15 May 1918 Birth of Hannelore Hansch – “Courage Proved” – theologian, freedom fighter, shielder of Jewish escapers: #otdimjh

RESISTANCE: Kauflein, Angela Borgstedt, Prof. Dr.  Reinhold Weber (head of the series, from left) at book presentation.  Photo.  Frankle

Hannelore Hansch (* 15. May 1918 in Cologne , † 17th November 2007 in Karlsruhe-Durlach ) was a German Protestant minister, Jewish victim of the Nazi regime and member of the Confessing Church .

As a “half-Jew”, Hannelore Hansch was subjected to harassment by the Nazi regime, could not finish her studies in Protestant theology, and had to marry her “Aryan” husband abroad in 1938 because of the Nazi racial laws.

Despite the reprisals, the Rittnerthof (country house), which she and her family ran, was a meeting point for members of the “Confessing Church” during the years of the tyranny and the Second World War and for an opposition discussion group, which mainly consisted of lawyers such as the Durlach judge Gerhard Caemmerer. The manor house on the Turmberg was also a refuge for the racially persecuted. In 1943, Hannelore and her husband Kurt Hansch hid two Jewish women who had fled from Berlin to Baden before being deported to the extermination camps of the East.

Book Launch of stories of Hannelore Hansch and others http://presse.karlsruhe.de/db/stadtzeitung/jahr2018/woche12/kultur_herz_und_mut_gezeigt.html

Her actions show the variety of resistance “and what was possible for ordinary people,” emphasized Prof. Dr. Angela Borgstedt at the presentation of the tape in the New Ständehaus. For the co-editor, the behaviour of the portrayed people belies those “who claimed after 1945 that nothing could be done”. 

Hannelore Hansch (born Gebhardt) was the daughter of the factory director Dr. Fritz Gebhardt and his Jewish wife Thea. Hannelore after elementary school , she attended the Margrave-Gymnasium in Karlsruhe-Durlach, where she was one of the first female graduates. She was deeply impressed by Karl Barth and Martin Niemöller and studied Protestant theology. After her father died and her mother emigrated to Switzerland, she lived on the Rittnerthof (country estate) with her husband, the farmer Kurt Hermann Hansch, during the Nazi era. Her father bought it in 1933. At the time, he had received financial compensation because in his managerial position his marriage to a “full Jew” was no longer tolerated.

Hannelore was a highly respected host for the environment of the Swiss theologian Karl Barth and the ” Badische Sozietät “, reported Gottfried Gerner-Wolfhard, who had been close friends with her since high school .

In the 1930s, she was one of the opposition circle , which met in the apartment of the Karlsruhe Judge Arthur Emsheimer who was also dismissed because of his Jewish origin. Her uncle Thomas Dehler also took part in this occasionally, the former Federal Minister of Justice.

After 1945, Hannelore Hansch continued to advocate for the positions and insights she had gained from the church struggle. In the political controversy over the plans for the atomic armament of the Bundeswehr , which, alongside the political left, was particularly attacked by circles of the BK brother councils , she sided with those calling for the ban on these means of mass destruction. Hansch forwarded the “Ten Theses” prepared by her friend Karl Barth – with the agreed concealment of Barth’s authorship – to the West German church councils, which they brought to the EKD Synod as an application, but which were not accepted by the latter.

Karl Barth had authored the 10 theses anonymously, but when challenged whether he agreed with them, replied that he was in as much agreement with them as if he were himself the author!

Hannelore was a founding member of the Christian Peace Conference. She volunteered in the Society for Evangelical Theology, of which she later became an honorary member. Supporting all activities for more peace and justice remained an important concern until the end of her life. In 2001 she was among the signatories of an appeal by church people against the war in Afghanistan . When the Baden “Peace Ethics Forum” addressed its fellow Christians a year later with the demand to protest against all further wars, this also found her support.

Reflection and Prayer:

Thank you Lord for this woman of courage and conviction, who despite concerns for her own safety as a Jewish disciple of Jesus sheltered others and voiced her prophetic and political views. Help us do good in season and out of season, whatever the costs and consequences. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannelore_Hansch

https://www.lpb-bw.de/publikation3300

Dr. Helmut Simon, Retired Supreme Court Justice of the Federal Republic of Germnay, and Hannelore Hansch, theologian & friend of Karl Barth’s – interviewed together in Karlsruhe, Germany, 2002.

http://presse.karlsruhe.de/db/stadtzeitung/jahr2018/woche12/kultur_herz_und_mut_gezeigt.html

Dr. Helmut Simon, Retired Supreme Court Justice of the Federal Republic of Germnay, and Hannelore Hansch, theologian & friend of Karl Barth’s – interviewed together in Karlsruhe, Germany, 2002.

About richardsh

Messianic Jewish teacher in UK
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1 Response to 15 May 1918 Birth of Hannelore Hansch – “Courage Proved” – theologian, freedom fighter, shielder of Jewish escapers: #otdimjh

  1. Is it possible to get a copy of the tape of stories in English ?

    Like

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