Jesuits in Germany—Post-Restoration
(10,466 words)

Róisín Healy

Last modified: February 2018


Jesuits have been active in Europe’s German-speaking lands for nearly as many years after the restoration as before the suppression, but historians have been slower to document the later period of the order’s history. This is true of both Jesuit and non-Jesuit historians. While Jesuit Bernhard Duhr’s (1852–1930) multi-volume history of German-speaking Jesuits in the pre-suppression period appeared just before World War I, the equivalent for the post-restoration period did not appear until 2013. And, at just over two thousand pages, Klaus Schatz’s Geschichte der deutschen Jesuiten (1814–1983) is half the length of Duhr’s.1 Non-Jesuit scholars have made little use of the archives of the Jesuits for studies of popular piety, education, and the arts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as has been done for the earlier period. The relative underrepresentation of the post-restoration era in the historiography reflects in part a decline in the Jesuits’ significance in these years. Despite claims that the nineteenth century represented a “second confessional age,” the churches’ role in public life decreased, as the state took over many of their functions.2 The Jesuits never recovered control, for instance, of the many universities that they ran in central Europe up to 1773. They also lost many of their churches and schools to other religious orders and the diocesan clergy.3 The sheer volume of records available for the modern period also meant that historians did not need to rely on the precious primary sources provided by the Jesuits. That said, by the second decade of the twenty-first century, Schatz was able to draw on a sizeable body of scholarship on the Jesuits in addition to primary sources in writing the modern history of the order.

The historiography of the Jesuits in German-speaking lands after the restoration can be divided into two phases, before and after 1945. In the first phase, histories of the Jesuits were extremely partisan, either extolling the order’s contribution to the Catholic Church and community or condemning it as a demonic force in European history. Many of these were produced in direct response to political debates from 1814 onwards  about the right of the Jesuits to operate in the region. Jesuits had only a handful of communities in Switzerland, Austria, and the German states in the Vormärz period (1830–48) and were subject to explicit bans in certain states, for instance, in Saxony from 1831. They were subsequently banned from Switzerland between 1847 and 1973, from Austria between 1848 and 1852, and from Imperial Germany between 1872 and 1917. A brief period of freedom was followed by persecution under the Nazis in Germany and then Austria from 1938.

The contributors to debates about the Jesuits’ past activities operated within a historiographical tradition that was characterized by sharp confessional divisions. Protestant historians, who dominated the profession in Germany well into the late twentieth century, interpreted German history as a process of nation- and state-building in which Protestants took the leading role. The Borussian School in particular, represented by Johann von Droysen (1838–1908), Theodor Mommsen ((1817–1903), Heinrich von Sybel (1817–95), and Heinrich von Treitschke (1834–96), saw Luther as a nationalist hero for breaking with Rome and blamed Catholics for denying the German nation the confessional homogeneity that might have allowed for an earlier and smoother process of unification. Catholic historian Johannes Janssen (1829–91) led the defence by arguing that Protestantism rather than Catholicism had caused disunity and that Catholicism had exerted a very positive influence on German religious life.4

A new phase began with the end of World War II. The healing of the confessional divide in Germany took much of the sting out of modern German Jesuit historiography. The consolidation of ecumenism and secularism encouraged Protestants and Catholics to make common cause after 1945, as evident in the emergence of the cross-confessional political party, the Christian Democratic Union.5 Although confessional identities remained strong, the invective that had characterized most of the accounts about Jesuits written by Protestants in previous centuries disappeared.6 Yet it was not matched by any great interest in the history of the Jesuits or indeed in the history of Germany Catholics generally. In 1995, American historian Margaret Lavinia Anderson delivered a blistering attack on German historians for having ignored the history of Germany’s entire Catholic population.7 The effort to address this deficit resulted in a wave of studies on popular Catholic piety and confessional identity, which in turn directed attention towards the Jesuits.

Despite the shift from largely polemical to more academic studies, the themes of the historiography before and after 1945 are strikingly similar. Often responding to their superiors’ demands for official histories, Jesuit historians have focused on the achievements of their members and the development of their institutions.8 The former include the popular missions to re-Christianize towns in nineteenth-century Germany, contributions to theology and social thought, and personal spirituality. The frequent expulsions of the order, unmatched by other religious orders, meant that the establishment and dissolution of individual houses, the experience of exile, and the defence of the order’s reputation became particularly important to historians. The relations of Jesuits to the states in which they lived, especially during times of war, have played even more of a role in works by non-Jesuits. These centuries were times of enormous political change, with the establishment of the Swiss Confederation in 1848, the unification of Germany in 1871, the collapse of the German and Austrian empires in World War I, the rise of Nazism, World War II, and the division of Germany from 1945 to 1990. The Jesuits’ critics scrutinized the order’s responses to each of these changes for evidence of disloyalty, while their defenders insisted on its loyalty to each regime, with the exception of the Nazi regime, to which responses were more complex. The Jesuits’ relationship to the Jews has also been a major theme of the historiography, especially since the popular backlash against Jews towards the end of World War I, precisely at the time that Jesuits were readmitted into Germany.

It should be pointed out that German-speaking Jesuits operated in a range of different provinces belonging to the German assistancy. The recently restored order set up a single province for Switzerland and Upper and Lower Germany in 1821. While it included parts of Austria, Feldkirch, and Vorarlberg, the rest of German-speaking Austria belonged to a separate Austrian province established in 1846. The eastern provinces of Prussia were in turn part of the Galician province, although they contained many German-speakers. The German province split into Lower and Upper provinces in 1921 and a third province was established in the east in 1931. The latter was reintegrated into the Lower in 1978 and then the two remaining into a single German province in 2004. German-speaking Jesuits also operated  missions in Denmark and Sweden and, beyond Europe, in Bombay and Japan, Buffalo and South Dakota, Brazil, and what is now called Zimbabwe, but, although these areas were incorporated into the home province(s), they are considered in a separate essay.

Unpublished Works

Some important accounts of Jesuit history remain unpublished. From the earliest stage of their presence in German-speaking lands, the Jesuits sought to record their activities. As well as correspondence with Rome (also found in the order’s archive in Rome, ARSI) and documents relating to internal matters at provincial level, the Jesuit archive in Munich contains the “historiae domus” of the individual houses. Moreover, the archive contains two important unpublished histories of the order. The first of these, the handwritten Historia Provinciae Germaniae Superioris Societatis Iesu ab ejus per p. m. Pium VII restitutione et consecuta post eam rerum progressione, was the work of a series of Jesuits, principally Johann B. Drach (1780–1846) and Josef Esseiva (1814–92), conducted between 1834 and 1858 and records the order’s activities up to 1858.9 The second, Geschichte der Ostdeutschen Provinz der Gesellschaft Jesu, was written by Alfred Rothe (1907–73). Typed in two short volumes, it covers the period from the 1850s to the year of publication, 1971, and addresses the activities of the Jesuits in Lithuania and Estonia as well as eastern Germany, a largely Protestant region.10 The order’s internal periodical, the Mitteilungen der deutschen Provinz der Gesellschaft Jesu als Manuskript gedruckt, founded in Roermond in 1897, is also a source of many articles on the history of the order.11 Given Duhr’s role in establishing the periodical, it is not surprising that issues usually contained a section entitled “Aus der Vergangenheit” or “From the Past.” The periodical featured personal accounts by members, obituaries, reports on individual houses and activities and even historical materials such as letters, diary extracts, and plays.

Histories of the Jesuits from the 1840s to 1917

Histories of German-speaking Jesuits written in the nineteenth century focused largely on the activities of the order before the suppression. This was especially true of the years from 1815 to 1848. Insufficient time had elapsed in order to assess more recent activities, which were very modest in any event. While the German province grew from ten to 264 members between 1814 and 1848, Jesuits operated in only a handful of places—Wallis, Brig and Fribourg [also Freiburg] in Switzerland, Graz, Linz and Innsbruck in Austria, Düsseldorf, Hildesheim, Dresden and Köthen in the German states. Moreover, in the conservative atmosphere of the Vormärz, the Jesuits’ activities were relatively uncontentious and thus attracted little attention.

Only from the mid-nineteenth century did historians begin to address the post-restoration phase. The rise of radicalism in the late 1840s led to criticisms of the order’s contribution to the conservative regimes of the Vormärz, especially through its missionary activities, and resulted in demands for a ban. These succeeded in Switzerland in 1847, after Catholic cantons, united in a Sonderbund, provoked the federal government by calling upon the Jesuits to take over the college in Lucerne. Moritz Brühl (1819–77), a Jewish convert to Catholicism based in Vienna, defended the Jesuits’ role in the conflict in two histories that dealt with the immediate prelude to the expulsion. He dismissed liberal claims that the war against the Sonderbund was a progressive project, describing it rather as an attack on Christianity and the social order and the Jesuits as scapegoats.12

By contrast, efforts in the Frankfurt Parliament in 1848 to impose a ban for Austria and the German states collapsed in the face of the liberals’ insistence on religious freedom. The Jesuits’ defenders struck a triumphalist note, as the aftermath of the revolution gave way to a period of religious revival, during which Jesuits were able to expand their activities across the German states, including Prussia. While popular missions were the main activity of the order, the Jesuits also managed to found a school, the Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, which attracted pupils from the Catholic elite of the German states as well as Austria. In a two-volume history of the Jesuit order in 1853, the Freiburg law professor, Franz Joseph von Buß (1803–78), explained that that the Jesuits were a dynamic force which had helped to calm spirits in Austria and Germany after the revolutions and would inevitably overcome Protestantism by consolidating Catholicism in the region.13

While Buß believed that prejudice against the Jesuits had largely evaporated, other histories written in this period suggest that he was overly optimistic. From the 1860s on, a flood of works by both professional and lay historians appeared, which helped make the case for the order’s expulsion from the German Empire in 1872 and then the maintenance of the ban until 1917. Similar attempts to expel the Jesuits from Austria failed in the face of opposition from the Upper House.14 The Jesuit Law of Imperial Germany was just one of several laws passed in the 1870s as part of the Kulturkampf, an effort both to expand the state at the expense of the church and to weaken the hold of the Catholic clergy over its flock. These formed part of the European-wide so-called “culture wars” of the late nineteenth century, which pitted Catholics against Protestants and liberals of both Catholic and Protestant backgrounds.15 The Jesuits became a particular target for several reasons. The expansion of their missions disturbed German Protestants uncomfortable with graphic descriptions of hell and the often sensual style of worship favored by Jesuits. The association of the Jesuits with the rise of ultramontanism and attacks on freedom of thought under the papacy of Pius IX (r.1846–78), particularly the Syllabus of Errors of 1864 and the Declaration of Papal Infallibility of 1870, alarmed liberals of both faiths.16 Finally, the Jesuits’ leading position within the Catholic Church made them lightning rods for nationalist attacks on German Catholics generally in the context of the wars of unification in which Protestant Prussia triumphed over Catholic Austria and France.

The result was a slew of highly critical histories of the order, often published under the auspices of groups active in the campaign to achieve and maintain the expulsion of the Jesuits. These included the Old Catholic and later Reform Catholic movements, the Protestant Association, which was founded in 1863 by Swiss lawyer Johann Caspar Bluntschli (1808–81) representing liberal Protestants, and the Protestant League, which was created in 1886 to unite liberal and conservative Protestants in protest against the relaxation of the Kulturkampf. While these works focused largely on the pre-suppression period, blaming the Jesuits for frustrating the development of a homogenous German Protestant nation in the Counter-Reformation, they also touched on the history of the Jesuits in the preceding decades. The prevailing view was that the Jesuits had sown confessional division through their pastoral activities and failed to deliver on their promise of undermining socialism. Friedrich Nippold (1838–1918), professor of church history at Jena, maintained that confraternities established by the Jesuits had impeded the co-operation of Catholics and Protestants that characterized the Vormärz.17 Willibald Beyschlag (1823–1900), founder of the Protestant League, denied that Jesuit missions helped to undermine socialism among Catholic workers, pointing to the examples of Belgium and Spain.18

Anti-Jesuit works from the 1860s to 1917 also sought to malign Jesuits on the basis of the order’s activities outside Germany. They maintained the order had recently gained a stranglehold over the papacy.19 Arthur Böhtlingk (1849–1929), professor of history at Karlsruhe, and Beyschlag were convinced, for instance, that the Jesuits were responsible for the Syllabus of Errors and Papal Infallibility.20 Hugo Koch (1869–1940), a leading light in the Krausgesellschaft, a Catholic reform group founded in Munich in 1904, dated the Jesuits’ takeover of the papacy to as early as 1848.21 He maintained that when pope had to leave Rome, a Jesuit priest had encouraged him to adopt the power structure of the Jesuit order, that is, to assume complete power over the Catholic Church through the doctrine of infallibility.22 This view was popular enough to feature in several petitions sent to the Reichstag in support of a ban on the Jesuits.23 Several anti-Jesuits also claimed that Jesuits were to blame for the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Beyschlag claimed that they had encouraged Empress Eugénie of France (1826–1920) to push her husband, Louis Napoleon (r.1852–70), to demand that the Prussian king renounce all Hohenzollern claims on the Spanish throne. The Kaiser’s rejection of the demand, albeit in the more aggressive version provided by Otto von Bismarck (1815–98; in office 1871–90), ultimately prompted the French declaration of war in 1870.24

The Jesuits and the Catholic community defended the order vigorously against such attacks, availing of Catholic institutions like the Freiburg publishing house, Herder. Alban Stolz (1808–83), a popular Catholic author, framed an open letter to Bluntschli and his colleagues comparing their attacks on the Jesuits to a witch-hunt.25 The Catholic historian, Johann Baptist Kissling (1876–1928), wrote sympathetically about the Jesuits in his account of the Kulturkampf.26 Prominent members of the Catholic Center Party added their voices to the defence of the order. For instance, Christoph Moufang (1817–90) published a series of documents which sought to prove that Jesuits had supported Prussia in the recent wars of unification and Karl Bachem (1858–1945) celebrated those who had campaigned against the Jesuit Law in his history of the Center Party.27

For the 634 Jesuits who were forced into exile in 1872, the stakes were particularly high. While one half of these moved to the order’s overseas missions, the other half continued their service to Germany from bases over the border, in the Netherlands and Belgium, and in England. This included the writing of histories of individual Jesuits and houses and the Stimmen aus Maria Laach, a popular Catholic periodical founded in the monastery of the same name in 1865.28 Much of the historiographical efforts of these years had an explicitly political purpose. Like the Irish clergy who had gone into exile in response to English rule in the early modern period, the German Jesuits in exile mounted a spirited defense of their activities. They exploited the fact that the Jesuit Law did not prevent them from publishing their work in Germany, although many adopted pseudonyms to avoid arrest for activities that were explicitly outlawed. Leading the charge was Duhr. Having joined the order just a few months after the Jesuit Law had passed, he devoted his life to challenging the histories that had eased its passage and became the bête noir of anti-Jesuits, who accused him of bias and dishonesty.29 He was certainly not a disinterested observer. The current director of the Jesuit archive in Munich recently described Duhr as “an adroit apologist for the order.” Yet Duhr was probably no less professional in his methods than contemporary anti-Jesuits, amateur and academic, who dismissed Catholic sources and cited accounts from earlier centuries as indicative of Jesuit behavior in the present.30 Indeed he was scrupulous in his attention to primary sources and did much to promote their use. The strident tone and popularity of his works, rather than the honesty of his scholarship, were the real problem for anti-Jesuits.  Nippold saw no contradiction in writing about the Jesuits while disputing the right of Jesuits to write church history by claiming that they lacked the objectivity to assess Protestant missions.31

While his most famous work, Geschichte der Jesuiten in den Ländern deutscher Zunge, addressed the pre-suppression era, Duhr also published extensively on the more recent history of the order.32 Influenced by Janssen, who insisted that the sources should be allowed speak for themselves, Duhr produced a lengthy collection of printed and archival documents about the order’s missions in Germany from 1848 to 1872. His express purpose was to show that Jesuit religious activity did not disturb the so-called “confessional peace.”33 While he included views of Catholic critics of the missions and government decrees against specific missions, he made the provocative editorial decision not to include accounts that were informed, as he saw it, by Jesuitenangst or fear of the Jesuits. He insisted in the preface that the missions had general support among the Catholic clergy, noting that Ignaz von Döllinger (1799–1890), a later opponent of infallibility, had in fact called for missions in 1848 to promote calm. Duhr further claimed that the missions unleashed not just religious enthusiasm, but an improvement in morals, evident in the reconciliation of enemies, the dissolution of immoral relationships, and a boost in sobriety.34

Duhr’s Jesuitenfabeln, a refutation of a long list of calumnies against the order, addressed other charges made against the Jesuits in the nineteenth century. First published in 1891, it ran to over eight hundred pages and three editions and provoked a counter-publication, entitled Anti-Duhr.35 An abridged version published in 1902 ran to eleven editions. Duhr used the opportunity to refute a claim that Jesuit priest and later Superior General Peter Jan Beckx (1795–1887; in office 1853–87) had incited a seventeen-year old boy to murder a Protestant pastor in Köthen, by pointing to Beckx’s successful libel suit against the claimant. In response to claims that Jesuits were enemies of the fatherland, he pointed to evidence of their service in the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars.36 Indeed Jesuits repeatedly emphasized their part in the wars, especially in the years immediately before and during World War I. Markus Rist (1867–1937) published an anthology of letters and reports by Jesuits involved in the wars. He counted eleven Jesuits on the Prussian side in the first and 196 in the second and noted that the Kaiser had granted 168 awards to Jesuits for their service and an iron cross to one.37 Two of those directly involved wrote about their own service in the Franco-Prussian War.38 Anton Huonder (1858–1926) answered an emphatic no to the question that provided the title of his pamphlet, Sind die Jesuiten deutschfeindlich? (Are the Jesuits hostile to Germany?).39 Nothing was said of the stringent critique of militarism written under a pseudonym by fellow Jesuit Georg Michael Pachtler (1825–89) in 1877, which characterized universal male conscription as the exploitation of the people for the sole purpose of war.40

Histories of the Jesuits from 1917 to 1945

The Jesuit ban was lifted in April 1917 as a reward to the Catholic community for its commitment to the war effort. This followed the repeal, in 1904, of the provision to expel Jesuits of foreign citizenship and to limit the place of residence of Jesuits of German citizenship. Already active on a small and clandestine scale in Germany, the Jesuits re-established an official presence in Germany, amidst the turmoil of defeat in war and the political tensions of the interwar era. Indeed the German province reached its peak in these years, with a total of 1,795 members in 1936. Otto Pfülf (1856–1946) made a major contribution to the history of the order by producing, in 1922, the first volume of a history of the province commissioned by the order’s superior general Luis Martín (1846–1906; in office 1892–1906). It covered the period from 1814 to 1847 and dealt largely with Switzerland. Fresh from the order’s own period of exile from Germany, Pfülf defended the order’s decision to remain in Switzerland for as long as possible in order to meet the demands of Catholic cantons and to honor the order’s roots in the country.41

Protestant organizations objected strongly to the readmission of the Jesuits to Germany, especially given that 1917 was the three hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. The historiography of the order’s activities remained polarized in the Weimar and Nazi periods. The main difference was the growth of claims, first voiced before the war, that the Jesuits had formed an alliance with Jews and Freemasons.42 These emanated principally from the völkisch anti-Semitic milieu, which had expanded after the war, as rumors of Jewish profiteering and shirking spread alongside the so-called stab-in-the-back legend. The Nazi ideologue, Alfred Rosenberg (1893–1946), made the claim of a Jesuit link to Jews and Freemasons as early as 1922.43 The World War I general, Erich Ludendorff (1865–1937), wrote an account with his second wife that reprised earlier claims of a Jesuit takeover of the Catholic Church and identified the Jesuits as the most dangerous element among the forces conspiring against “the life of the peoples,” finance magnates, the Jewish people and the Freemasons.44 Heinrich Himmler (1900–45) read several books with similar claims in the mid-1920s.45

Ironically, an ex-Jesuit came to the Jesuits’ defence. Scion of a Catholic noble family, which had hosted Jesuit exiles in the Kulturkampf at their home in Blyenbeck, the Netherlands, Count Paul von Hoensbroech (1852–1923) left the order in 1892, converted to Protestantism in 1895 and spent the rest of his life justifying his repudiation of the order. He insisted that the Jesuits were in fact very hostile towards both Masons and Jews.46 Indeed, Jesuit Ludwig Koch (1878–1935) confirmed this view in his Jesuiten-Lexikon of 1932. Designed as an accessible riposte to Hoensbroech and various other anti-Jesuits, he structured it as a dictionary, which included entries on individual houses, Jesuits, and aspects of the order’s teaching and religious activities. He discounted claims that Jesuits were the instruments of the Jews, noting that the Jesuits had imposed a ban on Jewish members up to 1923, and boasted that, of all Catholic religious orders, the Jesuits had rejected Jewish influence most decisively. While Jesuits had worked to convert the Jews, they did so for the sake of Christianity and had consistently worked against the “anti-Christian and moral corrosion of the Jews in all aspects of public life.”47

If Koch’s readiness to echo the regime’s anti-Semitism was striking, he was not uncritical of the Nazis. His entry on patriotism described it as an obligation for all Jesuits, but drew a distinction between the kind of patriotism that they had displayed in the past and that was demanded of them under the Nazi regime. He insisted that true patriotism be measured not by “the self-serving adulation of a particular form of government or party,” but by the readiness to make sacrifices for one’s people and country.48 While Koch escaped sanction and died the following year, many of his colleagues faced arrest and prosecution in subsequent years, whether for opposing the regime or on trumped up charges, such as currency fraud as in the case of Oswald von Nell-Breuning (1890–1991). The Nazi regime closed down several houses, including the order’s newly established schools in Germany , the Aloisius College in Bad Godesberg, the Canisius College in Berlin and the St. Blasien College in the Black Forest, along with the Stella Matutina in Austria. It censored and then terminated the publication of Stimmen der Zeit (as Stimmen aus Maria Laach was known after 1914), while encouraging the publication of anti-Jesuit histories.49 In 1941, it ordered that Jesuits be removed from military service and demanded the names of those currently serving—651 Jesuits from Germany and Austria had been conscripted and worked largely, but not exclusively, in medical support roles. The provincial of the Upper German Province, Augustinus Rösch (1893–1961), refused to provide such a list, for fear it would be used as the basis for round-ups and even extermination, a plausible fate in light of the regime’s Jewish policy.

Postwar Works on the Long Nineteenth Century

Despite the challenges of rebuilding their communities after the persecution by the Nazis and the destruction of many of their houses, the Jesuits continued to recover stories from their past. Many of these addressed individual houses.50 Others examined individual members, especially those who had made important contributions to theology, such as Germans Heinrich Pesch (1854–1926), a popular preacher and writer, and Joseph Kleutgen (1811–83), an advocate of Scholasticism and influential figure at the First Vatican Council (1869–70).51 Bartholomew Murphy published a book detailing Jesuit activities throughout the territory of the later German Empire from the restoration to World War I (despite the narrower title). He highlighted the extent of Jesuit missionary activity in Germany, including by Polish-speaking Jesuits from the order’s Galician province, and documented the impact of the 1872 ban on the Jesuits. The book contained, however, some confusing mistakes—the use of the term East Prussia to cover all four of Germany’s Polish provinces and the misdating of the repeal of the Jesuit Law—and neglected the influence of the order general and the provincial by relying on the histories of individual houses.52

Ferdinand Strobel (1908–99) built on the work by Pfülf on the internal history of the Jesuits in Switzerland by exploring the political stance of Jesuits in the heady decade of the 1840s. While denying that the book was an intervention into the debate about the legislative ban still in force, it could, under the circumstances, hardly be considered otherwise. He made clear his own view—that the Jesuits were not to blame for their expulsion in 1847—and condemned continued prejudice on the part of some contemporary historians. He located the origins of the ban in a conflict in 1844, when radicals deliberately scapegoated Jesuits for a bloody clash between radicals and Catholics in Wallis in order to gain support for a general ban on Jesuits.53 After the lifting of the ban in 1973, he published a general study of the Jesuits in Switzerland, of which the last quarter dealt with the post-restoration period, largely organized around individual biographies. Free of the threat of legal action, the book also contained details of Jesuit activities during the ban, from service as private tutors and chaplains in the early years to pastoral work and the publication of the journals, Orientierung and Choisir.54 Strobel followed this work with a dictionary of Swiss Jesuits, which consisted of biographical entries on individual members alongside accounts of individual houses and colleges.55 Helmut Platzgummer (1930–2017) provided a similar dictionary for Austria.56

The historiography of the Jesuits also benefited from the increasing interest of those without any connection to the order. The so-called “confessional turn” in modern German historiography in the 1990s stimulated interest in the role of religion in shaping the political and cultural experiences of Germany’s three main religions—Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish.57 Wolfgang Altgeld and Helmut Walser Smith  in particular demonstrated the value of examining each of these groups in relation to one another.58 These developments had a direct impact on the historiography of the Jesuits, encouraging greater attention to their role in the confessional struggles or so-called culture wars of nineteenth-century Germany. Michael Gross confirmed the strength of liberal Protestant opposition to the Jesuits, while also exposing the reservations of Jews about the expulsion of the order in 1872, given their own experience of persecution as a religious minority.59 Ari Joskowicz challenged this view, noting the extent of Jewish support for the Kulturkampf and embrace of anti-Jesuit tropes.60 As well as examining the passage and repeal of the Law, Róisín Healy examined the substance of anti-Jesuit arguments from 1872 to 1917. She interpreted the claims of the anti-Jesuits—that the Jesuits had delayed German unification by reconverting Protestants to Catholicism, that they promoted a lax attitude to morality, and that they infected the public sphere with their insistence on obedience to the clergy in intellectual matters—as articulations of liberal Protestant commitment to German nationalism, moral independence, and intellectual freedom respectively. These values, she shows, effectively excluded German Catholics from public life and the paranoid style in which they were expressed suggested that the anti-Jesuits themselves did not live up to the rationality they sought to defend.61 Marianne Hubert has done an additional service by examining the moral theology that proved so controversial in these years in an analysis of Stimmen aus Maria Laach. 62

Other historians have integrated the Jesuits into broader studies of imperial Germany. Matthew Fitzpatrick noted the significance of the Jesuit Law, for instance, as a precursor to other expulsion laws, such as those against socialists, Poles, and Germany’s colonial subjects.63 Patrick Houlihan has included Jesuit chaplains in his study of the religious practices of German and Austrian Catholics in World War I. He drew on the autobiographical writings of Austrian Jesuit Karl Egger to demonstrate the piety of Austrian peasant farmers and the self-recrimination of chaplains who served in such a bloody conflict. Houlihan quoted from a particularly moving piece from a later publication, Egger’s Seele im Sturm: Kriegserleben eines Feldgeistlichen (1936), every bit as anti-war as the more famous All Quiet on the Western Front. Egger wrote: “I damn the terrible experience of the war! How does it help me? I become yet more confused. I feel that I’m spiritually falling apart, fury and disgust in the heart!”64 Houlihan also noted the courage of the Jesuit editors of Stimmen der Zeit, having only just been readmitted into Germany, in publishing Pope Benedict XV’s  peace note of 1 August 1917, in early 1918, amid continued hostility from the German government.65

While it is hard to extrapolate from these examples whether Jesuits rejected the growing nationalist consensus among Catholics recently identified by Rebecca Bennette, Jesuits also appear to have had a critical attitude to the extremist nationalism which gained ground in the subsequent decade.66 Bernard Bonnery has noted that the contributors to Stimmen der Zeit in the early Weimar years, while critical of the Versailles Treaty, condemned the Hitler Putsch and sought to promote reconciliation with Germany’s wartime enemies.67 Moreover, in an important study of Nazism and the Catholic Church in the early Weimar years, Derek Hastings has shown that the Catholics most closely aligned to the Nazi Party in these years belonged to the anti-Jesuit reform Catholic milieu and that Jesuit Augustin Bea (1881–1968) warned Bavarian Catholics against völkisch organizations like the Nazis.68

Bonnery’s claim that Jesuits also reached out to Protestants during Weimar has been borne out by other historians.69 Members of the editorial team of Stimmen der Zeit, Erich Przywara (1889–1972) and Max Pribilla (1874–1956), have received honourable mention in this context.70 According to Karl Heinz Neufeld, Pribilla in particular made an important contribution to ecumenism by suggesting that Catholics could learn from Protestants.71 Pribilla developed his ideas in two books, For Unification in Faith (1926) and For Church Unity (1929).72 Thomas Ruster has emphasized the limits of Pribilla’s contribution, however. While acknowledging the Jesuit’s good intentions, he pointed out that Pribilla understood conversion to Catholicism as the ultimate goal of inter-confessional co-operation and that his ideas went largely unheeded by Catholics in any case.73

Postwar Works on the Nazi Period

Not surprisingly, the experience of the Jesuits in the Nazi period has attracted more attention than the Weimar years. Much of this scholarship documents the persecution of the order under the Nazis and the role of individual Jesuits in resisting the regime. The impetus to an intensive engagement with the Nazi past came from the revelation in a book on the Kreisau Circle around Helmuth von Moltke (1907–45), published in 1967, that Jesuits had been involved in the resistance.74 A comprehensive account of priests who had been interned under the Nazis published in 1984 also drew attention to Jesuit victims of the regime.75 We now know that thirty-two Jesuits from the German provinces received prison sentences under the Nazis, twelve were sent to concentration camps, and two executed. Two Jesuits from the Austrian province were also executed and a further two died by euthanasia. We also know that these German-speaking Jesuits represented a minority of those who suffered under the Nazis. Ninety-six Jesuits from thirteen different provinces were registered in Dachau alone by April 1945.76

While many biographies of Jesuits active in the twentieth century have been written, Roman Bleistein (1928–2000) has provided an incomparable service in documenting the lives of the most important Jesuits involved in the resistance, if all from a perspective that casts them as spiritual heroes.77 The Jesuit author began with a study of Alfred Delp (1907–45), who was executed for treason in February 1945, based on Delp’s own writings, information provided by Delp’s confrères and family, as well as Nazi reports on the Kreisau Circle. In response to a request by the Kreisau Circle’s leader, von Moltke, Rösch recommended him along with Lothar König (1906–46), as experts on the social question. Drawing on the Jesuits’ notes of the meetings, Bleistein was able to show that, while they stopped short of advocating direct action, they insisted on the church’s duty to protect the rights and dignity of the individual. In practical terms, this meant that the clergy could encourage and make available people to work to this end, regardless of the implications for the church. Bleistein concludes reasonably that, while Delp was willing to condone the assassination of Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) because of the gassing of Jews and had met with Claus von Stauffenberg (1907–44) in June 1944, the Jesuit was not initiated into the details of the attempt planned for July 20.78

Bleistein also wrote a biography of the Jesuit saint, Rupert Mayer (1876–1945). Drawing on state archives as well diocesan and Jesuit archives, he highlighted Mayer’s relationship with the Nazis in Munich in the 1920s. Bleistein did not shy away from contradictions within Mayer’s views. While the Jesuit clashed with the Nazis over the so-called Jewish question and the role of the Old Testament in Christianity, he shared their antipathy to socialists and communists and hoped for a time when the Nazis might at least boost the international position of Germany, which he had proudly served in World War I.79 In this, he was of course no different from von Stauffenberg and many others in the wartime resistance, who had also been willing for a time to overlook some of Nazism’s uglier features for the sake of other objectives.

There followed a biography of Rösch. Bleistein both insisted on the provincial’s central role in the resistance and acknowledged his reservations regarding methods. Rösch, it seems, was disappointed by postwar revelations that Delp and König were more closely acquainted with the plans for the July 20 assassination than he had realized. Based on Rösch’s early life, his biographer plausibly suggested that he was envious of Delp’s martyr’s death.80 In addition to the biographies of these three key figures, memoirs by lesser known Jesuits have been published, which provide a better sense of the range of opposition activity in which the order was engaged.81

One of the challenges of writing about the Nazi period is to situate the Jesuit experience of persecution within that of the many victims of the regime. In their efforts to establish that the Nazis saw the Jesuits as a serious threat, some authors emphasized the suffering of the Jesuits in relation to Jews. Vincent Lapomarda suggested that the Nazis’ treatment of the Jesuits was “not unlike” that of the Jews, in that they could not express their views publicly, were subject to removal from military service and treated more harshly than others in prison. While these limits on the Jesuits were real, the Jews suffered greater ones even before the Holocaust began, in that they were stripped of their citizenship in the Nuremberg laws and subjected to widespread violence on Kristallnacht.82 Similarly, Rita Haub lumps the Jesuits in with Jews, communists, and Masons as the chief enemies of the regime, without acknowledging the genocidal campaign against the Jews, not to mention the gypsies.83 In this sense, it seems that historians have taken Nazi rhetoric too seriously. As Beth Griech-Polelle has shown, Nazi newspapers in the 1930s claimed that the Jesuits were engaged with Jews and Bolsheviks in a conspiracy for world domination and compared Jesuits to Jews.84

Moreover, the record of Jesuit activity was more ambiguous than the focus on individual heroes or victims allows. John Connolly’s recent book on Catholic attitudes to Judaism features several Jesuits who rejected the traditional theological view that Jewish converts to Catholicism were equal to other Catholics. He shows that, even while assisting such Jews, Jesuits like Hermann Muckermann (1877–1962), a senior figure in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Georg Bichlmaier (1910–2000), chaplain to Vienna University, and Mario von Galli (1904–87), a Swiss theologian, believed that Jews still bore the sin of deicide after baptism.85 More systematic expressions of anti-Semitism were to be found in the pages of Stimmen der Zeit. Paul Silas Peterson has argued that contributor Przywara sought to reconcile Roman Catholicism and fascism, including a moderate form of racial anti-Semitism, in his theological writings. Przywara insisted on the essential difference between Jews and non-Jews and called for the conversion of the former. Moreover, he embraced the anti-humanitarian, anti-democratic and anti-liberal policies which facilitated their persecution under the Nazis.86

A study of Jesuit participants in the Wehrmacht also revealed mixed views. As part of a project on religion and war experience at Tübingen University, Antonia Leugers used a sample of 365 Jesuits to explore the experience of Catholic soldiers in World War II. In this war, unlike the wars of unification and World War I, some Jesuits—priests, brothers, and novices—served in combat. She drew on previously closed sources in the Jesuit archive, including letters, reports, memoirs, diaries, personal papers, internal correspondence and publications, to investigate how they felt about participation in the war. While some were uncomfortable in their new role, those who had come to maturity in the Catholic youth movement welcomed it, easily accommodating the regime’s war within their own language of struggle, Leugers pointed out. The Nazis’ emphasis on anti-Bolshevism also proved influential, although Jesuits understood the purpose of the war as prompting a religious revival at home as much as saving Christianity in Russia. Jesuit combatants in fact differed little from lay soldiers in seeing themselves as superior to the Russians and in readily taking part in vicious attacks on partisans.87 Studies of the Catholic clergy show, however, that the Jesuits’ readiness to serve such a murderous regime was by no means a peculiarity of the order.88

The role of the Catholic Church in the process of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (coming to terms with the past) has itself now become the subject of analysis. Bea and another German Jesuit, Ferdinand Frodl (1908–78), have received praise for their role in the drafting of the path-breaking encyclical on Catholic relations with other faiths, Nostra aetate, which put a formal end to Catholic anti-Semitism.89 Yet Jesuits were also involved in frustrating efforts by professional historians to explore the controversial relationship of the Catholic Church to the Nazi regime. Bea put pressure on American Jesuits to apologize for publishing a review that expressed praise for Gordon Zahn (1918–2007), who had criticized the Catholic Church for encouraging Catholics to fight in the Wehrmacht.90 Another Jesuit, Ludwig Volk (1926–84), conspired with Monsignor Johann Neuhäusler (1888–1973) to prevent those who might criticize the church from accessing German diocesan archives.91

Very Recent Works

One of the characteristics of recent scholarship on the Jesuits has been an attempt to integrate perspectives from the history of gender and sexuality. Leugers noted, for instance, the influence of contemporary models of masculinity on Jesuit soldiers. Houlihan has pointed out that, contrary to anti-Jesuit claims that the Jesuits helped to feminize Catholicism, Viennese Jesuit Heinrich Abel (1843–1926), for one, sought to boost male religious practice.92 For the late nineteenth century, Healy has suggested that the image of the Jesuit as both strongly masculine in his extensive powers and very feminine in his submission to his superior was in part responsible for the unease that Jesuits provoked.93 While she noted the importance of claims of sexually predatory behavior by Jesuits to the campaign against the order, even if simply for their pornographic appeal, recent histories have been able to shed light on the veracity of such claims. Hubert Wolf has shown on the basis of newly discovered files from the Inquisition that Joseph Kleutgen (1811–83) was involved in a genuine sex scandal in an Italian convent in the 1830s. The novice mistress and effective superior, Sister Maria Luisa Ridolfi (1832–unknown), subjected her charges to lesbian initiation rites and murdered those who later objected, under the eye of Kleutgen, who also sampled her sexual offerings.94

Moreover, accounts of abuse in Jesuit secondary schools in postwar Germany, most notably in the Canisius College in Berlin and the Aloisius College in Bonn have also come to light.95 The Jesuits commissioned Cologne professor Julia Zinsmeister to investigate the claims by former pupils. In the case of the Aloisius College, she identified twenty-three abusers as having been active between 1946 and 2005 and established that some of the abuse was serious enough to have constituted crimes. Jesuit Matthias Katsch pointed to the combination of a particularly Catholic hostility to sexuality and the exercise of power as important factors in sustaining the pattern of abuse. He also pointed out the breadth of responsibility for the abuse, noting that parents were willing to overlook reports of mistreatment of children in order to gain social contacts for their own children. Victims’ accounts also suggested that the order’s provincial was concerned about the reputation of the Aloisius College and thus failed to follow up reports of abuse.96 In the absence of more studies, it is not possible to assess the prevalence of such abuse in Jesuit as opposed to other institutions—the scandal coincided with another at the famous secular Odenwald School. And, however successful investigations into recent instances of abuse might be, it is unlikely that historians will ever be able to ascertain the extent of abuse by Jesuits in earlier periods.

The most fitting way to close a historiographical essay on the German-speaking Jesuits is with the five-volume work of Klaus Schatz. Published in 2013, it covers the years from the reconstitution of the order in 1814 to the election of Hans-Peter Kolvenbach (1928–2016; in office 1983–2008) as general in 1983. The first four volumes provide a chronological examination of the German assistancy’s constituent provinces and houses, the recruitment and education of novices, the daily experiences of members, and their various religious activities. The fifth consists of a bibliography, lists of Jesuit generals and provincials, as well as biographical sketches of hundreds of Jesuits active in the period in question. Schatz has subsequently supplemented the study with a sixth volume on the history of the Jesuits in Switzerland from 1947 to 1983.97 While he does not examine the Austrian province on the grounds that many of its members were not German-speakers, Schatz’s purview includes the activities of German-speaking Jesuits on overseas missions and in Rome.

As such, Schatz’s work constitutes the most comprehensive account of the activities of Jesuits in German-speaking lands after the restoration. It draws on a huge range of sources held in Jesuit and, to a lesser extent, diocesan archives and builds on many of the works noted here, albeit mainly those published in German. The volumes on the nineteenth century are especially valuable in that they focus on Jesuits themselves rather than their critics, whose views have now been well documented. For instance, his catalogue of individuals’ achievements in a range of fields from theology to Assyriology to science allows for an assessment of the collective Jesuit contribution to scholarship. He also provided insights into the relative success of the Jesuits in attracting novices. Schatz demonstrated that political persecution in Switzerland and imperial Germany boosted recruitment, but that, from the 1880s, the order lost out to others with a presence in the German colonies. He confirmed that, while nationalism was discouraged, German Jesuits were enthusiastic supporters of the Prussian cause in the wars of unification and the German cause in the world wars. They were, however, less chauvinist than their French counterparts. Schatz is to be credited for his frank assessment of the order’s response to Nazism. He acknowledged the ambivalence of certain Jesuits like Anton Koch, who lauded the Führerprinzip as an analogue of papal infallibility, while also noting the order’s contributions to the highly sensitive work of criticizing the regime in sermons and pastorals in addition to the handful of figures involved in the resistance.

A particular strength of Schatz’s work is the lengthy volume on the experience of the order after 1945. This covers the efforts to rebuild houses and schools in the west, while confronting German complicity in Nazi crimes. The author noted the role of individual Jesuits Pribilla and Philipp Küble (1891–1946)  in questioning the consciences of ordinary Catholics, although had little to say about the role of German Jesuits in tackling the longer-term legacy of Catholic anti-Semitism. The changed political environment of the Cold War plays an important role in this volume of Schatz’s study. He pointed to the part played by Jesuit Johannes Leppich (1915–92) in discrediting the Soviet bloc through his speeches against communism. He also addressed the continued persecution of the Jesuits in the German Democratic Republic, most notably in the Biesdorf trial which led to the imprisonment of four of the order's members.

For all its strengths, Schatz’s study leaves open the possibility for more scholarship on the German-speaking Jesuits in the post-restoration era. The influence wielded by the Jesuits on the lay community remains opaque. Given the key role of Jesuit schools in educating the German and indeed European elite, it would be worthwhile exploring how relationships forged and principles imprinted in school later influenced alumni in public life.98 And while Schatz noted the strict instructions given Jesuits to avoid compromising contact with women, the particular relationship between them in a pastoral, if not educational, setting could be investigated in the context of the literature on gender and religiosity. The influence of masculine norms on Jesuits in the Wehrmacht noted by Leugers could similarly be examined for other settings. The history of emotions might also be usefully applied to studies of the Jesuits, particularly in light of the shift from highly sensory forms of piety to the more controlled approach promoted by Superior General Jan Roothaan (1785–1853; in office 1829–53), with his insistence on “slavish and literal obedience” to the Spiritual Exercises. With such potential, the post-restoration era in German-speaking lands may well overcome the deficit in its historiography in the years to come.

I would like to express my thanks to the anonymous reviewer and the staff of the Archive of the German Province in Munich, Dr. Clemens Brodkorb, S.J, Andrea Hemmerle, and Anna Gruber Bischof for their assistance.


^ Back to text1. Klaus Schatz, SJ, Geschichte der deutschen Jesuiten (1814–1983), 5 vols. (Münster: Aschendorff Verlag, 2013); Bernhard Duhr, S.J., Geschichte der Jesuiten in den Ländern deutscher Zunge, 4 vols. (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1907–13).

^ Back to text2. Olaf Blaschke, Konfessionen im Konflikt: Deutschland zwischen 1800 und 1970: Ein zweites konfessionelles Zeitalter (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2002).

^ Back to text3. Jeffrey Chipps Smith, “The Jesuit Artistic Diaspora in Germany after 1773,” in Jesuit Survival and Restoration: A Global History, 1773–1900, ed. Robert A. Maryks and Jonathan Wright (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 129–47.

^ Back to text4. Stefan Berger, The Search for Normality: National Identity and Historical Consciousness in Germany since 1800 (Oxford: Berghahn, 2003).

^ Back to text5. Noel Cary, The Path to Christian Democracy: German Catholics and the Party System from Windthorst to Adenauer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996); Maria Mitchell, The Origins of Christian Democracy: Politics and Confession in Modern Germany (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2012).

^ Back to text6. Mark Edward Ruff, “Integrating Religion into the Historical Mainstream: Recent Literature on Religion in the Federal Republic of Germany,” Central European History 42, no. 2 (2009): 307–37.

^ Back to text7. Margaret Lavinia Anderson, “The Limits of Secularization: On the Problem of the Catholic Revival in Nineteenth-Century Germany,” Historical Journal 39 (1995): 647–70. See also Oded Heilbronner, “From Ghetto to Ghetto: The Place of German Catholic Society in Recent German Historiography,” The Journal of Modern History 72, no. 2 (2000): 453–95.

^ Back to text8. Superior General Luis Martín commissioned Duhr to write his history of the pre-suppression era and intended that it be followed by studies of later years.

^ Back to text9. Historia Provinciae Germaniae Superioris ab eius per p. m. Pium VII restituta et consecuta post eam progressionem, Archiv der deutschen Provinz der Jesuiten, Munich (ADPSJ).

^ Back to text10. Alfred Rothe, Geschichte der Ostdeutschen Provinz der Ges. Jesu (unpublished manuscript, 2 vols., Berlin, 1971), ADPSJ.

^ Back to text11. Mitteilungen der deutschen Provinz der Gesellschaft Jesu als Manuskript gedruckt (ADPSJ). Two or three issues appeared annually until 1933 and one from then on, with the exception of some years when none at all appeared, until it ceased production in 1967.

^ Back to text12. Moritz Brühl, Neueste Geschichte der Gesellschaft Jesu: Schicksal der Jesuiten auf dem ganzen Erdboden von ihrer Wiederherstellung durch Pius VII. Bis zum Jahre 1846 (Gleiwitz: Landsberger, 1847) and Moritz Brühl, Die Schweiz und die Jesuiten in den Jahren 1846 und 1847 (Gleiwitz: Landsberger, 1848). See also his general history of the Jesuits, Moritz Brühl, Geschichte der Gesellschaft Jesu (Würzburg: Stahel, 1846).

^ Back to text13. Franz Joseph Buß, Die Gesellschaft Jesu, Ihr Zweck, ihre Satzungen, Geschichte, Aufgabe und Stellung in der Gegenwart, 2 vols. (Mainz: C.G. Kunze, 1853).

^ Back to text14. On Austrian Catholic anti-Jesuitism, see Peter Horwath, Der Kampf gegen die religiöse Tradition: Die Kulturkampfliteratur Österreichs, 1780–1918 (Bern: Peter Lang, 1978).

^ Back to text15. Chris Clark and Wolfram Kaiser, eds., Culture Wars: Secular-Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

^ Back to text16. Schatz suggests that Jesuits were privately divided on these pronouncements. Schatz, Geschichte, 1:220–35.

^ Back to text17. Friedrich Nippold, Der Verband kaufmännischer Kongregation und katholischer kaufmännischer Vereine Deutschlands und eine “öffentliche Aufforderung” der “Germania”: Zwei Nachspiele der Thümmel'schen Religionsprozesse; Zur Kennzeichnung neujesuitischer Polemik, Flugschriften des Evangelischen Bundes, no. 18 (Halle a. S.: Verlag von Eugen Strien, 1888), 1–5.

^ Back to text18. Willibald Beyschlag, Gehören die Jesuiten ins deutsche Reich?: Ein Beitrag zur Tagesfrage, 4th ed. (Berlin: Walther, 1903).

^ Back to text19. Schatz points out that the superior general of the order at the time, Peter Roothaan, did not in fact have great influence over Pope Pius IX. Schatz, Geschichte, 1:36.

^ Back to text20. Arthur Böhtlingk, Jesuiten und das deutsche Reich (Frankfurt am Main: Neuer Frankfurter Verlag, 1903); Beyschlag, Gehören die Jesuiten.

^ Back to text21. On reform Catholicism, see Norbert Schlossmacher, “Antiultramontanismus im Wilhelminischen Deutschland: Ein Versuch,” in Deutscher Katholizismus im Umbruch zur Moderne, ed. Wilfried Loth (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1991), 164–98.

^ Back to text22. Hugo Koch, Katholizismus und Jesuitismus (Munich: Mörike, 1913).

^ Back to text23. 6th and 14th Reports of the Committee for Petitions, regarding the petitions for and against a general ban on the Jesuit order in Germany, document 64, Stenographische Berichte über die Verhandlungen des Reichstags (Berlin: F. Sittenfeld, 1871–).

^ Back to text24. Beyschlag, Gehören die Jesuiten. The Prussian king’s coronation took place on January 18, 1871.

^ Back to text25. Alban Stolz, Die Hexen-Angst der aufgeklärten Welt (Freiburg: Herder, 1871).

^ Back to text26. Johannes Baptist Kissling, Geschichte des Kulturkampfes im Deutschen Reiche, 3 vols. (Freiburg: Herder, 1911).

^ Back to text27. Christoph Moufang, Aktenstücke: Betreffend die Jesuiten in Deutschland (Mainz: Franz Sausen, 1871).

^ Back to text28. For example, Jesuitenkalender, 1814–1914: Eine Jubilaumsgabe zur Jahrhundertsfeier der Wiederstellung der Gesellschaft Jesu (Regensburg: J. Habbel, 1913).

^ Back to text29. On Duhr, see Clemens Brodkorb, “Leben und Wirken von Pater Bernhard Duhr S.J. (1852–1930),” in Konfessionskonflikt, Kirchenstrucktur, Kulturwandel: Die Jesuiten im Reich nach 1556, ed. R. Decot (Mainz: Von Zabern, 2007), 185–203, at 195. The historian Sigmund Riezler was cited as saying this with regard to the Jesuitenfabeln. See Georg Lomer, Ignatius von Loyola, vom Erotiker zum Heiligen: Eine pathographische Geschichtsstudie (Leipzig: J.A. Barth, 1913), 6.

^ Back to text30. See for instance, Friedrich Nippold, Das Tagebuch des Pater van der Heyden S.J. über die geheime Thätigkeit der Gesellschaft Jesu in Friesland während des niederländischen Freiheitskrieges (Barmen: Verlag von Hugo Klein, n.d.).

^ Back to text31. Friedrich Nippold, Die jesuitischen Schriftsteller der Gegenwart in Deutschland (Leipzig: Jansa 1895), 45.

^ Back to text32. Duhr, Geschichte der Jesuiten.

^ Back to text33. Some sermons had already been published to demonstrate that they were inoffensive. See, for example, Die in Hannover gehaltenen Vorträge des Pater Roh (Hanover: August Grimpe, 1860).

^ Back to text34. Bernhard Duhr, Aktenstücke zur Geschichte der Jesuitenmissionen in Deutschland, 1848–1872 (Freiburg: Herder, 1903). A recent scholarly account is sceptical about the impact on morality, especially illegitimacy rates. See Claudius Heitz, Volksmission und Badischer Katholizismus im 19. Jahrhundert (Freiburg: Alber, 2005).

^ Back to text35. Bernhard Duhr, Jesuiten-fabeln: Ein Beitrag zur Culturgeschichte (Freiburg: Herder, 1891); Anon., Anti-Duhr oder kurze Widerlegung der Duhrschen Jesuitenfabeln (Leipzig: Evangelischer Bund, 1895).

^ Back to text36. Bernhard Duhr, Hundert Jesuitenfabeln: Gekürzte Volksausgabe der “Jesuitenfabeln” (Freiburg: Herder, 1913).

^ Back to text37. Markus Rist, Die Deutschen Jesuiten auf den Schlachtfeldern und in den Lazaretten 1866 und 1870–71: Briefe und Berichte (Freiburg: Herder, 1904).

^ Back to text38. Faller Nix, Aus der Schlacht fürs Vaterland in die Schlacht für den Glauben: Die Heimkehr der Jesuiten aus dem 70er Krieg; Kaiserin und Jesuit (Berlin: Germania, 1912).

^ Back to text39. A. Camerlander [pseudonym for Anton Huonder], Sind die Jesuiten deutschfeindlich?: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Deutschtums im Ausland (Freiburg: Caritas-Verlag, 1913).

^ Back to text40. Jasper Heinzen, Making Prussians, Raising Germans: A Cultural History of Prussian State-Building after Civil War, 1866–1935 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 66. See also book by Ingo Löppenberg, “Wider Raubstaat, Großkapital und Pickelhaube”: Die katholische Militarismuskritik und Militärpolitik des Zentrums 1860 bis 1914 (Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 2009).

^ Back to text41. Otto Pfülf, Die Anfänge der deutschen Provinz der neu erstandenen Gesellschaft Jesu 1805–1847 (Freiburg: Herder, 1922).

^ Back to text42. Hermann Ahlwardt, Mehr Licht!: Der Orden Jesu in seiner wahren Gestalt und in seinem Verhältnis zum Freimaurertum und Judentum (Leipzig: Leipziger Verlags- und Kommissionsbuchhandlung, 1910).

^ Back to text43. Alfred Rosenberg, Das Verbrechen der Freimaurerei, Judentum, Jesuitismus, Deutsches Christentum (Munich: Lehmann, 1922).

^ Back to text44. Erich and Mathilde Ludendorff, Das Geheimnis der Jesuitenmacht und ihr Ende (Munich: Ludendorffs Volkswarte Verlag, 1929). The book had a print run of at least 35,000 copies. See also K. von Widdumhoff, Die entdeckten schwarzen Henker des deutschen Volkes und das blutige Komödienspiel um Bayern und Reich, um Hitler und Ludendorff (Weißenburg i.B.: Großdeutscher Verlag, 1924); Johannes Stark, Zentrumspolitik und Jesuitenpolitik (Munich: Eher, 1932); Käte Bayer, Lösung des Rätsels der jesuitischen Sphinx (Berlin: Verlag für Volkseinheit, 1929). Bayer was a friend of Mathilde Ludendorff’s and made frequent reference to the Ludendorffs’ work.

^ Back to text45. Peter Longerich, Heinrich Himmler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 768.

^ Back to text46. Paul Graf von Hoensbroech, Der Jesuitenorden: Eine Enzyklopädie, vol. 1 (Bern: Haupt, 1926), 395 and 810.

^ Back to text47. Ludwig Koch, Jesuiten-Lexikon: Die Gesellschaft Jesu einst und jetzt (Löwen-Heverlee: Verl. der Bibliothek SJ, 1962) [orig., Paderborn, 1932], 939–40.

^ Back to text48. Koch, Jesuiten-Lexikon, 399.

^ Back to text49. See for instance, Enno Kopperschmidt, Jesuiten arbeiten: zur Geschichte des Jesuitenordens in Deutschland 1866–1872 (Munich: Ludendorff, 1940).

^ Back to text50. Examples include Josef Ulrich, ed., Häuser stellen sich vor: Die Niederlassungen der Norddeutschen Provinz SJ vorgestellt in den Provinznachrichten zwischen 1993–1999; Josef Meyer zu Schlochtern, Die Academia Theodoriana: Von der Jesuitenuniversität zur Theologischen Fakultät Paderborn 1614–2014 (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2014). One was written by a Benedictine, Theodor Bogler, Benedikt und Ignatius, Maria-Laach als Collegium maximum der Gesellschaft Jesu 1863–1872–1892 (Maria Laach: Verlag Ars Liturgica, 1963).

^ Back to text51. Franz H. Müller, Heinrich Pesch. Sein Leben und seine Lehre (Cologne: Bachem, 1980); Konrad Deufel, Kirche und Tradition: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der theologischen Wende im 19. Jahrhundert am Beispiel des kirchlich-theologischen Kampfprogramms P. Joseph Kleutgens S.J. Darstellung und neue Quellen (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1976).

^ Back to text52. Bartholomew Murphy, Der Wiederaufbau der Gesellschaft Jesu in Deutschland im 19. Jahrhundert: Jesuiten in Deutschland, 1849–1872 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1985). See review by Klaus Schatz, Theologie und Philosophie 61 (1986): 590ff.

^ Back to text53. Ferdinand Strobel, Die Gesellschaft Jesu und die Schweiz im XIX Jahrhundert: Ein Beitrag zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Schweizerischen Bundesstaates (Olten und Freiburg: Walter, 1954).

^ Back to text54. Ferdinand Strobel, Die Gesellschaft Jesu in der Schweiz (Bern: A. Francke, 1976).

^ Back to text55. Ferdinand Strobel, Schweizer Jesuitenlexikon (Zürich: Schweizer Provinz SJ, 1986).

^ Back to text56. Helmut Platzgummer S.J., Kurzbiographien von Jesuiten der österreichischen Provinz aus mehreren Jahrhunderten (Innsbruck: Eigenverlag, 2003).

^ Back to text57. For an overview of the confessional turn and its impact on the history of Catholicism, see Jeffrey Zalar, “Political Catholicism,” in The Ashgate Research Companion to Imperial Germany, ed. Matthew Jeffries (London: Ashgate, 2015), 159–76.

^ Back to text58. Wolfgang Altgeld, Katholizismus, Protestantismus, Judentum: Über religiös begründete Gegensätze und nationalreligiöse Ideen in der Geschichte des deutschen Nationalismus (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald Verlag, 1992); Helmut Walser Smith, Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in Germany, 1800–1914 (Oxford: Berg, 2001).

^ Back to text59. Michael Gross, “Kulturkampf and Unification: German Liberalism and the War against the Jesuits,” Central European History 30, no. 4 (2001): 545–66. See also Michael Gross, The War against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004).

^ Back to text60. Ari Joskowicz, The Modernity of Others: Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014), 235–44.

^ Back to text61. Róisín Healy, The Jesuit Specter in Imperial Germany (Leiden: Brill, 2003). See also an earlier study of anti-Jesuitism by Friedrich Heyer, “Das Jesuitengespenst der deutschen Protestanten: Zur 60 jährigen Wiederkehr der Zulassung des Jesuitenordens in Deutschland,” in Die Einheit der Kirche: Dimensionen ihrer Heiligkeit, Katholizität und Apostolizität, ed. Lorenz Hein (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1977).

^ Back to text62. Marianne Hubert, Moraltheologie im Kontext ihrer Zeit: Beiträge zu Themen der Moral in den “Stimmen aus Maria Laach” der Jahre 1871–1914 (Trier: Paulinus, 1999).

^ Back to text63. Matthew P. Fitzpatrick, Purging the Empire: Mass Expulsions in Germany, 1871–1914 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

^ Back to text64. Patrick Houlihan, Catholicism and the Great War: Religion and Everyday Life in Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914–1922 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 218.

^ Back to text65. Karl Egger, “Aus Meinem Leben,” Archivum Provinciae Austriae Societatis Iesu (AASI); Houlihan, Catholicism and the Great War, 203.

^ Back to text66. Rebecca Ayako Bennette, Fighting for the Soul of Germany: The Catholic Struggle for Inclusion after Unification (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012).

^ Back to text67. Bernard Bonnery, Les revues catholiques ‘Stimmen der Zeit’ et ‘Literarischer Handweiser’ dans l’Allemagne de 1918 à 1925 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1977), 67 and 110.

^ Back to text68. Derek Hastings, Catholicism and the Roots of Nazism: Religious Identity and National Socialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

^ Back to text69. Bonnery, Les revues catholiques, 105–8.

^ Back to text70. Jörn Ernesti, Ökumene im Dritten Reich (Paderborn: Bonifatius, 2007), 151–54.

^ Back to text71. Karl Heinz Neufeld, “Werk und Denken P.M. Pribillas S.I.,” Archivum historicum Societatis Iesu 44 (1975): 209–35.

^ Back to text72. Max Pribilla, Um die Wiedervereinigung im Glauben (Freiburg: Herder, 1926) and Um kirchliche Einheit (Freiburg: Herder, 1929).

^ Back to text73. Thomas Ruster, Die verlorene Nützlichkeit der Religion: Katholizismus und Moderne in der Weimarer Republik (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1997), 310–12.

^ Back to text74. Ger von Roon, Neuordnung im Widerstand: Der Kreisauer Kreis innerhalb der Deutschen Widerstandsbewegung (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1967).

^ Back to text75. Ulrich von Hehl, Priester unter Hitlers Terror: Eine biographische und statistische Erhebung (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1984).

^ Back to text76. For a basic account in English, see the chapter on Germany in Vincent Lapomarda, The Jesuits and the Third Reich (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989) and in German, see Rita Haub, Es fordert den ganzen Menschen: Jesuiten im Widerstand (Würzburg: Echter, 2007). For the experience of Jesuit ministry to slave labourers, see Paul Beschet, Mission in Thuringia in the Time of Nazism (Erlangen: Mittelmeyer, 2005) [Orig. Paris, 1946–47].

^ Back to text77. Johannes Arnold, ed., Oswald von Nell-Breuning SJ: Anekdoten, Erinnerungen, Originaltexte (Trier: Paulinus, 2007); Herbert Vorgrimler, Karl Rahner: Leben—Denken—Werke (Munich: Manz, 1963); Karl-Heinz Neufeld, Die Brüder Rahner: Eine Biographie (Freiburg: Herder, 2004); Andreas Batlogg and Melvin Michalski, Begegnungen mit Karl Rahner: Weggefährten erinnern sich (Freiburg: Herder, 2006); Eva Maria Jung-Inglessis, Augustin Bea: Kardinal der Einheit (Recklinghausen: Paulus, 1962);  Johannes Schwarte, Gustav Gundlach S.J. (1892–1963): Maßgeblicher Repräsentant der katholischen Soziallehre während der Pontifikate Pius XI. und Pius XII (Munich: Schöningh, 1975).

^ Back to text78. Roman Bleistein, Alfred Delp—Geschichte eines Zeugen (Frankfurt a.M.: Knecht, 1989). See also Roman Bleistein, Jesuiten im Kreisauer Kreis (Passau: Wissenschaftsverlag Richard Rothe, 1990).

^ Back to text79. Roman Bleistein, Rupert Mayer—Der verstummte Prophet (Frankfurt a.M.: Knecht, 1993).

^ Back to text80. Roman Bleistein, Augustinus Rösch—Leben im Widerstand: Biographie und Dokumente (Frankfurt a.M.: Knecht, 1998). See also Roman Bleistein, Dossier: Kreisauer Kreis; Dokumente aus dem Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus; Aus dem Nachlaß von Lothar König SJ (Frankfurt am Main: Knecht, 1987).

^ Back to text81. Eike Pies, Hans K Seeger, Gabriel Latzel, Christa Bockholt, eds., Otto Pies und Karl Leisner: Freundschaft in der Hölle des KZ Dachau (Zeitzeugen) (Sprockhövel: Pies, 2007); Alfons Klein, Dem Ungeist widerstehen: Hitlerjunge – Straflagerhäftling – Jesuit (Würzburg: Echter, 2013).

^ Back to text82. Lapomarda, Jesuits, 20.

^ Back to text83. Haub, Es fordert, 9.

^ Back to text84. Beth Griech-Polelle, “Jesuits, Jews, and Communists: Portrayals of Jesuits and Other Catholic Religious in Nazi Newspapers during the Spanish Civil War, 1936–39,” in “The Tragic Couple”: Encounters between Jews and Jesuits, ed. Robert A. Maryks and James Bernauer (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 161–77. See also Martin F. Ederer, “Propaganda Wars: Stimmen der Zeit and the Nazis,” Catholic Historical Review 90, no. 3 (2004): 456–72.

^ Back to text85. John Connelly, From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), 13.

^ Back to text86. Paul Silas Peterson, “A third time: Erich Przywara, the Jews and Stimmen der Zeit: With a Response to Aaron Pidel and a brief look into Przywara’s late letters to Carl Schmitt,” Journal for the History of Modern Theology 24 (2017): 202–39. See also Ruster, Die verlorene Nützlichkeit, 268–93 and Thomas F. O’Meara, Erich Przywara, S.J.: His Theology and His World (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002).

^ Back to text87. Antonia Leugers, Jesuiten in Hitlers Wehrmacht: Kriegslegitimation und Kriegserfahrung (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2009).

^ Back to text88. Lauren Faulkner Rossi, Wehrmacht Priests: Catholicism and the Nazi War of Annihilation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015).

^ Back to text89. Connelly, From Enemy to Brother.

^ Back to text90. Mark Ruff, The Battle for the Catholic Past in Germany, 1945–1980 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 145.

^ Back to text91. Ruff, Battle, 11 and 213–15.

^ Back to text92. Houlihan, Catholicism and the Great War, 39. See also Josef Leb, P. Heinrich Abel, S.J., Der Männerapostel Wiens: Ein Lebensbild (Innsbruck: Marianischer Verlag, 1926).

^ Back to text93. Róisín Healy, “Anti-Jesuitism in Imperial Germany: The Jesuit as Androgyne,” in Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in Germany, 1800–1914, ed. Helmut Smith (Oxford: Berg, 2001), 153–81.

^ Back to text94. Hubert Wolf, The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal, trans. Ruth Martin (Oxford: Oxford U.P., 2015).

^ Back to text95. Godehard Brüntrup, Christian Herwartz, Hermann Kügler, eds., Unheilge Macht: Der Jesuitenorden und die Missbrauchskrise (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2013).

^ Back to text96. Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu, ed., Unheiliger Berg: Das Bonner Aloisiuskolleg der Jesuiten und die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchskandals (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2014).

^ Back to text97. Klaus Schatz, Geschichte der Schweizer Jesuiten (1947–1983) (Münster: Aschendorff, 2017).

^ Back to text98. For an example of an analysis of Catholic education and social status, see Ciarán O’Neill, Catholics of Consequence: Transnational Education, Social Mobility, and the Irish Catholic Elite, 1850–1900 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Cite this page
Róisín Healy, “Jesuits in Germany—Post-Restoration”, in: Jesuit Historiography Online. Consulted online on 26 April 2018 <>
First published online: 2018

▲   Back to top   ▲