DietrichBonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) was one of the most significant and popular theologians of the 20th century. Reared in the Lutheran faith, he received his doctorate in theology from the University of Berlin in 1927, and subsequently studied for a year at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He also spent a year in England serving as a chaplain to Lutherans in that country.
Only two days after Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933, Dr. Bonhoeffer preached a radio sermon warning that glorification of an individual above his office was idolatry. In mid-sermon he was cut off the air. The years that followed saw him become the foremost spokesman for a rebellious minority of Protestant churchmen known as the Confessing Church Faction. They refused to accept Nazi domination of church as well as state.
Although offered sanctuary in England and America during the dark years of Nazi oppression, he chose to return to his people to be with them in their crisis. Arrested by the Gestapo in early 1943, he was accused of plotting against the life of Hitler and spent the remainder of his life in prison. Although never brought to trial, he was hung by Nazi storm troopers on the morning of April 9, 1945.