Holocaust Museum Houston presents Luther, Bonhoeffer, and the Legacy of Antisemitism in Germany and the Third Reich

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Pastor Dietrich Bonheoffer
Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer Photo courtesy of Holocaust Museum Houston

The dual questions of "how and why" continue to haunt those who study the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and the complicity of ordinary people. They point to a variety of root causes: a weakened German economy, changing social demographics and patterns in Central Europe, and the "humiliation" of the German people post World War I, among others. However, the historic antisemitism in Europe, particularly among Christians, is often assumed to be an important catalyst for the bombastic success of Hitler and Nazi ideology.

That there certainly existed a range from explicit to latent antisemitism amongst Christians in Germany is historic fact. The Protestant Reformation's Martin Luther figures prominently in this anti-Semitism, with explicitly anti-Semitic remarks throughout his writings. That Luther's legacy in Germany is most significant within both the history and the folklore of Germany leads some scholars to directly indict Luther as the theologian responsible for the rise of the Third Reich and the Holocaust.

Yet, there exists within this period devout Lutherans, opposing Nazi ideologies and its policies. Among these, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is, perhaps, the most well regarded for his public writings on questions of Jewish/Christian relations and the importance of caring for one's neighbor.

Claire Hein Blanton holds a BA in History from Rice University and a Master's of Divinity in Biblical and Theological Studies from Baylor University's Truett Seminary.

Event Details



University of St. Thomas
3800 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006


Ticket Info

Admission is free.