Clemens August Graf von Galen

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Clemens August Graf von Galen (16 March 1878 – 22 March 1946) was Bishop of Münster from 1933 until his death in 1946.

He believed the Dolchstosslegende explained the German army's defeat in 1918-that Germany had been destroyed by defeatist elements on the home front. (Beth A Griech-Polelle)


  • I encouraged them, each who was able, to serve the Fatherland...I have done this [volunteered] because I believe I must be a good example for my community.
    • Galen to his mother, August 3 1914.
  • And now go and serve your fatherland.
    • von Galen, to the philosopher Josef Pieper when he went to say farewell to the bishop, having been drafted into the German army in 1943. Pieper remarked; I was somewhat baffled; it was a long time since I had heard such words, but on his lips they were by no means a mere pathetic cliché; he meant them in all seriousness;they were to be taken literally. See Beth A. Griech Polelle, Bishop Von Galen, p. 20.

Quotes about von Galen[edit]

  • It is just not true that, in the summer of 1933, when the name Galen was announced as the new Bishop, the whole diocese broke out in rejoicing...Nor is it the case that Galen was immediately recognized as being a great opponent of the despotic regime. On the contrary,the pugnacious pastor of St Lambert's was regarded, to put it bluntly, as a Nazi.

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