Sunday, April 10, 2005

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It was sixty years ago yesterday--April 9, 1945--that the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was killed in a Nazi concentration camp. A pacifist, Bonhoeffer gave up opportunities to lecture in the safety of the United States as World War II approached in order to return to Germany to minister to the Confessing Church, which was struggling to remain faithful to the Gospel in spite of the repression of the Third Reich. Bonhoeffer ultimately joined a group that conspired to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He was arrested by the Gestapo and hanged along with his co-conspirators less than a month before Germany surrendered to the Allies.

For more information on Bonhoeffer's life and works, see the web site of the International Bonhoeffer Society, this online exhibition about Bonhoeffer presented by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, or this web site associated with the PBS film, Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace.