all photos published here with kind permission of the
SRK Schwabhausen 1920, from their website
The furnishings seem a bit busier than those of a later period, but the main difference is the patron
saint to whom the chapel is dedicated. In the first period it was the Virgin Mary, in a subsequent period
after a renovation in 2004 it was Jesus.
In 1960, Haas and his wife migrated to Paraguay. never to return to his hometown. His brother, Thomas Haas, would then take care of the maintenance of the chapel for more than forty years
A renovation that took place in 2004, also included an adaptation of the interior and exterior of the chapel. Below the most important changes are reviewed.
The chapel after the renovation in 2004
|the altar below the window|
To conclude this review of the Stalingrad Chapel, a few remarks regarding the memorial plaque on the outer wall to the left of the entrance door, as shown above. In 2003, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the chapel, Josef Haas sent this plaque from Paraguay to the SRK Schwabhausen, without the latter knowing anything about it beforehand. Haas also expressed his confidence that SRK would lovingly take care of the preservation of the chapel.
The plaque is important because it provides some insight into why Haas undertook the construction and decoration of the chapel. The text reads in German:
"Ich glaube und vertraue dem, der mich geliebt und sich für mich dahingegeben hat"
In English this reads: In memory of the great sin and murder of two world wars "I believe and trust in him who loved me and gave himself for me". The plaque states that the part of the text in quotation marks is a quote from the Apostle Paul (Galatians 2:20). The apostle declares here that it is Jesus whom he trusts.
The reference to Jesus is significant because in a 2003 telephone conversation with the SRK president, Haas said that one of the reasons he migrated to Paraguay in 1960 was his Catholic upbringing, which had "ruined his soul". That probably had to do with certain aspects of the faith that his parents emphasized, because the reference in the quote seems to show that Haas was a man of faith, with a real trust in Jesus.
* Website of the SRK Schwabhausen 1920, with a variety of pictures
* Article Stalingrad Chapel in the Bavarian Forest on website Proza by Anatoly Gurevich Kholodyuk
* Website Komoot with a series of pictures
* Article about the chapel by Hans Schertl
Oberroth, region Schwäbisch Hall, federal state Baden-Württemberg, Germany
can be visited