NKFD Council for Church Affairs
Various councils and commissions, e.g. for legal, economic and cultural affairs, were formed in the summer of 1944 in order to compile suitable propaganda and instructional material as well as to plan for a postwar Germany.
Following a preliminary discussion on June 4 and 5, a “Council for Church Affairs” was founded on June 16, 1944 at the 10th General Assembly of the NKFD in Lunyovo. Around thirty theologians from both denominations were in attendance. They were Wehrmacht chaplains as well as officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers, all being held prisoners of war.
The oppression of the churches in the “Third Reich”, the Christians’ mission in the fight against Hitler and the future relationship between Christians and Marxists as well as church and state were addressed at the assembly. In a keynote speech, Erich Weinert, president of the NKFD, pled for a separation of state und church.
The assembly attendees confirmed the leadership of the “Council for Church Affairs” unanimously on June 16. At Erich Weinert’s suggestion and thus presumably on the exile KPD leadership’s instructions, the Protestants Johannes Schröder, Friedrich-Wilhelm Krummacher and Nikolai Sönnichsen and the Catholics Josef Kayser, Peter Mohr und Aloys Ludwig were made members.
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- © Christiane Godt-Schröder