Meerane Branch, Zwickau 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), 483-5.

Very little is known about the small branch of Latter-day Saints living in Meerane in 1939. The town is located ten miles north of Zwickau. As of July 3, 1938, the following men led the branch: Erwin Auerbach, president; Hermann Blechschmidt, first counselor; Max Paul Frenzel, second counselor; Kurt Auerbach, secretary.

Meerane Branch[1]1939








Other Adult Males


Adult Females


Male Children


Female Children




The Meerane Branch is mentioned on several occasions in the history of the East German Mission before the spring of 1939. The following entries are of interest:

Sunday, August 14, 1938: A branch conference was held and sixty-two members and friends attended.[2]

Wednesday, November 30, 1938: In the Meerane Branch, the members of the priesthood were the guests of the Relief Society at a program and social; the attendance was very good.[3]

Friday, January 13, 1939: A special meeting was held under the direction of the full-time missionaries of the Chemnitz and Zwickau Districts; twenty members and seventeen friends attended.[4]

Friday, March 3, 1939: A social was held in the Meerane Branch, Zwickau District. It was attended by members and friends of the Zwickau, Werdau, and Planitz Branches. The sum of RM 10.00 was collected for the Meerane Branch Welfare Association.[5]

Based on such reports, it appears that the basic meetings were being held in Meerane and that some of the auxiliaries of the Church were also functioning as World War II approached.

At the conclusion of the year 1939, the Meerane Branch was holding its meetings at Marienstrasse 42 on the main floor. The location had changed to Augustusstrasse 99 in the home of the Blechschmidt family by January 1943. However, a note in the mission directory on that date indicates that meetings were sporadic at best. It may then be that the Meerane Branch was substantially weakened by 1945.

In Memoriam

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

Selma Emma Ahnert b. Niederschindmaas, Chemnitz, Sachsen 3 Dec 1863; dau. of Johann Christian Gottlieb Ahnert and Christiana Johanna Hochmuth; bp. 9 May 1929; conf. 9 May 1929; m. Niederschindmaas 2 or 29 Nov 1887, Hermann Theodor Trummer; 4 children; 2m. Niederschindmaas 23 Sep 1901 or 18 Feb 1904, Ernst Strangfeld; 1 child; d. old age 29 Mar 1945 (CHL CR 375 8 2444, no. 11; IGI)

Egon Auerbach b. Glauchau, Zwickau, Sachsen 19 Nov 1938; son of Karl Erwin Auerbach and Anna Elsa Neubert; d. lung ailment 21 or 22 Mar 1940 (CHL CR 375 8 2444, no. 63; IGI; AF)

Erich Willi Bauer b. Zschornewitz, Sachsen, Preussen 24 Jun 1919; son of Robert Alfred Bauer and Marie Sophie Wassmus; bp. 30 Jun 1927; m. 21 Aug 1943, Ruth Adina Blechschmidt; lance corporal; d. field hospital Brest-Litowsk, Russia 23 or 28 Oct 1943 (Sonja K. Nesbitt; IGI;

Karl Hermann Blechschmidt b. Stangendorf, Chemnitz, Sachsen 18 Jul 1873 or 1875; son of Hermann Alexander Nienhold or Carl Louis Meinhardt and Augusta Amalia Blechschmidt; bp. 29 Mar 1929; conf. 29 Mar 1929; ord. deacon 3 May 1931; ord. priest 2 Apr 1933; ord. elder 28 Nov 1937; m. Marienthal, Zwickau, Sachsen 5 Nov 1898, Klara Hulda Daemmler; 13 or 14 children; d. weak heart Meerane, Zwickau, Sachsen 2 Feb 1940 (CHL CR 375 8 2444, no. 4; IGI; AF)

Auguste Louise Grundmann b. Meerane, Zwickau, Sachsen 31 Oct or Nov 1862; dau. of Johann Wilhelm and Christiana Johanna Peterman; bp. 29 Mar 1929; conf. 29 Mar 1929; m. Meerane 4 Dec 1897, Max Paul Frenzel; d. old age 25 Jun 1943 (CHL CR 375 8 2444, no. 9; IGI; AF)

Elsa Marie Koehler b. Meerane, Zwickau, Sachsen 18 Jan 1881; dau. of Alfred Theodor Koehler and Bertha Emilie Schwalbe; bp. 3 Apr 1931; conf. 3 Apr 1931; m. Meerane 21 Apr 1900, Paul August Bartko; 2 children; d. liver cancer Meerane 10 Oct 1940 (CHL CR 375 8 2444, no. 28; IGI; AF)

Anna Therese Scheithauer b. Ölsnitz, Chemnitz, Sachsen 4 Nov 1859; dau. of Johann Gottlieb Scheithauer and Christiane Johanne Hartel; bp. 3 Apr 1931; conf. 3 Apr 1931; m. 28 Aug 1884, Paul Heinrich Haertel; d. old age 17 Dec 1941 (CHL CR 375 8 2444, no. 31; IGI)

Erich Gerhard Schirner b. Bad Kösen, Sachsen, Preussen 8 or 18 Apr 1921; son of Rudolph August Schirner and Elsa Klara Belchschmidt; bp. 21 Apr 1930; conf. 21 Apr 1930; ord. deacon 3 Mar 1935; ord. teacher 5 Dec 1937; ord. priest 23 Jun 1940; d. tuberculosis 22 or 24 Mar 1943 (CHL CR 375 8 2444, no. 37; IGI)


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

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

[3] Ibid., no. 47.

[4] Ibid., 1939, no. 53.

[5] Ibid., no. 59.