Religion 1900 up to 1950

Christian Calendar <br> 1936 Christian Calendar

region Mecklenburg

After the revolution the national convents became the property of the state in 1919. The free states of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz separated the state and church and granted freedom of religion. The evangelical Lutheran state synod stood above the High Consistory. It enacted a resolution in 1921 and elected Heinrich Behm as regional bishop. New non-denominational communities were created.

The Mecklenburg state churches were united in 1933. An evangelical NS pastoral alliance was formed. A “state church leader” displaced the head of the church. The “Gospel and Church” opposition was pursued in the courts.

Some Catholic pastors were murdered and “Jehovah’s Witnesses” were banned. The first pogroms against the Jews started in 1933. From 1942 they were deported to Auschwitz and Theresienstadt.

After 1945 all religious communities were looking for internal consolidation. Niklot Beste became regional evangelical bishop in 1946. The Theological Faculty in Rostock was retained. The proportion of Catholics increased through refugees from the East. Church land was not dispossessed but assigned to new farmers. The surviving Jews created a new state community.

Kirche Ralswieck Wooden church in Ralswiek, built by Swedes,
completed in 1911

region Western Pomerania

Twelve Catholic churches are built in Western Pomerania between 1900 and 1915, mainly for itinerant workers from Poland.

The ladies foundations are expropriated by the state after the revolution in 1919. A separation is imposed between the Church and the State, and freedom of religion is enshrined in law. Free church congregations emerge. The first 'Pomeranian Catholics' Day' is held in Stettin in 1922. The Protestants elect their 'Pomeranian Provincial Synod'.

An alliance of protestant pastors, followers of the Nazi Party, is set up in 1933 under the leadership of the racist organisation of 'German Christians' The Reformed Church in Germany attempts to preserve its independence. The 'Protestant Confessional Synod in Pomerania' condemns the Nazi pastors in 1934. 25 synod members belonging to the group 'The Gospel and the Church', more than 200 lay preachers and pastors elect Reinold von Thadden as Praeses. 55 of them are arrested.

The synagogue in Stettin is burned to the ground in 1938. 1,500 Jews are deported from Stettin. 520 of them escape.

Nine Catholic priests and believers are executed in Stettin in 1943, accused of 'Wehrkraftzersetzung' (demoralisation of the troops) in what was known as the 'Stettin case'. 16 others are incarcerated.

All religious communities seek inner reconciliation after 1945. Refugees from the East lead to a rise in the number of Catholics in Western Pomerania to around 100,000. Church land is not expropriated, but is assigned to new farmers. Surviving Jews establish a regional community.