Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin


Monthly Archives: November 2015


November 12, 2015

Area resident Rev. Dr. Wolf Knappe will speak on growing up as a Christian in Germany before, during, and after World War II on November 20 at 7 p.m., following the monthly family fish fry. Knappe, age 89, will talk about his family life during the Nazi rule of Germany during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Knappe was drafted as Luftwaffenhelfer (Air Force Helper) in 1943, serving in light flak (anti-aircraft) battery and a Mountain Ranger unit. He was taken prisoner near Ulm, Germany by Allied Forces on May 3, 1945 and released eight weeks later.

Knappe will explore the political climate in Germany during the 1930’s and the conditions of the Christian churches at that time, seeking to answer, “How could these things happen in the land of Martin Luther?” Knappe will talk about religious leaders Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, Jr., Martin Niemöller, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Knappe will discuss how political leaders of the Resistance, such as Stauffenberg, Moltke, and Goerdeler, struggled with the question of tyrannicide. Finally, Knappe will address, “What does all this mean for us today?” Knappe’s presentation includes a slide show of original, family photos. The event is part of a variety of events Peace offers free-of-charge.

Raised in Germany, Dr. Knappe received his initial theological training at the University of Erlangen. He holds a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary at Maywood (1949) and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (1977). He was ordained in the Bavarian Lutheran Church (1949) and has served congregations in Germany and the United States. Currently, Knappe is a rostered Pastor Emeritus of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and is still active in translating German works into English. Most recently, he has co-translated The Pastor by Wilhelm Loehe, published by Concordia Publishing House, 2015.


For more information please contact Rev. Peter Bender at Peace: (262) 246-3200.