1993, Helena P. Schrader (then writing under her maiden name, Helena P.
Page) wrote the first, full-length biography of General Friedrich
Olbricht. This work was published by a leading academic publisher
in Germany and at once harvested recognition and academic honors.
The small edition rapidly sold out and a second edition followed the
following year. Although now out of print, this biography is still the
definitive biography of Olbricht. It incorporated much original
research, based on access to archives in what was then East Germany,
unpublished personal documents and interviews with family members,
colleagues and opponents of Friedrich Olbricht. General Olbricht: Ein Mann des 20. Juli
An English language biography is scheduled for release by Haynes Publishers in the UK in 2009.
During more than 20 years in residence in Berlin, Germany, Helena
Schrader became friends with several members of the German Resistance
to Hitler. Ludwig Freiherr von Hammerstein, son of the former
Commander-in-Chief of the German Army in the Weimar Republic, was her
mentor establishing contact with various other resistance
figures. Through him, Helena become friends with both Axel
Freiherr von dem Bussche and Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager. The
family of General Olbricht, most especially his widow, Eva Olbricht,
and his son-in-law, Dr. Friedrich Georgi, were supportive in every way,
providing countless details and documentation. Marion Gräfin
Yorck von Wartenburg and Clarita von Trott zu Solz were equally
encouraging, providing much insight above all into the motivation and
life-style of those courageous opponents of the Nazi regime involved in
a conspiracy against a brutal and inhumane police state. Nina
Gräfin Stauffenberg, the widow of Claus Graf Stauffenberg, granted
Helena an extremely rare interview, and Helena was also able to spend
many hours talking with Freya Gräfin Moltke. Last but not
least, Helena was also able to interview several of the officers who
helped put down the coup on 20 July 1944 as well as the widow of
General Oberst Jodl.
Combined with over 20 years of secondary and archival research these
contacts along with interviews with over a hundred other survivors of
Nazi Germany enabled Helena to write a novel, An Obsolete Honor
, which helps modern readers to understand what it was really like to live in Nazi Germany.
Schrader was the daughter of an American professor and lived in Japan,
Brazil and England while growing up. She earned a BA in History
with Honors and High Distinction from the University of Michigan,
followed by a MA in International Business from the Patterson School of
Diplomacy, University of Kentucky. She lived and worked in
Berlin, Germany, for over 20 years, during which time she earned a PhD
cum Laude in History from the University of Hamburg.
After completing her dissertation, she worked for almost three years
with the German Privatization Agency (Treuhandanstalt) following the
reunification of Germany, where she had responsibility for over 25
companies. She subsequently worked in venture capital and
investor relations in Berlin. She is currently an active U.S.
Foreign Service Officer.
She has published a total of 14 books to date and has further books in
preparation for release. For more details on her other
publications visit her website at: helena-schrader.com