Objection to the Oath

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On April 20, Adolf Hitler’s birthday, Friedrich Werner, the President of the Evangelical High Consistory issued a “Directive Concerning the Oath of Allegiance of Clergy and Church Officials of the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union” and enclosed instructions on the oath. The oath was to be sworn by May 31, 1938.

The 7th Confessional Synod in the Rhineland rejected it on May 29 as not ordered by the state. The 6th Confessional Synod of the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union opened the door to swearing the oath at the end of July. Nevertheless, 182 Rhenish pastors, including Johannes Koch, did not swear the oath. Although the state and party were not interested in an oath within the church, the Rhenish consistory demanded the oath until 1945 from every theologian who received a call to a “legal” parish or wanted to change to a new parish.

Source / title

  • © Archiv der Evangelischen Kirche im Rheinland, Bestand 6 HA 004

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