Karl Thom (clergyman)

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Karl Thom (born March 20, 1900 in German Eylau , Rosenberg district in West Prussia ; † February 2, 1935 in Greifswald ) was a Protestant clergyman, member of the NSDAP and the German Christians (DC) and their " Bishop of Cammin " in Pomerania .

Live and act

After the First World War, Karl Thom studied theology and philosophy at the universities of Jena, Leipzig and Marburg. On August 3, 1924, he was appointed to the clergy in Born a. Darss ordained.

Due to the appointment of the patroness of Pustamin , Erika von Denzin-Below, and the patroness of Pennekow , Sibylle Schach von Wittenau born. von Below, Karl Thom took over his first pastoral position in Pustamin in the parish of Rügenwalde ( district of Schlawe in Pomerania) on February 1, 1925 .

Under the influence of liberal theology , Karl Thom initially turned away from the Bible and the Church. Impressed by dialectical theology and Luther's renaissance , however, he rediscovered the Reformation approaches. But when this position also collapsed in him, he took refuge in the ideology of the National Socialist Party , whose goals he tried to bring into the church through the German Christians and to justify them as “Lutheran will”. In 1932 he became the leader of the "Faith Movement German Christians in Pomerania". On February 9, 1932, he gave a public lecture in the Schweizergarten in Stolp in Pomerania on the subject of " National Socialism and the Evangelical Church". In the church elections on July 23, 1933, 62.6% of the voters in Pomerania voted for German Christians, in the rest of Prussia it was often over 75%. Even though Thom found little support from the Reich government or from Reich Bishop Ludwig Müller and his Reich Church Government , on October 5, 1933, at the age of 33, he was appointed "Bishop of Cammin". With this name and the reintroduction of the title of bishop in Pomerania (until now the general superintendents in the east and west prengel were the spiritual leaders of the ecclesiastical province of Pomerania ), the historical reference to the old Pomeranian episcopal city of Cammin was established. But even if the newly elected bishop's move to Cammin did not materialize, the spiritual leadership principle had entered the Pomeranian church in this way.

At Christmas 1933, Bishop Thom published the “ Pomeranian Confession of German Christians ”, whose co-signers included Professor Emanuel Hirsch and other prominent figures from theology and the Church. The text of this document is based on a gentle German-Christian worldview, but it nevertheless emphasizes that " right church leadership " can only be expected from those Christians who " recognize a new form of German life that is binding for all Germans in the National Socialist movement ".

Bishop Thom, who in August 1933 had ousted Hans-Jürgen von Kleist ( Klein Krössin ) as President of the Pomeranian Provincial Synod , who had been in office since 1929 , exercised his office consistently and rejected all opposition from the Confessing Church , which he did because of the many differences of opinion within his Pomeranian German Christians were not made easy.

Because of cancer, Karl Thom had to visit a clinic on November 22, 1934. After two and a half months, he died on February 2, 1935 after less than a year and a half of service as bishop in Pomerania. The funeral was held on February 6th in the Jakobi Church in Szczecin, and the funeral took place on February 7th in the Petrikirche in the old town of Stolp.


  • Werner Klän: The Evangelical Church of Pomerania in the republic and dictatorship. History and design of a Prussian church province 1914-1945. In: Publications of the Historical Commission for Pomerania. Row 5, Research on Pomeranian History . Issue 30, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-412-04195-5 .
  • Kurt Dietrich Schmidt: The confessions and fundamental statements on the church question in 1933. Göttingen 1934.
  • German Church Address Book. A church leader through the Protestant regional churches in Germany . Berlin 1929.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary from 1935; Digitized chronicle

See also

predecessor Office successor
Paul Kalmus (Ostsprengel) and
Walter Kähler (Westsprengel)
"Bishop of Cammin"
Heinrich Ernst Boeters (Ostsprengel) and
Heinrich Laag (Westsprengel)