Letters To London
Bonhoeffer's Previously Unpublished Correspondence With Ernst Cromwell, 1935-6
by Deitrich Bonhoeffer
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Ernest Cromwell, now in his 90's, was a young teenager when his family fled from Nazi Germany—first, briefly, to France and then to England. They settled in London in May 1934. Ernst's mother was keen that he should be confirmed and asked Dietrich Bonhoeffer to prepare him for confirmation.
One of the joys of this book is the transcript of a recent interview with Ernest Cromwell (he changed his name from Ernst to Ernest in 1941) as he reaches back in his memory to those distant days. When asked about his confirmation classes and how he and Bonhoeffer related to each other he said 'Oh, he would just, we would just read the Bible.'
During a recent refurbishment of the family home Ernest's son discovered twelve letters written by Bonhoeffer to Ernst and the family between March 1935 and March 1936. These letters take up less than a quarter of this book but the editors have provided interesting background information and a thought-provoking afterword, as well as the interview with Ernest.
As a Bonhoeffer lover I enjoyed this book and gained some insight into Bonhoeffer's pastoral heart as he tried to nurture the seeds of Christian faith in the young Ernst.
Reviewer: Jackie Rowe (08/01/14)