Through their own words and their stories Ultimate Price highlights the witness of seven men and women compelled by their Christian faith to resist the idolatrous Nazi regime. What were their motives? What convinced them, long before their vindication by history, that they must defend the dignity of human life and the integrity of the gospel, even at the cost of their own lives?
Some of these seven martyrs are well known, others less so. They include Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, imprisoned and executed for his part in a plot to overthrow Hitler; Jesuit Alfred Delp, executed for his role in the anti-Nazi Kreisau Circle; Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian peasant who refused to take a military oath; Sophie Scholl, a young university student and part of the doomed White Rose conspiracy; hymn writer and novelist Jochen Klepper; Berlin’s Cathedral provost Bernhard Lichtenberg; and recently beatified Jesuit preacher Rupert Mayer.
In tracing these martyrs’ journeys, Ultimate Price challenges us to heed our own conscience, examine our own loyalties to kin and country in light of Christ’s claims, and to take our own stand with those Christ called “the least of these.”
Annemarie S. Kidder is a German-born theologian, Presbyterian pastor, and associate professor at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Detroit, Michigan. She has translated and edited Karl Rahner’s The Mystical Way in Everyday Life, and is the editor of Etty Hillesum: Spiritual Writings (both from Orbis).