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Grant number like: FZ-261342-18

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Tom Dunkel
Unaffiliated independent scholar

Public Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019

White Knights in the Black Orchestra: A True Story of the Nazi Resistance

Research leading to publication of a monograph on a Nazi resistance group that included German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945). 

My project is a book-in-progress under contract with a publisher. This is not biography or military history. I'm writing a narrative nonfiction book geared to a mainstream American audience; an audience largely unaware of one of the great stories of the Nazi resistance. My focus is the years 1938-1945 and a small group of conspirators primarily based at Abwehr, the German foreign intelligence service. Their goal is to obstruct and, hopefully, destroy the Third Reich from within, if necessary by killing Adolf Hitler. The main protagonists are pastor-turned-resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his brother-in-law and Abwehr attorney Hans von Dohnanyi, and Admiral Wilhem Canaris, head of Abwehr. This is a story of personal courage in the face of collective tyranny; of inescapable but dangerous moral choices. As Martin Luther King, Jr. noted, "If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi and non-violence. But if your enemy has no conscience like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer."