Bruno Gröning (1906-1959)
An extraordinary, yet controversial person
In 1949, the name Bruno Gröning overnight became a household word in Germany. Reports about him appeared in the press, in newsreels and on the radio. Events surrounding the “Miracle Doctor” as he soon came to be called, kept the whole country in suspense. A film was made about him, scientific investigation committees were set up and government authorities at the highest level gave the Bruno Gröning matter their attention. The Minister for Social Affairs in North-Rhine-Westphalia had him prosecuted for violating the Non-Medical Practitioners Act, while the Minister President of Bavaria declared that one could not let such an “exceptional occurrence” as Gröning flounder because of a few legalities on paper. The Bavarian Interior Ministry described his work as “a labor of love, free of charge”.
The case was violently and controversially debated by everyone at all levels of society. Emotions ran high. Clergymen, physicians, journalists, politicians and psychologists: everyone spoke about Gröning. Some considered his miraculous healings a gift of grace from a Higher Power; others believed him to be a charlatan. But the healings were fact, as confirmed by medical examinations.
World wide interest for a simple worker
Bruno Gröning, born in 1906 in Gdansk, was an unassuming worker who relocated to Western Germany as a refugee after World War II. Before the war he held various occupations, a carpenter, a factory and dock laborer. Then, suddenly, he was the center of public attention. The news of his miraculous healings spread all over the world. From every country came the sick, petitions and proposals. Tens of thousands of people made the pilgrimage to the places where he worked. A revolution in medicine loomed.
In the strangle-hold of prohibitions, court cases and profiteering assistants
But counter forces were at work. They did their utmost to foil his activities. He was dogged by court cases and healing bans. All efforts to incorporate his work into the existing social structure failed. On the one hand, there was the resistance of those in authority in the various levels of the social order, and on the other, the greed for financial profit on the part of his assistants. When he died in Paris in 1959, the last court case was well under way. The proceedings were halted and a final verdict was never pronounced. But many questions remained unanswered.