Herholz, Franz Br. (1901-?)

Prepared by: 
Regina Ganter
Birth / Death: 

born 26 October 1901, Popovken (Danzig)

Pallottine Brother at Beagle Bay 1927-1933, later left the Pallottine Society.


Franz Herholz was one of 17 children of master blacksmith August and Rosalie Herholz in Danzig. He joined the Pallottine Society in Limburg in 1923 and received his habit the following year. He made his first profession in 1926.1


He worked in the Kimberley vicariate under Bishop Raible from 1927 to 1933.2


In June 1928 he was shipwrecked on the mission schooner Betty together with Fr. Spangenberg and Br. Contemprée and twelve indigenous people, who all spent three and half hours in the water before they could be rescued about four nautical miles north of Beagle Bay.3 He made his eternal profession on 25 March 1929.4


Br. Herholz built a large house for the novices at Beagle Bay in 1933 (Noviziatshaus), but was reported as suffering from ill health.5


Herholz returned to Germany and found his family in turmoil, which he described in a letter from Danzig in February 1934. His father had died, his mother had struggled to look after her remaining children, the estate was choked with debts. The property was auctioned and bulldozed to make way for a road and the mother had been declared insane after a suicide attempt, and would have been committed to an institution but for the eldest daughter, who acted as her paid carer. One of the younger brothers, age 20, had threatened everyone with a pistol and was taken into police custody, and the youngest sister, age 15 had to find work because there was nobody to look after her. Herholz himself was weakened from three operations, and worked as a water diviner because he couldn’t obtain full time employment, having been away for more than a decade. He had written almost 100 letters to friends and acquaintances around the world seeking help. His illness, that had sent him home, was now seen a sign from God.


In view of the mental instability in the Herholz family, which it was feared might manifest in Herholz himself, and his weak constitution, he received permission to leave the Pallottine Society. Another expedition to the Kimberley was already in the planning stage (Wellems, Herold, Schäfer, Hanke). Herholz wanted his possessions sent from the Kimberley, but Bishop Raible suggested that the Limburg Provincial should simply pay him some money instead. The Provincial referred the matter to Rektor Weber in Danzig who advanced some money and found accommodation for Herholz.



1 Antonia Leugers Eine geistliche Unternehmensgeschichte – Die Limburger Pallottiner-Provinz 1892-1932, St. Ottilien EOS Verlag 2004:501.

2 Nailon nothing is wasted: 78.

3 News From The North." Northern Times (Carnarvon) 2 Jun 1928: 4. Web. 30 Sep 2013 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74905925

4 Baumann to Generalprokurator (n.d.) in Herholz, Franz, Br. – Ex, ZAPP.

5 Wollseifer at Beagle Bay to Kugelmann in Limburg, 2. Advent 1933. Australien Nachlass Kugelmann B7 d.l. (1) ZAPP.