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Max Josef Metzger (born 3 February 1887; executed 17 April 1944) was born in Schopfheim in Baden, Germany.

Metzger became a Roman Catholic priest and worked as a military chaplain for the forces of Imperial Germany during World War I. During that war he began to see peace work as an urgent task. Metzger became convinced that “future wars have lost their meaning, since they no longer give anybody the prospect of winning more than he loses.”

In 1919, Metzger established the German Catholics’ Peace Association and sought links to the international pacifist movement. He strongly advocated the ecumenical idea of peace and soon became known as a leading German pacifist.

In 1938, Metzger founded the "Una Sancta Brotherhood," a group devoted to the re-unification of the Lutheran and Catholic churches.

After the rise to power of German dictator Adolf Hitler in 1933, Metzger was arrested several times by the Gestapo.

In 1943, Metzger wrote a memorandum on the reorganization of the German state and its integration into a future system of world peace. When he tried to have this memorandum delivered to the Swedish Archbishop of Uppsala, Erling Eidem, Metzger was denounced by the courier. Metzger's memorandum never reached Uppsala. The courier was a female Gestapo agent and Metzger was arrested on 29 June 1943.

Max Josef Metzger was tried by the German People’s Court. The Judge-President of the court, Roland Freisler, said that people like Metzger should be "eradicated." Metzger was sentenced to death and he was executed on 17 April 1944 in Brandenburg-Görden.

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