Adam von Trott zu Solz

About the person

Adam von Trott zu Solz

Adam von Trott zu Solz (1909-1944) was only 35 years old when he was executed in Berlin-Plötzensee on August 26, 1944 - just a few weeks after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler on July 20.

The state "has become arbitrary", he had already written to his father as a young law student in 1933. The spirit of resistance turned into active resistance: Trott persistently fought to overthrow the dictatorship. As a student in Göttingen, Berlin and Oxford, while traveling and as a lawyer in the Foreign Office, he built up a wide network of friends and like-minded people. Adam von Trott was "a genius of friendship", a contemporary witness later recounted. "He was determined to combine old and new, to turn left and right towards each other," said another companion.

Trott's network included socialists, social democrats and trade unionists as well as conservatives, church representatives and military officers. In the Kreisau Circle, he worked on concrete plans for a federal Europe in which a democratic, just Germany was to be anchored. Abroad, he tried to gain support for the resistance and the planned post-war government. Claus Graf Schenck von Stauffenberg, who triggered the attempted coup by assassinating Hitler on July 20, 1944, had been a close friend since 1944.

On July 25, Adam von Trott was arrested because of his proven connection to Stauffenberg and executed on August 26 in the prison in Berlin-Plötzensee. "Give my regards to Imshausen and its mountains", Adam von Trott asked his wife in his farewell letter.

Read a more detailed biographical overview of Adam von Trott here , compiled by Dr. Benigna von Krusenstjern and Ute Janßen


Clarita von Trottzu Solz (1917-2013)

Clarita was born on September 19, 1917 as the daughter of Clarita and Maximilian Tiefenbacher, a lawyer, in Reinbek near Hamburg. After graduating from high school, she initially completed a year in the country and trained as a shorthand typist, followed by several stays abroad. She met Adam von Trott in 1935 through mutual friends. They married in June 1940 and moved into an apartment together in Berlin. Almost at the same time, he began working in the information department of the Foreign Office.

Their daughter Anna Verena was born in 1942 and their second daughter, Leonore Clarita Diana, was born in Imshausen at the end of 1943. From then on, the couple saw each other only rarely, but kept in written contact as best they could. After the failed assassination attempt on July 20, 1944, Clarita was taken into custody and her two daughters (2.5 years and 9 months old) were deported. She was held in the Moabit women's prison until the end of September 1944, and in October 1944 her children were also returned to Imshausen.

After the war, the 27-year-old widow initially lived in Imshausen, Berlin and, at the invitation of friends, abroad. From 1950 to 1955, she studied and completed her doctorate in medicine. This was followed by specialist training in neurology and psychiatry as well as training analysis. At the age of 50, she set up her own practice as a psychoanalyst in Berlin and practiced until the age of 80. In addition to her psychoanalytic work, she remained committed to the legacy of her husband and his friends throughout her life. In 1956-1958, she wrote the first biography of her husband, initially declared to be a "collection of material", which was first published in 1994. This book became the cornerstone for all subsequent research and publications on the thoughts and actions of her husband and his friends.

In 1987, Clarita von Trott wrote in a review of her marriage: "My life was unusually rich as the mother of my daughters and their families, through friendships and the medical treatment of people in psychological distress. But at the center of existence, Adam's place remained empty."

Further information

Greeting from Clarita von Trott on the cross, July 20, 2004

Dearly beloved,

Ever since I knew that I would be able to say a word of greeting to you at this special memorial service, I have been moved by the thought of an indelible memory. Both this place and this hour seem to call upon me to share this memory with you.

It was Pentecost 1944, about two months before the failed coup attempt on July 20th. My husband had come to Imshausen, where he had transplanted his small family as a refuge from the Berlin bombing raids; our second daughter was only six months old at the time. He was on his way back from a trip - officially a business trip - to Italy, where he had obviously had some encouraging experiences, because I hadn't seen him so well and rested for a long time. We climbed up to this very small hilltop in glorious early summer weather. Above us, in a bright blue sky, the larks were jubilant. Adam stood there in silence for a long time - where the bench behind the cross now stands - absorbed in the view of his beloved Hessian landscape, which stretches from here in the round to the far distance.

As he made his way home, he said that this would stay with him for a long time and help him when he was back in Berlin. On the way back to the old family home, he suddenly brought up the last things in a way I had never heard him do before. It was as if he had taken stock. Adam said he believed that God would let him live if he was still needed. But if things turned out differently, he had accepted that too. Shortly afterwards, however, he added to this statement. He said that if things turned out differently, he hoped his surviving friends would gather their memories of him. I can only try to interpret this wish in my own words: he tried in every way to drive out the devastating thought that he could not only lose his own life - no, worse - that the fruits of his unspeakably hard-won insights and experiences could also be lost.

The last words in a small postscript to my husband's farewell letter were: "Greetings to Imshausen and its mountains!" We gathered here on this very spot are not just greeting you today. I mean that we are here to get some kind of guidance from this circle of friends, these people of resistance, in our present-day struggles with our present-day conflicts.

I thank you.

Commemorative publication on the 100th birthday of Clarita von Trott zu Solz

The Invisible Part of the Resistance - On the Road to Peace, Understanding and the Rule of Law (1917-2013) Imshausen 2017, ISBN 978-3-00-56965-4, 9.80 euros plus postage.

On the 100th birthday of Clarita von Trott zu Solz on September 19, 2017, a comprehensive commemorative publication was published on the birthday of the doctor, psychoanalyst and widow of Adam von Trott. In numerous contributions by herself, friends, companions, teachers and others, the publication focuses on the wife of the man who was executed as a resistance fighter in July 1944 after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler. She was 26 years old at the time and had two small daughters (two years and nine months). The book is divided into three sections: "Circle of Friends", "Reconciliation and Peace - Rule of Law and Dignity" and "Remembering Common Standards".


Books & Movies


Clarita von Trott zu Solz: Adam von Trott zu Solz. A biography

Lukas-Verlag Berlin 2009 | 368 pages | ISBN-13: 978-3867320634

This book is a new edition of the volume published in 1994 by Edition Hentrich (co-published by the German Resistance Memorial Center). Several documents, pictures, an index of persons and a review by Clarita von Trott from 1987 have been added. The book is regarded as the basis for all Trott biographies published since the 1960s.

Benigna von Krusenstjern: "that it makes sense to die - to have lived". Adam von Trott zu Solz - 1909 - 1944

Wallstein-Verlag Göttingen 2009 | 608 pages | ISBN-13: 978-3835305069

Benigna von Krusenstjern has conducted a scholarly study of Adam von Trott's biography. In doing so, she has come across numerous new sources and has completely reassessed them. With linguistic precision, she succeeds in drawing a differentiated and balanced picture of Adam von Trott. The book is the fundamental German-language biography of Adam von Trott that has been long awaited.

Henric L. Wuermeling: Adam von Trott zu Solz. Key figure in the resistance against Hitler

Pantheon-Verlag Munich 2009 | 237 pages | ISBN-13: 978-3570550939

Among the conspirators of July 20, Adam von Trott zu Solz was the "Foreign Minister". On twenty trips abroad, he coordinated the resistance's cooperation with the Allies. Based on research in secret service archives and extensive interviews with survivors, Henric L. Wuermeling has succeeded in writing a well-told, gripping biography.

Giles MacDonogh: A Good German: Adam Von Trott Zu Solz

Quartet London 1989 | 358 pages | ISBN-13: 978-0704327306

Giles MacDonogh examines the idealism and patriotism that were essential parts of Trott's character. Trott worked tirelessly to find support for the German resisters but this patriotism was misinterpreted by some of his British and American contacts, who missed the chance both to remove Hitler and to end the war at an earlier stage. To this day, this is one of the most readable and authoritative English-language biographies of Adam von Trott.

Andres Schott: Adam Trott zu Solz - Jurist in Resistance

(=Rechts- und Staatswissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Görres-Gesellschaft), Paderborn: Schöningh, 2001 | ISBN 3-506-73397-4.

Andreas Schott is expressly not interested in writing a biography of Adam von Trott. Rather, his intention is to work out the legal conception from which von Trott's opposition to the Nazi state arose. The central question is what part Adam von Trott's ideas played in the new conception of a German state beyond the "Third Reich" formulated within the Kreisau Circle.

Tobias Hoh: Resistance and International Relations. The Foreign Policy Initiatives of Adam von Trott for the German Opposition, 1937-1944

Baden-Baden: Tectum-Verlag, 2011 | 262 pages | ISBN: 978-3828884847

Compared to the assassination plans, the foreign policy dimension of German civilian resistance has received little attention to date. Tobias Hoh documents and analyzes here for the first time the foreign relations of the opposition forces under National Socialism, which were coordinated by Adam von Trott for the Kreisau Circle, together with other resistance groups from the military, administration and church.

Kenneth Sears: Opposing Hitler: Adam von Trott zu Solz, 1909-1944: ‘To Strive and Not to Yield’

Sussex Academic Press, 2011 | 103 Seiten | ISBN-10: 1845192826

Based on extensive research and talks with some of those who knew him, Kenneth Sears details the life of Adam von Trott zu Solz, a man of brilliant intellect who refused to compromise his conscience and sacrificed himself in a noble cause.

Verena Onken von Trott: Adam von Trott and the "budding seeds" (=Stuttgart Stauffenberg Memorial Lecture, vol. 2021)

Wallstein Verlag, 2022 | Softcover 59 pages | ISBN 978-3-8353-3970-5.

The daughter of resistance fighter Adam von Trott reflects on the "budding seeds" that her father left behind for her family and posterity.


Movie recommendations

Hellmut Sito Schlingensiepen and Christian Bimm Coers: "We are still at the beginning..." - Adam von Trott zu Solz, 1909-1944

DVD-Video | ca. 28 minutes

The film was developed for use in school lessons, for which experience has shown it to be particularly suitable due to its brevity and conciseness. It was compiled exclusively from source material, original photos and historical film footage. The film was completed in 2009, in time for the 100th anniversary of Adam von Trott's birth.

The DVD is available for 29 euros (plus shipping costs). With rental rights it costs 119 euros. Orders from schools, media centers and companies can be placed with MATTHIAS-FILM gGmbH. Individual orders by "natural" persons are accepted at




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