Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1906 - 1945

portrait of Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Born: 4 February 1906, Breslau (Wrocław), Poland
Died: 9 April 1945, Flossenb

Expected to follow his father into psychiatry, he announced that he would prepare for ministry at age thirteen. He studied at Tübingen and earned his doctorate at the University of Berlin at age 21, but church rules prevented ordination before 25. He spent a significant time abroad, but was in Germany to become part of the Confessing Church, which had split from the Reich Kirche, the state-supported Lutheran church during the '30s, and publicly opposed Nazi Antisemitism. After war broke out, his brother-in-law got him a job in the Abwehr, the military intelligence branch, where he used his frequent international travel to carry messages between German resistance units and foreign supporters. Funds used to spirit Jews into Switzerland were traced to him and he spent over a year in prison. After the failure of the July 20 Plot on Hitler's life, Bonhoeffer's connections with the conspirators was discovered and he was rearrested and hanged in an unusually brutal way less than two weeks before allied forces took over the concentration camp where he spent his last days.

Biography from Wikipedia and Jewish Virtual Library

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