A tale for our times! This is the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a devout Christian and Lutheran pastor during the 1920s through the 1940s in HitleA tale for our times! This is the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a devout Christian and Lutheran pastor during the 1920s through the 1940s in Hitlers Reich. It details how Bonhoeffer beliefs developed and the steps he came to take in order to serve the truth of orthodox Christianity as he saw it. These beliefs pitted him against Hitler and the Nazi regime particularly those bishops appointed by Hitler to positions with the Lutheran Church in Germany. Since it was a state church, Hitler had control after he was elected. I am learning many things. First, Hitler despised Christians and Christianity. He would publicly say otherwise as long as it served his power. Second, he set up a 'German Christian' church which adhered to the Nazi beliefs of anti-semitism, euthanasia of ill people, and his infamous pograms. Murder was a political tool for the Nazis as early as 1933. Everyone chose to look the other way. Third, Hitler and Goebbels were actually pagans who wanted to re-establish an ancient Germanic religion of nature worship. Such a religion worshiped as the pre-christian germanic tribes -- astrology, solstices, hedonism and male virility.
This book dovetails nicely with a book I had just finished: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
The Garden of Beasts is about Ambassador Dodd, the American ambassador to Germany appointed in 1933 by FDR. Dodd lived and worked in the same neighborhood as Bonhoeffer, the Tiergarten in Berlin. Many of the same secondary characters enter and exit both books. But the stories are told from different perspectives. Dodd from the political side, Bonhoeffer from the religious. Both men opposed Hitler. Dodd was isolated by his diplomatic brethern because he wood not play nice with Hitler. Bonhoeffer was isolated by his religious colleagues for the same reason. Dodd was ultimately relieved of his position because he stepped on too many toes trying to keep FDR apprised of the true nature of the Hitler regime.
Fascinating books that touch on a pivotal time in our history....more