Restart of the Brother Province in 1945
P. Ildefons Pauler OT
Since the Teutonic Order lost all of its property in Germany due to the secularization - except for the Kommende Frankfurt, which was sold to the Catholic Community of Frankfurt in 1881 - the Order virtually ceased to exist here. Only in the Austrian hereditary lands – which back then also comprised South Tyrol and the Sudetenland – the Order still existed due to its restitution by the House of Habsburg.
An incident in March 1945 marked the restart of the Order. Br. Walter Horny OT, a brother of the Teutonic Order originating from Sudetenland, was freed from the concentration camp Dachau. As he was hindered from returning to his homeland, he started to look for a new home in Germany together with Br. Mauritius Feistenhammer OT. Due to the deportation in 1946 further brothers of the Order joined them. One of them was Br. Ildefons Pauler OT, who was the Grandmaster of the Teutonic order from 1970 to 1988. In 1948, the Bishop of Mainz allowed the foundation of a province house in Darmstadt. In this manner the Order returned to Germany, his origin country, after 140 years. In spite of the difficult post-war period the brothers succeeded in revitalizing and continuing the tradition of the Order by their pastoral care. On 8 October 1958 the Teutonic Order then reacquired the destroyed former Kommende Frankfurt/Sachsenhausen. The historical outer walls were refurbished; inside these walls the Deutschherrenbund erected a new building complex.
Dr. Marian Tumler
The new/old Kommende was consecrated by the then H.H. Grand Master, Dr. Marian Tumler, on 16 May 1965, and the province seat was moved there. In the year 1990 on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Teutonic Order the German brother province founded a non-profit limited liability company under German law (GmbH), the so-called Deutsch-Ordens-Hospitalwerk, by means of which the old traditions of the order as carrier and operator of social and charitable facilities was reassumed. In 1998, the Teutonic Order was then awarded the status of a public body by the Free State of Bavaria, which is why the province seat was moved to Weyarn near Munich, and the institution of the Deutsch-Ordens-Hospitalwerk passed to the direct ownership of the brother province. The German brother province today comprises 40 brothers and is the youngest congregation in terms of the average age. The brothers are primarily active in the field of parish pastoral care. Moreover, the province is responsible for the place of pilgrimage Maria-Birnbaum (Sielenbach) and is carrier of numerous social and charitable facilities in the fields of providing assistance to the elderly and the handicapped, addiction aid and youth welfare services; in the organisation structure this branch is referred to as DeutschOrdensWerke.