Niemöller during the Weimar Republic

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Martin Niemöller experienced the end of World War I and the monarchy as a shock. He believed in the stab-in-the-back myth and disapproved of the Weimar Republic. He resigned his commission in the navy in 1919 but his plan to retreat to the country to a farmer’s life came to naught for financial reasons. That same year, he married Else Bremer, the sister of a navy comrade with whom he was friends.

Since he believed that the Christ’s message makes new, free and strong people, he decided to become a pastor. He felt he could serve the German people in its hopeless völkisch situation even better as a pastor than in the life of a farmer. He has to finance his study of theology and his growing family with temporary jobs.

In 1923, he received his first full-time job as the executive director of the Westphalian Inner Mission. In this position, he acquired substantial experience with organization, financial management and committee work. His desire to become a parish pastor was finally fulfilled in 1931: He was called to the parish in the exclusive residential neighborhood of Dahlem in Berlin.

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