New Foundation Fellowship

Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel


Kathleen Schmitz-Hertzberg nee Brookhouse, February 16, 1916 – January 29, 2019 (known as Kathleen Hertzberg)

Kathleen died peacefully in her sleep at Parkview Long Term Care Home in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada. She is buried in the Friends Burial Ground in Newmarket, Ontario. Kathleen was born in Samlesbury, Lancashire near Preston, England. She became a convinced Friend at nineteen and joined Stafford Friends Meeting (now Stafford Quaker Meeting). She attended Woodbrooke College for two terms 1937-8. Kathleen travelled in Germany 1938-39 under the auspices of Friends. She attended Germany Yearly Meeting 1938 and visited German Quakers. She helped Jewish families escape from the Nazi regime. While in Germany she met a German medical student, Friedrich Schmitz-Hertzberg in Kassel. They became engaged to be married in 1939 and Fritz visited England. He had to return to Germany and WWII separated the two for ten years. Kathleen’s report of her time in Germany for Woodbrooke College has been printed in the Canadian Quaker History Journal:

During the war Kathleen worked on the Quaker Germany Emergency Committee, in the Friends Ambulance Unit during the blitz of London, the Quaker Friends War Victims Relief Committee finding homes for London evacuees, and through the British Home Office working as a social worker settling refugees, mainly German Jews in North Wales 1943 - 45. After the War she worked again at the Germany Desk in London 1945-47 with Fred Tritton and Richard Ullmann. Kathleen’s German knowledge was useful. Kathleen accompanied Fred Tritton to Germany under Meetings for Sufferings in 1947. They attended Germany Yearly Meeting 1947 and visited Berlin and Nuremberg where the trials were being held. Kathleen travelled again in Germany with William R. Hughes to visit Quaker groups. In 1948 - 1949 she was appointed by the British Friends Service Council under the Quaker Relief Service to work with German youth in Berlin.

In May 1949 Fritz returned to Germany after nearly five years as a POW in Russia. The couple were reunited and married under the care of Stafford Friends’ Meeting. Fritz finished his medical studies in Germany. Their first child, Evelyn was born in 1950 in Kassel, Germany. The small family immigrated to Toronto, Canada December 1951. Kathleen was offered a position working with Fred Haslam at Canadian Friends Service Committee, CFSC while Fritz got his Canadian medical qualifications. Fritz took up a position in Pickering, Ontario as a family physician. They had two more children, Andreas and Martin. They became active members of Toronto Monthly Meeting, TMM and Canadian Yearly Meeting, CYM.

Kathleen always had a leading to do service work and was active in the local community on the Social Planning Council, the Red Cross and Community Care. She continued her involvement with TMM and Canadian Yearly Meeting, CYM (attending 1953 – 2009) and CFSC. She gave the Sunderland P. Gardiner Lecture at CYM in 2002 titled: Doing the Work: Finding the Meaning (Canadian Quaker Pamphlet Series No. 56). She was Chairman of CFSC during the Vietnam War. (Friends & the Vietnam War Edited by Chuck Fager, Pendle Hill 1998 She was involved with Friends World Committee for Consultation, FWCC in Greensboro North Carolina 1967 and Australia 1973. She did ecumenical work and was a delegate to the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches and attended WCC Sixth Assembly 1883 in Vancouver. She recognized that documenting Quaker history is important and was co-founder of the Canadian Friends Historical Association. Fritz and Kathleen were interested in the theological aspects of Quakerism and hosted study groups in their home. They were active in the New Foundations Fellowship, NFF, with Lewis Benson and organized several seminars at Camp NeeKauNis, Canada.

After Fritz death in 1993, Kathleen translated an account of Fritz’ time as a POW called The Night is Full of Stars She then worked on her memoirs: From My Demi-Paradise: Memoirs She lived in her own home until 100 years of age with the help of home care, family and her friend Jim Adamson. She lived the last two and a half years in Parkview Home.

A Meeting for Worship to give thanks for the Grace of God in the life of our Friend, Kathleen Hertzberg will be held Saturday April 20, 2019 at Toronto Friends’ House.

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