Adam von Trott was the author of:

Hegels Staatsphilosophie und das internationale Recht Diss. Göttingen (V&R), 1932

Über Friedrich Adam von Trott zu Solz (Deutsch)

  • Trott wurde am 25.juli verhaftet und nach endlosen Verhören, auch unter Anvendung der Folter, am 15. August vom "Volksgerichtshof" zum Tode veruteilt. Nach elftägiger Haft in volliger Isolation wurde Adam von Trott zu Solz am 26. August 1944 in geheimen in Berlin-Plötzensee hingerichtet. Er war gerade 35 Jahre alt.

Adam von Trott zu Solz (9 August 1909 – 26 August 1944) was a German lawyer and diplomat who was involved in the conservative opposition to the Nazi regime, and who played a central part in the 20 July Plot. He was supposed to be appointed Secretary of State in the Foreign Office and lead negotiator with the western allies if the plot had succeeded.

Born in Potsdam, Germany, into the noble Protestant Hessian Trott zu Solz family, he was the fifth child of the Prussian Culture Minister August von Trott zu Solz and Emilie Eleonore (nພ von Schweinitz). Adam von Trott zu Solz went to the UK in 1931 on a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Mansfield College, Oxford where he became a close friend of the Hon. David Astor son of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor. Following his studies at Oxford, he spent six months in the United States. He was a great-great-great grandson of John Jay, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. In 1937 Trott was posted to China.

He took advantage of his travels to try to raise support outside Germany for the internal resistance against the Nazis. In 1939, he lobbied Lord Lothian and Lord Halifax to pressure the British government to abandon its policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler, visiting London three times. He also visited Washington, D.C., in October of that year in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain American support.

Friends warned Trott not to return to Germany but his conviction that he had to do something to stop the madness of Hitler and his henchmen led him to return. Once there, in 1940 Trott joined the Nazi Party in order to access party information and monitor its planning. At the same time, he served as a foreign policy advisor to the clandestine group of intellectuals planning the overthrow of the Nazi regime known as the Kreisau Circle.

However, during the war, Trott helped Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose in setting up the Special Bureau for India. Bose had escaped to Germany at the onset of the war, and later raised the Indische Legion in the country.

Trott was one of the leaders of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg's plot of 20 July 1944 to assassinate Hitler. He was arrested within days, placed on trial and found guilty. Sentenced to death on 15 August 1944 by the Volksgerichtshof, he was hanged in Berlin's Plötzensee Prison on 26 August.

Trott is one of five Germans who are commemorated on Balliol College's World War II memorial stone. His name is also recorded among the Rhodes Scholar war dead in the Rotunda of Rhodes House, Oxford.

Adam von Trott was survived by his wife, who was jailed for some months, and two daughters, aged 2 and 4, who were taken from their grandmother's house and given to Nazi Party families for adoption. Their mother recovered them in 1945. One daughter later became a teacher at the John F Kennedy Deutsche-Amerikanische Gemeinschaftschule in Zehlendorf, Berlin. The JFK School was created to foster understanding and similarities in both Germans and Americans growing up in the 1960s.

"I am also a Christian, as are those who are with me. We have prayed before the crucifix and have agreed that since we are Christians, we cannot violate the allegiance we owe God. We must therefore break our word given to him who has broken so many agreements and still is doing it. If only you knew what I know Goldmann! There is no other way! Since we are Germans and Christians we must act, and if not soon, then it will be too late. Think it over till tonight." (Adam von Trott zu Solz speaking in an attempt to recruit Lieutenant Gereon Goldmann, a Wehrmacht medic and former Roman Catholic seminarian. Lt. Goldmann had balked at violating the soldier's oath and had questioned the morality of assassinating Adolf Hitler. However, Goldmann overcame his qualms and joined the 20 July Plot as a carrier of dispatches).

Adam von Trott was the author of:

Hegels Staatsphilosophie und das internationale Recht Diss. Göttingen (V&R), 1932


Adam von Trott was born into an aristocratic Protestant Hessian family in Potsdam, Germany. He was the fifth child of the Prussian Culture Minister August von Trott zu Solz and Emilie Eleonore (née von Schweinitz). Adam von Trott zu Solz spent Hilary Term of 1929 in Oxford studying theology at Mansfield College, Oxford, and returned to the UK in 1931 on a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Balliol College, Oxford where he became a close friend of David Astor and an acquaintance of the eminent philosopher R. G. Collingwood. [1] Following his studies at Oxford, he spent six months in the United States. He was a great-great-great grandson of John Jay, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the first Chief Justice.

Travels

In 1937, Trott was posted to China. He took advantage of his travels to try to raise support outside Germany for the internal resistance against the Nazis. In 1939, he lobbied Lord Lothian and Lord Halifax to pressure the British government to abandon its policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler, visiting London three times. He also visited Washington, D.C. in October of that year in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain American support.

Foreign office

Friends warned Trott not to return to Germany but his conviction that he had to do something to stop the madness of Hitler and his henchmen led him to return. Once there, in 1940 Trott joined the Nazi Party in order to access party information and monitor its planning. At the same time, he served as a foreign policy advisor to the clandestine group of intellectuals planning the overthrow of the Nazi regime known as the Kreisau Circle.

In late spring 1941, Wilhelm Keppler, under-Secretary of State at the German Foreign Office, was appointed director of Special Bureau for India (Sonderreferat Indien [2] [3] ) created in the Information Ministry to aid, [2] and liaison with, [3] Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose, former president of the Indian National Congress, who had arrived in Berlin in early April 1941. [4] The day-to-day work with Bose became the responsibility of Trott. [3] Trott used the cover of the Special Bureau for his anti-Nazi activities, [5] [3] traveling to Scandinavia, Switzerland, and Turkey, and in addition, all of Nazi-occupied Europe to seek out German military officers opposing Nazism. [6] Bose and Trott, however, did not become close, [7] and Bose most likely did not know about Trott's anti-Nazi work. [6] According to historian Leonard A. Gordon, there were also tensions between Trott and Bose's wife or companion, Emilie Schenkl, each disliking the other intensely. [6]

20 July 1944 plot

Trott was one of the leaders of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg's plot of 20 July 1944 to assassinate Hitler. He was arrested within days, placed on trial and found guilty. Sentenced to death on 15 August 1944 by the Volksgerichtshof, he was hanged in Berlin's Plötzensee Prison on 26 August.


Item No. 5. The Adam von Trott letters

Adam von Trott zu Solz (1909-1944) was a German diplomat from the Hessian nobility who played a prominent role in the German resistance against the Nazi regime. After studying at Balliol College, Oxford in the early 1930s, he returned to Berlin where he became re-acquainted with the group responsible for publishing Neue Blätter für den Sozialismus, and it was here, in 1933, that he met JP Mayer, who had been a regular contributor to the magazine. Jacob-Peter Mayer (1903-1992), best known today for his work on Tocqueville, had become known among socialist circles in Berlin for his discovery of some unpublished writings of the young Marx. Through Trott, Mayer was introduced to leading English socialists whom Trott had befriended during his time in England, including Richard Crossman and Stafford Cripps. These contacts were to prove useful when Mayer fled the Nazis in 1936 to settle in England. Trott and Mayer’s friendship ended in acrimonious disagreement during a meeting at the home of RH Tawney in 1939. Trott was convinced that members of the SS would soon rise up against Hitler, but Mayer dismissed the idea as absurd. Trott went on to became a leader of the foiled July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944. He was hanged in Berlin’s Plötzensee Prison on 26 August that year.

Among the papers of JP Mayer , which the Institute acquired in 2018, were these two letters from Trott to Mayer, both dated 1936. In the first, Trott provides some comments on a paper Mayer had written about Hobbes. The second letter, in which Trott speaks of “your resentment against my general behaviour in recent years”, already suggests signs of a fraying friendship.


Adam von Trott (Field Marshal)

Adam von Trott (* in the Landgraviate of Hesse † 1564 also von Trotte and von Trotha ) was Field Marshal General of the Holy Roman Empire and Oberhofmarschall of the Elector of Brandenburg . He founded the Brandenburg branch of the Hessian noble family Trott zu Solz and owned the rulership of Badingen and Himmelpfort .

Adam von Trott was born in the Landgraviate of Hesse as a scion of the Trott zu Solz family. His father Friedrich von Trott was the heir to Solz , Field Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire in Hungary and Court Marshal of the Landgrave of Hesse. A close relative of Adam von Trott, perhaps even his sister, was Eva von Trott , a mistress of Duke Heinrich II of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel .

From at least 1536 to 1542 Adam von Trott served as court marshal to Elector Joachim II Hector of Brandenburg . Together with Eustachius von Schlieben , Lampert Distelmeyer and Matthias von Saldern he was one of the elector's closest confidants. Through his services he managed to build a great fortune. In Badingen , which he had owned since 1537, Adam von Trott built a castle that was expensive for the time.

Adam von Trott was given in 1542 by Elector Joachim II. The basis of merit and after he had lent him money, the secularised monastery Zehdenick as a pledge possession for life and became the local office captain ordered. In 1551 the elector reclaimed the former monastery in order to use it for his court keeping and hunting. To compensate, Adam von Trott received the secularized Himmelpfort monastery further north , also as a lien for life and under his appointment as the local governor.

As the envoy of Elector Joachim II, Adam von Trott traveled to the court of the Roman-German Emperor and to the Diet . In 1552 he was the Brandenburg envoy when the Passau Treaty was signed . In 1557, the designated Emperor Ferdinand I appointed Adam von Trott Field Marshal General to fight the Turks in Hungary ( Turkish Wars ). However, since the imperial estates did not approve the necessary funds, the campaign was broken off. Adam von Trott then returned to the service of Elector Joachim II and from then on served him as Oberhofmarschall and electoral councilor. In 1562 he accompanied the elector to Frankfurt am Main for the election of Maximilian II as emperor-designate.

As early as 1557, Elector Joachim II had converted Adam von Trott's lien in the former Himmelpfort monastery into a hereditary fiefdom in the male line. This happened both because of Trott's merits and after he had lent further money to the elector. The wife of Adam von Trotts was Margaretha von Fronhöffern. With her he had three sons. The eldest son was named Adam († 1587) like his father and was therefore also called the younger . He continued the Brandenburg line of those from Trott zu Solz and also served the Elector of Brandenburg as court marshal. Adam von Trott the Elder died in 1564. His possessions remained in the family's possession as the rule of Badingen and Himmelpfort until the male line died out in 1727.


Age, Height & Measurements

Adam von Trott zu Solz has been died on 35 years (age at death). Adam born under the Leo horoscope as Adam's birth date is August 9. Adam von Trott zu Solz height 6 Feet 0 Inches (Approx) & weight 117 lbs (53.0 kg) (Approx.). Right now we don't know about body measurements. We will update in this article.

Height7 Feet 0 Inches (Approx)
Weight118 lbs (53.5 kg) (Approx)
Body Measurements
Eye ColorBlue
Hair ColorDark Brown
Dress SizeXL
Shoe Size6.5 (US), 5.5 (UK), 39.5 (EU), 25 (CM)

Ilse von Trott zu Solz

  • Married to Wichmann von Hake, , born in 1516, deceased 14 October 1585 - Berge aged 69 years old (Parents : Ludwig von Hake, Herr auf Berge und Groß Machnow †ca 1536 & Anna von Krummensee) with
    • Anna von HakeMarried toReimar von Winterfeld with

    • Wichmann von Winterfeld, Herr zu Neustadt a. d. Dosse /1598-1632 Married 14 September 1603 toElisabeth Christine von Kanitz 1589-1620 with :
    • Elisabeth von Winterfeld
    • Reimar Friedrich von Winterfeld, Herr auf Fischhausen Ritschen und Kehrberg 1605-1651