Nebbadoon Press

Island of Peace in an Ocean of Unrest
The Letters of Dorothy von Moltke
by Catherine R. Hammond

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Island of Peace in an Ocean of Unrest: The Letters of Dorothy von Moltke

An Extraordinary Woman's Letters Witness Germany's Descent Into Chaos

Daughter of the Chief Justice of South Africa and married to Helmuth von Moltke, the grandnephew of Germany's greatest military hero, Field Marshal Helmuth Carl Bernhard von Moltke, Dorothy von Moltke penned frequent letters to her parents that capture the life of the elite on a large estate in Silesia, formerly part of Germany and now part of Poland. The letters poignantly describe living through World War I, the devastating inflation of the Weimar Period, and the rise of Nazism as armed militias clashed in the streets of Berlin and Hitler became der Führer.

The letters also show Count and Countess von Moltke actively participating in the explosive growth of Christian Science in Germany, including going to Boston at Mary Baker Eddy's request to translate her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, into German. The letters reveal how they instilled in their children the liberal values that led their eldest son, Helmuth James von Moltke, to found the anti-Nazi Kreisau Circle, for which he was hanged in 1945. The von Moltkes' idealism is perpetuated in The Kreisau Center for European Understanding on the family's former estate, where young people learn the art of waging peace.