Dietrich & Sophie

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A Lutheran minister during WW II, Dietrich publicly challenged the Nazis and was rewarded with imprisonment.  As the war ended, he was hanged  principally because of his involvement in assassination plots to eliminate Hitler.  His prison thinking and writings regarding religionless Christianity still shake the theological world.

“At the age of thirty, he was barred from his academic post: when he was thirty-four, the pulpit was closed to him; at thirty-five, written publication was forbidden; and by his imprisonment at thirty-seven, even conversation with his friends was denied. Yet, each time this narrowing circle came closer, his acting and thinking gained power and stretched into new dimensions.  When he was silenced for good at thirty-nine (April 9, 1945), he began to speak more loudly than ever before.”

(Eberhard Bethge, The Challenge of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life and Theology,
Chicago Theological Seminary Register, February 1961)    

Dietrich&Sophie Glass Art by Veruska Vagen

Sophia Magdalena Scholl

Sophie and her friends pamphlets’ plea: “Support the resistance movement in the struggle for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary action of criminal dictator-states.”   In the People’s Court February 22, 1943 she testified: “Somebody, after all, had to make a start.  What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare express themselves as we did.”   She was beheaded by an SS (Homeland Security) executioner in a Munich prison a few hours later.  A member of the WW II White Rose resistance group, Sophia was age 22.