Christ is community: A Bonhoeffer documentary

News | May 14, 2015

Lauren Schroeder heard the name Dietrich Bonhoeffer mentioned in a sermon at St. Paul, as well as in her confirmation studies.

Lauren, a student at Rivermont Collegiate, was intrigued by what she heard about the theologian and Nazi dissenter – so much so that she decided that he would be the subject of her documentary for the National History Day competition.

Earlier this month, weeks of research, interviews, voice overs, and video editing won Lauren a spot in the National History Day competition to be held in June in Washington, D.C.

“This year’s theme is Leadership and Legacy in History,” said Lauren, an eighth-grader. “Bonhoeffer tried to show people to trust God, not Hitler. Hitler saw Bonhoeffer as a threat and he said to get rid of him.”

Born in 1906 in Poland, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. Later he was transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. After being allegedly associated with the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was briefly tried, along with others, and then executed by hanging on April 9, 1945.

Allied forces liberated the camp two weeks later. Hitler committed suicide three weeks later.

While Bonhoeffer was in college, he wrote: “Christ is community with us” and “God is with everyone.”

“It is this sense of community that guided Bonhoeffer’s teachings and led his students and colleagues around the world to stand with him to resist Hitler,” Lauren says in her documentary.

Her work also includes interviews with St. Paul pastors.

Leave a Comment