Hermann Maas

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Hermann Ludwig Maas (5 August 1877, Gengenbach, Baden 27 September 1970) was a Protestant minister, a doctor of theology and named one of the Righteous Among the Nations , [1] a title given by the Israeli organization for study and remembrance of the Holocaust - Yad Vashem, for people who helped save the lives of Jews during the Holocaust without seeking to gain thereby.

Gengenbach Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Gengenbach is a town in the district of Ortenau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany and a popular tourist destination on the western edge of the Black Forest with about 11,000 inhabitants. Gengenbach is well known for its traditional Alemanic "fasnacht", ("Fasend"), a kind of historically influenced celebration of carnival, where tradition is followed, from wearing costumes with carved wooden masks to clapping with a "Ratsche". Gengenbach also boasts a picturesque, traditional, medieval town centre ("Altstadt"). The traditional town Gengenbach is the proud owner of the world's biggest advent calendar. The 24 windows of the 18th century town hall represent the 24 "windows" of an Advent calendar. The town also hosts a department of The Graduate School of Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, part of the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg. The nearest cities in the region are Offenburg, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden and Strasbourg/France. Gengenbach is twinned with the town of Obernai, Alsace, France.

Baden historical region in present Germany

Baden is a historical territory in South Germany, situated along right bank of the Upper Rhine.

Protestantism division within Christianity, originating from the Reformation in the 16th century against the Roman Catholic Church, that rejects the Roman Catholic doctrines of papal supremacy and sacraments

Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.



Maas was born in Gengenbach/Schwarzwald, Germany.

The Herrmann-Maas-Haus in Heidelberg-Kirchheim. Herrmann-Maas-Haus.JPG
The Herrmann-Maas-Haus in Heidelberg-Kirchheim.

In 1903, he started working as a Protestant minister in a parish of Evangelical Church in Baden. At the same time he began to make the acquaintance of Zionist Jews, and formed friendly relations with many of them, having attended the Sixth Zionist Congress in Basel that year. Since 1918, he had been an active member of the pro-democratic left liberal DDP. Maas, who had decidedly liberal and pacifist views, caused a scandal in 1925 by attending the funeral of social democratic Reichspräsident Friedrich Ebert. Conservative German pastors considered this to be an affront to the church because Ebert had been an outspoken atheist. In 1932, Maas joined an association for protection against antisemitism. In 1933, when the Nazi regime introduced the economic boycott of the Jews of Germany, Maas first went to Palestine to meet with some of the Zionist activists, impressing them by speaking fluent Hebrew. Upon his return to Heidelberg he faced harsh criticism as a "Jew-lover". After Hitler's Machtergreifung, he joined the Pfarrernotbund and the Confessing Church along with other notable Protestant theologians such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Niemöller and Hans Ehrenberg. In the early 1940s, Maas helped many Jews flee from Germany by using his connections to obtain exit visas. In mid 1943, on the instigation of the Nazi regime the Superior Church Council of the Baden Church forced him out of office for his activism. In 1944, he was sent to a forced-labor camp in France, from which he was later released by the US forces. In 1945 he resumed work as minister for the Baden Church.

Basel Place in Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

Basel is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants.

German Democratic Party former German political party on the left wing of the political spectrum

The German Democratic Party was founded in November 1918 by leaders of the former Progressive People's Party, left-wing members of the National Liberal Party and a new group calling themselves the Democrats.

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights, capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.

In 1950, Maas was the first non-Jewish German to be officially invited to the newly formed state of Israel. On July 28, 1964, Yad Vashem decided to recognize Reverend Hermann Maas as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

He died on 27 September 1970 in Mainz-Weisenau.


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