The People’s Court’s Verdict

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The situation changed fundamentally when Koblenz was being hit by incessant heavy bombing raids in September of 1944. Even the jail was nearly completely destroyed on November 6, 1944.

Georg Maus suffered a severe wound during the raid and contracted blood poisoning. Moreover, his body remained weakened from a stomach operation in 1942. A decision was finally made to try him before the People’s Court in Berlin rather than before a special court in Koblenz. Maus was sentenced to two years of prison for undermining the war effort, taking into account the six months spent in pretrial detention, and to paying for the trial.

While various charges were designated non-punishable offenses, the court considered his response of a simple “Yes” to the question whether his students also had to love the English with reference to the commandment to love one’s enemies to be a misdemeanor. It stated that he had thus subjected his students to a severe psychological conflict (Loscher, Hahn, Ich habe nicht verleugnet, 69).

Concretely, the reason for the sentence read: As a religion teacher, the defendant Georg Maus advocated views in conjunction with the biblical saying: “Love your enemies”, before his students which, as he had to say and said, were apt to endanger the state’s political views and the children’s development (ibid. 65).

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  • From: Hermle, Thierfelder, Herausgefordert, 680–682; © Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart