Friedrich Joseph Haass

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Friedrich Joseph Haass (1780-1853)
Grave in the Vvedenskoye Cemetery in Moscow
Honor plaque on the former building of the Dreikönigsgymnasium in Cologne
Göttingen memorial plaque for Friedrich Joseph Haass

Friedrich Joseph Laurentius Haass ( Russian Фёдор Петрович Гааз / Fjodor Petrowitsch Gaas ; born August 10, 1780 in Münstereifel , Duchy of Jülich ; † August 16, July / August 28,  1853 greg. In Moscow ) was a German-Russian doctor , called the "Holy Doctor of Moscow". In particular, he looked after prisoners there for over 25 years with pastoral, social and medical care. He practically advocated a humanization of the penal system.


Haass, son of the pharmacist Peter Haass and grandson of the "Chirurgus auf dem Thurnmarkte" in Cologne, Wilhelm Anton Haass, studied German, philosophy and medicine at the Ecole Centrale founded under Napoleon in Cologne and at the universities in Jena and Göttingen. He received his doctorate in medicine and surgery in Göttingen. In Vienna he trained as an ophthalmologist. One of his first patients as a family doctor for the Russian Princess Varvara Alekseevna Repnin was her father, who suffered from a serious eye disease. He recognized Haass' talent and asked the young doctor to come to Russia . This appeared in 1806 as Fyodor Petrovich Gaas in Moscow. As early as 1807 he was appointed chief physician of the renowned Pavlovskaya Clinic (Pauls Hospital).

During the war against Napoleon I in 1812 , he worked as a surgeon in the Russian army . After the war, Haass returned to Moscow, where he ran a private practice from 1814 to 1829 and became a family doctor for the upper class . He also taught and volunteered in old people's homes. He resigned from his position as city physician in 1826.

From 1828, as a member of the Moscow Prison Protection Committee, he devoted himself to caring for prisoners who had been exiled to Siberia for 25 years. He firmly believed that man was inherently good because God created him in his own image. Therefore, a person who has strayed from the right path is nothing more than an unhappy, sick person who can only be cured through humanity . He got to know this positive image of man primarily through Francis of Assisi and Francis of Sales , whose writings he counted among his favorite books, especially his main theological work “Treatise on the Love of God”. In a letter to the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling on December 31, 1843, he urgently recommends that he read the works of St. Francis von Sales. In it he calls Schelling “my beloved German teacher” and Franz von Sales “my beloved mentor and educator”. His will shows that Haass was in possession of the relics of St. Francis de Sales, which he bequeathed to a Catholic church in Irkutsk .

In 1836 he enforced a regulation to replace the prisoners 'heavy iron shackles with lighter ones, lined with leather inside, which no longer rubbed the prisoners' feet down to the blood. The fetters are called Haass' fetters . The oversized metal shackles on his grave are a reminder of this. In 1841 he wrote an ABC of Christian morality [...] which he had printed and distributed to deported criminals. In 1843 a police prisoner hospital for the homeless, later called the “Alexander Hospital”, was opened, which was financed by Haass' entire private fortune and private donations. During the cholera epidemic in Moscow in 1848, together with the philanthropist Sofija Stepanovna Shcherbatova, he organized the Nikolskoye community to help the needy. Sisters of this community continued their ministry during the Crimean War . Until the end of his life, Haass lived and worked in what is popularly known as the “Haass'sches Krankenhaus” or “Haassovka”. At the end of July 1853, Haass fell ill and wrote a detailed will. He died on August 16, 1853 and was buried on August 19. 20,000 people attended his funeral in Moscow's Vvedenskoye Cemetery . The tombstone is inscribed in Latin and has the Haass quote in Russian: "Hurry up to do good".

Post fame

Beatification process

In 1999 the Catholic Church opened the process of beatification for Friedrich Joseph Haass. The diocesan part of the process was completed in Moscow in May 2018. The files were given to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for the next step .


(chronological, newest first)

  • Florian Müller: The doctor Friedrich Joseph Haass in Russia (1806-1853). Haass between natural philosophy and natural science . BA thesis (2013) at the 'Chair for Modern and Eastern European History' at the University of Freiburg.
  • Maria Klassen (editing and translation): Friedrich Joseph Haass: The ”holy doctor” of Moscow . Published by Alexander Neshnyi and the Friedrich Joseph Haass Society, Bad Münstereifel 2007, ISBN 978-3-00-023156-8 .
  • Dietrich M. Mathias (translation): My journey to the Alexander springs in 1809 and 1810 - Dr. FJ Haass as a doctor and naturalist in the northern Caucasus . Shaker Verlag 2005, ISBN 383223893X .
  • Dietrich M. Mathias: Friedrich Joseph Haass as a natural scientist in the Caucasus and his medical-philosophical discussions in his book "Ma visite aux eaux d'Alexandre en 1809 et 1810" In: Ingrid Kästner, Regine Pfrepper (ed.): Germans in the Tsarist Empire and Russians in Germany: Naturalists, Scholars, Doctors, and Scientists in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Lectures of the symposium on August 26th and 27th, 2004 at the Karl Sudhoff Institute for the History of Medicine and the Natural Sciences Medical Faculty Leipzig. Shaker Verlag 2005, ISBN 3-8322-4343-7 , pp. 115-136 (German-Russian relations in medicine and natural sciences. Volume 12).
  • G. Wollensak: Friedrich Joseph Haas - the holy doctor of Moscow. Clinical monthly sheets for ophthalmology 222 (2005), pp. 513-515.
  • Ingrid Kästner: Friedrich Joseph Haass (1780-1853) - a German doctor in the Russian Empire. (Lecture on the occasion of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the death of Friedrich Joseph Haass in his hometown Bad Münstereifel, November 15, 2003) In: Würzburger medizinhistorische Mitteilungen 23, 2004, pp. 376–384.
  • Anton Hamm, Gerd Teschke: A German doctor as a "saint" in Moscow . Westkreuz-Verlag 2000, ISBN 3-922131-26-3 .
  • Ekkart SauserHAASS, Friedrich Joseph. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 14, Bautz, Herzberg 1998, ISBN 3-88309-073-5 , Sp. 1075-1076.
  • Lew Kopelew : The holy doctor Fyodor Petrowitsch, The story of Friedrich Joseph Haass, Bad Münstereifel 1780 - Moscow 1853 . Hoffmann & Campe, Hamburg 1984.
  • Anton Hamm: Dr. med. Friedrich Joseph Haass from Münstereifel - The Holy Doctor of Moscow - Man, His Life, His Work . Westkreuz-Verlag, Berlin and Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1979.
  • Margarete Passon-Darge: Friedrich Joseph Haass, portrait of a Christian . JP Peter publishing house, Holstein Brothers, Rothenburg ob der Tauber 1951.
  • Hans Harder : The German Doctor of Moscow, the life novel of Dr. Friedrich Joseph Haass . 4th edition. Verlag JF Steinkopf , Stuttgart 1942 (1st edition: 1940).
  • Anatolij Fedor Koni: Dr. Friedrich Haass, life sketch of a German philanthropist in Russia in: History of the Russian prison system in the 19th century . Duncker & Humblot Publishing House, Leipzig 1899.
  • The Holy Doctor of Moscow Friedrich Joseph Haass. In: Three Germans in Russia. Ostermann - Cancrin - Haass ( Alois Mertes , Hans Dietrich Mittorp and Dieter Wellenkamp). Turris-Verlag, Darmstadt 1983, ISBN 3-87830-016-6

Web links

Commons : Friedrich Joseph Haass  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ingrid Kästner: Friedrich Joseph Haass (1780-1853) - a German doctor in the Russian Empire. (Lecture on the occasion of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the death of Friedrich Joseph Haass in his hometown Bad Münstereifel, November 15, 2003) In: Würzburger medizinhistorische Mitteilungen 23, 2004, pp. 376–384; here: p. 378 f.
  2. Ingrid Kästner (2004), p. 380.
  3. Semjonow, Jurij Nikolajewitsch: Die Eroberung Sibiriens (The Conquest of Siberia) still provides comprehensive information on the tradition, scope and nature of the Russian banishment system and Haass' role in it. Berlin: Ullstein 1954, v. a. Pp. 268-275.
  4. Островская И. В., Широкова Н. В .: Основы сестринского дела: учебник . ГЭОТАР-Медиа, Moscow 2008.
  5. Ingrid Käster (2004), p. 382.
  6. Ingrid Kästner (2004), p. 383.
  8. ^ Catholic News Agency , May 7, 2018.