Ditrih Bonhoffer

Picture of Ditrih Bonhoffer

Date of Birth: 04/02/1906

Age: 39

Citizenship: Germany

Dietrich Bonhoeffer // Resurrection Christmas

Search for evidence of the existence of God is just as absurd as to do the opposite - to search for proof of his nonexistence. But Nietzscheanism in the twentieth century has become an integral, albeit unconscious part of all the revolutionary doctrines. The atheistic century had brought the destruction of people to perfection, verbal evidence of the Divine in the calculation no longer be accepted. The only way to counter this there were attempts to confirm the presence of the Divine in all things only one - of its own.

Time and Soul

In Switzerland, in Lucerne Jesuit Church, the summer of 2003 three portraits were presented at the exhibition of people caught up in the twentieth century, the most powerful influence on the various branches of Christianity. John XXIII - Catholic. Father Alexander Men - Orthodox. Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Protestant theologian. Two of them died a violent death. Their names are unknown killers. One thing is clear: in the murderers was not God in the soul.

This is not just about the mass persecution of the priesthood. Century XX began with the killings of priests in Russia. Destroyed tens of thousands of people. Thousands of Catholic priests were killed by the Spanish Republicans, as well as the Mexican authorities. After World War II, the Communists destroyed the Catholic and Protestant clergy in Korea.

Mass executions of them were on the one hand, a real "revolt of the masses", and on the other - the political setting, the essence of which - in the crime rates. The crime rate of no crime - alleged revolutionary leaders. This is the norm. Just another.

However, there was also a third party such processes. Christianity itself to the beginning of the century turned into a deep crisis. Faith is increasingly supplanted by ritual, a habit. Thought - clerical settings.

The statement of the death of God, Nietzsche made, based on logic. On the contradiction existing in ordinary human consciousness of the Christian world. "This morality, - he wrote - is turned against the Christian God (sense of veracity, highly developed by Christianity, it begins to feel an aversion to hypocrisy and izolgannosti all Christian interpretations of the world and history)." Or, as earlier, the same problem formulated the Russian philosopher Konstantin Leontiev: "The Christian can be a saint, but he can not be honest."

And here is another quote: "I remember thirty years ago I had a conversation with a young priest, a Frenchman It was about the most simple - why would we want each of us to achieve in his life he said.." I would like to be . the saints "then me, it is very surprised, however, I am he replied by saying that I say, I would like to learn how to believe -. just believe in - or something like that was some time before I realized. what a profound difference. I thought I could learn faith if he will try to lead a life close to holiness.

Later, I realized - and I continue to this day to comprehend that only this-worldliness full of life and you can learn to believe. When finally once and for all refuse from claims to make "something" - whether it be a claim to be a saint or a sinner who applied on the right path, or a church figure, a saint or profane person, sick or healthy. But this is what I call sidedness - to live in the midst of problems, issues, successes, failures, live, experience and hoarding constantly convinced of their helplessness. It was then, and found myself completely in God`s hand. Then you will feel truly not only the pain, but the pain and compassion of God in the world. Then with Christ in Gethsemane will stay awake, and I think that this is the faith ... "

It is written in a Berlin prison July 21, 1944, the day after the prisoner Dietrich Bonhoeffer learned of the assassination attempt on the Fuhrer of the German nation of Adolf Hitler. Nearly nine months later in another place of detention - in the camp of Flossenburg - Bonhoeffer will be executed in a single day to several members of the conspiracy. Exactly one month before the capitulation of Nazi Germany.

It is written by a man who took the call from the non-religious. And challenge it on behalf of his personal faith. On behalf of both personal and universal Christianity. The basis of this call - in recognition of the uncompromising reality. "We are approaching a completely irreligious period: people simply can no longer be religious ... Our common Christian theology and vozveschaniya numbering 1,900 years, based on a priori" religious "people."

Bonhoeffer defines cruel question: what would happen if it turns out that Christianity - only a temporary episode of social history? And bitterly replied that in that case: "... In all of our Christianity will be knocked the ground from under our feet, and we will be satisfied in religion" a few "last knight", and even a handful of intellectually dishonest people ... How can Christ has become the Lord for non-religious people? "Can you?

Aggression irreligious assumed several variants of the response behavior: reconciliation with bezbozhnicheskoy power for sending the usual rites. Hysteria with the aim to clothe themselves in the aura of holiness. Care in the deep underground. Waiver of any religion. Shire - the rejection of faith. Personal asceticism and heroism with a known outcome - defeat in the face of the system. All of these options actually provide for rejection of a deep intellectual understanding of the faith, religion, human, time and soul.

Modest Protestant preacher gave his answer. He did not know what a staunch Catholic, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who tried to kill Hitler possessed, was, according to people who knew him well, "a Christian through and through." Only he, Stauffenberg, formulated the answer militant non-religious in their own way.

Submission and resistance

The paradox and the greatness of Bonhoeffer is to recognize the difficult comprehensible for the ordinary things of the mind. The religious world - the world of faith in miracles - far away from the world, believes in magicians, wizards, masters of the occult sciences. This world - a minor. Non-religious world - the world of an adult. Yes, it is unpleasant, it is disgusting, it is a bed. But it - closer to God. Closer because it is much broader than in the religious world, the possibility of individual service life. And this is the most pleasing to God.

It can be assumed that only the Protestant branch of Christianity that from the very moment of its inception, exasperated man on the personal contact with God, and the doctrine could appear Bonhoeffer. Although he did not try to call their ideas of individual scientists, different from the main body of Christianity.

His thoughts, he formulated long before the arrest, jail, death in concentration camps. But life in a military prison, when you could just send the letters "at will" in ten days, gave him a chance, if you do not bring their thoughts in order, then at least to present them with an amazing freedom. If anything strikes, it is the freedom and boundless intellectual honesty Bonhoeffer. Perhaps it is here that he has no equal in the twentieth century history in general.

Orthodox priest about. George - a member of the commission to perpetuate the memory of martyrs-Russian priests, when I told him that I wanted to write about a Protestant pastor, turned out to be perhaps the greatest influence on Christian thought of the twentieth century, once said: "The Bonhoeffer?" I felt his eyes an immense respect for the memory of this man. But then on. George noticed that even the Gestapo could write letters. The communists did not give a chance to Orthodox priests not to write, but also to survive.

I silently agreed on. George. Dietrich Bonhoeffer life has given a chance to realize his outstanding intellectual potential to the full. But whether or not to take such a chance? Bonhoeffer as no one else has realized the most divine human right - the right to freedom of will.

He was born on February 4, 1906. His father, a neurologist, worked in Breslau - now Wroclaw. The family was big, patriarchal in the best sense of the word. Dietrich was sixth of eight children. In his letters from prison (and when he was arrested, he was already 37 years old) felt love for all family members. But especially to my father.

Dietrich speculates about the "temptation" and concludes that this is a condition where you do not know your heart. And then, just like a child-like attributes: "I would like to consult about this with my dad."

Generally, letters Bonhoeffer collected by the addressee, Pastor Eberhard Bethge, and published in 1951, made one of the most powerful, but at the same time one of the most unfashionable of intellectual and moral experiences for the whole post-war era. They - not just limiting intellectual honesty, but also an amazing beauty. No wonder he loved Dostoevsky and continually reread it in prison.

Bonhoeffer`s mother - from a family of major German landscape painters and portraitists Kalkroytov background. His sister married the representatives of respectable names. My husband`s sister Christine - Hans von Dohnanyi - was one of the prominent members of the anti-Nazi Christian Democratic resistance, collaborated with the military intelligence - the Abwehr. Thanks to him, Dietrich Bonhoeffer could almost freely until 1942 to travel abroad.

In his youth Bonhoeffer firmly elect the path of religious service, studying theology in Tubingen, Rome, Berlin. Thesis, working in Barcelona, ??New York, Rome, and then settles with his family in Berlin, where he serves as pastor at the same time teaching at the University. It produces a number of books. He participates in the ecumenical movement, leading debates on theological issues.

He falls in love with a notable Berlinkov Maria von Vedemayer, but the marriage did not hurry. Shortly before his death he will call Mary, along with their parents and other - Eberhard Bethge, the closest people in the world. Really, what could be better, lighter than the state when parents and loved one - the closest people. And all live in one soul in harmony. Only on this line from the prison letters can understand this man.

Everything changed with the establishment of the Nazi regime. At the Nazis was their attitude to Christianity. Secularists priests in Mexico were killed because they - the "wrong". The Bolsheviks in Russia were killed - for what the priests - class, ideological enemies. The Nazis tried to transform Christianity in its favor, aligning it with the mysticism and the occult.

The Protestant community was allocated pro-Nazi movement "German Christians" even before 1933. After Hitler`s victory has turned into the "Evangelical Church of the German nation", the main purpose of which was to follow the will of the "German deiudaizirovannoy Christ Church." As if Christ has not been proclaimed that in Christianity there is "neither Greek nor Jew."

In contrast, it creates a "Competent German Evangelical Church" or "Church of confession". Legitimate Nazis considered first. But it is not provided and the active opposition of the second. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was involved from the outset in the opposition of official Church and the Nazi regime. It was the religious forms of resistance. The sermons, seminars, conversations, just talk. And writing.

However, in 1936, Bonhoeffer dismissed from the university and forbid him to teach. Then he has to do most of this policy. It is adjacent to the group Canaris (who led the military intelligence - the Abwehr).

Subsequently, some researchers of the German anti-fascist resistance even recorded history Bonhoeffer in the Abwehr officers. That, of course, is simply stupidity or provocation. In the USSR, since the novels of Julian Semyonov used to look at the conflict Abwehr and SS peculiar. Semenov just moved into their "German" novels of the traditional hostility between the KGB and the Interior Ministry.

I am afraid that he did not read the prison correspondence Bonhoeffer. The difference between the post-totalitarian experience of Russia and Germany, perhaps only, and is that in Russia every year repeat "Seventeen Moments of Spring", and in Germany recalled that it was in the "Seventeen Moments" was killed by one of the brightest people of the twentieth century - Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

He resisted. He is taking advantage of the available cases, I went to Switzerland, met with politicians, priests. He argued that the overthrow of Hitler possible from within the country. Perhaps he believed that Christians, true Christians, come together and take the country into their own hands. Perhaps he deceived.

For sure - I did not believe him. In 1942 in Stockholm, he met with the Archbishop of Chichester, George Bell and tells him about the resistance in Germany. "Uncle George" reports the interview Anthony Eden, the one - the British Minister for Foreign Affairs - gives no answer.

Ideologist elitist-Christian resistance was a prominent German economist and business manager Carl Goerdeler, anticipating in their memoranda of clandestine creation of a united Europe, who believed that Russia - is also part of Europe. The fact that he was exhausted by torture in 1945, Hitler asked for forgiveness (or rather, signed it), does not alter the case.

People Goerdeler (cod, Olbricht) was prepared to assassinate Hitler in 1942. But they were fatally unlucky. Some of the conspirators of the Abwehr, was arrested in April 1943. With them - and Bonhoeffer. After their arrest survivors Tresckow and Olbricht began to look for new people. And they found Stauffenberg.

It is possible that the presence of Father in this story says, rather, not about the Father, and of its impact on the smart, wealthy, well-off people who could not get involved in anything. But we got involved. I have a strong suspicion that the very presence among them Bonhoeffer scraper their conscience. For resistance to anti-Christian bastards and there is a search of Christ in this-worldliness.

The Death and Life

Was he ready to be arrested? To death? The first letter to parents from prison (censored, of course), are filled with the desire to show that he`s all right. He even encouraged them, he somehow got sick smoke. Recalls garden at his father`s house and wrote in the prison garden bird sings wonderfully. And yet there is something in these letters, it is impossible to hide. Namely - a genuine peace of mind. And hence, the true Christian spirit.

What was for him now the theological discussions with friends and opponents? Maybe I`m wrong. But he gained free will. So, finally, I found in the heart of Christ.

Perhaps it was then that he got the idea (or you can call it enlightenment?) The true Salvation. The man believes in religious salvation in his ability to "the other side". The Christian sense of this can not be.

Bonhoeffer wrote from prison: "The Christian, in contrast to the believer in salvation myths, there is the last loopholes in eternity for deliverance from worldly affairs and problems, but like Christ. (" My God, why have you forsaken me? "), He has full drink and the cup of earthly life only if he does so, the crucified and risen is standing next to him he -.. with Christ crucified and resurrected. "

Probably not by chance that in the twentieth century (especially after the Second World War), Christianity became the most directly adjacent to politics, to economics, to the worldly life. Especially clearly manifested it in Germany, in Italy and in Austria with their Christian-democratic parties and unions. There was such a new economic strategy, a social market economy, in which the principles of economic liberalism realized at the maximum according to the principles of Christian concern for people, for those who can not fully provide itself with itself. One of the architects of the strategy of social market economy was Ludwig Erhard - German brought up in the Christian, Protestant tradition. But I think it is necessary to take into account the participation of Bonhoeffer (albeit indirectly) to rethink the system of relations between religious and secular life.

The first one and a half years in prison he spent in prison Berlin-Tegel. He established relations with security and sanitation. And, in addition to censored letters to parents, he began to secretly transmit the letter to Eberhard Bethge, married his niece. In them, he wrote about Christianity. Probably, it was exactly what did not leave him for a minute.

After the assassination attempt on Hitler, the Gestapo was more aware of the role in detail Bonhoeffer in the resistance to Nazism. He transferred to the prison in the Prinz Albrechtstrasse, with more than a stern control. Correspondence stopped, except for purely formal vestochek.

In winter 1945, he gets to Buchenwald. His fate is confirmed developing their intellectual and moral issue. Salvation is to know - There is no escape. Otherwise, you can not find God.

Eberhart Bethge after the war he tried to restore the last days of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

At the beginning of April 1945 from Buchenwald I drove the van with gas generator engine. In Russian - on the wood. He was beaten prisoners. Among them were "famous" inmates of Buchenwald. Generals, officers of ministries, English pilot, a nephew of Molotov Vassily Kokorin priest Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer, retaining miraculously survived a cigarette, let it circle.

On the way we stopped at Regensburg prison where "travelers" have met the family members of Goerdeler and Stauffenberg. It was the Easter week. All were placed in different cells, although they could talk. Bonhoeffer even tried to talk to Kokorin in Russian. All were hoping to defeat the universal chaos will save them.

They were not tortured. Simply machine of the Nazi state was preparing them to death. No matter what.

Legality should prevail. All are equal in the face of Nazi law. Standartenfuhrer Walter Huppenkotten returned to Berlin on the eve of Sachsenhausen, where he endured legal sentences. Among those sentenced to death on the eve of it, and was executed by Hans von Dohnanyi - Bonhoeffer-law. Huppenkottenu instructed to go in Flossenburg, to carry out the process there. Transport junk. Huppenkotten on a freight train drove to Weiden and then walking with a suitcase of documents reached the Flossenburg, where he had to go up the hill. But Bonhoeffer was not there.

He may in Schonberg? Over 100 km of Flossenburg? Round trip - 200 km. Honest campaigner took the trouble to get there. And back.

There was Palm Sunday. Bonhoeffer led a service among the prisoners. Identify it was not difficult. He was forced to hastily pack up. The last thing he managed to say the words were transmitted through British pilot Payne Best English friend the Bishop of Chichester: "This is the end, but for me - the beginning of life ..."

Bonhoeffer was brought to trial in Flossenburg. Procedure Procedures are respected scrupulously. Presided over Torbek court prosecutor was Huppenkotten. The camp - people`s assessor. Among the defendants were Canaris, Oster, Bonhoeffer and others. Some were taken away for execution in Berlin.

April 9, 1945 in the Flossenburg not together in a van for delivery to Berlin Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged. The guard, who appeared to lead the prisoner to death, going to the chamber, saw him on his knees, absorbed in prayer.

God lives?


PS From a letter to a friend Eberhart on the first day of Christmas. December 1943 g .: "... The local inhabitants tried their best to make Christmas for me as pleasant as possible, but I was glad when once again found himself alone with myself, I was very surprised, and I wonder sometimes if I could I find myself among the people. You know, like I used to could get away with a great celebration in his room. Despite all the hardships, I even loved the solitude. I`m willing to talk to one person or two, but a nightmare for me any crowd of people, and most importantly - all this talk ... "