Wednesday, January 12, 2022

JW Wartick reviews a Bonhoeffer book and mentions mine

"I still [love] ... you a little, but hardly at all." Letter from Maria von Wedemeyer to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, May 6, 1944

JW Warwick has written a thoughtful and concise review of a historical novel based on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's engagement to Maria von Wedemeyer: In it, he offers an excellent summary of my analysis of the Dietrich-Maria relationship in The Doubled Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The novel bases itself on what JW aptly calls the Metaxas "pseudobiography" of Bonhoeffer, which differs little from the fanciful pseudohistories of saints produced in the Middle Ages. As fiction, the novel in question can imagine what it likes, but it is disappointing that the author supplies a reading unsupported by the historical record and that has little to do with Bonhoeffer's real biography.

I was also gratified that JW referenced Stephen Haynes on the "battle for Bonhoeffer." As with the culture wars in general, this one continues. History, if it has any meaning, strongly upholds the interpretation that Bonhoeffer was in love with Eberhard Bethge. This is the truly dramatic love story, as Dietrich would not have returned to Germany from the United States on the brink of World War II if not for the fear of losing Eberhard, the one love of his life.

I hope you will read JW's review. I don't want to promote a novel that seemingly so distorts the historical record, but JW's words about it are well worth pondering.