Gerhard Krause

Gerhard Krause was bornon June 20, 1887 in Zingst, the son of Rudolf Krause, a pastor. After attending elementary school and high school in Greifswald, he studied theology at the universities of Jena, Marburg, Berlin and Greifswald. Following his first theological exam in 1910, he worked as a tutor for two years before being accepted as a candidate by the Berlin cathedral chapter. Once he had completed his military service, he passed his second theological exam in 1914. After a brief stint as an assistant pastor in Stettin-Züllchow, he was called up as a military chaplain. In 1917, Krause wed Alice Jantzen; their marriage produced two children.

In 1919, Krause became a pastor in Buslar. In 1934, he took over his father’s position as pastor in Zingst. Krause soon got into conflicts with the Nazis. Influenced by encounters with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who headed the Confessing Church’s theological seminary at Zingsthof as of spring of 1935, Krause voiced his opposition to Nazi public officials’ statements about the Christian faith and the church at evenings of public discussion. His stance earned him interrogations by the Gestapo and the general mistrust of local party dignitaries.

Ultimately, his rejection of National Socialism, which was public knowledge, precipitated his arrest in 1944. In a confirmation class in Damgarten, where he had substituted, Krause avowed that one could not put his or her faith in God and Hitler. He also allegedly called the NSDAP’s initiation ceremony for young people a mockery of Christian confirmation. Krause was consequently denounced and eventually charged with undermining the war effort before the People’s Court on November 16, 1944 and sentenced to death. His case files were consumed by fire however and could not be reconstructed before the war ended. That was Krause’s good fortune and he was released in May of 1945. He had suffered so seriously from the effects of imprisonment, though, that he was granted early retirement on January 1, 1950. Krause died in Zingst on November 30, 1950.

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