Transfer to Idar-Oberstein High School

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Maus’s transfer to Idar-Oberstein on October 1, 1943 was also intended to put an end to that high school’s inability to offer religion class in the lower grades since no teacher was willing to teach it.

Maus reported for service in writing to principal Dr. Fischer on September 23, 1943 and noted that since his hand, severely wounded in the air raid on Elberfeld, had not yet healed, he had to be treated by a physician regularly because of the risk of blood poisoning.

His hope for successful cooperation was bitterly disappointed when the vice principal Dr. Fritz Cullmann revealed, We actually can’t use you here. We would have preferred that you had remained where you came from (Loscher, Hahn, Ich habe nicht verleugnet, 32).

Maus talked openly about his Christian views in his class. Well-meaning colleagues warned him to be more cautious so as not to endanger himself unnecessarily. He ignored this advice, though: I have the responsibility for my students’ souls, and I am thus firmly convinced that – as it is written in the Holy Scriptures – the millstone is around the neck [Mt 18:6] of those who cause children who believe to sin (ibid. 33). This view was the guiding principle of his life.

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  • © Photo: Simone Francesca Schmidt; Schmidthachenbach