Lohmeyer knew no other mode but industry, or Fleiß as the Germans say (Fleiß rhymes roughly with ‘lice’), and his industry was running at full capacity. Meetings, politics, political meetings, pastoral duties, preaching, meetings, politics—such were the contents of Lohmeyer’s days as he laboured toward the scheduled day, February 15. The year was 1946 and February 15 was to play host to the (re)inauguration of the University of Greifswald, which the Soviet occupation authority had closed at the end of the Second World War.
Finally, the day arrived. Lohmeyer, the University President, had already prepared the inaugural address, and he left home well in advance of the 11:00 am opening ceremony. He had much before him, and he called his wife, Melie, to say he’d not be home for dinner. At 11:00 pm Melie responded to the doorbell, and at the landing found three members of the Soviet political police. The policemen asked after Melie’s husband and left upon finding him absent. Soon after, Lohmeyer returned home, “quite exhausted” according to Melie, and just in time for the police to return and arrest him. It was very early on February 16. Melie would never see her husband again.
Many years beforehand, as a New Testament professor and theologian, Lohmeyer had written a commentary on Paul’s epistle to the Philippians and a study on the “Christ-Hymn” of Phil 2:5-11 entitled Kyrios Jesus (Lord Jesus). The latter made a profound “contribution” to the Forschungsstand (the “state of research”)—traditionally the pinnacle of academic achievement. Today, many might recognise Lohmeyer’s contribution, even if they fail to attribute it to him: among other things, Lohmeyer determined that the hymn probably predates Paul’s letter, and it is therefore an early instance of “high” Christology, which many scholars before and since Lohmeyer had understood and understand as an elaboration of the original message of the Gospel. High Christology consists in the view that the human being Jesus Christ, a first-century Palestinian Jew, is the Son of God who is identical to YHWH, the God of Israel (even if Lohmeyer didn’t put it quite this way!).