The Adam von Trott Memorial Appeal
Who was Adam von Trott?
Adam von Trott zu Solz, a central figure in the conspiracy to kill Hitler, was put to death by the Nazi regime on 26 August 1944. Born in Potsdam in 1909, he trained as a lawyer in Germany and studied at Oxford in 1929 and 1931-33. He travelled in Europe, the United States and China, and made many international contacts.
He loved his country, but abhorred the Nazis. With other opponents of the regime he made plans for a post-war Europe with federal structures and radical social reform, and risked his life in seeking the help of the Allied governments. His vision of European co-operation continues to have resonance today.
Why Mansfield College?
At the age of 20 Adam von Trott was invited to a conference of the Student Christian Movement in Liverpool, where he was offered a place at Oxford by Dr Selbie, Principal of Mansfield College. It was then a theological college in the nonconformist tradition with many links to Germany that helped it to mediate German theological ideas. Now it is a full college of Oxford University, offering courses in many subjects.
During his term at Mansfield College (January to March 1929), Adam von Trott studied theology and politics; he wrote that this experience helped him to learn ‘what democracy means’. Later, as a Rhodes Scholar, he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College (October 1931 to July 1933).
The Adam von Trott Memorial Appeal, which was launched in 2004, organises lectures and other events on themes relevant to the life and ideas of Adam von Trott, and it supports the Adam von Trott Scholarship at Mansfield College. For more information on the Appeal, including its Patrons and Officers of its Committee view the leaflet here
Click here for a tribute to Elaine Kaye, one of the founders of the Appeal.
Annual Lectures are given at Mansfield College by distinguished scholars who have included Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Professor David Marquand (former Principal of Mansfield College), Dr Benigna von Krusenstjern (author of a biography of Adam von Trott), Professor Sir Ian Kershaw, Professor Michael Freeden, Professor Philippe Sands, Professor Martin Conway and Professor Margaret MacMillan. Lectures have been given at the German Embassy in London by the Revd Dr Keith Clements (former General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches) and David Owen (Lord Owen, former Foreign Secretary), and in Oxford by the Revd Dr Donald Norwood (Secretary of the Mansfield College Association). Speakers at a seminar on ‘Britain and Germany in Europe’ have included David Hannay (Lord Hannay, former British Ambassador to the EU & the UN).
Click here for reports of these events.
The latest Lecture was given at Mansfield College on 11 November 2016 by Dr Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He also conferred on the Revd Tony Tucker, former Convenor of the Adam von Trott Committee, the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Click here for a report of this event.
The next Adam von Trott Memorial Lecture will be given by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University, at 5 pm on Friday 17 November 2017 at Mansfield College.
His theme will be ‘Luther’s Half-millennium: Then and Now’.
This theme marks the 500th anniversary in 2017 of the Reformation, and celebrates the origins of Mansfield College which was for many years a theological college preparing ordinands for the Ministry of the Congregational and United Reformed Churches.
The Adam von Trott Memorial Fund contributes to the cost of a Scholarship that gives young Germans the opportunity to study for a Master’s degree in Politics at Mansfield College for two years. Click here to find out more about the recent Scholars
The German Foreign Office has announced its intention to give generous support to the Scholarship in future . A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at Mansfield College on 25 February 2016. Click here for a report of the event and click here for photos.
How to support us
Please help us by supporting the Appeal – any amount, big or small, will be welcome – click here to download a donation form and make a gift.
For further information please contact the Adam Von Trott Committee:
Or get in touch with the Development Team