Agent of Grace - STALKING A MADMAN

STALKING A MADMAN (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Famous People History Social Studies World History World War II Film

Kristallnacht (“Night of Crystal”) occurred on November 9-10, 1938, throughout Germany, Austria (which Hitler had annexed) and in parts of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland (then occupied by the German military). Also called the “Night of Broken Glass,” the event targeted Jewish synagogues, homes and businesses. This image depicts the shattered stained-glass windows of the Zerrennerstrasse synagogue in Pforzheim, Germany, as it appeared on November 10, 1938. Online via Stadtarchiv Pforzheim (Pforzheim State Archive).


With their increasing "legal" authority, Nazis began direct attacks against Jews on Kristallnacht, "the Night of Broken Glass."

The following day - next to Psalm 74 verse 8, in his Bible - Bonhoeffer penned in the date of Kristallnacht. It is the only date contained anywhere in his Bible.  The verse reads:

They said in their hearts, let us plunder their goods! They burn all the houses of God in the land...Oh God, how long is the foe to scoff? How long will the enemy revile your name?

As Nazi oppression worsened, Bonhoeffer stepped up his activism.

He became involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler. He explained this apparent inconsistency with Christian beliefs to his sister-in-law, Emmi Bonhoeffer:

If I see a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.

By June of 1939, Bonhoeffer was able to get out of the country. Originally fleeing to the safety of America, he returned to Germany in a few weeks. His reason:

I have come to the conclusion that I made a mistake in coming to America...I shall have no right to take part in the restoration of Christian life in Germany after the war unless I share the trials of this time with my people.

Keeping his work undercover, Bonhoeffer continued his political resistance and helped to smuggle fifteen Jews to Switzerland in a mission called "Operation 7." The Nazis arrested him in 1943 for his anti-government resistance.

Weeks earlier, he had announced his engagement to Maria von Wedemeyer.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Feb 14, 2016

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"STALKING A MADMAN" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2002. Feb 23, 2020.
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