Christian Martyr for Jews

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian, known for his public resistance against Hitler and the Nazi party in the 1930’s and 40’s. Bonhoeffer epitomizes what it means to be a martyr, as he created a resistance and eventually lost his life in order to defend his beliefs against social injustice and the Nazi regime. Bonhoeffer’s actions and ethical beliefs are still viewed as exemplary and a foundation of modern ethics. First, I will outline Bonhoeffer’s upbringing and the key events in his life. Then, I will discuss Bonhoeffer’s anti-Nazi resistance, which led to his eventual death in a Nazi extermination camp. Finally, I will examine the communities that turned Bonhoeffer into a martyr after his death and the beliefs that he died for.
Bonhoeffer was born on February 4, 1906 in Breslau, Germany along with his twin sister Sabine. Bonhoeffer was one of eight children raised in a well-educated, aristocratic family. His father, Karl was a well-known professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Berlin. Dietrich grew up in a liberal religious household, but to his parent’s dismay, at age 14 he decided to become a theologian and minister. By 1923, Bonhoeffer had enrolled in theological study at Tubingen University, where he excelled in his studies under prominent theologians like Hans Lietzmann and Adolf von Harnack. He completed the equivalent of his bachelor and masters degree at Tubingen University before earning his Doctorate of Theology, with summa cum laude honors from the University of Berlin in 1927. By this time, Bonhoeffer had already begun to formulate strong ideas about the church and against social injustice within the community. In 1930, Bonhoeffer was awarded the Sloane Fellowship, which allowed him to...

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...o follow Christ. Also, Bonhoeffer is one of only ten modern martyrs to be memorialized with a statue at Westminster Abbey in London.
Bonhoeffer was a visionary Christian who believed he must follow the will of Jesus by promoting social justice. His teachings influenced Christians to not just have a relationship with Jesus but to translate that into action within their daily lives. He believed he could accomplish this through actions such as campaigning for civil rights and helping the oppressed. Bonhoeffer played a pivotal role in enlightening German Christians of the dangers of a Nazi state-run church. Most importantly, Bonhoeffer will always be remembered for his public criticism and resistance against the oppression of the Jews. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was an exemplar of moral courage and martyr for his faith, who ultimately gave his life to fight social injustice.
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