Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

Andreas Theodor Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff ( Berlin , Germany , 6 of March of 1890 – ibid . , 23 of April of 1945 ) was a diplomat German and member of the resistance against National Socialism .


He was one of the most important members of the resistance within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was a prominent leader of the liberal-bourgeois opposition. Bernstorff worked from 1923 to 1933 at the German Embassy in London , where he stood out for his contribution to German-British relations.

In 1940 he was detained by the Nazis and deported to the Dachau concentration camp , but a few months later he was released.

Until his new detention in 1943, he helped persecuted Jews and was a member of the Solf Circle and the Kreisau Circle thanks to his relationship with Adam von Trott zu Solz .

Likewise, through his contacts abroad and connections with influential circles of the Resistance plotted in the preparation of the failed assassination of July 20, 1944 . After his new detention, Bernstorff was in the headquarters of the Gestapo and from February of 1944 in the Ravensbrück concentration camp . In December 1944 the Gestapo interrogated him and tortured him daily.

At the end of April 1945, Count Albrecht von Bernstorff was executed by the SS .


Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff came from Mecklenburg . In the noble family of the Bernstorff there were statesmen and diplomats. Particularly important were in Denmark when Johann Ernst Hartwig von Bernstorff, in the eighteenth century was Minister of State promoting the Enlightenment . In 1740, Stintenburg and Bern to Schaalsee, on the border between the Duchy of Lauenburg and the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin . His nephew, Peter Andreas von Bernstorff, represented in the eighteenth century , as foreign minister, the interests of Denmark .

His grandfather, Albrecht von Bernstorff ( 1809 – 1873 ) was a Prussian Minister of Foreign Affairs and German Ambassador in London . His father, Andreas Graf von Bernstorff ( 1844 – 1907 ), was also in the Prussian State and services represented as a member of the Reichstag for the German Conservative Party. He was also very religious and raised his children in the spirit of Pietism . His role in the church as a pattern, intensely real. In addition, he participated in the German foundation YMCA and the German Evangelical Alliance. In 1881 he married Augusta de Hottinger, of Zurich . The first son of Andrew and Bernstorff Augusta took almost nine years to arrive.


  • Werner Graf von Bernstorff: Die Herren und Grafen v [on] Bernstorff. Eine Familiengeschichte . Eigenverlag, Celle 1982, p. 339-351.
  • Rainer Brunst: Drei Leuchtspuren in der Geschichte Deutschlands . Rhombos-Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-937231-32-3 . Enthält biographische Porträts zu Albrecht von Bernstorff, Otto von Bismarck und Gustav Stresemann.
  • Knut Hansen: Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff. Diplomat und Bankier zwischen Kaiserreich und Nationalsozialismus. Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 1996, ISBN 3-631-49148-4 .
  • Eckardt Opitz: Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff. Fundamentalopposition gegen Hitler und den Nationalsozialismus . In: Ernst Willi Hansen ua (ed.) Politischer Wandel, organisierte Gewalt und nationale Sicherheit. Beiträge zur neueren Geschichte Deutschlands und Frankreichs. Festschrift für Klaus-Jürgen Müller . Oldenbourg, München 1995, ISBN 3-486-56063-8 (= Beiträge zur Militärgeschichte , v. 40), p. 385-401.
  • Elly Gräfin Reventlow (Hrsg.): Albrecht Bernstorff zum Gedächtnis . Eigenverlag, Düsseldorf 1952.
  • Kurt von Stutterheim: Die Majestät des Gewissens. In memoriam Albrecht Bernstorff . Mit einem Vorwort von Theodor Heuss . Christians, Hamburg, 1962.