7 January 1977 Passing of Adolph Freudenberg – Friend of Bonhoeffer, Lawyer, Pastor, Ecumenist #otdimjh

Adolph Freudenberg – WCC archive

Adolf Freudenberg, who because of his marriage to a “non-Aryan” woman had to emigrate to England in March 1939, was a diplomat and a member of the Confessing Church. He was a personal friend of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and hosted him on his visits to London. After April 1939, in London he organized the refugee work for the provisional World Council of Churches, which he later carried out from Switzerland.

Adolf Emil Freudenberg (* 4. April 1894 in Weinheim; † 7. Januar 1977 in Bad Vilbel) war ein deutscher Diplomat und evangelischer Pfarrer.

After graduating with a legal doctorate Adolf Freudenberg joined as a lawyer in the service of the Foreign Office. In 1934 he was Legal Chief in the cultural policy department.

Adolph and Elsa Freudenberg

Due to the Jewish descent of his wife Elsa Liefmann (born February 19, 1897, † December 1, 1988), a cousin of Robert Liefmann, he retired from public service in 1934 and began a year later, at the Bethel Theological College of the Confessing Church to study theology. He was ordained by the Dahlem Brotherhood.

In 1939 he succeeded in emigrating, first to London, where he was admitted to the German Lutheran Church of St. George and its pastor Julius Rieger. The Ecumenical Council of Churches, which was being set up, entrusted him with the care of refugees from Germany and brought him to Geneva in the summer of 1939 to build the Council’s refugee agency. Here he also repeatedly hosted Dietrich Bonhoeffer during his conspiratorial trips to Geneva during the Second World War .

After the war Freudenberg belonged to the first ecumenical delegation in the run-up to the Stuttgart confession of guilt over the Holocaust.

Holy Spirit Church in Heilsberg

In 1947 he returned to Germany and became pastor of the refugee settlement Heilsberg in Bad Vilbel, at the Protestant Holy Spirit Church. In 1952 he founded the “Protestant Working Group for Service to Israel in Hesse and Nassau”, the current working group Church and Israel in the Protestant Church of Hesse and Nassau .

His daughter, born in 1922 Brigitte († 1986) was a Protestant theologian and parish worker and was married to Helmut Gollwitzer .

They belong to the Freudenberg family, which owns the Freudenberg Group .

Letter from Bonhoeffer: To Henry Smith Leiper
Dear Dr. Leiper,
I have just received a letter from Dr. Freudenberg asking me urgently not to take over the refugee-post if I wish to go back to Germany. He also calls my attention to the fact that there are many of our confessional pastors who will never be able to return to Germany and from whom, therefore, I should not take away the chance of this post. I hope you will be able to spare an hour of your time to-morrow for me. We must get clear about it.

With many thanks and best regards, Yours ever
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I hope you have got my last letter.(http://ms.augsburgfortress.org/downloads/0800698150Chapter1.pdf?redirected=true p176)

Prayer and Reflection. It is deeply moving to see the courage and perseverance of these accidental saints. Simply by being married to someone who was Jewish, the course of Freudenberg’s life, like many others, took an unlikely turn. His legal and political skills were turned to the work of survival, then resistance, then post-war reconciliation. Thank God for such unintentional service, to Germany, the Church, the Jewish people, and all humanity! May Freudenberg’s name and memory be for a blessing, and may we too be inspired to make a difference in a needy and suffering world. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.

Visits to Geneva. In: Wolf-Dieter Zimmermann (ed.), Meetings with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. 4th edition, Christian Kaiser Verlag , Munich 1969, pp. 158-161
Two speeches. Hrsg. German Coordinating Council of the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation , Frankfurt 1955. Contains: Task and Limit of Tolerance by Eugen Gerstenmaier . Speech for the opening of the Week of Brotherhood , Munich, March 6, 1955; The obligatory background of our work by Freudenberg. Speech held at the board meeting of the German Coordination Council, Offenbach, 2 June 1955
Anti-Semitism, Judaism, State of Israel. Voice, Frankfurt 1963 (Series: Answers, 3)
In the outdoors Geneva. [1] In: “Liberators being dragged to death!” Ecumenism through closed borders 1939-1945 (= series of reading signs). Vorw. Helmut Gollwitzer. Kaiser, Munich 1989 ISBN 3459015918 P. 16-6. [2]
as publisher: Save it! French and the Geneva Ecumenism in the service of the persecuted of the Third Reich. Protestant publishing house Zollikon EVZ, Zurich 1969 [3]
Au-delà des frontières. L’action du Conseil Ecumenique des Eglises, in Les clandestins de Dieu. CIMADE 1939–1944 Hgg. Jeanne Merle d’Aubigné, Violette Mouchon, Émile C. Fabre. Fayard, Paris 1968; again Labor & Fides, Geneva 1989 ISBN 2830905881 pp. 39–61 (in French). In English: God’s underground. CIMADE 1939–1945: accounts of the activity of the French Protestant church during the German occupation of the country in World War II. Compilation and contributions: Jeanne Merle d’Aubigné and Violette Mouchon. Hrsg. Emile C. Fabre. Introduction Marc Boegner ; a chapter on CIMADE today. Translated by William and Patricia Nottingham. Bethany, St. Louis (Missouri), 1970

About richardsh

Messianic Jewish teacher in UK
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2 Responses to 7 January 1977 Passing of Adolph Freudenberg – Friend of Bonhoeffer, Lawyer, Pastor, Ecumenist #otdimjh

  1. Pingback: 7 January 1977 Passing of Adolph Freudenberg – Friend of Bonhoeffer, Lawyer, Pastor, Ecumenist #otdimjh — On This Day In Messianic Jewish History | Talmidimblogging

  2. Pingback: 4 February 1874 Robert Liefmann, Professor of Economics born #otdimjh | On This Day In Messianic Jewish History

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