It wasn’t any power you wielded
that made them afraid ,
it wasn’t your persuasive argument
which they couldn’t counter ,
it wasn’t the numbers following you
that caused them sleepless nights ,
it was the thought
which lingered in their minds
that they were doing wrong
and were bound to fail ;
and of all the people they could think of ,
who they didn’t want around afterwards
giving a witness statement ,
it was you.
Who stands firm? Only the one for whom the final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all these, when in faith and sole allegiance to God he is called to obedient and responsible action: the responsible person, whose life will be nothing but an answer to God’s question and call.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer ( 1906 – 1945 )
Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer stands out among the Christian leaders during the Nazi era, for he was one of the few to actively resist the racist actions of the Nazi regime. In addition to his legacy of courageous opposition to Nazism, Bonhoeffer’s theological writings are still widely read in Christian communities throughout the world.