A year ago, even the most gifted blurb-writer would have had a struggle plausibly to attach any measure of topical significance to a biography of Adam von Trott. A Good German would have joined that small but cheerful band of titles which offer us no urgent lessons of a social or political nature and which contribute nothing to good health or longevity. Fortune, however, has entered the publishers’ lists and bestowed upon this book that quality seemingly most prized in the modern world: relevance.
Events in Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden have raised the question of German re-unification and all the ghosts of ignorance and prejudice which haunt the European memory. One can, therefore, welcome as ‘timely’ Giles MacDonogh’s reminder that even in the blackest days of the Third Reich there were good Germans who were not yet dead Germans.
Although the French Resistance has been greatly celebrated in books, films, plays, and even in television series; few have paid so much as an ‘Allo ‘Allo to those who worked within Germany to bring down Hitler and the Nazis. Perhaps this is because out perceptions have been coloured by the