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Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1939

Links to more information about Bonhoeffer:

Pastor and Modern Martyr

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“The person who loves those around them will create community.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor during the early 20th century. He had a passion for young people, spending a lot of time in family ministries early in his career. In particular, he was noted for his success in working with groups of unruly teenage confirmands. He also traveled a great deal, including a year studying in New York City. While there, he attended services at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where he developed a love for African-American spirituals. By the 1930s, he was a young man with a bright future, becoming a popular teacher at the University of Berlin and establishing friendships across the world.

However, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis radically altered the course of history and his life. He became a leading figure in the independent Confessing Church and actively involved in resisting the Nazi government. During this time, he also composed several theological tracts, including his most famous work The Cost of Discipleship. After the outbreak of World War II, Bonhoeffer stayed in Germany despite the dangers to “share the trials of this time with my people.”  He continued to work for Hitler’s overthrow until he was arrested in 1943. During his internment, he ministered to his fellow prisoners and even the guards. On April 9th, 1945, he was martyred at the concentration camp at Flossenburg, just a few short weeks before Allied forces liberated the area.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s faith remains an inspiration to people all over the globe, and the school endeavors to honor his life and work.