May 2008 Newsletter

Association of Contemporary Church Historians

(Arbeitsgemeinschaft kirchlicher Zeitgeschichtler)

John S. Conway, Editor. University of British Columbia

May 2008— Vol. XIV, no. 5


Dear Friends,


1) DVD review: Theologians under Hitler, Storm Troopers of Christ
2) Book reviews

a) Dramm, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. an introduction to his thought
b) Dramm, Dietrich Bonoeffer: und der Widerstand
c) Anglicanism and Orthodoxy

3) Dissertation Research – Reconciliation efforts in post-1945 Germany
1) Two new hour-long documentary films now available on DVD, and produced by Steve Martin of Vital Visuals Inc of Oak Ridge Tennessee, depict in an excellently scholarly mannner the more regrettable side of the Protestant church in Germany during the Nazi regime. Theologians under Hitler is virtually an illustrated version of the book with the same title written by Robert Ericksen of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Ericksen himself introduces the film and is assisted by an expert team of scholars, both German and American. He describes the careers of three of Germany’s most illustrious theologians, Paul Althaus, Emanuel Hirsch and Gerhard Kittel. Photographs from the archives are melded in with the campus scenery, along with commentary on their writings by today’s church historians. These men backed the Nazi cause as the answer to Germany’s political problems in an effort to restore the national self-confidence after the humiliation of the Versailles Treaty. Hitler’s energetic leadership appeared to them. the long-sought-after remedy. At the same time they urged German Protestants to abandon their engrained pietistic distaste for politics and to become relevant to the vibrant national community being forged by the Nazis. These views undoubtedly gave support to the Nazi cause, including its racial antisemitism.

None of these men were to express remorse in the post-war situation or to have changed their views. The commentators naturally deplore this scandalous heresy. They share a presentist view which points out the dangers of theologians providing justifications for nationalist or imperialist aggressions. They likewise warn against the intolerance displayed by these German Christians towards members of other faiths, especially Jews. They call for the lessons of the Church Struggle in Nazi Germany to be learnt by today’s Christians, especially in the United States. Storm Troopers of Christ records an even sadder chapter of the Protestant experience in the Nazi era. Its subject is the betrayal of true Christian values by the so-called “German Christians” and particularly their attempt to root out all Jewish influences and elements from the church. These pro-Nazi forces, led by their Reich Bishop Ludwig Mueller and by such theologians as Walter Grundmann, argued that only a Germanized Christianity could attract their fellow Germans back to the churches, and restore the church’s credibility by following Hitler’s political lead against the pernicious effects of Jewry. Church archives were therefore diligently searched to discover long-lost Jewish ancestors and to treat these Jewish-Christians as second class, expel them from leadership roles, or even turn them over to the Gestapo. Only a few brave souls stood out against this heretical tendency. Among them was Pastor Martin Niemöller who early on recognized the centrality of the issue of baptism. If the church capitulated to Nazi demands and excluded baptized Jews, then the Gospel’s validity would be destroyed. But the majority of German Protestants placed their national loyalties above sympathy with their fellow Christians of Jewish origins. The film’s commentators are undertandably indignant at this lamentable capitulation to Nazi pressures, which they rightly see as a deplorable breach of faith and a warning to others. JSC

2a) Sabine Dramm. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, An introduction to his thought. Peabury, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers 2007. 255 pp. ISBN-13: 978-1-56563-762-7.

In 2001, Sabine Dramm published this book in German, which has now appeared in English in a most attractive translation, put out unchanged by a small publisher in Massachusetts. This forms a prequel to her second book reviewed below by Victoria Barnett, which deals more specifically with Bonhoeffer’s role in the German resistance.

The present volume is indeed an introduction to Bonhoeffer’s ideas, and the story of his life is only tangentially referred to. But Dramm acknowledges that the exceptional features of his career were due more to his experiences in Nazi Germany than to the development of his thought. However, she provides an excellent summary of his theological progress, beginning with the bases of his Christian creed, and then giving short summaries of his writings, She follows, in the main, the interpretations given by Bonhoeffer’s premier biographer, Eberhard Bethge. But in the forty years since that biography appeared, times have moved on. Dramm shares today’s majority view, which finds it increasingly difficult to understand why so many German Protestants supported Nazism. So Bonhoeffer’s refusal to pay allegiance to that system of terror no longer has to be justified. On the other hand she is also aware that, as we enter the twenty-first century, there is a danger that Bonhoeffer and his theology may be written off as passé, or no longer relevant. But her succinct introduction should help to off-set such considerations. It will be of value especially to theological students or those new to Bonhoeffer. One problem is that, where she cites Bonhoeffer’s writings, the references are taken from the 17 volumes of the German edition of Bonhoeffer’s complete works. Not all of these have yet been translated into English, while the complete German set is not readily available abroad. But her translator has done such a good job that the original sense is neatly captured. So too the footnotes are nicely translated but include no references to any of the numerous English-speaking commentators, who are equally excluded from the bibliography. Since the book is intended to be sold to English readers, this omission is curious. JSC

b) V-Mann Gottes und der Abwehr? Dietrich Bonhoeffer und der Widerstand. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2005. (This review appeared first in the Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 2007/2 and is reprinted by kind pemission of the author.)

Bonhoeffer’s path into the resistance tends to be viewed either as the logical culmination of his theological course through the Kirchenkampf or as a politically grounded decision that contradicted his early theology. At least some of those who studied under him in the early 1930s and the Finkenwalde period didn’t know what to make of Bonhoeffer’s resistance activities or his prison writings. In the context of the Kirchenkampf, of course, Bonhoeffer’s resistance stands in stark contrast to most of his Protestant colleagues, and is read back into his early writings and actions, giving them a greater political clarity and significance than they may have actually had. In the popular literature, as well as most films on Bonhoeffer, his resistance provides the dramatic frame that has led all too often to a kind of mythology that portrays him as a central figure in the German resistance. As Dramm notes, the role of Bonhoeffer’s friend and biographer Eberhard Bethge has decisively shaped our understanding of Bonhoeffer the resistance figure, giving Bonhoeffer a centrality in this story (particularly in the portrayals of ecumenical and resistance circles) that is not always borne out by the historical literature. In his later writings and lectures, Bethge was actually more circumspect about Bonhoeffer’s role.

In this book Sabine Dramm explores “the story behind the story”: what did Bonhoeffer actually do in the resistance, and what does this mean for our understanding of Bonhoeffer, theologically and historically? Dramm has read and incorporated most of the pertinent literature in the field, drawing both on Bonhoeffer’s own writings from the 17-volume Dietrich Bonhoeffer Werke and on newer research, including the works by Klemens von Klemperer, Marikje Smid, Christine-Ruth Müller, and Winfried Meyer, as well as earlier publications by Bonhoeffer’s contemporaries, such as Jørgen Glenthøj and Josef Müller. Much of the book is simply a recapitulation of the relevant material from these various sources – a useful and very readable synopsis of Bonhoeffer’s resistance activities.

The concluding chapter, in which Dramm identifies ten main issues that deserve further study and research, is actually the strongest section of the book, and one wishes that she had focused more on developing each of these points throughout the narrative. Here, Dramm’s conclusions offer some provocative but very legitimate points for further discussion. There may be some truth to her conclusion that Bonhoeffer’s entry into the resistance was essentially a ploy developed by Hans von Dohnanyi to keep his brother-in-law out of military service, yet surely the central involvement of other family members in the conspiracy (not just Dohnanyi, but Bonhoeffer’s brother Klaus and his other brother-in-law Rüdiger Schleicher), was also a factor. This, as well as Bonhoeffer’s own wartime writings, would suggest a more deliberate decision to participate in the conspiracy. Regarding his resistance activities, Dramm correctly notes that while Bonhoeffer was indeed involved in the “Operation 7” rescue of 14 “non-Aryans” to Switzerland, his actual role was peripheral. The July 20 resistance circles in which he moved were indeed largely “national conservative” and tend to be treated more critically by historians of the period than by the theologically-trained Bonhoeffer scholars, and I would also concur with her that these conservative tendencies inform many of the passages in Bonhoeffer’s Ethics. Given this latter fact, Dramm is intrigued by the way in which his theological legacy has shaped progressive and liberation movements in the Christian world. As she notes, the political consequences drawn by the Protestant left after 1945 differ considerably from the worldview of many of Bonhoeffer’s fellow resisters. Dramm also notes the critique by Holocaust scholars of Bonhoeffer’s theological writings on the Jews and argues that here, too, the significance of his resistance activity deserves a more critical and contextual analysis.

Dramm concludes that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was not “the theologian of the resistance” but a “theologian in resistance” – that his importance ultimately rests more in what he said (and wrote) throughout the resistance years, and less in what he actually did. I would concur, even as I would argue that this is precisely what opens the way for a reading of Bonhoeffer’s texts from that era as a critique, not affirmation, of the “national conservative” circles in which he moved. His role in the actual resistance may have been minor, and his colleagues in that resistance may have been nationalists and monarchists. But his theological reflections on the challenges that confronted Christians under Nazism, including his reflections on the role of the Church in an ideological dictatorship and the consequences this has for the Church’s very identity, are powerful reminders to all Christians of the dangers of an alliance between Christianity, state authority, and ideology. As a “theologian in resistance”, Bonhoeffer ended his life imprisoned and pondering the very viability of religious faith in an ideological age.

There are a number of interesting comments and insights throughout this work; Dramm is an observant reader of Bonhoeffer and the historical literature, and in addition to her closing chapter, she offers good suggestions for deeper analysis or new avenues to pursue in the endnotes. Given her earlier comparative study of Camus and Bonhoeffer (1998), it would have been interesting had she incorporated some of that analysis or pondered Bonhoeffer’s thought in the larger context of European intellectual resistance. She suggests, but offers no real analysis of the larger issues: how his resistance affected his theology, how this history fits in (or doesn’t) in German Protestantism. Another aspect would be to ponder the compromises and delays made by the July 20 resistance – by all accounts a source of real anguish to Hans von Dohnanyi – and what influence this had upon Bonhoeffer’s prison writings as well as the Ethics.

This is a good synopsis of Bonhoeffer’s role in the resistance, however, and a very readable book for both general audiences and students interested in learning the details of this history – and Dramm’s concluding questions are certainly worthy of further study and examination.

Victoria Barnett, Washington, D.C.

c) Anglicanism and Orthodoxy – an on-again, off-again relationship

(The following review doesn’t really fall within the time frame of the majority of our contributions. But I thought it was so delightful that I wanted to share it with you all. JSC)

When I was a student at Cambridge, nearly sixty years ago, I joined a group known as the Fellowship of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius, which sought to know more about the affairs, and particularly about the spirituality, of the Orthodox Churches in eastern Europe. Unfortunately, since this was the height of the Cold War, visits to Russia were almost impossible. Some of us went on pilgrimages to Greece, but unfortunately I never got the chance to go to Mount Athos, that spectacular rocky peninsular in the northern Aegean Sea, on whose crags are built a bevy of Orthodox monasteries, visitable only by men, which pride themselves as being the spiritual power houses for the whole Orthodox communion. But the chaplain of my college, St. John’s. Henry Hill, who was a young Canadian, was greatly impressed. After he returned to Canada, he subsequently became the Bishop of Ontario, and was then invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to become the Commissary for the whole Anglican Communion in its relations to the Orthodox Churches. So he spent all of his holidays visiting eastern Europe, especially Roumania, where he got to know many of the Orthodox hierarchs and visited the wonderfully decorated monasteries in the northern province of Moldavia, which are some of the most precious relics of Orthodoxy’s great days.

At the time, I didn’t realize that the links between Anglicanism and Orthodoxy go back a long way – four hundred years or so! But this fascinating relationship is the subject of a new book, which is the record of a conference held a few years back in Oxford, and now edited by the former chaplain of Worcester College. The title is Anglicanism and Orthodoxy 300 years after the “Greek College” in Oxford (Peter Lang 2006). The high point of these essays is the story of the establishment of a College for Greek Orthodox students in Oxford. This experiment enjoyed only a brief existence from 1699 to 1705, but was an example of how lively and inclusive ecumenical relations were three hundred years ago. Though long forgotten, even in Oxford, the home of lost causes, this incident has now earned a learned Festschrift which will undoubtedly enrich our understanding of how these two faithful communities can and should relate to each other.

At the end of the sixteenth century, the first generation of Anglican theologians, having just rejected the supremacy of the Pope, were very conscious of the example of the Orthodox churches which had done the same five centuries earlier. Here, they thought, were allies who could be useful in giving them international support against the papal pretensions of Rome. Furthermore they regarded the Orthodox as faithful witnesses to ancient tradition. The new Church of England was eager to show that it adhered to the doctrines of the early church. Its theologians admired the Greek fathers and the Greek liturgy, and had maintained the ancient practice of the apostolic succession for its bishops. This affinity was all the more attractive in the first years of the reign of King James I, when he authorized the translation of the whole Bible into English. The English scholars naturally looked for help from their counterparts who still spoke Greek, the very language in which the New Testament had been written so long ago. Despite the distances of land and sea, and the significant differences of language, culture and religious traditions which separated the Orthodox Church in the east from the reformed Church of England in the west, nevertheless the two communions sought each other out.

In 1615 a letter was received by the Archbishop of Canterbury from the Patriarch of Alexandria, Cyril Lukaris, asking for support to send young Orthodox priests to take advantage of the theological resources of England as part of their training. Lukaris himself was a native of Crete, had studied in Venice and Padua, and had even journeyed to Poland where the Orthodox community was being vigorously attacked by the zealous proselytizing efforts of the Jesuits. He knew very well that the poorly educated Orthodox clergy were at an immense disadvantage when confronted by skilled Jesuits, who had even penetrated as far as Constantinople itself.

Archbishop Abbott was a staunch opponent of Roman Catholicism, as was the monarch King James, though his interest was more for the promotion of reunion among the churches. Both looked favorably on this initiative, and in 1617 the first such scholar. Metrophanes Kritopoulos arrived from Mount Athos and took up residence in Balliol College. He stayed for five years, and then went to London to collect books before setting off overland to his homeland in 1624. It was another twenty years before he was followed by Nathaniel Konopios, also chosen by Lukaris, who had now become Patriarch of Constantinople. Konopios was sponsored by both King Charles I and by the new Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud.

Unfortunately political events both in Turkey and in England interrupted this scheme. In 1638 Patriarch Lukaris was deposed and subsequently executed by the Ottoman Sultan, while Konopios’ stay in Balliol College was cut short by the English Civil War. Nevertheless both Kritopoulos and Konopios wound up in conspicuous ecclesiastical positions, the former as Patriarch of Alexandria and the latter as metropolitan of Smyrna. However, the distressed condition of Europe during the disastrous Thirty Years War, and of England when the monarchy was overthrown and the king executed, unsettled relations with the Orthodox communities for several decades.

However, in the late 1660s and 1670s several scholars from Oxford and Cambridge served as chaplains to the Levant Company, or to the British envoy to the Sublime Porte in Constantinople. This gave them the opportunity to see at first hand the Orthodox community, two centuries after the catastrophic fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, as well as to note the depredations and persecutions suffered at the hands of the Muslim rulers. Their reports and books published after their return kept the subject alive.

Not until after the deposition of King James II in 1688 was the idea of bringing young Orthodox theologians to England raised again. In 1692, a new advocate in Oxford took up the task of promoting this idea. Dr. Benjamin Woodroffe, a Canon of Christ Church, was elected Principal of Gloucester Hall, one of the newer foundations on the edge of the city. Unfortunately, due to the recent political turmoil, Gloucester Hall was largely a ruin and had only a few students in attendance. But Woodroffe, who was clearly an Oxford “character”, had other ideas. Shortly after he was elected, he went to London and secured an interview with the directors of the Levant Company. He must have been persuasive, since they agreed to provide free transport in their ships from the eastern Mediterranean for up to twenty students who should be brought to London, where they would be met by Dr. Woodroffe and escorted to Oxford. It is not clear just who was going to support them while in England. And in any case, various factors led to delays. Not until February 1699 did the first group of five students arrive to be part of what was now to be known at the Greek College.

Woodroffe gave as much publicity as he could to this innovation, and indeed then proceeded to a further striking endeavour in building up good relations with the Orthodox Church. Together with Edward Stephens, another champion of the reunion of the churches, he persuaded the Oxford University authorities to invite a distinguished Greek churchman, the Archbishop of Philippopolis, to come to Oxford. Not only that, but he obtained their support to offer the Archbishop the honorary degree of D.D. – a very seldom honor. The day of conferment of this degree in September 1701 was a great day for Woodroffe. He delivered a speech of welcome in Greek – to the astonishment of his colleagues – and proudly showed his guests around the newly refurbished Gloucester Hall, introducing them to his prize Greek students. The next year, 1702, Queen Anne herself came to Oxford on her way from Windsor to Bath, and was received with all due honors. Included with the numerous addresses was an ode in Greek hexameters spoken by the senior Greek student, Simon Homerus. It was all very impressive.

Woodroffe was boastful of his students’ progress. Writing in 1703 to Lord Paget, one of his patrons, he reported that they had not only picked up ancient Greek and Latin but were now able to speak English as if they were natives, “even disputing with us in Divinity in the Chappel”. Unfortunately, however, there were dissentions. Three of the students were lured away from Oxford by emissaries from the Roman Church, who promised them a still better education if they converted. They were passed on to Brussels and later were put on their way to Rome. However, two now came to regret their haste, and sought to return to Gloucester Hall. Woodroffe forgave them but they appear to have been sent home to Smyrna later in the year. And then the three new students who arrived with Lord Paget began to complain that their studies were too scrappy, and took themselves off to Halle in east Germany where they were offered much better conditions of accommodation and study by the Saxon Protestants. This defection effectively killed off the Greek College in Oxford, and the Levant Company refused to accept any more students. Woodroffe now found himself in financial difficulties, which were eventually to land him for a time in the Fleet prison – a singularly unpropitious fate for such a flamboyant clergyman. He died in 1711.

Despite this setback, interest in the Orthodox Churches continued among some Anglicans, particularly those known as the Non-Jurors, who refused to swear allegiance to the new monarchs after 1689, William and Mary, on the grounds that they had already taken an oath to serve King James II and his heirs. Most of them were deprived of their offices and positions, so now looked elsewhere for support, in particular from the eastern Orthodox patriarchs. Their abhorrence of the Roman pretensions led them to look back to the roots of the Church in Britain which had been established even before the departure of the Roman legions in the fourth century. They revered the Christian traditions derived from the ancient Church in Jerusalem, and the faith delivered by the Apostles and confirmed by the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople. On the other hand, there were still doctrinal differences, between the Church of England and Orthodoxy, particularly over the doctrine of transubstantiation and the worship of ikons. And on these points, the Orthodox leaders refused to make any concessions, or to agree that the goal of a full and perfect union required mutual accommodations. But when the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Wake, heard about these negotiations in 1724, he wrote off to the Patriarch of Jerusalem denouncing these Non-Jurors as schismatics and in no way representative of the Church of England. That put an end to the correspondence for a good many years.

One interesting legacy of the Non-Jurors, which shows their desire to link their worship to the days of the early church fathers – a tradition shared by the Orthodox – was the Liturgy of St James, printed in full as an appendix in Doll’s book. This was entitled: “An Office for the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist being the ancient liturgy of the Church of Jerusalem”, and was researched and used by a bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church in the middle of the eighteenth century. The patristic spirituality of the Anglicanism of the day is profoundly present. The reordering of the Eucharistic liturgy particularly emphasizes the spirit of adoration of the triune God, thanksgiving for the gifts of the whole created order, and the joining together of heaven and earth, of time and eternity. It makes for a powerfully effective and accessible rite.

In the twentieth century, the Orthodox Churches bore the brunt of the violent onslaught of the Communists, first in Russia after 1917, and then, after 1945, in Roumania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. In Constantinople, the new secular rulers of Turkey after 1922 proved to be somewhat more tolerant than the Sultans, but the great days of the Byzantine Church could not be restored. The great Church of the Hagia Sophia having been a mosque for four centuries, is now a museum. In Jerusalem, the Orthodox patriarchate became embroiled in the bitter conflicts between Arab and Jew. Not until the overthrow of the Soviet Empire in 1989 did a new era begin. The Russian Orthodox Church, buried for more than seventy years under the scorched earth of Marxist domination, now started to put forth shoots of new growth. In the past twenty years, thousands of churches have been restored or rebuilt, the seminaries are attracting younger recruits, and the artistic revival in the liturgies and icon-painting has been notable. Even in remote Macedonia, monastic life has experienced a remarkable rebirth, witnessing to the priority given to such spiritual endeavors At the same time, the church has begun to undertake the task of coming to terms with the darker side of its past, through the unfortunate but enforced collaboration and even complicity with the former dictators. All these developments have stimulated the interest of numerous Anglicans who seek to share their heritage and insights with these long-estranged fellow Christians. The basis is now once more established for a strengthening of Anglican-Orthodox relations, which we hope will bear fruit in the years to come.

John Conway

3) Dissertation Research: Steven Schroeder, Fraser Valley College, Abbotsford, British Columbia
(Steven Schroeder successfully defended this thesis at Notre Dame University, Indiana, last February, under the direction of Professor Doris Bergen. Congratulations, Steven!)

Reconciliation in Occupied Germany: 1944-1954

This dissertation examines how, from 1944 to 1954, a wide variety of individuals and groups in all four occupation zones began the processes of reconciliation between Germans and their wartime enemies. Reconciliation is defined as the process of establishing peaceful — or at least non-hostile — relations between former enemies. This dissertation argues that reconciliation was encouraged through interactions between the Allies and Germans from the outset of the occupation of Germany and that non-government organizations (NGOs) were able to foster reconciliation in ways that governments and military personnel did not.

After the collapse of the Third Reich, most Germans were unwilling to engage critically with the recent past. Still, the conditions of Allied occupation and demands of the international community led Germans to acknowledge, however reluctantly, the crimes of the Nazi era. In all parts of occupied Germany, German and international NGOs — aided by a disparate array of individuals and groups — played a key role in shaping public memory of the past. In western Germany, Germans engaged in discussions and negotiations that acknowledged Nazi crimes and recognized and compensated victims of Nazism. Discourses created in eastern Germany also acknowledged Nazi crimes but did not admit that Germans in the Soviet zone/GDR bore any responsibility for them. Instead, they categorized and ranked victims according to Stalinist ideology and Soviet conventions, a method that left tens of thousands of victims, including thousands of Jews, without official recognition or compensation. In general, the motives of people involved in initiating dialogue between former enemies and between perpetrators and their victims mattered less than actions and their repercussions.

This NGO diplomacy achieved numerous positive results for both the short and long-term stability of Europe — most notably in Franco-German and Christian-Jewish reconciliation — and occurred when Germans had no means of conventional diplomacy. Indeed, the combination of early domestic and international efforts that produced these discourses of victimhood that contributed to recognition and compensation of victims of Nazism also served German reconstruction, and assisted German integration internationally. In approaching this little-explored realm of the history of occupied Germany, this project sheds new light on the understanding of postwar German political developments, both democratization and Stalinization, and offers insights into the significant roles that NGOs can have in post-conflict reconstruction.

Most surprising, perhaps, is the finding that the achievements of NGO diplomacy in postwar Germany did not rely on altruism or lofty ideas. Instead, idealism was only one part of a combination of outside pressure, German self-interest, and the participation of former victims that produced lasting results.

In examining the many dimensions of reconciliation, numerous standpoints must be considered. A wide variety of sources were consulted to address the central questions posed in this project, including the records of Allied personnel, German and non-German relief workers and other NGO operatives, German and international religious and political figures, and victims of Nazism, both within Germany and abroad. The primary material that informs this dissertation is found in numerous archives and private holdings in the United States, and Canada. The Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archives) in Koblenz was consulted for the records of the Allied Control Authority, the files of the western Allies, and the files of German administrative bodies and governmental ministries. The Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR im Bundesarchiv (Archives of the Parties and Mass Organizations of the German Democratic Republic) in Berlin provided the basis for research on corresponding groups in the Soviet zone and the GDR.

The focus on NGOs in this dissertation necessitated vital research on many groups, whose records are scattered throughout Germany and Switzerland, including the records of: the Catholic Church Aid Society; the Societies of Christian-Jewish Cooperation; the Pax Christi group; and the Moral Re-Armament Group. In Berlin, research was conducted at the Archiv des Diakonischen Werkes der EKD (Protestant Relief Work archives), and the Evangelisches Zentralarchiv (Evangelical Central Archives), which holds the files of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze’s personal papers, and those of numerous Protestant NGOs. Together, these resources informed the details regarding the personnel, vision, and practice of the NGOs that were most effective in reconciliatory work in occupied western Germany.

The records of the NGOs that were most active in numerous aspects of reconciliation in the Soviet zone — the Victims of Fascism group, the Association of Victims of Nazism (VVN), and the Society of German-Soviet Friendship — are all located in the Federal Archives in Berlin. These files revealed the control that both the Soviet Administration and the eastern German governmental bodies had on NGOs, and correspondence between the groups shows the priorities and goals of each. Other useful resources consulted for this project include: the Zentralarchiv zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland (Central Archives for Research on the History of Jews in Germany) in Heidelberg; the Centrum Judaicum (Central Jewish Archives) in Berlin; the Archives of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana; and the John Conway Collection located in the John Richard Allison Library (Regent College) in Vancouver, Canada, which holds a wide variety of primary documents on the German churches.

Steven Schroeder, History Department, University College of the Fraser Valley, Canada

The June issue of this Newsletter will be edited by Matthew Hockenos, Skidmore College, New York. I am most grateful for his being willing to take this responsibility while I am on pilgrimage to the Middle East.

With very best wishes
John Conway