You might not have heard of Hans Oster. He was a decorated German soldier who served during the First World War and later found a position of some power in the Nazi regime. His biographer, Mark M. Boatner III, described him as “brash, cynical,” and “volatile.” But there’s much more to Oster’s story than that.
During the Second World War, Oster was part of a resistance movement within the Nazi Party. While the Allies struggled against the German army, Oster worked from inside the Abwehr – a branch of the German military intelligence. The Abwehr gave Oster a platform from which he could try to alter the course of the war.
Using his position of influence, Oster took a number of steps during the conflict to try and curtail the atrocities of the Nazi regime. Some of these measures worked, while some didn’t. But to better understand the reasons behind Oster’s resistance, we need to go back to the start of his story – before the start of Adolf Hitler’s tyranny.