“Pastor Grüber’s Office” in Breslau

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Since her official duties included “conversion class”, Katharina Staritz came into direct contact with Jews intending to be baptized as Protestants. She witnessed the tribulations of victims of Nazi persecution first hand.

Breslau city dean Walther Lierse’s report of November 21, 1938 documents that, on the day after the November Pogrom, she powerfully pled for the cause of victims of persecution at an assembly of pastors and drew attention to the particular economic and above all emotional plight of converted Jews in the Protestant church.

Not satisfied with appeals alone, she took over the management of the Silesian representative office of “Pastor Grüber’s Office”, which helped “non-Aryan” Christians emigrate and supported them with ministry and social services. Her church government did not officially recognize her aid work for victims of persecution until April of 1940, however.

Heinrich Grüber was arrested in December of 1940 and interned in a concentration camp. When “Pastor Grüber’s Office” was shut down by the Gestapo in early 1941 and Grüber’s deputy Werner Sylten was also taken away to a concentration camp, Katharina Staritz and her sister Charlotte continued to endeavor to support Christians of Jewish descent and help them emigrate. Through her courage and determination, Katharina Staritz was instrumental in saving the lives of numerous victims of persecution.

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  • © Evangelisches Zentralarchiv in Berlin, Best. 50 Nr. 180 Bl. 18

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