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No Ordinary Men: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, Resisters Against Hitler in Church and State [Format Kindle]

Fritz Stern , Elisabeth Sifton

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Revue de presse

“Sifton and Stern’s chronicle is brief but deeply informed. And while Hans’s name appears in most academic studies of the resistance, this new book is clearly written with a larger audience in mind. The prose conveys a sense of historical perspective but also, just below the surface, a compassion possibly born of the authors’ own long-distance links to these men and their era.” —The Boston Globe 

“A story that needs to be heard.” —Library Journal

"A convincing argument that theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his often overlooked brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi 'deserve to be remembered together' for their courageous resistance to Hitler's Nazi regime….A concise yet powerful contribution to an even larger history." Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Stern’s prior works:

“Fritz Stern’s pointed reflections [in Five Germanys I Have Known] upon the fragility of democratic liberties and the unpredictable ease with which they can wither and die should be required reading for every informed citizen.” —Tony Judt
“[The Politics of Cultural Despair] is a superb cultural history, erudite, thoughtful, imaginative, beautifully written.” —Klemens von Klemperer, professor emeritus of European history at Smith College
“No one has written better on the country’s rise and fall than Fritz Stern.” —Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times
Praise for Sifton’s The Serenity Prayer:
“A landmark work on the liberal ideals of the progressive American tradition, reaffirming their relevance for today.... A major contribution to the intellectual history of modernity.” —Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

“[An] ebullient and shrewd meditation on faith and social action. . . . A peaceable state of mind simply accompanies the reader as he ends this effortlessly elegant, uniformly sensible paean to the human faith that Sifton inherited.” —Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer

Présentation de l'éditeur

During the twelve years of Hitler’s Third Reich, very few Germans took the risk of actively opposing his tyranny and terror, and fewer still did so to protect the sanctity of law and faith. In No Ordinary Men, Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern focus on two remarkable, courageous men who did—the pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his close friend and brother-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi—and offer new insights into the fearsome difficulties that resistance entailed. (Not forgotten is Christine Bonhoeffer Dohnanyi, Hans’s wife and Dietrich’s sister, who was indispensable to them both.)

From the start Bonhoeffer opposed the Nazi efforts to bend Germany’s Protestant churches to Hitler’s will, while Dohnanyi, a lawyer in the Justice Ministry and then in the Wehrmacht’s counterintelligence section, helped victims, kept records of Nazi crimes to be used as evidence once the regime fell, and was an important figure in the various conspiracies to assassinate Hitler. The strength of their shared commitment to these undertakings—and to the people they were helping—endured even after their arrest in April 1943 and until, after great suffering, they were executed on Hitler’s express orders in April 1945, just weeks before the Third Reich collapsed.

Bonhoeffer’s posthumously published Letters and Papers from Prison and other writings found a wide international audience, but Dohnanyi’s work is scarcely known, though it was crucial to the resistance and he was the one who drew Bonhoeffer into the anti-Hitler plots. Sifton and Stern offer dramatic new details and interpretations in their account of the extraordinary efforts in which the two jointly engaged. No Ordinary Men honors both Bonhoeffer’s human decency and his theological legacy, as well as Dohnanyi’s preservation of the highest standard of civic virtue in an utterly corrupted state.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4824 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 169 pages
  • Editeur : New York Review Books (17 septembre 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  46 commentaires
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A brief but immensely rewarding book 27 septembre 2013
Par James Connelly - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
"No Ordinary Men" is brief; but its 150 pages vividly depict the related careers of two brothers-in-law, the well-known Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the lesser known Hans von Dohnanyi, in their courageous struggle against Nazi totalitarianism. It is hard to imagine how they kept to their righteous path through the temptations and terror and moral degeneracy that surrounded them as Germany foundered in the 1930s and 1940s. Yet they seemed to have seen themselves not as remarkable, but as men of ordinary decency.

As the authors remark at the end of their study, "Though the world knows of Bonhoeffer in detail and hardly at all of Dohnanyi, they deserve to be remembered together. The Third Reich had no greater, more courageous, and more admirable enemies than they. Dohnanyi aptly summed up their work and spirit when he said they simply took 'the path that a decent person inevitably takes.' So few traveled that path -- anywhere."

Quite a remarkable book. Very highly recommended.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A story of two exemplary men, who lived out their faith principles 28 octobre 2013
Par Mary Hartwig - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Very well-researched. Some information was new to me, though I've read a great deal about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and family, and the tribulations they suffered during WW II. For example: Dohnanyi's wife contaminated food she brought him with diphtheria bacilli (at his request), so that he could be moved out of the prison to a hospital cell. It is humbling to read about a person of whom relatively little is known, and to see how he used his official position to help others in the face of grave danger to himself. Exemplary people, and a book that all of us would benefit from reading.

Unlike the present-day betrayer of U.S. secrets, [who has done all he can to escape the consequences of his actions, and whom I consider a traitor], Dohnanyi accepted the retribution he knew would come to him, even though the punitive actions of the criminal Nazi machine were far worse than anything that would be handed down today.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must-read starter volume on the Bonhoeffer-Dohnanyi story underlying the German resistance movement against Hitler 29 décembre 2013
Par Kraig W. Mcnutt - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I found my copy of this book in the mail box at 1pm today. I finished reading it by 10pm the same day, having been distracted by a basketball game and a football bowl game. Though small in size, this book packs a powerful punch. It's a great starter-volume on the Bonhoeffer-Dohnanyi story of passive and active resistance against the authoritarian and demonic Reich led by the murderous Hitler. After 'No Ordinary Men' I would suggest one read 'Bonhoeffer' by Eric Metaxas. The narrative on pages 100-101 and 135-136 is worth the price of the book alone. How could millions of people allow Hitler to do what he did over twelve years? Bonhoeffer's father said it was a result of the "Nazis' ceaseless propaganda, intimidation, and mass manipulation." An unholy triad that is not unaccustomed to the leadership of contemporary political world leaders today in our midst.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 In fact, rather extraordinary men. 27 février 2014
Par Rita - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I have long wondered how the Nazis managed to squelch any criticism of their management of the national policies. Granted, here in the USA we speak, nay, shout our disapproval of politics and policies we don't agree with. But, could the Germans be so docile, so ignorant, so tame, they just said, "so what?" to everything that was changing in their daily lives? And yet, that is what occurred. They seemed to knuckle under rather easily. I have been exploring this question through quite a few books recently after reading Ambassador Dodd's diary. He was our last Ambassador to Germany before WWII and it is quite a frank book. So, it was a real pleasure to come to know the Bonhoeffer family and to see that they were not the type of family to simply acquiese in behavior and policies they believed were inherently amoral. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theologian, could not in good conscience remain quiet. That he lived as long as he did proves his international influence and the uneasiness within the Nazi regime. Perhaps they had a fear of just removing him. Hans von Dohnanyi, Dietrich's brother-in-law, decided to work from within, collecting and cataloging the atrocities he was seeing from the inside. Both worked quietly and behind the scenes to overthrow Hitler. Bonhoeffer's name is still remembered but unfortunately for history, Dohnanyi has never received the credit he deserves. Good research and good footnotes are an additional plum in this very good pie!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Important book 18 janvier 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is a brief but important joint biography of the anti-Nazi resisters, the brothers-in-law Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnyani. Bonhoeffer's story is well known, but Hans's much less so. This book details the moral imperative that caused these two men, supported by their family, to resist the moral depravity of Nazism before and during WW2.

At the end the book tanatlizingly mentions how the Bonhoeffer family (and other surviving resisters) were cold-shouldered by post-War German society, and how many of the perpetrators of Nazi atrocities and their fellow travellers fared much better in post-War Germany than the resisters. This topic, while necessarily outside the scope of this biography, whose two protagonists were murdered just before the end of the War, merits amplification and further examination.
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