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  • Jeffrey Goodman

A Polish Confessing Lutheran

Today while getting lost on a rabbit trail on the internet I came across a pastor I had never heard of before: The Rev'd Juliusz Bursche (16. September 1862 in Kalisz, Poland, Russian Empire; † 20. February 1942 in Berlin) was of German descent, but considered himself Polish. A Lutheran by confession he was the son of a prominent Lutheran bishop of the Church of the Augsburg Confession as the Lutheran Church is known in Poland. Pr Bursche served his parish until what was known as Poland at the time was overrun by the Germans in 1917 during the Great War. He was exiled to Russia and released after the Revolution there. Returning to Poland he began to the work of re-constituting the Church of the Augsburg Confession in the new nation of Poland. He was elected, like his father, as Superintendent (i.e. Bishop) of the Lutherans in Poland.

We don't often think of Poland as being a land with many Lutherans, but indeed there have been Lutherans since the time of the Reformation. To this day they are known as the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

In 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland Pr Bursche was ordered to flee Warsaw. He got to Lublin and there was ministering to God's people when the SD picked him up on 3 October 1939. He was chaged and interrogated by Reinhard Heydrich, eventually being sent to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. The Gestapo notified his family of his death on 20 February 1942.

To this day I had never heard of Pastor Bursche or his courage and faithfulness. Well I did not want the day to end and not share this with the world. To be a Lutheran is not to be German or American or Polish, but to be a Christian first and a Chrsitian last. Our confession as Lutherans is Christ and Christ ALONE. Men like Pr Bursche show us what faithfulness looks like. He showed us that when things are rough, when all looks lost we look to Christ who promsies to never forsake us or leave us. God bless you and keep you dear Pastor Bursche.



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