The driving force were the friends Helmuth James Graf von Moltke and Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg. Catholic and Protestant Christians and clergymen, Social Democrats, conservatives, and liberals who developed shared mutual respect and a fear for Germany’s future. The prolonging of the war and the increasing evidence of the true nature of the excesses of the regime and its lust for genocide saw the circle seek alliances with antifascists, the resistance and members of the military they could convince to end the war.
Some members of the circle joined the regime opponents preparing to assassinate Hitler. Those in the circle that could be identified were arrested and executed in 1944.