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Theophil Wurm (7 December 1868 Basle - 28 January 1953) 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 the 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 church hierarchy and became Bishop of Württemberg 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 Muller because of his views on church policy (including the Barmen Declaration, and was placed under house arrest twice. These extreme measures were eventually rescinded by Hitler in the wake of protests and the stripping of power from Muller.

Wurm withdrew from the German Christians and aligned himself with the schismatic Confessing Church and attended 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. This earned him a 1944 ban against public speaking and writing.

He associated with the resistance movements that centered around 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 newly unified Protestant Church Council in Germany.

He was a signatory of the October 1945 Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt.

See alsoEdit

Karl Barth
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Martin Niemoller

ReferencesEdit

Barnes, Kenneth C. (1991). Nazism, Liberalism, & Christianity: Protestant social thought in Germany & Great Britain, 1925-1937. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813117291 (Barnes). 

Barnett, Victoria (1992). For the Soul of the People: Protestant Protest Against Hitler. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 019512118X (Barnett). 

Hockenos, Matthew D. (2004). A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34448-9 (Hockenos). 

External linksEdit

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