Reinhold Urban

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Reinhold Urban (* 1880 in Schweidnitz ; † 1917 in Galicia ) was a Protestant missionary , author , publisher and mail-order book dealer, based in Striegau in Silesia , rooted in the sanctification movement , with a focus on writings on missions , especially on the missionary work of Christianized Slavs , Poles and Roma .

Family and parental home

Reinhold Urban belonged to a family active in the sanctification movement and mission. He was one of four sons of Rector Urban. Reinhold Urban referred to himself as mission secretary in 1905. For his brother, the preacher Martin Urban (1876–1949), references to both the sanctification movement and the community movement (Gnadau) can be proven. Martin Urban belonged to the first regional fraternal council of the community movement and was chairman of the Missionsbund Süd-Ost-Europa (MSOE) founded in 1903 . Reinhold Urban's missionary work was one of the decisive impulses for the foundation of the MSOE.

His brother Theodor Urban (1874–1939) later became the publisher of the publishing house founded by Reinhold. Brother Johannes Urban (1873–1914) also worked for the MSOE and from 1909 was a supporter of the Pentecostal movement .

Author, publisher and publisher

Kristina Roy : "Happy People" (1933 edition)

Reinhold Urban founded his publishing house on September 1, 1900 in Striegau / Silesia , in 1901 his brother Theodor became a partner in the publishing house, which enabled Reinhold Urban to do missionary work, which in turn benefited the publishing house.

In 1907 a Protestant bookshop was founded in Eperjes, Hungary . The acquisition of A. Schmidt, based in Anklam , expanded the range of publishers to include authors such as Frédéric Bettex , Arthur Tappan Pierson , Frederick Brotherton Meyer and Kristina Roy .

There are various names of the publisher: Huss-Verlag, Reinhold Urban Verlag, Urban Verlag or Theodor Urban Verlag. The publishing house was one of the largest in the sanctification movement. The publisher's tracts and magazines had an impact far beyond evangelical circles.

Book topics, magazines and authors have a decidedly Christian profile. It was published by the founder of the German Aid Association for Christian Love in the Orient , Ernst Lohmann : Im Kloster zu Sis . A contribution to the history of the relations between the German Empire and Armenia in the Middle Ages (1901?). In 1903 the Polish translation of Die Stille Hanne and other stories was published by Margarete von Oertzen , who was rooted in the revival movement . In 1908, German songs of faith, based on well-known melodies by the Christian author and musician Caroline Rhiem , daughter of Theodor Rhiem, reached their fourth edition. Also were moved creationist writings on " Evolution and modern view of the world " (1921) or " materialism " (1921) one of the most well-known opponents of the theory of evolution Frédéric Bettex . These books appeared after the deaths of Reinhold Urban and Bettex, but Betex had already published under the direction of Reinhold Urban in the publishing house, such as From Israels Geschichte (1908) or Solomon (1910). The Slovak writer Kristina Roy, who is also part of the revival movement, also published here, for example Saul von Tarsus (1913), Peddlers' Children and Other Stories (1926) or Happy People (1933, 8th edition). In 1913 the teacher Paul Bänsch published On the Sexual Question: An Open Word to Young Men. Bänsch remained connected to this issue during the Weimar period.

In addition to Roma (see below), R. Urban also published on Wends in Lusatia. In 1905, as a Christian, he lamented the Pan-German Prussian policy, which led to a more or less violent repression of the Sorbian minority by the government and the broad masses.

The Polish edition of the evangelization magazine "For All" was published by the publisher. Together with other writings in Polish, a total print run of 400,000 copies was achieved by 1914. This was an important contribution to the maintenance of evangelical life there. R. Urban was awarded an honorary diploma from the Silesian Trade and Industry Exhibition for this in 1911. The MSOE's confidential communications magazine was also published by the publisher.

The Reichsharfe, songbook for community and evangelization meetings, missionary and Bible studies, youth and virgin associations, Sunday schools and domestic use , published by the Christian Community Association for Silesia , was published by Urban and had a circulation of 100,000 copies.

After R. Urban died, Theodor Urban continued to run the publishing house on his own until 1938. In 1938 Josef Karasek took over. The publishing house was subject to anti-Christian repression by National Socialism and was initially hampered by a shortage of paper, and ultimately banned. During the occupation of Striegau by the Red Army, stored stocks were lost. After the Second World War, the publishing house moved to Neukirchen in the Moers district under Josef Karasek .

Writings on Roma and the "Notebooks on Gypsy Studies"

Title page by Engelbert Wittich : Glimpses into the life of the gypsies

Reinhold Urban’s preoccupation with Roma and their missionary work can be dated to 1905 at the latest, as evidenced by the publication years of his publications of smaller works. The publications were noticed in contemporary journals, including scientific journals. 1906 appeared The Gypsy and the Gospel , the same year in the journal home garden and in the Journal of the German Oriental Society , 1908 in faith and knowledge: Leaves to defend and deepen the Christian worldview or 1911 in the Protestant church newspaper is pointed . At least one reprint exists.

In 1907 Urban gave the German Oriental Society his dictionary of the Gypsy language in the West Hungarian dialect (Eisenburger Comitat) recorded according to information from the Gypsy Anton Horvát from Raks (1905), the society reports on it in its magazine. In 1909, R. Urban's efforts to "Gypsy Mission" by the British and Foreign Bible Society deserve a positive mention.

In 1911 he began to publish a series of booklets on "Gypsy Studies", two booklets deal with language, one booklet written by Urban deals with origins and another with language. Also included is a volume with the description of the contemporary, wandering "Gypsy life", the first work of the Jenish Engelbert Wittich , whom Reinhold Urban wrongly presented as "Gypsy". Heinrich Bourgeois contributed a grammar of the Romanes , including learning aids. The last two volumes come from the Berlin gypsy missionary Frieda Plinzner , who presented a revival story in volume six, the story Zinna and Kurli , her first children's book.

  1. Reinhold Urban: The language of the gypsies in Germany. 1911
  2. Engelbert Wittich: Look into the life of the gypsies. From a gypsy (E. Wittich). 1911
  3. Heinrich Bourgeois: Short practical grammar of the Central European Gypsy language. Along with a little chrestomathy . 1911
  4. Reinhold Urban: The Origin of the Gypsies. 1912
  5. Frieda Plinzner: Pictures from the life of Berlin gypsy children 1912 "Foreword for the gypsy researchers" by R. Urban 1912
  6. Frieda Plinzner: Zinna and Kurli. A gypsy story. Afterword by Ernst Lohmann 1912

In April 1912, Eric Otto Winstedt wrote an extensive, commendable collective review of the first five volumes of the series for the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society . The Zeitschrift für Ethnologie noted the receipt of issue 5, but did not review it. The journal Neuphilologische Mitteilungen notes the appearance of issue 3.

In The Origin of the Gypsies, Urban tries to use the Bible to prove that the Roma originated in Egypt. An origin from India via the intermediate station Egypt / Asia Minor to Central Europe can also be found in modern depictions, but this is outside the time frame of the biblical tradition and is still largely speculative. Gottlieb Grellmann , who wrote one of the most important early works in tsigannology, had already collected older arguments and references to an "Egyptian descent of the Gypsies" in 1783 and points out that this idea was as old as the arrival of the Roma in Europe. In the book, Urban also explores the question of whether the Roma are closer to the Jews than to the Aryans.

In 1911 Urban published The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the language of the German Gypsies (Paramisa-Amare Raiester Jezu Christi Duk te meripen) . The translation comes mainly from the linguist Franz Nikolaus Finck , who died while working. Bernard Gilliat-Smith completed the text . Urban contributed a foreword. In 1912 O Evangelio Jezus Kristusester pala Markus was published . The translation, under the guidance of Urban, comes from Engelbert Wittich. The printing was done by the British and Foreign Bible Society in Berlin. These two scripts are the first printed scripts on Romany. In 1912 he tried to establish the magazine "Der Zigeunerfreund". Urban is mentioned several times in the historiography of tsiganology, for example by Martin Block .

Reinhold Urban aimed for missionary work with Roma that respected cultural peculiarities, his work on language and his ethnological interest were part of it.

Bookseller in Chemnitz (from 1913)

From 1913 he took over the management of the community bookstore in Chemnitz . In 1913 the city mission founded an Evangelical bookshop in Chemnitz. In 1914 Reinhold Urban was drafted into the war.



  • The turns . 1905
  • The way to peace. 1905
  • The gypsies and the gospel. 1906
  • Dictionary of the Gypsy language in the West Hungarian dialect (Eisenburger Comitat) recorded according to information provided by Gypsy Anton Horvät from Raks by Reinhold Urhan in Graz in 1905. (Presented by Mission Secretary Reinhold Urban.)
  • The kingdom of God under the Poles. Striegau Urban 1907
  • A hero of faith in Hungary : the life and work of the Oberschützen pastor Gottlieb August Wimmer . Publisher: Neumünster: Ihloff, [1909] with texts by Gottlieb August Wimmer?
  • The gospel among the Slav peoples. 1914.
  • Foreword to: Franz Nikolaus Finck and Bernard Gilliat-Smith : Paramisa-Amare Raiester Jezu Christi Duk te meripen. The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ in the language of the German gypsies. Striegau, 1911. (Finck died during the translation work, the text was completed by Smith.)
  • Heroism in the field and at home. 1915 in Striegau by the publishing house Th. Urban 1915, 11. – 20. Thousand


  • O Evangelio Jezus Kristusester pala Mark. Translated by Engelbert Wittich, Reinhold Urban Verlag Angliko ta Vaver-themeskero Bibliomalapen, 1912 length 60 pages


  • Karl Möbius: The Protestant book trade: an overview of its development in the 19th and 20th centuries. With 600 company stories from Germany, Austria and Switzerland . Association range Ev. Bookseller, 1961

Individual evidence

  1. a b Stephan Holthaus : Heil, Heilung, Heiligung: the history of the German sanctification and evangelization movement (1874-1909). Brunnen Verlag, Giessen 2005, ISBN 978-3-76559-485-4 , p. 251.
  2. Elmar Spohn: Between Adjustment, Affinity and Resistance: A Historical Study of Protestant Faith and Community Missions in the Time of National Socialism. Dissertation at the University of South Africa , p. 23.
  3. ^ A b Gustav Adolf Benrath , Martin Sallmann : The Pietism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2000, p. 413.
  4. ^ Hermann Goltz: Thematic lexicon on people, institutions, places, events. Verlag Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2004, ISBN 978-3-11095-937-6 , p. 512.
  5. ↑ In 1910 he published: On the current "Pentecostal Movement" . Urban Striegau proof
  6. ^ Working group for evangelical theology: Yearbook for evangelical theology. 20th year 2006. R. Brockhaus Verlag, 2006, ISBN 978-3-41726-757-0 , p. 292
  7. ^ Jacek St Buras : Bibliography of German Literature in Polish Translation. From the 16th century to 1994. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 1996, p. 467 ( Google snippet ).
  8. Short biography in: Sophie Pataky : Lexicon of German women of the pen . Vol. 2. Berlin, 1898., p. 188 ( online at ).
  9. Basel Mission Archives: Ref. Number: R.IV.101
  10. ^ Konrad Adenauer Foundation : Faith in Creation and Evolutionary Biology. Policy Future Forum 91/2008, p. 34.
  11. * 12. January 1893 Oels; died around 1943 ne, see Baensch, Paul on the website of Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg . Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  12. Paul Baensch: The sexual question and the school. German Federation for Christian-Protestant Education in Home and School, 1925
  13. Yearbook for Regional History , Volume 1. H. Böhlaus Successor, 1965, p. 107 ( Google Snippet ).
  14. ^ Hermann Goltz : Germany, Armenia and Turkey 1895-1925. Thematic lexicon on people, institutions, places, events. Verlag Walter de Gruyter , 2004, p. 355 ( Google snippet ).
  15. a b Möbius 1961, p. 294.
  16. Heimgarten , Volume 30. Leykam Buchverlag , 1906, p. 640 ( Google snippet ).
  17. Journal of the German Oriental Society , Volume 61, p. Li ( Google Snippet ).
  18. Belief and Knowledge. Sheets for the defense and deepening of the Christian worldview. M. Kielmann, 1908 ( Google snippet ).
  19. Evangelische Kirchen-Zeitung , Volume 85, Ludwig Oehmigke, 1911 ( Google Snippet ).
  20. ^ Sotheran's Price Current of Literature , Issues 753-760. Henry Sotheran & Company, 1915 ( Google snippet ).
  21. ^ Commission publisher F. Steiner: Journal of the German Oriental Society . Kommissionsverlag F. Steiner, 1907 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  22. ^ British and Foreign Bible Society (1909): The Word among the nations: a popular illustrated report of the British and Foreign Bible Society for the year MCMVIII-IX. London, Bible House, [1909] p. 28 online
  23. ^ Volume V of the journal ibid. Pp. 306–331 online .
  24. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Jg. 1912, p. 255. The title of the booklet series varies in the literature.
  25. Neuphilological Association .: Neuphilologische Mitteilungen . Neuphilologischer Verein., 1967 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  26. Swiss Society for Folklore: Writings of the Swiss Society for Folklore, Volume 60 1976 p. 370
  27. Gottlieb Grellmann: The Gypsies. A historical experiment about the way of life and constitution, customs and fate of this people in Europe, together with their origins. Dessau / Leipzig 1783 digitized pp. 190–216
  28. Gilad Margalit: xxxx text identical: History in Science and Education, Volume 49 E. Klett, 1998 Text identical: 22 & hl = de & sa = X & ved = 0ahUKEwij_JiD85XKAhWHvQ8KHYR8AJo4HhDoAQhDMAg
  29. ^ Also author of: Textbook of the dialect of the German gypsies. NG Elwert, 1903
  32. * .AQhIMAk
  33. p. 238.
  34. ^ Chronicle of the Chemnitz City Mission at, accessed on October 9, 2016
  35. Jacob Jatzwaur: Sorbian (Wendish) bibliography. 1952
  36. ^ Journal of the German Oriental Society. 1907