First Slovenian book - the Catechismus - translated into German
In June 2021 the Slovenian group called Trubarjev Forum translated and published the first Slovenian book Catechismus (1550) for the first time into German language. The original author was Primus Truber (1508-1586), who is today considered by the Slovenes as the “Father of the nation”.
Truber was a catholic priest, who became a Protestant Reformer at the age of 40 and had to escape to Germany, where he eventually died in Derendingen. As a youth he studied in Rijeka, Salzburg, Trieste (under Pietro Bonomo) and Vienna. Throughout his prolific life he gave the Slovene nation the first books (Catechismus, Abecedarium, Gospel of Matthew, etc.), the foundation for their literary language, the first written music, he organized the Slovene Protestant Church, gave them the first Protestant Church order, he gave national identity, and so much more.
Yet, his work was not centered around his people only, but was truly international. He was in correspondence with Heinrich Bullinger, Pietro Paolo Vergerio, Jacob Andreae, many political leaders of the time, and other influencers in the 16th century Europe. With the support of Baron Hans von Ungnad and Duke Christoph, he and his co-workers established the first Bible society in in the world in Bad Urach (1561).
There were books printed in three scripts (Cyrillic, Glagolitic and Latin), and in several languages, with hopes to reach with the message of hope and love all the way to the Constantinople. He co-operated with the University of Tübingen, which at the end his life, out of respect for him required all students to attend his funeral, where Jacob Andreae delivered a lengthy eulogy highlighting his life and impact. Truber experienced exile from his own country, persecution by political and religious powers, betrayal by co-workers, death of the first and second wife, death of own children, difficult lengthy sicknesses, financial ruin, and much more.
Yet, perhaps of all the events and achievements in his life, the most prominent was his personal character. When Europe was struggling financially, when political structures were collapsing, internal and external wars destroying, and pandemics decimating European people, Truber’s character held strong. His fidelity in marriage, ability to work with various nationalities, his love and respect for his own as well as other languages and cultures, his generous investment into the next generation, his honesty, financial transparency, his ability to deal with difficult issues in a balanced way, his perseverance in trials, humility, tenacity, faithfulness, and simple trust in the Bible and Jesus, brought hope and progress wherever he went. He astounds even modern experts from around the world to such an extent that some claim our modern societies should learn from him how to live today, and a former German director at one of Truber’s locations even claimed he was perhaps the first and the greatest European.
The translation of Truber’s first book into German language in 2021 has three main goals. One, to highlight his simple message of hope for all people found in the Bible and Jesus. Second, to thank the German people for their blessing to the Slovenes 500 years ago, by helping Truber and other Reformers to live and work, so the Slovenes today can have so many important cultural and spiritual blessings. And three, to encourage building bridges among the nations today, which aligns with Truber’s message and his personal work.