Why and How Did Karl G. Maeser Leave Saxony? New Documents Offer New Insights
BYU Studies Quarterly
Brigham Young University
Although a handful of useful biographies of LDS educator Karl G. Maeser exist, certain details of his life and career have remained uncertain. Through painstaking research in primary documents, particularly those housed in archives in Dresden, Germany, Roger Minert and Ralf Bartsch have uncovered new evidence that helps us understand Karl G. Maeser’s life in Germany and his reason for leaving.
Questions they answer in this article include: What was Maeser’s actual status as a teacher in Dresden? Where was he employed in that city? How was his employment terminated? Did his conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cause him to violate the laws of his native Kingdom of Saxony? Did he have his son Reinhard baptized as an infant in the local Lutheran Church when Karl was already disaffected with that church and investigating Mormonism? Was he ever arrested? Was there a public outcry against him before he left Dresden? Was he expelled from his native land—forced to emigrate to England?