The riveting and tension-filled story of a small group of conspirators who plotted relentlessly to obstruct and destroy the Third Reich from within.
Behind the front lines of World War II, a clandestine war within a war was being waged in Nazi Germany. As the “Final Solution” unfolded and fascism swept across Europe, a network of German military officers, diplomats, politicians, and a smattering of civilians were doing everything in their power to undermine the Third Reich from the inside: reporting troop movements to the Allies, feeding disinformation to the Nazi high command, arranging risky evacuations of Jewish citizens, and hatching plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler (including the near-miss “Valkyrie” bombing). The Gestapo had a nickname for this loosely organized, shadowy confederation of traitors–the Black Orchestra.
Among the key players in the Orchestra were Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an outspoken Lutheran pastor-turned-government agent, and his brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi, an attorney working under fellow conspirator Admiral Wilhelm Canaris at the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service. Motivated by moral and patriotic conviction, some with their own Nazi sins to atone for, these men faced constant danger of being exposed and executed. The book’s tension, however, comes not just from watching these “white knights” attempt to derail the Third Reich (and sometimes succeeding), but also from what transpires when their treasonous activities are discovered–and their fates hang in the balance as the end of the war rapidly approaches.
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