The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Manuscript Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Special Collections
Extent: 1 Box (0.3 linear feet)
Language(s): English, German
Repository: Princeton Theological Seminary Libraries. Special Collections.


1906 February 4 Born, Breslau
1923-1927 Doctoral student, theology, Tübingen
1931-1936 Lecturer, theology, Berlin University
1933 Ordained, Matthias Church, Berlin
1936 Authorization to teach at Berlin University terminated
1938 Begins contact with German political resistance
1940 Forbidden to speak in public
1941 Forbidden to publish
1943 April 5 Arrested, held in Tegel Prison, Berlin
1945 April 9 Died, hanged at Flossenbürg concentration camp

Biographical Information

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor and theologian, is particularly well-known because of his activism against Nazi principles, as a leader of the Christian opposition, his role in plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and his hanging at a concentration camp just weeks before the end of the war.

Bonhoeffer was born February 4, 1906 to a large upper middle-class family in Breslau. He studied college at Tübingen and earned his doctorate at the University of Berlin. He then spent a year in New York City studying at Union Theological Seminary. After returning to Germany in 1931, Bonhoeffer was a founding member of the Confessing Church and supported Karl Barth's Barmen Declaration of 1934. He briefly served as pastor for two German churches in London before returning to head an underground seminary for Confessing Church members. German authorities, particularly the Gestapo, gradually reduced his freedoms to speak before arresting him in 1943 for sponsoring the escape of Jews to Switzerland. After the authorities discovered his association with the group that unsuccessfully plotted to assassinate Hitler in 1934, Bonhoeffer was moved to a concentration camp at Flossenburg and was hanged on April 9, 1945.


Scope and Content

This is a constructed collection of material by and about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It was collected from various sources by the staff of Special Collections as a research aid. It consists mostly of articles on Bonhoeffer.



Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, 1906-1945.

Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Manuscript collections.



Administrative Information

Processing Information

The provenance of certain materials in this constructed collection is not clear. It contains copies of Bonhoeffer's prayer "Gott, zu Dir rufe ich", articles about him, book reviews of his biographies, and materials from memorial services for him. Some of these materials may have been taken from the Paul Louis Lehmann Manuscript Collection. The "Tagebuch," was copied from a document found in the Wilhelm and Marion H. Pauck Manuscript Collection, in 2008. The decision to refolder and describe this collection was made in 2008. In the future other materials from the Lehmann collection might be copied and added to this collection as well. In May of 2008, a small collection of German stamps with Bonhoeffer's image on them and a larger collection of German stamps from the Third Reich (from the same donor) were added to this collection.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection. The papers are available for review according to the normal rules of Special Collections.

Use of Materials

The following is the acceptable citation for publication: The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Manuscript Collection. Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.



Box 1
1:1 "Gott, zu Dir rufe ich"
1:2 Bonhoeffer memorial service, Trinity Church Kingsway: 17 July 1945
1:3 "In Memoriam: Dietrich Bonhoeffer"
1:4 Das Zeugnis eines Boten
1:5 Prayer, Weihnachten, reprinted by Pressestelle der Ev. Kircheleitung Berlin 1944, 1955
1:6 "In Memoriam Dietrich Bonhoeffer" The Bulletin of the German-British Christian Fellowship No. 29, April 1946.
1:7 William Kuhns, "A Catholic Looks At Bonhoeffer" Christian Century, 28 June 1967.
1:8 H. Elliott Wright, "Aftermath of Flossenburg: Bonhoeffer," Christian Century, 1945-1970, 27 May 1970.
1:9 "DDR-Zeitungen würdigten Dietrich Bonhoeffer" 27 April 1980
1:10 Book Review of Bethge's biography of Bonhoeffer, Christian Century 1 July 1970
1:11 Charles E. Winquist, "Bonhoeffer in Context: Bonhoeffer's Theology: Classical and Revolutionary"
1:12 Book Review of In Pursuit of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christian Advocate, 4 April 1968.
1:13 Bulletin from Union Theological Seminary's Memorial Service for the 20th Anniversary of Bonhoeffer's death.
1:14 Notes taken on Bonhoeffer, source unknown
1:15 "Aus dem Tagebuch der Amerika-Reise," Bonhoeffer, 1939
1:16 12 stamps (Deutsche Bundespost)
1:17 German stamps from the time of the Third Reich.


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