The Second National Synod of the Confessing Church

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The second National Synod of the Confessing Church convened in Berlin-Dahlem on October 19-20, 1934. It instituted “emergency church law” and began systematically organizing the Confessing Church’s own leadership structures. A First Provisional Church Government of German Evangelical Church, presided over by August Marahrens, Bishop of the Hannover Regional Church, was appointed on November 22.

The arrest of the bishops of the regional churches of Württemberg and Bavaria cast a pall over the synod in Dahlem. This act precipitated remarkable public solidarity with the detainees, which was quite exceptional in the “Third Reich”.

Even though a direct protest against the Nazi government had not been intended, protests – such as the Confessing Church service in Ulm and the National Synod of the Confessing Church – challenged the policy of Gleichschaltung and the claim to totalitarian power and reclaimed inherent rights and latitude for the church and its message.

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