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Overview of the Adolf Kurtz Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Adolf Kurtz papers
    Dates: 1927-1971
    Collection Number: 2011C33
    Creator: Kurtz, Adolf, 1891-1975
    Collection Size: 2 ms. boxes (0.8 linear feet)
    Repository: 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
    Languages: German

    Administrative Information


    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Adolf Kurtz papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    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 http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . 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.

    Biographical Note

    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.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Anti-Nazi work.
    International relief.