AN UNLIKELY CHOICE (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Famous People Social Studies World History World War II History Film

In this image, from the Library of Congress, we see a view (from the east) of the market square in Breslau, as it appeared sometime between 1890-1900.  Then part of Germany (and a provincial capital), Breslau became part of Poland (and is known today as Wroclaw) after World War II.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his twin-sister Sabine were born in Breslau, Germany, on February 4, 1906.

An extremely bright young man, he shocked his family when he decided to become a theologian. No Bonhoeffer had ever chosen the Christian church as a profession.

Life in the beautiful town of Breslau, on the Oder River, was pleasant for young Dietrich. Karl, his father, was a well-known professor of psychiatry and neurology. Paula, his mother, was a university graduate who home-schooled Dietrich while he was young.

The Bonhoeffers had eight children; Dietrich was the sixth.

After the war, in 1945, Breslau ceased to exist as a German town. The city became known as Wroclaw and today is part of Poland. Germans living in the town at the end of the war had to leave.

It is ironic that Breslau, Bonhoeffer's hometown, ceased to be German not long after he was executed.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Nov 30, 2014

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