Neuwerk movement

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The Neuwerk movement emerged as a Protestant youth movement after the end of the First World War .


During the November Revolution, a religious group had formed in the Democratic Party and published the magazine Der Christian Demokratie . This group broke away from the party in 1919. The magazine was renamed Das Neue Werk , later Neuwerk - a service for the future . It was edited by Georg Flemmig , Normann Körber, Hermann Schektiven and Wilhelm Wibbeling and was published until 1935.

The Neuwerk movement was also called Schlüchterner Kreis , as it was founded in 1920 at a youth conference in Schlüchtern ( Main-Kinzig-Kreis , Hessen ) and had its center there.

Georg Flemmig, whose “personal charisma was reported enthusiastically”, but who had rarely left Schlüchtern, was considered to be “'the quiet center' of the whole Neuwerk movement that only emerged later. In fact, in the rooms of the village school teacher Karl Barth and Paul Tillich , the Hamburg shipowner Kurt Woermann, Martin Buber , 'Conservatives and Socialists', government officials from Kassel and, above all, many members of the various youth movements had conversations and found various kinds of advice. " The real movement was the theologian Eberhard Arnold (1883-1935). In 1919/1920 he founded two community settlements in Schlüchtern, in which work, everyday life and leisure were designed together according to the model of the Sermon on the Mount and the early Christian community . This also included the Habertshof located outside of Schlüchtern-Elm . In the following years, further farms were built under the direction of Emil Blum . Compared to other Protestant youth organizations, it gained independence because parts of the Christian student movement as well as representatives of religious socialism were accepted.

In 1933 the Habertshof, which had existed for ten years, was occupied by the Hitler Youth and then closed. In the same year the group met for the last time.


The movement was both rooted in religious socialism and heavily influenced by the theology of Karl Barth and his Tambach lecture. It stood at a certain distance from the attitude of the Protestant official church, which was perceived as one-sidedly reactionary.

See also


  • Antje Vollmer : The new work movement. Between youth movement and religious socialism . Herder: Freiburg, Basel, Vienna 2016. ISBN 978-3-45131504-6 .
  • Peter Gbiorczyk: Provost Wilhelm Wibbeling (1891 to 1966). Youth activist, reformed theologian in the "Age of Extreme" , Aachen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8440-4772-1
  • Emil Blum: The Neuwerk Movement 1922–1933 . Johannes-Stauda-Verlag, Kassel 1973, ISBN 3-7982-0118-8 .
  • Antje Vollmer: The Neuwerk Movement 1919–1935. A contribution to the history of the youth movement, religious socialism and workers' education . Blasaditsch Verlag, Augsburg 1973 (inaugural dissertation, Berlin 1973).
  • Wilhelm Wibbeling: The Neuwerk movement, in: Hermann Schektiven: A life's work, Kassel 1960, pp. 55–60
  • Stephan Wehowsky (1980). Religious Interpretation of Political Experience. Eberhard Arnold and the Neuwerk movement as exponents of religious socialism during the Weimar Republic. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Individual evidence

  1. Robert Drill : The new youth . Frankfurter Societäts-Druckerei 1921, p. 10
  2. Quoted from Stephan Wehowsky: Religious Interpretation of Political Experience. Eberhard Arnold and the Neuwerk movement as exponents of religious socialism during the Weimar Republic . Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1980. P. 68. Google Books online