Von Bodelschwingh, Friedrich
|born on||6 March 1831 at 16:00 (= 4:00 PM )|
|Place||Tecklenburg, Germany, 52n13, 7e48|
|Timezone||LMT m7e48 (is local mean time)|
|Astrology data||15°21' 14°29 Asc. 27°43'|
German theologian and public health advocate.
Reverend Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, his father, began and operated the von Bodelschwingh Bethel Institution, which offered health care and other advantages to the poor, for many years. Upon the death of his father in 1910, Bodelschwingh the younger took over their operation. In 1921 he expanded the services of the Institute to care for orphaned children; boys who did not know their birthdate were given March 6, in honor of Reverend von Bodelschwingh, and girls were given February 20 in honor of Frieda von Bodelschwingh.
Bodelschwingh discussed both euthanasia and enforced sterilization as possible solutions to the problem but concluded by firmly rejecting euthanasia as a viable option which put him at odds with the Nazi regime. Although he took the oath of loyalty to Hitler in 1938, as was common for Protestant pastors in the Third Reich, he made no secret of his vigorous opposition to the Nazi's sterilization and euthanasia policies.
In May 1940 Pastor Paul Braune, Vice President of the Central Board for Interior Missions of the German Lutheran Church and head of theHoffnungstaler Institutions, met with von Bodelschwingh at Bethel to discuss the Nazi "green forms" which he had been instructed to fill out, authorizing the transfer of "feebleminded" girls from the Hoffnungstaler Institution. The two men were deeply alarmed over disturbing reports of deaths of former patients who were shipped off and strange obituaries which had appeared. In February 1941 when a physician's commission arrived at Bethel to force von Bodelschwingh to fill out the green forms, he refused. Staff members expressed their willingness to forcibly resist any attempted transportation of sick persons by force and the commission eventually departed. A month later the Nazi regime banned the institute press.
After the war, von Bodelschwingh and the Bethel Institute set up the Bethel Search Service to help locate missing family members.
He died 4 January 1946, Bethel.
The von Bodelschwingh Bethel Institutes are still in operation, helping more than 14,000 persons in clinics, homes, schools, kindergartens, live-in groups, work therapy facilities and shops for the disabled.
Arno Müller, vol 2
- Traits : Personality : Idealist
- Vocation : Medical : Other Medical Vocations (manager of Institute to care for orphaned children)
- Vocation : Religion : Other Religion (theologian)
- Notable : Famous : Historic figure