The correspondence between Gretel Adorno and Walter Benjamin,published here in its complete form for the first time, is thedocument of a great friendship that existed independently ofBenjamin's relationship with Theodor W. Adorno. While Benjamin,alongside his everyday worries, writes especially about thoseprojects on which he worked so intensively in the last years of hislife, it was Gretel Karplus-Adorno who did everything in her powerto keep Benjamin in the world.
She urged him to emigrate and told him about Adorno's plans andBloch's movements, thus maintaining the connection between the oldBerlin friends and acquaintances. She helped him through the mostdifficult times with regular money transfers, and organizedfinancial support from the Saar region, which was initially stillindependent from the Third Reich. Once in New York, she attemptedto entice Benjamin to America with her descriptions of the city andthe new arrivals from Europe though ultimately to no avail.