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This book, edited by longtime colleague Dr. Jennifer P. Tanabe, contains the letters Dietrich and Elisabeth wrote to each other during their four decades of married life. Many are pure love letters, several contain deep spiritual insights, while others include practical matters of concern while their spouse was far away. The final entry is a letter written by Elisabeth to her beloved Dietrich after he transitioned into the next world.
All love stories are unique, and Dietrich and Elisabeth’s is no exception. They were introduced to each other by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, whose matchmaking ministry often brought together representatives of former enemy nations, such as Austria and France, suggesting that they marry and establish a family that would help heal the wounds of the past. Dietrich and Elisabeth’s first meeting ignited a spark of love that grew and deepened over the years, allowing them to overcome the challenges of separation from each other on several occasions due to Dietrich’s studies and work, as well as historical resentments on the part of their families and communities.
Their love story took them through a wide spectrum of emotions, emotions that are powerfully conveyed in their letters. The reader is invited into this very personal space to experience their hopes and dreams, frustrations and victories, expressed in the unique voices of Dietrich and Elisabeth, beloveds who are forever together in heart.
The book contains photographs from their four decades of marriage, as well as copies of the beautiful cards, with their handwritten expressions of love, that they sent to each other for birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions.
I’ve just finished reading Dietrich and Elisabeth’s book, “Beloveds, Forever Together.” I spent three pleasant evenings reading it. I enjoyed reading their book for several reasons.
First I liked the epistolary form; it conveys emotions in a direct and efficient way allowing the reader to share experiences in an authentic manner. We share Dietrich and Elizabeth’s daily joys and worries.
Second, I discovered Dietrich’s family background – I only knew he was Austrian. I was moved to learn that his father was close to Hitler and that his parents were part of the selective project aiming to give birth to a supposed superior race. What I had learned in history books then became alive.
And to finish with, reading this book allowed me to discover the Unification Church and the spiritual itinerary of two individuals who dedicated their life to an ideal.
So I would say that this book was a good discovery.
~Karine Clement, High School Teacher, France
I just finished reading Dietrich and Elisabeth Seidel’s book, “Beloveds Forever Together”. It gave me much food for thought. What a beautiful expression of their relationship! In my mind, I heard both their voices as I read each letter.
As I began reading, I thought how brave to share such intimate letters so openly, but as I read on through the more trying and difficult times, I could see how perseverance through difficult circumstances allowed them to make it through to an absolutely beautiful relationship. It is a testimony to the strength we have when we are united for a common purpose beyond ourselves and have to work through personality differences, difficult situations, etc. Elisabeth and Dietrich are a great example of that and they are willing to share their journey with others. Thank you!
~Marie Ang, Kendall Park, New Jersey
Through letter-writing from the heart, the Seidels have shown us how successful married people bond and create marital unity. Whether at the start of a marriage, through times apart, through conflicts or at any other time, letter-writing enhanced their relationship. By sharing inner feelings, hopes and continual affirmations of their love, as well as their potential love from their commitment to each other and to God dwelling in them, they succeeded in their goal – to be a “true love” couple.
~Dr. Donna Ferrantello, Educator, Author, Chaplain, Pastoral Counselor, Croton-on-Hudson, NY
“Beloveds, Forever Together” leads the reader through a lifetime of correspondence and wisdom gained throughout the journey of Dietrich and Elisabeth Seidel. It is a marriage that was arranged by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and was a life lived in service to God. From the beginning of a vibrant romance through the struggles of life, family, finances and careers, a maturing and tested love unfolds into the deep eternal love of this beautiful international couple. This is a historical record of their two lives embraced in the arms of deep love for each other and for God.
~Nora M. Spurgin, Former President of Women’s Federation for World Peace – USA
Rev. Moon and Mrs. Moon encouraged Dietrich and Elisabeth to contribute to “World Peace Through (creating) Ideal Families.” The almost daily letters between them make this sound like a walk in the park. Several years later, the experiences of the now four Seidels jolt us back to the searing reality that war cuts to the bottom of our soul. Dietrich’s final words to Elisabeth “I will be always with you, forever together” and her daily “return phone call” to him will stay with you.
~Sebastian Huemer, Pastor Albany Family Church