Gertrud & Reverend Otto Mörike

Germany

Gertrud & Reverend Otto MörikeGertrud & Reverend Otto Mörike

Reverend - and later dean - Otto Mörike (b. April 7, 1897) was a pastor of the Evangelical Church and one of the members of the “Bruderrat” (fraternal council) of the Confessing Church in Württemberg. The Bruderrat, in response to an appeal by its Berlin Branch, provided refuge and help to Jews “on the run”, especially during the final phase of World War II.

Mörike consistently opposed the Nazi regime. On the occasion of the 1938 plebiscite on the annexation of Austria and Hitler's leadership in Germany, Otto and Gertrud Mörike attached statements that were most critical of Hitler's policies. Otto Mörike criticized the continuing existence of concentration camps and the impunity of the Gestapo. He concluded with the prediction that the government's "aggression against the church and the Christian faith as well as the abolishment of justice and morality are the beginning of a trend that will earn the condemnation by God and therefore the destruction of our country." In response to this statement, Mörike was twice attacked by an angry mob, led by a number of SA men, and was severely beaten before being imprisoned. He was removed as the pastor of his church in Kirchheim/Teck.

In November 1943, he and his wife Gertrud hid the Jewish couple Max and Karoline Krakauer in their house in the village of Flacht, together with their own five children, a wounded foster child, and three other persons. To dispel possible suspicion, Mörike appeared with the Jewish couple in public and let it be known that they were Aryan acquaintances and fugitives from Berlin. Though the Krakauers could not stay in Flacht longer than four weeks, because this would have obliged them to register with the police, Mörike took upon himself the overall responsibility for organizing for them secret accommodations until the end of the war.

On November 3, 1970, Yad Vashem decided to recognize Otto and Gertrud Mörike as Righteous Among the Nations.

 

This online story was made possible with the support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.