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 , 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 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 is a historical territory in South Germany, situated along right bank of the Upper Rhine.
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.
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 is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants.
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, 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.
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. It is dedicated to preserving the memory of the dead; honoring Jews who fought against their Nazi oppressors and Gentiles who selflessly aided Jews in need; and researching the phenomenon of the Holocaust in particular and genocide in general, with the aim of avoiding such events in the future.
Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France.
Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust are those who, during World War II, helped Jews and others escape the Holocaust conducted by Nazi Germany. A well-known rescuer was Oskar Schindler, one of thousands who have been so recognized.
Righteous Among the Nations is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. The term originates with the concept of "righteous gentiles", a term used in rabbinic Judaism to refer to non-Jews, called ger toshav, who abide by the Seven Laws of Noah.
André Trocmé and his wife Magda are a French couple designated Righteous Among the Nations. For 15 years, André served as a pastor in the French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon on the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon in south-central France. He had been sent to this rather remote parish because of his pacifist positions which were not well received by the French Protestant Church. In his preaching, he spoke out against discrimination as the Nazis were gaining power in neighboring Germany and urged his Protestant Huguenot congregation to hide Jewish refugees from the Holocaust of the Second World War. He became a wealthy man later on.
Archbishop Damaskinos Papandreou was the archbishop of Athens and All Greece from 1941 until his death. He was also the regent of Greece between the pull-out of the German occupation force in 1944 and the return of King George II to Greece in 1946. His rule was between the liberation of Greece from the German occupation during World War II and the Greek Civil War.
Khaled Abdul-Wahab was a Muslim Tunisian man who saved several Jewish families from Nazi persecution, in Vichy-Tunisia, during the Holocaust. He has been called the 'Arab Schindler'.
Moshe Bejski was a Polish-born Israeli Supreme Court Justice and President of Yad Vashem's Righteous Among the Nations Commission. After surviving the Holocaust with the help of Oskar Schindler, Bejski immigrated to Israel. In 1961, he testified about his experiences during the Holocaust during the trial of Adolf Eichmann. He served on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa district court from 1968 to 1979 and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Israel, where he served from 1979 to 1991. As President of the Righteous Commission from 1975 to 1991, Bejski helped honor thousands of Holocaust rescuers. He also headed the Bejski Commission in the aftermath of the 1983 Israel bank stock crisis, which led to the nationalization of most of Israel’s major banks.
Andrea Cassulo was an archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church and a representative of the Holy See in Egypt, Canada, Romania and Turkey from 1921 to 1952. A significant figure in Catholic resistance to Nazism, for his efforts to protect Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, Cassulo was accorded the title of "Righteous among the nations by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial.
Yad Vashem, the state of Israel's official Holocaust memorial, has generally been critical of Pope Pius XII, the pope during The Holocaust. For decades, Pius XII has been nominated unsuccessfully for recognition as Righteous Among the Nations, an honor Yad Vashem confers on non-Jews who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust altruistically and at risk to their own lives.
The Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations is part of the much larger Yad Vashem complex located on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. Along with some two dozen different structures within the Yad Vashem memorial – which is the second most-visited destination in the country after the Western Wall – the Garden of the Righteous is meant to honor those non-Jews who during the Holocaust risked their lives to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. The entire site receives one million visitors annually. In the Garden, names of the Righteous among the Nations are engraved in alphabetical order on walls arranged according to country.
Otto Busse was a German resistance fighter and Righteous Among the Nations.
Dr Mohammed Helmy was an Egyptian doctor who saved several Jews from Nazi persecution in Berlin during the Holocaust. He has been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. He was the first Arab to be recognized as such. Relatives of Helmy were sought by Yad Vashem to present them with the honour awarded to Helmy; they were, however, not interested in accepting the award, citing hostile relations between Israel and Egypt. Eventually, four years after he was recognized as the first Arab Righteous Among the Nations, film director Taliya Finkel who made a movie about Helmy, located the son of his nephew, Nasser Kotby. Kotbi agreed to receive the certificate from the Israeli ambassador to Berlin, but at a ceremony in the German Foreign Ministry, not in the Israeli Embassy, due to the family's difficulty in receiving the honor directly from an Israeli institution.
Lois Gunden was the fourth of five Americans who have been named "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem, the Shoah Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority of Israel. Gunden was born and raised in Goshen, Indiana. In 1941, when she was 26 years old, she was teaching English for the Mennonite Central Committee in southern France when the Nazi occupation began. She rescued several Jewish children and Spanish refugees from arrest.
Luise Wilhelmine Elisabeth Abegg was a German educator and resistance fighter against Nazism. She provided shelter to around 80 Jews during the Holocaust and was consequently recognised as Righteous Among the Nations.
Nicolette Adriana Bruining was a Dutch theologian and founding president of the Liberal Protestant Radio Broadcasting Corporation (VPRO). She was also a teacher and humanitarian, assisting Jews during the Second World War. Her aid was acknowledged by the state of Israel, which posthumously awarded her as Righteous Among the Nations in 1990.
Gerritdina Benders-Letteboer (1909–1980) was a member of the Dutch Resistance, who actively protected multiple Dutch Jewish citizens from Nazi persecution and deportation during World War II. Posthumously declared with her husband, Johan Benders (1907–1943), to be Righteous Among the Nations on March 27, 1997 by Yad Vashem, she and her husband were also honored by The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, which placed their names on their “List of Dutch Saviors.”
Shmuel Krakowski or Stefan Krakowski was a Polish-Jewish historian specializing in the Holocaust in Poland.