San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, Resisters Against Hitler in Church and State
From the earliest days of the Third Reich, pastor Dietrich Bonheoffer and his brother-in-law, the lawyer Hans von Dohnanyi, opposed the regime as so many of their compatriots did not. Bonhoeffer, whose letters and papers from prison became famous after the war, is remembered for plotting against Hitler. Authors Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern argue that his most heroic work was his opposition to Nazi attempts to control the German Evangelical Church. They also restore Dohnanyi’s little-known importance to the German resistance: he collected evidence of Nazi crimes, helped victims, and was at the center of the conspiracy to kill the Führer. Their lives, and the lives of their family and collaborators, demonstrated the highest standard of civic virtue during Germany’s darkest time, and give us a much more complex understanding of the resistance to Nazi rule.
Elisabeth Sifton is the author of The Serenity Prayer, which is, in part, a memoir about her father, the renowned theological Reinhold Niebuhr.
Fritz Stern is University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. His books include The Politics of Cultural Despair, Gold and Iron, and Five Germanys I Have Known.
Supported by The New York Review of Books.
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The Goethe-Institut Washington organizes and supports cultural events that present German culture abroad and that further intercultural exchange.