Maximilian Kaller

Maximilian Josef Johann Kaller ( born October 10, 1880 in Bytom, Upper Silesia, † July 7, 1947 in Frankfurt am Main ) was a bishop of Warmia in Prussia.


Maximilian Kaller was the second of eight children in a family of merchants. In 1899 he passed the Abitur. He then began his theological training in Wroclaw. In 1903 he was ordained a priest just there. First, he was a chaplain in the United Strehlitz, his first pastorate he resigned as pastor of the Mission of St. Boniface parish on Rügen.

From 1917 he was pastor of St. Michael in Berlin-Mitte and Kreuzberg. In 1926 he was appointed Administrator of the Apostolic Administration Schneidemühl.

Kaller was an honorary member of the Catholic fraternities Normannia in Greifswald and Warmia ( Warmia ) in Munich in KV.

Bishop of Warmia

1930 Maximilian Kaller was elected Bishop of Warmia. He received his episcopal consecration on 28 October 1930, the then Apostolic Nuncio to the German Reich, Cesare Orsenigo. His motto was: Caritas Christi urget me (Lat. Christ's love compels me). He resigned his position in his diocese in women Castle.

Kallers work during the Nazi period gives a mixed picture. In the initial phase of the Nazi state Kaller several times went into opposition to the regime: he organized diocesan pilgrimages, including by Gietrzwałd, the Marian shrine of the Polish minority in Warmia. Kallers predecessor Thiel and Bludau had a participation in such pilgrimages, however, always be avoided. In September 1934, Kaller held the fair preaching in German and after Mass in Polish. One held in Polish in November 1934 sermon, the " Polish Folk Beloved " began with the words, he brought a complaint by the East Prussian Gauleiter Erich Koch in Berlin.

In a pastoral letter Kallers from April 1935 states: " [ ... ] The Catholic Church of East Prussia is currently in severe distress. [ ... ] A storm command of the SA calls to resign from the Catholic societies to under penalty of immediate dismissal. Our Catholic Action is accused of high treason. [ ... ] "

The discussion went further in 1937, when for a Kallers pastoral letter for Lent seized, and on the other the printing of Warmia newspaper was confiscated after there 30,000 copies of the encyclical With burning concern of Pope Pius XI. had been printed.

In the course of 1937, there were arrests and convictions of clergy and laity of the diocese. All Catholic associations were banned. In the Lenten pastoral letter of 1938 Kaller said: "We are outlaws; others may scoff at us and blaspheme. We may not get a word in reply. From freedom of conscience can no longer be any question. "

Since 1939, however, a change in Kallers line reveals. The regional council Olsztyn demanded a reduction in the Polish church services in the Allensteiner St. Jakobi Church, whereupon Kaller the Archpriest Hanowski instructed accordingly in August 1939 to " This I will arrange that, given the troubled strained relations of time in all the cities of the diocese until further is Polish Polish sermons and singing to desist. "

On January 25, 1941, he declared very loyal to the regime in a pastoral letter: " We are committed joyfully to the German national community and feel inseparable in good and in cloudy days [ ... ] In this truly Christian spirit we now live through and with the participation of our with her whole heart the great struggle of our people to safeguard their life and its validity in the world. With admiration, we look at our army, which has achieved unprecedented success in the heroic struggle under excellent leadership and continues to achieve. We thank God for His help. Just as Christians we are determined to use all our strength, so that the final victory will secure our country. Just as believers, glowed through the love of God Christians, we are loyal to our leader who directs the destiny of our people with a sure hand. "

On 7 February 1945 he was forcibly deported by the SS because of the threat of income of the area by the Red Army from the Warmia.

Post-war period

Bishop Kaller and many civilians returned to waning of military hostilities back in the Warmia. However Kaller was forced to give up his official duties by the Polish Primate Cardinal August Hlond during the evictions in violation of applicable canon law. He settled down after that in West Germany.

Displaced Bishop

In 1946 he was called by Pope Pius XII. appointed Pontifical Special Envoy for the expellees. On July 7, 1947 Bishop Kaller died suddenly of a heart attack in Frankfurt am Main. He was buried on 10 July 1947 in Königstein im Taunus, next to St. Mary's Church.

50 years later a memorial service in honor of Bishop Kallers with today's Polish Bishop of Warmia / Warmia and the community was held in Germany. Depending on a bust of Bishop Kaller was erected in the cathedral of Mrs. Castle and in Germany.

Maximilian Kaller is one of the three figures on the monument for the king Steiner church fathers in Königstein im Taunus. The monument was designed by Christoph Loch and inaugurated on 1 September 2011.

Beatification process

Since the 1990s, the V. Bishop Maximilian Kaller Foundation strives to keep the memory of Bishop Kaller awake and to support the process of beatification. On 4 May 2003, the process of beatification was opened at the pilgrimage of Ermländer in Werl.