The History of Caritas in Germany
November 9, 1897: Werthmann Founds the German Caritas Association In the 19th century, Catholic social political advocates who had been calling for a centralized Catholic welfare association finally found the dynamic personality to create an organization in the young priest Lorenz Werthmann.
Werthmann founded the Charitas-Comité (Charitas Committee) in Freiburg in 1895 and thus paved the way for the Charitas Association for Catholic Germany, which he founded in Cologne on 9 November 1897. The new association soon began to offer help to many people in need: seasonal workers, sailors, vagabonds, alcoholics, people with physical and mental disabilities and people with sexually transmitted diseases. It also provided childcare, corrective training for youth, protection for girls, nursing for the ill and women’s services.
The Beginning of the 20th Century: The Association Builds Sustainable Structures
The First World War was not just brought up with new situations for people in Germany, so it is exposed to the vulnerability of the young association with its inadequate infrastructure, financial planning and framework of objectives. In 1916, the bishops of Germany made the Association’s social services arm of the Catholic Church. By the time the Association’s founding president Lorenz Werthmann passed away five years later, the Association had achieved a solid, organizational base. Werthmann’s successor, President Benedict Kreutz, made sure this process continued. Most importantly, in the 1920s Kreutz was able to establish a network of educational institutions offering training for social care occupations and further education for members of the Association. Nursing for the ill and counseling.
Under the Third Reich: Caritas Remains Active despite Surveillance
1933. Welfare work could not escape its statism and forcible coordination. Although the German Caritas Association is still in the process of becoming a member of the Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Democrats are still under pressure love. This made possible by President Kreutz’s tenacious, careful and astute negotiation skills, and his great courage and humility. The significance of this feat became more apparent after Nazi Germany collapsed in 1945.
After the Second World War: Caritas as Reliable Help for People in Need
After the Second World War, the German Caritas Association and the newly established welfare association of the Evangelical Church in Germany were only national organizations that were operational and able to help the people of Germany who were in need. Caritas helped coordinate aid from abroad, assisted refugees and expellees, reunified families and contributed to the suffering caused by the war. President Kreutz died 1949, the year was the Federal Republic of Germany. By then, the worst situation of need after the war had overcome.
1950 – 1990: Caritas Begins to Help Abroad
At the end of the 1950s, the German Caritas Association extended its traditional work to provide international emergency relief and disaster relief for the first time. This was partially motivated by the aid Germany. The International Department of the German Caritas Association continues to provide emergency relief and disaster relief in Europe and developing countries all over the world today. The bishops of Germany have designated the International Department of the German Caritas Association as its relief organization.
After the Reunification of Germany: Caritas Establishes a National Network
The political reunification of Germany in 1990 so what is of great significance for Caritas. The Caritas Associations in the Former GDR were founded or re-founded, registered as Associations of the German Caritas Association. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Caritas Germany has been systematically building social services in the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
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