Gertrud Luckner was a Christian social worker and a leader in the resistance movement against the Nazi party. Luckner was a member of the German Catholic Peace Movement that sent food and assistance to deported Jews. Her efforts led to her arrest and internment at a German concentration camp until the end of World War II.
As a pacifist, Luckner joined the German Catholic Peace Movement when the Nazis were rising to power. While working with this movement, Luckner collaborated with other organizations to help Jews safely escape Germany. After witnessing Kristallnacht in 1938, a night when Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues were burned all over Germany, Luckner began working full time with Caritas, the German Association of Catholic Charitable Organizations. Luckner helped many Jewish refugees find safe refuge abroad, and she also sent food, clothing, and shelter with trusted contacts.
After the war started, Luckner formed the Office for Religious War Relief through the Catholic charity organization. Through this office, Freiburg Catholics were able to help persecuted Jews and Christians. Luckner tried to form an underground network that would provide financial assistance to Jews. With funding from the archbishop, they secretly sent Jews to Switzerland and sent information about the plight of the Jews to the rest of the world.
After constant surveillance by the Gestapo in 1943, Luckner was arrested as a Catholic activist and opponent of National Socialism. She was sent to a concentration camp and survived the war. After the war Luckner returned to social work and assisted the victims of persecution. Luckner also dedicated herself to reconciliation and understanding between Christians and Jews, starting a journal for that cause.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
Luckner was a member of the Roman Catholic Church and believed that faith should be lived out. When asked why she did all that she did during the war, she replied, "But that was obvious. That was obvious to me,” as a way of saying that her faith compelled her to do it.
Tree Planting Ceremony
Tree Planting Ceremony for Gertrud Luckner in Israel, for her work in saving Jews during WWII