Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Called by God by Elizabeth Raum

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Called by God


Dietrich Bonhoeffer Called by God by Elizabeth Raum

Nazi Germany produced an unusual group of Christian martyrs--among them, the nun philosopher Edith Stein, the mystical philosopher Simone Weil, and the peasant conscientious objector Hans JSgerstatter--but perhaps none so complex as the Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Born into a large upper-middle-class, professional family that was not particularly devout or observant (his father was one of the leading psychiatrists in Germany), Dietrich early in life decided he wanted to be a Christian theologian. Yet his family background and connections insured that he wouldn't be one in the narrow mold of so many of his colleagues. Opportunities for travel-to Spain, North Africa. Mexico, Cuba, America (twice), and England (often)-gave him a broad horizon of possibilities. The greatest thing about America for him was his experiences in Harlem and his friendships with African Americans. His great regret was that he missed an opportunity to travel to India to meet Gandhi. He was one of the few German churchmen who spoke forthrightly against the persecution of Jews as Jews and not merely of Christians of Jewish descent. (How much of this was due to his beloved, 90-year-old grandmother Sophie, who defied the Nazi ban on shopping in Jewish stores? I buy the things I need where I like. ) His family connections drew him into a dangerous double game. His employment as a member of the Counterintelligence Office of the High Command of the Armed Forces enabled him to continue work as a pastor and seminary director. It allowed him to travel abroad, where he worked for a negotiated peace. And it eventually drew him into the plot to kill Hitler-an ethical stand which many German Christians of his generation couldn't understand or forgive. He was executed on 9 April 1945, three weeks before Hitler committed suicide. He was thirty-nine years old.The life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been told at great length and in magnificent detail by his younger colleague, Eberhard Bethge. It's a biography that will never be surpassed but which only the most devoted will have the perseverance to read. Elizabeth Raum has retold the story concisely and readably for a whole new generation of readers.


this biography is well-written and well-rounded. WTBF (Troy Broadcasting Corporation), 2/4/05 This new biography presents Bohnoeffer's life in a less formidable account [than previous biographies], designed for less sophisticated readers. The author was greatly helped by Bethge himself and Bethge's sister-in-law Dorothee Bracher, Bonhoeffer's nice, who read and critiqued the manuscript. -Theology Digest, Summer 2003 Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Called by God provides an excellent introduction to the life of a twentieth-century Christian martyr whose spirit has risen from the ashes of the Flossenburg Nazi Concentration Camp. I believe this 'concise and readable
book is a valuable contribution for future generations. I commend it as a wonderful introduction to the life of a modern martyr to the Christian faith.

-John W. Matthews, Spectrum The family of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is pleased to commend Elizabeth Raum's Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Called By God to a new generation of readers. It is short and quite readable, and covers the main features of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life and witness.

Dorothee Bracher

About the Author

Elizabeth Raum is Director of the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She is the author of two books for children.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

1st October 2003


Elizabeth Raum

More books by Elizabeth Raum
Author 'Like for Like'


Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


200 pages


Christian theology
Biography: general
European history
Second World War



Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter

It's information about new books so, for a book lover like me, what's not to like!

Joan Hill

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies