Germany / Biography
In 1945, the pastor of Roetgen was one of the first people to be liberated by the US troops. He was one of many opponents of the regime who were able to draw new hope after years of oppression.
Catholic clergyman, Ludwig Heinen (1900 - 1996), took over the leadership of the parish of St. Hubertus in Roetgen in 1941. His transfer from Krefeld to the borderland parish was due to his rejection of the National Socialists. He had stuck to his basic Christian principles, especially in youth work, and had repeatedly come into conflict with the regime. As chaplain in Stolberg, Heinen had refused to dissolve the Catholic youth associations. As a result, the parish hall and his flat had been graffitied and windows had been smashed.
In Roetgen, Father Heinen viewed the invasion of the US troops as a liberation, and in 1946 he documented his experiences of opposing the Nazi regime for the occupation authorities. His resistance was an opposition from the perspective of the Catholic Church: he did not want to give up his position to the Nazi regime. During his time in Roetgen, he concentrated on the narrower circle of his church community. Nevertheless, his story represents all opponents of the regime who saw the advance of the Allied troops as a liberation from the dictatorship.