In the second half of the 19th century, the Catholic population of Berlin rose significantly. Yet the Church never succeeded in establishing a separate diocese there during the time of the German Empire.
Interconfessional resentments and lacking Catholic self-confidence reinforced one another and doomed the various attempts to failure. After the turn of the century, mass migration to Berlin led to the
establishment of many new parishes in the city. The modern urban pastoral care of the 1920s and early 1930s made possible a flowering of Catholicism in Berlin. Outstanding personalities such as Carl
Sonnenschein, Romano Guardini, and Erich Klausener took on social responsibility and acquired a marked profile in the city’s public life. In the Prussian Concordat of 14 June 1929, Berlin –
hitherto a province subordinate to the Bishop of Breslau – finally was granted its own separate diocese, a status that went into effect in 1930.
The author reconstructs this exciting period in the history of Berlin using an impressive array of sources, which he mined in federal and state archives, the Protestant Central
Archive and, for the first time, in Vatican archives. By reconstructing the Concordat negotiations, he shines light on a neglected chapter in the history of the Weimar Republic. The scope of this
sweeping study reaches from the Reformation in Brandenburg and Pomerania to the year 1933. The footnotes contain biographical sketches of all individuals discussed in the text that include references to
the most recent literature. That contribution alone would enable this important book to supersede an entire series of older accounts.