Bonhoeffer was a brilliant young pastor and a theologian, whose deep faith in God led him to get involved in the plot to kill Hitler. When Hitler learned of Bonhoeffer’s involvement he flew into a typically violent rage. As one of his final acts of revenge — just three weeks before he committed suicide — Hitler condemned the young pastor to death. Bonhoeffer was hanged on April 9, 1945 at Flossenburg Concentration Camp.
But by all accounts, Bonhoeffer went to his death with the peace of God, with no regrets. How can that be?
He was 39-years-old, widely reckoned a theological genius. He had already written two of the classic books of the 20th century, “The Cost of Discipleship” and “Life Together.” He was engaged to be married to a wonderful young woman. He had such a terrifically bright future!
Bonhoeffer even had an opportunity to escape his fate.
In my book I tell the story of how he had fled to America, but then decided to return to Germany, to face the horrors that lay ahead with his people.
Why did he return when he didn’t have to? And why didn’t he have any regrets for doing so, even after he knew he would pay the ultimate price? Just before he died, Bonhoeffer told a fellow prisoner, “This is the end. But for me, the beginning of life.”