My name is Maria von Wedemeyer. I was born in 1924 at Pätzig Estate in Pomerania. I’m the third of seven children. Growing up, I was blessed to be a part of a loving and supportive family. I’ve always been especially close to my vater, Hans von Wedemeyer. He taught me how to ride a horse, how to appreciate nature. Together, along with my dear brother Max, we would spend hours on horseback, touring the estate and stopping to chat with our tenant farmhands. Rarely have I felt freer than in those moments.
Our extended family is also close, and I share a special relationship with my maternal grossmutter, Ruth von Kleist. She taught her grandchildren the piano, and her home was always open to our visits. One Sunday morning when I and some of my siblings were staying at her home, she announced we would be attending church at a chapel run by a group of seminarians who were studying in the area. Due to Hitler’s restrictions on the church, pastors who wished to be trained independently of the Reich had to do so in secret. My highly-opinionated grossmutter would not be told what to do by anyone, least of all Adolf Hitler, and she pledged her full support to this group of seminarians and their leader. That morning, I met him for the first name. His name was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I found myself awed by him, and moved by his sermon. As a young person growing up in 1930s Germany, it was difficult to know whom to look to for guidance, whom one could trust was truly doing the will of God. Our family found such a person in Dietrich.
I attended boarding school at Wieblingen Academy. The leader of the school was Elisabeth von Thadden. We students recognized right away that our fiery teacher wasn’t about to bow to the Nazis, nor teach us to do so. Even in the way she gave the Hitler salute—compulsory at the start of morning classes—she showed her dislike by limply raising her arm as if swatting a fly. I dearly loved that school and graduated with honors, especially in mathematics.
After graduation in 1942, I embarked upon a round of visits to friends and family before beginning my compulsory term of national service. Foremost among these was a stay with my grossmutter. It was there, on a sunlit June evening, that I was reunited with Dietrich Bonhoeffer again. After that evening, nothing in my life would ever again be the same.
~ ~ ~ ~
My Story Title: My Dearest Dietrich:
A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love
My Story Genre: Historical Fiction
My Story Released: June 09, 2019
~ ~ ~ ~
The Author of My Story:
Amanda Barratt is the ECPA best-selling author of several novels and novellas, including My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader’s Choice Award finalist. She and her family live in northern Michigan.
~ ~ ~ ~
- Website: www.amandabarratt.net.
~ ~ ~ ~
WHERE can the book be purchased?
~ ~ ~ ~
My Dearest Dietrich