Tag Archives: Great West Door of Westminster Abbey

July 1945 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Service of Remembrance – Holy Trinity Church – Brompton Road – London

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“In July 1945, just three months after Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s execution, a service of remembrance in celebration of his life was held at the Holy Trinity church, just off the Brompton Road in London.

“To many who had suffered the trials and sacrifices of the war, holding a service in the British capital to remember a dead German was incomprehensible, distasteful and disturbing. The public prints were especially critical of the event. Nevertheless, the memorial service for Bonhoeffer’s life was full to overflowing.

“Speaking of his murdered friend, Bishop George Bell, who had tried so hard to make the voice of the German resistance heard by those who led the Western Allies, said: 

‘Dietrich has gone…our debt to [him] and to all others similarly murdered is immense. His death is a death for Germany – indeed for Europe too…He was inspired by his faith in the living God and his devotion to truth and honour. As one of a noble company of martyrs of different traditions, he represents the resistance to the living God to the assaults of evil, but also the moral and political revolt of the human conscience against injustice and cruelty’.

“In 1998, empty niches above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey were filled with the statues of ten ‘modern martyrs’. One of them is Dietrich Bonhoeffer”.

~ Source: “Nein! Standing Up To Hitler 1935-1944” – Paddy Ashdown [in collaboration with Sylvie Young] – Collins 2018 – Page 310.