Sanctification through Torture

“An honest examination of conscience reveals much vanity, arrogance and self-esteem; and in the past also a certain amount of dishonesty. That was brought home to me when they called me a liar while I was being beaten up. They accused me of lying when they found I mentioned no name except those I knew they knew already. I prayed hard, asking God why he permitted me to be so brutally handled and then I saw that there was in my nature a tendency to pretend and deceive.

On this altar much has been consumed by fire and much has been melted and become pliable. It has been one of God’s blessings, and one of the signs of his indwelling grace, that I have been so wonderfully helped in keeping my vows. He will, I am confident, extend his blessing to my outward existence as soon as I am ready for the next task with which he wishes to entrust me. From this outward activity and intensified inner light new passion will be born to give witness for the living God, for I have truly learned to know him in these days of trial and to feel his healing presence. God alone suffices is literally and absolutely true…”

-Alfred Delp. December 31, 1944

Alfred Delp (1907-45) was hanged for treason by Nazi Germany for his involvement in the Kreisau circle. After Count von Stauffenberg’s failed attempt on Hitler’s life the Kreisau circle’s involvement came to light and its members and associates were tortured and executed.

-from Kidder, Annemarie. Ed., Ultimate Price: Testimonies of Christians Who Resisted the Third Reich, p. 76

Guillotined for His Faith

“People want to observe Christians who have taken a stand in the contemporary world, Christians who live amid all of the darkness with clarity, insight, and conviction, Christians who live with the purest peace of mind, courage, and dedication amid the absence of peace and joy, amidst the self-seeking and the hatred. People are looking for Christians who are not like a wavering reed that is pushed back and forth by every light breeze, for Christians who ask primarily about the teaching of Christ and our faith, Christians who do not watch to see how their associates will respond to this or that point. If signposts are set in the ground so loosely that they can be turned by every wind and as a result, point in this direction and then in that direction, is someone for whom the way is unfamiliar able to find the right path?

-Franz Jägerstätter, Notebook 3, p. 211

Franz Jägerstätter (1907-43) was executed by the Nazi Regime on August 9, 1943 for refusing to take the oath of combat and fight for the Third Reich. He refused to “compromise his Christian faith by serving what he considered [to be] an evil leader, Hitler, and a warring state that was pillaging, ravaging, and destroying human lives.”

-Kidder, Annemarie. Ed., Ultimate Price: Testimonies of Christians Who Resisted the Third Reich, pp. 34; 46