2. April 1946 - Friedrich Muckermann SJ
† in Montreux (Switzerland)
Friedrich came from Nether Saxonia, from the town Bückeburg (district Schaumburg) at the northern edge of the Weser Mountenous Land. There he was born on August 17th 1883. His Father Hermann had come from Münsterland and had got his military training with the Bückeburger Jäger (huntsmen). His mother Anne, who came from Saxonia, was very pious and tolerant toward the majority of the Protestant population. Deliberately the family cultivated a religious life. So the common grace was of course daily said.
The economical basis of the large family was a prosperous shoe shop. The family was blessed with children. Friedrich had still eight sisters and brothers. Three girls became sisters with the Order of St Ursula. His six years older brother Herman was Jesuit too, but left the Order after 19 years. He worked then as secular priest at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin, since 1948 as professor of eugenic.
On September 30 1899 Friedrich entered in Blyenbeck the Society of Jesus. Magister for the Novices was since 1892 Father Ernst Thill. Father Muckermann wrote about him: He was an decidedly handsome man with marked features and big shining eyes. And he had an enchanting voice, a sonore bass, and cultivated manners. A magical power went out from him, and he held the educational bridles firmly in his hands. ... We were overwhelmed by the opulence of his presentations. ... He was a personality where serverity and kindness had entered into alliance with each other.
Father Muckermann studied in Valkenburg (Holland). In 1914, in the first month of World War I, he was ordained priest. Tertianship Instructor was Father Thill again, who had been meanwhile Provincial (1907-1911).
Afterwards his public activity as orator, journalist, and writer began. His fight was directed against the Bolshevism and the Nazi-Regime. In 1919 he was imprisoned in jails of Minsk and Smolensk.
In the fight against the Nazi Regime he was active by uncounted speeches and articles. He was editor of the magazines "Der Gral" (prohibited in 1939) and "Der deutsche Weg", spoke each Sunday over the Parisian Radio, the last time before the fall of Paris in June 1940. The Hitler-Regime saw him, as could be read on posters, as public enemy No. 1. Highly talented , he understood brilliantly to formulate and to characterize to the point. The Gestapo chased him through half Europe. Its blood-hounds roamed through the region of Frankfurt where Father Muckermann was in hiding. They did not find him. He was always a bit ahead of his persecutors, from hiding place to hiding place.
At the beginning of March 1943 he succeeded in his adventurous flight by car into Switzerland. During which, as he told later, his guardian angel had sweated blood.
At first he lived in the residence of the Jesuits in Geneva. But soon it was for him too turbulent there. He went to Montreux. In his last Swiss years he published still two books about the technical era in the Christian view, and about Wladimir Solowjew. His thoughts about that Russian theosoph apply also to him. He wrote, "Solowjew was a man of divine order, fervently interwoven with love ... wisdom was coupled with knowledge, and mysticism with a sober mind. And all richness in him was wunderfully animated by that divine love which was glowing in him like a holy flame. ... "
Spasms of his heart and angina pectoris were hard on him. When in 1946 a occlusion of the gall-bladder supervened, a stationary medical attention became necessary. He got it in the Clinic Florinmont in Montreux at the Geneva Lake. There he died quietly toward evening on April 2nd 1946, at the age of sixty three. During a service, which Father Superior celebrated on March 25th (Lady Day) in his sick-room and which he con-celebrated in deep faith, he had got the viaticum.
When he fled into Switzerland, a box with writings was left in France. Mme L. Brun, a confidential person, kept it hidden. 1946 that box came to Switzerland, and from there to Cologne into the Province Archives of the Jesuits.
To the contents of the box belonged also Father Muckermann's 'Lebenserinnerungen' (biography), which he dictated to his secretary Aimée Molnár. Father Nikolaus Junk SJ has prepared and introduced them, and in 1973 they were published by Grünewald Mainz.
Original Obituary in German
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