Franz Stock

Portrait of Franz Stock. Source:

1904 Born in Neheim, Westphalia (Germany), on 21 September.

1926 Attends the conference La Paix par la Jeunesse (Peace by Youth), at Bierville (France), on the invitation of Marc Sangnier.

1928 Studies in Paris at the Institut Catholique Séminaire des Carmes.

1932 Ordained a priest in Paderborn.

1934 Rector of the German parish of Paris.

1940 German chaplain of three Paris prisons: Fresnes, La Santé and Cherche-Midi.

1944 Provides support and assistance to prisoners sentenced to death (over 1 000 at Mont Valérien) or deportation and their families.

1945 Superior of the Séminaire des Barbelés, Le Coudray (Eure et Loir).

1948 Dies in Paris on 24 February.

1963 Ratification of the Franco-German treaty of friendship and reconciliation. Stock’s body is transferred to the church of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Rechêvres (Chartres).


The séminaire des Barbelés


Few embodied the desire for Franco-German reconciliation like Franz Stock


Stock’s life was an expression of love for humanity. His moral legacy remains in the books and accounts by those who met him in the extreme circumstances of war.


The most tangible reminder of Stock in France is at Le Coudray, near Chartres


It is the building which, between 1945 and 1947, housed what became known as the Séminaire des Barbelés, or “Barbed Wire Seminary”. Under Stock’s directorship, the site received nearly 1 000 young German and Austrian POWs, priests and seminarians who would contribute to building the new Germany.

In the 1960s, organisations were set up in both France and Germany by those who wanted this exceptional individual to serve as a model on both sides of the Rhine for all those wishing to contribute to reconciliation between the two countries and to building a peaceful Europe.


The Franz Stock European Meeting Centre


Today, three organisations –

  • Association Chartraine Franz Stock
  • Franz Stock Komitee
  • Les amis de l'abbé Stock

– have decided to set up a Franz Stock European Meeting Centre (CERFS) in the buildings of the Séminaire des Barbelés. Work got underway a few days ago, and all the French and German organisations will be contributing to the success of the project.


Source : Association Française Les Amis de l'Abbé Stock