Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran theologian and Nazi resister. He was born in Germany in 1906 and studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York under Reinhold Niebuhr. He became a Lutheran minister although his theological views veered from the mainstream. Alongside Karl Barth, Bonhoeffer established the underground Confessing Church in 1934 after the Nazis merged Protestant churches into the state-sponsored Protestant Reich Church. Bonhoeffer studied the Gandhian non-violent resistance movement in India and returned to Germany to lead the clandestine Confessing Church seminary. He worked to resist the Nazis' corruption of Christianity and anti-Semitic policies, was arrested for helping Jews escape the country, and then was rearrested when his connection to a failed assassination attempt on Hitler came to light. He was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp in 1945.
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