My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Remembering German resistance against Hitler

60 years ago shortly before the end of their terror regime, on 9 April 1945 the Nazis murdered nine of their most decided enemies. All of them were part of the German resistance. Some were in prison, some in concentration camps – which were liberated by the Allies only two weeks later.
Among them were soldiers – Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin, Hans Oster, Wilhelm Canaris, Karl Sack, Hans von Dohnanyi, Ludwig Gehre, Theordor Strünck – , part of Hitler’s enemies among the military, many of them associated with those who attempted to assassinate Hitler on 20. July 1944. Among them was Georg Elser, one of the first who tried to assassinate Hitler – his attempt on 8 November 1939 failed. And among them was the now “famous” German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Cost of Discipleship, Life together). While incarcerated he wrote a song expressing trust in God, the knowledge of being sheltered by wonderful powers and the assurance that God is with us every morning, every evening and surely every new day. One of the verses expresses the willingness to also take suffering out of God’s hand, with thankfulness and without fear, for we know that God’s light also shines in darkness. This verse has always amazed me. This willingness to take on suffering, this childlike and at the same time mature faith that accepts what God gives us, even suffering. God understands our suffering. He has suffered for us. And he did not promise us a life without it – far from. This absolute trust in God – even in the face of death – is an awesome example for all of us.
Here are some lyrics of the song (I hope I got them right, I did this out of my head):

Von guten Mächten treu und still umgeben, getröstet und behütet wunderbar,
so will ich diese Tage mit euch leben, und mit euch gehen in ein neues Jahr.

Von guten Mächten wunderbar geborgen, erwarten wir getrost, was kommen mag,
Gott ist mit uns am Abend und am Morgen, und ganz gewiss an jedem neuen Tag.

Und reichst Du uns den schweren Kelch, den bittren, des Leids, gefüllt bis an den höchsten Rand, so nehmen wir ihn dankbar ohne Zittern aus Deiner treuen und geliebten Hand.