Interlude January–22 June 1941

  • Michael Balfour
  • Julian Frisby


After spending Christmas at Kreisau, Helmuth returned to Berlin in January. On 1 February he again went to the Yorcks and there met Albrecht Haushofer, son of Professor and General Karl Haushofer whose ‘geopolitics’ had influenced a number of Germans, including Hitler, and who at one time had had a pupil called Rudolf Hess. The younger Haushofer, born in 1903, was a teacher in the same field who was also employed intermittently in the Information Division of the AA. Having acquired considerable familiarity with Britain, he had tried through Hess to warn the German leaders of the danger of provoking British hostility. With the knowledge of Hess (and probably Hitler as well) he tried in September 1940 to open negotiations for a compromise peace through the Duke of Hamilton, whom he had first met in 1936. The Duke did not reply and in April 1941 Haushofer, this time encouraged by friends of Goerdeler, started similar soundings through Carl Burckhardt, the Swiss who had once been high commissioner in Danzig. These had not had time to get anywhere when Hess, on 10 May, without Haushofer’s knowledge, made his flight to Scotland. Haushofer was arrested and, though soon released, remained suspect.1 His main contact among Helmuth’s friends was with Schulenburg; Helmuth in February found more in common with him than he had done previously, and met him again on 19 April and 10 December. He also noted that he himself and Peter Yorck had got on very well together, ‘although I am a good deal more to the left than he is’.


High Commissioner Liaison Officer General Staff Weimar Republic German Leader 
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Copyright information

© Michael Balfour and Julian Frisby 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Balfour
    • 1
  • Julian Frisby
  1. 1.University of East AngliaUK

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