Munich, 1 May 1943
My dear parents
I can't really write much of anything new; one day here is like all the others, and the time passes very quickly. Dear Father, dear Mother, if I must die now, you must know that I have no fear of death - no, therefore, you shouldn't worry about it-, I already know that a better life is waiting for us and will bring us back together again. What is difficult for me is that I will have to be separated from you all, all of you, whom I have loved so much, and who have loved me so much. The first thing I feel now is how I have loved you all and how, at our separation, I shall have to lose you all. Please try to overcome the pain of this loss, and don't forget that it is fate that a longer life has not been planned for me, and that it must come to this. Be it God's will, perhaps nothing will happen.
Greet everyone; my most heartfelt to everyone! Many, many hugs and kisses,
Munich, 30 May 1943
My dear parents,
I can't report anything new here, everything's just the same as always. There is one thing, however, that I want to tell you, so that your pain may be a little bit easier to bear. Should a pardon be rejected, please believe that 'death' does not mean the end of every life, but in fact, the opposite - birth, a transition to a new life, one which is wonderful and will last forever. Death is really nothing terrible. The separation is quite hard. But it will be less so if you think of it this way, that we won't be separated forever, but just for a time - like for a trip - in order for us to meet again forever and in in all eternity in a life that is infinitely more beautiful than the present one, and that there will be no end to us being together. Believe this, and then the burden will undoubtedly become easier for you. Hugs & kisses,
Munich, 18 June 1943
My dear parents!
I can't report anything new to you. Myself, I am healthy and in a good
frame of mind. I've recently read something in a very good and meaningful
book, that seems to be very fitting for you all: "The greater the tragedy
of life, the stronger one's faith must be; the more it seems that we are
forsaken, the more confidently we must command our souls into the hands of
God the Father". And the Abbot Theodor von Byzanz writes: "Therefore, I have thanked God for my misfortunes, and bowed myself
to the unfathomable judgements of His Providence, that in His beneficial
manner, He has already known, from the time in which the foundations of
the world were laid, the time and place of death of every person." This is
pretty much the same as what I have already written you. It would make me
very happy, if you would think the same way, it would take away a lot of
sadness and pain for you. But I'm not dead yet - and so pray and don't
give up hope.
My most heartfelt greetings,
(To his sister)
Munich, 2 July 1943
My dear, dear Natascha!
I'm sure that you have read the letters that I've sent our parents, so that you're pretty well informed. It will perhaps surprise you, then, when I write that from day to day I become calmer inside, even cheerful and happy, that my state of mind is, for the most part, better than it was earlier in freedom! Where does this come from? I want to explain that to you right now: This whole terrible misfortune was necessary in order to bring me to the true way - and because of that, it really wasn't a misfortune. Above all, I am happy and thankful to God that I had the chance given to me to understand where God was pointing to and through this to be able to go along the right path. What did I know then about faith, from true, deep faith, and of the truth, and above all, about God? Very little! Now, however, I have come far enough, that in my present situation, I am cheerful, calm, and confident, come what may. I hope that you [all] have gone through similar [spiritual] development, and that you [all] and me together - after the deep pain of separation - remain at the place where you thank God for everything. - This whole misfortune was necessary to open my eyes - not just my eyes though, but all of ours, all of us who have been hit with this, and so, our whole family. Hopefully you [all] have correctly understood the way to which God is pointing. Greet everybody from my heart, but you are especially greeted from your
Munich, the 13th of July 1943
My dear father and mother
Now it shall be none other than this, and by the will of God, today I shall have my earthly life come to a close in order to go into another, which will never end and in which all of us will again meet. Let this future meeting be your comfort and your hope. Unfortunately, this blow will be harder for you than for me, because I go in the certainty, that in my deep conviction, I have served the truth. All of this leaves me with a calm concience, despite how near the hour of death is. Think of the millions of young men who have lost their lives outside in the fields. Their lot is mine as well. Greet all my dear friends from my heart. Especially, though, Natascha, Erich, Nyanya, Aunt Toni, Maria, Alyonushka, and Andrei. In just a few hours I will be in a better life, by my mother, and I will not forget you; I will ask God to grant you solace and peace. And I will wait for you! One thing, above all, let me leave this on your hearts: Never forget God!!!
With me goes Professor Huber, who also sends you his most heart-felt greetings!
Gollwitzer, Helmut (Hrsg.), "Du hast mich heimgesucht bei Nacht", Gütersloher Verlagshaus Mohn, 1985
(English Translation: Cathy Constable)