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




1. Because of the kind of person she was: highly intelligent and well-informed, with a warm heart and sincere love for her family and friends and all those around her.

2. Because the details of her life with Count von Moltke on the Kreisau estate, with trips to other towns and cities in Germany, and to South Africa and Southern Europe, are colorful and interesting.

3. Because these letters, written in English, have never before been published in English. And they portray a bygone era in Germany at the beginning of the twentieth century in beautiful prose, with vivid imagery and touching detail, as well as subtle nuances of feeling and humor.

4. Because she came from an exceptional family (her father was Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa and an early advocate of the rights of Blacks) and married into an historic German family, of which several members, including her son, played important roles in German history.

5. Because the von Moltkes are not only an historic family, famous for their great accomplishments in the world, but also exceptionally intelligent, affectionate, and caring people, and distinct individuals, as one can see from reading Dorothy's letters.

6. Families are in crisis today. The story of this family could be inspiring and instructive to other families in our own time, in how to love each other better, Dorothy being a prime example of a well-balanced woman-a loving mother who was also politically and socially aware.

7. Because these letters tell a story, full of drama and love interest. One is constantly looking forward to the next "chapter" to see how events unfold-Dorothy's relationship to her husband and her husband's family, and to her eldest son, Helmuth James, in particular; the tension between her love for her new German family and her love for her parents in South Africa; the coming of World War I; and the rise of Nazism in Hitler's Germany. In many ways this collection reads like a thriller.

8. Dorothy's letters reveal that the seeds of their son's resistance to German militarism in the 1930s were clearly sown by the unconventional, liberal views of his parents, who stood against many archaic, undemocratic beliefs of the Germans around them, especially in the Herrenhaus (the German House of Lords), where Count Helmuth von Moltke served for many years. According to Dorothy's letters, the Count's unconventional views--which were shared by his wife, the daughter of a liberal Chief Justice of South Africa--were often ridiculed by the noblemen around him, who considered him a pariah.

9. The von Moltke estate at Kreisau was a haven of peace, love, and sanity in the mad world of Hitler's Germany. The exemplary courage and serenity of this family--particularly of the parents, Dorothy and Helmuth von Moltke--amidst very threatening and disturbing political conditions, inspired the people around them and could be inspiring to readers today.

10. The von Moltke story is ongoing. Helmuth James's widow, the late Freya von Moltke, and their eldest son, Helmuth Caspar, have been actively engaged in using their family's prestige, examples, and history to enhance world peace through The Kreisau Center for European Understanding at the former von Moltke estate in Kreisau/Krzyzowa, Poland. Five thousand young Europeans gather there every summer to be trained in international understanding and ways of bringing more peace to the world.

©2013 Nebbadoon Press