Christian History Institute

Sharing our story of faith across the ages

items tagged with nazism


Magazine Issues


23 Feb 2017

Dietrich Bonhoeffer sees the handwriting on the wall

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer | Issue 121

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.

CH 121Order Christian History #121: Faith in the Foxholes in print.

Subscribe now to get future print issues in your mailbox (donation requested but not required).


Read More
23 Feb 2017

The church of the bystanders

by Christopher Gehrz | Issue 121

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.”

[anti-Nazi poster—Wikimedia]

During the 12 years of the Third Reich, Christians broke each of Bauer’s commandments. A few—both too...

Read More
22 Feb 2017

Adolf Hitler (1889–1945)

by Jennifer Woodruff Tait | Issue 121

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
22 May 2014

Offering himself for a stranger

by Heidi Schlumpf | Issue 109

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
30 Nov 1991

Radical Resistance

by Richard V. Pierard | Issue 32

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
30 Nov 1991

Bonhoeffer’s Costly Theology

by John D. Godsey | Issue 32

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
15 Feb 1986

Christians against Nazis: the German Confessing Church

by Leonore Siegele-Wenschkewitz | Issue 9

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
30 Nov 1991

The Life and Death of a Modern Martyr

by Dr. Geffrey B. Kelly | Issue 32

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


  • Bonhoeffer set of 3 $29.99

    Bonhoeffer set of 3

    • DVD
    • 3 DVDs
    • 300 Minutes
    • All
    • Christian History Institute

    Bonhoeffer Collection: set of 3 DVD: Bonhoeffer Agent of Grace, Bonhoeffer: Hanged on a Twisted Cross, Bonhoeffer: Memories and Perspectives

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Memories And Perspectives $15.99

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Memories And Perspectives

    • DVD
    • 90 Minutes
    • Documentary
    • All
    • 1983
    • Bain Boehlke, Gerald Drake

    For those who want a close and intimate portrait of Bonhoeffer. This video follows the life of the martyred theologian as vividly recalled by those closest to him: his friends, family, and students. Included are Bonhoeffer family photographs that have never been shown before.

  • Hanged On A Twisted Cross: Dietrich Bonhoeffer $15.99

    Hanged On A Twisted Cross: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    • DVD
    • 120 Minutes
    • Documentary
    • All
    • 1996
    • Lathika International Film and Entertainment Inc.

    his gripping documentary narrated by Ed Asner captures the life, times, and thought of Bonhoeffer. Using rare archival footage, documents, and visits to original locations, we get an intimate portrait of a man whose life and writings grow in their influence and speak powerfully to issues of our own day some 50 years later. combating unrestrained evil?

  • Bonhoeffer: Agent Of Grace $12.99

    Bonhoeffer: Agent Of Grace

    • DVD
    • 90 Minutes
    • Drama
    • All
    • 1999
    • NFPteleart/Norflicks/ORB

    The story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German clergyman of great distinction, who actively opposed Hitler and the Nazis. His convictions cost him his life.