A summer spent in another town where the opinion page of the newspaper is calm and rational has taught me to avoid getting involved in the unpleasantness of its Stillwater counterpart. However, I will make an exception to correct a factual error. Hitler was brought up as a Roman Catholic in Austria, a mostly Roman Catholic country. He never formally severed his ties with the Roman Catholic Church. Of course he cannot be called a “good” Roman Catholic, but he was never a Lutheran of any kind.

Germany itself is roughly divided between the Roman Catholic south and the Lutheran north. Regrettably it must be said that most Lutherans in Germany did not oppose Hitler as firmly as they ought to have (nor did most Roman Catholics in Germany). Individual members of both churches who did the right thing at all costs can, however, be found — for example, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the heroic Lutheran pastor who died in a concentration camp.

Anyone who wants to learn more about Bonhoeffer and the German Lutheran resistance against Hitler can do so at the Adult Education Hour of Stillwater’s Lutheran congregation (Salem), starting Sept. 2 at 9:15 a.m.

Randi Eldevik


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