23 October 1897|
Bromberg, Province of Posen, German Empire (modern Bydgoszcz, Poland)
|Died||20 October 1944
Plötzensee Prison, Germany
|Cause of death||Executed|
|Political party||Social Democratic Party of Germany|
Maaß was born in Bromberg, Province of Posen, German Empire (modern Bydgoszcz, Poland), he volunteered for the German Army in World War I and was wounded in a gas attack in 1918. After the war he studied philosophy, psychology, and sociology at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the political science institute (Hochschule für Politik).
Maaß worked as general manager of the Reich Committee of German Youth Associations (Reichsausschuß der deutschen Jugendverbände). After the Nazis seized power in 1933 he lost this position because all youth organizations were forced to conform to the party line. Maaß now became a close associate of Wilhelm Leuschner, the former minister of the interior of the People's State of Hesse.
Maaß turned down a teaching position at the Harvard University to continue his fight against National Socialism from within Germany. He organized resistance among former labor unionists and had close contact to the Kreisau Circle of Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, Peter Yorck von Wartenburg and Adam von Trott zu Solz. In the autumn of 1943 Maaß met Claus von Stauffenberg at his home.
After the failure of Stauffenberg's attempt to kill Hitler Maaß was arrested on 8 August 1944 and imprisoned at Ravensbrück concentration camp. He was charged at the Volksgerichtshof for his involvement in the resistance movement next to Adolf Reichwein, Julius Leber and Gustav Dahrendorf. Maaß, Reichwein and Leber were sentenced to death on 20 October 1944, with Maaß and Reichwein executed the same day at 3.40 p.m. at Plötzensee prison.
- Biography at Memorial to the German Resistance
- Im Geiste bleibe ich bei Euch Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 18 July 2003 (in German)
- Dahrendorf, Sir Ralf (2002). Über Grenzen :Lebenserinnerungen (in German). C.H.Beck. p. 43. ISBN 3-406-49338-6.
- Adolf Reichwein - Reformpädagoge, Erwachsenenbildner und Museumspädagoge, Widerstandskämpfer gegen das nationalsozialistische Regime (in German)