A Church Musician and a Righteous Gentile
The Fellowship | April 18, 2018
Richard Golz was a German Christian who led the movement to reform Evangelical church music and who served as a pastor in Wurttemberg from 1935 to 1945.
But Golz’s service was not just to the Christians in his congregation. When the Nazis began to persecute Jews in Germany, Richard and his wife Hildegard offered their home as a refuge to Jews in hiding. Max Krakauer was a Jew who stayed at the Golz home for a month in 1943, helping them with the harvest and taking part in daily devotions. Dr. Hermann Pineas, a Berlin physician, also found shelter with the Golz family.
But after Pineas left, the Gestapo was alerted to what Golz and his wife were doing. Richard was interrogated and then sent to Welzheim labor camp. After the war was over, Golz was released, but left the camp a broken man, which was only made worse when his son Gottfried was killed in a U-boat accident.
After taking a leave of absence from the pulpit, Golz moved to the U.S., where he died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1991, Yad Vashem named Richard and Hildegard Golz Righteous Among the Nations for the selflessness they showed in sheltering Jews from the Nazis.