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Mission in Indien
Dänisch-Hallesche Mission
Leipziger Missionare 1
Leipziger Missionare 2
Breklumer Missionare
Erster Weltkrieg 1
Erster Weltkrieg 2
Erster Weltkrieg 3
Erster Weltkrieg 4
Erster Weltkrieg 5
Zweiter Weltkrieg 1
Zweiter Weltkrieg 2
Germans in British India
Dehra Dun
Escape from Internment
Flucht aus Dehra Dun
Ludwig Schmaderer
Internierte in Satara
Post-War Interment
Hermann Selzer
Rolf Benkert
Gerhard Buelle
Helmuth Borutta
Jürgen Kulp
Rudolf Tauscher
Jürgen-Heine Meyer
Hinrich Speck
Rolf Benkert

German Missions in British India
Nationalism: Case and Crisis in Missions

Paul von Tucher


© 1980 Selbstverlag Paul H. von Tucher

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The cessation of the European hostilities in World War II brought little relief for the German families interned in British India, at least in the immediate months following the war. At Satara, Selma Heller remembered, "for though the war had come to an end in May, 1945, we noticed absolutely nothing. ..." (1) With the collapse of Nazi Germany, the "hardest time in camp" (2) began for the German internees. For some it was only a case "from May, 1945, until April, 1946," (3) but for others it continued until their eventual departure from India. The opening months of peace ushered in scarcely any change to the camp life and activities, except that the pressures from the National Socialists were now history. Now the waiting game became predominant and where any move might bring some hope for the missionary families.

Realizing that there was no hope for their return to the Indian Church, (4) the Missions personnel had "prepared for home service" (5) in the German Church. The unqualified pastors-to-be had passed their theological exams. Yet the question of a definite day of repatriation to Germany was clouded in the distant future. Alma Tauscher expressed their feelings in the comment: "We felt that was what irritated us most. The war was long over. Why should we have to stay when the war had already been over for a year?" (6)

Five months following the defeat of the Third Reich and the evaporation of the Nazi ideologies, the first signs of a change in the British war policies towards the German nationals became apparent. In the interests of the Lutheran churches established by the German Societies, certain efforts were made before the October, 1945, Executive Meeting of the N.C.C. at Nagpur. (7) According to the minutes, the following report was made:

"Repatriation of German Missionary Internees.

The Secretary has been corresponding with the Home Department of the Government of India on this matter, and has also interviewed the Secretaries of that Department at New Delhi. The request of the Lutheran Federation for the employment of certain German missionaries in non-German Missions has been communicated to the Government and is receiving their attention.

On October 6, 1945, the N.C.C. was informed ... that the Government have decided to adopt the following policy in regard to all enemy foreigners including missionaries:


They consider that all enemy foreigners received from abroad and interned or restricted to parole centres in India should be removed from India. ...


They have decided that all enemy foreigners formerly resident in India whom it was necessary to intern or restrict to parole centres up to the end of hostilities cannot be allowed to remain in India but should be compulsorily repatriated. The Government of India will, however, be prepared to consider individual applications for relaxation from this rule which will be considered on the following grounds:
(a) risk of persecution on return to own country;
(b) length of residence and connections in India;
(c) required in India for work of national importance;
(d) those whose wives and children who are of British origin;
(e) any other circumstances in which compulsory repatriation
might cause undue hardship.


The orders excluding enemy foreigners from major ports, the provinces of Bengal and Assam and other strategic areas have also been withdrawn.


The Government of India have decided that it is necessary to impose a ban on the admission of enemy foreigners for the next five years. ... They will, however, be prepared to consider relaxation from this ban in exceptional cases, for example, to admit technical experts in the national interests. (8)

What the Government's repatriation policy amounted to in 1945, the N.C.C. Executive Committee noted once more on the subject of the German Missions personnel;

... that except for certain hard cases all German missionary internees will he repatriated to Germany and that no German missionary will he ordinarily allowed to return to India for a period of five years as was the case after the last war. The NCC Executive Committee passed the following resolution:

That the Secretaries he instructed to consult with the War Emergency Committee of the Federation of Lutheran Churches and with the Churches in which missionaries of ex-enemy countries were working to learn whose services are desired in India, ... either in their own missions or in other mission fields. (9)

The news of the repatriation policy and of the five-year ban from India reached the missionaries in camp, yet it was not unexpected news. Karl and Selma Heller had experienced a similar procedure after World War I. (10) Selma Heller recalled to mind, that in 1945,

In October of that year, we - my husband and I - received the order that we would be repatriated. There-upon I requested and received a leave of absence for a few days to return to our (mission) station to fetch from there some of the things from our packed up belongings left behind, by which occasion I sold my sewing machine there. Then I returned to the camp and we waited for further developments. (11)

Now beginning with October, an unsettling mood arose among the Lutheran missionaries, for German nationals were gradually being released from the internment and the parole camps in British India. The remaining Jewish emigrants and refugees were naturally awarded their freedom finally. Yet the repatriation policy decreed by the Government offered little hope for any special generosity. (12) However, there were engineers and businessmen with their families, as well as the Catholic priests, who were granted their releases.

The criterion "for relaxation from this rule" (13) of the repatriation policy hinged on the urgency and on the necessity of an individual being required for a specific task by a business, a firm or a church institution in India. For the missionary families, as for the churches established by the German Societies, 1946 became a crucial year for the Indian Church. At Satara, "little by little the camp became emptier. ... There a technician disappeared; there a businessman with his family left from the camp." (14) "For there were the engineers and the business people who were needed by their firms." (15) It was sometimes demoralizing for those of an uncontested character and record, yet

Each private person, say an engineer or whoever he might be, who seriously was demanded by a firm, was released. ... The British politics after the war was more generous than one had anticipated. ... (16)

Measured in the perspectives of time and circumstances, when the war fever and the fears had subsided, British generosity increased in the closing months of the Raj and in the face of the impending Independence of India. (17)

Among the German nationals there were the Roman Catholic priests and also the Evangelical-Lutheran missionaries of the four German Societies. The manner in which these two groups of missionaries were handled by their church authorities and the way the "relaxation of this rule" for release was approached by their own leaders stand out with contrasts. In the waiting game of releases, it became a now or never cause of gaining further relaxations to the rule.



The visit to India of Dr. John W. Decker, Secretary of the International Missionary Council, the New York branch, and successor to A.L. Warnshuis, and Decker's attendance at the "meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Christian Council, held at Nagpur, February 15-17, 1945, (18) greatly assisted in making a bridge between the Indian and the American Churches. Decker's presence gave him the opportunity to acquaint himself with the situation as well as the leaders with whom he would later correspond.

As "representative of the Foreign Missions Conference of Switzerland," (19) Adolf Streckeisen had also attended the Nagpur meeting. On October 18th he wrote to Decker:

You will have heard of the recent Government decision ordering compulsory repatriation of the internees, but allowing exceptions under certain - rather narrow - conditions. If they should be applied strictly, I fear that scarcely any missionary will have a chance. I hear on the Roman side already about 9 of their German missionaries have been released. They seem to have their own way of approach and we have to see that we Protestants are not lagging too far behind. As far as our Mission is concerned, we confine ourselves to one family - Rev. and Mrs. R. Lipp - and application for them is before Government. But no answer has been received so far. (20)

The Roman Catholics' "own way of approach" was to gain the freedom of as many of their interned brethren and as early as possible. They attempted to regain their German missionaries, veterans of India and trained and versed in one or more of the Indian languages. The Roman Catholic Church saw the urgency of the situation and the only rational way was to harness these brethren immediately in the Church in India. In contrast Streckeisen seemed to be insulted, in that the Protestants were lagging too far behind the Catholic brethren. If this was a failure, who was responsible for the procrastination? As one of the internees, Richard Lipp shed some light on this subject:

This is what I have felt very deeply; that the Church was far too little aware of its duty, I mean the Protestant churches. When we saw how the Catholics took an interest in their people, the Catholic Bishop of Bombay took great pains to get his missionaries out. So many Catholics were given the permit to return to their work, and some even to teach in a college.

If there were Roman Catholics who had very nationalistic views, they of course were not allowed to return. But many people, say those who were of my type, they were certainly allowed in the course of time to return to some type of work, not necessarily missionary-at-large, ... but maybe confined to a college or some institution. (21)

The Roman Catholic organizational structure with its universal character saw the greatest consequence for its church and mission labours in India, and for that reason it was militant in its desire to have its priests and missionaries back. Already by October, 1945, they were triumphant with their first nine men leaving camp. Karl Bareiss, not released by the British authorities and not accepted by his Swiss Basel brethren, made this observation:

They acted prudently and efficiently, that is, the Catholics. They simply got some out; simply sent them first into another province for some months and then brought them back to the Bombay Province. Then there was nothing more in their way. The Basel people did not do that. ... (22)

The Roman Catholic Church's own way of approach was in the image of the militant church, and each German missionary was an added warrior for the increasing ranks of the Church in India. The Protestant missionaries in internment did not receive the same quickened support, at least when the opportunity still existed in the years 1945 and 1946.



Prior to the close of World War II certain overtures were made by the National Christian Council in seeking a better understanding with the Home Department, similar to J. Z. Hodge's consultations with Conran-Smith and others in 1939 and 1940. As an example, Dr. Rajah B. Manikam, N.C.C. Secretary, "interviewed the Home Secretary on October 23rd, 1944." (23) Manikam, a Tamil Lutheran, pointed out;

... that if the N.C.C. were kept informed by the Government of their general policy regarding repatriation, it would help the N.C.C. in making arrangements for the continued maintenance of the work done formerly by the German missionaries. ... (24)

On February 15-17, 1945, it was brought to the attention of the N.C.C. Executive Committee, that "negotiations were entered into with the Government of India regarding the release of one of the Lutheran missionaries, but the Government could not see their way to release him." (25) Further, the Committee made the following motion:

In order that as soon as repatriation became possible (the Government might be approached) to retain in India certain German missionaries, correspondence was now proceeding between certain missions and their Boards in the West regarding the employment of certain German missionaries now in internment. (26)

These were the beginnings of the renewed consultations and endeavours, though the missionaries on the other hand clearly had premonitions of their repatriation.

Following the war, Manikam continued to correspond with the Home Department concerning the interned families. At "the request of the Lutheran Federation for the employment of certain German missionaries, ..." (27) i.e., "the services of Rev. H. Meyer and Rev. R. Tauscher" for the Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church, (28) the possibility of retaining some of these men and women for the Church in India took on a probable trend. Manikam admitted to Decker that the "Indian leadership of the (Jeypore) Church is poor." (29) At any rate, it was thought that the missionaries might at least serve, if only for a while, with "non-German Missions," (30) be they American or European Lutheran Societies. This was the contention of Karl Bareiss (as discussed later) and the pattern which the Roman Catholic Church had used. Thus, only in October, 1945, the N.C.C. Executive Committee passed this resolution:

In the light of these consultations the Secretaries should approach the Government of India and place be-fore them the need for adequately staffing fields that have been occupied by missionaries of ex-enemy countries. They should do all in their power to secure exemption from compulsory repatriation of suitable missionaries whose services it is desired to obtain, and also to secure sanction for the admission of new missionaries from such countries. (31)

The German missionary himself had little choice or say in the matter, so Selma Heller described the situation then.

We were not able to make any attempt to secure a position which might enable us to remain in India. One of the internees through such an attempt, which certainly was not very exertive, spoiled every hope of seeing his wish fulfilled.

But from before the war some of our fellow-internees had been so appreciated in their jobs by their firms or elsewhere, that their former employers requested to have them back. (32)

Restricted from making an appeal to friends, organizations or mission churches, "we had to wait until we were fetched." (33) And in the year 1945 not a single German Evangelical-Lutheran missionary had departed from Satara or Purandhar.

It was not the wish of every missionary to remain in British India. Johannes Stosch, Wilhelm Bräsen and Otto Tiedt had not seen their wives since 1937 or 1938 when they came out to India alone, or the couples Heller and Tauscher had children in Germany from the pre-war years. From Germany there were requests made for some of the internees, as in the case of a Pfarrer Pompe's letter in October, 1945;

... the direction of the Evangelical-Lutheran Mission of Breklum has requested that the Evangelisches Hilfswerk (für Internierte und Kriegsgefangene) convey the following petition to the International Mission Council:

The International Missionary Council wishes an immediate return to his homeland of the missionary Wilhelm Braesen, hitherto at the Central Internment Camp, Dehra Dun, G.P.O. Bombay, and for Fraeulein Helene Langlo, hitherto at the Parole Centre Satara, Bombay Presidency, to be effected and carried through. (34)

Pompe's letter of appeal to Professor Knut B. Westman at Uppsala was in turn forwarded to Norman Goodall of the I.M.C. in London. In the latter's absence Betty Gibson acknowedged Westman's letter and informed him, "We have been receiving quite a number of inquiries through different sources from various missionary societies with regard to their people and their work abroad." (35) But the influence of the I.M.C. upon Whitehall and the Government of India had changed substantially from the days of William Paton, the man who "drove himself unmercifully beyond human endurance" (36) until his death on August 21st, 1943. (37) With the courage of a Christian warrior, Paton had so ably influenced his Government to understand Christian Missions in the British colonies.

Then in December, 1945, in the interest of the German families, a more vigorous approach was initiated by the increased role of the Federation of Lutheran Churches in India. If the N.C.C., in spite of its consultations and the correspondence with the Home Department, had to this date no appreciable results, then it was time for the other Lutherans in India to act prudently and efficiently before it was too late and all the German missionaries were repatriated and banned from India. The Indian Church needed these men and women, and the Missions personnel loved their Indian families, (38) knew their languages, taught their young and adults, and came to serve in India as all the other Christian missionaries.

At the December 4th meeting of the Lutheran Federation's Executive Council, some guidelines and requests were passed as resolutions:

(a) That the Federation Executive reiterate its strong desire to have certain of the Lutheran interned missionaries already named in previous correspondence retained in this country for service in certain of our Constituent bodies and request the N.C.C. to use its good offices to secure the retention of the missionaries in question.

(b) That the request of the Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church for the services of Rev. H. Meyer and Rev. R. Tauscher being made available. ...

(c) That the Constituent bodies concerned who have not already acted be urged to invite by resolution for service in their respective areas those missionaries who are acceptable to them and who are willing to work under their Church organization. (39)

While the Roman Catholics were already receiving their interned missionaries back, the Lutheran Federation was forced to assemble and make these resolutions, indicating once more its "strong desire" for "the N.C.C. to use its good offices to secure" some of the wanted German brethren. The names of the interned missionaries had been mentioned often enough, and the resolutions appeared to be a form of friendly persuasion that the N.C.C. Secretary Manikam get things moving in the interest of the German Missions. In this matter Manikam's letter to Goodall noted:

The Secretary of the Lutheran Federation adds the following paragraph:

"It appears as though no definite recommendations could be expected at least for sometime from Gossner and Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran mission area(s). The matter regarding the Jeypore field has become very urgent because Mr. Anderson is very anxious to hand over charge and be ready to leave the country as soon as passage is available. The Federation earnestly requests that immediate action regarding the Jeypore field be taken." (40)

These pressing matters were not only discussed and resolutions passed at the December 4th meeting, but they were once; again taken up at "an enlarged meeting of the Executive Council (Lutheran) ... at Madras on December 28-29," (41) 1945, placing further responsibility on the N.C.C. to use its influence as the leading non-Roman body of the Indian Christian Church. The N.C.C. Secretary in turn did act, stating:

I wrote to the Government forwarding the resolutions of the N.C.C. and the All-India Lutheran Federation and made a special plea for the immediate release of Messrs Meyer and Tauscher. I also wrote about the release of Mr. and Mrs. R. Lipp of the Basel Mission. ... Of course I made it clear that our request for the release and retention of these missionaries was on the condition that there was nothing politically against them. ...

The N.C.C. Executive Committee again made it quite clear that we should consult not only the All-India Lutheran Federation but also the Churches concerned. The Church in the Breklum field has unanimously asked for the release and retention of Messrs Meyer and Tauscher. The Gossner Lutheran Church has not yet (29th Jan.,1946) taken any definite action for the retention of any of its missionaries; so also the Tamil Lutheran Church. The matter is engaging the attention of the Lutheran Federation and I am keeping in close touch with them. ... (42)

Obviously Lipp, Meyer and Tauscher fell into the category of those who could be accepted, as "there was nothing politically against them." (43) And at this stage, from the two autonomous Lutheran churches, the Gossner and the Tamil (Leipzig) Evangelical Lutheran Churches, "no definite recommendations could be expected at least for some time." (44) In the case of the Leipzig Mission, the Tamil Church's northern field, Bishop Sandegren of Tranquebar was once more on vacation in Sweden. (45) "As for Mr. Stosch the Gossner Church Council has been somewhat hesitant about inviting him to Ranchi because of the military occupation of the Church compound." (46)

Then much to the surprise of everyone concerned, Manikam received some good news:

On February 9th, 1946, the Government of India informed the Secretary, N.C.C, that the Government had decided to release the following five missionaries:
   The Rev. Dr. W. Graefe (Leipzig Mission);
   The Rev. H. Meyer (Schleswig Holstein);
   The Rev. R. Tauscher (Schleswig Holstein);
   The Rev. J. Stosch (Gossner);
   The Rev. R. Lipp (Basel Mission).
It was also stated that the release of other interned German missionaries was not possible. (47)

However, Manikam introduced another category in a subsequent letter to Norman Goodall:

It has not been possible for them to release any of the others owing to their adverse record. ...

You will note that with the release of these missionaries, at least one experienced missionary is available for service in each of the four important orphaned missions and churches. It is not yet possible for the Government to give us any indication when the rest of the missionaries will he repatriated. All depends on shipping conditions. (48)

From Manikam's communique one is made to believe that these five releases close the case concerning the Lutheran missionaries, particularly since the remaining 23 German brethren all fall into the realm of having "adverse record(s)," and the next stage is to await their repatriation. For the N.C.C. Secretary the issue had now been fully regulated.

The February news was cause for joy, even if it was four months after the earliest Roman Catholic releases. Yet the War Emergency Committee of the Lutheran Federation met on February 26th at Bezwada again. In gratitude, these Lutherans, with Manikam in attendance,


That the War Emergency Committee express its gratitude to Government for their generous action in being willing to release these missionaries for service in India and request the Secretary, National Christian Council, to convey to the Government its deep appreciation of their action. ...

To assure the National Christian Council that it is the conviction of the Committee that they need have no misgivings regarding the observance of the oath required by the Government from the missionaries already recommended by the Federation.

Further RESOLVED to request the Secretary of National Christian Council to give the necessary guarantee to the Government and sign the papers, at present only for the Rev. Messrs H. Meyer and R. Tauscher and to inform the Government that the matter of the assignment of Mr. Stosch to work in the Gossner ... Church and the question of the employment of Rev. W. Graefe not so far recommended by the Federation are still under correspondence.

That the War Emergency Committee assure the National Christian Council that the Federation guarantee for Rev. J. Stosch, as in the case of the Breklum missionaries, his salary and passage money for his journey back to Germany when his period of service is terminated. ... (49)

Stosch, once the President of the Gossner Church, was granted his release by the Government, but an invitation from his Church Council remained delinquent. For that reason, "this committee further requested the N.C.C. Secretary to confer with the President of the Gossner Church regarding the employment of the Rev. J. Stosch in Ranchi District." (50)

Among the post-war developments mentioned, it was also noted: "The Lutheran Federation is making arrangements for the care or the disposal of the belongings of German missionaries if and when repatriated." (51) And following a statement on the War Emergency Fund, its receipts, payments and balance, the Committee made three further resolutions, the most important being; "That the Secretary of the N.C.C. be asked to confer further with the Home Department, Government of India, regarding the cases of the unreleased German missionaries." (52)

The Lutheran Federation and its War Emergency Committee continued to press for the release of additional German brethren, obviously since the Government had indicated a growing generosity towards their appeals. From the Federation resolutions, one might draw some conclusions:

  1. The Government of India was willing to release German missionaries, i.e. Johannes Stosch, even if the mission church was hesitant to request the return; (53)

  2. The Lutheran Federation, as the umbrella organization for the Lutheran churches of India, could not forget its "unreleased German missionaries," (54) Lutheran brethren to be repatriated and banned; and

  3. The Secretary of the N.C.C., Manikam, was to "sign t, the papers" for the releases as a guarantee to the Government of India. (55)

Nevertheless, the procedure for gaining the release of a German missionary from a camp became entangled in a complicated process of successive and conditional stages.

A six (or more) point process of release seemed to develop;

  1. Lutheran Federation recommended certain brethren; (56)

  2. Acceptance of that missionary by the church body; (57)

  3. N.C.C, through Manikam, carried these recommendations to the Government of India; (58)

  4. Government discriminated on these brethren - no adverse record and politically safe (59) - and granted the releases;

  5. Lutheran Federation supported the N.C.C. and Manikam gave the guarantees, i.e., "as for Mr. Meyer and Mr. Tauscher I have signed the undertaking required by the Government." (60)

  6. Government, through the Home Department's Deputy Secretary, V. Shankar, issued the release ORDERS. (61)

If one step in the intricate procedure was unintentionally or intentionally omitted, i.e. the missionary's guarantee papers were pushed aside and left to rest on the table, the chances for a particular individual to remain in India were then negligible. It was a tedious system to contrast it with the direct approach of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. There was a reward in fighting "to secure the retention of the missionaries in question" (62) for the Lutheran churches.



By the time the February news of the five missionary releases reached the parole camps, e.g. Richard Lipp at Purandhar, and the necessary "undertakings" had been signed, it was March, 1946. (63) Ten months after the collapse of Nazi Germany and five months after the release of the first Catholic priests, the release orders arrived. Yet what was good news for these five families, was at the same time a disturbing experience for the others. Why should one missionary be chosen and another be rejected by the same mission church? Nevertheless, the Lutheran Federation and the N.C.C. had only achieved their first major goal.

It was altogether a painful situation of missionary families interned six years, a world war nearly a year behind them and everyone waiting in British India for their repatriation day. Suddenly five, all without question worthy candidates and invaluable leaders for the continuing work of the Indian Church, were granted their freedom. Except for six brethren applying for repatriation, (64) all interned were prepared to return to the mission churches.

While the evaluations and the judgments continued to be made on these missionaries by others "behind the scenes," (65) it was a pathetic guessing game in the camps, as no one was able to make an appeal outside. Not to be accepted by the mission church which they had served these years, meant a compulsory eviction and a ban from an adopted land.

At first the Government of India sanctioned the re lease of at least one man from each mission church, and it is interesting to note some of the developments leading up to the release orders of March, 1946. From the Breklum Mission Heinrich Meyer and Rudolf Tauscher, as the former President of the Mission Church and as the missionary with the longest period of service (since 1927), respectively, were unanimously requested by the Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church. (66) Manikam had stated that he himself "made a special plea for the immediate release" (67) of these two men. In fact, in February, 1945, before the close of the war, Manikam indicated to Decker, that "we commend to the Federation the needs of the West Jeypore Church … for two resident missionaries." (68)

From the Basel Mission Richard Lipp, who during the war had emphasized his missionary vocation and his task to not get politically involved, (69) was the only choice of the Swiss personnel. Based on what had been a "hitherto considerable correspondence," (70) Adolf Streckeisen, "Superintendent of the Basel Mission, has given the necessary undertaking in the case of Mr. Lipp." (71) Streckeisen accepted the token offer of the Government, but he felt strongly that "as far as our Mission is concerned, we confine ourselves to one family - Rev. and Mrs. R. Lipp." (72) This admission of Streckeisen's attitude stood in contrast to the Basel Mission Church, when the Indian church leaders voted 14 to 2 in favour of the resolution: "The Synod welcomes heartily missionaries who thus are enabled to come back and assures them that the bond of Christian fellowship with them is as strong as ever." (73) The Indian Christians spoke of "missionaries", while the Swiss personnel, still very much the administrators, spoke of "one family". Earlier in the year Manikam had commented on the Mission to Decker; "I do not believe that in other ways Indian leadership has been greatly countenanced or encouraged." (74)

From the Gossner Mission Johannes Stosch, a missionary to India since 1908 and Chairman of the Mission as well as President of the Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church until his resignation in 1942, was the natural person to be invited by his Church. However,

There was some hesitation in the mind of the Gossner Church Council to invite Mr. Stosch for work at Ranchi in view of the military occupation. ... We have had to deal with this matter rather carefully and tactfully. (75)

The initiative for Stosch's return began, as Manikam noted;

... The Lutheran Federation went into this matter very carefully on February 26th and at which meeting I was present and they requested me to confer with Rev. J. Lakra, President of the Gossner Church. (76)

On March 5th, 1946, at Nagpur the N.C.C. Secretary

... had a personal interview with the President of the Gossner Church, Rev. Joel Lakra, and after a good deal of discussion was able to convince him that complications are not likely to arise if Mr. Stosch was released. (77)

And on March 9th Manikam conveyed the news to the I.M.C.:

... Mr. Lakra has gone back to Ranchi this morning to request his Church Council to welcome Mr. Stosch and to assign him to work in the Theological Seminary at Lohardaga. I am to write to the Government of Bihar explaining ... that Mr. Stosch comes back to the Ranchi District as a member of the Gossner Church and not as a member of a separate German mission. (78)

Rajah Manikam also pointed out to Betty Gibson in London,

... that Mr. Stosch is being welcomed as a friend, advisor and well-wisher of the Gossner Church and that he is not to exercise any executive functions. The Goss-ner Church is extremely chary of inviting missionaries from abroad who will not become members of the Church and will not serve in and under the Church. (79)

On precisely the same day, April 23rd, 1946, and at the Parole Camp of Satara, Stosch also wrote to London;

Dear Miss Gibson,
I thankfully remember the help you gave me for my return to the Gossner field in India when I saw you in London in July, 1925. Now Dr. Manikam invites me to write to you that I am going to be released for theological work in Ranchi District. In 10 days I hope to leave the camp. I shall not return to Ranchi as 'President of the Church', hut as friend and adviser, having access to every department of Church and Mission work and being a member of the Church Council, non-voting. In a way an ideal appointment. My daily work will be in our Theological Seminary. (80)

In May, 1946, an entire year following World War II, Stosch departed from Satara to take up the teaching position at the Lohardaga Seminary. Since "the Government of India have tabooed the entry of German missionaries into this country for the next five years," (81) there existed the obstacle "regarding his wife and daughter joining him in India." (82) For that reason Stosch did not see the year out in India. On November 19th Manikam wrote to Betty Gibson:

We were finally able to secure a place for Mr. Stosch on 'Ansgar' to Amsterdam and Mr. Stosch went to Patna to get his passport. ... I am indeed, like you, very sorry that Mr. Stosch has to return to Germany, so soon after his release. His presence in the Gossner Church had been and would have continued to be of very great help. (83)

Yet it is not difficult to understand Stosch's desire to depart from India, considering the initial reluctance of the Gossner Church to extend him an invitation, but also that his wife and his daughter would not be allowed to come out to the British colony. The departure of Johannes Stosch from the Indian scene brought to a close the career of one of Germany's most able missionaries of the 20th century on the sub-continent and a service to the Indian Church over a span of nearly 40 years, interrupted and scarred by two world wars and the Gossner Church's many difficulties.

From the Leipzig Mission, much to the surprise of everyone, Dr. Walter Graefe was selected, but more than any other person he seemed to unleash an unrest among the missionary families and some complications for the N.C.C. One missionary's comment was: "That they permitted Graefe to go free and that they sent Gäbler home, was obviously a mistake, for Graefe was certainly everything else but a missionary. He was a language researcher" (84) and a scholar of Indian religions. Not only was Graefe's release unexpected, but he had been favoured before Paul Gäbler, the Leipzig Mission chairman. Manikam also expressed his amazement in the selection, "We did not ask for his release, nor did the Lutheran Federation, but he was released because there was nothing against him in his political record." (85) It also substantiated the position that "the Tamil Lutheran Church has not yet taken any definite action for the retention of any of its missionaries." (86) Thus Manikam tried to explain to Norman Goodall the meaning of Graefe's freedom;

We did not ask for the release of Dr. Graefe but we did apply for the release of the other four. Someone else must have written on behalf of Dr. Graefe. The Tamil Church is not favourably inclined towards inviting him for service. The Church of Sweden Mission is likewise not very happy about receiving him into their work. ... There is some tension between the Swedes and the Germans. I have therefore not been able to give the understanding on behalf of Dr. Graefe. (87)

At any rate, regarding "Dr. Graefe, there was a lot said about him going back to the field. There were a lot of un-pleasant things said about people staying or not staying." (88) It was quite understandable that Graefe's selection caused some turmoil, for of the three strictly German Lutheran Missions, the Leipzig Society work, under the care of the Church of Sweden Mission, was the only Mission which did not see its chairman, Paul Gäbler, invited by his church.

One explanation for Graefe's release, beyond his clean political record and also Manikam's evaluation, was the fact "that Mrs. Graefe was Secretary to the Commandant (Fern), Satara Camp, and that this had much to do with their release." (89) The Graefes departed from the parole camp and he went to serve at the Department of Modern European languages, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. (90) In this manner a German researcher was retained for India.

According to Selma Heller's observations and the speculation among the internees, certain criteria were necessary to a release order;

They were determined after three viewpoints:

1. How he behaved himself before the war or whether he had made himself suspicious (India was in its independence struggle from England);

2. Whether he had showed himself as a follower of Hitler in the camp in some way; and

3. How the commandant judged him in all the other matters. He clearly had the most important word. (91)

They were strictly theories, but they were born of experience and much time for contemplation.

For the other missionaries remaining in camp, there were the added weeks for reflection and self-appraisal. The daily life had a routine and the question whether one was to be repatriated or to be released persisted for many more months. There were other concerns and some insoluble problems preoccupying the families. As an example, in March a Leipzig missionary wrote to the I.M.C. and expressed his concerns to Norman Goodall and Betty Gibson;

Mrs. Gerlach and I are still staying under the very same and quite satisfactory conditions here at Satara. Both of us are healthy and all right. In spite of our application for release to go on with work in our Tamil Mission Field we now got the definite order for repatriation; from our Mission only Dr. W. Graefe is released.

... Today, just one year ago (08.03.45), both of us had to pass through a bitter sorrow: our first child was a still-born baby. During all the months Mrs. Gerlach was quite all right, only during the last ten days sudden trouble arose; we had to leave together for the good and near American Marathi Mission hospital at Wai. ... The little girl I had to bury there among the other missionary graves.

Our last news from our relations at home is the letter of my brother Walter Gerlach, dated 17.2.45. We worry so much about all our relatives, and we would be so much relieved, if we could get news from them. ... (92)

March, 1946, five German missionary families were granted permits to leave internment; it would be some weeks before they all had departed. The remaining families were still very much internees and destined for Germany.



April, 1946, brought encouraging signs for the interned Lutheran families. Another release, on account of further appeals, was indicative now that the Government of India was going beyond the token releases of "one experienced missionary in each of the four important churches and missions." (93) Also, "in the spring of 1946 some of the smaller camps were dissolved, among them also the larger one at Purandhar, and from there the internees ..." were accommodated at Satara. (94) Through this move all the German missionary families, except for the five already released and the three men at Dehra Dun, were now assembled for their eventual journey to Germany. Yet the closing down of the other camps meant that the Jewish and the German national families continued to depart in freedom. (95) According to one family transferred from Purandhar,

In Satara ... each person was given one room; so that for each family, as for the five of us, ... it really was quite pleasant in the barracks, five rooms in a row. And we could fix them up as we wanted to. Therefore Satara was a camp of which one has a vivid impression. ... (96)

Those families transferred from the hill fort spent only a brief seven months at Satara. Yet it too was an uncertain time; "as the International Missionary Council's May, 1946, Bulletin stated, 'A survey ... presents a rather monotonous picture of people carrying on doggedly or waiting patiently for deliverance.'" (97)

In April the first major break-through in the Government's policy on releases occurred, supporting Manikam's view "that the Government of India have been very good to German missionaries in the country and have been very generous and kind in their treatment of them." (98) Manikam wrote to Betty Gibson over the latest development:

You will be glad to hear that in addition to the 5 missionaries whose release has been secured we have been able to get one other free and that is Mr. Jungjohann of the Schleswig Holstein Mission. The Church is now being asked whether it would invite him to work and if it agrees I shall sign on his behalf the undertaking required by the Government of India from the N.C.C. (99)

Traugott Jungjohann's release meant that the third Breklum man of a total of six brethren leaving the parole camps was now permitted to return to his mission church work. One might conjecture that an influential factor in Jungjohann's freedom was due to his excellent service as Commandant Fern's "economic minister" at Satara. His release supported Selma Heller's observations, mentioned above under point 3. (100) Jungjohann's release from the parole settlement, contrast to the first token releases, now awakened a real hope for the remaining Missions personnel. It was well known that the Jeypore District Commissioner thought well of his German missionaries. Yet more so, Jungjohann's freedom to depart disqualified Manikam's March, 1946, statement - "It has not been possible for them to release any of the others owing to their adverse record." (101) And Jungjohann's release gave new impetus for those outside the camp; for

The Lutheran Federation is now recommending to its War Emergency Committee that the N.C.C. be approached to secure the release of Messrs Gaebler and Gerlach. If this recommendation goes through, we shall try to secure their release also.

We are approaching the Government with the request that they re-examine the cases of the unreleased missionaries. (102) 

In the same April 23rd letter, Manikam explained to Gibson:

The Tamil Church would have been happy to get Mr. Gerlach, but the Tamil Church has voted against inviting any German missionary, including Gaebler. I understand now that the Church of Sweden Mission which was also reluctant to invite Mr. Gerlach for work in its field is changing its mind and would like to assign him. ... (103) 

The Lutheran Federation recommendations of Paul Gäbler, the Leipzig Mission chairman, and Wolfgang Gerlach, a younger missionary with administrative ability at the Shiyali School, were short lived. The Tamil Church vote indicated certain fears towards the German brethren returning to take up the positions which the Indian leadership had carried in their absence. Manikam had also spoken of the tensions between the Swedes and the Germans, though the first group were the administrators in freedom and the other the hapless internees at the mercy of others. Furthermore, if Sigfrid Estborn was representative of the erroneous, inexcusable thinking of the Swedes, then who could tolerate "the German missionaries, some of whom were members of the Nazi party and had openly propagated Nazism, ..." (104) to be in their midst again.

It was actually the junior missionary Gerlach who was most 'in demand' of the Leipzig men, and not Gäbler, the trusted and experienced head of the Mission. Gerlach was needed for his services at the Shiyali School, hut from the position of the Government of India, his release seemed unlikely, since he was one of the two Leipzig men not released on parole in the few months of 1940. (105) How often did each of the remaining 22 missionary internees have the occasion and the time to make a self-evaluation or to attempt to give a justifiable explanation for the lack of an invitation from his mission church and his continued presence in the parole camp? Gäbler and Gerlach were two brethren who never had a chance, even as the Government of India became increasingly "very generous and kind in their treatment" of the German families. (106)



April in Satara came and went, and only the Breklum missionary Jungjohann received his release order. The hot season was once again upon the land and upon the internees in the barracks. For the months of May and June, the British officials, most Christian missionaries and the more affluent Indians had departed for one of the many wonderful hill-stations of India. The 'early April' transfer from Purandhar to Satara, from an altitude of 3.600 feet down to, 2.300 feet, seemed to be a particularly harsh measure for these families with babies and children. Likely the British needed the Purandhar sanatorium facilities for their own personnel.

From outside the camp there was little fresh news in these vacation months. Inside the camp the families saw the weeks drag on, waiting for deliverance from the heat in the barracks and from the uncertain future. With the anticipated repatriation already announced in October, 1945, so one missionary said, "Since we knew nothing about all the, things (outside the camp), we prepared ourselves for the journey home." (107) In the summer heat, followed by the monsoon rains, the families prepared themselves for Europe;

It was natural that we already started knitting wool clothes for our children, though they were so used to the heat. Now we anticipated arriving in Germany in winter. This was going to be forced upon us next. (108)

There were other concerns about returning to the Vaterland, and Christian Lohse envisioned one problem:

I had no great longing to return to Germany, because I could well imagine for myself how things actually were. ... When I finally came home, I could see that it was still worse than what I had expected. At that l time I personally would have rather gone to America or (if to Australia than return to Germany. (109)

After a three-month lull for the holidays, a respite came to "the monotonous picture of people carrying on doggedly" (110) at the Satara Parole Camp;

For one evening in July Herr Meyer appeared quite unexpectedly, since the commandant had called him so that he could help him in these matters. He (Fern) was quite unfamiliar with each mission, and he could not have familiarized himself with them.

Herr Meyer came to us to ask us whether there was the possibility and whether we were prepared, instead of going back to our children, we might return to our mission work again. He gave us until the following morning to think it over. ... We were prepared to remain in India, since we knew clearly how few missionaries could remain; and with this decision he departed again. (111)

This was the case of the Karl Hellers (Leipzig Mission); for

... at first the Tamil Church wanted to virtually renounce (all missionaries), since there were, at that time, men in its leadership with strong nationalistic feelings. But then one voice was raised that one should not completely reject the offer of the Government. (112)

The Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church eventually accepted the offer of the Government, as Selma Heller stated, "They took my husband out of necessity." (113) Seemingly "they did not want him back, as he was quite enterprising; yet they still did receive him back" (114) to assist in the financial concerns and administration of the Tamil Church.

In August a most encouraging event occurred, here retold by Frau Heller;

The still-existing camps were at the time under the eminent official Mr. Shankar. This man visited us for a couple of days and on August 13th he held a consultation afternoon for all of us in the dining hall. After he had made a short speech, he went from table to table and let the commandant introduce the people to him. As he heard my husband's name and the name of a Basel missionary (Bareiss) at our table, he said: "Oh, I can congratulate you here right away. You are free." My husband, not exactly sure whom he meant from the group, followed him and asked him again what he meant. "Well, you!" was his reply.

We felt sorry for our friends who had to hear this and whose names were not considered again. We ourselves rejoiced naturally. But even after this, ("the oral news that we would be released," (115) ) and the silence, regarding our staying in the country, ... we still had to wait for months. Some of our friends from Ceylon and Indonesia then left the camp in September. (116)

By August, 1946, the Government of India and the N.C.C. knew fairly well how the German missionary families were going to fare regarding their releases, and as Manikam wrote, "the financial implication of such a procedure;" (117)

The All-India Lutheran Federation has, till now, been making itself responsible for the maintenance of the released German missionaries. I suppose a way would be found whereby the additional burden might be borne by the Lutheran Federation. (118)

The Lutheran Federation was dependent on the world-wide efforts for the 'Orphaned Missions' under the guidance of the I.M.C. in London and New York, but strongly supported by the Lutheran Churches of America and the Lutheran World Convention. (119) From their post-war budgets the American Lutheran organizations forwarded substantial financial aid for the many orphaned Lutheran mission churches in the world. (120)

From British India Manikam's August 20th letter gave Betty Gibson this elaborate survey:

The Government of India are following a very liberal policy in releasing as many as possible of the German missionaries against whom there is no political record or whose release will not be too risky.

The total number of Protestant missionaries still in internment and not yet released, is twenty-five. Of these, the following have applied for repatriation to Germany:

1. BEAESEN, Wilhelm (Breklum)
2. TIEDT, Otto Will Georg (Leipzig)
3. RADSICK, W. (Gossner)
4. KLING, W. (Basel)
5. WEINERT, J. (Leipzig)
6. LANGLO, Miss H. (Breklum)

Of the remaining 19 it has been decided, on the basis s of their record, both prior to and after internment, to keep in detention the following 11 missionaries:

1. GERLACH, Rev. Kurt Wolfgang (Leipzig)
2. GÄBLER, Rev. Paul Hermann Julius Theodor
3. AHRENS, Rev. Walter Hans Albert (Breklum)
4. JELLINGHAUS, Rev. Karl Theodor (Gossner)
5. WOLFF, Dr. Otto (Gossner)
6. STORIM, Miss Irene (Gossner)
7. SPECK, Rev. Reimer Hans (Breklum)
8. LOHSE, Rev. Christian Johannes (Breklum)
9. HUEBNER, Rev. Christoph Friedrich Wilhelm (Breklum)
10. PALMANN, Rev. Guiseppe
11. LORCH, Dr. Theodor (Basel)

The remaining 8 missionaries are under the very liberal policy of the Government eligible for release.

Their names are:

1. ROEVER, Rev. Hans (Leipzig)
2. HELLER, Rev. Karl and Mrs. Selma (Leipzig)
3. DILLER, Miss Amy (Gossner)
4. KLIMKEIT, Rev. Johannes and Mrs. Renate (Gossner)
5. SCHMIDT, Miss Hedwig (Gossner)
6. HELMS, Rev. Nikolaus & Mrs. Hedwig (Breklum)
7. BAREISS, Rev. Karl & Mrs. Hanna (Basel)
8. BORUTTA, Rev. Helmut Fritz Erhard & Mrs. Helene (Gossner) (121)

As a point of clarification, Betty Gibson's letter to Walter Freytag mentioned the fact that "Dr. Manikam's letter of August 20th indicated that 11 missionaries were to be kept in detention, I presume, with the possibility of later release in India." (122) Yet in her closing paragraph, she conceded to Freytag the very opposite; "... but I expect that they too will be sent home now." (123)

With only a year remaining for India's Independence set for August 15th, 1947, the British Government made the generous offer of the above "8 missionaries" to the N.C.C. and the Indian Church. In this regard Manikam could write:

I am now getting in touch with the Churches and Missions concerned regarding the employment of these persons, should they be released and also with the Lutheran Federation regarding their financial support and repatriation expenses if need be.

The National Christian Council has been requested to give undertaking on behalf of each one of these missionaries with reference to their good behaviour. (124)

And with the Government's increasingly generous policy, it was the thinking among the missionaries, as expressed by Christian Lohse, that "if the N.C.C. had claimed us, we could all have been released. Each private person, ... whoever he might have been, who seriously was requested, ... he was released." (125)



One further glimpse into the Central Internment Camp at Dehra Dun might offer an insight into the continuing problems of the post-war years. Most of the German missionaries from the Dutch East Indies were quartered at this camp; and following the death of Fritz Mack (Basel), only Otto Tiedt and Hans Röver (both Leipzig), and Wilhelm Bräsen (Breklum) remained at Premnagar from the brethren once serving with the Missionary Societies to British India. Tiedt described how heavily these post-war months hung upon the internees:

We continuously longed to go home, but the British commandant apparently had no interest that we should be sent home. ... This was Colonel Williams; ... he accompanied us throughout entire India. He was already with us in Ahmadnagar. ... He made a business out of us then. ... For if the camp had to be dissolved, he then would have to return to his army unit. ... In any case, he had an excellent occupation there in north India with his parolees and he did not necessarily care for a change.

And this (camp) he managed until we made a disturbance and gained the YMCA's help. They then came again, and so I informed them, "Well, our people are completely, stirred up. Frankly, we want to return home. We have been interned the longest; we were arrested the first day of the declared war and confined from that day on. ... None of the prisoners of war had to sit as long as we did. We certainly have the right to appeal that we might be sent home as early as possible." In this matter the YMCA personnel could clearly see the situation and informed us that they would take up the matter. (126)

The YMCA men, Messrs Franklin and Bell, (127) according to Tiedt, "established direct contact with the Government of India." (128)

Whatever the Government plans may have been for the German nationals, the missionaries had little knowledge regarding their future. The British seemed to be moving extremely cautiously. Yet besides the YMCA and the International Red Cross personnel in India, some further church organizations offered assistance. In one case Tiedt noted:

Now I had written a letter, because we also wanted Christian literature for the camp. And I knew who to write to ... (in) the Berlin Church Foreign Office. ... They suggested that I turn to a certain person, Olivier Béguin, in Geneva. And then he concerned himself with supplying us Christian literature, with novels and whatever else they were permitted to send, though everything could not be sent out. In this manner we formed our own library. ... (129)

Ever since World War II was over, the male internees at Dehra Dun could only look forward to the happy reunions with their families in Germany, and the continuing supply of literature from the World Council of Churches was no substitute. Tiedt, as a camp pastor, appealed to Béguin again;

Your newspaper "Die Lagergemeinde" has arrived again, and we thank you for it. But I must add that there is no great interest in this paper. After all these years of internment people have become extremely weary in every respect. One must not forget that this is the eighth year of our internment. We receive the letters from home, asking us to return after all this time. ... I am glad for every man who still feels some responsibility towards his family. I am sorry to say that there are many other cases where the husband reads calmly about the trouble which his family faces at home, but only worries about himself.

However that may be, those who feel any responsibility, say that if the people in Geneva can't do anything else but send us papers, then they can't be concerned for us any longer. The Protestant Christians in the world have done little else for us so far. I am writing this to you quite frankly. It has no purpose solely to be polite and to overlook the truth. ... I think you will understand that after having been behind barbed wire for seven years, one is weary of most everything. (130)

These were the customary internment complaints, but Tiedt's letter pointed to a grave disappointment among the German brethren. His frank letter was properly channelled. Béguin, in his letter of October 22nd, 1946, appealed to Norman Goodall for assistance:

Please find attached the copy of a letter we received from Rev. Otto Tiedt. As you see, Rev. Tiedt is interned in British India since many years, and now has lost courage. We feel very sorry for him, and are sending you the copy of this letter, because we hope, that you shall be able to help.

We have also sent a copy to our delegate in London, Staff Chaplain W.B. Johnston C.F. The War Office. ...

We are writing to Rev. Tiedt, telling him that we sent the copy of his letter to you ... and we hope to be able to encourage him in his difficult situation. (131)

It was a discouraging situation, to say the least, and what further encouragement the Church organizations were able to render in this period is difficult to assess.

After the seven years of internment, the missionaries, in their role as the camp chaplains, expressed a growing indignation. It was not only a case of having "lost courage" under the futile detention, hut the brethren had lost faith in the representatives of the Christian Church outside the camps. What had happened to the spirit of Tambaram? It was even more surprising how much courage Tiedt and his colleagues had, considering the physical and the psychological pressures, the barbed-wire fences and guarded gates, and then the isolation or the desertion behind the barracks life. Wilhelm Bräsen (Breklum) reiterated what non-Germans seemingly were not able to understand for lack of the experience, namely, "the meanest thing which one can afflict upon any creature is to place him behind barbed wire and fences," (132) and strictly because of his nationality.

In the closing months of internment another enlightening correspondence was carried on between Hans Röver (Leipzig) and Betty Gibson in London. In writing to Röver at Dehra Dun, Gibson informed him that Walter Graefe of his Mission had been permitted "to return to missionary work" and that a "special appeal to the Government" had been made for Gäbler and Gerlach. (133) Röver was aware of these developments. Also Betty Gibson consoled him with the news:

Some 4 or 5 men of other missions have been given similar exemption but all other German missionaries will be repatriated. This is, I am afraid, very hard for those who have given so much of their lives to India, but it is one of the disastrous results of war that distrust and suspicion take many years to allay. (134)

Even less comforting for the missionaries under detention was the awareness of a growing alienation with their mission churches. Here Gibson pointed out the hard facts to Röver;

In India there is not only the Government attitude to be taken into consideration but also that of the Indian Church. As you know there has been a very rapid move towards independence during the war and the Indian Church leaders are showing a very critical spirit with regard to those for whose return they are ready to press. The Government is inclined to consider the release only of those whom the Indian Church is ready to receive. ... There is no choice before the interned missionaries and those who are sent home now must acquiesce in the hope that someday the way may once more open to them to serve in the mission field. (135)

Gibson's delineation on the critical spirit of the mission churches was a realistic appraisal, though it was a depressing note for those who suddenly had "no choice" in the affairs of the mission work. As inmate No. 91 of the Dehra Dun Internment Camp, Röver had already been granted a release by the Government in August, 1946, yet he lacked the necessary undertaking from his mission church or the N.C.C.

Hans Röver's reply to Betty Gibson was also direct;

Of course I understand well that the mission work will continue even if we are repatriated. Perhaps your council too has now received news about the efforts of Dr. Samuel, Madras. Seeing this kind (of) attitude of the Indian Christians I doubt that the repatriation is one of the disastrous results of war. But I fear that it is the result of the resolution which was adopted at Geneva by the International Missionary Council with regard to the political feelings of the National Christian Council and thereby political and religious matters were mixed up. From the biblical point of view we have to pay attention to the danger which had spoiled my own Church at home. ... (136)

In reference to the appeal for Gäbler and Gerlach, he wrote:

Meanwhile you will have heard the events with regard to the release of those you mentioned in your letter. As the National Christian Council did not care very much for them during the war, I am afraid the Council will not do it even now after the war. (137)

Röver closed his letter to Gibson with this hope:

May God help your Council to find another field for those who have to leave, because nobody would call it a Christian spirit, - asking a mission-worker to quit his service after he had only worked and lived for the mission, and was waiting during his internment of seven years for the day to serve again the Lord on the field. (138)



In 1946 British India was already very much aware of the impending independence of the country by August, 1947. It was impossible to evaluate the Church and the mission scene without sensing the national and the chauvinistic aspirations of the Indian people. Most Indians rejoiced at the thought, that finally the white rulers of the British Raj were once and for all times withdrawing. This was not the case among all Christians in the mission churches, yet there were others who could not he withheld from the political climate in the land. This latter group rightly enhanced the coming of age of the Indian Church. (139) At the same time, Hans Röver had pointed out the danger in the German Church during the Nazi period of mixing up the political and religious matters. (140)

The approaching independence and the nationalistic sentiments of Indian Christians greatly affected the German missionaries' future. It is true that the Christian Church in India sought its own independence, yet it still could "not become autonomous with regard to the finances." (141) It was clear to the German brethren that their release depended on "those whom the Indian Church is ready to receive," yet the one and possibly the only person who was able to press for the return of each missionary, as in Stosch's return to Ranchi, was the N.C.C. Secretary, Rajah Manikam.

During 1945 and 1946, in the meetings of the Lutheran Federation of India and its War Emergency Committee, in the conferences with the leaders of the German Mission churches, at the N.C.C. Executive meetings as well as their general gatherings, in the consultations with the Government of India and in the correspondence with the I.M.C. (London and New York) and the Lutheran leaders in America, no other church figure in India stands out so dominantly, especially on the question of German Missions, as the Lutheran Dr. Rajah Bushanam Manikam, as the N.C.C. Executive Secretary.

Manikam was born in Cuddalore, also a station founded by the Danish-Halle Mission in 1737, revived again by the Leipzig Mission in 1856 and finally brought under the Danish Missionary Society work. Thus Manikam came out of the heart of the Leipzig Mission field and the Tamil Lutheran Church. After having received his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University, New York, from 1929 to 1937 he taught at an American Lutheran institution, the Andhra Christian College at Guntur. Thereupon he joined the National Christian Council team as the Secretary of Christian Education. (142) In 1941, upon the retirement of J. Z. Hodge, Manikam and Dr. Charles Wesley Ranson served jointly through 1945 as Secretaries of the N.C.C. (143) In reference to World War II,

The credit for steering the Council through these stormy years and for tackling efficiently all these problems must go to Dr. Manikam. He organized support for the orphaned churches during the War and laid the foundations for the policy of the Council in post-war India. Under him the N.C.C. experienced an enormous expansion, and ... he repeatedly put forward the demand for immediate integration of church and mission. Under his leadership the Council changed from a kind of missionary institution to a truly indigenous organization. (144)

The turbulent, politically-oriented years of 1945-1947 in the post-war British era were crucial for the country, for the Indian Church and for the foreign missionaries. The trend towards indigenous, autonomous churches was well overdue, and yet it was problematic on most mission fields. (145) The question of the withdrawal of the German Missions personnel from the churches and the yielding of their responsibilities, i.e. the Gossner and the Breklum fields, had been resolved largely by the internment of the missionaries. Yet in the post-war period, when the men and women so dearly yearned to return to their mission churches, their acceptance or their rejection was conditional to the political climate among the Indian Christians. These churches, seeking their own identity, were influenced by the N.C.C. and Rajah Manikam. The observation of a German missionary was correct, in that there was both "the politics of the Government and the politics of the N.C.C." (146)

It would be an evasive gesture not to recognize the fact that Manikam was an Indian nationalist. (147) It would be logical to expect an educated church leader, having studied in the United States of America and in England, to then be "very definitely Indian-minded." (148) Helmuth Borutta (Gossner), one of the fortunate men to be released in late 1946, offered a defence of Manikam's sentiments;

He too was committed to a position that was against the British Government. ... If you go and speak on the issue, ... he was a nationalist. ... I would likely have been the same. I don't hold this against Manikam, for it was his duty, even as a pastor, to he a good Indian. (149)

Even if Manikam contained his disapproving attitude towards the Government, the British authorities greatly relied on his advice and his undertakings for the German families. His sentiments went beyond an anti-British spirit; he was encompassed by a caste and colour consciousness, e.g."brown and white, ... they must work together." (150) This consciousness became the more obvious following the war and it could well have influenced the N.C.C. Secretary in making the association of the German missionaries with the dominant ruling class of British officialdom.

Manikam's first name was 'Rajah', and he was a prince of the Indian Church;

He of course was of a higher caste in his background than the ordinary South Indian Christian. ... It doesn't matter what your job was, it was your caste background. And his background was a medium high landowning community, neither of the Nadara nor the out-castes, which was the vast mass of the Southern Christians. They were a very strong, small group of them ... among these Christians; but they have almost all died out. ... They were very outstanding people, like Manikam; a very remarkable body of people came out of Tinnevelli. (151)

Manikam was an outstanding person as the Executive Secretary. of India's highest non-Roman church body. However,

He certainly had his weaknesses. He was a curious personality in that sense. After all his deep-rooted conviction, which you see running through so many people, that your primary responsibility is for your own in the wide family sense. You get the Asians in Africa and the complaint that they identified themselves with one another. ... They employed their own people in an enclosed world. (152)

Manikam "was this curiously mixed person;" (153)

All the time you have always got to remember what you were dealing with. Manikam went his own personal (way) and when his family situation was not involved, he was wise and interesting and a far-sighted person. But when Manikam's personal interests were involved he could be absolutely incredibly difficult. ... (154)

Rajah Manikam had on the one hand a higher caste consciousness, while on the other hand,

His background being Lutheran, ... he was related to a Mission which was related to German work very definitely. ... And that did set him free. ... It set him free in a real sense to be more aware of nationalism than perhaps the English Missions would have been. (155)

Of course, the missionaries' internment made a vacuum and thereby the occasion for this greater freedom. Yet Manikam himself, as a personality drawn from the Indian caste structure (a particular problem in the Tamil Church), "came as a kind of superior into the camp." (156) Richard Lipp remarked:

I knew him very well. He came to the camps, but he came as the N.C.C. man, and he played (an important role). Well, of course he was a shrewd man, clever; but his character was not the strongest. ... And then you see, even his own missionaries who were Lutherans, who brought the Gospel ... (157)

to the Tamil people, they were rejected outright at first when the Government of India intended to release them.

It was a sign of strength and vision that the Indian Church should become totally indigenous. Yet Manikam

... was not only a nationalist, but he was also a chauvinist. That means the Missions had to be discontinued completely; it must be solely Indian, as much as the navy and fleet become Indian. (158)

Quite understandably, among the Indian Church leadership,

They were very much for the reduction of the potential of the missionary. ... As an example, that Rev. Helms was released, was not the wish of the N.C.C., rather the Government set him free. ... (159)

Herein lay one of the pronounced difficulties surrounding the German missionaries. With the mission churches becoming independent and some leaders nationally minded, it is significant that there were so many German brethren permitted to remain in India. However, in the matter of the exemptions, Christian Lohse (Breklum) believed that "we could all have been released, if the N.C.C. had requested us." (160) 

After "considerable amount of talking with the National Christian Council for the release of the missionaries and for the posting of them," (161) it was already November, 1946.



(1) Selma Heller, Manuscript on Internment (Rummelsberg: 13 June, 1970; Appendix), p. 4.

(2) Alma Tauscher, P.I. (Glückstadt: 19 July, 1972), Tr. P. 4.

(3) Ibid.

(4) Richard Lipp, P.I. (Süssen: 14 April, 1973), Tr. p. 17.

(5) Ibid., p. 18.

(6) Tauscher, op. cit.. p. 7.

(7) Rajah B. Manikam and Charles W. Ranson, Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Christian Council (Nagpur: NCC Offices, 24-25 October, 1945), p. 4.

(8) Ibid.

(9) Ibid., p. 5.

(10) Selma Heller, P.I. (Erlangen: 28 May, 1970), Tr. p. 1.

(11) Heller, Manuscript on Internment, loc. cit.

(12) Christian Lohse, P.I. (Husum: 18 July, 1972), Tr. p. 12.

(13) Manikam and Ranson, op. cit., p. 4.

(14) Heller, Manuscript, loc. cit.

(15) Karl Bareiss, P.I. (Ebingen: 23 May, 1973), Tr. p. 10.

(16) Lohse, op. cit., pp. 11-12.

(17) Ibid., p. 12.

(18) Rajah B. Manikam & Charles W. Ranson, Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Christian Council (Nagpur: NCC Offices, 15-17 February, 1945), p. 3.

(19) Ibid.

(20) Adolf Streckeisen, Letter to John W. Decker (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 18 October, 1945).

(21) Lipp, op. cit., p. 14.

(22) Bareiss, loc. cit.

(23) Manikam & Ranson, Executive Committee - February, 1945, op. cit. p. 6. As in the opening months and years of World War II under the Secretaryship of J.Z. Hodge, so too in the closing months and years of the war and also in the post-war period, the NCC officers, particularly Rajah Manikam, served as spokesmen for the Indian churches and missions in their appeals to the Government of India.

(24) Ibid.

(25) Ibid.

(26) Manikam & Ranson, Executive Com., Feb., 1945, loc. cit.

(27) Manikam & Ranson, Executive Com., Oct., 1945, loc. cit.

(28) Manikam & Ranson, Feb., 1945, loc. cit.

(29) Rajah B. Manikam, Letter to Norman Goodall (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 29 January, 1946); Rajah B. Manikam, Letter to John W. Decker (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 23 February, 1945). According to William Richey Hogg, Ecumenical Foundations (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952), p. 323, "In January, 1943, he (Decker) succeeded Warnshuis. In similar fashion, following Paton's death, the Reverend Norman Goodall was chosen in London." Decker served in New York.

(30) Manikam & Ranson, October, 1945, loc. cit.

(31) Ibid., p. 5.

(32) Heller, Manuscript, loc. cit.

(33) Heller, P.I., op. cit., p. 10.

(34) Pfarrer Pompe, Letter to Knut B. Westman (Geneva: WCCA -IMC File, September, 1945). Westman forwarded the letter to Goodall in London.

(35) Betty D. Gibson, Letter to Knut B. Westman (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 5 October, 1945).

(36) Hogg, op. cit., p. 321.

(37) Ibid.

(38) Tauscher, op. cit., p. 5; Lipp, op. cit. p. 18; Hermann Palm, P.I. (Böhringen: 13 June, 1973), Tr. p. 3; Theodor Lorch, P.I. (Ludwigsburg: 13 April, 1973), Tr. p. 2, Lorch expressed a basic concern of all missionaries in India; "Wir wollten bewusst den Indern dazu verhelfen, dass sie die indische Kirche würden. Ich habe meinen Kollegen im College nahegelegt, ihre Andachten doch in Malayalam zu halten. Sie haben gesagt, sie seien da überfordert; es falle ihnen leichter das in Englisch zu tun. Aber wir Missionare waren weiterhin die die gedrängt haben, dass die Inder bewusst ihre Dinge selbst in die Hände nehmen sollten, ohne zu ahnen, dass der Krieg das dann zwingend notwendig machen würde kurze Zeit später. Wir taten das einfach aus der richtigen Erkenntnis, denn die Zeit des Mündigwerdens war nicht weit weg."

(39) Rajah B. Manikam, Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Christian Council (Mysore City: Wesley Press & Publishing House, 3-4 April, 1946), p. 5; Manikam, Letter to Goodall, loc. cit. The meeting was held at Allahabad instead of the customary Nagpur.

(40) Ibid.

(41) Manikam, Executive Committee, April, 1946, op. cit. ,p. 4.

(42) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, loc. cit.

(43) Ibid.

(44) Ibid.

(45) Heller, P.I., op. cit., p. 8.

(46) Rajah N. Manikam, Letter to Norman Goodall (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 9 March, 1946).

(47) Manikam, Minutes of Executive Committee, April, 1946, loc. cit.; Manikam, Goodall Letter - March, 1946, loc. clt.

(48) Ibid.

(49) Manikam, April Minutes, op. cit., p. 6.

(50) Ibid., p. 7.

(51) Ibid.

(52) Ibid, pp. 7-8.

(53) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, March, 1946, loc. cit.

(54) Manikam, April, 1946, Minutes, op. cit., p. 8.

(55) Ibid., p. 6.

(56) Ibid., p. 5.

(57) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, March, 1946, loc. cit.

(58) Manikam, April, 1946, Minutes, op. cit., p. 5.

(59) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, January, 1946, loc. cit.

(60) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, March, 1946, loc. cit.

(61) V. Shankar (Deputy Secretary), "Order" (of Release for Richard Lipp), (New Delhi: Government of India, Home Department, No. 24/28/1/45 - Political (EW), 21 March, 1946; also "Order" (of Release for Heinz von Tucher; No. 67/2/40 - Political (E), 4 January, 1944; Appendix).

(62) Manikam, April, 1946, Minutes, loc. cit.

(63) Shankar, Order of Release for Lipp, loc. cit.

(64) Rajah B. Manikam, Letter to Betty D. Gibson (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 20 August, 1946).

(65) Heller, Manuscript on Internment, loc. cit. She wrote, "In Bezug auf die Missionare spielte sich hinter den Kulissen einiges ab, von dem wir erst später erfuhren."

(66) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, January, 1946, loc. cit.

(67) Ibid.

(68) Manikam, Decker Letter, loc. cit.

(69) Lipp, op. cit., p. 15.

(70) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, January, 1946, loc. cit.

(71) Manikam, April, 1946, Minutes, op. cit., p. 6.

(72) Streckeisen, Letter to Decker, loc. cit.

(73) Adolf Streckeisen, Minutes of the Basel Mission Church Synod at Calicut, 16 October, 1945 (Geneva: WCCA).

(74) Manikam, Letter to Decker, loc. cit.

(75) Rajah B. Manikam, Letter to Betty D. Gibson (Geneva: , WCCA - IMC File, 23 April, 1946).

(76) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, 9 March, 1946, loc. cit.

(77) Manikam, April, 1946, Minutes, op. cit., p. 7; Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 23 April, 1946, loc. cit.

(78) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, 9 March, 1946, loc. cit.

(79) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 23 April, 1946, loc. cit.

(80) Johannes Stosch, Letter to Betty D. Gibson (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 23 April, 1946).

(81) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 20 August, 1946, loc. cit.

(82) Ibid.

(83) Rajah B. Manikam, Letter to Betty D. Gibson (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 19 November, 1946).

(84) Lohse, op. cit.. p. 12.

(85) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 23 April, 1946, loc. cit.

(86) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, 29 January, 1946, loc. cit.

(87) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, 9 March, 1946, loc. cit.

(88) Tauscher, loc. cit.

(89) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 23 April, 1946, loc. cit.

(90) Walter Graefe, Letter to Karl Heller (Erlangen: LML - Heller File, 2 February, 1952).

(91) Heller, Manuscript on Internment, loc. cit.

(92) Wolfgang Gerlach, Letter to the International Missionary Council (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 8 March, 1946). Gerlach wrote concerning "Mrs. Gerlach's parents: Herrn Pfarrer Curt Weidenkaff, ... and from my parents: Herrn Pfarrer Th. Gerlach, ... (all in Saxony). ..."

(93) Manikam, April, 1946, Minutes, op. cit. p. 5.

(94) Heller, Manuscript on Internment, loc. cit.

(95) Ibid.; Lohse, ojp. cit.. p. 11.

(96) Ibid.

(97) Kenneth Scott Latourette & William Richey Hogg, World Christian Community In Action (New York & London: International Missionary Council, 1949), p. 37.

(98) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, 9 March, 1946, loc. cit.

(99) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 23 April, 1946, loc. cit.

(100) Heller, Manuscript on Internment, loc. cit.

(101) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, 9 March, 1946, loc. cit.

(102) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 23 April, 1946, loc. cit.

(103) Ibid.

(104) C.H. Swavely, ed., The Lutheran Enterprise in India 1706-1952 (Madras: Diocesan Press, 1952), "The Church of Sweden Mission 1874" by Sigfrid Estborn, p. 140.

(105) Martin Weishaupt, ed., "Unser indisches Missionsfeld 1939/40" by Carl Ihmels, Evangelisch-lutherisches Missionsblatt (Leipzig: Verlag der Evang.-luth. Mission zu v Leipzig, September, 1940), p. 101.

(106) Manikam, Letter to Goodall, 9 March, 1946, loc. cit.

(107) Heller, Manuscript on Internment, loc. cit.

(108) Renate Klimkeit, P.I. (Bierde, near Minden: 23 August, f 1973), Tr. p. 17.

(109) Lohse, loc. cit.

(110) Latourette & Hogg, loc. cit.

(111) Heller, Manuscript, loc. cit.

(112) Ibid.

(113) Ibid.

(114) Heller, P.I., op. cit. , p. 7.

(115) Ibid.

(116) Heller, Manuscript, loc. cit.

(117) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 20 August, 1946, loc. cit.

(118) Ibid.

(119) L.S. Albright, Aid For Orphaned Missions (Financial Statement - January 1 - December 31, 1946; London & New York: International Missionary Council, 31 March, 1947), p. 4; Latourette & Hogg, op. cit., p. 44.

(120) Gustav Bernander, Lutheran Wartime Assistance to Tanzanian Churches 1940-1945 (Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells, Studia Missionalia Upsaliensia IX, 1968, pp. 170). Though the work focuses on the Tanzanian Churches, the assistance stems from a world-wide endeavour of the Church.

(121) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 20 August, 1946, loc. cit.; Betty D. Gibson, Letter to Walter Freytag (Geneva: WCCA-IMC File, 15 November, 1946). According to Manikam's tabulation and letter, under No. 10 a Rev. Guiseppe Palmann is listed. He did not belong to any of the four major German Missions in India, nor is the writer able to assess forwhich Society Palmann laboured. His name does have both German and Italian origins. However, Rudolf Ertz, as printer and manager of the Mangalore Basel Mission Press, was overlooked.

(122) Ibid.

(123) Ibid.

(124) Manikam, Letter to Gibson, 20 August, 1946, loc. cit.

(125) Lohse, op. cit. , pp. 11 - 12.

(126) Otto Tiedt, P.I. (Erlangen: 27 September, 1973), Tr. pp. 18-19.

(127) Lohse, op. cit., p. 16; Helmuth Borutta, P.I. (Exten: 23 August, 1973), p. 12.

(128) Tiedt, op. ciz., p. 19.

(129) Ibid., p. 16.

(130) Otto Tiedt, Letter to Olivier Beguin (Geneva: WCCA  - IMC File, 22 August, 1946).

(131) Olivier Bèguin, Letter to Norman Goodall (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 2 October, 1946).

(132) Wilhelm Bräsen, P.I. (Neukirchen, near Malente: 28 September, 1970), Tr. p. 6.

(133) Betty D. Gibson, Letter to Hans Röver (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 12 August, 1946).

(134) Ibid.

(135) Ibid.

(136) Hans Röver, Letter to Betty D. Gibson (Geneva: WCCA - IMC File, 19 September, 1946).

(137) Ibid.

(138) Ibid.

(139) Lorch, op. cit., pp. 2-3. Very parallel to Lorch's comments, under footnote 38, were these remarks: "Dazu kam in der damaligen Zeit, dass die Frage der südindischen Kirchenunion bereits aktuell war. Ab '39 hat man sehr bewusst daran gearbeitet; vorher hat man bereits darüber gesprochen, man hat vorbereitet in der Richtung auf diesen Schritt. Auch von daher war die Indianisierung der Kirche in vollem Gang. Wir haben uns darauf eingerichtet, unabhängig von der Gefahr eines Krieges, dass diese vielen Erziehungseinrichtungen in der Basler Missionskirche möglichst eine eigene Organisation bekommen sollten. ... Wir gingen davon aus, die Zeit ist da, dass die Missionare sich sehr zurückziehen und die Inder ihre Dinge selbst in die Hand nehmen."

(140) Röver, loc. cit.

(141) Easter Raj, P.I. (Erlangen: 19 July, 1970), Tr. p. 9. In its entirety, the future Bishop of Tranquebar's statement was, "That is very important; you see, even with regards to the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church, though this Church became autonomous with the Constitution, with the Bishop, with the Church Council and the Administrative Council and all that, they did not become autonomous with regard to the finances."

(142) Günter Gloede, ed., Ökumenische Profile - Brückenbauer Der Einen Kirche (Stuttgart: Evangelischer Missionsverlag, GmbH, Vol. II, 1963), p. 61. Kenrick M. Baker jr. contributed the biographical sketch on "Rajah Bushanam Manikam - Der ökumenische Botschafter in Ostasien," pp. 59-65.

(143) Kaj Baago, National Christian Council of India, 1914 - 1964 (Nagpur: Christian Council Lodge, 1964), p. 87. The author lists all the Presidents and the Secretaries of the N.C.C. for the above period.

(144) Ibid., p. 62.

(145) Manikam, Letter to Decker, loc. cit. In reviewing the scene and the status of the Continental Missions in India, Rajah Manikam, as NCC Secretary, expressed his doubts; "This, indeed, is a gloomy picture of the Orphaned Missions and Churches in India. But there is another side to it. I am glad that Lutheran missionaries and Indian Lutherans have rallied to the support of these distressed Church and Mission bodies. They have given liberally for their support. They have transcended national and linguistic barriers. They have shown their oneness in Christ. ..."

(146) Lohse, op. cit., p. 11.

(147) Martin Pörksen, P.I. (Hamburg: 24 August, 1973), Tr. p. 14; Borutta, op. cit., p. 15; Michael Hollis, P.I. (Bury St. Edmunds, UK: 19 April, 1973), Tr. p. 17; Lipp, loc. cit.; Heller, P.I., loc. cit.

(148) Lipp, loc. cit.

(149) Borutta, loc. cit.

(150) Pörksen, op. cit. , p. 15. The comment was made to Martin Pörksen when the Breklum Missionary Society director journeyed to India in 1956 to attend the ceremony at which time Rajah Manikam became the Bishop of Tranquebar

(151) Hollis, loc. cit.

(152) Ibid., p. 18.

(153) Ibid., p. 13.

(154) Ibid.

(155) Ibid., p. 17.

(156) Lipp, op. cit., p. 18.

(157) Ibid.

(158) Pörksen, op. cit., p. 14.

(159) Lohse, loc. cit.

(160) Ibid.

(161) Easter Raj, loc. cit.

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