Letters to Freya, 1939-1945

Helmuth James Von Moltke, Author, Helmuth J. Von Moltke, Author Alfred A. Knopf $24.95 (441p) ISBN 978-0-394-57923-8
In his WW II position as legal adviser to the German high command, Count von Moltke daringly fought for the lives of Soviet POWs, prevented the killing of hostages and helped many Jews escape Germany. He was also a key organizer of the secret Kreisau Circle, a group dedicated to planning the new German state that would arise after the expected fall of Hitler. These chatty letters to his wife (plus one to a British friend discussing the German Resistance in general terms) constitute a day-by-day account of the count's official work at military headquarters in Berlin, mixed with comments on his visits to various European capitals, expressions of affection toward his family, and the deepening of his Christian faith. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 for his secret activities, his continuing letters to his wife were smuggled out by the prison chaplain. He was tried for high treason and hanged in 1945. His letters confirm the exalted character of this authentic hero and provide vivid word pictures of conditions in wartime Germany; however, readers expecting significant revelations about von Moltke's Resistance activities will be disappointed. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
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