Charles Scheer (1871-1936)

The life of this Reformed pastor from Mulhouse was marked by his political commitment as a Francophile and by his role in the ecumenical movement.

An Alsatian pastor committed to politics

  • Charles Scheer © Collection privée

This Reformed pastor in Mulhouse was both a brilliant preacher and active in social work. While Alsace still belonged to Germany he joined the Progressive party, and in 1914 published a pamphlet designed to explain the Alsatian character to the German leaders. They would not accept it. As a Francophile he was exiled to Hermannburg in Eastern Prussia, in 1916, and then interned in Göttingen in 1917.

On his return to Mulhouse in 1918, he joined the Democratic – Republican Party, was elected as a deputy for the Haut-Rhin area in 1919, and re-elected in 1924. Two of his speeches addressed to the Parliament had great impact and were widely circulated. The first one in 1921 explained the “Alsatian unrest”, and the second in 1925 insisted on the importance of the religious aspect in the integration of Alsace-Lorraine to France. In the 1929 elections, he withdrew his candidacy before the second round of votes to prevent the election of an “autonomist” candidate.

In 1930 he was a professor of practical theology at the faculty in Strasburg. Member of the French Protestant Federation, he led the French Reformed delegation at the ecumenical assembly in Stockholm in 1925, and represented the Reformed Church of Alsace-Lorraine at the ecumenical meeting in Lausanne in 1927.

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