"St. Michael's and the Berlin Wall" - Part I



    The Lutheran Journal, Vol. 59, #2, 1990 - Erwin Weber


St. Michael's Church is located in Erfurt, a city in Lutherland now located behind the crumbled wall of the "Iron Curtain". I visited the church in March of 1990, four months after the wall came down, and spoke with its pastor, Helmut Hartmann, whom he had met a dozen years earlier in Eisleben, the city of Luther's birth and death. At that time, Hartmann was pastor of St. Andreas Church in which Luther so often preached from the same pulpit which stands today. Hartmann showed me the recently discovered library in the church tower which contained several first editions books dating back to the time of the Reformation, including the Book of Concord, Luther's entire Bible of 1534, Luther's new Testament of 1522, and dogmatic works of Philip Melanchthon and other reformers of the 16th century, such as Flacius, Major, and Selnecker.

The article is based on an interview with Helmut Hartman, pastor of St. Michael's Church in Erfurt. It deals primarily with the rich cultural heritage of the 800-year old church from its beginning up to the present in a divided Germany.