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Heinrich Bernhard Freiherr von Andlaw

Famous Catholic statesman (1802-1871)

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Andlaw, HEINRICH BERNHARD, FREIHERR VON, a famous Catholic statesman of the nineteenth century, b. August 20, 1802, at Freiburg im Breisgau; d. May 3, 1871. His chief sphere of activity was in Baden, but he took part in the general movement of German Catholicism. He was the younger son of Baron Konrad Karl, Frhr. von Andlaw-Birseck, who had emigrated from Switzerland and entered the Austrian service, and who, after the union of Breisgau with Baden (1806), worthily filled official and ministerial positions in the latter State. The son received a good state-school education, studied at Landshut and Freiburg, served for a short time as an officer of dragoons, travelled in France and Italy, and was then received into the Baden service as a councillor in a department of the State. He remained there, however, only until the year 1830, when he withdrew to his estate of Hugstetten, in the neighborhood of Freiburg, and acted thenceforward, until the day of his death, as an independent in politics. In 1835 the landed nobility of Murg elected him to the Lower House of the Baden legislature, of which, except for two short intervals, he remained a member until his sixtieth year.

What especially characterized Andlaw among the many contemporary leaders of German Catholicism was the charm of his knightly bearing, his manly, honest faith, the tone of his discourse, and the rich music of his voice. He has been rightly called the German Montalembert. If, on the one hand, he lacked the Frenchman’s youthful fervor, on the other, he was a more profound statesman, who thought in true statesmanlike fashion not only in matters affecting the local administration of his own State but in those connected with the national policy of Germany. For this reason he deserves to be less completely forgotten by the present generation. There is some ground for this in the fact that Andlaw never found an opportunity, as head of a State government, to put his views into practice. He experienced an invincible aversion to Baden methods of government both before and after the Revolution of 1848, to the bureaucratic as well as to the liberal-constitutional. Twice, in 1848 and in 1856, he went so far as to move the impeachment of the leading ministers. It was under these conditions that he set out, with the Catholics of his country, “from Egypt to the land of liberty.” He renounced all attempts at direct offensive action against the Baden government, and sought to perfect the reorganization of the Catholics of Germany and to assure their participation in the politico-ecclesiastical affairs of the fatherland on the basis of the common law and along the lines of modern parliamentary methods. In these two things he beheld a guarantee for the future social and political transformation of Germany. He devoted himself especially to societies and to charitable undertakings. He was four times president of the Catholic Congress: at Linz in 1850, at Munich in 1861, at Trier in 1865, and at Fulda in 1870. The center of his activity remained till the end in Baden, where, since 1837, he had been helpful in all politico-ecclesiastical matters to Archbishop von Vicari, whom he held in high honor. It was this devotion which moved the chairman of the First Catholic Congress at Mainz (1848) to hail Andlaw as “preeminently a man of action and conflict, at a time when few Germans dare to espouse the cause of the Church“. His writings are: “Ueber die Stiftungen im Grossherzogtum Baden” (Freiburg, 1845); “Offenes Sendschreiben an Dr. J. B. v. Hirscher zur Abwehr gegen dessen Angriffe auf die katholischen Vereine” (Mainz, 1850); “Der Aufruhr and Umsturz in Baden, als eine naturliche Folge der Landesgesetzgebung” (4 sections, Freiburg, 1850); “Offenes Sendschreiben fiber politische and religiose Freiheit an dem Grafen Theodor v. Scherer” (Freiburg, 1861); “Offenes Sendschreiben an Herrn Dr. Joh. von Kuhn fiber die Frage der `freien katholischen Universitat'” (Frankfurt, 1863); “Die badischen Wirren im Lichte der Landesverfassung and Bundesgesetze” (Freiburg, 1865); “Gedanken meiner Musse” (in two parts; a portion of the first part published in 1859; the whole work, at Freiburg, in 1860, 1865).


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