Faithful Christians like Bonhoeffer tried desperately to free the German church from Nazi control but to no avail. Eventually, the moment no one wanted to see, arrived. On June 4th a group of Christians announced in the Barmen Delaration their separation from the Reichskirche.
On June 4— again, thanks to Bishop Bell and Bonhoeffer— the full text of the Barmen Declaration was published in the London Times. It was incendiary, announcing to the world that a group of Christians in Germany had officially and publicly declared their independence from the Nazified Reichskirche. When one read it, it was easy to understand why they had done so.
Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 226). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
We must shake off our fear of this world— the cause of Christ is at stake, and are we to be found sleeping? . . . Christ is looking down at us and asking whether there is anyone left who confesses faith in him.
Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 219). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Only a few weeks later, Hilter would enact his “Night of the Long Knives”–an action that must surely have trebled the mounting sense of desperation among Christian Germans.
Not even Ernst Rohm, one of Hitler’s top servants, escaped the purge.