Bischofswerda Branch, Dresden District

Roger P. Minert, In Harm’s Way: East German Latter-day Saints in World War II (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009), 229-30.

Members of the Bischofswerda Branch could attend district conferences in Dresden. The train ride took them twenty-five miles to the southwest in less than one hour. The branch was not large, but the Saints there had and exercised great faith in the Lord. For example, the following was reported in the history of the East German Mission:

Mon 5 Dec 1938: Elder Otto Hass, president of the Bischofswerda Branch, Dresden District, was called to administer to an eight-year-old friend of the Church, who was sick with diphtheria. On the day following the administration, the child was completely recovered.[1]

Bischofswerda Branch[2]1939








Other Adult Males


Adult Females


Male Children


Female Children




In early 1939, the branch meetings were held at Brauhausgasse 1 in a Hinterhaus, with access from the Albertstrasse.

Unfortunately, the mission history after 1941 has not been preserved, and little else is known of the Bischofswerda Branch during World War II. Heinz Koschnike was the only eyewitness available at the time of this writing. He did not come to Bischofswerda until 1946, when he and his family were evicted from Breslau along with other members of the three LDS branches in that city. Government officials assigned them living space in Bischofswerda and in the neighboring town of Rammenau.

Heinz described how the survivors of the small branch welcomed the LDS refugees, who greatly increased their numbers:

On Sunday we went to church. That was in a Hinterhaus, and there was a winding staircase. Those [three] older sisters who had prayed for us were so thrilled to have their prayers answered, and they greeted us with tears. There were too many of us to even fit in the rooms. There were about one hundred of us. That was in September 1946.[3]

The “three older sisters” mentioned informed the refugees that they had been praying for a long time for the Lord to send priesthood holders to their town. By the end of the war, fully one-third of the members of the branch had died. Thanks to the refugees, the Bischofswerda Branch had experienced a virtual rebirth.

In Memoriam

The following members of the Bischofswerda Branch did not survive World War II:

Emma Martha Bellack b. Schmoelln, Bautzen, Sachsen 23 Dec 1879; dau. of Johann Carl Gottfried Bellack and Anna Marie Flachs; bp. 23 Oct 1927; conf. 23 Oct 1927; m. Bischofswerda, Bautzen, Sachsen 1 Aug 1903, Ernst Willi Sturm; 5 children; 2m. Bischofswerda 10 Aug 1918, Emil Gustav Max Boden; 1 child; d. typhus Bautzen, Bautzen, Sachsen 9 Dec 1941 (CHL CR 375 8, reel #2427, no. 69; IGI)

Otto Hermann Paul Hass b. Stettin, Pommern, Preussen 4 Sep 1867; son of Christian Friedrich Erdtmann Hasse and Caroline Dorothea Luise Schuenemann; bp. 25 Feb 1903; conf. 25 Feb 1903; ord. teacher 19 Nov 1903; ord. priest 13 Oct 1912; ord. elder 13 Sep 1914; m. Spandau, Berlin, Brandenburg, Preussen 19 Dec 1892, Anna Franziska Juliane Hinze; 6 children; 2m. Bischofswerda, Bautzen, Sachsen 5 Dec 1931, Johanne Gertrud Kettner; 2 or 5 children; d. exhaustion Bischofswerda 27 Jul 1942 (CHL CR 375 8, reel #2427, no. 52; AF; IGI)

Anna Pauline Hempel b. Wilthen, Bautzen, Sachsen 2 Nov 1879; dau. of Karl Hempel and Karoline Kaulfuss; bp. 29 May 1938; conf. 29 May 1938; m. 11 Jan 1905, Karl Gustav Richter; d. accident 28 Jul 1944 (CHL CR 375 8, reel #2427, no. 68; IGI)

Hermann Paul Lange b. Plagwitz, Breslau, Schlesien, Preussen 23 Jan 1906; son of Karl August Lange and Anna Ida Klara Lehmann; bp. 17 May 1933; m. 28 Dec 1930; MIA 1944 or d. 1945 (CHL CR 375 8 2458, 1410; CHL 2458, form 42 FP, pt. 37, 1949 list: 1410–11; IGI)

Karl Otto Rudolf Quente b. Borau, Bautzen, Sachsen 2 Nov 1919; son of Otto Karl Quente and Johanna Gertrud Kettner; bp. 18 Aug 1928; conf. 18 Aug 1928; ord. deacon 7 Mar 1934; m. 19 Apr 1943, Martha Kuliberta Foswalde; MIA Russia 1942 or 1943 (CHL CR 375 8, reel #2427, no. 113; IGI; AF)

Kurt Walter Quente b. Bischofswerda, Bautzen, Sachsen 20 Nov 1920; son of Karl Otto Quente and Johanna Gertrud Kettner; bp. 31 Mar 1929; m.; d. 17 Mar 1945 (IGI)

Karl Gustav Richter b. Neukirch, Breslau, Schlesien, Preussen 29 Sep 1874; son of Karl August Richter and Christiane Beck; bp. 13 Jul 1941; conf. 13 Jul 1941; m. 11 Jan 1905, Pauline Richter; d. accident, 28 Jul 1944 (CHL CR 375 8, reel #2427, no. 88; IGI)

Erich Helmut Roethig b. Neugersdorf, Zittau, Bautzen, Sachsen 22 Oct or Dec 1919; son of Karl Erich Roethig and Frieda Elsa Gleitsmann; bp. 1 Nov 1927; m.; MIA 1944 or d. 4 Mar 1945 (CHL CR 375 8 2458, 1410; CHL 2458, form 42 FP, pt. 37, 1949 list: 1410–11; IGI)

Rudolf Johannes Schaarschuch b. Dresden, Dresden, Sachsen 5 Dec 1920; son of Richard Emil Schaarschuch and Martha Lina Rietschel; bp. 13 Jan 1929; conf. 13 Jan 1929; soldier; k. in battle near Stalingrad, Russia, 6 Sep 1942 (Sonntagsgruss, no. 1, 3 Jan 1943, 4; CHL CR 375 8, reel #2427, no. 77; IGI)

Heinz Erich Wolf b. Rauschwitz, Sachsen 23 May 1920; son of Erich Wolf and Elsa Selma Neumann; k. in battle Russia 14 Dec 1941 (CHL CR 375 8 2458, 744; CHL 2458, form 42 FP, pt. 37, 744–45; FHL Microfilm 245303, 1935 Census)


[1] East German Mission Quarterly Reports, 1938, no. 50, East German Mission History.

[2] Presiding Bishopric, “Financial, Statistical, and Historical Reports of Wards, Stakes, and Missions, 1884–1955,” CR 4 12, 257.

[3] Heinz Koschnike, interview by the author in German, Bischofswerda, Germany, June 7, 2007; summarized in English by Judith Sartowski.