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Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1949-Present From West Germany through to the modern reunified German Republic.

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Military Pastoral Care in the Bundeswehr;
Old 12-28-2016, 04:37 PM   #1
Gordon Craig
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Default Military Pastoral Care in the Bundeswehr;

Gentlemen,
I've been interested in this subject for some time and have written finally something about the Militärseelsorge. The information contained in the article comes from the BW Militärseelsorge web site and from the books on the BW written by Schultz and Kunswadl. Any mistakes are my own and if you can correct anything, or add useful information, I would appreciate it. The pictures of the slip on shoulder tabs shown first and from my own collection. There is an endless amount arm badges worn in the field and I will post pictures from the net illustrating them.

Regards,

Gordon

Military Pastoral Care in the Bundeswehr;

The Catholic military service began on the basis that the Reichskonkordat of July 10, 1933, was still considered valid. The Protestant Military Chaplaincy is based on a treaty between the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and the Federal Republic of Germany signed on February 22, 1957. Both arms of the Christian church provide for the pastoral care of servicemen and women of their respective churches. Military pastoral care is part of the ecclesiastical work carried out on behalf of and under the supervision of the church. The state provides for the organization of the military service and bears its costs. The background to pastoral care is to ensure the right of the soldiers to exercise their religion freely and undisturbed even under the special conditions of the military service.
The Protestant service is currently comprises (as of May 27, 2016) of 98 military chaplain and about the same number of parish helpers standing by on site as a contact and partially responsible for multiple sites. There are no numbers available for the Catholic service. In addition to religious services ethical support of the soldiers is provided. At foreign locations of the Bundeswehr, where the soldier’s live with their whole families, there is also a complete community life. Military pastoral care is not directed expressly to members of the church, but to all members of the military.
The Chaplains do not wear the service uniforms of the BW. They do not have military ranks and are not integrated into the hierarchy of the Bundeswehr. Rather, they are assigned to the military services through cooperation with the individual church organizations.
The members of the military of both confessions and their assistance are to be equipped with daily working uniforms according to the unit they are serving with. In the event of military operations, they are to be equipped with combat equipment. However, they do not carry arms. When assigned on boats and ships of the Bundesmarine, they receive the applicable work and combat uniforms.
They may wear an armband with the red cross and a 5 cm wide violet ribbon. They wear a distinctive mark on the slip on shoulder straps, which, in form and color, correspond to the religious denomination and the branch in which they are serving. The Catholic priests wear a cross surmounted by a crown in the same colour. A simple cross is worn by the Protestant pastors on the first type of slip on. The second type of slip on has a simple cross and in a sem-circle below the cross the Protestant Chaplain's motto “Domini Sumus” (in English: We belong to the Lord ). Chaplains serving with the army or the air force have silver, embroidered devices on their slip on shoulder straps. Chaplains serving with the marine have gold, embroidered devices on their slip on shoulder straps.
The Catholic service also has a metal cross, suspended from a chain, which they wear in the worship service and possibly at other times. The Protestant service does not wear a cross. The clergy of both denominations may dress themselves with stoles when wearing BW uniforms, or they may wear their specific ecclesiastical garb during religious services.
A Precursor to the chaplaincy in the Bundeswehr was pastoral care at the barracks of the civilian German Labor Service units of the US Armed Forces in Germany, which began in June 1951.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:43 PM   #2
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I mentioned armbands in the text that could be worn by Chaplains. There appear to be two kinds. One of an international design based on the red cross worn by Chaplains and the other of a similar design but, but not based on the Red Cross design, worn by soldiers who assist the Chaplains. I do not own either of these two armbands so the pictures are from a reference book.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:48 PM   #3
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I also mention in the text that Catholic Chaplains wear a cross on a chain around their neck. Another piece missing from my collection. It is similar in design to the cross worn by Catholic Chaplains in the Wehrmacht. I've post pictures of both in wear for comparison. In the Wehrmacht the Protestant Chaplains wore a similar cross with a plain front. Chaplains in the BW do not wear a cross on their caps.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:52 PM   #4
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Now some pictures of BW Chaplains serving around the world. First from Mali and Afghanistan. The picture from Afghanistan illustrates the wear of the Stole by both Catholic and Protestant Chaplains.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:53 PM   #5
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Stoles of many styles and colours can be seen in photographs.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:55 PM   #6
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And the last photographs for this thread from me. Can you add to it?
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:42 PM   #7
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Hi Gordon,

here are the pieces from my collection:



Uwe
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:42 PM   #8
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Uwe,

Thanks for your post. Much appreciated.

Regards,

Gordon
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:16 PM   #9
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Some pocket hangers from my collection: Catholic Brustanhänger far left and 4 different protestant blue ones.

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Old 01-05-2017, 09:49 PM   #10
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Great looking pocket hangers. Thanks for posting pictures of them.

Regards,

Gordon
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