Bruno Gröning – A short biography

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1906 – 1927
Bruno Gröning (originally Bruno Grönkowski) was born on the 31st of May, 1906 in Danzig-Olivia. He was the fourth of seven children of bricklayer August Grönkowski and his wife, Margarethe. The family lived in rented accommodation in a working class district.

Even as a small child, Bruno recognised that he had a healing and soothing influence on humans and animals alike. His parents didn’t understand this gift and, as a result, his relationship with them was strained.
Bruno Gröning went through secondary education and, on leaving school, he began an apprenticeship as a retailer. His father requested that he cut this short, as it was his intention that Bruno should go into the building trade.  As a result, Bruno started training as a carpenter.  He subsequently became self-employed and, at the age of 19, established a construction and furniture joinery.

1928
Bruno Gröning married Gertrud Cohn.  At this time he worked, among other things, in a chocolate factory, as a telegram post-worker at the Danzig post office, and as an electrical engineer at Siemens & Halske.

1931
His first son, Harald, was born.

1936
The Grönkowski family changed their name to Gröning.

1939
Bruno Gröning's mother died.   Bruno's second son, Günter, was born.

1940
Harald became seriously ill and died, aged nine, in a Danzig hospital.

1943
Bruno Gröning was called up for military service. He was enrolled into an anti-tank gunner unit and stationed at the Eastern Front, in the former Soviet Union.

1945
Bruno Gröning was made a prisoner of war in Russia. Fellow prisoners suffering from dropsy in the detention camps experienced healings through the help of Gröning. He was released from captivity and made his way to Western Germany.

He worked as a casual labourer on farms in Hessian Haigerseelbach (Borough of Dillkreis), and rented a flat in Dillenburg.

1947
While Bruno was in Dillenburg, his wife stayed in Danzig with their second son, Günter. Now, in 1947, Bruno Gröning sent for his family. Günter became seriously ill and died, at the age of eight.

1948
Sick people, asking for help and healing, increasingly visited Bruno Gröning.

1949
At the beginning of the year, Bruno Gröning separated from his wife.

At the time, he was living in the Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr area in North-Rhine-Westfalia). Engineer Helmut Hülsmann, from the Westfalian town Herford, informed the press about the healing his son Dieter had received, as a result of which Bruno Gröning's name made headlines. Sick people from all over Germany and abroad travelled to Herford, in search of help and healing. Bruno Gröning delivered many speeches here, during which he appealed for trust and belief in God and the necessity of a true Christian lifestyle. Numerous healings occurred, not only during his talks, but also in his absence.

Herford’s Chief Municipal Director, Mr. Meister, subsequently banned Gröning’s actions, as they apparently infringed the “Heilpraktikergesetz” (a German law against healing or non-medical practitioners).   Gröning left Herford and asked his co-worker, Egon Arthur Schmidt, to found the group called the “Circle of Bruno Gröning’s Friends”.

Bruno Gröning travelled to Hamburg, in the hope of continuing his healing mission there, but the Hamburg Chief Municipal Director banned him from public speaking, as a result of which Bruno Gröning left.
The magazine “Revue” offered to have Bruno Gröning’s abilities clinically tested. Bruno was pleased to cooperate, and travelled to the University Clinic of Heidelberg, where his 'methods' were supervised by a commission of medical practitioners, under the surveillance of the Marburg psychologist and medical practitioner, Prof. Dr. H.G. Fischer. These tests officially confirmed the curative effects of the healings.  However, it was recommended that he continue his healing work strictly within a medical environment.
In Southern Germany, Bruno Gröning became acquainted with Leo Harwart, the owner of a horse-breeding estate near Rosenheim. Grateful for the healing of a close relative, Harwart offered his estate, “Traberhof”, as a place for Bruno's healing work.

When the press leaked information on Gröning’s whereabouts, huge numbers of people flocked to the estate for several weeks. Numerous visitors received healings – amongst them patients with 'incurable' ailments.
However, even Rosenheim Gesundheitsamt (the local health authority) was of the opinion that Bruno Gröning was in breach of the healing practitioner law. Hence Bruno Gröning started making plans to establish healing sanatoriums where he could work with official authorisation, accompanied by medical doctors. He requested permission in Bavaria to work in accordance with official regulations relating to healing, while also complying with the healing practitioner law. He pleaded with those in search of healing not to come to see him at “Traberhof” anymore; it was his intention that, as soon as the proposed sanatoriums were established, they would be advertised to the public. From that time onwards, Bruno Gröning delivered his speeches only to small groups of people in the town of Bad Wiessee.

Film director Rolf Engler made the documentary “Gröning”. The film premiere was shown at cinemas in Munich, Essen and Gelsenkirchen.

1950
Businessman Otto Meckelburg offered his services as manager to Bruno Gröning and founded an association called “The Society for Research into Gröning’s Methodology of Healing". Meckelburg became executive manager of this association and made a contract with Bruno Gröning, whereupon Gröning was expected to dedicate his services exclusively to that association.

Gröning gave lectures to 30 – 120 people at events organised by Meckelburg in hotels and restaurants in Wangerooge (an Island in the North Sea), Oldenburg, Mittenwald and Werlte, Emsland Region. Amongst other things, Meckelburg promised healing – against the explicitly expressed wish of Bruno Gröning – to Ruth Kuhfuß, who suffered from tuberculosis on both lungs and subsequently died.

The Bavarian Ministry of Interior Affairs contested the practice of healing within sanatoriums.

From then on, Bruno Gröning lectured at the healing practice of Eugen Enderlin, a healing practitioner. There, he met his second wife, Juliane (Josette) Dufossé, who was initially his secretary. Gröning left Enderlin's practice, following a disagreement with him.

Munich’s health authority ordered Bruno Gröning to cease all healing treatments immediately. Gröning was of the opinion that his work was not a “treatment”, and he continued to lecture to small groups.  There followed punitive action from the district court in Munich, as a result of the offence against the healing practitioner law of the time. Gröning raised objections against this.
 
1951
Bruno Gröning regularly lectured to 15 – 30 people in the healing practice of practitioner Cäcilie Scheuerecker at Grafing, near Munich.

1952
Bruno Gröning lectured all year, initially in Grafing at Scheuerecker’s practice, then sporadically in Hameln, and later on regularly once again at Enderlin’s practice at Feldafing, near Starnberger See. Towards the end of that year, he gave lectures at private apartments, and at the “Aindorfer Hof” inn, Munich.

The Munich district jury court acquitted Bruno Gröning of the charges against him under the healing practitioner law. The prosecuting lawyer lodged an appeal against this decision. Gröning, however, was acquitted of infringing the healing practitioner law by Munich’s district court, on appeal.

1953
For the time being, Bruno Gröning continued to give lectures at Enderlin’s practice, which were attended by 30 – 50 people. The partnership with Enderlin broke off once again, and Gröning left Enderlin, this time for good.
In order to ensure protection for his activities, Gröning established an umbrella association named “Gröning-Bund” at Murnau-Seehausen. Several societies or communities, which had been formed in various areas, joined this association. The managing committee was comprised of: Rudolf Bachmann, Anny Freiin Ebner von Eschenbach, Bernhard Graf von Matuschka, Konstantin Weisser, Hermann Riedinger, Egon Arthur Schmidt and Graf von Zeppelin. Gröning himself was president, appointed for life.

1954
Gröning continued to give lectures, along with others, at the castle of Graf Zeppelin in Aschhausen near Heilbronn, in his private apartment at Grafrath (Bavaria), the hostel “Schweiz” in Munich, and in Rosenheim and Graz.

1955
Once again, Bruno Gröning was found guilty of repeatedly infringing the ban on healing and, additionally, he was accused of manslaughter in the case of Ruth Kuhfuß.
The divorce with his former wife, Gertrud Gröning, went through. The same year, Gröning married Josette Dufossé and subsequently moved with her to Plochingen on the river Neckar.
1956
Bruno Gröning gave lectures, especially in Southern Germany, but also at Westfalia, Lower Saxony, Northern Germany and Austria.

Together with his wife Josette, he travelled to France and visited among other areas, the place of pilgrimage, Lourdes.

Bruno Gröning went to Freiburg, along with his wife and solicitor, Dr. Schwander. At the University Hospital of Freiburg, he underwent a neurological assessment in order to prove his accountability according to criminal law.

1957
Gröning continued with his lecture tours in Germany, Austria and Northern Italy.

Preparations for the trial against him, due to his apparent infringement of the healing ban, as well as the manslaughter charges, cost Gröning much time. The jury-court in the Munich area sentenced him, despite all efforts made, to a fine of 2000 DM or 100 days imprisonment. He was acquitted of the manslaughter charges.
The Attorney General of public prosecution appealed against the judgment. That appeal was directed against the plea of  "not guilty" for  manslaughter and against the degree of penalty concerning the repeated offence against the healing practitioner’s law.

1958
Bruno Gröning gave further lectures all over Germany and Austria. In order to preserve his teachings for posterity, he and his closest friends recorded his lectures and meetings on audiotapes.

In the second instance, as a consequence of the involuntary manslaughter charges and infringement of the healing ban, Gröning was given a suspended eight-month prison sentence and a penalty of 5000 DM or 50 days in jail by the 2nd criminal division of the regional court of Munich II. Gröning appealed to the highest regional court of Bavaria.

After the verdict, he spent nearly two months in France.

Bruno Gröning decided to dissolve the “Gröning-Bund.” In its place, several associations were founded, first in Austria, and then in Germany:  “The Society to Promote Psychological, Spiritual and Natural Life Premises,” was founded. The Chairman of the Austrian Club, Alexander Loy-Leute, was appointed for life. The Chairman in Germany was Erich Pelz, who held the post for twelve years.

Once again Gröning travelled to France. He stayed mainly in Mimizan, in the Bay of Biscay and at the Côte d’Azur. He also travelled to Lourdes for four days and to Spain for a day. He returned to Germany, via Switzerland.

By the end of the year Gröning had lost a lot of weight. His friend, M.D. Dr. Pierre Grobon from Paris suspected that a severe disease lay behind his symptoms. Subsequently, Bruno Gröning went to Paris for a check-up. The diagnosis was advanced stomach cancer.  Although Dr. Grobon advised an immediate operation, Gröning returned to Germany for a couple of days. Since he wasn’t able to personally participate at the friends' Christmas celebrations, he recorded his address on an audiotape. He returned to Paris, together with his wife, in order to be operated on by Dr. Grobon.  Gröning then returned to Germany, against the advice of Dr. Grobon, who believed that Gröning would soon die.

At Plochingen, meetings were held, together with Gröning and his closest friends.

1959
Final discussions were held at the beginning of January, between Bruno Gröning, his secretary and the chairmen of the club.

Following this, Gröning and his wife flew to Paris, in order for him to undergo another operation. On the same day as the operation, the charges of involuntary manslaughter and repeated infringement of the healing practitioner law continued in his absence from Bavaria’s highest regional court in Munich.

A verdict was never reached, due to Bruno Gröning's death in Paris, on 26th January, 1959.


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