Pastor Ludwig Müller joined the NSDAP in 1931; he was a founder and regional leader of the German Christian movement [Glaubensbewegung Deutsche Christen]. After Hitler assumed the chancellorship, Müller acted as his “Plenipotentiary for Protestant Church Matters” and was appointed Reich Bishop on September 27, 1933. As the Third Reich’s highest-ranking Protestant dignitary, he pursued the institutional and doctrinal “coordination” [Gleichschaltung] of the church from within. The synthesis of Christianity and racial theory that Müller promoted, however, was rejected by segments of the Protestant Church, especially the Confessing Church [Bekennende Kirche]. Müller managed to achieve neither ecclesiastical unity nor complete state control over the Gospel. Starting in July 1935, the Nazi regime pursued these goals by means of the newly-founded Ministry of Church Affairs under the direction of Hanns Kerrl, who began a campaign of persecution and oppression against oppositional theologians and clergy. At that point, Müller lost almost all influence on Nazi ecclesiastical policy; he committed suicide shortly after the war ended. The photo shows Müller (left) with the head of the ministry, August Jäger (right).

Reich Bishop Ludwig Müller after his Inauguration at the Berlin Cathedral (September 23, 1934)


Source: Reich Bishop Ludwig Müller after his inauguration at the Berlin Cathedral – next to him Ministerial Director August Jäger. Unknown photographer.
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