Have You Ever Heard of Ilse Fredrichsdorff?

Have You Ever Heard of Ilse Fredrichsdorff? January 29, 2018

Have you ever heard of Ilse Fredrichsdorff?

In Robert Yarbrough’s excellent book, The Salvation-Historical Fallacy (p. 342, n. 9) he gives this quote from the preface of M. Albertz, Die Botschaft des Neuen Testament (1947-57) which left me gob-smacked:

“This book is dedicated to the young brethren of the Confessing Church. I was united with them in my office as leader of the Office of Theological Examination of the Confessing Church in Berlin-Brandenburg. I was all the closer to these brethren, whose status was illegal from the start, in that performance of my ministry resulted in the loss of my freedom as well as my ordination, withdrawn by a bogus ecclesiastical authority. This book’s dedication bears two names [one is Erich Klapproth, the other is] Ilse Fredrichsdorff … When the church struggle began she was a young girl belonging to the Confessing Church congregation Nicolai-Melanchthon in Spandau. Through our congregation, she came to take up theological study. She studied in our theological college and in Basel with Karl Barth. She became curate of the only truly evangelical confessional school that could be established under the Third Reich, the school for non-Aryan Christian children who were no longer permitted to attend the public school. During the war, she remained in congregations northeast of Berlin, in that region where the last battle prior to Berlin was waged. She was so much in demand for her pastoral skills that the major of the troop emplacements behind which lay the villages she served repeatedly requested her aid among the troops. Later she led the displaced congregations with the word of God, went back to the hunger zone as much as possible, and, after she had buried hundreds of the thousands who perished, succumbed herself to starvation (II/1, 13-14).”

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