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Marion Countess Yorck Von Wartenburg, who died April 13 in Berlin at 102, was among the last survivors of the Kreisau Circle, the group of intellectuals opposed to Adolf Hitler from which sprang the attempt to kill him with a bomb in July 1944.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Ultimately, it was the allegiance which he owed to God and his master which forced upon him the terrible decision, not merely to make a stand against National Socialism (all the underground movements in the German-occupied countries did that), but also–and this in contradistinction to all the underground movements which appealed to nationalism–to work for the defeat of his own country, since only thus could Germany as a Christian and European country be saved from extinction. For this very reason Bonhoeffer and his friends were tortured, hanged and murdered. It was Bonhoeffer and his friends who proved their resistance unto death that even in the age of the nation-state there are loyalties which transcend those to state and nation.

Memoir by G. Leibholz in  Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship1961 edition, 28.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s life and work has far-reaching implications…Bonhoeffer’s and his friends’ political activities show that the still widely-held view that the plot of July 1944 was simply a “conspiracy of a small clique of reactionaries and discouraged officers,” who saw Hitler losing the war and had made a mess of their profession, is wrong.

There also was in the German opposition movement another strand of uncorrupted spiritual forces which opposed all that Hitler and National Socialism stood for on grounds of Christianity and the basic values of life, of truth, justice, goodness and decency. This trend drew its members from quite different political parties and religious groups. None of these men stood for a special party belief, but for a certain way of life, the destruction of which was the avowed purpose of National Socialism. 

Memoir by G. Leibholz in  Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship1961 edition, 27.

November 2020


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