n International Journal for Religious Freedom - ,,Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn...": Das Kirchenlied im ,,Kirchenkampf" der evangelischen Kirche 1933-1945, Matthias Biermann : book review

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2070-5484



This recent doctoral dissertation, accepted at the University of Jena, deals with the role of church hymns in the German Church Struggle ("Kirchenkampf") during the National Socialist dictatorship 1933-1945. It analyses the practice of liturgical singing, evaluating primary sources from Protestant church archives from all over Germany, which up to now had remained unconsidered or unpublished (i.e. hand outs, song sheets, song books). He compares the use of hymns among the Confessing Church ("Bekennende Kirche") and the "German Christians" ("Deutsche Christen"). According to Biermann, both movements are not to be seen as monolithic blocks. The boundaries between the apostate "German Christians" and the persecuted Confessing Church remained rather fluid.

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