The Kreisau Circle (German: Kreisauer Kreis) is an extensive resistance network of paramilitary fighters and informants in Germany wanting to overthrow the Nazi regime, with their headquarters based in the city of Isenstadt. They appear in originally in: Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Wolfenstein.
Caroline Becker and Erik Engle are the first and second in command of this group in the region of Isenstadt. Also in Isenstadt is Hans Schmidt, a radio man who "steals" information from the Nazis and reports to the resistance.
The organization appears in latest alternate universe reboot series by MachineGames, see Kreisau Circle (MachineGames).
The Kreisau Circle was officially formed in 1940 with the merging of the intellectual circles of Helmuth James Graf von Moltke and Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenberg. Moltke and Yorck were descendants of prominent Prussian nobility and therefore were initially favored by Hitler's regime. Helmuth von Moltke, for example, descended from Field Marshal von Moltke, who was a prominent military commander in the Bismarck era. The Nazis honored his family title by giving him a position in their High Command. Despite this special treatment, both men felt morally obliged to resist Hitler. In 1938, both men began to form separate social circles in which they discussed the problems of the Reich and their hopes for Germany's future. Moltke's circlemy, which included Einsiedel, was largely preoccupied with the sociological and economic problems that Germany would face in after the Reich fell. Yorck's circle, which began to meet frequently at his home, focused mostly on the administrative questions of how the government should run after Hitler's regime had ended. In January 1940, Moltke was connected to Yorck through a mutual friend. They both agreed that the Third Reich's defeat was inevitable and that a new government would have to be prepared to take over in this event. The two valued their common desire to oppose the regime through intellectual means despite differences in political views. The circle was fashioned in November 1940, against the backdrop of Hitler's successes in France.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
In early 1943, Kessler managed to partially infiltrate the SS Paranormal Division's temporary headquarters and collect valuable information regarding their activities. B.J. Blazkowicz's mission was to meet Kessler, accompanied by Karl Villigut, in the village near the archaeological dig site. During the Deadly Designs mission, B.J. must defend a Kreisau-controlled Panzer and help Kreisau agents protect a defecting Nazi scientist. The Kreisau circle also supplied equipment and info on the X-Labs to B.J. and the OSA.
B.J. Blazkowicz was sent to Isenstadt in 1945 (or later) in order to help the Kreisau Circle and find information about the Thule Medallion. Along with the OSA and the Golden Dawn, the Kreisau Circle is the primary mission giver. The Kreisau Circle cooperated with the Golden Dawn in tracking down the SS Paranormal Division and stopping them from harnessing the power of the Black Sun as a weapon. After B.J. destroyed the weapon, the Kreisau Circle liberated Isenstadt. In the game it is said that Caroline started the Kreisau Circle, and its also suggested that the organization started a few months before the game when the Nazis invaded the town, and killed the mayor and tow council, and others. However, Kreisau Circle existed before that, and in several other different towns.
Behind the scenes
- The Kreisau Circle is based on its real-world counterpart, which was a group of German dissidents opposed to the Nazi regime centered on the Kreisau estate of Helmuth James Graf von Moltke. The name "Kreisau Circle" was given by the Gestapo and was never used by its members. Unlike its counterpart depicted in Wolfenstein, the real Kriesau Circle was never an armed resistance group, acting as more of an independent thinker's collective; however, it was in close contact with the Western Allies and several other German anti-Nazi groups. This proved its downfall when members were connected with the 20 July plot to kill Hitler, leading to the arrest and execution of the entire circle.