Letters to Eva Bildt

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Gollwitzer met the actress Eva Bildt in August of 1940. They got engaged in early 1941 but were not allowed to marry because of Bildt’s “half-Jewish” ancestry.

They wrote each other hundreds of letters over the course of the war. Bildt described life in Berlin, which was soon characterized by persecution, forced labor and the bombing war. Gollwitzer reported about the front. They wrote in hints and allusions, which frequently referenced the Bible and literature.

Helmut Gollwitzer also did so in a letter in which he addressed the attempt to assassinate Hitler on July 20, 1944. He worried about various acquaintances close to the conspirators. He linked the outcome of the assassination attempt with Daniel 8:25, which reads: By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand and in his own mind he [a presumptuous and deceitful king] shall magnify himself. Without warning he shall destroy many; and he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes; but by no human hand, he shall be broke. Thus, Gollwitzer was convinced that judgment would not be passed on Hitler by human hand.

Eva Bildt took her own life on April 27, 1945. Helmut Gollwitzer did not learn of this until one year later.

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