Gereon Goldmann

Gereon Karl Goldmann ( Ziegenhain , 25 of October of 1916 ; † Fulda , 26 of July of 2003 ), German Franciscan priest . Being seminarista, it was recruited by the German army, and collaborated in the conspiracy against Hitler . Founder of the Academy of Sacred Music of Tokyo and author of the book The shadow of his wings (in Castilian, A seminarian in the SS ).



The convent of Gorheim-Sigmaringen.

He was born in the small town of Ziegenhain in Essen , while his father, a veterinarian by profession, was fighting on the western front. In 1919 , the family moved to Fulda , the father’s hometown.

When he was nine years old, he heard the sermon of a Franciscan from Japan , and after Mass, he entered the sacristy and asked him to take him with him to the land. His desire did not come true at the moment, but since then he had longed to go to Japan as a Franciscan.

Being still a child, his mother dies. Years later, his father married one of his sisters-in-law, and shortly afterwards, they moved to Cologne , where Gereon and his brothers entered a Jesuit school . In that city he maintained, along with his brothers and friends, various clashes with the young Hitlerians, in which they even got to produce knife wounds. Later he attends a school whose director was a convinced Nazi , and is arrested and called to testify before a judge. After 1934 , when the activities of groups of young Catholics were banned, he was denounced on several occasions, as a leader of the Catholic Youth and together with his companions, before the Juvenile Court, but they were amnestied again and again, Until after graduation, are sent to a labor camp in the Lüneberger Healt, occupation that voluntarily accepts.

At the end of 1936 , he entered the Franciscan novitiate of Gorgheim-Sigmaringen; From there it passes to Fulda, where, in the summer of 1939 , it finishes its studies of philosophy . One day after the final exam of philosophy, at age 22, he is required to join the military as a young man of military age. The Second World War had begun.

World War II

Recruited by the Nazi regime, it will later be incorporated into the SS. Along with some fellows, seminarians like him, he is proposed to be promoted to SS officer in exchange for leaving the Church, which he rejects. 1 After this, he is expelled from the SS and returned to Fulda. He is still in the army, closely watched. The Gestapo writes an accusatory report and takes it to court, but the court of war that judges it finally absolves. He later discovers that these judges are involved in the conspiracy against Hitler , and is invited to collaborate, which he accepts, serving as a liaison between Baron Adam von Trott and Herr von Kessel to transmit to him information on the preparations for the plot of 20 July of 1944 against Hitler . 2

Between several avatars, he continues as a soldier until the end of the war, carrying the flag of the Red Cross and pointing out his opposition to the regime, and at the end of the war, is captured. He managed to become a priest in 1944 ; He is later sent to a German prison camp in Kasr-Es-Souk, in French Morocco , where he assumes the role of chaplain. The Nazis organize a conspiracy against him, and falsely testify before a French court that condemns him to death in 1946 . He saves his life by reopening his case when he is about to be executed, and that same year he is released.

Activity after 1946

In 1954 he moved to Japan, where he developed an intense pastoral and care activity, being promoter of several initiatives. He also lived in India , where he was appointed Provincial of the Carmelites in Manalikara . In his later years, he returned to Germany , where he died in 2003.

He created the Academy of Sacred Music in Tokyo , whose reputation spread to Asia and the whole world.

He is the author, among others, of the book The shadow of his wings , translated in Castilian like A seminarista in the SS .


  1. Back to top↑ On the occasion of this incident, the officer of the information division entered the place where they were staying to humiliate them and publicly accuse them. Goldmann wrote a protest that reached the highest authorities, and Himmler himself ordered that “a declaration of the personal philosophy of these men ( Weltaschauung ) be requested .” They were ordered to obey. It was dangerous, but I was determined to put an end to it “. Goldmann wrote eight pages beginning: “I declare that I reject the Weltaschauung of the SS and the Socialist National Party.” ( The shadow of his wings , chapter 4).
  2. Back to top↑ On July 20, Goldmann was a prisoner in a camp near Algiers. On the occasion of the attack, two opposing factions arose within the camp: supporters of Nazism and those who were against. “Despite my fundamentally peaceful nature, I was still in agreement with those who believed that Hitler’s death was the only solution” ( The shadow of his wings , chapter 16).