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  (全英文書)1906出生宗教靈魂人物迪特里希‧潘霍華(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)對當時教會的章程大失所望;所以他從此遊走在牧師和間諜身分之間的傳奇故事。


作  者:Vince Barwinski
類  別:人文科普
出  版:白象文化事業有限公司
語  言:英文
I S B N :9786267018125
裝  訂:平裝

定  價:NT$1200


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序 / 導讀

試  閱

作  者


◎ 本書含蓋了傳記宗教和歷史;特別是政治和軍事。
◎ 反抗纳粹黨德籍牧師迪特里希‧潘霍華(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)和當時貴族女性代表露絲‧范‧克里絲(matriarch Ruth von Kleist)視迪特里希如自己兒子之間的歷史故事。
◎ 作者以澳洲出生的波蘭後裔的觀點,花了近六年時間考證這段歷史並反應出現今某些中外人士外對於歷史、社會、宗教、政治等等理念的「不平衡點」。

In memory of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ruth von Kleist-Retzow and their kin, who dared to uphold everything that was decent in a world of indecency and injustice.

A compelling German historical biography of faith, framed by religious, political and military conflict, set in the twin cataclysmic backdrop of both world wars, as seen from a fresh Polish perspective. The narrative is enriched with a wide array of compelling and heroic personal stories, including of many extraordinary women, such as the Junker matriarch Ruth von Kleist and her children, in defiance of multiple manifestations of tyranny. The central figure, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, of whom Ruth came to regard like a son, becomes disenchanted with the State Church’s appeasement of the National Socialist agenda, and transitions into a double life as pastor and spy. As the tension builds to the tragic climax, one can draw disturbing parallels with the modern-day subversion of all faiths, Western and traditional, and all other manner of human rights abuses in Xi Jinping’s People’s Republic of China, with tacit approval it seems, from the Vatican in Rome. Moreover, eerie parallels from the death throes of Weimar Germany for America in 2020-21.



作者Vince BARWINSKI曾在台灣教書;在台灣時他遇見他的「未來太太」。為了尋根;他曾前往德國並曾在波蘭教書。


Vince的父親出生年代與本書的靈魂人物牧師迪特里希‧潘霍華(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)年代接近。


他架構了許多動人心弦和動蕩不安關於歷史、宗教、政治和軍事的摩擦故事。書中帶出了許多傑出的人物,尤其是那時代貴族家族德國的女性代表──露絲‧范‧克里絲(matriarch Ruth von Kleist)和她孩子在專制統治的下故事。故事裡的中心人物迪特里希‧潘霍華(Dietrich Bonhoeffer);如同她的兒子般。對當時教會的章程大失所望;所以他從此遊走在牧師和間諜身分之間。故事背景雖是迪特里希那年代的故事,但也比對並反射出帶入故事的高潮如今日的中國的習近平、美國2020的總統大選、羅馬梵蒂岡教宗、某些人及一些媒體新聞對於所有關於人權的理念偏見、傳統和現代觀念的衝擊及「默許濫用」等等。


Chapter 4

The Aryan Paragraph

  Soon after the passing of the Malicious Practices and Enabling acts came the Aryan Paragraph, which took effect on April 7 1933. The Bonhoeffers always had access to privileged information, but as the spectre of the Third Reich encroached more and more into German life, most of it came from Christine’s husband and lawyer Hans von Dohnányi at the German Supreme Court. The Aryan Paragraph was, for Dietrich, of grave concern, and with advanced notice, he started to write his essay, The Church and the Jewish Question in March; he delivered it in early April to a group of pastors who met regularly at the home of Gerhard Jacobi, pastor of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
   The Aryan Paragraph would result in a set of disturbing new laws, by which all government employees had to be of Aryan stock. Cynically packaged as the “Restoration of the Civil Service,” all Jewish employees would, among other “racially impure” ethnicities, have their employment terminated. In the case of the German Church, which was essentially a state church, compliance with this directive would mean that all pastors of Jewish blood, including Dietrich’s dear friend Franz Hildebrandt, would be excluded from the ministry. It was under this intense pressure on institutions all over the country to fall in line with the tsunami of National Socialist dogma that Dietrich wrote his essay.
   For the members of the German Christian Movement, the implications of the Aryan Paragraph in general, but in particular for the church, were endorsed with rapturous enthusiasm. However, what Dietrich found even more disturbing was the willingness of more mainstream Protestant leaders to consider adopting the Aryan Paragraph. While not necessarily harbouring any ill will to Jews in general, they could see no real problem with Christians of Jewish heritage being compelled to form their own Christian church, as was the case for example with negroes in the American South. This pragmatic appeasement of Hitler, before the coming of future horrors, seemed on the surface rather benign, and they reasoned that appeasement of the Nazi state would bear the fruits of restoring the church to its glory before the Treaty of Versailles and the chaos and humiliation of the last twenty years. After all, was not the moral degeneration of Weimar Germany self-evident?
   Dietrich, however, had seen first-hand the negative consequences of such thinking during his visit to America, especially in the South. At the time, in his letters back home to Germany, he had written that he saw no analogous situation in Germany. However, with the passing of the Aryan Paragraph, this was now becoming a stark reality. For Dietrich, the Aryan Paragraph would have been an unequivocal violation of the book of Galations, Chapter 3, verse 28: “there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
   As such, a church that excluded Jews was not a church of Christ, but a heresy. However, in his address, he went further by stating that the church still had an obligation to act, even when victims of institutionalised injustice were not Christian. Naturally, everyone knew he was talking about the Jews, and with the church’s existence thus threatened, it was not enough for the church to “bandage the victims under the wheel, but to put a spoke in the wheel itself.”
   In this regard, Dietrich’s grandmother Julie Bonhoeffer was a perfect example. On April 1 1933, Hitler declared a national boycott of Jewish stores. The pretext was to stop the perceived Jewish dominated international press from printing lies about the National Socialist regime. In effect, they were again justifying an act of unconstitutional aggression as an act of defence against actions against them and the German Volk. Goebbels ranted and raved at a rally in Berlin, and across the nation, SA men intimidated shoppers who tried to enter Jewish-owned stores, along with the offices of lawyers and doctors. Their windows were defaced in black or yellow paint with the Star of David and the word “Jude” (Jew), while SA thugs handed out pamphlets and held placards proclaiming “Deutsche Wehrt Euch! Kauft Nicht Bei Juden!” (Germans, protect yourselves! Don’t buy from Jews!). Strangely, perhaps for the benefit of the “Jewish dominated international press,” some signs were in English: “Germans, defend yourselves from Jewish Atrocity Propaganda — buy only at German shops!”
   It was on this day, in this atmosphere of bigotry and intimidation, that Dietrich’s ninety-year-old grandmother decided she would nevertheless shop wherever she wanted to shop. Moreover, she was forthright in telling the brown shirt thugs of her intentions when they tried to restrain her from entering. Later that same day, she did the same at the famous Kaufhaus des Westens, the largest department store in the world at the time. For the Bonhoeffer family, the story of their brave and defiant granny blithely marching past Nazi gorillas became the embodiment of the values they sought to live by.
   Just before this time, in late March, Paul and Marion Lehmann, whom Dietrich knew from his time at the Union Seminary in New York, came to visit. Witnessing the April 1 boycott first hand, they also saw the spectacle of the German Christians’ conference, at which Göring gave an address, extolling the dubious virtues of the “Führer Principal” and admonishing them “to expect their Führer to lead in every aspect of German life, including the church.” Göring later stated Hitler’s proposal for the office of Reichsbischof (Nation’s Bishop) to “bring all the disparate elements in the German church together.” Ludwig Müller, a rather unrefined former naval chaplain, was ultimately appointed in this “unifying” role.
   For the Lehmanns, the Bonhoeffer home on Wangenheimstrasse was like a sanctuary utterly removed from the surrounding madness that Germany was spiralling into. Although they did occasionally notice big brother Klaus tiptoeing to the door in the room in which they were speaking, to check if any servants were listening. Such was the rapidity with which the Nazis were implementing their agenda that just two months following Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor, they did not know who they could trust. The Lehmanns noticed a change in Dietrich from his more flamboyant and carefree days in New York two years ago. Institutionalised discrimination in Germany was now, to his horror, becoming a reality.
   This reality would have played no small part in prompting Dietrich, in collaboration with Paul Lehmann, to write a letter to Rabbi Stephen Wise in New York, an honorary president of the American Jewish committee with connections to President Franklin Roosevelt. Since the passing of the Reichstag Fire Edict, the writing of such a letter was a treasonable offence, and Dietrich knew full well that he could end up in a concentration camp for his troubles. Nevertheless, he felt honour bound to co-author the letter.
   This environment led to Dietrich making a decision he would later regret. On April 11, just ten days after the Jewish boycott, Dietrich was approached to preach a sermon for a funeral. On the surface, this seems benign enough, but it was for the ethnically Jewish father of Gerhard Leibholz, who, unlike his son, had not been baptised into the Christian church. As a man who had been passionately campaigning against the Nazis on the so-called Jewish question, Dietrich was aware that the preaching of such a sermon for one who had not been baptised into the Christian church would be construed as incendiary and provocative.
   On the other hand, the fact that Gerhard was his brother-in-law and husband of his twin sister Sabine meant that Dietrich was emotionally conflicted. After consulting with his district superintendent, who was overly sensitive to the uproar it would cause, Dietrich declined the invitation to preach at the funeral. It was a decision he would later regret, and one he was not likely to have felt comfortable with at any time. Seven or so months later, on Reformation Sunday, even though Gerhard and Sabine had never said anything to him, Dietrich would write to them, expressing his abject regret about the weakness in his decision.
   Gerhard was a popular professor of law at Göttingen, and Sabine would often attend his lectures. On the day of the boycott, Sabine made a point of attending her husband’s scheduled lectures. When Gerhard and Sabine walked down the street, the atmosphere was toxic; people who recognised them would suddenly cross over the street. When Sabine arrived, she was greeted by students dressed in SA uniforms with the words, “Leibholz must not lecture, he is a Jew. The lectures are not taking place.” Theologian Walter Bauer and a certain professor met them there, expressing their disgust with the Nazis. Worse still, many of Gerhard’s relatives lost their jobs, and one of his Jewish school friends committed suicide. By now, such instances were commonplace.
   At the German Christians’ conference, Göring declared that everything in German society was compelled to fall in line with Nazi doctrine. This included books and ideas, and on the night of Thursday May 11 1933 at 11pm, thousands of students gathered in every university town across Germany to perform a chillingly symbolic implementation of this objective. From Heidelberg to Tübingen to Freiburg to Göttingen, where the Leibholzes lived, mobs of student “intellectuals” marched in torchlight parades to huge bonfires, into which they hurled thousands of books declared “degenerate” in the infamous literary Säuberung (cleansing). In Berlin, at the stroke of midnight, addressing the mob of thirty thousand, Joseph Goebbels, of club foot and short stature, ranted into the darkness with characteristic Aryan “super-race” zeal: “

German men and women! The age of arrogant Jewish intellectualism is now at an end!…You are doing the right thing at this midnight hour — to consign to the flames the unclean spirit of the past. This is a great, powerful, and symbolic act… Out of these ashes the phoenix of a new age will arise… O Century! O Science! It is a joy to be alive!”

‧‧‧  ‧‧‧  ‧‧‧  

Chapter 6

Old Prussia — Birth of Ruth to Precarious Survival

   In the heyday of Old Prussia, on February 4, 1867, Ruth Ehrengard Gräfin von Zedlitz-Trützschler, was born and christened on the grand Lower Silesian estate of Grossenborau, with none other than the illustrious Otto von Bismarck present at the christening.
   Post-World War II, Germany’s history is virtually bereft of any mention of Prussia — the nation state that had dominated the proud and unified Germany or Second Reich, founded in January 1871, in the wake of its glorious victory over the French in the Franco-Prussian War. Wilhelm I, then King of Prussia, a title which he retained, was adorned with the additional title of Emperor or “Kaiser” of the newly unified Germany. However, the true architect of German unification was the politically astute and adept Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), who now became the Chancellor of the newly united Germany. As if to accentuate French humiliation, the ceremony witnessed by the father and future father-in-law of the young child Ruth, was held in the most grand of all French palaces — Versailles. Decades later, in 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm I’s grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), led the Second Reich into the Great War, but by early November 1918, was forced into abdication and subsequent exile in Holland, until his death in 1941. Seven months later, in June 1919, in the same palace of Versailles, Germany, rather than celebrating the dawn of a grand new era, was compelled to sign the humiliating treaty of Versailles.
   In spite of Prussia’s dominant position in 1871, not all of the Prussian landed gentry embraced this notion of Otto von Bismarck’s unified Reich. One such dissenter was Ruth’s future father-in-law and Bismarck’s oldest friend and bachelor roommate, Hans Hugo von Kleist-Retzow. However, Prussia remained the most dominant state in Germany until 1945, before it was formally dissolved by the Allied powers on February 25, 1947.
   In April 1882, Ruth’s father Robert first pointed out the young Jürgen von Kleist-Retzow to the impressionable fifteen-year-old Ruth from his governor’s box. This was during a concert out-side Oppeln in the military compound; Ruth was instantly enchanted by his dashing presence. However, until Jürgen’s formal written proposal to Ruth in October 1885, their meetings were fleeting. Before writing his letter, as was the custom, Jürgen had asked Ruth’s father for permission. Ruth had yearned for Jürgen, and was resigned that she would never see him again, much less marry him. Upon reading Jürgen’s letter, Ruth’s reply was: “tausendmal ja!” — “a thousand times yes!” Now, as a young wife, she had an inordinate fear that she would lose him again, during his overnight absences in performing his duties as the district Landrat. Only death, years later in 1897, would permanently separate them. After which, Ruth never married again.
   In 1885, Charlotte, the wife of Jürgen’s father Hans Hugo von Kleist, passed away. Her death left her husband so distraught, that he could not bear the thought of burying his wife, and so had her laid in a casket in the church crypt. Seven years later, when Hans Hugo passed away, he was also laid in a casket in the church crypt next to his wife. When Ruth’s husband Jürgen first showed her the crypt of his deceased mother in February 1886, just days after their marriage at Grossenborau, Ruth, a native Silesian, incorrectly perceived this as a bizarre Pomeranian tradition, since only in the extreme depths of winter would the Silesians not immediately bury their own.
   Five or so years later in November 1897, when Hans Hugo’s son and Ruth’s dear husband Jürgen died at age 43, Ruth decided to have him laid to rest beside his parents in the crypt; Jürgen’s unmarried brother and sister had been reluctant to bury their parents in the Kieckow cemetery. For months, Ruth dressed and was veiled in black. Ruth’s father, Robert senior, visited seven or so months later in June 1898, and insisted that his daughter must put the past and her grief to bed, under the responsibility that she now bore as the widowed mistress of the grand estate of Kieckow. Ruth conceded to her father the need to move on and accept the responsibility thrust upon her by her husband’s death. At the burial, the priest accordingly declared the time for mourning at Kieckow over, while the weekly ritual of Ruth taking her children below into the ancestral crypt likewise ceased forthwith. Nevertheless, the caskets of Hans Hugo and his wife Charlotte remained in the crypt until the cataclysm of 1945.
   Having now, in the second-half of 1898, put the grief of her husband’s death behind her, the widowed Ruth realised that the modern and increasingly industrial times at the cusp of the twentieth century meant that local schooling was inadequate for her children’s future, so she decided, late that year, to leave the Kieckow estate in the capable hands of her cousin Fritz von Wödtke, and moved to a large town house in Stettin (now modern-day Polish Szczecin) to mind the children during their gymnasium education.
   That year as well, Ruth’s elder brother, Robert junior, started serving in the Imperial Court in Berlin. Until 1903, he would serve as the personal adjutant to Prince Joachim of Prussia, born in 1890 as the sixth and youngest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II. As impressive as this may sound, the down-to-earth nobleman, Robert, regarded his role as nothing more than playing nursemaid to a petulant boy, insistent on embarrassing the royal family. However, in 1903, he would be promoted to the office of Hofmarschall (Court Marshall — chief administrator) for the Kaiser’s court, and serve there until his resignation in 1910. In spite of the promotion to the Kaiser’s inner circle, his opinion of the Kaiser’s court did not change. Throughout his twelve years in the Kaiser’s court, he was frustrated in his efforts to bring about any sort of reform in what he believed to be a Byzantine circle of hangers-on, who distracted, misled and even infected the Kaiser with their gossip and petty intrigues.
  During the reception in Stettin in October 1908 for the wedding of Ruth’s first daughter Spes to the local industrial magnate Walter Stahlberg, Ruth’s father, Robert senior, expressed his agreement with his son’s view of a vainglorious Kaiser who only listened to the worst advice. As they were conversing in what they thought was a secluded corner of the resplendent Hotel Preussenhof, Robert senior peered over his son’s shoulder to notice his daughter Ruth had been listening to every word. Brother Robert junior implored his sister not to allow the Kaiser to come between himself and her. While Ruth seemed to heed his plea then, it was not so sixteen years later, when Robert junior’s book was published, documenting the litany of petty intrigues in the Kaiser’s court.
   In February 1912, Robert senior saw the Kaiser as indecisive to the point of being dangerous, pontificating in domestic politics while threatening in matters of foreign policy, yet incapable of acting consistently in either. In 1890, just two years into the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the architect of German unification, resigned after a major fall-out. Eight years later in 1898, the year Robert junior entered the Kaiser’s court, Bismarck passed away in his estate near Hamburg.
   Throughout Prussia, there was the sense that the Kaiser and his chancellor did not possess political acumen, such as Bismarck had shown, to ensure the survival of Old Prussia, and a united Imperial Germany in general. Intellectual naysayers in Berlin, and even Gertrud von Bismarck, a fellow Pomeranian Junker and great niece of Otto von Bismarck, were predicting the downfall of the Kaiser and the monarchy within Ruth’s lifetime. Such talk was depressing for the proud Ruth, in spite of her admission, deep down, of the shortcomings of her Kaiser, as previously elaborated by her brother. As Jane Pejsa commented: “

Still, one man’s reign is nothing in comparison to the five centuries that have gone into the building of an orderly system in which every man and woman has a designated place and set of responsibilities and privileges to go with it. Besides, it is all part of God’s plan, a secular order in parallel with, yet subservient to, the spiritual order in which Jesus Christ reigns supreme. Whatever the future holds, if the monarchy is threatened and duty calls, Ruth will be there, and she has absolute confidence that all her children, from Hans Jürgen to Ruthchen, will be there too.”

On July 28, 1914, the fears of a now ailing Robert senior and his son, and the call to arms of Ruth’s family, were realised when the empire of Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. On the face of it, this should have just been a minor localised spat, but the intricate web of European alliances, supposedly fostered to avert war, precipitated what would become the most cataclysmic war so far. A domino effect of mobilisation orders and declarations of war by Europe’s major powers, starting with Russia’s declaration of war on Austria in solidarity with their fellow Serbian Slavic brethren, then Germany entering the fight in solidarity with their Germanic Austrian kinsmen, triggered a war that far exceeded what they had planned or desired.



Vince Barwinski, born in Sydney Australia in 1962, taught English in Taiwan in 2003 and Poland, the land of his paternal ancestors from September 2004 to June 2005. In Taiwan he met his future wife, whom he married on his return to Australia from Poland in October 2005. However, it was in Poland, in February 2005 that he came upon his inspiration for this book. Namely the bronze cross memorial to the German anti-Nazi Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the modern-day Polish city of Wrocław – pre-WWII German Breslau and birthplace of Dietrich in February 1906. It was the dual history of this city and his amateur passion for history, fostered by his father, in particular, WWII history of Europe, that inspired him to write of Dietrich Bonhoeffer from a hitherto, unique Polish perspective, with lessons of history still relevant in today’s world. Not the least of which being, the religious oppression and subversion in Xi Jinping’s China, and the rise of the radical left in America in 2020-21, mirroring in many respects, Hitler’s Reich.

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