His great-nieces, katharina hoffmann (80) from wirsberg and hanni rattler (75) from kupferberg, can still remember their great-uncle quite well, who died on the 26th of june. He was ordained a priest in bamberg on july 1914.
He was chaplain in scheblitz and field chaplain in the first world war. Later he came into conflict with the national socialist rulers – as did other church representatives. Thus the maria-ward sisters were removed from the school service and elsewhere people demonstrated against the removal of crucifixes from classrooms.
The sisters became curious about the story of their great-uncle after the publication of the book "unforgotten with thanks and respect – franz rathgeber, pastor in the third reich", the pralat klemens fink wrote.
The author comes from herzogenaurach, where franz rathgeber was a pastor from 1930 to 1942. In the foreword fink notes: "it is high time that the outstanding priestly personality of rathgeber as a pious and brave pastor in the difficult years of the nazi regime for the church and for upright christians is highlighted and recognized for all time as a leading figure."
Hanni rattler was fink's first stop in kupferberg when he wrote the book: "he was standing outside my house one day looking for living descendants of franz rathgeber. He told me at the time that he wanted to write a book in his honor. I then also went with him to the old parents' house and told him what I female." When the sisters saw the work, their eyes naturally lit up. Katharina hoffmann: "we were surprised at all the things he had collected. He made it really good and unique."
When she was a little girl, she had her first contact with her great-uncle: "my brother is a year older than me, and he was the godfather. Later I lived with him in bamberg for half a year.Û He was very socially minded and i still remember that he was only there for the poor and the children in the war. The parish priests got something from every farmer at that time. He did not keep it for himself, but passed it on to families in need."