Father Ludwig Esch, SJ
Father of the Bund Neudeutschland



Father Ludwig Esch, SJ on postal card (detail)

Father Ludwig Esch, SJ on postal card
GERMANY, a postal card commemorating leaders of Catholic youth groups, 1991

Ludwig Esch, SJ, was born in 1883 in Cologne. In 1902, after his studies at the Apostelgymnasium in his home town, he entered the Jesuit novitiate, which because of persecution was located at that time in Holland. He was ordained in 1914, served as a chaplain in the army, and received the Iron Cross (first class). In 1919 he inspired the founding of the Bund-Neudeutschland (ND) or Union for a New Germany, an association for Catholic high school students. The organization was later banned by the Nazis and its members imprisoned. It was his association with the Jesuits of Bund-Neudeutschland that led Alfred Delp, victim of the Nazis, to join the Jesuits. The late Cardinal Johannes Degenhardt, Archbishop of Paderborn, at the age of 15 had been imprisoned by the Nazis for being a member. The cancel of this stamp honors another Jesuit, Fr. Jacques Sevin.