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Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Emily B & Victoria

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Victoria Rose

on 5 April 2013

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Transcript of Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Emily B & Victoria

February 4, 1906 - April 8, 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer Family Born in Breslau, Silesia Procenence, Prussia
He was the sixth of eight children, and had a twin sister named Sabine.
His father, Karl Bonhoeffer, was an esteemed neurologist and his mother, Paula von Hase, was a school teacher.
His mother came from a wealthy family, which enabled her to be one of the few women of her generation to get a degree at university.
One of his sisters married Hans von Dohnanyi, who would later become one of the conspirators against Hitler. Academic Life Bonhoeffer attended Tubingen University for a year.
He began to believe in the universality of the church after visiting Rome with his older brother.
He metriculated at the University of Berlin in 1924.
He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Berlin in 1927. New York YOUTH In 1912 Karl moved the family to Berlin.
When he was a teenager Bonhoeffer decided to become a theologian, and later a pastor.
His older brother told him that he should not waste his life in such a "poor, feeble, boring, petty, bourgeois institution such as the church", to which Bonhoeffer replied, "If what you say is true, I shall reform it!" Religious Education He discovered the writings of Karl Barth, a Swiss theologian.
Barth believed that liberal theology
diminished scripture.
Prominent theologian Adolf von Harnack warned Bonhoeffer about the dangers of Barth's "contempt for scientific theology."
At the age of 21 he earned a doctorate in theology.
His thesis was Sanctorum Communio (Communion of Saints).
Bonhoeffer prepared to become a pastor by serving as a curate in the German Lutheran parish in Barcelona, Spain from 1928-1929.
He returned to the University of Berlin in 1929 and wrote his habilitation thesis, Akt und Sein (Act and Being). In 1930 he was awarded the Sloane teaching fellowship at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
While in New York he met Frank Fisher, a black seminarian.
Fisher introduced him to the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Social Justice Bonhoeffer was inspired by the enthusiasm of the Harlem Church community.
He became sensitive to the social injustices that minorities faced and to the inability of the church to help bring about integration.
"Here one can truly speak and hear about sin and grace and the love of God... The Black Christ is preached with rapturous passion and vision." Further Travels Bonhoeffer was invited to speak about peace in Mexico.
He was opened to ecumenism during visits to Cuba, Mexico, Libya, Italy, Spain, and the United States. Return to Germany Bonhoeffer returned to Germany in 1931.
He became a lecturer in systematic theology at the University of Berlin.
He was very interested in ecumenism. Ordination On November 15th, 1931, at the age of 25, Bonhoeffer was ordained at the old-Prussian United St. Matthew's Church in Berlin. Adolf Hitler & The Nazi Party Bonhoeffer was strongly opposed to the Nazi regime from the very beginning.
Two days after Hitler was made Chancellor, Bonhoeffer made a radio address that attacked Hitler and warned Germany against "slipping into an idolatrous cult of the Fuhrer (leader) who could very well turn out to be Verfuhrer (miss leader)". A Brief History - Nazi Germany & the Church After WWI the Prussian Government proposed a number of changes to the powers of various churches throughout Germany.
Many were unhappy with the changes, and welcomed the Nazi Party, particularly the Protestant Church.
In late April 1933, the leaders of the Protestant federation agreed to write a constitution with the Government for a new "national church" - the German Evangelical Church.
In July 1933, Hitler ordered church elections to fill key positions, including bishop. Although there were efforts made by independent non-Nazi churches, the elections were rigged, and the system was filled with Nazi Party members. "The Church and the Jewish Question" In April of 1933, Bonhoeffer was the first to speak in favour of the church, resisting Hitler's persecution of Jews.
He wrote an essay addressing the new problems that the church was facing under the Nazi regime.
Some believe that Bonhoeffer was influenced by his friendship with Frank Fisher and the experiences with racism and oppression he had during his time in New York.
He said that the church must not just "bandage the victims under the wheel, but jam the spoke in the wheel itself". The Aryan Paragraph A belief that any person of non-Aryan descent was an inferior being, and especially targeted the Jewish.
This ideology was implemented by the official German-Christian Church which Hitler began to utilize as an instrument of Nazi propaganda and politics.
It was was widely accepted throughout the Evangelical church, except by those who had objected the Nazi Party from the start. The Pastors Emergency League Created by 3,000 Protestant pastors in 1933, who shared a dislike for the Nazi Party, and especially disliked the Aryan Paragraph.
It was developed to protect Jewish pastors, but the focus later evolved into a resistance against Nazi interference within the church.
This organization was a predecessor to the Confessing Church, which was organized the following year. Barmen Declaration of Faith The official organization of the Confessing Church occurred in Barmen, Germany, and was drafted by Karl Barth.
Surprisingly the group was not fueled by anger about the injustices of anti-Semitism but by disgust for the State's interference within the church.
They strongly, and publicly, disagreed with the Nazi idea that the state had total control over the church, rather than Christ.
The purpose of the Confessing Church was to preserve their traditions and beliefs, not to politically oppose the Nazi Government. The removal of all non-Nazi supportive pastors
The expulsion of all who are of Jewish descent
Implementation of the Aryan Paragraph throughout the entire church
The removal of the Old Testament from the Bible
The removal of "non-german" aspects of religious services
The adoption of a "heroic" Jesus who battled against corrupt Jewish influences The Ideal Nazi Church London Ministry In the autumn of 1933, Bonhoeffer took a two-year appointment as a pastor at two Protestant German-speaking churches in London.
During international gatherings he would rally people in opposition to the German Christian movement and its goal to join Nazi nationalism and the Christian gospel. Finkenwalde Seminary In 1935, Bonhoeffer was offered a chance to study non-violent resistance under Gandhi, but he decided instead to return to Germany to head an underground seminary in Finkenwalde.
His authorization to teach at the university of Berlin was revoked in August 1936.
By August 1937, the Nazi party decreed that the education and examination of the Confessing Church ministry candidates was illegal.
The Gestapo closed the seminary at Finkenwalde in September 1937.
By November 1937 the Gestapo had arrested 27 pastors and former students.
In 1938 Bonhoeffer was banned from Berlin by the Gestapo. Return to the United States Bonhoeffer first made contact with members of the German Resistance in February 1938.
In June 1939, fearing that he would be asked to take an oath to Hitler or face arrest, he left Germany and traveled to the United States.
The Union Theological Seminary in New York invited him to the United States. "I have come to the conclusion that I made a mistake in coming to America... Christians in Germany will have to face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose but I cannot make that choice from security." Back in Germany When he returned to Germany, Bonhoeffer was forbidden from public speaking or publishing any articles.
He was required to report his activities to the police on a regular basis in 1940.
The General Secretary of the World Council, Visser't Hooft, asked him "What do you pray for in these days?" To which Bonhoeffer replied, "If you want to know the truth, I pray for the defeat of my nation." He joined the ABWEHR, a German Military Intelligence Agency, acting as a double agent.
During his church-related travels he was supposed to collect information for the government.
He was actually spending his time promoting relationships between the Confessing Church (opposition), and various church leaders of the Allies.
Bonhoeffer and his brother-in-law Hans von Donanhyi were also involved in operations within ABWEHR to help German Jews escape to Switzerland
This led to Bonhoeffer and Donanhyi's arrests on April 5, 1943 ABWEHR Imprisonment Bonhoeffer was imprisoned in Tegel Military Prison for a year and a half.
After the failed bomb plot against Hitler on July 20th 1944, and the September 1944 discovery of Bonhoeffer's connection with the conspirators, he was moved to the Gestapo's high security prison.
In February 1945 he was moved to Buchenwald concentration camp, and then was transferred to the Flossenburg concentration camp. Maintaining His Faith Even while at the concentration camp, Bonhoeffer retained his deep spirituality, and this was evident to the other prisoners.
"Bonhoeffer was different, just quite calm and normal, seemingly perfectly at his ease... his soul really shone in the dark desperation of our prison. He was one of the very few men I have ever met to whom God was real and ever close to him." Death The diaries of Admiral Wilhelm Canaries, the head of the ABWEHR, were discovered on April 4, 1945.
On April 8, 1945, Bonhoeffer was given a cursory court martial, and was then sentenced to death by hanging.
"This is the end - for me the beginning of life." "I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer... kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensured after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly seen a man die to entirely submissive to the will of God." Legacy Published Works Bonhoeffer wrote various published works throughout his lifetime.
He is well known for three of this books:
The Cost of Discipleship
Ethics
Letters and Papers from Prison Bonhoeffer is known as one of the few martyrs who lived in a time where the Christian Church became entangled with the Nazi Party.
He raised questions about the traditions of his church, and died before they could all be answered.
He has been a source of inspiration for many others facing oppression.
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