Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Adolf Kurtz papers
Collection Number: 2011C33
Creator: Kurtz, Adolf, 1891-1975
2 ms. boxes
(0.8 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Letters, certificates, registers of German evangelical church records, and photographs, relating to German evangelical opposition
to Nazism, and to refugee relief work.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
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[Identification of item], Adolf Kurtz papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2011.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes
listed in this finding aid.
Adolf Kurtz, a Protestant evangelical pastor in Germany, following Hitler's ascent to power in 1933, resisted the government's
efforts to control religious life in Germany. In that his wife was born a Jew, he organized a relief agency to help Christians
of Jewish heritage. Along with other Protestant churchmen, including Martin Niemoeller, Karl Barth, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
he founded the Confessional Church, an evangelical group that resisted the Nazification of the German churches. Most leaders
of this movement were arrested; some died in concentration camps. Kurtz was interrogated several times, had his school for
Jewish Christian children closed, and was nearly deported to Dachau; but he and his wife managed to survive the war in Berlin.
After the war, in 1948, Pastor Kurtz was invited by the British military authorities in Berlin to come to England to visit
German prisoner-of-war camps. He soon discovered and took over a refugee congregation of German worshippers in Oxford where
he remained until his death in 1975. Besides ministering to his parishioners' spiritual needs, Adolf Kurtz helped collect
funds in Germany to rebuild Coventry, especially its cathedral, which was destroyed during a November 1940 Luftwaffe raid.
Kurtz was present, along with many other German representatives, on March 23, 1955, when the queen presided over the laying
of the new foundation for the new cathedral.
Scope and Content of Collection
The original accession consists of letters, certificates, registers of German evangelical church records, and photographs,
relating to German evangelical opposition to Nazism, and to refugee relief work. This group of materials is mostly associated
with Pastor Kurtz's later life in Oxford.
An increment received in 2011 consists of many original personal documents, mostly from the pastor's earlier years in Berlin.
Among these are Kurtz's theological degrees, ordination diploma, marriage certificate, notifications from the Gestapo, Zonal
Travel Permit for Occupied Germany, and so forth. The materials include the pastor's vita and other biographical information,
as well as the papers of Eva Borchardt Kurtz, his wife.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.