In 1931, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was already considered one of Germany’s most prominent pastors and theologians.
As early as 1930, candidates for ordination were embracing Hitler’s emerging anti-Semitism and the new German Reich Church.
Bonhoeffer began training pastors in support of the Confessing Church, a movement resisting Nazi influence on German Protestant churches. He taught seminarians and wrote, “The Cost of Discipleship,” which guided Christians on how to live according to Jesus’s teachings in the Gospels.
The book included reflections on the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew, and has become a classic of Christian theology.
Bonhoeffer eventually joined the resistance movement, and was ultimately imprisoned for his role in a plot to assassinate Hitler. On April 9, 1945, a month before the war ended, Bonhoeffer was executed.