Fürth Branch

Roger P. Minert, “Furth 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), 304–305.

Located just six miles northwest of the Nuremberg city center, Fürth was a city of 78,838 people when World War II began. The branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had existed there for not quite one year at the time, as we read in the records of the West German Mission:

Sunday, September 11, 1938: The newly organized Fürth Branch held a special sacrament meeting with Pres. [M. Douglas] and Sister [Evelyn] Wood in attendance. [1]

Fürth Branch [2]1939
Other Adult Males13
Adult Females34
Male Children5
Female Children4

Although less than a year old, the Fürth Branch had a stable unit, with thirteen men and boys holding the priesthood. As was the case in so many branches in Germany in those days, the number of women over twelve years of age dominated the Fürth Branch population at 49 percent. The smallest portion of the branch consisted of the children.

The branch president in July 1939 was Johann Schmidt. A resident of Nuremberg, he may have been chosen for the assignment as an expatriate of Fürth. [3] According to the branch directory, President Schmidt could be reached by telephone at his office in a Nuremberg insurance company from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. His wife, Frieda, was the leader of the YWMIA. President Schmidt’s counselors were Heinrich Beck and Georg Beck. Georg Völker was the leader of the YMMIA, and Anna Beck was the president of the Relief Society. Robert Beck was the superintendent of the Sunday School and the instructor of the genealogical research group.

The Fürth Branch held their meetings in rooms on the third floor of a Hinterhaus at Pfisterstrasse 16. Sunday School began at 10:00 a.m. and sacrament meeting at 7:00 p.m. Mutual met on Tuesday evenings at 8:00 p.m. and the Relief Society met on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. The choir rehearsed on the third Sunday, and the genealogical study group met on the fourth Sunday.

In the absence of any eyewitnesses or surviving branch reports, nothing more is known about the Fürth Branch during the years 1939 to 1945. Several eyewitnesses from the Nuremberg Branch indicated that they attended church meetings on an infrequent basis in Fürth after their own branch rooms were destroyed on January 2–3, 1945. The city of Fürth was the object of fifteen air raids that damaged 11 percent of the city’s structures. [4]

In Memoriam

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

Johann Beck b. Fürth, Nürnberg, Bayern, 26 Jan 1883; son of Georg Beck and Elisabetha Ernsberger; bp. 3 Oct 1922; conf. 3 Oct 1922; m. Fürth 17 Aug 1907, Pauline Louise Seidel; 8 children; d. stomach cancer Fürth 28 Sep 1942 (FHL microfilm 68802, no. 5; CHL CR 375 8 2458; FHL microfilm no. 25720 1925 and 1935 censuses; IGI)

Kunigunda Ernsberger b. Siegelsdorf, Bayern, 26 Feb 1858; dau. of Johann Christof Strattner and Elisabetha Ernsberger; bp. 9 Mar 1891; conf. 9 Mar 1891; m. Burgfarrnbach, Fürth, Bayern, 25 Nov 1888, Georg Konrad Pfund; d. old age 15 Apr 1944 (FHL microfilm 68802, no. 10; CHL CR 375 8 2458; FHL microfilm no. 271393; 1925 and 1935 censuses; IGI)

Margarethe Ott b. Geißengrund, Bayern, 4 Jun 1883; dau. of Magdalina Ott; bp. 22 Sep 1923; conf. 22 Sep 1923; m. Georg Mangold; d. 31 Oct 1944 (FHL microfilm 68802, no. 25; FHL microfilm no. 245225; 1930 census)

Joseph Rothmeier b. Fürth, Nürnberg, Bayern, 8 Aug 1911; son of Anton Rothmeier and Franziska Bierl, bp. 2 Mar 1924; conf. 2 Mar 1924; ord. deacon 17 Feb 1931; k. in battle Russia 30 Dec 1943 (FHL microfilm 68802, no. 41; CHL CR 375 8 2458)

Christian Völker b. Fürth, Nürnberg, Bayern, 27 Jul 1917; son of Georg Völker and Elise Feiertag; bp. 12 Oct 1930; conf. 12 Oct 1930; sergeant; d. field hospital in Bos. Novi/Croatia 11 Sep 1944 (CHL microfilm 2458, form 42 FP, pt. 37, 10–11; FHL microfilm 68802, no. 368; www.volksbund.de)

Konrad Völker b. Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Bayern, 26 Sep 1914; son of Georg Völker and Elise Feiertag; bp. 1 Sep 1923; MIA near Bjelgorod or Bolchowetz or Dnjeprodsershinssk or Melechowo or Kaminowatka or Nikolajewka 1 Aug 1943 (CHL microfilm 2458, form 42 FP, pt. 37, pp. 10-11; www.volksbund.de)

Margarete Zuckermandel b. Schweighausen, Bayern, 27 Oct 1898; dau. of Michael Zuckermandel and Margarete Wörlein or Schwarz; bp. 8 Oct 1939; conf. 8 Oct 1939; m. 30 Dec 1940, Friedrich Eckert; d. spinal infection 31 Oct 1942 (FHL microfilm 68802, no. 546; CHL CR 375 8 2458; IGI)


[1] West German Mission quarterly report, 1938, no. 33, CHL LR 10045 2.

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

[3] Brother Schmidt was simultaneously serving as the president of the Coburg Branch.

[4] Fürth city archive..