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Kreisau Circle

The Kreisau Circle (German: Kreisauer Kreis) was the name the Gestapo gave to a group of Germans centering around the Kreisau estate of Helmut James Count of Moltke in order to envision an alternative to Nazism. It is one of the few instances of German Widerstand, resistance to the regime. The most celebrated members of the Kreisau Circle include Peter Yorck Count of Wartenburg and Adam von Trott zu Solz.

The group was united by its abhorrence of Nazism and its desire to conceive of a new Germany after the fall of Hitler. The long meetings and discussions at Kreisau developed an image of a society to be, based on Christian values and on small communities, so as to avoid a manipulation of the whole of society like the one Hitler had achieved.

The Kreisau Circle attempted to make contact with other groups of resistance, and also to awaken the neighbouring states and the Allied forces to the fact that Nazism was a threat.

From 1943 onwards the focus of the group turned towards an active political coup. In January 1944 Moltke was arrested and the Kreisau Circle fell in disarray. Some members participated in the famous failed assassination attempt on the 20th of July 1944. After its failure many members of the Circle were arrested and executed, including Trott, Moltke, and Yorck.