The man who defeated Adolf Hitler
By Eric Metaxas
Did you forget? Friday — April 20th — was Hitler’s birthday! The Fuehrer would have been 123 years young!
Didn’t you celebrate?
As I explain in my book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, during Hitler’s 12-year reign, people across Germany twisted themselves into veritable pretzels to praise the Fuhrer on his birthday! It was a day of national celebration.
How things change. Today Hitler’s name is synonymous with evil. What a spectacular reversal of fortune.
Hitler’s last birthday — his 56th — was already a grim harbinger of things to come. Ten days later he would commit suicide, so the mood in the bunker on his last "Geburtstag" was not exactly festive. He was a shattered man, hiding like a rat beneath the shattered city that was to have been the capital of his new Germany. His die-hard bunker-mates held a small celebration for him, but Herr Hitler had to be sedated before he could make an appearance. Can anyone dream up a more depressing birthday party? What’s the German word for "bummer"?
Contrast Hitler’s bleak ending with that of another German of that era, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Bonhoeffer was a brilliant young pastor and a theologian, whose deep faith in God led him to get involved in the plot to kill Hitler. When Hitler learned of Bonhoeffer’s involvement he flew into a typically violent rage. As one of his final acts of revenge — just three weeks before he committed suicide — Hitler condemned the young pastor to death…
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