289 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Previously Unpublished Letters to Paul Lehmann

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Previously Unpublished Letters to Paul Lehmann
By Wallace Alston and Michael Welker

The following letters by Dietrich Bonhoeffer were recently discovered among the papers of the late Paul Lehmann, Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York. The letters from Bonhoeffer were enclosed, along with several pieces of correspondence from other people, in a file folder labeled "1932-Special Letters. . ."1 With the permission of Lehmann's wife, the late Marion L. Lehmann, they are being published for the first time simulta-

These letters were edited by Wallace Alston, Director of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, and Michael Welker, Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Heidelberg. They were translated for THEOLOGY TODAY by Matthias Gockel, a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary.

1 Besides five letters and a postcard by Bonhoeffer, the collection, which is now in the possession of Wallace Alston, contains the following material:

1) A two-page typewritten letter by Emil Brunner to Lehmann, from November 2, 1930 (see below, note 20).

2) A seven-page handwritten letter with many inserted photographs by Ernst Jansen in Kiel, Holtenauer Straft; 91, from May 22 and July 13, 1931 (see below, note 9).

3) A six-page handwritten letter by Erwin Sutz in Zurich, from May 30/31, 1932.

4) A two-page typewritten letter by Walther . . . (the last name is not detectable from the letter) in Menteroda, Thuringia, from June 1, 1932.

5) A three-page typewritten letter by Jens Eberhard . . . (the last name is not detectable from the letter) in Berlin-Steglitz, Mittelstraße 16, from June 11, 1932.

6) A two-page typewritten letter by Johannes Schattenmann in Markt Gerolzheim, from July 14, 1932.

7) A six-page handwritten letter to Mrs. Lehmann by Elisabeth Roser, 6 rue Philippe de Metz, Bois Colombes, Seine, France, from July 24, 1932.

8) A postcard by Günter Gloede in Steffenshagen, near Reddelich, Mecklenburg, from February 8, 1938,

9) A one-page typewritten letter by Günter Gloede in Steffenshagen, from October 15, 1939.

10) A two-page handwritten letter by Günter Gloede in Neubukow, M?hlenstraße 3, from August 15, 1947.

11) A two-page handwritten letter by Jewel Baillie, Beach Hotel, Woolacombe, N. Devon, August 4, no year.


290 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Previously Unpublished Letters to Paul Lehmann

neously in Evangelische Theologie and (translated into English) in THEOLOGY TODAY.2

Almost all the letters in this group concern a stay in Europe planned by Paul and Marion Lehmann and the question whether Paul should study in Switzerland-in Zurich with Brunner-or in Bonn with Barth, in Marburg, in Göttingen, or even in Berlin.3 The problem of financing the Lehmanns' stay in Europe also plays a significant role in the letters. The following quotation from the letter by Erwin Sutz (May 1932) is noteworthy:4"It is Brunner's opinion that it would be better for you to come to Zurich for your first semester . . . . It is rather difficult to find for you any place where you could go [written above: "stay"] for your second semester. Brunner suggests Göttingen, because Emanuel Hirsch would be the only ‘worthwhile’ opponent to Barth. That is, unless in the meantime Tillich receives a post as professor of theology . . . ."

Bonhoeffer's letters to Lehmann shed a brighter light on his strongly positive relation to Karl Barth. They also indicate that in 1932 Bonhoeffer may have underestimated the danger of the National Socialists and of Hitler.5

LETTER 1

Aug. 23, [19]31

My dear Paul,6

Thank you very much for your kind letter. After many weeks, it was a heartfelt joy for me to hear from you and your wife. I hope also that you both have recuperated in the meantime from your dental problems and that you are using the last weeks of the holidays well, sleeping "in advance" and being lazy before the upcoming exhausting winter. I will be going to Cambridge soon, and I also have been terribly loaded with work. Together with a friend, I have written a catechism.7 When it is published, you will receive a copy.-

The time at Bonn was marvelous not only from the theological point of view but also or perhaps even more by the fact that I learned to know Barth personally. He really is a theologian at home as well as in the classroom. His whole thinking swings around one point and whosoever is willing to keep his eyes straight on this point is considered by Barth a good

2 We are grateful to Eberhard Bethge and Ernst-Albert Scharffenorth for much helpful advice.

3 In April 1933, the Lehmanns were Bonhoeffer's guests in Berlin-Grunewald for several days.

4 Except for the last sentence, Sutz writes to Lehmann in English.

5 Numerous spelling and punctuation errors in the following letters have been corrected without any indication.

6 Throughout these letters, italics indicate portions Bonhoeffer wrote in English.

7 The friend's name is Franz Hildebrandt. The catechism is called: "Glaubst du, so hast du" (see Dietrich Bonhoeffer Werke, edited by Eberhard Bethge et al. [Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1986-], vol. 11, pp. 228-237). With this title, Bonhoeffer and Hildebrandt take up a famous phrase from Luther's treatise "On the Freedom of the Christian" (see Luther, Werke [Weimar ed.], vol. 7, p. 24).


291 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Previously Unpublished Letters to Paul Lehmann

theologian no matter however he tries to formulate his ideas and views. 1 do not have to tell you that this point is the cross and the resurrection of Christ, truly a strange thing for a modern and intelligent man to concentrate his thoughts and his whole life to. But when you see Barth you know at once-even if come entirely from outside-that there is something worthwhile to risk one's life for. He is personally very modest, he knows how to listen to other people and he has a splendid humor. I had some long discussions with him concerning the ethical problem-which we were discussing for so many times with Sutz at Union and Elmhurst!-and I learned to admire his tremendous power of concentration to the one main thing in theology. He is no wordcatcher and there is no strife about words, he does not care very much for his own formulation, but what he wants solely is never to lose the only possible and real ground of theology. He is himself not yep' quite clear about many important ethical problems and he confesses that, frankly. It certainly was a pity that you were not there at that time. I thought of you many a time. But since the main lecture was not given you can be consoled.8

At the time I was in Bonn the situation in Germany became more and more endangered, as you know very well. For some days we did not believe anymore that it would be possible to keep down the fascists and communists; there were many revolts in the cities and as a matter of fact it is almost a miracle that in those days Germany did not turn (into) a battlefield. Now after the elections the whole mood is a little more quiet than before, but probably only for a short time. The prospects for the winter are perfectly horrible, we count on more than 7 million unemployed people! The taxes are raised from month to month, the misery is frightful; and the most terrible thing of all is the hopelessness of this situation. The Hoover-plan was "ein Tropfen auf den heißen Stein" [a drop of water on a hot stone]. Anti at the time Germany is near the complete breakdown our Western neighbour is prospering and his policy remains selfish and brutal.9

8 Barth had intended to lecture on "Theological Encyclopedia," but diphtheria in his ears in the spring of 1931 hindered him from working out these lectures (see Dietrich Bonhoeffer Werke, vol. 11, p. 17 n. 3).

9 Several letters in the collection express sadness and anger about the foreign policy of France, as an excerpt from Ernst Jansen's letter (July 1931) makes clear:

"The emergency rule of the government, shortly before the Hoover-Action was taking effect, was nothing; more than an expression of utter despair. It laid burdens on the people that were simply unbearable, but it [the government] possessed no other means to avoid, for the moment, a sudden breakdown of the state. And what was depressing was that everybody knew exactly: these immense sacrifices did not bring us closer to rescue, but instead they were merely a delay of the breakdown. What it means if 5 million people are without work in a nation of 60 million, and that many of them don't have the prospect of ever finding work again-you can answer yourself. Nobody should be surprised if under such circumstances the disoriented and desperate masses, who have nothing left to lose, are drawn to extremist political parties like the communists and `Nazis' (Hitler). But after Hoover has completed his action, our rescue is endangered anew by the irresponsible behavior of the French. The coming week may be even more difficult than the preceding weeks because if the French persist granting the necessary loans in accord with the political conditions, we will have revolution in our country. The tension in the country is almost at a peak. Some papers already demand or proclaim drastic measures from the government, in order to master the situation,


292 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Previously Unpublished Letters to Paul Lehmann

You certainly know about the new idea of Danubian monarchy-against Germany. It is hardly credible that only anxiety causes such procedure.

We know how much we would need the church, especially in the coming winter. But what is its message and who wants to hear it? It is terrible to be doomed to do almost nothing!-Now regarding your book requests. Ritschl: Rechtfertigung . . ., 3d ed., I can get for M 39, or maybe cheaper. Do you want it? Barth's Römerbrief I will forward to you as a gift, as well as "Wort Gotts and Theologie." The Dogmatics costs 14. Do you want it? "Zwischen den Zeiten" [is] 15 per year. I will obtain further prices for Ritschl. Feel free to tell me approximately how much you want to spend. I will then send it immediately. The prices from the bookstore are too expensive! Now I have one more request. Would it be possible for you to send me unused commemorative stamps for 7, 9, 11, 13 cents from last year? I will then subtract the amount from the expenses for the books. It is for a friend of mine. If you would occasionally remove some regular (used!) American stamps for a young cousin of mine10 from your letters and send them to me, I would be grateful. Now, enough for today. Give my greetings to your wife. I am thinking often of both of you and of the great time I could have with you in your New York home. Let me thank you therefore once more.

I remain

as ever yours very affectionately

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

LETTER 2

LIC. THEO L. DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
PRIVATDOZENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

BERLIN-GRUNEWALD,
WANGENHEIMSTR. 14
den Nov. 5, [19]31

Dear Paul!

For your letter I offer many thanks. It has brought back many good memories to my mind. One year ago, at this time, the first period of adjustment had ended, and the first protests were uttered together with you and Sutz.11 I believe the reason for this had been the seminar. Simulta-

in case this weekend will pass without financial aid given to us. There is agreement, however, about the necessity not by any means to sign forced `conditions' at this moment.

Please, don't misunderstand this dark description of our situation. We don't want to beg, and we don't want to be pitied. But our situation is such that first we were almost beaten to death in the war, and then an effort was made to drain the last bits of our lives because, allegedly, it had been all our fault. We could not defend ourselves; we would have been destroyed if in the last minute Mr. Hoover had not realized that his country (and thus his candidacy for president!) would have suffered from the same fate. Yet France seems not to have understood this. May God open their eyes before it is too late."

Cf. Johannes Schattenmann's letter (in English) from June 14, 1932: "Our German people lost all faith in a cooperation of the nations because the league of nations could not handle the problems handicapped by the selfishness of France."

10 Walter von Hase, a younger brother of Hans-Christoph von Hase, who was killed in World War II.

11 See Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Man of Vision-Man of Courage (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), pp. 115-119.


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neously, however, the time came when I began to understand English without too much trouble and the time when, after the noon meal, enticed by you, I strolled down to your apartment in order to finish off lunch elegantly with one (or several) cigarettes and a chat.-These are now days long gone, but they are nevertheless present to me as if it were yesterday.-

Now I am back to the semester's work. I especially enjoy working with the seminar; it is a small circle of really interested people, some of whom studied with Barth for a longer time and were recommended to me by him or his students. Thus, I am looking forward to a quite rewarding collaboration, especially since I have chosen a theme that I am quite unable to solve myself. It is called: The Idea of Philosophy and Systematic Theology. How nice it would be, if you were there, we could have a great time. I suppose you are working very hard on your thesis. What has come out as the final formulation of the topic?

I notice that it is much slower to type in English than in German. Since I don't have much time left today-I have to work urgently on my lectures-, I will continue in German, assuming that you won't mind. Unfortunately, the choice of theology students these days is quite displeasing. The overcrowding of all other professions drives many students towards theology who would do better to keep their fingers out of it. What is even worse, as soon as they have finished their exam, these folk are unleashed against people without any selection, and it is, therefore, completely unavoidable that they ruin the church's reputation to such an extent that even a theology like Barth's does not help any longer.

Last Sunday I was introduced to the church where I will have to preach from now on. I believe that I wrote you already that this is the church that is attended by Hindenburg12 (once a month, on average). Thus, I got to know him in person last Sunday. He gives the impression of being very depressed-no wonder, given the state of affairs. In fact, I am not very comfortable with preaching in this exposed position. The whole solemnity, which is already created by the tradition of Schleiermacher, who preached here, is not much to my liking. But anyhow, my main task will be the pastoral consultation hours.

The political situation has not changed since the time of my last letter. Yet it probably will not take very long now before the National Socialists (Hitler) will lash out. If it happens in violent ways, then we are lost; because at the same moment the communists will march, and we will have civil war in the. country. A prelude to what we can expect from the Nat. Soc. regarding the universities has occurred in Halle, where the students (and not only the theologians) refuse to continue with their studies, unless a recently appointed pacifist professor, who is an unusually competent man, is discharged again instantly.13 It is simply horrible the sort of spirit that is

12 Paul von (Beneckendorff and von) Hindenburg (1847-1934) was the most popular commander of the: German army in World War I. In 1925, he won the presidential elections in Germany and officially remained president until his death in 1934.

13 See Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Entwurf einer Eingabe zum Fall Dehn an die Theologische Fakultät in Halle, March 1932," in Dietrich Bonhoeffer Werke, vol. 11, pp. 66-68; Karl


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taking over at the universities! Compared to that, Union is a rosy place! By the way, neither Baillie nor Lyman14 replied to me about the book. Why is that? Niebuhr15 recently wrote very kindly.-

Now farewell; give my most cordial greetings to your wife. I often think of all of you! Greetings also to the friends at the Seminary, and to Prof. White16 as well as to King Gordon,17 if you write to him.

I am looking forward very much to hearing from you again. The books will go out to you the day after tomorrow. A bill will follow. Could you send me the money registered in dollars? Cordial greetings and best wishes for your work-

Yours truly
Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

LETTER 3

Feb. 19, 1932

Dear Paul!

Today only a very short letter with an inquiry. In fact, I should have written to, you long ago, but indeed, you have not written for an even longer time than I. This is very bad! Because I am always waiting eagerly to hear from you. Are you still suffering from the shocking impression of Niebuhr's wedding, about which I received news today from the bulletin? I would rather have him so than otherwise-you understand, don't you?

At the moment, I am madly busy. I live here in the northern part of Berlin where I teach, and I daily see the most terrible circumstances, and yet, with very limited means, I am almost unable to help out. And now to preach the gospel under these circumstances! The confirmation classes work, at times, surprisingly well. They are really listening with open mouths. But then again, sometimes they are defiantly insolent. But now to the questions. For it is late at night, and I still have to work on a sermon for the Day of National ,Mourning-probably the worst day for preaching that exists!

Barth, "Der Fall Dehn and die 'dialektische Theologie,' " in Neuwerk: Ein Dienst am Werdenden 13, no. 6 (1932), pp. 366-372; idem, "Warum führt man den Kampf nicht, wie es sich gehört, auf der ganzen Linie?" Frankfurter Zeitung, February 15, 1932; and Ernst Bizet, "Der `Fall Dehn,' " in Festschrift für Günter Dehn, edited by Wilhelm Schneemelcher (Neukirchen: Verlag der Buchandlung des Erziehungsvereins, 1957), pp. 239-261.

14 John Baillie had been teaching systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary since 1930. The philosopher of religion Eugene W. Lyman introduced Bonhoeffer to the philosophy of William James.

15 Reinhold Niebuhr had been professor of applied Christianity since 1928.

16 Bonhoeffer probably refers here to Gaylord White, who taught at Union and served as dean of students there. He died in 1931, the year this letter was written. His son Charles White served as Comptroller of the Seminary. See Robert T. Handy, A History of Union Theological) Seminary in New York (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987), pp. 136, 150-151, 166, 172.

17 King Gordon, an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, a founder of the CCF (Canada's democratic socialist party), and a career diplomat at the United Nations, studied for his Ph.D. at Union Theological Seminary in New York from 1929 to 1931 and was an assistant to Reinhold Niebuhr. (Courtesy of Eileen Janzen, who is preparing a biography of Gordon.)


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First, I would like to know what became of my article in the Journal of Religion. It should have appeared in the October edition!18

Second, concerning Ritschl and the other books. Currently, Ritschl is not available in a cheaper edition. You will have to reckon with approximately M 50. Do you want that? Further: Did the bookstore enclose a bill for you when the books were sent? If not, please be so kind as to send me the 10 dollars to my address. I have paid this amount at the bookstore.

Please write sometime soon. I am left entirely without any news. Fisher19 has not written at all, so far. I will now soon begin to take offense at him. After all, he doesn't have that much to do. He should be able to sacrifice one evening to his boyfriend instead of to his lady friend.

Give my cordial greetings to your wife. The time for a reunion is coming closer!

Farewell!

Very affectionately yours

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

LETTER 4

May 30, 1932

My dear Paul!

Thank you very much for your letter! So, your trip is about to begin. This is great indeed. Alas, nobody knows what the times will be like on your arrival here in Europe. At the moment, it looks incredibly dangerous once again. But anyhow, it is nice that you are coming.-I like your plan to go to Southern France first; yet only if you will go to Zurich afterwards. On this point, however, I would now like to add some critical remarks. You wanted to study ethics, with Brunner,20 if I remember correctly. As of yet, I have not

18 The essay was published in April 1932: "Concerning the Christian Idea of God," The Journal of Religion 12 (April, 1932), pp. 177-185.

19 Bonhoeffer's colleague and friend Frank Fisher helped him to get to know the "centres of Negro life and culture" in Harlem and to be introduced into the congregations and circles there. See Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer pp. 109-114.

20 Cf. Brunner's letter to Lehmann, found in the collection:

Z[uri]ch, Nov. 2, [19]30

Dear Mr. Lehmann,

With joy I remember our conversations. They were one of the few who signs of an understanding of my lectures. I am delighted to hear about your plan to study with us, and I am happy to help you with your studies. Yet the following points were not clear to me from your letters:

1. Do you want to earn a doctorate in Zurich or at Union Seminary or at both places?
2. Do you want under any circumstances to study abroad for two semesters, and if so, absolutely at two different places?

In case you want to pursue a doctorate in Zurich, I would recommend study either in Zurich or at another university for both semesters. You would still have the opportunity to see other leading contemporary theologians "in between." If, for instance, you studied in Zurich, you could go to Marburg, Bonn, T?bingen, etc. for the end of the summer semester, since we close two weeks earlier; conversely, if you wanted to study in Germany, you could attend the first weeks of the winter semester here, since we begin a fortnight earlier. But in any case: Stick to one! Otherwise, you gain a reporter's view rather than something substantial. It is also a question, whether you can pass the doctoral exam with only one semester of preparation at one department.


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been able to determine whether he will lecture on ethics at all in the winter. Sutz will know better. But even if he lectures on it, things have changed now, since his printed ethics was published a few weeks ago, so that you will find all the important things in the book. Moreover, I have to admit that I have been a bit disappointed with this Ethics. Now I am wondering whether it would be really useful to go to Zurich. Of course, it would be nice to be with Sutz and to get acquainted with other people through him. Would you not perhaps get more out of two semesters in Bonn or perhaps one in Marburg?-I am in doubt about this, but I think you should consider the second option, after the publication of Brunner's Ethics and given the discussion about it in the journals that doubtlessly is to begin very soon, which will make you quite familiar with the present problems. In addition, Gogarten has published his Ethics and, furthermore, a very intelligent nationalist, Stapel, has published a book about "The Christian Statesman." Therefore, I assume that the discussion of ethical problems will be very prevalent in Germany during the next year.

I am convinced that Barth will say something about this as well, maybe even in his seminar, but certainly in the open evenings in his home, so that you might perhaps hear and learn more from him than from Brunner himself. Ian any case, I would go to Bonn first and make further plans after that.

-As far as the financial aspects of your stay are concerned, I think that the two of you could be very well off in Bonn with RM 200 per month, if you rent only one room. There is a student cafe there where you can eat well for 50 pfennigs; the Barthians mostly have had their lunch table together there. I was also there a couple of times. The student association of

In case you want to pursue a doctorate in Zurich and study here for two semesters, you will find the current regulations in the enclosed brochure, except for the change of the licentiate degree into the doctoral degree. The new regulations will be published this winter, but they will contain nothing substantially new.

Yet I guess that it will be easier for you to pass the doctoral exam in New York than in Zurich, although the latter is not impossible.

As far as your themes are concerned:

I think the second theme is impossible: Either Luther, or the new theologians, but not both. A thesis about Luther always presupposes a detailed study of Luther's works-at least, according to our standards. Instead: The Doctrine of Justification since Ritschl-that I could imagine.

The first theme seems to be rather unrewarding: Ritschl doesn't have a philosophy of history! At least, not a somewhat original one. Again, I would suggest: The Problem of History in the New Theology. Both themes would be fine.

Since we don't have a registrar like UTS, I wish to give you some more information. The individual student should expect expenses around SFr 200-250 (of course, the months during the semester are more expensive than those during the break). If you rented a small apartment with your wife, SFr 2500 for 6 months and a little less than SFr 5000 for a year might suffice, and you would not have to limit yourself too much.

Finally: If, you want to start translating God and Man, you are free to do so. You can send me your translation, as soon as you are finished. I will examine it and talk to my publisher about the necessities. Still, you should make sure, in advance, whether you can find a publisher who is reliable. If you ask Prof. Niebuhr or van Dusen for advice, it might not be too difficult. So, start working on it!

Give greetings to my dear Sutz, and best regards to yourself,

Yours faithfully E. Brunner.


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the university can help you find a room; you will receive a lot of quotes and have to decide for yourself. I would definitely think it worthwhile to spend RM 40-45 on a double room. You already see from these numbers, which stem from the last summer and have certainly decreased even more since then, that you can live easily on M 200, the money for some amusements included. If you decide to spend a semester in Berlin, you would have to expect a bit more, but not much.-If I were you, I would come to Berlin in any case for a few weeks immediately after the winter semester; here you really have quite a different perspective on what is happening in Germany and you experience it much more intensely than anywhere else. Maybe never before has Berlin been so much the center of Germany as it is now.

Many thanks for sending me a copy of my article.21 I am very much disgusted by it. It is altogether common-place-theology, is it not? I should be ashamed to print that stuff here, all the more it is impertinent to do it in another country. Excuse me, please, and write a better one!

Give my cordial greetings to your wife. If you want to know more, write to me!

Always yours

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.22

LETTER 5

LIC. DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Privatdozent at the University of Berlin

Berlin-Grunewald, den23
Wangenheimstrasse 14
H 1 Pfalzburg 2616

Dear Paul!

Just a quick response to your letter! With regard to your eyes, I naturally don't know how urgent it is. Unfortunately, I cannot ask my father, since he is not here at the moment. But I can assure you that if you want to wait until your arrival in Berlin, my father can easily recommend you to the best specialist in the area, with whom we are well acquainted, and that the price would be very reasonable. A regular consultation with a Berlin professor costs around RM 30 to 50. But you would certainly get a lower rate.

With regard to your financial concerns, I can hardly give you a really helpful answer because the conditions change constantly. You are allowed to travel into but not leave Germany with currency. I think the best way is still the traveler's check. Yet the idea of depositing money in Switzerland is not bad either-since we don't assume that Switzerland will issue a

21 See note 18.

22 Handwritten remark at the top of p. 1 of the letter: "Whether you are ordained or not, does not matter at all over here." According to Eberhard Bethge, this remark and Lehmann's likely question behind it may have been caused by Bonhoeffer's problems in leading worship services for the German congregation in New York; due to his young age, he was not ordained yet.

23 Bonhoeffer's remark "Yesterday we had elections" indicates that the letter was written either on August 1, 1932 or on November 7, 1932. Ernst-Albert Scharffenorth opts for August 1, since in November 1932, especially in a sermon on November 6, Bonhoeffer regarded the situation in Germany and "the future as being much darker than in the letter to Lehmann."


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prohibition for the export of currency soon. Maybe half and half, at least then you are safe.

Yesterday we had elections. We are fortunate that the Nazis did not win the majority. It is bad, however, that once more the newly elected parliament won't be able to form a government. The time has just not arrived yet that Germany can be handed over to a bunch of adventurers, even if they are without doubt full of idealism.

It is still entirely unclear whether we can avoid violent measures on a larger scale. First, we have to await how the leadership of the Nazis, that is, how Hitler reacts to the result. I don't really believe that he will undertake violent action on his own. Usually, he has adhered more to legal principles. The only question is whether he can for much longer calm down the masses who are now finally waiting for actions on his side and who are following him only for this reason.

Please, let me know when exactly you will arrive and when you think we'll have a chance to meet the first time.

I wish you all the best for the final weeks over there, but especially for your crossing and your time over here. Certainly, you will participate in one of the most decisive moments here. For this reason, it might be better if you were in Germany, since in Switzerland you are a bit far from the events, especially from the emotions and experiences of present-day Germany and Europe. The pulse of the times you will be able to feel more in Germany.

For now many cordial greetings to you and to your parents too. I still enjoy thinking back on the days in Elmhurst.

Give my many greetings to your wife!

Always yours

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

POSTCARD24

My dear Paul,

I Finally a sign of life from me. I was so happy to receive news from you
and I just promised to Sutz that I would become a better writer, thus you
may also receive your share. There is always much to do in Germany, as
you can guess. Many things that one would like to do are falling under the
table. How is it going with you? With cordial greetings to you and your wife,

Yours

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

24 Postmarked September 5, 1936, from Wiesendangen, Switzerland, the card is addressed (in Erwin Sutz's handwriting) to:

Mr. Paul Lehmann, Th.D.
College of the Evangelical Synod
Elmhurst, near Chicago, Ill. U.S.A.
Below Bonhoeffer's signature, Sutz adds:
Cordial greetings!
Yours Erwin Sutz.