Dietrich Bonhoeffer, religion, Nazi, Assasination attempt


The sun had only just begun to rise when he was taken from his cell, naked and shivering, into the biting cold of an early April morning. Perhaps he watched as the hangman adjusted the noose that swung lifelessly from the scaffolds. Perhaps he spoke to the guards as they led him to the platform on which he would die. Likely, he thought of his young fiancee, his mother, his father. And, almost certainly, he prayed. We have no record of these final moments in the life of the young Lutheran pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed on the 9th of April, 1945, for his involvement in conspiracies to assassinate Adolf Hitler. We will never know what his final words-his final, fleeting thoughts-were as he slowly ascended the steps toward the gallows on which countless others had perished at the hands of the Nazis. While we lack the precise details of his death, we have extensive records that document the actions and ideologies that ultimately led Dietrich Bonhoeffer to his execution-the ideologies that influenced a staunch and committed pacifist to become an accomplice to murder.