Rendsburg Branch

Roger P. Minert, “Rendsburg 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), 393–394.

Situated on the north bank of the Kiel Canal that connects the North and the Baltic Seas, the city of Rendsburg is in the middle of the German Schleswig-Holstein state. One of the smallest branches in Germany at the time, it nevertheless had enough members to fill Church auxiliary leadership positions in the months that preceded World War II. Thilo Hopf was the branch president, and he was assisted by one counselor, Wilhelm Nissen. [1] Those men were two of five priesthood holders among the Saints in Rendsburg.

Rendsburg Branch [2]1939
Other Adult Males5
Adult Females16
Male Children1
Female Children0

Other branch leaders were Marie Hopf (YWMIA) and Margarete Tank (Relief Society). These few Saints met in rented rooms at Altstätter Markt in downtown Rendsburg. Four of the weekly meetings were held on Sundays: Sunday School at 10:00, Mutual and the genealogy class at 6:00 p.m., and sacrament meeting at 7:00 p.m. The Relief Society sisters met on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m.

The only information available regarding this small branch comes from the manuscript history in the collection of the Church History Library. The following entries are of interest for the war years: [3]

Tuesday, August 22, 1939: Joseph Fielding Smith spoke in Kiel. Nine members from Rendsburg attended.

Sunday, December 22, 1940: Due to illness, only seven persons attended the Christmas program.

Sunday, November 30, 1941: No meetings were held today; attendance is often only four persons nowadays.

Sunday, March 15, 1942: The centennial of the Relief Society was commemorated [the same program was presented a week later in Flensburg].

Sunday, May 3, 1942: The conference of the Schleswig-Holstein District was held in Flensburg; four persons from the Rendsburg Branch attended.

Sunday, May 2, 1943: The conference of the Schleswig-Holstein District was held in Kiel; several members from Rendsburg attend.

Sunday, September 26, 1943: The conference of the Schleswig-Holstein District was held in Kiel; three members from Rendsburg attended.

The records kept by the Rendsburg Branch clerk during the war years were very sparse. Nevertheless, attendance numbers were usually recorded and show that during the last months of the war (January–May 1945), the attendance at Sunday meetings fluctuated between three and five persons. Annual events in the branch included Mother’s Day.

Due to a lack of other records and eyewitnesses, nothing more is known about the Rendsburg Branch during World War II. No members of the branch are known to have died during the war years or later as a result of the war.


[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] Rendsburg Branch manuscript history, CHL 7408 2. Page numbers of the entries quoted above are 142, 152, 158, 159, 162, 165, and 167.