Reich Bishop Friedrich von Bodelschwingh

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Friedrich von Bodelschwingh held his first worship service as Reich Bishop on Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 1933 in Zion Church in Berlin– not in the representative cathedral, for instance. Accompanied by vested clergy, he wore a plain suit on his way to the church; churchgoers in everyday clothes awaited him. When, following Bodelschwingh’s resignation under pressure from the state, the National Socialist and German Christian Ludwig Müller became Reich Bishop on September 27, 1933, he had himself photographed before Wittenberg city hall with SA and SS men in uniform giving the Hitler salute and with swastika flags. The contrast could hardly have been any greater.

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  • © Hauptarchiv Bethel, F 183

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