Franz Hildebrandt was Dietrich Bonhoeffer's closest friend in the 1930s. A remarkable preacher and able scholar, he was a leading figure in the German Confession Church's struggle against the Nazis.
As the youngest signatory of the Baumen declaration against Nazi doctrine, he was a marked man. The Bonhoeffer family aided his flight from Germany, but after 1937 he was never to see his friend Dietrich again. Hildebrandt went to England, where he gathered around him many German refugees in a Lutheran congregation in Cambridge. Subsequently a Methodist minister, he was Professor of Theology at Drew University for 14 years, specializing in the study of Luther and Wesley.