Paul Schneider’s son “very touched” by naming German merger congregation


Central Europe


Karl-Adolf Schneider, son of Paul Schneider. Photo SWR

The Protestant “Paul Schneider Congregation” opened on Thursday in Staudernheim, Germany. This happened in the presence of the only living son of the “preacher of Buchenwald”, Karl-Adolf Schneider (86).

The Paul Schneider congregation was created from a merger, effective since January 1st, of the Protestant congregations of Bad Sobernheim and Staudernheim, located in Rhineland-Palatinate. It is the second church community in Germany that wants to keep the memory of Rev. Schneider (1897-1939) alive in this way.

The church of the Protestant congregation of Staudernheim. Photo SWR

The preacher, a fierce opponent of Hitler’s National Socialism, ended up in Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, in November 1937. On July 18th, 1939, he was killed by a camp doctor with a poison syringe. Even under the harshest conditions in the newly set up camp, Rev. Schneider continued to preach the Gospel, which is why he went down in history as the preacher of Buchenwald.


The German news service SWR, among others, paid attention to the kick-off meeting of the “Paul-Schneider-Gemeinde” in Staudernheim on Thursday. In the broadcast, which can be rewatched, son Karl-Adolf Schneider also speaks. He barely knew his father: Karl-Adolf was 2 when he ended up in KZ Buchenwald and 4 when he was murdered. Schneider indicates that the fact that the congregation, not far from his father’s “Heimat”, now bears his name, “touches him greatly. I am very pleased.”

Karl-Adolf Schneider, son of Paul Schneider. Photo SWR

Paul Schneider, born on August 29th, 1897, in Pferdsfeld, studied theology in Giessen. From 1926 to 1934, he was a pastor in the villages of Hochelheim and Dornholzhausen, near Giessen. He then served the Protestant congregations of Dickenschied and Womrath on the Hunsrück until his capture in 1937. Rev. Schneider is also buried in Dickenschied.


This week, the German news service Idea reported that Christian musicians from the Central Hesse region want to dedicate a musical to Rev. Schneider and his wife Margarete (Gretel) Dieterich this year. The reason is that on August 29th, it will be 125 years since Paul Schneider was born. The musical will be titled” Paul and Gretel – not a fairytale” and will premiere on July 1st in Hüttenberg.

Rev. Schneider and his wife had six children: five sons and a daughter. Margarete passed away in 2002, at the age of 99.



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