Though this blog is dedicated to the writings of Delp that has yet to be published in the English speaking world, I am captivated by his first letter written from prison. One can find this letter in Mary Frances Coady’s “With Bound Hands.”Delp wrote this from Berlin Moabit prison, where he was held by the Gestapo for interrogation before he was eventually transferred to Tegel prison.
He was arrested on July, 28, 1944, a week after Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg’s failed assassination attempt on Hitler’s life. Stauffenberg and Delp knew each other through the various resistance groups. According to accounts, Stauffenberg received the Jesuit in his very home in 1943.
I could not help but notice the request for basic necessities. The letter is written to Sister Chrysolia Albrecht, the long-time housekeeper at Delp’s parish in Munich.
August 9, 1944
Please send me some underclothes (two sets), some handkerchiefs, some socks, and pajamas. Mark the whole thing “Urgent.” I can be reached at the address over the page. All the best.
Fr. Alfred Delp.