Biblical theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis just days before the Allies defeated Germany in World War II. This gripping documentary narrated by Ed Asner captures the life, times, and thoughts of Bonhoeffer. Using rare archival footage, documents, and visits to original locations, we get an intimate portrait of a man whose life and writings grow in their influence and speak powerfully to issues of our own day some 70 years later.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, caught in the Nazi war machine, was 39 years old when he was executed just before WWII ended. This man of God, who fought the Nazis through his preaching and underground work saving Jews, went to his death submissive to the will of God. Ed Asner narrates this compelling and emotional story that is augmented by visits to historically important places in Bonhoeffer’s life and rare, archival photographs. Bonhoeffer was one of eight children, he and his twin sister born into a hard-working, highly educated German family. His family didn’t attend church regularly, but believed in God and living according to biblical principles. They despised the Nazis, and Bonhoeffer, who had become a pastor, was ordered to stop preaching in public. Germany was in chaos, with the war machine in full operation and the campaign against the Jews ongoing.Bonhoeffer became involved in finding ways to save Jews, traveling abroad often but always under suspicion by the Nazi leaders. At age 37 he became engaged to 18-year-old Maria, though he spent much of their engagement in prison. He was interrogated and was even accused of taking part in a plot to kill Hitler. Bonhoeffer wrote many letters to friends and family that were smuggled out of prison. Many of those letters have been put in book form and are still read today. His writings were personal, spiritual and challenging, and he was realistic about who he was. He continued his ministry to others until his last days in prison. His message was always one of Christ’s gift of salvation and our new life in Christ. Bonhoeffer’s legacy still lives today through his example and his writings. His life, though short, was about giving God the glory. Viewers will come away with a new understanding of this remarkable man of God. We give this documentary the Dove “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages 12 plus.