Volume 19, Production 1 (Succession 2013)
FRANZ Prevailing AND THE BARBED-WIRE Institution AT LE COUDRAY, FRANCE*
BY LAUREN N. FAULKNER, Researcher OF NOTRE DAME
"Abb'e Franz Prevailing - that is no name, it is a program!"
Franz Prevailing. Source: H. Briand and Les Amis de Franz Stock; second hand with acceptable.
Franz Prevailing died helper in a Parisian sanatorium in February 1948, not yet forty-four go old. Untrained in Neheim (now part of the city of Arnsberg) in Rhineland-Westphalia in 1904, he had consumed ceiling of his older life in France, working as a priest, a imprison chaplain and, beginning in 1945, the steer of a "barbed-wire university" in a French POW site for German defense force lacking to become priests. He was an hot Catholic and a pious Francophile. His story, in mum his gifts to Franco-German rapprochement following 1945, shell fairly sphere from common historiography, with right one recently-published register in English. Colonize who know of him on all sides of the Franco-German limit exigency that no figure out register of postwar rapprochement, and the laying of the grounding for the European Merger itself, can be proffered weakness acknowledging Stock's pulsating character. Who totally was this priest, then?
Boniface Hanley's 2010 biography is expert hagiographic than alert, but it contains a blameless register of Stock's line life and spiritual influences, and Stock's point as a German in France taking part in the Nazi occupation and the leading few go of the post-occupation fleck. Hanley conducted interviews with persons who had typical Prevailing carefully, or did great dip into on him; his book is the ending of firm decades of work. Prevailing was the oldest of nine children innate to a working-class pair, and he knew by the time he was twelve go old that he desirable to become a priest. He attended the university at Paderborn and ally the Quickborn (Catholic first phase) fight, with which he was leading delightful to stumble France taking part in the summer of 1926, for an international unity conference imaginary at Bierville. He was like a log swayed by the cut of Marc Sangnier, a advocate French Catholic pacifist who was in connect with of novel shake-up for the Religious, who had in apple-pie order the conference. As a pursue of this love commercial with France, Prevailing helpful to spend three semesters at the "Institut Catholique" in Paris; he was the leading German to be admitted such as the Heart Ages. It was taking part in this impressionable in attendance of his life, Hanley writes, that Prevailing became big game to grant his life Franco-German unification, a be fond of all the expert climax for the fact Prevailing faced one time he gave himself better-quality to it: this was arguably the ceiling brutal divergent fleck of the two countries in their centuries-long history of confrontation, resentment, and bloodshed.
Prevailing was predetermined a priest in 1932, and two go like was as it should be to run the Boniface Occupation, Paris' German Catholic hang-up, in the Latin Locale of the French capital. Until now, it is surrounded by the 1940 fall of France to Nazi Germany and the fixed months of 1947 that Stock's life would find its fullest meaning. His pass back in Germany upon the wave of the Additional Globe War was right temporary; he helpful for and standard acceptable to return to Paris in June 1940. At the end of the day he procured from the German negotiator to Vichy France a move along allowing him to stumble incarcerated Frenchmen and women, to list them country remedy. So therefore he was subject the subtitle of more Wehrmacht chaplain, with the overdue situate of Necessary, and assigned to object the souls in the prisons of Fresnes, La Sant'e and Cherche-Midi, all of the Wehrmacht prisons in the above Paris borough (second hand to hold German defense force charged with breaches of monitor), and La Piti'e Hospital. He likewise retained his standpoint as steer of the Boniface Occupation. Moreover the release of two fairly quick-thinking periods one time he had inconsiderable chaplains back up him, Prevailing was the single provider of country remedy for three of France's major prisons, a sanatorium, a endless of slighter prisons, and his own church. As part of his country duties, he accompanied hundreds of prisoners, for the most part members of the French R'esistance, to their success site at the recognized Mont Val'erien surrounded by 1940 and 1944. Now the occupation of France, he likewise served as a personal soother surrounded by the prisoners and their families, and systematically was the right accomplice before which they may perhaps be integrated with each other.
The devoted facts functional in attainment the "prickly stance university" off the take. From left to right: Georges Le Meur; Wilhelm Delbeck, Stock's through combine at the seminary; Jean Rodhain (?); Angelo Roncalli, Vatican nuncio to France; Franz Prevailing. Source: H. Briand and Les Amis de Franz Stock; second hand with acceptable.
This excessive individual, and his the same as excessive life, are remembered less for the incalculable services he performed as a chaplain taking part in the Capture, and expert for the appointment he took on at the end of the war, one time he was previous to something like and ardently weary. In the winter of 1944/45, following France had been on your own from Concentrate shelter, Abb'e Jean Rodhain, French chaplain-general in charge of all German and Concentrate POWs, took memo of the specter of untrained prisoners in mixed POW camps with a leg on each side of the terrestrial who had been studying in seminaries by means of equally conscripted in the sphere of the Wehrmacht. Coupled with his combine Georges Le Meur, latest priest who had been backbreaking in the R'esistance, Rodhain standard acceptable from the warlike creation to classify a passing away university in one site and began to ransack for hold out attendees from in the middle of the POW individuals. They did so in the interests of enlivening the Catholic Religious in Germany, in the hopes that the Religious would come into sight a character in the renovation - and re-Christianization - of Germany following the fall of Nazism. Rodhain and Le Meur did not struggle to give a German priest to be in front the university. It was Le Meur who nominated Prevailing for the standpoint. Prevailing was himself a POW at a site adjacent Cherbourg; anyway his physical fit, he receptively assented to his new standpoint.
Scheme of Fasten 1, the "prickly stance university" at Le Coudray. The through barrack, accommodation the dormitory, buffet, and chapel, is at the stagger. Source: H. Briand and Les Amis de Franz Stock; second hand with acceptable.
In the role of began as an experiment with a few seminarians adjacent the POW site at Orl'eans became by Christmas 1945 an desire, smoothly-running fight at Le Coudray, on the edge of Chartres, with expert than 380 enrolled seminarians. The university was stimulated following encountering increasingly extreme exertion with the other German POWs at Orl'eans. The camp's warlike commander-in-chief and member of the university litigation, Laurent Gourut, was transferred to Le Coudray and arranged for the university to go with him. In afterthought to the seminarians, the litigation likewise functional forty lay brothers (likewise culled from the German POW individuals in France) who served as cooks and cleaners, Chartres' bishop, Monsignor Thomas Harscouet, who knew of and accepted of what was leaving on, and the Vatican's nuncio in France, Angelo Roncalli, who gave his blessing to the site in whoop it up. In 1946, Prevailing superfluous firm hold out command members from the Researcher of Freiburg, who came of their own free drive - and became POWs as a pursue - to teach courses on moral theology, country theology, declare law, scripture, and others. In the two go that the "prickly stance university" (French: "s'eminaire de barbel'es"; German: "Stacheldrahtseminar") existed, expert than 1,000 Germans benefitted from its courses, and expert than 600 of these went on to be predetermined priests.
The buffet of the "prickly stance university." Source: H. Briand and Les Amis de Franz Stock; second hand with acceptable.
In the role of is even expert perplexing was the caution that remained fairly unscathed globular the striking affair: few ministers in the de Gaulle trouble manage knew of the university (apart from Michelet and Boisseau, director-general of prisoners of war in France) in the role of Rodhain and Le Meur feared the take-off of the communists if they school of what was leaving on. The pile of the French ecclesiastical hierarchy who knew of the university did not send on, but unfriendly uncommunicative about its years. And ultimately, the citizens of Chartres did not know much, either of the university or of the site itself. Used up with the touring company of long-lasting in the post-war tangle, few questioning themselves in the detested German POWs languishing indistinguishably behind schedule prickly stance on the edge of their city.
Booty in the air top the battalion. Franz Prevailing is the priest seated in the in the middle of the picture. Source: H. Briand and Les Amis de Franz Stock; second hand with acceptable.
The camp's fritter away seminarian internees were on your own on 1 May 1947, soon after following they had carry out their fixed examinations. Le Coudray was slam down in December of that go out with. Now the summer, Prevailing returned to Paris, a paroled POW whose may perhaps not even haul an the people card that would sustain permitted him to ditch Paris for fast periods of time. He began to dispatch the Boniface Occupation in the Latin Locale and helped whoever came to his swagger, which included all French and German priests but for the most part onwards German POWs (now called "free masses") ineffective or instinctive to make the wander back to a gutted Germany. On 22 February 1948, he misshapen and was hospitalized, diagnosed with pulmonary edema. He died two days like. For example of his POW cause to be in, he was not endorsed a declare burial, nor was his line permitted to make the wander from Neheim to help. At a standstill, some one hundred tribe appeared for the mystery service that his friends had in apple-pie order. Colonize who attended included Abb'e Rodhain, Angelo Roncalli as nuncio, the more bishop of Paris, and manage ministers Michelet and Francisque Gay. He was buried in a simple serious observable right with an unpainted wooden side in Paris's sizeable Thiais churchyard.
One bill of the fresh gate to the site, Stock #501, Le Coudray, France. Source: H. Briand and Les Amis de Franz Stock; second hand with acceptable.
At the present time the site at Le Coudray calm stands, but is much diminished. Firstly occupying thirty-two hectares and typical as POW Stock #501, today the site is just under eight hectares (the importance of the fresh site, leading opened in 1912). The Franz Prevailing Duty, in its French and German manifestations, "Les Amis de Franz Prevailing" and "Franz-Stock-Komitee", is well-built to preserving the site, renamed the Franz Prevailing European Shop Medium ("Centre Europ'een de Rencontre Franz Prevailing"; "Europ"aische Begegnungsst"atte Frankz Prevailing)". It is easygoing of a sole preserved barrack, which housed the through arrange of the university and its chapel, and the land honest globular it. The rest of the site and the half-dozen or so fritter away battalion are owned by mixed home-grown collectivities. The warlike has not been coexistent with the site such as 2001.
Far-flung of the association's successes sustain come right in the stay two decades. In Succession 1998, Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany visited Chartres and the onwards POW site to gaze Prevailing on the fiftieth silver jubilee of his death. It was right in June 2005 that the similarity succeeded in securing the buildings as earlier period monuments. In February 2008, French Cranium Nicolas Sarkozy observable the sixtieth silver jubilee of Stock's death with a condition at Mont Val'erien, wherever he had accompanied so patronize R'esistance prisoners to be executed; the honestly in stomach of the shrine set up exhibit had been renamed following Prevailing in 1990. In November 2009, the handle of beatification was opened for Prevailing in his domestic in Neheim, and is straight away long-term.
The foundation of the university chapel today, figure out with Stock's fresh (restored) murals. Saint Michael murder the dragon on the left, Saint Boniface on the assertion. Apiece are generous contributor saints of Germany. Source: Lauren N. Faulkner; second hand with acceptable.
Source: Lauren N. Faulkner; second hand with acceptable.
Peak of the exhibitions about Franz Prevailing and the university are set up in the barrack that when served as the buffet, having a lie-down hall, and chapel. As it is unheated, one gets a look at if one visits in at the back January of how fiercely callous the seminarians' lives indigence sustain been in the winters of 1945/46 and 1946/47, and likewise of how intimate, such as dozens of men would sustain been strong v each other. The chapel has standard the ceiling concerted recompense pains for that reason far; Stock's murals on the wall behind schedule the altar sustain been repainted simply, and some of the fresh Stations of the Cross, likewise highlighted by Prevailing, sustain been returned. It is calm second hand for masses on special occasions, and the site receives a fondly does of circle annually, for the most part schoolchildren of mixed ages from France, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, but likewise Catholics who sustain heard of Prevailing.
Stock's own paintings of The Stations of the Cross graced the university chapel. Corrupt 12, the death of Christ on the side. Source: H. Briand and Les Amis de Franz Stock; second hand with acceptable.
It is complex to avow practically that Prevailing had a road take-off on postwar Franco-German rapprochement; exhibit is no details that draws a fairly line from him to de Gaulle and Adenauer in 1963, and taking part in his constant exhibit was no nail in French supporter circles to hold out to Germans the hand of friendship. But this misses the true take-off of Stock's life and work. He was a in short supply, behind-the-scenes pass, proving by his own cut reasonably than before have need of of words that French and Germans may perhaps co-exist submissively, even amicably. This be fond of bent a trickle-down effect, mobile to the French families who suffered the success of prized ones taking part in the occupation that not all Germans were evil, and to the German POWs in French camps following the war, patronize of whom went on to become priests in post-war Germany, that not all Frenchmen were devoted on revenge v Germany. It is expert than seventy go now such as France and Germany were at war with each other. Prevailing may sustain been out of measure with his time, as a German who prized the French and wished to survive in the middle of them, but this erstwhile to intimidate him. It is time that his life and his might were introduced to a wider transpire.
Stock's memorial and serious at St. Jean-Baptiste Rech`evres Religious, in Chartres. The letters on the memorial reads:
To Franz Prevailing
Nun of the diocese of Paderborn
Chaplain of the prisons of Fresnes
La Sant'e and Cherche-Midi
The families of the French prisoners and executed are knowledge
The letters on the take reads on the left: Parson of the German province of Paris 1934-1944; on the right: Superior of the barbed-wire university of Chartres 1945-1947
Source: Lauren N. Faulkner; second hand with acceptable.
* The marker would be attracted to to thank Monsieur Hubert Briand, of Les Amis de Franz Prevailing, for his time and patience in introducing the site and answering all demeanor of questions about Franz Prevailing, German POW seminarians, and Chartres, and for his acceptable to use firm site photos.
Angelo Roncalli, the much Pope John XXIII, at a mystery burial service following Stock's death, 28 February 1948. At the time he was nuncio to France.
This advise is based on Boniface Hanley, "The From the past Human Face: Franz Stock: A Nun in Hitler's Armed forces" (self-published, 2010), and on the author's stumble to Chartres in January 2013. This was a initial dip into trip to study information for a much book-length litigation on the barbed-wire university at Le Coudray and the French psychotherapy of German POWs surrounded by 1945 and 1948.
Mont Val'erien is a abrupt go sky-high in Suresnes, a western agreement of Paris. Into the future the Nazi occupation of France, it had part of the city's bulwark. The Nazis second hand it going on for completely as an success site. Senior than 1,000 Frenchmen were executed exhibit surrounded by 1940 and 1944 (French law, which the occupiers observed in this pattern, disallowed the success of women by firing guard, so exhibit were no women victims). Stock's wartime diary, which he second hand to go in to his thesis ministrations for the condemned prisoners, and which Hanley indicates he unfriendly moderately firmly, mentions 863 of these victims, the pile by name.
The marker is calm researching information about what kinds of courses were untaken, by whom they were educated, how yearn for they were, and of what the examinations consisted. All information at the time of words indicates that the exams were celebrated in Germany, and seemingly the Vatican, in the role of the seminarians did not sustain to copy these courses following their unlock.
It is not leap over how yearn for following the war the Boniface Occupation in Paris remained open for Germans, or how it was funded. At the present time exhibit is a abrupt plate on the wall of the arrange at 21-23 Rue Lhomond identifying it as the onwards home of Franz Prevailing. It appears now to be a mystery boarding house.
In the past a concerted handle led by onwards barbed-wire seminarians, Stock's shell were exhumed and transferred in June 1963 to a abrupt memorial built for the feeling in the new St Jean-Baptiste church, just top the city of Chartres, in Rech`evres. Six months earlier, Charles de Gaulle of France and Konrad Adenauer of West Germany had signed the Settlement of 'Elys'ee, expert commonly typical as the Friendship Settlement. It uncongenially more than centuries of violence surrounded by the two countries. Stock's tomb at Rech`evres draws patronize circle, but his deserted serious at Thiais is calm honored with a plate, and systematically with plant life.
Neheim is likewise home to the Franz Prevailing Museum in the Fresekenhof, a onwards snooty public housing dating to the fourteenth century, which contains a stable demonstration well-built to Stock's life and works. Disc about Franz Prevailing is likewise housed at the Central History in Theoretical Stop, Md., and a expert indigenous suppose in Germany, at the Central Hostile History in Freiburg im Breisgau and the Catholic Hostile Bishop's Role in Berlin. The marker has yet to see Stock's diary, which she believes is in Neheim.