In the face of the church’s increasingly desperate situation in September of 1941, Theophil Wurm, Bishop of the Württemberg Regional Church, called upon all non-German Christian forces in the Evangelical Church to unite. In another missive of December of 1941 to all German pastors, Wurm demanded the restoration of a genuine church government.
As the basis of this assemblage of everyone bound by the Scriptures and Confessions, Wurm submitted a draft text, which, however, met with resistance in Lutheran circles. They feared that Wurm’s initiative could jeopardize their plan to establish a Lutheran Church of the German Nation. The basic text met with the endorsement of most Lutherans felt able to only after numerous consultations with the various factions and a radical revision.
The “13 Propositions on the Mission and Ministry of the Churchon the Mission and Ministry of the Church”, undersigned by a total of eighty five individuals, were made public at Easter of 1943. In their structure, they were clearly aimed at the “13 Points” promulgated by Greiser in the Warthegau as the basis for Nazi church policy. They were approved not only by leading representatives of the Confessing Church but also by representatives of the Luther Council, heads of church agencies and organizations and figures from the center, who had not joined any of the factions until then.
These “unification efforts” remained without any greater organizational impact however, and the liaison committees planned by Wurm never materialized because events of the war escalated dramatically.
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- © Landeskirchliches Archiv Stuttgart, Fotosammlung Bild 256