1906 - Born on the 4th of February to Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer in Breslau in eastern Germany (modern-day Poland).
1927 - Home schooled by his parents along with his seven siblings, Dietrich went on to study at the University of Berlin and graduated with honors.
1931 - At the age of 25 became a lecturer in systematic theology at the same University.
1933 - Became a leading spokesman for the Confessing Church, the center of Protestant resistance to the Nazis.
- Organized and for a time led the underground seminary of the Confessing Church. His book Life Together describes the life of the Christian community in that seminary, and his book The Cost Of Discipleship attacks what he calls "cheap grace," meaning grace used as an excuse for moral laxity.
1934 - Upset by what he called the complacency of the German church, Bonhoeffer founded the "Confessing Church," a church dedicated to remaining free from the influence of Nazism at a time when Nazi ideals had all but usurped control of the mainstream German church.
1939 - His brother-in-law introduced him to a group planning the overthrow of Hitler, and he made significant contributions to their work. (He was at this time an employee of the Military Intelligence Department).
1943 - Arrested in April and imprisoned in Berlin.
1944 - After the failure of the attempt on Hitler's life in April, he was sent first to Buchenwald and then to Schoenberg Prison.
- His life was spared, because he had a relative who stood high in the government; but then this relative was himself implicated in anti-Nazi plots.
1945 - On 8th of April, he had just finished conducting a service of worship at Schoenberg, when two soldiers came in, saying, "Prisoner Bonhoeffer, make ready and come with us," the standard summons to a condemned prisoner.
- Hanged for treason along with his co-conspirators on April 9th in the Flossenberg camp. The hanging took place only a few days before the liberation of the camp and just 21 days before Hitler's suicide.
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- "If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure."
- "Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering."
- "It is the characteristic excellence of the strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives they have not chosen themselves."
- "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."
- "Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility."