A Noble Combat: The Letters of Shiela Grant Duff and Adam Von Trott Zu Solz 1932-1939

Klemperer Von, Author, Klemens Von Klemperer, Editor, Shiela Grant Duff, Author Oxford University Press, USA $115 (384p) ISBN 978-0-19-822908-7
Adam von Trott, 24, a German Rhodes scholar, and Shiela Duff, 18, intellectually precocious daughter of the British aristocracy, met at Oxford in 1931, became platonic comrades and shared a dream of a new European social and political order that would have as its centerpiece the friendship between their two countries. As these intriguing letters gradually reveal, the spread of Nazism slowly poisoned and finally destroyed the dream and the friendship. In 1936 Duff covered the Sudetenland takeover as an Observer correspondent, and reacted with such disgust that it became difficult for her to continue regarding ""old Trott'' as an individual rather than as a citizen in Hitler's realm. Six days before the outbreak of World War II they parted in anger, largely because Duff could not abide his continuing loyaltynot to the new state but to his beloved Germany. After the war it was revealed that he had been an active member of the opposition, condemned to death for his part in the 1944 assassination attempt against Hitler. These are the letters of two high-minded members of the upper class, separatedas Trott remarks near the end``by a torrent of mixed passions, fears, and hate.'' Klemperer is a history professor at Smith College. Illustrations. (April)
Reviewed on: 05/19/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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