1933 as a Protestant Experience and the “Day of Potsdam”

Contemporary Church History Quarterly

Volume 23, Number 1/2 (June 2017)

1933 as a Protestant Experience and the “Day of Potsdam”

By Manfred Gailus, Technical University of Berlin; translated by Kyle Jantzen, Ambrose University

Lecture at the joint meeting of the Martin Niemöller Foundation and the Initiative “Christians Need No Garrison Church,” Potsdam, March 18, 2017.

Vortrag auf der Gemeinsamen Tagung der Martin-Niemöller Stiftung und der Initiative “Christen brauchen keine Garnisonkirche” am 18. März 2017 in Potsdam.

German original available at https://www.christen-brauchen-keine-garnisonkirche.de/files/opensauce/scss/gailus_potsdam%20m%C3%A4rz%202017.pdf.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, the “Day of Potsdam,” which will see its 84th anniversary in three days, was no singular derailment of the churches in the fatal year of 1933. Everywhere, Hitler’s Weltanschauung was present in the churches of 1933. But the unique feature of the ecclesiastical and also highly politically symbolic ceremony of March 21, 1933, in the Potsdam Garrison Church was this: it was the only church in which Hitler himself gave a speech during the twelve-year Nazi regime. The new Catholic Reich Chancellor was often praised in the Protestant churches of 1933: very often, brown uniforms and Nazi symbols such as the swastika were seen in churches and parish halls; and not only church songs were sung, but also frequently the “Horst Wessel Song.” On occasion, at the altar, alongside the crucified Christ was also a portrait of Hitler, whom the members of the German Christian Movement venerated in the churches as a saviour of the Germans sent by God. But that Hitler himself would make a speech in the church—as far as we know, that only happened once in the “Third Reich,” and that on the memorable day in the Potsdam Garrison Church, which now, after its destruction in Hitler’s war, is supposed to be rebuilt.

The official act for the opening of the newly elected Reichstag in the Garrison Church began with the hymn “Now Praise, My Soul, the Lord.” Which “lord” the mostly uniformed deputies of the NSDAP parliamentary group who dominated the picture of this assembly were thinking about at this moment seems to me extremely uncertain. After a brief address by Reich President Hindenburg, Hitler gave a kind of state of the nation address. Certainly, it is true that his speech was moderate, the aims of the new government were wrapped in cotton wool, and Hitler spoke for the “national coalition” as a whole, whose cabinet at that time consisted mostly of German Nationals and not of National Socialists. Hitler thanked the Reich President for his decision of January 30 to entrust “the young Germany” with the leadership. The slightly convoluted formulation “the young Germany” meant, naturally, the Hitler movement and its Führer. What would happen in these moments, the Reich Chancellor continued, would be the “marriage … of the symbols of the old grandeur and the young strength.” After an inventory of very general government aims—unity of the spirit and the will, preserving the eternal foundations of German national identity, nurturing the traditions of the Volk, reconciling anew all those of good will—the new forty-three-year-old Reich Chancellor turned directly to an homage to the aged, 85-year-old Hindenburg: “We stand before you, General Field Marshall … You once experienced the establishment of the empire, beheld indeed the work of the Great Chancellor and the wonderful ascension of our Volk. Finally, you have led us in the great time which fate has allowed us to witness and to battle through. This your miraculous life is for us all a symbol of the indestructible vitality of the German nation. So today, the young German Volk thanks you, along with all of us, we who sense your approval as a blessing for the work of the German rising.”[1]

During these words of thanksgiving, the assembly rose to its feet. Otto Dibelius, the General Superintendent of the Kurmark and key figure both in the days before and then during the “Day of Potsdam,” was an eye-witness to the ceremony and described the scene a few days later in the Evangelisches Sonntagsblatt: Hitler’s words were worthy, sober, and impressive. “When the last word is spoken, Hitler steps back from the lectern. The Reich President takes a step forward and stretches out his hand. Hitler seizes it and bends down over the hand of the aged Field Marshall, as if for a kiss. It is an homage in thanksgiving and love, which moves everyone who witnesses it.”[2]

It was this ceremonial handshake in the Garrison Church which, like a vow, put into effect the sealing of a “marriage” between the old Prussian-German state and military tradition on the one hand and the young, dynamic, völkisch-antisemitic Hitler movement on the other hand—and this in the Prussian sanctuary par excellence. Bismarck’s “Second Reich” and Hitler’s “Third Reich” stretched out their hands to one another, a highly charged, politically symbolic gesture, which constituted the very centre of this extraordinary ceremonial day. It must therefore seem strange—I would like to mention this as a side comment—that this handshake in the church is not mentioned in the current written or oral statements of anyone in the circle of the Garrison Church rebuilding initiative. There was a second, later handshake between Hindenburg and Hitler in front of the church, after the conclusion of the church ceremony, but the actual important political handshake took place within the framework of a completely ecclesiastical ceremony in the house of God itself. I have quoted the deep emotion of Otto Dibelius in response to this act.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it does not seem necessary to describe the Reich-wide celebrations of this national-political ceremonial day in all their details. The individual acts of this political drama are widely known. For the details, I would refer you to the chapter in Matthias Grünzig’s Garrison Church book, which is now available. It describes the origins and the background of this historical event on the basis of intensive primary source research.[3] It is the most accurate and strictly source-based account that we currently have. Indeed, one of the facts highlighted by this study is clearer than was previously known: the decisive role played by General Superintendent Dibelius in the “Day of Potsdam.” It was by no means the case that this most highly political act of state had to be imposed upon the church. Hitler wanted the ceremony, which was important for his prestige, at the graves of the Prussian kings, and General Superintendent Dibelius made an essential contribution to ensure that the ceremony took place in the way that it did on March 21. When, in the run-up to the ceremonial day, doubts emerged about whether it was advisable for such a highly political act to take place in a church, it was above all the interventions of Dibelius that cleared the way. On March 5, he wrote about the planned Potsdam ceremony in a newspaper column: “The idea of opening the new Reichstag in Potsdam, over the grave of Frederick the Great, has generated a loud reverberation. 1848 St. Paul’s Church [the first German parliament in Frankfurt am Main], 1919 the theatre in Weimar, 1933 the Garrison Church in Potsdam—such symbols are more deeply embedded in the memory of a nation than all the speeches. They mark a new chapter in history with a particular sign.”[4]

One must concede that the influential and politically active churchman was right on this point: such symbols are more profound than all speeches, and they can give a new chapter of history a special signature. In the case of this Potsdam event, it was quite different than 1848 and the case of the Frankfurt Parliament or 1919 and the case of the Weimar National Theatre: in 1848, St. Paul’s Church, Frankfurt, was the meeting place for an early and unfortunately unsuccessful parliamentary push for national unity and political democracy in Germany—a revolutionary attempt that failed thanks to the fierce resistance of the monarchies, in which Prussia led the way under the slogan “Only soldiers are of use against democracy.” And in 1919, in the National Theatre of Weimar, the democratically elected National Assembly of the new republic met to form the first German democracy on the second try. In the Potsdam Garrison Church, however, on March 21, 1933, in a solemn ceremony, a milestone on the way to dictatorship was set down, and, in a sense, blessed by the church.

The conservative Potsdam civil society of 1933, which had by that point largely come to an arrangement with National Socialism, also wanted the ceremony: a Reichstag opening with Hindenburg and Hitler—that would elevate us Potsdamers tremendously! As mayor Arno Rauscher put it at the beginning of March: “Potsdam is proud to see the Reichstag of the national ascendancy within its walls.” On March 6, the Garrison Church parish council welcomed the plan to “temporarily” relocate “the seat of the German Reichstag to the residence city of Potsdam.” This formulation suggests that the church elders would have liked the Brown Parliament to stay longer than a single day. The parish leadership gladly made “the Garrison Church of Potsdam, unique in its national educational impact,” available for the production. In view of the sanctity of the site, however, the council requested that no parliamentary negotiations take place in the church.[5]

Ladies and gentlemen, we must keep in mind that the great majority of the German Protestants of 1933 were delighted for the end of the so-called “Godless Republic” of Weimar and greeted the “national ascendancy” led by Hitler. In many churches, throughout the whole breakthrough year of 1933, there were thanksgiving and jubilee celebrations for Hitler’s seizure of power. Only one day after the Potsdam ceremony, on March 22, 1933, a “patriotic thanksgiving service” took place in the renowned Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin.[6] The Reich leadership of the “Faith Movement of the German Christians” wanted with this great event to stage a kind of “ecclesiastical Potsdam,” a reconciliation between the old, unsettled Prussian-conservative church leadership and the mass movement of the völkisch German Christians, which was powerfully swelling within the church. The great and splendid main church of the west end of Berlin was filled to overflowing on that Wednesday evening. After the organ prelude, formations of SA and Stahlhelm (Association of Front Soldiers) entered the church with their flags and took their place at the altar. The leading minister of the parish, Pastor Georg Hauk, spoke about “Volk and God.” At last, he said, one day after the Potsdam ceremony, the darkness of the last years had begun to fade. Whoever stands in covenant with God, proclaimed the theologian, compels even “hell,” in the end. In the situation, “hell” could only mean the newly defeated “Godless Republic” of Weimar. The assembled congregation in the crowded church began singing Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” Subsequently, Pastor Joachim Hossenfelder, the first Reich Leader of the German Christians, preached on the theme “Führer and Volk.” He compared the young people of the War of Liberation of 1813-1815 with those of the time of the First World War of 1914-1918. Their longing and hope had finally come true with Hitler’s takeover of power. Pastor Hossenfelder called on his church not to stand aside from the present rising of the nation. One visitor was deeply moved immediately after the service: “It is now just over, it is 9:30, we are still gripped by the powerful sermons of the two pastors. Just as great was the singing of the church choir and the congregational singing, ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’ and the ‘Dutch Prayer of Thanksgiving’ [‘We Gather Together’]. We understood everything very well, even to the end of the bell ringing. We had only one desire—to be there with and to see all the people who attended this service. This worship service was almost more inspiring than the one in Potsdam. The preacher spoke for us all from our hearts, with the words, ‘What a turnabout by God’s providence.’ Now let us wish that God will continue to guide our glorious Führer Adolf Hitler in the right path, keep him ever healthy, and protect him from danger. Then we can hope for a better future.”[7]

What happened on the “Day of Potsdam” in the Garrison Church and shortly before in the St. Nicholas’ Church with the preaching of the General Superintendent—ecclesiastical homage to the coming “Third Reich”—were not one-time outliers, no sudden derailments, no singular abuses. Many churches and their ministers turned to the Hitler movement before 1933, for example, with the “Christian-German Movement,” founded in 1930, a predecessor of the German Christians, just as with the “Faith Movement of the German Christians,” with was founded primarily by young National Socialist pastors already in 1932. In their founding programme, they demanded a centralized Protestant Reich Church instead of fragmentation in 28 regional churches and a racially homogenous “German Volk Church” with an Aryan Paragraph, in order to exclude Christians of Jewish origin. Of course, they also turned against Marxism, pacifism, racial mixing, and a Jewish mission. German Christian theologians suddenly transformed the concept of “Volk” into “race,” and “race” into a primordial grandeur within the divine order of creation. As they, the German Christians, fought for the purity of the “German race,” and for a “racially-determined faith,” so their credo, they were working for the preservation of that divine order of creation.[8]

The 37-year-old pastor’s son from Pomerania, Siegfried Nobiling, reported very vividly how, in 1932, he came to join the NSDAP: By chance, in 1929 Der Angriff, the battle sheet of the Berlin NSDAP overseen by Joseph Goebbels, turned up in the parsonage of his Friedenau “Good Shepherd” parish. The newsletter pleased him. “I subscribed to the Angriff, bought the recommended books for myself, in particular Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, went to the party meetings, read and listened, listened and read, until at the end of May 1929 I could do nothing more but join. I am registered under Number 145128. So: low house number! To sum up, I can only confess with the most honest heart that, for me, National Socialism was fate and experience. I stand pure before my God, before my church, and before my fellow party members and can only say: I could do no other!” As Christianity had been before, National Socialism was “experience”: the experience of a new “national community,” a “racial community,” and a “community of destiny.” The forces of Christianity are required, declared the pastor in 1932, “to bring the communal rising of the German soul to victory.” Through National Socialism, the “heroic man” experiences a rebirth. In the trenches of the First World War, the “we experience” of true brotherhood became a reality. This communal experience had been “knocked down” by fourteen years of slavery—the pastor meant the time of the Weimar Republic. Now, under National Socialism, [the “we-experience”] was again elemental. National Socialism, the young theologian thus acknowledged, meant “an experience of his own race” and a distinction from other races. Not only the soul but also the body is a creation of God, a sanctuary that one may not contaminate by mixing without serious damage. In Judaism, as Pastor Nobiling confessed, he sees the “spiritual incapacitation of our race.” The “foreign body of Judaism” must be excluded from the German state. Without this “incisive operation,” there could be no “national health.”[9]

The powerful wave of the German Christians overran the old church—one can speak of a “seizure of power of the German Christians” in the church. The church elections of July 1933 produced German Christian majorities of 70 to 75 percent, on average. In September, in the Wittenberg Town Church where Martin Luther had preached, the military chaplain Ludwig Müller, a close confidant of Hitler, rose to the position of Reich Bishop over a united German Protestant Church. In Berlin and the Brandenburg Church Province, in Prussia and in most of the 28 Protestant regional churches, the German Christians had conquered the church governments through the fall of 1933, often through with the assistance of the SA and the NSDAP. Not only the German Christians, but virtually all of the Protestants welcomed the upheavals of 1933 as a long-cherished reversal in time, as a veritable wonder-year. A political and moral reversal, a return to church and Christendom after the terrible secularization experiences of the Weimar era—these were the high expectations of the hour. “National mission” was now the magic word among the German Christians, so-called mass weddings of SA couples and “catching up” group baptisms of unbaptized school children proliferated during the summer of 1933 and testify to the illusory rechristianization plans under the conditions produced by the Hitler regime.[10]

The German Christian wave also rolled over the Potsdam church. In Martin Thom, formerly a pastor in the Gethsemane Parish in Berlin, a fanatical National Socialist was installed as a superintendent and pastor in the St. Nicholas’ Parish in 1934. The theologian, who had already entered the NSDAP in December 1931, belonged to the Reich leadership of the German Christians and was called into the Prussian church leadership in 1933 as a member of the Superior Church Council. In the introduction to his 1933 sermon collection, Cross and Swastika (Christuskreuz und Hakenkreuz), he wrote: “The swastika is longing, the cross fulfilment. The swastika is the beginning, the cross completion. The swastika praises God the creator, the cross God the savior. It can never be about the question: cross or swastika? Rather, it is only about confession to the cross and the swastika. Neither excludes the other; rather, they are mutually dependent.”[11] In short, this was the political theology of the superintendent who was in office in Potsdam from 1934.

In the church elections of July 1933, the candidate list of the German Christians in the civil parish of the Garrison Church captured 56 percent of the vote. That was somewhat low, when measured against the average number of German Christians [in other parishes], but it would be completely amiss to interpret this below-average election result somehow as church “resistance.” The background: military chaplains, who always dominated the church, were forbidden to engage in church-political activity because of their special position. Consequently, in the run-up to the church elections in the Garrison Church, in contrast to most other parishes, there was no explicitly German Christian pastor and thus no effective leader of the German Christian electoral list. At the same time, political loyalties to the Hitler regime were not uncommon among the numerous and frequently-changing clergy in the parish. Matthias Grünzig’s study lists these statements in fine detail. Here we will only refer to Pastor Curt Koblanck, who identified himself as a “National Socialist pastor” in 1934, and his successor, Werner Schütz, who was active in the Garrison Church from 1935 and 1937 and whose opinions expressed in his 1937 publication Soldierdom and Christendom (Soldatentum und Christentum) would frighten readers today. Here was a Christian theologian preparing mentally for the coming “total war,” which then came, as is well known.[12]

Garrison Church in the “Third Reich”—for heaven’s sake, one could call oneself a historian for simply listing the kinds of events that could take place over a decade in a Christian church without it having collapsed in shame:[13]

May 1, 1933: Celebratory worship service for the “Day of National Labour;” speech by local pastor Curt Koblanck, with party members from the National Socialist Factory Cells in attendance.

July 2, 1933: Worship service for the “Day of the Old Soldiers,” organized by the NSDAP and the Reich Warriors Association Kyffhäuser.

August 19, 1933: Flag dedication of the NSDAP in the chapel, with local pastor Curt Koblanck speaking again.

September 16, 1933: Ceremony for the “Day of the State Councillors;” this was organized by the State of Prussia, now ruled by National Socialists; the most prominent participant was the new Prussian Minister President, Hermann Göring.

October 29, 1933: Worship service on the occasion of the flag dedication of the National Socialist Factor Cell Organization, organized by the National Socialist Factory Cell Organization, with a sermon by Pastor Ernst Kumbier.

November 19, 1933: Commemoration for Luther’s 450th birthday; speeches by Superintendent Werner Görnandt, local pastor Koblanck, and the Acting Reich Leader of the German Christians, Provost Friedrich Loerzer, who came out from Berlin.

Loerzer had been a fighter pilot in the First World War and belonged to the same squadron as Hermann Göring. As a pastor, he liked to minister in the brown uniform [of the SA]. He had his son, who was born on April 19, 1933, baptized in the Berlin Advent Church with the given names Eckart, Adolf, and Hermann. The baptism was attended by Pastor Hossenfelder, the First Reich Leader of the German Christian Movement, and the godparents were Hermann Göring and Mrs. Hossenfelder.[14]

November 26, 1933: Remembrance ceremony (Totenfeier) of the NSDAP; once again, a speech by Provost Loerzer; on this day, the National Socialists who had died in the violent political street fighting, the “political martyrs,” were honoured in the church, including Horst Wessel, Herbert Norkus, Hans Eberhard Maikowski, etc.

December 20, 1933: Christmas celebration of the 9th Infantry Regiment, under the participation of the Prussian princes Eitel Friedrich and August Wilhelm; speech by Reich Bishop Ludwig Müller, who at that time was helping to integrate the Protestant youth organizations into the Hitler Youth, and who presented the completion of this measure to Hitler as a Christmas present.

Year in and year out, until the bitter end in April 1945, things went on like this in the Garrison Church. Many ceremonies were simply a matter of pure National Socialist cultic practice in the church, during which even the last traces of Christianity had disappeared. This happened, for example, on the occasion of the “great Hitler Youth banner dedication” on January 24, 1934. Among the guests sitting in the church pews were SA Chief Ernst Röhm, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, Hitlers chief ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, Reich Minister of War Werner von Blomberg, and Reich Bishop Ludwig Müller. To begin, the organ intoned the Reich Youth Song “Our Flag Flutters Before Us,” the lyrics of which were composed by Reich Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach. Then, Hitler’s Reich Youth Leader gave a dedicatory address. This was followed by the actual consecration, in the course of which 342 flags of the Hitler Youth were touched by a so-called “blood banner,” which was said to have been held by the dying Hitler Youth, Herbert Norkus. After a minute of silence in honour of Frederick the Great, Reich Youth Leader von Schirach, accompanied by a drum roll, gave a meditation in the royal crypt. The German national anthem, played by the organ, ended the ceremony. Whoever was present, it should be remembered, had certainly memorized the first stanza, which begins: “Germany, Germany, over all.”[15]

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to spare you here and now further examples of brown cultic practices in the Garrison Church. There were plenty. In the new Garrison Church book, you will find these documents. For two or three decades, I have been working as a historian on the subject of Protestantism and National Socialism, and I am used to a lot in this field. In this connection, I have explored many parishes under the rule of the German Christians. But nowhere else have I found such pure Nazi rituals and brown cultic practices as in the Garrison Church. Even where the German Christians held a parish in their clutches and celebrated their völkisch Christianity through liturgy, preaching, flag cults, and group meetings with the Horst Wessel Song and the Hitler salute, there was still some residual Christianity present. True, as convinced National Socialists, the German Christians also had their ideological problems with the Jewish wandering preacher from Nazareth, whom Christian churches confess as the one and only Messiah. But the German Christians also clung to Jesus as the savior, even if German Christian theologians turned the Jewish Jesus from Galilee into an “Aryan.” In the Potsdam Garrison Church, however, with its many purely National Socialist events, another spirit found its way in. It was manifested in political confessions and quasi-religious cults, which professional historians now call the “political religion” of National Socialism.[16]

What does all this now mean for the Potsdam present in 2017? This will be discussed today, tomorrow, and in the days to come. As you all know, for many years a bitterly disputed Potsdam “Kulturkampf” over the Garrison Church has been waged: to build or not to build—that was and is the question here. The precise realization of the history of the Garrison Church does not automatically answer this question. Nonetheless, it is indispensable for any future construction project at this location. The controversial reconstruction project has already produced one result: as far as the history of this parish is concerned, we now have one of the best-researched parish histories in the region of Berlin-Brandenburg. And the recent past of this parish, at least since the Kaiserreich (keywords: throne and altar), during the First World War (war sermons), during the time of the Weimar Republic (heading: political reservoir for the conservative revolution against the first German democracy), the “Third Reich” (a church, in which the brown cult of National Socialism could proliferate in otherwise unprecedented dimensions)—taken together, this recent history gives little reason to rebuild the former building in its old form. On the occasion of the “Day of Potsdam” in March 1933, the historically-minded General Superintendent Dibelius brought the comparison with St. Paul’s Church, Frankfurt, 1848, into play. Frankfurt’s St. Paul’s Church, which was destroyed during the Second World War, was immediately repaired after Hitler’s war as a historical site of memory and was already dedicated in 1948 to mark the centennial of the democratic revolution of 1848. It was and is an important symbol of the history of German freedom. This cannot be said for the Potsdam Garrison Church. It was a prominent place in the history of German unfreedom. There is no way around this insight. Naturally, one can vigorously deny it: We will rebuild it anyways! But here, too, the overly artificial and overworked attributions of an alleged spirit of resistance against National Socialism don’t help much. The resistance of July 20, 1944, did not arise from this church. Against all kinds of historical discord, historical revisionism, or fashionable approaches to post-historical historiography, professional historical research and a critical public will be able to defend themselves very effectively. History—including the history of the Garrison Church—is not a memory bank from which you can pick and choose whatever suits you today and leave out everything unpleasant. Here, all the facts must be on the table, and whoever wants to build here should be fully aware of the kind of historically contaminated soil they would be building on.

One last remark: a few weeks ago, the 80th anniversary of the death of Friedrich Weißler was commemorated at the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum. The jurist Weißler came from a Jewish family and was a confessing Christian. On the basis of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service of April 1933, he lost his judicial office precisely during these weeks in which people were celebrating the breakthrough of the new [National Socialist] era here in Potsdam. Weißler belonged to the Confessing Church and was arrested in 1936 in connection with indiscretions surrounding a confidential memorandum from the Confessing Church to Hitler. After four months in custody, he came to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, where he was beaten to death by SS-men within one week. He paid for his Christian resistance with his life. Ever since, he has been known as the “first martyr of the Confessing Church.”[17]Until today, the Berlin-Brandenburg Church has not yet named a prominent ecclesiastical institution after its first martyr from the time of the Church Struggle. Whatever may be built on the site of the former Garrison Church, do not name the new building for the sake of being a garrison church, but name the new building after Friedrich Weißler and remember this place and remember the few resisting Protestant men and women from this darkest German era.

[1]Adolf Hitler, “Rede bei der Eröffnung des neu einberufenen Reichstags, 21. März 1933,” in Verhandlungen des Reichstags. VIII. Wahlperiode 1933, Vol. 457 (Berlin, 1934), p. 6-10.

[2]Otto Dibelius, “Wochenschau”, in: Berliner Evangelisches Sonntagsblatt, 2 April 1933.

[3]Matthias Grünzig, Für Deutschtum und Vaterland. Die Potsdamer Garnisonkirche im 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 2017), pp. 141-179.

[4]Otto Dibelius, “Sonntagsspiegel”, Der Tag, March 5, 1933, cited in Robert Stupperich, Otto Dibelius. Ein evangelischer Bischof im Umbruch der Zeiten (Göttingen, 1989), p. 203.

[5]Grünzig, Potsdamer Garnisonkirche, pp. 146, 156.

[6]Manfred Gailus, Protestantismus und Nationalsozialismus. Studien zur nationalsozialistischen Durchdringung des protestantischen Sozialmilieus in Berlin (Köln/Weimar/Wien, 2001), pp. 106-108.

[7] Letter of thanks from the carpenter and cabinet-maker Otto Baumbach from Stadtilm (Thuringia) to Sexton Heinrich Hobohm, March 22, 1933, Archiv der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnisgemeinde, Betr. Gottesdienste 1913-1935.

[8] On the „Christian-German Movement,“ see Christoph Weiling, Die „Christlich-deutsche Bewegung“. Eine Studie zum konservativen Protestantismus in der Weimarer Republik(Göttingen 1998); on the German Christians, see Doris L. Bergen, Twisted Cross. The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich (Chapel Hill/London 1996).

[9] See the political credo of the parson from 1932: Siegfried Nobiling, [Stellungnahme zum Nationalsozialismus], in Leopold Klotz (ed.), Die Kirche und das dritte Reich, Vol. 2 (Gotha 1932), pp. 79-85.

[10] See Gailus, Protestantismus und Nationalsozialismus.

[11]Martin Thom, Christuskreuz und Hakenkreuz, 4th and 5th eds., pp. 2f.

[12] See Grünzig, Potsdamer Garnisonkirche.

[13] The following is an excerpt from the complete list of events in Grünzig, Potsdamer Garnisonkirche.

[14] On Loerzer, see Gailus, Protestantismus und Nationalsozialismus, p. 676; and Pfarrerstatistik Berlin, Nr. 288.

[15]See Grünzig, Potsdamer Garnisonkirche.

[16] On the völkisch theology of the German Christians, see Manfred Gailus and Clemens Vollnhals (eds.), Für ein artgemäßes Christentum der Tat. Völkische Theologen im „Dritten Reich“(Göttingen, 2016).

[17]Manfred Gailus, Friedrich Weißler. Ein Jurist und bekennender Christ im Widerstand gegen Hitler (Göttingen, 2017).