Klemens von Klemperer's scholarly and detailed study uncovers the beliefs and activities of numerous individuals who fought against Nazism within Germany, and traces their many efforts to forge alliances with Hitler's opponents outside the Third Reich.
Measured by conventional standards of diplomacy, the foreign ventures of the German Resistance ended in failure. The Allied agencies, notably the British Foreign Office and the US State Department, were ill prepared to deal with the unorthodox approaches of the Widerstand. Ultimately, the Allies' policy of 'absolute silence', the Grand Alliance with the Soviet Union, and the demand for 'unconditional surrender' pushed the war to its final denouement, disregarding the German Resistance.
However, Professor von Klemperer shows that many of the principles and strategies of the Widerstand had distinct moral and historical consequences when considered in their context. This context includes changes in the nature of international diplomacy which became evident in the resisters' contacts with the churches, the international intelligence community, and the Resistance movements outside Germany. All of these turned out to be attuned to the ultimate concerns of the German Resistance: overcoming the nation-state, the movement towards a more united Europe, and human rights. The foreign policy of the German Resistance thus helped prepare the agenda for international relations in the post-war world.
'a superbly-researched study ... It is the product of prodigious work in the archives of many nations, and of interviews with the families and contacts of the main protagonists. It is a tribute to the author's professionalism that he never waivers from his intention to explain what happened and not what should have happened.'
Zara Steiner, Financial Times
'a massive work by a distinguished historian that covers the whole spectrum of opposition ... displays all the classic virtues of the professional scholar; striving for detachment and balance as well as empathy, scrupulously assessing alternative viewpoints, never pretending to a spurious certainty.'
Stephen Howe, New Statesman & Society
'careful study ... The author provides an excellent survey of the various individuals and groups seeking to represent the "other" Germany.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
'The history of failure of the German resistance in the second world war to get any help from outside Germany is here related lucidly and in tireless detail by Klemens von Klemperer.'
'Klemens von Klemperer has produced a superbly researched study of the attempts of the German resistance to find allies abroad before and rduring the Second World War. It is the product of prodigious work in the archives of many nations, and of interviews with the families and contacts of the main protagonists. It is a tribute to the author's professionalism that he never wavers from his intention to explain what happened and not what happened and not what
should have happened.'
Zara Steiner, Business Day, August 1992
'the book constitutes a major contribution to the study of the subject'
International Affairs, January 1993
'Klemens von Klemperer has earned our gratitude by bringing together in a single volume virtually all the evidence about the efforts made between 1938 and 1945 to remove Hitler and to shorten the war by negotiation ... the material has been handled with skill ... It will be an inestimable help to students of the subject to have between two covers so much of the information needed for making judgments.'
Michael Balfour, EHR, Jan '93
'a detailed, sympathetic, and meticulously documented chronicle of German resistance diplomacy'
Hans A. Schmitt, Emeritus, University of Virginia, The Journal of Military History, April 1993
'The strength of Klemperer's book lies in his masterful summary of the primary sources and secondary literature on the resistance contacts ... it will be an enduring reference work for historians of the resistance and because it presents the story of a potential way out of total war, it must play a vital part in the rethinking of Allied strategy.'
Katharine Sams, McGill University, The International History Review, XV:3:August 1993