Reutlingen Branch

Roger P.Minert, “Reutlingen 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), 436–437.

The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in Reutlingen were few in number in 1939. Although they lived only twenty miles from Stuttgart, they were not supported by American missionaries at the time and might well have felt a bit isolated from the Church.

The main worship service was the sacrament meeting that took place at 10:30 a.m. in a room at Hohenzollernstrasse 1. [1] The branch directory also indicated that cottage meetings were being held at 8:00 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. With such a small branch population, it is likely that a single room could accommodate those who attended the meetings.

Reutlingen Branch [2]1939
Other Adult Males8
Adult Females16
Male Children1
Female Children0

Little is known about the general membership of the Reutlingen Branch, but documents found among the reports filed by president Erwin Ruf of the Stuttgart District show that several citizens of Reutlingen were required to officially withdraw (or be released) from the local Evangelical [Lutheran] Church in order “to join the Mormons” as of April 4, 1938: [3]

Jud Friedrich [N.], born 1886, a master furniture maker

Jud Amalie nee Reisch, born 1885

Jud Anneliese [N.], born 1915, a seamstress

Jud Helene [N.], born 1917, a franchise manager

Jud Friedrich [N.], born 1923, attends school

The branch directory submitted to the mission office in June 1939 shows only one name: Friedrich Jud as branch president. Other than the names of two more members who died, the only other information available about this small branch during the years 1939 to 1945 is that the membership grew by two persons by November 1941—one elder and one male child. [4]

The general minutes of the Stuttgart District were kept conscientiously by president Erwin Ruf from November 1939 to June 1942 and include frequent notes of his visits among the Saints in Reutlingen. [5] On each occasion, he indicated which meeting he attended and provided the topic of the talk he gave. He also indicated that on a regular basis, he inspected the records of the branch. No other comments were recorded.

It is possible that the Reutlingen Branch discontinued meetings in early 1943. As of February of that year, Friedrich Jud began regular visits to and participation in meetings of the Göppingen Branch. [6] The distance from Reutlingen to Göppingen is only about thirty miles as the crow flies, but the trip by rail would have been indirect and likely took close to two hours in those days.

In Memoriam

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

Friedrich Hans Jud b. Reutlingen, Schwarzwaldkreis, Württemberg, 27 Oct 1923; son of Friedrich Johannes Jud and Amalie Reisch; bp. 29 May 1932; conf. 29 May 1932; ord. deacon 2 Apr 1939; rifleman; d. in field hospital 3/619 at Taganrog, Russia, 25 Jan 1943 or 1945 (FHL microfilm 68807, book 2, no. 547; FHL microfilm 271374; 1930 and 1935 censuses; IGI; AF;

Eva Maria Ulmer b. Willmandingen, Reutlingen, Schwarzwaldkreis, Württemberg, 16 May 1861; dau. of Johannes Ulmer and Catharine Barbara Moek; bp. 17 May 1941; conf. 17 May 1941; m. 9 Feb 1892, Ludwig Eissler; d. old age 6 Jun 1943 (FHL microfilm 68807, book 2, no. 719; IGI; AF)

Albrecht Weichinger b. Boll, Schwarzwaldkreis, Württemberg, 11 Sep 1911; son of Joseph Weichinger and Wilhelmine Frank; bp. 9 Jun 1924; conf. 9 Jun 1924; d. murder 16 Oct 1941 (FHL microfilm 68807, book 2, no. 16; FHL microfilm 245296; 1930 and 1935 censuses; IGI)


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

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

[3] CHL MS 13360, 165.

[4] Erwin Ruf, Stuttgart District statistics, CHL CR 16982 11.

[5] Stuttgart District general minutes, CHL CR 16982 11.

[6] Göppingen Branch general minutes, CHL LR 3235 11, vol. 15.