Costly grace is the hidden treasure in the field for the sake of which people go and sell with joy everything they have. It is the costly pearl, for whose price the merchant sells all that he has; it is Christ’s sovereignty, for the sake of which you tear out an eye if it causes you to stumble. It is the call of Jesus Christ which causes a disciple to leave his nets and follow him....Read More
items tagged with nazism
Pastors in the Hamburg, Germany area issue the Altona Confession, offering Scriptural guidelines for Christian conduct in light of the growing Nazi influence on the State Church.Authority for the date:
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Works, Vol 12. Berlin 1932-1933. “Appendix 1: Chronology of 1932-1933.” Fortress<
In 1998 Israeli scholar Yehuda Bauer was invited to speak before Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag. “I come from a people who gave the Ten Commandments to the world,” he told the legislators. “Time has come to strengthen them by three additional ones, which we ought to adopt and commit ourselves to: thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a victim; and thou shall never, but never, be a bystander.”
During the 12 years of the Third Reich, Christians broke each of Bauer’s commandments. A few—both too...Read More
The Austrian-born Hitler, baptized Roman Catholic, served in the German Army in World War I. After the war he entered politics alongside other disillusioned veterans. He became interested in a German nationalist organization, and his skills as an orator and organizer earned him the leadership of what he renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party.
[Hitler—Library of Congress]
Nazi involvement in a failed 1923 coup led to Hitler’s brief imprisonment, where he wrote his autobiography Mein Kampf, or My Struggle (1925). In it...Read More
AFTER AN EXHAUSTING DAY of forced labor in July of 1941, the prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp lined up for evening roll call, only to discover that a prisoner was missing. Immediately, guards and dogs began the hunt for the escaped inmate, a man from Block 14.
The remaining prisoners, already gaunt from living on a mere 300 to 500 calories a day, were forced to stand at attention for three hours while the search continued. But the real torture was wondering which prisoners from the escapee’s cell block would pay—as had been...Read More
MOST GERMANS welcomed Adolf Hitler’s appointment as German chancellor (prime minister) on January 30, 1933. Few were more jubilant than Protestant church leaders. They welcomed the possibility of a national regeneration.
The dean of the Magdeburg Cathedral exulted in the Nazi flags prominently displayed in his church. “Whoever reviles this symbol of ours is reviling our Germany,” he declared. “The swastika flags around the altar radiate hope—hope that the day is at last about to dawn.”
Some churchmen even referred to the “turning point in...Read More
DIETRICH BONHOEFFER first became widely known not for his thought but for his actions. He was talked about as the German Lutheran pastor and theologian who was executed by the Nazis for resisting the racial and military policies of Hitler’s totalitarian regime. Only gradually did the church and world become aware of the rich theological legacy of this modern Christian martyr.
In May of 1924, Bonhoeffer had just completed a year of theological studies at Tübingen. That fall he began studies at Berlin University, including seminars under...Read More
ON 30 JANUARY 1933 Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, came to power in Germany. His aim was to mould Germany’s political and community life to fit in with his own ideas. This totalitarian approach left no room for deviant views or independent organizations and institutions; the whole of public life was to be controlled or, as the fashionable term put it, ‘co-ordinated’ by the Nazi party. The two major churches-Lutheran and Catholic- to which almost every German belonged, were no exception to this general...Read More
IN 1942, Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer sent a Christmas gift to his family and his friends who were involved in a plot to kill Hitler. It was an essay, titled “After Ten Years.” In it, Bonhoeffer reminded his coconspirators of the ideals for which they were willing to give their lives. In his words: “We have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled—in short, from the perspective of those who...Read More