In the last chapter of Os Guinness’ The Call, he opens with the story of Helmuth James von Moltke, a name I had never heard before. Moltke was a German official at the center of the underground resistance to Hitler during WWII, and a man who was eventually executed just months before the the end of the war little reason other than he stood against Hitler in the spirit and faith Christ. When I read a bit about him, I thought, here’s a story that needs to be told. And, lo and behold, I found Marc Smith, a Jewish playwright that has recently completed a play on Moltke’s life and work called A Journey to Kreisau. I wrote Mr. Smith about his play, and he graciously wrote me back, attaching the play, which I am very anxious to read. He also told me that the play recently was performed in Hamburg, Germany, during a celebration of the 100-year anniversay of Moltke’s birth, and that when it was over, the ovation lasted eight minutes.
To learn more about Moltke’s story, here is a review from the NY Times of a new translation of Letters to Freya, a publication of the many letters Moltke wrote his wife Freya during those years. I’m ordering that book as well. There is also a documentary called The Restless Conscience that includes something of Moltke’s story that I hope to see soon.
We live in a time when good is up for grabs and there are deep philosophical and religious tensions about what it means to stand for right in a time of troubled war. Something about this man’s courage calls to me, and I can’t wait to learn more.
…Mr. Nolte, might be worth a look?…
One Reply to “Helmuth James Von Moltke”
Mr. Berryman – you have my attention. We did a play on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s role in the resistance 20+ years ago and it was a powerful, cautionary tale. Since then, conservative politics and conservative Christianity have become way too synonymous and cozy for the Church – or solo voices in the Church – to have an independant prophetic role in society at large. I want to see this script too, and learn more about Mr. Moltke.