Marie Illarionovna Vassiltchikov, January 11, 1917 – August 12, 1978, was a Russian princess who was acquainted with some of the people who plotted to kill kill Adolf Hitler in the July 20 Plot , but was never involved in the plot itself and claims not to have known about it. Vassiltchikov’s diaries are one of only two kept by participants in the July 20th Plot to kill Adolf Hitler. The diaries are also important in that they chronicle a little-known aspect of Hitler’s war crimes: the destruction of the aristocracy of Europe. A poignant feature of Vassiltchikov’s diary is its arc from the first pages in 1940 to its conclusion in 1945. She begins by recounting a night spent dancing at a ball at the Chilean embassy and ends with her flight from Vienna, which found her stumbling, filthy and half-starved, across a bombed railroad depot at the end of the war. Her account of wartime Berlin at times takes on an air of surreality as she writes about days that combined lunches at the Hotel Adlon and nights spent in half-ruined flats and conversations that ranged from gossip about her noble and royal friends to the intended killing of Hitler.
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