The last revenge of Adolf H. on the German Resistance

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by Lindele, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Today, 75 years ago the church man Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the officers Hans Oster, Wilhelm Canaris, Ludwig Gehre, Karl Sack und Theodor Strueck were executed in Flossenbuerg.

    Same as GeorgElser in Dachau and Hans von Dohnanyi in Sachsenhausen.


    Bonhoeffer is reported having communicated to a British prisoner the words: “ This is the end – for me the beginning of my life.”
    RIP to all of you.

    Does anyone know, who this Brit was?

    Stefan.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
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  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Payne Best
    See account in his book The Venlo Incident
     
  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Captain Sigismund Payne Best was an SIS (MI6) officer lured to a meeting at Venlo in Neutral Netherlands in September 1939 and kidnapped by German intelligence operatives. A case was later concocted that he had been involved with George Elser's failed assassination attempt on Hitler
     
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  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    That's strange both Payne Best and Stevens were incarcerated in Sachsenhausen throughout the war and never had the opportunity to meet Bonhoeffer who was arrested in April 1943 and taken to Berlin Tegel prison where he was imprisoned for nearly two years.In February 1945 he was moved to Buchenwald and then to Flossenburg where he was executed as related by Stefan.

    Bonhoeffer was a member of the Freiburg Circle which comprised of the Freiburg Council,the Bonhoeffer Circle and the Erwin von Beckerath Task Force.These opposition groups were not connected but had personal connections with the economists,Constantin von Dietze,Walter Eucken and Adolf Lampe. Collectively were referred to as the Freiburg Circle or Freiburgers

    Hans von Dohnanyi was Bonhoeffer's brother in law.In 1940,Bonhoeffer was called up by the Wehrmacht to serve in the Counterintelligence service.He is recorded as being able to travel to Geneva and the Vatican where he gave accounts of the deportation of German Jews.
     
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  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Not only is it covered in Paynes own book it is confirmed in Bonhoeffer's Biography by Eberhard Bethge as coming from Payne and also by Bishop Bell for whom the message was intended and to whom Payne wrote on his release
     
  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    See also The Existential Philosophy of Etty Hillesum Meins G.S. Coetsier offers an account of Etty Hillesum's spiritual and cultural life in light of the writings of Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Page 200 which describes Bonhoeffer's last moments. According to the camp doctor other than uttering a number of short prayers Bonhoeffer spoke to no one one when going to and on the gallows. So his last recorded words were spoken to Best before being taken away for execution. See George R. Sinclair Walking in Wonder: Resilience in Ministry page 60
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Payne Best and Stevens ex Sachsenhausen met Bonhoeffer at Buchenwald in February 1945 where the group was being formed as Himmler's Prominente, a bargaining group which Himmler envisaged he could do a deal with the Allies.From there the group passage was thought to be the Alpine Redoubt but they ended up at Flossenburg.

    The account you give is correct .The travels of the Prominente are also told by Wings Day but as I recollect, not the final days of Bonhoeffer.
     
  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    That is because he was separated from them after giving Best the last message.
     
  9. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Harry,
    may be an SOE man
    Stefan.
     
  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Stefan

    As I see it no SOE operative survived the final days at Flossenburg. Payne Best records the events that took place one day before he was executed.
     
  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    A number of prisoners, Best included, asked Bonhoeffer to conduct a service. When it was ended two men arrived to take him away. He was taken to a summary hearing, sentenced, held alone in a cell overnight and hanged in the morning. The close of the service was the last time he was in a position to speak to another prisoner. He was asking Payne Best to take his words to Bishop Christopher Bell who was an old friend and mentor.
     

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