Helmuth James von Moltke and His Wife Freya

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Moltke’s wife Freya, née Deichmann, from Cologne was a daughter from a liberal, Protestant upper middle class family. He met her in 1929 at the Austrian progressive educator Eugenie Schwarzwald’s summer home on Grundlsee in Salzkammergut where artists, philosophers and politicians gathered in a liberal atmosphere to exchange ideas.

They married in Cologne in October of 1931 and, after a brief period in Kreisau, moved to Berlin where she studied law and he completed his law degree. Like her husband, Freya von Moltke did not have any special relationship with the church at this time. Religious issues hardly played a role in their marriage at first. That changed when the war broke out, which Moltke considered to be the embodiment of “evil”.

Freya von Moltke fully shared her husband’s view and was also committed to the resistance. Their son Helmuth Caspar was born in 1937 and Konrad four years later.

Numerous separations –Moltke’s stays abroad for instance – led the married couple to write hundreds of letter in order to keep in touch, inform each other about current events and to exchange their thoughts and feelings. They continued this practice when he was in prison, too.

Thus, through the agency of their friend Pastor Harald Poelchau, an impressive historical documentation of and testimony to mutual, unconditional devotion and warmhearted love was produced while Moltke was held in Tegel prison, which is probably unique among the sources of the German resistance (Moltke, Land, 11).

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