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1105503

[Ulrich von Hassell]

 

A book from the personal library of Von Hassell,

who was executed for his part in the attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler

[Ulrich von Hassell, 18811944.]  This near-mint condition book comes from the personal library of the German diplomat Ulrich von Hassell, who was executed for his part in the July 20, 1944, assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.

Von Hassell became Germany’s ambassador to Italy in 1932.  A year later he joined the Nazi party.  He was, however, opposed to the Anti-Comintern Pact, the mutual defense pact ostensibly against the Communist Intenational, but in reality was also secretly against the Soviet Union, that Germany signed with Japan in 1936.  Italy joined the pact in 1937 to form what would become World War II’s three Axis powers.

Following scandals in the German Army in 1938, Hitler recalled von Hassell from Rome, but von Hassell remained in the German diplomatic service.  When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, von Hassell led a delegation to the northern European countries to calm their concerns that Germany might also invade them. 

Von Hassell was part, however, of the opposition plot to overthrow Hitler.  He acted as the liaison between conservative opposition groups and also used his position on the executive committee of the Central European Economic Congress to discuss with Allied officials a possible post-coup d’etat German government that he would help plan and in which he would be the Foreign Minister.  On July 29, 1944, von Hassell was arrested for complicity in the July 20 plot.  After a two-day trial before Roland Freisler’ infamous German People’s Court, von Hassell was convicted and sentenced to death.  He was executed the same day in Berlin’s Plötzensee Prison.

This book, written in German, is Französiche Liebesbriefe, or French Love Letters, a compilation of love letters written by those prominent in French history.  It is heavily and nicely illustrated with portraits in black-and-white.  Inside the front cover is von Hassell’s personal bookplate reading “büchersammlung ulrich von•hassell,” or “book collection ulrich vonhassell,” and bearing a stylized version of the von Hassell family coat of arms. 

The book, which was published in Weimar, Germany, in 1914,  measures 7¾” x 5½”.  It is bound in gold paper-covered boards and a burgundy suede spine.  Aside from an old pencilled price notation inside the front cover, it appears to have no markings inside.  The pages are bright and clean, and the binding is tight.  It is in near-mint condition.

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