Brandenburg-Potsdam Branch, Berlin 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), 93-4.

On Sunday, August 14, 1938, a special meeting was held in Potsdam, Germany, to open a branch of the LDS Church there. Mission president Alfred C. Rees presided, and Richard Ranglack, president of the Berlin District, was also in attendance. Edward B. Wimmer, a missionary from the United States, was called to be the branch president. The attendees included thirty-two members and friends.[1]

Potsdam-Brandenburg Branch[2]1939








Other Adult Males


Adult Females


Male Children


Female Children




The establishment of the Potsdam Branch is evidence of the growth that characterized the Church in Germany in the late 1930s. Potsdam lies just thirty miles southwest of the Reich capital at Berlin. Approximately 113,000 residents called Potsdam their home in 1939.

The new branch prospered in Potsdam; the records of the East German Mission show the following entry for Sunday, October 16, 1938: “At the opening meeting of the new Potsdam Branch hall, twenty-five Saints and fourteen friends were present. The new hall was located at Kaiser Wilhelm Strasse 28.”[3]

The Brandenburg-Potsdam Branch members posingThe Brandenburg-Potsdam Branch members posed for this photograph in 1941. (I. Bendler-Broughton)

Friedrich Fischer, first counselor in the Berlin District presidency, and two sister missionaries also attended. No description of the meeting rooms is available.

While the Potsdam Branch members were striving to maintain and improve their presence in that city, things were not going as well in the city of Brandenburg, fifteen miles to the west. The mission presidency found it necessary to take the following action on Sunday, December 10, 1938: “The Brandenburg Branch, Berlin District, was dissolved. The members were transferred to the Potsdam Branch books, bringing the total membership in Potsdam to fifty-four.”[4]

As of this writing, no survivors of the Potsdam Branch could be located for interviews.

In Memoriam

One member of the Brandenburg-Potsdam Branch did not survive World War II:

August Adolf Liedtke b. Mahnsfeld Ostpreussen, Preussen Apr 1859; son of Karl Ludwig Liedtke and Caroline Wilhelmine Buchholz; bp. 4 Apr 1904; ord. elder; m. Mansfeld, Ostpreussen, Preussen 8 Oct 1882, Auguste Koesling; 7 children; d. stroke Potsdam, Brandenburg, Preussen 17 Nov 1939. (Stern 1 Jan 1940, No. 1, pg. 15; IGI)


[1] East German Mission Quarterly Reports, 1938, no. 35, East German Mission History.

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

[3] East German Mission Quarterly Reports, 1938, no. 44.

[4] Ibid., 10.