Coburg Branch

Roger P. Minert, “Coburg Branch,” in Under the Gun: West German and Austrian Latter-day Saints in World War II (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 303–304.

At the far northern extent of the former kingdom of Bavaria, the city of Coburg was about as far as it could be from any other German city in which a branch of Latter-day Saints was found in 1939. About ninety minutes by train from Nuremberg, the city was otherwise not located along any major transportation routes. The members of the Coburg Branch were very isolated in that location and also few in number.

The records of the West German Mission show a branch population of only thirty persons, none of whom were Melchizedek priesthood holders. The branch president when the war began was Johann Schmidt, who traveled to Coburg from his home in Nuremberg to direct the activities of the branch. According to the mission directory, there were no Sunday School, Primary, or Mutual programs operating in the branch at the time. The Relief Society was led by a local woman, Alma Bauer, and she enjoyed the services of a secretary, Metha Franke. [1]

Coburg Branch [2]1939
Other Adult Males4
Adult Females19
Male Children1
Female Children1

The formal address of the Coburg Branch in 1939 was Kalenderweg 5, the house in which Sister Franke lived. It is not known whether she invited the branch members into her home each Sunday, or whether other rooms in the building were used. The mission directory offers a little additional information with the statement, “A small room is rented whenever larger sacrament meetings are held.” [3]

german housesFig. 1. The home at Kalenderweg 5 in which the Coburg Branch held meetings in 1939. (W. Kohlase)

Two meetings were held on Sundays in August 1939: a sacrament meeting at 3:00 p.m. and a cottage meeting at 8:00 p.m. The only other meeting scheduled at the time was Relief Society on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.

Due to a lack of eyewitness testimony and branch records as of this writing, nothing else is known about the Coburg Branch during World War II.

In Memoriam

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

Albert Christian Beck b. Frankenheim, Mittelfranken, Bayern, 29 Aug 1884; son of Johannes Beck and Karoline Guttmann; bp. 6 Sep 1933; conf. 6 Sep 1933; k. in battle Dec 1939 (FHL microfilm 68802, no. 453)

Flora Maria Becker b. Coburg, Bayern, 8 Jun 1914; dau. of August Wilhelm Becker and Johanna Karoline Luise Menke; bp. 5 Nov 1932; conf. 6 Nov 1932; m. 21 May 1938, Alfred Bernhard; d. heart failure 15 Aug 1940 (FHL microfilm 68786, no. 37; FHL microfilm 68802, no. 439; IGI)

Rudolf W. Bosseckert b. Kleinhennersdorf, Dresden, Sachsen, 8 Jun 1917; son of Walter Bosseckert and Elsa or Ella Binczik or Bincyik; bp. 27 Jun 1934; conf. 27 Jun 1934; ord. deacon 4 Nov 1934; ord. priest 5 Apr 1936; corporal; k. in battle Flanders, Belgium, 27 May 1940; bur. Lommel, Belgium (FHL microfilm 68786, no. 44; FHL microfilm 68802, no. 470;; IGI)

Margot Hanst b. Bald Wildungen, Bayern, 7 Mar 1925; dau. of Johannes Hanst and Ella Richter; bp. 11 Jun 1934; conf. 11 Jun 1934; d. suicide 16 Mar 1943 (CHL CR 275 8 2458, 107; FHL microfilm 68802, no. 467)

Paul Jakob Naumann b. Mittwitz, Bayern, 14 Feb 1910; son of Alwin Gundermann and Christina Margaretha Jakob; bp. 4 May 1920; conf. 4 May 1920; d. meningitis 8 Oct 1940 (FHL microfilm 68786, no. 35; FHL microfilm 68802, no. 300; IGI)


[1] West German Mission branch directory, 1939, CHL LR 10045 11.

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

[3] West German Mission branch directory, 1939.