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Theophil Wurm papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.120 | RG Number: RG-14.069M

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    The collection consists of the personal records of the Nachlass Landesbischof Theophil Wurm (Bishop Theophil Wurm). The collection is divided into four parts. The first part of the collection contains a variety of speeches, sermons, and correspondence which span the entirety of Bishop Wurm’s professional life. Most bear no immediate relevance to the war but were included as they provide historical context and background information. The second part largely consists of church administrative documents created during the interbellum. The third part of the collection contains records created during the Nazi period, detailing the Evangelical Church’s response to Nazism. The forth part contains records pertaining to the Evangelical Church’s post war concerns, including their reaction to the Nuremberg Trials.
    A digital copy of the collection, including an addendum is available at (consulted 9/18/2023).
    inclusive:  1883-1966
    bulk:  1933-1946
    Credit Line
    Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Collection Creator
    Theophil Wurm
    Theophil Heinrich Wurm (7 December 1868, Basel – 28 January 1953, Stuttgart) was the son of a pastor and was a leader in the German Protestant Church in the early twentieth century.
    Wurm was active in politics. He was a member of the Christian Social Party before World War I, and thereafter of the Citizens’ Party. He held a seat in the Württemberg State Parliament (German: Landtag) until 1920.
    As a young man Wurm was a prison chaplain, and became a parish pastor when he was 45. He progressed in the hierarchy of the Lutheran Evangelical State Church in Württemberg and became church president in 1929, with this office being retitled into Landesbischof (bishop of the regional Protestant church) in 1933. Like many churchmen, he initially favored the Nazi regime, but its church policy soon moved him into opposition.
    In September 1934 Wurm was deposed from his bishopric by Reich's bishop Ludwig Müller because of his views on church policy (including the Barmen Declaration), and was placed under house arrest. These extreme measures were eventually rescinded by Hitler in the wake of protests and the stripping of power from Müller. Wurm then held the office of bishop until 1948.
    Wurm withdrew from the German Christians and aligned himself with the Confessing Church, attending its synods, but he did not advocate the more extreme policies of the church's more militant wing. Nevertheless, he was not politically apathetic and made numerous complaints to the Nazi party and the Nazi state. After the start of the war, he protested the murders of psychiatric patients under the Nazi euthanasia program. Wurm and the Catholic Bishop of Münster, Clemens August Graf von Galen, were able to lead widespread public opposition to the murder of invalids. This earned him a 1944 ban against public speaking and writing.
    He associated with the resistance movements that centered on Carl Goerdeler and Ludwig Beck.
    He was admired by his fellow churchmen and in 1945 (in connection with the Allies' de-nazification efforts) he was elected chairman of the Council of the newly created Protestant umbrella Evangelical Church in Germany.
    He was a signatory of the October 1945 Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt.

    Physical Details

    69 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged in 4 series and 16 subseries:
    Series 1. Predigten, Ansprachen, Manuskripte
    Series 2. Bis zum Beginn des Dritten Reiches (1933)
    Series 3. Die Zeit des Kirchenkampfes und des Zweiten Weltkrieges (1933-1945)
    Subseries 1. Württemberg
    Subseries 2. Reichskirche
    Subseries 3. Deutsche Landeskirchen
    Subseries 4. Kirchliches Einigungswerk
    Subseries 5. Lutherischer Rat
    Subseries 6. Zweiter Weltkrieg
    Subseries 7. Ökumene
    Series 4. Nachkriegszeit
    Subseries 1. Württemberg
    Subseries 2. Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland
    Subseries 3. Ökumene
    Subseries 4. Deutsche Landeskirchen
    Subseries 5. Katholische Kirche
    Subseries 6. Allgemeine Korrespondenz
    Subseries 7. Alliierte Militärregierungen
    Subseries 8. Entnazifizierung, politische Gefangene, Kriegsgefangene
    Subseries 9. Kriegsverbrechen

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    Users are required to complete a User Declaration in order to gain access to the collection. User shall obtain the written consent of the Landeskirchliches Archiv before reproducing archival material and shall provide the Landeskirchliches Archiv with a copy of all publications based on its material.
    Conditions on Use
    Users must obtain shall written consent of the Landeskirchliches Archiv before reproducing Archival Material
    and shall provide the Landeskirchliches Archiv with a copy of all publications based on its material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Source of acquisition is the Landeskirchliches Archiv Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-18 17:01:07
    This page:

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