68th Anniversary of the Murder of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by the Nazis

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hung by the Nazis 68 years ago today. To commemorate this anniversary, I am re-posting our blog about him: 

We thought it was time for another of our Top Ten Conflict Tips, though as always they are probably tips for life too. In this case, we have Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s (1906-1945) Top Ten Conflict Tips. He was a German Lutheran Pastor executed by the Nazis for his resistance to them (and his involvement in 1943 Abwehr plans to assassinate Hitler) on April 9th 1945, just a few weeks before the end of the war. See


  1. Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.
  2. If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure.
  3. The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.
  4. The mark of solitude is silence, as speech is the mark of community. Silence and speech have the same inner correspondence and difference as do solitude and community. One does not exist without the other. Right speech comes out of silence, and right silence comes out of speech
  5. We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.
  6. Cheap grace is the mortal enemy of our church. Our struggle today is for costly grace
  7. We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself
  8. Being free means “being free for the other,” because the other has bound me to him. Only in relationship with the other am I free”
  9. Absolute seriousness is never without a dash of humor.
  10. Christianity preaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless and the infinite worthlessness of that which is seemingly so valued
This is Dietrich:
And where he was hanged in Flossenburg Concentration Camp, with the memorial to him:

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict History, Conflict Processes, Religious Conflict, Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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