Protest against the Seizure of Schools

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Since the Reformation era, secularized monasteries in Württemberg had served to educated future pastors and public servants. Following various reforms, four boarding schools in Maulbronn, Blaubeuren, Schöntal and Urach remained out of the original ten “lower seminaries”.

The institutions explicitly emphasized classical languages and theology. Every year, approximately thirty students who passed a test called a “regional examination” received one of the open spots; many of them subsequently pursued degrees in theology at the “Stift” in Tübingen.

Württemberg Minister of Education Christian Mergenthaler spared no effort to eliminate these traditional schools. After an initial attempt in 1940, which was thwarted by a court decision, he ordered the seizure of the schools in July of 1941.

Regional bishop Wurm protested to numerous party and government officials against this coercive measure; he approached Heinrich Himmler, among others, on August 14, 1941 and complained about the flagrant breaches of the law by the state. Wurm made clear that rather than stopping at protests to authorities, he would also address a statement to churchgoers.

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  • © Landeskirchliches Archiv Stuttgart, D1/104