While in 1933 Adolf Hitler emerged from the brown quagmire of National Socialism to become Chancellor of the Reich and to establish his totalitarian state, a New-Testament apostolic church developed in the same city. Its leader, Karl Fix, bravely offered Hitler resistance.
Neither the ban on public gatherings issued in 1934, nor the permanent control by the GESTAPO could quench the burning zeal of the new converts. In 1934, many more than 1,000 participants were counted in the services; many of them experienced miraculous healings.
Through his literature mission, Fix was able to distribute around two million tracts in more than 12 countries. Thus the movement rapidly spread beyond the German borders. Encouraged by his prophetic view, Fix frankly warned the people of the self-proclaimed “Fuehrer”.
The Swiss historian Walter Hollenweger, whose standard work Enthusiastisches Christentum - Die Pfingstbewegung in Geschichte und Gegenwart published in 1969, which, in its translation of 1997, was entitled Pentecostalism Origins and Developments Worldwide, merely mentions the Volksmission in a marginal note without dealing with its historical significance.
This article, after giving a short survey of how the German Pentecostal Movement came into being, points out the contribution of the Volksmission, focusing on its establishment over the years between 1933 and 1945. The theology of the Volksmission, which is classically Pentecostal, awaits a further article.
History of Religion | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Röckle, B., & Kay, W.K. (2003) ‘Born in difficult times: the founding of the Volksmission and the work of Karl Fix’. Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, 23, 72-101
Digital Commons Citation
Rockle, B and Kay, William K., "Born in difficult times: the founding of the Volksmission and the work of Karl Fix" (2003). Theology. Paper 16.