Hans Goempter (sometimes Goempte) was born in Munchessten, in Northern Germany on 4th December 1876. His father, Felix Goempter and mother, Marcella Goempter (born Marcella Delilah Friech), were German Jews whose families had been settled in Germany for generations.

Although in a poor family, without siblings, Hans chose to attend school from a very young age. His father's occupation, logging, kept him away from home most of the year. Hans and his mother were left to tend the small number of animals at their semi rural property. The small amount of money they recevied by mail from Felix was often insufficient to pay taxes and buy groceries.

This hardship eventually left Hans with little choice but to steal from local farmers. He wrote in his diary on the 18th September, 1890:

"... will not even God allow me a small piece of bread from a rich man's loaf?"

His mother, although aware of the sudden wealth they began to acquire, stayed silent and continued to seek loans from local Jewish families.

On 23rd of August, in 1892, news from Southern Germany came that Hans' father had been killed. While heading an expedition searching for Great Kleicht Mirtle, he fell ill with scurvy and was left in the wild at his own instruction.

In 1894, Hans left school to care for his deteriorating mother and tend to household chores. During the evenings he would plan robberies with his new found friend, a local outcast, Fredereich Mieffner. Mieffer had caught Goempter trying to steal one of the local Umperstaaten's goats and had threatened to turn him in unless they became partners.

And so, for the following few years, Goempter and Mieffner worked together, spreading their operations. There are claims that they killed those who caught them, but Munchessten legend is that they were never caught.

On New Year's Eve, 1899, Hans' mother finally succumbed to consumption. Hans mourned his mother's death for months afterward. On 26 April, 1900 he wrote:

"...How can a man love the world and the life he faces when he hasn't a mother to care for or to have care for him? How this sinful sickness has purged every ounce of compassion from my lonely heart..."

This was the last journal entry that Hans ever made. He severed ties with the outside world and broke off his friendship with Mieffner.

Over the next three years or so, right up until 1904, he remained at home, alone. Using his acquired wealth, he puchased hundreds of medical books. He had them sent to him from all the great medical institutions and even corresponded with a doctor in Hong Kong about Eastern medical practices.

Hans was determined to become a medical practitioner and to cure the world's physical sicknesses. In early 1904, he started to practice. At first he had just a few patients, charging them a couple of marks each. Once word had spread of his great knowledge and skills, he became the most demanded practitioner in the region. People claim to this day that they had grandparents born blind and cured by Doctor Goempter.

Hans' practice continued successfully for over five years. There were scores of people who testified that they had received a miracle cure from Dr Goempter.

In early spring, 1910, Hans received a letter from a distressed senior some twenty miles north of Munchessten. He told his manservant where he was headed and rode his horse there the following day.

Many days passed before news of Dr Goempter returned home. His lacerated body was found on the floor of a small hut in the village he had rode for. There were no clues as to who had killed him. After months of investigation, the police gave up.

The people of Munchessten declared their sorrow by erected a large statue to Hans in their tiny village. The mostly Catholic population of nearby villages called for Hans' Canonisation which was immediately approved by the Vatican. Until Hans' journal was discovered in 1926, St Hans was the first and last Jewish Saint.

To this day you can go to the tiny village of Munchessten and see the decaying statue of Hans Goempter.

Source: Mieller, J. (1978). "St Hans: The Jewish Saint". Fiedernichen Pub: Munich.

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