Ambassador Ammon honours German diplomat and resistance member Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

Ambassador Peter Ammon dedicating the Embassy’s meeting room

Ambassador Peter Ammon dedicating the Embassy’s meeting room, © German Embassy London

31.01.2018 - Press release

To honour the legacy of Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff, the Embassy's former First Secretary and a member of the German resistance to National Socialism, Ambassador Ammon used his last act in office to name the Embassy’s large meeting room after him.

Memorial plaque in honour of Albrecht Graf Bernstoff
Memorial plaque in honour of Albrecht Graf Bernstoff© German Embassy London

In the UK, several newspapers published obituaries for Graf von Bernstorff, including Sir Harold Nicolson’s in The Spectator on 10 August 1945 in which he declared that “Albrecht Bernstorff had from the first displayed singular courage in decrying the Nazi system”.

Graf von Bernstorff has been honoured on a memorial plaque at the Residence of the German Ambassador in London since 27 June 1961.

He is also commemorated on the Federal Foreign Office’s remembrance wall.

Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

Born in Berlin on 6 March 1890, Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff studied law and national economics from 1909 until 1914. He was a Rhodes-Scholar in Oxford in 1911 and joined the military for one year from 1911-12.

Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff in profile
Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff© Federal Foreign Office

He joined the German Foreign Office in 1914 and served at the Embassy in Vienna from 1917, before he was sent to London in 1923.

Graf von Bernstorff was promoted to First Secretary in 1931, and returned to Berlin in 1933, where he retired from diplomatic service. From 1933, he worked as a banker for the Jewish Bank A. E. Wassermann, which the Nazi regime perceived as a provocation.

He travelled abroad on numerous occasions and held close contact to the Solf Circle.

After multiple arrests, he was murdered without a trial in the Lehrter Straße prison in Berlin-Moabit on 23 April 1945.

Exhibition honouring diplomats who tried to save lives during Holocaust opens in Berlin

On 29 January 2018, on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day, Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Ambassador of the State of Israel Jeremy Issacharoff opened the exhibition “Beyond Duty” at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

On display until 26 February 2018, it honours courageous diplomats from various nations trying to save what lives they could during the Holocaust, including German Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz and British Captain Francis (Frank) Foley.