Bruno Gröning (originally Bruno Grönkowski) was born on 31 May 1906 in Danzig-Oliva. He is the fourth of seven children of the bricklayer August Grönkowski and his wife Margarethe. The family lives in a working-class neighbourhood for rent.
Even as a small child, Gröning noticed a healing and calming influence on people and animals. His parents have no understanding for these abilities, and so the relationship with them is strained.
Bruno Gröning attended primary schools and then began a commercial apprenticeship. At his father's request, he discontinues his apprenticeship. His father wants Gröning to learn a building trade, so he begins an apprenticeship as a carpenter. He then sets up his own business and at the age of 19 establishes a building and furniture carpentry workshop.
Bruno Gröning is taken prisoner of war in Russia. Fellow prisoners suffering from dropsy in the internment camps experience healings through Gröning's help. He is released from captivity and goes to West Germany.
In the Hessian town of Haigerseelbach (Dillkreis) he does odd jobs with farmers and takes a flat in Dillenburg.
At the beginning of the year Bruno Gröning separated from his wife.
He stays in the Ruhr area. Engineer Helmut Hülsmann from Herford in Westphalia informs the press about healing successes with his son Dieter. As a result, the name Gröning becomes known to the public. Sick people from all over Germany and abroad travel to Herford in the hope of being cured. Bruno Gröning gives speeches in which he calls for faith in God and points out the necessity of a Christian way of life. During his lectures, but also in his silent presence, healings occur.
Herford's chief town director Meister bans Bruno Gröning from healing because of a violation of the Heilpraktikergesetz (law on non-medical practitioners). Gröning then leaves Herford and commissions his colleague Egon Arthur Schmidt to found the association "Ring der Freunde Bruno Grönings".
Bruno Gröning travels to Hamburg in the hope of being able to continue his healing work there. However, the mayor of Hamburg bans him from speaking, so Gröning leaves the city again.
The magazine "Revue" intends to have Bruno Gröning's abilities tested by clinical experiments. Gröning agrees and goes to the Heidelberg University Clinic for this purpose. Under the scientific direction of the Marburg psychologist and physician Prof. Dr. H. G. Fischer, he has his activities examined by a medical commission. The examinations lead to a report which basically confirms healing successes, but recommends healing activity only under medical supervision.
In southern Germany Bruno Gröning meets Leo Harwart, the owner of a former horse stud near Rosenheim. Out of gratitude for the healing of a relative, he made his "Trotterhof" available to Gröning as a place of work. When the presence of Bruno Gröning became known through newspaper reports, a mass rush began on the premises which lasted for several weeks. Time and again there are cures among the visitors, including of illnesses that are medically classified as incurable. However, the Rosenheim Health Department is also of the opinion that Gröning's activities violate the law on non-medical practitioners. Bruno Gröning therefore plans to set up healing centres where he can work with state permission, accompanied by doctors, and applies in Bavaria for permission to practise medicine according to the Heilpraktikergesetz. He asks those seeking healing not to visit him at the Traberhof any more; as soon as healing centres are established, he wants to inform people through the media. Bruno Gröning now gives lectures in a small circle in Bad Wiessee.
The film director Rolf Engler makes the documentary film "Gröning". It is premiered in cinemas in Munich, Essen and Gelsenkirchen.
The businessman Otto Meckelburg offers himself to Bruno Gröning as manager and founds the association "Gemeinschaft zur Erforschung Gröning'scher Heilmethoden e.V.". Meckelburg becomes manager of the association and concludes a contract with Gröning according to which the latter has to place himself entirely at the disposal of the association. At events organised by Meckelburg in hotels and restaurants, Gröning gives lectures in Wangerooge, Oldenburg, Mittenwald and Werlte in Emsland to between 30 and 120 people. Among other things, Meckelburg promises - against Gröning's express will - a cure to Ruth Kuhfuß, who is suffering from double-sided pulmonary tuberculosis. She dies.
The Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior does not authorise the practice of medicine in a sanatorium.
Now Bruno Gröning gives lectures in the practice of the Munich alternative practitioner Eugen Enderlin. There he meets his second wife, Juliane (Josette) Dufossé. At first she became his secretary. There was a falling out with Enderlin and Gröning separated from him for the time being.
The Munich health authorities demanded that Bruno Gröning immediately cease curative treatments. Assuming that his activities did not constitute curative treatment, Gröning continued to give lectures in small circles. This was followed by a penalty order from the Munich District Court for offences against the Heilpraktikergesetz (law on non-medical practitioners). Gröning appealed against the order.
Bruno Gröning gives lectures throughout the year, initially in Grafing at Scheuerecker's, at irregular intervals in Hameln and later again regularly at Enderlin's in Feldafing on Lake Starnberg. At the end of the year he gives lectures in private homes or at the "Aindorfer Hof" restaurant in Munich.
The Munich Regional Court of Appeal acquits Bruno Gröning of the charge of a continuing offence against the Heilpraktikergesetz. The public prosecutor's office appeals against this verdict. However, Gröning is also acquitted of the charge of violating the Heilpraktikergesetz at the second instance at the Munich Regional Court.
At first Bruno Gröning again gives lectures at Enderlin's, which are attended by about 30 to 50 people. The collaboration with Enderlin fails again and Gröning separates from him for good.
To protect his work, Gröning founded an association, the "Gröning-Bund", in Murnau-Seehausen. Communities of followers formed in various places joined the association. The members of the board are: Rudolf Bachmann, Anny Freiin Ebner von Eschenbach, Bernhard Graf von Matuschka, Konstantin Weisser, Hermann Riedinger, Egon Arthur Schmidt and Graf von Zeppelin. Gröning himself becomes President for life.
Once again Bruno Gröning is charged with a continuing offence of unauthorised practice of medicine and additionally with negligent homicide of Ruth Kuhfuß.
The marriage with Gertrud Gröning is divorced. In the same year Bruno Gröning enters into a second marriage with Josette Dufossé and moves with her to Plochingen am Neckar.
Bruno Gröning gives lectures, especially in southern Germany, but also in Westphalia, Lower Saxony, northern Germany and Austria.
He travels to France with Josette and visits the pilgrimage site of Lourdes for a few days, among other places.
Together with his wife and his lawyer Dr Schwander, Bruno Gröning travels to Freiburg. At the university clinic there he has examinations carried out for a neurological expert opinion to determine his criminal responsibility.
Bruno Gröning continues to make lecture tours in Germany, but also in Austria and northern Italy.
The preparation for the trial on charges of the offence of unauthorised practice of medicine and negligent homicide cost Gröning a lot of time. Despite his efforts, he is sentenced to a fine of DM 2,000, or 100 days in prison, in the first-instance verdict of the Munich Regional Court of Appeal for a continuing offence of unauthorised practice of medicine. He is acquitted of the charge of negligent homicide.
The senior public prosecutor's office appeals against the verdict. The appeal is directed against the acquittal of the charge of involuntary manslaughter as well as against the sentencing with regard to the alleged continued offence against the Heilpraktikergesetz.
Bruno Gröning again gives lectures throughout Germany and Austria. In order to record his teachings, he tapes his lectures and discussions with close friends.
In the second instance at the Second Grand Criminal Chamber of the Munich II Regional Court, Gröning is sentenced to eight months' imprisonment and a fine of DM 5,000, or 50 days' imprisonment, on the charge of the offence of involuntary manslaughter and the offence of unauthorised practice of medicine. The prison sentence is suspended. Gröning appeals against the sentence to the Bavarian Supreme Regional Court.
After the verdict he travels to France for almost two months.
Bruno Gröning decides to dissolve the "Gröning-Bund". The "Verein zur Förderung seelisch-geistiger und natürlicher Lebensgrundlagen" (Association for the Promotion of Mental-Spiritual and Natural Foundations of Life) is founded as a successor organisation, first in Austria and shortly afterwards in Germany. Alexander Loy-Leute became chairman of the Austrian association for life. Erich Pelz became chairman of the Association in Germany for a period of twelve years.
Bruno Gröning travels to France once again. He stays mainly in Mimizan on the Bay of Biscay and on the Côte d'Azur, goes to Lourdes for four days and to Spain for one day. He returns to Germany via Switzerland.
At the end of the year Bruno Gröning loses a lot of weight. A doctor friend, Dr. Pierre Grobon from Paris, attributes the symptoms to a serious illness. Gröning then had himself examined in Paris. He was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. Although Dr. Grobon advises immediate surgery, Gröning travels back to Germany for a few days. As Bruno Gröning is no longer able to attend the planned Christmas celebrations of his friends' groups in person, he records his speech on tape while still in Germany. He travels to Paris again with his wife to be operated on by Dr Grobon. The doctor advises against a return trip to Germany and reckons that Gröning will die soon. Nevertheless, Bruno Gröning returns to Germany.
In Plochingen, meetings take place between Gröning and his closest friends.
At the beginning of January, Bruno Gröning, his secretary and the chairmen of the association have their last meetings.
Afterwards, Gröning and his wife fly to Paris again to undergo another operation. On the day of the operation, the trial for involuntary manslaughter and continued offences against the Heilpraktikergesetz (law on non-medical practitioners) continued in Munich at the Bavarian Supreme Regional Court in Gröning's absence.
The verdict was not pronounced, as Bruno Gröning died in Paris on 26 January 1959.