The Rhodes Scholarship, for two years’ postgraduate work at Oxford, was the first large-scale programme of international scholarships. The first awards were made in 1904. Rhodes’s will provided for scholarships for the British colonies, the United States and Germany. No awards were made to Germans from 1914 to 1930. Then, in 1931-33, Adam von Trott zu Solz came to study at Balliol. On August 26 1944 he was executed for his part in the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler.
The German awards were suspended again in 1939 and again were not immediately reinstated. In 1963 the trustees reviewed the matter, but decided to give priority to the Commonwealth. The Times objected in a leading article on October 5, quoting Rhodes’s advice to Sir Herbert Baker, the architect of his house Groote Schuur in Cape Town: “Don’t be mean”. (Baker was also the architect of Rhodes House in Oxford.) The article mentioned Count Albrecht Bernstorff, as well as Trott zu Solz. Bernstorff studied at Trinity in 1909-11 and was murdered by the SS in Berlin on April 24 1945. The scholarships were reinstated for Germans in 1970.
The Times, October 12 1963. The second letter is from Colin McFadyean. The following month de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s first application to join the EEC.