German Resistance against Hitler: The Search for Allies Abroad, 1938-1945

By Klemens Von Klemperer | Go to book overview

prophecies. In a way they were all preparations for another world; they were prayers of sorts. Ultimately he was left facing and coming to terms with his own God, and, alas, he learned in the hour of reckoning the bitter lesson that God was not, as he had always believed, the God of justice and love. Why, he now had to ask, does God abandon those who follow his commandments and let those who violate them have their way? 544 We have finally to take leave of Goerdeler in his last moments, having transcended the political realm that had all along given him his sense of mission, in the privacy of his search for a charitable God.

The protracted agony of Goerdeler accentuates the plight of the men of the German Resistance. They were all as much strangers in their own country as they were rebuffed abroad. As political men they all, beyond doubt, failed. They could not engage the 'greater world' in their struggle to overthrow Nazism, and the plot of 20 July failed. But the ethical, if not religious, motivation of the Resistance deserves all the more to be remembered. 545

Goerdeler's invocations of God may seem at first sight all too sentimental, if not shrill and hysterical. But, again, we must remember the depth of his agony and therefore acknowledge the authenticity of his emotions. And we might want to acknowledge that they serve as an unmistakable reminder of the ethical and indeed religious dimension of resistance. Transcending his own sufferings Goerdeler, then, gave meaning to what in German is aptly called the Galgenfrist546 granted him in the aftermath of 20 July.


CHAPTER 6
1.
For this 'odd brotherly game of bluff and overture' between the intelligence chiefs see also Garry Wills, "'The CIA from Beginning to End'", New York Review, 22 Jan. 1976, 24-5.
2.
For my understanding of Sir Stewart Menzies's position I am indebted to Sir Francis Harry Hinsley (interview 15 Dec. 1977); see also Richard Deacon, A History of the British Secret Service ( London, 1969), 281.
3.
According to Anthony Cave Brown 'it is evident that Canaris and Donovan did meet' during the war; Anthony Cave Brown, Wild Bill Donovan: The Last Hero ( New York, 1982), 129. He jumps to this conclusion from a letter of 15 Nov. 1946 from Mrs Erika Canaris, widow of the Admiral, to Donovan, thanking him for helping her to re-establish herself after the war in Berlin and otherwise outlining her husband's career and attitudes; but the letter in no way so much as alludes to a wartime meeting between the two men; ibid. 129, 759. Heinz Höhne, Canaris. Patriot im Zwielicht ( Munich, 1976), 463 goes as far as to maintain that the three intelligence chiefs met in the summer of 1943 in Santander, Spain. His source is a letter of highly questionable authenticity by a F. Justus von Einem to Dr Josef Müller of 29 Dec. 1967; Einem, addressing Müller as 'Kamerad "O"' [Ochsensepp?], claimed to have been present at the 'negotiations for a separate peace' in Santander, referring to them as 'my most exciting experience as collaborator with C.'; I owe a copy of the letter to Mr Heinz Höhne. Dr Josef Müller, upon my enquiry, was already a very sick man; in his letter to me of 28 July 1977 he did not refer to Einem at all, stated his regret at not being able to lay hands on the letter in question and added his doubts concerning the date of the alleged Santander meeting since at that time Canaris was already too much under suspicion from his rivals in the RSHA for him to take such extraordinary chances. In my interview with Dr Müller of 17 Feb. 1978 he showed no sign of recognition of von Einem's name, and in a follow-up letter to me dated 20 Feb. 1978 an assistant of Dr Müller asked me to produce the evidence on the Santander meeting

-396-

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German Resistance against Hitler: The Search for Allies Abroad, 1938-1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • List of Illustrations xiv
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Introduction 13
  • I - Resistance and Exile 19
  • CHAPTER 1 65
  • 2 - Thinking for the British Empire? 82
  • CHAPTER 2 134
  • 3 - 'Make a Revolution in Germany for the German People'? 154
  • CHAPTER 3 198
  • 4 - Widerstand and the Forging of the Grand Alliance 217
  • CHAPTER 4 250
  • 5 - Ecumenical Dialogue or 'the War Behind the War' 264
  • CHAPTER 5 298
  • 6 - The Vision and the Mirage 315
  • CHAPTER 6 396
  • Conclusion 432
  • Conclusion 440
  • Bibliography 442
  • Index 473
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