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Adam von Trott

The annual anniversary of the July 1944 plot against Adolf Hitler is surprisingly uncelebrated in modern democratic Germany. Historian Joachim Fest recalls Adam von Trott, one of the leaders of the plot, and asks whether it was possible to be both a German patriot and an opponent of Hitler

By Joachim Fest   July 1998

History is a fickle mistress and follows curious rules. She has a predilection for questions whose answers always leave something unexplained. She can be seduced by high drama, by splendour and mischief, by the rise and fall of powers and people. When Voltaire was asked why he had chosen to write about Charles XII, he replied that the king had been great, mysterious and mad; that was the stuff of history. On the other hand, history feels contempt for the unfortunate losers, for the causa victa of which Cato was so fond, rather than the causa victrix. History does not…

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