The “Bergli” as a Center of Resistance

  • 1st Picture for document

Barth continued taking an active part in the German Kirchenkampf from Switzerland – through both publications and correspondence and, when this was no longer possible, personal contacts. This picture was taken shortly before war broke out in 1939 in the “Bergli”, the summer house in which Barth lived together with his colleague and friend Charlotte von Kirschbaum.

The two regularly received visitors from Germany there. Their Swiss refuge thus became a center of resistance for participants in the German Kirchenkampf, too. Kirschbaum and Barth with Gertrud Staewen, (hidden from view) Ernst and Asta Wolf, Ruth Pestalozzi, Helmut Gollwitzer and Pierre Maury are pictured here (from left to right) engrossed in conversation.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer came to visit repeatedly in 1941 and 1942 during his conspiratorial travels gathering intelligence. It was essential before their third meeting in 1942 to dispel rumors that Barth had become suspicious of him because he found his freedom to travel inexplicable and uncanny. Lollo von Kirschbaum invited Bonhoeffer insistently and assured him that we are also laughing about this matter [...]. Thus: Karl Barth never mistrusted you a single moment. They were therefore able to continue their politically conspiratorial discussions.

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  • © Evangelisches Zentralarchiv in Berlin, 500/19483

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