Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
The wartime bravery and tragic end of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) are recounted in this biographical documentary on his underground resistance activities before and during World War II. Bonhoeffer was financially well-off, cultured, and educated -- a Lutheran theologian who believed so intensely in his ideals that he risked and lost his life opposing the Nazis. He joined the Confessing Church in 1933 because that Church refused to accept Hitler's doctrine of anti-Semitism, and Bonhoeffer spoke out openly against Hitler from that moment onward. This documentary chronicles his inner turmoil as he arduously comes to the decision that violence against the Nazis is justified. Once that moral dilemma is resolved, it leads to Bonhoeffer's participation in a plot to assassinate Hitler. The assassination plan was the last subversive activity he would engage in because of his subsequent arrest and imprisonment -- a risk he always knew was there, even when traveling to the U.S. before the war and to Switzerland during the war years. Freedom, in the end, was not what Bonhoeffer wanted. He was hanged by piano wire at the Nazi concentration camp in Flössenberg just before the war ended. His story is told by interviews with his family and friends, still photographs, historical footage, and narration.
anti-Semitism, courage, Holocaust, Nazism, resistance