Freya von Moltke, née Deichmann, was born in Cologne to a prosperous German banker and his wife. In 1931, at age 20, she married Count Helmuth von Moltke, with whom she had two sons. She completed legal training in Berlin, but never practiced, instead running the family's ancestral estate at Kreisau in Silesia (now in Poland). Her husband, also a lawyer, was an expert in international law. They became the center of the "Kreisau Circle" of anti-Nazi aristocrats, intellectuals, academics, senior civil servants. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944, and executed in January 1945. She managed to escape with her children from Europe at the end of World War II, and settled in South Africa. There she became a social worker and a therapist for persons with disabilities. In 1956, unable to further tolerate apartheid, she returned to Berlin, then moved to the USA. She preserved her husband's papers and published them as Letters to Freya in 1990. She further chronicled their activities in her memoirs.