The German Resistance to Hitler

P - Z

Petersen, Neal H., ed. From Hitler's Doorstep: The Wartime Intelligence Reports of Allen Dulles, 1942-1945. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1996.

Macartney, Intelligencer 8.1, believes that this compendium "will prove to be a boon to World War II historians." He suggests that it be read in conjunction with Heideking and Mauch, eds., American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History (1996). The reviewer for Virginia Quarterly Review 73.1 comments that "Petersen has carefully and careingly edited the radioteletype and telegraph messages to present a detailed picture of American intelligence gathering in its early days. Petersen also provides a most helpful introduction."

Powers, Thomas. "The Conspiracy That Failed." New York Review of Books, 9 Jan. 1997, 49-54.

In this excellent review essay, Powers weaves together comments on six books concerned with the "German resistance": Annan, Changing Enemies; Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death; Meehan, The Unnecessary War; Heideking and Mauch, eds., American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler; Hoffman, Stauffenberg; and Waller, The Unseen War in Europe.

Prittie, Terence C. Germans Against Hitler. London: Hutchinson, 1964. Boston: Little, Brown, 1964.

The reviewer for Time, 4 Sep. 1964, calls this a "well-balanced, unemotional book" that shows how individual Germans "never ceased to risk and lose their lives in opposition to Hitler's totalitarianism -- ineffectually perhaps, but heroically nonetheless..

Quibble, Anthony. "Alias George Wood." Studies in Intelligence 10, no. 1 (Winter 1966): 69-96.

This article tells the story of George Wood, the code name given to German Foreign Office official Fritz Kolbe, an anti-Nazi "walk-in" to the OSS Bern station in August 1943. Kolbe became one of Allen Dulles' great sources over the remainder of the war. See also, Delattre, A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich (2005).

Schaub, Harry Carl. "General Lahousen and the Abwehr Resistance." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 3 (Fall 2006): 538-558.

Reviews the career of Gen. Erwin von Lahousen, "one of Canaris's principal aides" and the head of "Abwehr Department II (Sabotage and Subversion)" until Summer 1943 when he took command of a regiment on the Eastern Front. Lahousen "was the first witness for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trial of Major War Criminals ... as the sole survivor of the members of the Abwehr resistance."

Ritter, Gerhard. Tr., R. T. Clark. The German Resistance: Carl Goerdeler's Struggle Against Tyranny. London: Allen and Unwin, 1958. New York: Praeger, 1958.

A "Translator's Note" acknowledges that "some omission" and compression has been undertaken from the German original of Ritter's book.

Sifton, Elisabeth, and Fritz Stern. No Ordinary Men: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, Resisters Against Hitler in Church and State. New York: Review Books, 2013.

Hoffman, FA 93.4 (Jul.-Aug. 2014), says this "book offers a fascinating portrait of the anti-Nazi underground." The authors "have done an important service."

Von Hassell, Agostino, and Sigrid MacRae. Alliance of Enemies: The Untold Story of the Secret American and German Collaboration to End World War II. New York: St. Martin's, 2006.

Boghardt, DIJ 16.2 (2007), sees Alliance of Enemies as "a well-researched, persuasively argued account of German opposition" to the Nazis. "The authors contend that active Allied support of the German Resistance through intelligence channels could have tipped the balance in favor of the conspirators." For Peake, Studies 51.3 (2007), this work provides a needed narrative on the "backgrounds, positions, motivations, conflicts or, in many cases, the[] executions" of German plotters against Hitler. Pinck, OSS Society Newsletter (Spring 2007), calls this "an outstanding book, buttressed by hard rock research, fairness, a felicitous style -- and facts, facts, facts."

Von Meding, Dorothee. Tr., Michael Balfour. Courageous Hearts: Women and the Anti-Hitler Plot of 1944. Oxford and Providence, RI: Berghahn, 1997.

According to Flynn, History 26.2, the author "presents the life stories of eleven women who were the wives or friends" of conspirators in the 20 July Hitler assassination plot. The book is based on the women's memories as recorded in television interviews.

Waller, John H.

1. "The Devil's Doctor: Felix Kersten." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 11, no. 3 (Fall 1998): 299-329.

Kersten was Himmler's "personal physical therapist and confidant... He was also in clandestine contact with the Finnish and Swedish governments and the Dutch underground..., as well as with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services in Sweden."

2. The Devil's Doctor: Felix Kersten and the Secret Plot to Turn Himmler against Hitler. New York: Wiley, 2002.

Jonkers, Intelligencer 13.1, calls this "an outrageous story that provides exceptional insight in the personalities at the top of the Nazi machine." For Troy, IJI&C 16.1, the author "has brought to the research and writing of this book the virtues and skills of an accomplished scholar and the insights of an experienced intelligencer."

Peake, Studies 46.4, comments that "[i]n telling this fascinating and little known story, John Waller provides a unique portrait of the weak, disgusting, evil Himmler, and his henchman, Walter Schellenberg, as they schemed to make peace with the West, turn the war against the Russians, and save something of the Third Reich."

3. "Reichsführer Himmler Pitches Washington." Studies in Intelligence 46, no. 1 (2002): 31-38.

An OSS officer in Stockholm, Abram Hewitt, was approached by Felix Kersten and Walter Schellenberg with a proposal from Himmler to oust Hitler and negotiate peace with the Western Allies. In the end, the Allies did not go forward with the idea.

Waller, John H. The Unseen War in Europe: Espionage and Conspiracy in the Second World War. New York: Random House, 1996.

For Mapother, WIR 15.5, the author has met the challenge of assembling the story of the German resisters from numerous sources in an engaging fashion. Despite its achievements, the book exhibits some proofreading problems and material has been included that bears little relevance to the main story. Nevertheless, this work is "a more sophisticated approach to history that students of the foreign news in this country would find stimulating."

Friedman, Parameters, Summer 1997, says that Waller's book is "an invaluable source of information about German resistance to Hitler and, in particular, the role of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris.... The book uses details heretofore unavailable to link new revelations to previously available data; Waller deserves credit for putting them together in a coherent text." Powers, NYRB, 9 Jan. 1997, calls the book "a good, although incomplete, introduction to the role of intelligence in the war."

According to Bates, NIPQ, Oct. 1997, this "particularly well-researched book ... reveals a great deal of new information about the terribly tangled web of intrigue on both sides -- Allied and Axis." The focus of the work is, however, on Canaris and the German resistance to Hitler. To Witmer, at, The Unseen War "is well-written, entertaining and informative, a good combination for a history book. It contains insights on the gathering and use of intelligence that could be helpful to modern policy-makers."

Winter, P.R.J.

1. "British Intelligence and the July Bomb Plot of 1944: A Reappraisal." War in History 13, no. 4 (Nov. 2006): 468-494.

2. "Churchill, British Intelligence, and the German Opposition Question." War in History 14, no. 1 (2007): 109-112.

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