Part IV, Chapter 1.8
The Dioceses of Germany & Austria
The Russian Orthodox Church in Germany 1 can look back over a more than 270-year history if one looks at the refugee communities in eastern Prussia, which came into existence as a result of the religious intolerance of the Moscow government. 2
After the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Prussia under Peter I, the Great, a Russian chapel was built in Berlin in 1718. This church existed until 1837 when it was moved to the building at Unter den Linden, No. 7, where the Russian embassy was located. The embassy church was dedicated to the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir, who had brought Christianity to Kievan Rus in 988 AD. Until the outbreak of World War I, this was the most important Orthodox community on German soil. Some 5,000 Orthodox Russians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks, Romanians and members of other nationalities belonged to it. The renowned Archpriest A. P. Maltsev (1854-1915) was rector from 1886. 3
Archpriest Maltsev formed the “Brotherhood of St. Vladimir” in 1890. The members made it their task to support the Orthodox parishes on German soil financially. They also devoted themselves to charitable work and tried to awaken understanding for Orthodoxy by promoting the translation of Orthodox liturgical texts into German. Archpriest Maltsev translated almost all the important liturgical text into German. To this day, his translations (in revised editions) form the basis for Orthodox divine services in the German language. 4
Besides this Russian church in Berlin, there were other Russian communities with churches in the German princedoms before 1914. The majority of these churches were founded in the 19th century when the dynastic ties between the Russian ruling house and the German nobility became closer and closer. In addition, Russian families visiting the German spas led to the building of Russian churches from the mid-19th century.
For example, the building of the Russian chapel in Kiel, which existed from 1727-1799, can be traced back to the marriage of the Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna, the consort of the Duke Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp. In Potsdam, a temporary church existed since the 18th century. In 1829, it moved to the newly-built Church of St. Alexander Nevsky in Potsdam’s Russian colony, “Alexandrovka”. In 1808, the mortuary Church of the Apostles Peter & Paul was consecrated in Ludwigslist. Other churches were consecrated: in 1846, in Stuttgart; in 1847, in Leipzig; in 1861, in Wiesbaden; in 1862, in Weimar; in 1865, a chapel in the castle of Karlsruhe; in 1874, a church in Dresden, the largest Russian church in Germany; in 1876, in Bad Ems; in 1882, in Baden-Baden; in 1893, in Berlin-Tegel; in 1899, in Bad Homburg and Darmstadt; in 1901, in Bad Kissingen, Gorbersdorf (Silesia) and Hamburg. The last churches before World War I were consecrated in Bad Neuheim and Bad Brucknau, in 1908; and in Leipzig and Danzig 1913-14. 5
All these churches still exist today. The ones located on the territory of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) are subject to the Moscow Patriarchate. 6 The Theophany Church in Baden-Baden was subject to the Moscow Patriarchate from 1945, but to the Church Abroad after a court decision from 1980. 7 The church in Bad Ems was subject to the Paris Jurisdiction but was handed over to the Church Abroad after a court decision in 1981. 8
Twice since 1918, Germany has had to cope with the burden of Russian émigrés. After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, the first wave of refugees came to Germany; the end of the Civil War and the outbreak of the catastrophic famine in Soviet Russia led to a massive exodus. In 1921, 50,000-80,000 Russian refugees are estimated to have lived in Germany; the number rose to 600,000 in 1922 but dropped to 150,000 by 1928. The reason for the tremendous emigration was the economic situation in Germany after 1923-24. Inflation and unemployment drove the refugees to emigrate further, especially to France, but also overseas. Nevertheless, in the 1920s, Germany was a spiritual and political center of the Russian emigration: it had its own schools, academic, economic, cultural and political institutions. 9
The situation was similar in Germany after World War II. Hundreds of thousands of refugees left [Trans., the Soviet Union] with the German troops for Germany, where thousands of Ostarbeiter (workers from the East), who had been abducted from their homeland during the War and conscripted into the German economy, were already living. Many of these people no longer wanted to return to their homeland after the German defeat. As long as they found themselves on the territory of the Western Allies, they were able to remain. Those who were in the Soviet-occupied part of Germany and Austria were returned to the Soviet Union and deported to Siberia to do forced labor. The number of refugees who lived in Germany after 1945 is not precisely known. There may have been between 500,000 and a million. The German West Zones, in which seven to ten million German refugees lived, were not economically in any position to care for or assimilate these refugees. Thus, most of them tried to emigrate overseas, where they sought a better future. Between 1948 and 1952, almost all young and healthy refugees left Germany. The elderly and the sick remained behind; as other counties would not grant them entry permits. The size of this emigration can be clarified by the following statistics. At the assembly of the German Diocese, which met from 19-21 July 1949, in Munich, it was announced that since the previous assembly, in August 1947, the number of communities had decreased from 91 to 77 and the number of clergy from 184 to 134. Of the clergy, all the younger ones had left Germany. 10
As already mentioned, the SEA had appointed Metropolitan Eulogius head of the West European communities. This also included the communities in Germany and Austria.
Metropolitan Eulogius arrived in Berlin on 26 April 1921, whence he would administer the West European communities. Berlin was chosen because most of the political, cultural and other émigré organizations were located there. In Berlin, a few days after the arrival of Metropolitan Eulogius, there was to be an important meeting. On 2 May, Eulogius received a delegation from the Berlin Russian community, which questioned him forcefully as to whether he was acting on the instructions of the Patriarch. Eulogius replied to this question with a clear “no.” Thereupon, the delegates asked him to assure them that his actions were not “against the canons.” Eulogius then assured them, by his episcopal authority, that his actions were fully in agreement with the canons. 11 Because Eulogius gave this assurance at a point in time when he had not yet received from Patriarch Tikhon the appointment to assume the administration of the West European Diocese, he proved with his words that he not only acknowledged the Church Abroad’s jurisdiction over these communities, but also held this governing body to be canonical: “He himself writes nothing of this in his memoirs, but dates the receipt of the Patriarch’s Decree No. 423, by which he was appointed ruling bishop, himself in “May-June.” 12
At the request of his Berlin community, Eulogius appointed Archimandrite Tikhon (Lyashchenko) rector of the Berlin Church, who duly arrived at his new place of appointment. Until December 1922, Berlin remained the official administrative headquarters of the West European Diocese; at that time, Metropolitan Eulogius moved to Paris. The altered situation in Berlin no doubt was certainly instrumental in the move. After the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Germany, in April 1922, the Soviet Union was given the embassy building on Unter den Linden. The embassy church, which had served as the parish church for the émigrés, was closed by the Soviet authorities. The director of the Russian-German Gymnasium in Nachodstrasse offered a room to the parish, where a small chapel could be set up. This sufficed as a parish church but was much too small to accommodate the worshipers. On this account, Eulogius decided to move to Paris, because the magnificent St. Alexander Nevsky Church was located there, to which spacious adjacent buildings belonged, which could serve as administrative headquarters.
The administration of the Berlin communities lay in the hands of Archimandrite Tikhon, who also had oversight of the communities in Tegel and Potsdam. In agreement with the resolutions of the Council of Bishops of 1923, which charged Eulogius with installing vicar bishops in the “most important centers” of the Russian emigration, especially in Germany and Italy, Eulogius created a vicariate in Germany in May 1924. He transferred the administration to Archimandrite Tikhon, who after his consecration bore the title of Bishop of Potsdam. The numerically most significant communities were located at this time in Berlin, where most Russian émigrés lived. The communities in Dresden, Wiesbaden, Baden-Baden, Leipzig, and other cities all had their own clergy but were not particularly large. 13
New communities came into existence in Danzig and near Eckertsdorf (East Prussia). The Danzig chapel served for Russian Orthodox refugees, while the Eckertsdorf chapel was built for the Old Believer community (Edinovertsy), who were cared for by the Church Abroad. 14
At the Council of Bishops of 1926, the German Vicariate was finally elevated to an independent diocese. Metropolitan Eulogius protested in vain against this decision, though he could not reverse it against the majority of bishops. 15
Eulogius’s break with the Synod also led to the schism of many parishes in Germany.
Nine communities remained with Eulogius: St. Vladimir Church in Berlin (Nachodstrasse), Sts. Constantine & Helen Church in Tegel, Holy Transfiguration Church in Baden-Baden, St. Simon Church in Dresden, St. Alexis Church in Leipzig, St. Elizabeth Church in Wiesbaden and the house chapels in Danzig, Eckertsdorf and Munich. Archpriest P. Adamantov, who served at the church in Wiesbasden, also cared for those in Bad Ems and Darmstadt. He joined the Synod in 1934. The rector of St. Vladimir Chruch in Berlin was Archpriest G. Prozorov. After Eulogius joined the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1931 because Metropolitan Sergius had prohibited Eulogius from serving. Prozorov remained faithful to Moscow and broke with Eulogius. Thus, in 1934, only the churches in Tegel, Baden-Baden, Dresden, and Leipzig, and both chapels in Danzig and Eckertsdorf were subject to Eulogius.
Bishop Tikhon began to build up his own communities in Germany. In Berlin, the majority of the faithful joined the Church Abroad. He succeeded in buying a large house: on the upper story, the new church of the Resurrection of Christ would be built. Bishop Tikhon hoped to pay off the mortgage for the purchase of the house by rental income from the apartments in the lower stories of the house. At first, this community developed very well. A sisterhood and a parish school were founded, at which religious and language instruction was offered. When the stock market crashed and the banks collapsed in 1929, the community lost all its funds and had to declare bankruptcy. The house in which the church was located had to be auctioned off. 16
The new landlord was the National Socialist “German Work Front,” which, of course, did not like the neighboring Russian church on the upper floors. Termination of the lease or demolition of the church did not seem to be opportune at the time, as the new government was busy trying to establish itself as the leader of the anti-Communist movement of the whole world. At this time, in the Soviet Union, the Church’s struggle was at its height; one read daily in the press of the closing and destruction of Russian churches. So it was practically impossible to close or destroy the Berlin church. As an alternative, it was proposed that the community leave the building and a new church should be built. As financial means for this were lacking, the government of the Prussian State declared that it would support the building project. After the government had made available a place for the building on Hohenzollerndamm 17 and promised credit, the new building project was begun. The general recognition of the Church Abroad by its Orthodox Sister Churches is shown in the building of this church. Metropolitan Dionysius of Poland donated the iconostasis; the Serbian Patriarch donated a large sum of money; the Patriarch of Antioch and the Archbishop of Athens sent their congratulations; the governments of Bulgaria and Yugoslavia donated money because their faithful in Berlin were cared for by the Church Abroad.
Metropolitan Anastasius consecrated the new cathedral in 1938. 18
In connection with the new building of this cathedral, there was also a legal rearrangement of the Russian diocese in Germany. In order to obtain property rights to the new building, the Ministry for Church Affairs negotiated to obtain the rights of a legal person for the Diocese of the Church Abroad.
This also seemed to be necessary because, since Metropolitan Eulogius’s split from the Church Abroad, there were numerous suits over Russian Church property; both sides laid claims to certain churches. Thus, the final ruling was also in the interest of the government, which owned the plot of land on Hohenzollerndamm (“Contract of 12 November 1937 between the Reichsminister for Church Affairs and Bishop Tikhon,” Land Register at the Lower Court, Charlottenburg, Volume 125, p. 3730).
Bishop Tikhon received recognition from the German government as the legitimate representative of the Russian Church in Germany. By decision of the Prussian State Ministry, dated 14 March 1936 (RMB1. IV, 1936, p. 673), “The Russian Orthodox Diocese of the Orthodox Bishops of Berlin & Germany” was granted the “rights of a public-legal corporation.” 19 Two years later, the decision of the Prussian State Ministry of 1936 was broadened by the law on the property of the Russian Orthodox Church in Germany, dated 25 February 1938 (RGB1. I, S. 215), whereby a fundamental state law was created for the Orthodox Church. 20 In this law, which remains in effect to the present day, it says in Section 1: “The real estate situated in Baden-Baden, Bad Ems, Darmstadt, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden, which is set aside for the particular purposes of the Russian Orthodox Church, should be kept for these purposes. The Reichsminister for Church Affairs can hereto regulate the conditions of ownership for this real estate, as well as the manner and extent of its uses, with legally binding authority, and can rule extralegally on disputes over this real estate. Restricted real estate rights will not be affected hereby.” It was simultaneously decided that the legal proceedings over this real estate would be dropped. By Reich’s law of 1939 (RGB1. 1939, p. 379), this law was also applied to the Dresden church.
According to this Church constitution, all people of the Orthodox confession, regardless of the fact that the churches belonged to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and “regardless of their citizenship, and under the full protection of their national interests,” will be received into the Russian Orthodox (German) Diocese. As a result of this constitution, all people of the Orthodox Faith, who were listed in the parish rolls by a priest, belonged to the Orthodox parishes of the Russian Church. Nevertheless, this ruling was not special treatment for the German Diocese, but rather tied to Orthodox tradition, which places all Orthodox in a given area under the direction of a ruling bishop. Before 1918, this rule was followed throughout the world and was recognized by all local Orthodox Churches. For the first time, with the existence of colonies of émigrés and immigrants, above all in North and South America, this principle was violated due to the various national Churches setting up their own ecclesial administrations.
In 1940, a further law was passed, which regulated tithing for the “Orthodox Church in Germany.” 21 As a result of this law, the Church was able to raise funds from all registered members, the amount of which was determined in proportion to the member’s income. 22
A few weeks after the consecration of the new cathedral on Hohenzollerndamm, Bishop Tikhon was recalled from the administration of the parishes in Germany. He had ruled the diocese for 12 years in all, another two as vicar bishop. During his time in office, he succeeded in reorganizing the Russian communities in Germany, which had been hard hit by the schism of 1926, and in giving them a legal basis. This legal basis is valid even to the present day and was also recognized by the courts in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), which awarded the churches in Baden-Baden and Bad Ems to the Church Abroad. Concerning the cathedral on Hohenzollerndamm, which the Allies gave to the Moscow Patriarchate in 1945, another law is in force, because in Berlin the Allies’ laws apply and the German courts “have no jurisdiction.” Thus, the Patriarchal Church may continue to use the church built by the émigrés.
The successor to Bishop Tikhon was his vicar, Bishop Seraphim (Lade). He was a German by birth, who converted to Orthodoxy in 1903. After graduating from the Petersburg Theological Seminary and the Moscow Theological Academy, he was active as a clergyman in the Soviet Union from 1916-30. In 1924, he was consecrated Bishop of Zmiev. In 1930, he allowed himself to be deported by the Soviet authorities. In the West, he joined the Church Abroad and was appointed administrator of the Austrian communities (1931-38). After he assumed office, he concerned himself with reducing the tense relations with the followers of Metropolitan Eulogius. He confirmed the clergy of the Paris Jurisdiction in their posts and entitled them to a far-reaching autonomous administration. In the agreement of 21 October 1939, “the settlement of disputes within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad” was regulated by the jurisdictional allegiance of all Russian communities in “Greater Germany” to the Karlovtsy Synod of Bishops. The communities and clergy of the Paris Jurisdiction in Germany, Austria, and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia recognized the spiritual and canonical authority of the Council of Bishops in Karlovtsy as the supreme ecclesiastical authority; they received, however, a far-reaching autonomous status in the administration of their communities.
The Austrian communities were grouped together into a vicariate, the direction of which was transferred to Bishop Basil (Pavlovsky) in January 1939, who had been the Dean of the Theological Faculty in Harbin.
Bishop Seraphim was elevated to the rank of archbishop in 1939. All Russian communities in greater Germany, and both Bishop Basil of Vienna and Bishop Sergius of Prague, who had been Eulogius’s vicar bishop until 1938, were subject to him. After the outbreak of the war and the German invasion of Poland, France, the Benelux nations and other countries, the German government placed all the Russian communities there under the rule of Archbishop Seraphim.
In April 1942, all Orthodox parishes in greater Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, and Slovakia were made subject to the Russian Church Abroad, which, with Resolution No. 245 of 5/18 April 1942, established a Central European Metropolitan District, the rule of which Seraphim (Lade), now elevated to Metropolitan, received. This new district had 77 communities (Belgium and Luxemburg were taken out of the West European Diocese). Simultaneously, under pressure from the German authorities, a vicariate was created in Germany under the direction of Archimandrite Philip (von Gardner), making him Bishop of Potsdam. 23
Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) of Brussels & Belgium, who lived in Brussels, refused to recognize the new Church order and was consequently arrested in 1940 by the Germans, who placed him under house arrest in Berlin. After the Soviet occupation of Berlin, he joined the Moscow Patriarchate.
After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Metropolitan Seraphim supported the faithful building up new communities in Soviet territory. With the financial help of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Seraphim allowed the St. Job Monastery in Ladomirova, which now was part of his district, to print Gospels, prayerbooks, apologetical brochures, and other religious literature, which the German troops distributed in the occupied territories. The Brotherhood also prepared 400 antimensia, which Metropolitan Seraphim consecrated. 24 The first contacts were made with the newly-established autonomous Orthodox Belorussian and Ukrainian Churches, which was to significantly facilitate the subsequent reception of bishops, priests and faithful. 25
The new Church order was not of long duration. With the end of the War, the old administrative structure of the Church Abroad was reestablished. Metropolitan Seraphim continued to hold the title of Metropolitan of the Central European Metropolitan District, though only the communities in the FRG belonged to it.
Austria became an independent diocese; the parishes in Belgium and Luxemburg again became part of the West European Diocese. The communities in reestablished Czecholslovakia, and in the Soviet-occupied zones in Germany and Austria, became subject to the Moscow Patriarchate. 26
Despite the losses of numerous parishes, the number of Russian communities in Germany rose dramatically due to the reception of the main mass of refugees from the East. The exact number of communities is not known. It may have been as high as 150 because as late as 1961, the divine services were celebrated in 142 places, even when the parishes there no longer existed. 27
At the assembly in 1949, the number of parishes was given at 77, whereas in 1947 it was alleged to have been 91. 28 Caring for these communities in 1947 were 16 bishops and 184 priests; three years later there were only 135 priests for some 50-60,000 faithful. In 1961, there were still 78 parishes; since the 1970s, there have been only 53, which are cared for by 18 clergymen. Of these 53, only 13-14 have their own priests. The decline in the number of parishes is directly attributable to the considerable emigration overseas. The priests also accompanied the faithful, in order to organize parish life anew in their new homeland.
Thus, the spiritual care of the refugee communities presented no problem. This changed for the first time in the 1950s, when many of the older priests, who had remained behind, died or retired. If one considers that, for example, in 1945, in northern Germany, only the small house chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas existed in Hamburg, but that in 1947, the Church Abroad had its own churches in Lubeck, Kiel, Schleswig, Hannover, Göttingen, Fischbek, Ringelheim, Salzgitter, Meerbeck, Kleve, Kassel, and other cities, it can be easily seen what activity the Church Abroad developed. 29 By the autumn of 1946, more than 30 churches, 7 high schools, and 10 elementary schools were established. 30
A large number of new communities, which consisted overwhelmingly of faithful who had for years, on account of the persecution of the Church in the Soviet Union, hardly had any contact with the Church and whose children had never had religious instruction, made comprehensive missionary work in the communities necessary. A prerequisite among others was a strict organization of Church life. At the diocesan assembly of 1946, a complete administrative reordering of the German diocese was decided upon; thus, under the leadership of Metropolitan Seraphim, more vicariates were created. Archbishop Philotheus was named vicar bishop of Hessen, with his seat in Wiesbaden. Bishop Alexander became the vicar bishop of Bavaria, with his seat in Kissingen. Bishop Athanasius became the vicar bishop of the British Zone, with his seat in Hamburg. Bishop Benedict was entrusted with the care of the Belorussian communities, and Bishop Eulogius was entrusted with the care of the Ukrainian communities. Bishop Gregory took over the administration of the Schleissheim camp near Munich, where 7,000 refugees lived. 31 The diocesan administration was transferred to Munich, where the center of Church life has been located ever since. In the Munich area, there were, for a time, twelve Russian churches and chapels, a monastery, three Russian high schools, and several elementary schools. Also, from 1946-1950, the headquarters of the Synod of Bishops and the First Hierarch of the Church Abroad were resident in Munich. The Ladomirovo Monastery of St. Job was reestablished, in 1946, in Munich-Obermenzing, and had 49 monks initially. Archimandrites Nathaniel and Seraphim have consecrated bishops in 1945 and 1947, respectively. Thirteen monks resettled in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville with Bishop Seraphim. Two groups of monks, under the direction of Hieromonk Panteleimon and Hegumen Nicodemus (later Archbishop of Britain), went to France in order to establish a monastery there. A third group, under Bishop Leontius, left for Paraguay to establish monasteries there. These three attempts failed due to insufficient financial means. The fourth group of monks went to the Holy Land and joined the Jerusalem Ecclesiastical Mission. Thus, the monastery in Munich, which was without an economic base, to begin with, lost 30 monks by the beginning of 1947; many of the monks ended up in Jordanville. In the 1950s, there were 8 to 10 people in the monastery [in Munich]. In the 1960s, only three monks lived there.
The printing press, which had been re-established by the Brotherhood in 1946, ran until the beginning of the 1970s. From 1951-1971, it published the diocesan newsletter of the German diocese, Church News (Tserkovnye Vedomosti), at first monthly, then mostly bi-monthly, and finally, only quarterly. 32 In the monastery at the beginning of the 1950s, regular conferences for the Orthodox in Germany took place. In 1954, a two-year course for priests began, at which five candidates for the priesthood, two deacons, one reader and two other people took part. 33
From 1966-80, the direction of the monastery lay in the hands of Bishop Nathaniel. In December 1980, Bishop Mark, who is the present abbot of the monastery, transferred the diocesan administration to the monastery and settled there with a brotherhood founded by him and to which three people belong. 34 In the monastery, a new printing press and candle factory were set up. In the candle factory, the candles necessary for the entire diocese are made. The monastery now has a solid financial basis. Since 1987, the printing press has published a bi-monthly diocesan newsletter, The Herald (Bote/Vestnik), in German and Russian. A church calendar also appears regularly, and a new series of books, entitled Meeting with Orthodoxy (Begegnung mit der Orthodoxie), in which the lectures delivered at the Frankfurt seminar are published.
After the end of the War, the old divisions in the German Diocese resurfaced. The Church of the Resurrection of Christ, in Berlin, was given to the Patriarchate. The churches in Bad Ems and Baden-Baden were returned to the Paris Jurisdiction.
After Archbishop Vladimir, the successor to Metropolitan Eulogius, had again left the Moscow Patriarchate, the community in Baden-Baden did not follow suit, but remained under the Moscow Jurisdiction; the community in Bad Ems remained with the Paris group. The Moscow Patriarchate has attempted, since 1960, to found its own parish in West Germany, and has even appointed three bishops for West Germany, but has had practically achieved no success amongst the Russian émigrés. Besides the Berlin community, the only ones subject to the Patriarchate are a few faithful in Baden-Baden, Munich, Dusseldorf, and Konstanz. These “communities” consist of German converts; the Russian émigrés will not join the Patriarchate.
Especially painful for the Church Abroad was the loss of their parishes and churches in Berlin. The ruling bishop of the German Diocese bears the title Bishop of Berlin & Germany. However, since 1948, the Diocese has only had a small house chapel there, which is cared for by clergy from Munich. It is located at 6 Kulmbachstrasse. A few Germans also belong to the parish, in addition to Orthodox Russians. 35
Despite enormous financial hardships, the Diocese has survived primarily on the donations of its faithful and has even been able to build a few new church edifices since 1945. In part, the Church also receives support from German agencies, the Evangelical and Catholic Churches in Germany. The St. Procopius Cathedral in Hamburg, which was built in Novgorod style and was consecrated in 1964, is one of these new buildings. At the cathedral, there is an adjacent building, in which Bishop Philotheus lived, and there is also a parish hall and the bishop’s office. 36 Another spacious church was consecrated in Frankfurt, in 1979: St. Nicholas Church, which was built in Pskov style and can accommodate 400 people. It replaced the old church, which had been built by Ostarbeiter during World War II. Nearly another forty churches and chapels have been in rented or leased buildings since 1945. Most of them still exist today and often serve a community consisting of only a few families. The parish in Munich hopes, in the next few years, to build a new cathedral, which is to be dedicated to the Millenium of the Baptism of Russia (1988). The parish can indeed raise the money for the new building, to which a dwelling for the priest would be attached, but for a freehold piece of property, the city of Munich is demanding over a million marks. A generous ruling, such as in the building of the cathedral in Hamburg (where the city placed a plot of land at their disposal and helped with credit), remains for the (Munich) community only an ephemeral hope.
The aforementioned vicariates existed only until the early 1950s. In 1953, Archbishop Philotheus was appointed the vicar bishop of northern Germany. The rule of the German diocese lay from 1926-1938 with Bishop Tikhon, from 1938-1950 with Metropolitan Seraphim, from 1950-1951 with Archbishop Benedict, from 1951-1971 with Archbishop Philotheus, from 1982 with Bishop Mark. 37 In 1967, Archimandrite Paul was consecrated Bishop of Stuttgart, vicar bishop of Germany. After Archbishop Alexander stepped down in 1971, Bishop Paul bore the title of Bishop of Stuttgart & Southern Germany and ruled a quasi-independent south German diocese. The diocesan consistory also remained in Munich after 1971. After the appointment of Bishop Paul as ruling bishop of Australia in 1980, Bishop Mark took over the administration of the communities in southern Germany. He bore the title of Bishop of Munich & Southern Germany until the autumn of 1982, when he became the successor to Archbishop Philotheus, Bishop of Berlin & Germany.
After the end of World War II, the Russian Church lost its status as a corporation under public law, because the granting of such a status was not in the jurisdiction of the federal government, but rather in that of the local governments. Metropolitan Seraphim appealed by letter to the appropriate local governments, and in 1946 received recognition from Bavaria, in 1947 from Baden-Württemburg, Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Berlin, and Hamburg. In practice, this granting meant a renewal of the corporate status by the local governments.
In Austria, there has been only one community in Vienna since 1918. They held their services in the former embassy church of St. Nicholas. After the establishment of diplomatic relations between Austria and the Soviet Union, the church was closed. The parish then established a small chapel in the house of Count Razumovsky and moved to Baden near Vienna, where a chapel could be set up in a hall of the spa house. Small communities also existed in Graz, Linz, and Salzburg, which did not have their own priests. In 1924, the Baden community in Vienna, where most of the faithful lived, was again able to open its own church. 38
The Austrian communities were subject to Metropolitan Eulogius until 1926, in that they were part of the West European Diocese. After the schism, there was also a schism within the Austrian communities, between Eulogius’ and Anthony’s followers. The former’s community in Vienna was cared for by Archpriest Vanichkov; the Synodal community in Vienna and Graz by Archpriest Krachmelev.
In 1931, the administration of the Church Abroad’s Austrian communities was transferred to Bishop Seraphim (Lade). In addition to the Vienna community, he had in his care also the communities in Baden, Salzburg, and Pechlan. During the 1930s, barely more than 300 faithful lived in Austria.
After the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938, Eulogius’s community in Vienna was joined to the Synodal parishes. After the appointment of Bishop Seraphim as bishop of Berlin & Germany, Archimandrite Philip (von Gardner), who belonged to the Brotherhood in Ladomirovo, took over the direction of the Austrian Diocese. At the Second Pan-Diaspora Council of the Church Abroad, it was decided to create a vicariate of Austria. Bishop Basil, who arrived in Vienna in January 1939, became head of the community. After the outbreak of the war with Soviet Russia, the latter’s embassy was closed, and St. Nicholas Embassy Church was given to the Church Abroad. 39 The Church remained under the jurisdiction of the Church Abroad only until 1945, when it was given to the Moscow Patriarchate. 40
From 1943/44, the first refugees from southeastern Europe entered Vienna, which in subsequent months was to become a transit station for thousands of refugees from southeastern Europe. The Synod of Bishops was also evacuated to Munich via Vienna and Karlsbad. In 1945, more than 100,000 refugees might have lived in Austria. In Linz, there were 30,000 Cossacks with their families, who had fought on the German side against the Soviets. There was an agreement between the Soviet government and the Allies to extradite these “Soviet citizens” to the Soviet Union. On 1 June 1945, the transfer to the Soviet troops of these Cossacks who were in English hands was accomplished. Because a part of the extradition was resisted, firearms were also used. Many people lost their lives during this transfer, during which some even committed suicide in order not to be extradited to the Soviets. The number of victims is not known. Since 1956, there has been a memorial cemetery at the place of the transfer, which was entrusted to the Church Abroad, which regularly, on the anniversary of the tragedy, celebrates memorial services and liturgies with special commemorations for the dead. 41
Only 3,000 people, mostly women and children, and 28 clergymen were not extradited. They lived for a few years more in the Peggez Camp before they succeeded in traveling overseas. 42
The statistics on the refugees who remained in Austria fluctuated very sharply, from “tens of thousands” to 100,000. 43 In 1947, there were alleged to have been 30,000 refugees still there, who were organized into 33 communities and entrusted to 32 clergymen. 44 The largest refugee camp was near Salzburg, where nearly 10,000 refugees lived. In the camp, there was a high school, which was attended by 350 children, of whom 100 graduated by 1950 and 20 went on for further study at Austrian universities. 45
As in Germany, from 1947 a tremendous emigration overseas began. In 1951, only 2,000 refugees still lived in the camps; by 1953, 90% of all the refugees had left the country, and of the 32 clergymen, only two were left there. They had to serve nine communities. 46 In 1965, there were still 2,085 faithful registered with the diocesan administration. 47 Today there are still 11 communities in Austria, which three priests and two deacons serve.
From 1938 until 1945, Bishop Basil administered the Austrian communities as a vicar bishop of the German diocese. In 1946, the vicariate was changed into an independent diocese and the administration was given to Archbishop Stephen, who bore the title of Bishop of Vienna & Austria. He assumed this office when he was 74 years old and died at 93; despite his advanced age, he concerned himself intensely with the parish life of his diocese. In 1964, he was still able to take part in the Council of Bishops in New York. Shortly before his death, Archbishop Stephen was able to consecrate the new cathedral in Salzburg, for which he had worked so hard. 48 After his death, Archbishop Alexander took over the administration of the diocese. From 1966 until 1971, Archbishop Anthony of Geneva administered the diocese; then, from that time, Bishop Nathaniel, who bore the title Bishop of Vienna and Vicar Bishop of Western Europe. In 1976, he was appointed Bishop of Vienna & Austria; in 1981, he was elevated to archbishop.
Today the most active parishes in Austria are located in Salzburg, Vienna, Linz, and Villach. There are smaller communities in Oberösterreich, Tirol, and Karnten. For the most part, they consist of only a few families. With the exception of the Salzburg Cathedral, no other churches were built there. The communities that still exist today only have make-shift churches and chapels at their disposal in rented buildings and chapels. 49
In both the Dioceses of Germany and Austria, there are still more than 60 parishes of the Church Abroad. The majority of them no longer have their own priest and consist only of a few faithful, mostly elderly people. As a rule, the clergy have to serve several parishes, and amongst the clergy, only the younger ones are in the position to do so. In the long run, the Church Abroad will probably be forced to close many of these smaller parishes. On the other hand, the existence of Orthodox parishes in a few cities has come to be strongly mixed; not only Russians belong to these, but also German Orthodox groups. Because in many émigré families, the Russian language is spoken and understood less and less by the children and grandchildren, it has been necessary to take this into account also in the divine services. Thus, in the course of the last decade, individual communities have changed, celebrating parts of the Liturgy or a monthly divine service in German. At his consecration, Bishop Mark addressed this problem and emphasized that he would give more attention to the bilingualism of many of his faithful. 50 Moreover, today this problem not only affects the Russian émigré community, but also the communities of Serbian and Greek Orthodox Gastarbeiter (visiting workers) because many of these families’ children speak German better than their families’ native tongue. Whether this development will lead one day to a German Orthodox Church remains to be seen.
- An article was published in 1971 on the German Diocese (Seide, “Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD”). The present chapter essentially follows this article in abbreviated, reworked form, because through obtaining and evaluating new materials in the meantime, new findings have come to light which made it necessary to readjust earlier statements, This was expanded to include East German parishes (Seide, “ ”, pp. 46-64). [Trans.: Seide finished a complete 500-page history of the Russian Church in Germany which will be printed soon (Russische Orthodoxe Gemeinden in Deutschland). In this manuscript you will find – besides the general history of the Russian Church in Germany – a detailed description of more than 250 Russian parishes that existed in Germany since 1715.] ↩
- Forstreuter, pp. 88-101. ↩
- Günther, Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche am Vorabend, pp. 55-64; Polozhensky, Mal’tsev; Kahle, Propst Maltzew; Thon, Probst Maltzew. ↩
- Mal’tsev, Vladimirskago Bratsva. ↩
- Cf. the photographs of these churches in Russ. Prav. Ts. 2, pp. 902-997. ↩
- Seide, Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD, pp. 179-182. ↩
- Günther, Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD. ↩
- The two communities have objected against both decisions. Until a final decision can be made, the Church Abroad can use both churches. Cf. also Link, Exilkirche und ihr Kirchengut. ↩
- Volkmann, Die russische Emigration in Deutschland 1919-1929; Williams, Culture in Exile. ↩
- Prav. Rus’ (1949) 15-16, p. 30; Herder Korrespondenz (1949/50), pp. 158-159. ↩
- Cited according to D´Herbigny/Deubner Eveques Russes, p. 17. ↩
- Manuchina, Evlogy, p. 386. ↩
- 13. Ibid., pp. 418-423. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 455-459. ↩
- Tserk. Ved. (1926) 15-16, pp. 6-17. ↩
- Prav. Rus’ (1938) 12, pp. 5-6; Seide, p. 48 (photos of the old and new Berlin cathedral). ↩
- Haugg, Kirche des Ostens, pp. 297-300. ↩
- Anastasius, Sbornik, p. 17; Prav. Rus’ (1938) 12, p. 61. ↩
- Haugg, Kirche des Ostens, pp. 297-300. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 62, 288-293. ↩
- Here the official designation “Orthodoxe Kirche in Deutschland” [“Orthodox Church in Germany”, trans.] surfaces, whereas prior to this it was always referred to as the Russian Orthodox Church. ↩
- Haugg, Kirche des Ostens, pp. 300-304. ↩
- Tserk. Zhizn’ (1942) 4, pp. 62-64; 6, pp. 81-87. ↩
- Seide, “Druckereiwesen,” pp. 290-291. ↩
- Cf. Part I, Chap. 6. ↩
- Kolchitsky, in JMP (1945) 12, pp. 4-13; “Polozhenie germanskoi eparkhy” in Golos Pravoslaviya [East Berlin] (1952) 7, pp. 3-7. ↩
- Seide, Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD, p. 173. ↩
- Tserk. Zhizn’ (1949) 7-9, pp. 31-32. ↩
- Prav. Rus’ (1947) 13, pp. 13-14. ↩
- Memorandum sur la situation, p. 15. ↩
- Tserk. Zhizn´ (1947) 2, pp. 39-40. ↩
- Seide, Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD, pp. 174-175. ↩
- Ibid., p. 170; Prav. Rus’ (1954) 19, pp. 8-13; 20, pp. 3-5. ↩
- Seide, Die Klöster im Ausland; Idem., pp. 56-60. ↩
- Prav. Rus’ (1979) 17, p. 15. ↩
- Russ. Prav. Ts. 2, pp. 888-899; Seide, Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD, pp. 61-62 (photographs of the recently built churches in Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Munich-Ludwigsfeld). ↩
- Günther, Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD, p. 64. ↩
- Russ. Prav. Ts. 2, pp. 98-100. ↩
- Tserk Zhizn´ (1943) 7, p. 109. ↩
- Arsenius, “Vensky khram” in JMP (1953) 8, pp. 23-25; A. S., “Sobor” in JMP (1949) 7, pp. 61-64. ↩
- Prav. Rus’ (1977) 17, p. 16. ↩
- Ibid. (1959) 1, p. 7. ↩
- Tserkovnaya letopis’ [Lausanne] (1946) 2, pp. 45-46; Russ. Prav. Ts. 2, p. 1001. ↩
- Prav. Rus’ (1947) 15, p. 14. ↩
- Russky natsional’ny kalendar’ (1951), pp. 126-131, here p. 131. ↩
- Tserk Zhizn´ (1951) 5-6, p. 54; Russ. Prav. Ts. 2, p. 1004. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Prav. Rus’ (1964) 15, p. 11. ↩
- Russ. Prav. Ts. 2, pp. 998-1035. ↩
- Prav. Rus’ (1981) 1, pp. 11-13. ↩