Germany: Civilian Resistance to Hitler



We welcome Eugen Solf of Germany to WAIS. He recently visited California, enjoying first the unequalled hospitality of Eric Boehm and then coming to Stanford to meet me. His grandfather was a well-known Ambassador to Japan, and his family was active in the civilian resistance to Hitler, a subject which deserves more attention, since we hear mostly about the military attempts to overthrow or kill Hitler. Eugen provides bibliographical information on the subject.  He says:
 
Let me first come back to our discussions on the resistance during the Third Reich and literature covering that subject: Der lautlose Aufstand
, edited by Günther Weisenborn (2nd ed., Hamburg 1954) covers resistance in Germany from different angles: religious, civic, military and workers' resistance. My impression is that the erroneous notion of little resistance in Germany comes from the fact that there were so many small groups, possibly rather unorganised and with different backgrounds, that people perceived the resistance to be virtually non-existent. The book also features more than 10 pages in small print of bibliography  on the resistance (Literatur der Widerstandsbewegung) including periodicals of the time.
 
In Die deutsche Opposition gegen Hitler,by Hans Rothfels, (2nd (?) ed., Zürich 1994, 1st ed. 1969?), the author tries to group the resistance organizations according to their beliefs and backgrounds, much as the first one does.
 
L'autre Allemagne, by Henri Bernard, Belgium 1976.  I know little about this book, it fell into my hands going through my library - my father got it, I believe, from the author.
 
Conclusion: I think there is an awful lot of books around, the best source is the first book I mentioned, I will list here randomly some books published in the US and the UK
Vorstand der SPD, Weissbuch der deutschen Opposition, London 1946
Gabriel A Almond, Struggle for democracy in Germany, Chapel Hill 1949
Jones Duncan, The struggle for religious freedom in Germany, London 1938
W. Ebenstein, The Nazistate, New York 1943
C F Goerdeler, Politisches Testament, New York 1945
W Jansen, The Silent War, New York 1943
Evelyn Lend, The Underground Struggle in Germany, New York 1938
H J Graf v. Moltke, A German Resistance, London 1947
 
Here is the biography of Wilhelm Solf, my grandfather:
Eberhard von Vietsch, Wilhelm Solf, Botschafter zwischen den Zeiten, Tübingen 1961

RH: It is obvious that Eugen Solf can make a valuable contribution to our discussions.  We welcome him to WAISdom.


Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: February 28, 2005