From November of 1940 to February 1941, Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived at the Benedictine monastery in Ettal in Bavaria. He also spent time at Kleist estates, Kieckow and Klein-Krossin in Pomerania.

During this period Bonhoeffer’s friendship with the the widowed Ruth von Kleist-Retzow at Klein-Krossein took on added significance.  An engaging woman with a strong concern for the renewal of the church, she eagerly read Barth’s books and loved to discuss theological questions with Bonhoeffer.  She had been a strong supporter of the Finkenwalde seminary and an ardent promoter of Bonhoeffer’s interests.

Beginning in the autumn of 1935 she and some of her grandchildren regularly attended worship service at Finkenwalde.  Bonhoeffer spent many holidays at Klein-Krossin with Ruth von Kleist-Retzow…In 1938, after Finkenwalde was closed, she persuaded Bonhoeffer to offer confirmation classes to three of her grandchildren, one of whom was Bonhoeffer’s future fiancee, Maria von Wedemeyer.

Even after the grandchildren were confirmed, Bonhoeffer continued to be welcome at the Kleist-Retzow estates.  The hospitality there proved especially helpful during the early war years, when he needed a quiet place to work on Ethics, and in the summer of 1942 Bonhoeffer renewed his acquaintance with Maria von Wedemyer.   

(Editor’s Introduction to the English Edition of to Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works in Volume 16: Conspiracy and Imprisonment: 1940-1945, 18-19)