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But I can hardly imagine the inner struggle that the seminary students at Finkenwalde went through after it was made clear to them that their education and training would not be recognized.

The director of the seminary, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was able to maintain a steady opposition to what the Nazi regime was doing to the German Church.  One former student, Albrecht Schonherr would say…

“Bonhoeffer possessed what our church as a whole and we Christians in particular lack so much.  He willed what he thought, and he thought sharply, logically.”

Nevertheless, not all members of the Finkenwalde course sustained radical opposition.  Regularly one of them would go “to the consistory,” and have himself legalized and appointed by the church committees. The social and family pressure was too great, above all on those with less generous support.

Dietrich would not approve of them, but he would understand.  He was well aware of his privileges: with his social connections and his family background he would always get by.

But that was not the case for most of the “illegal” probationary ministers

(Renate Wind, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wheel, 107).

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