Michael von Faulhaber

Michael von Faulhaber

Michael von Faulhaber was born in Klosterheidenfeld, Germany, on 5th March, 1869. He taught in Strasbourg before becoming Bishop of Speyer in 1911.

A strong supporter of Germany's involvement in the First World War, Faulhaber was appointed Archbishop of Munich-Freising in 1917. Four years later he was made a Cardinal.

After Adolf Hitler obtained power in 1933 Faulhaber tried to maintain good relations with the government while seeking to preserve the power of the Catholic Church. In 1934 he published Judenum, Christentum, Germanentum , a book that defended the principles of racial tolerance and humanity and called for the people of Germany to respect the Jewish religion. However, Faulhaber, and other Catholic bishops, made no open protest against the atrocities being committed against the Jews in Germany.

Faulhaber occasionally condemned racial intolerance in his sermons and during Crystal Night he provided a truck for the Chief Rabbi of Munich to salvage religious objects from his synagogue before it was destroyed by the Nazis in November, 1938.

In 1938 Faulhaber supported Anschluss and the invasion of Czechoslovakia. He also held a special mass in November 1939 to celebrate Hitler's escape from Johann Elser's assassination attempt.

Michael von Faulhaber died in Munich on 12th June, 1952.

Primary Sources