From: Walter Frei; Four Generations of the St. Gallen Schlatter Family

Anna and her husband Hektor both came from leading St. Gallen merchant families. Hektor Schlatter 1766-1842 ran the colonial goods store behind the St. Laurenzen - Church "Schlatter hinterm Turm". Anna was a hardworking housewife and at her husband's side a capable urban businesswoman. Encouraged by her close contact with Rev. Lavater in Zurich and his family, her revivalist-pietist faith was completely focused on Jesus, which did not prevent her from thinking in a cosmopolitan and ecumenical way. On the contrary, her close relationship to Jesus made it possible for the Protestant bourgeois woman not only to invite monks from the neighboring monastery to her table and to cultivate spiritual exchange with them, but also to constantly receive and make visits, even to undertake long journeys and to maintain a huge correspondence. Their astonishingly ecumenical and yet critical, cosmopolitan but deeply rooted piety encouraged many people. Hector, a young widower, brought a boy from his first marriage, and together they had a happy marriage of love. They had 13 children, but three of them died early. So they raised 11 children: "My children are always dearer to me the more I get" "I think it was also crowded in Bethlehem in the stable and in the manger".

Anna Schlatter's thoughts often revolved around the theme of "all-reconciliation": that God through Christ would ultimately save not only believers, but all people ("all-reconciliation"). "The clarity with which the total restoration of all that the devil had corrupted floated before my inner eye through the Son of God", made her find many Bible passages on this. She "felt deeply" that Jesus, as High Priest, "who took the sins of the world and prays for us forever, must have infinitely more love for people than we do." On the cross, she said, Jesus prayed "for the world" and "for his mortals." From this she drew her "favorite hope," "that the whole human race might be saved." And so it says in one of her poems: "Oh, your mercy knows no bounds - It transcends human thought".

Her pacifism also followed from this. As early as 1795, she wrote to her husband: "In these warlike times, I am particularly pleased that you are such a man of peace and have more taste for nature than for weapons (and) the military.
Napoleon's rule came to an end in 1814. Anna: "I don't like it at all that even the best people in Germany are so enthusiastic about war. Even the most just war is ... a plague of mankind, a child of hell, is only a dispute about the earthly rights and freedoms of an earthly fatherland. But our fatherland is above, and the kingdom of God is peace... It is not clear to me that they call it a battle of God in Germany, a battle for the cause of Jesus."

Anna was strengthened in her pacifist and anti-nationalist stance by Stephan Grellet, a Quaker who visited her in 1814 and 1820. She was deeply impressed by his Christian mysticism, his social commitment to reforming penitentiaries and hospitals (he called for the founding of a psychiatric clinic in Zurich), and his consistently pacifist stance, but hoped that one day "G. too will cease to be a Quaker, and his(church institution) will be dissolved like ours." Later she wrote: "How my pious parents will be amazed when grandchildren from all kinds of countries and peoples meet them there in eternity - they who almost believed that there was no salvation outside Switzerland." For them, pacifism and cosmopolitan thinking belonged together. Five daughters and a son emigrated to Germany, another son to the United States. Anna Schlatter strongly influenced many of her countless descendants, but also many other people in the 19th century.

Exciting to read biography by Marianne Jehle-Wildberger, Anna Schlatter-Bernet 1773-1826, Eine welttoffene St. Galler Christin, VGS-TVZ 2003.

Especially their tenth and second last child STEPHAN SCHLATTER 1805-80 was influenced as a youth by the piety and cosmopolitanism of his parents and also experienced the visits of Grellet. He was a pharmacist and merchant by profession and took over his father's business "hinterm Turm" in 1834. He inherited "his mother's rich depth of mind and his father's truthfulness" (Hadorn 485) and, like the old Anabaptists, had misgivings about infant baptism, which is why he left the Reformed Church, and also refused military service and was imprisoned twice for it. In 1836 he co-founded the first free Anabaptist congregation in St. Gallen. This was recognized by the canton in 1863. Today it is called the Free Evangelical Congregation FEG. Stephan Schlatter, however, wanted "only to build the kingdom of God and not his private view" and did not impose this on anyone, not even his wife, who had all their children baptized and brought them up in church. He ran a Bible depot and, as "his Sunday joy", as a voluntary Bible carrier, distributed 94,000 Bibles throughout his life all over the country. "The most lovable and sympathetic separatist among the Pietists" (Wilhelm Hadorn, Gesch. Pie- tismus Schweiz. Ref. Kirchen, 1901, p. 486).

A son of Stephan Schlatter and thus grandson of Anna Schlatter-Bernet was the famous Tübingen theology professor (for New Testament) Adolf Schlatter 1852-1938, to whom a memorial plaque at the birthplace on Turmgasse refers today.

Recently, thanks to the initiative of Marianne Jehle-Wildberger, grandmother and grandson have been remembered together on Schlatterstrasse in Rotmonten: Anna Schlatter and Adolf Schlatter. A granddaughter of Anna Schlatter-Bernet, Adolf's younger sister DORA SCHLATTER 1855-1915 was first a teacher in the New Girls' School in Bern. Returning to St. Gallen, she married her cousin Salomon Schlatter in 1883. Together they were committed to the protection of the homeland and against land speculation during the proud, building-heavy time of St. Gallen's embroidery heyday. Dora became a writer. She wrote about 20 works, e.g. stories and the biographies of father Stephan and grandmother Anna. More and more, despite all the criticism she had to cope with, she was concerned with "Frauenwe- sen und Frauenziele", the title of her book from 1900. It was worth fighting for. Important for her was her profound correspondence with her kindred spirit, the pedagogue and seminary director Hermann Oeser in Karlsruhe, the great promoter of women's education (1849-1912); the Schlatter-Schlatter couple and Oeser were in close contact at all. A nervous condition and bronchitis led to the early death of Dora Schlatter - Schlatter at only 60 years of age. On Dora Schlatter: blütenweiss bis rabenschwarz, St. Galler Frauen - 200 Porträts, Zurich 2003; Jhs Ninck, Anna Schlatter u ihre Kinder, Stuttgart 1934.

SALOMON SCHLATTER 1858 - 1922, Dora Schlatter's husband (already a great-grandson of Anna Schlatter-Bernet), was an architect in St. Gallen. He built residential buildings, the Wienerberg and Langhalde homes and created the plans for the stations of the Bodensee-Toggenburg-Bahn (opened in 1910), where he sought everywhere to combine functional construction with the respective local architectural style. Salomon Schlatter was a researcher and designer, an excellent draftsman, the best expert on the city's architectural history, model builder of Old St.Gallen in 1620 (in the Historical Museum). Salomon Schlatter was co-author with Hardegger and Schiess of the volume "Die Baudenkmäler der Stadt St.Gallen" 1922, but his most important work was probably: "Unsere Heimstätten", Neujahrsblatt 1909.

Salomon Schlatter was a homeland protector by conviction and followed the development of St. Gallen into a big city with critical unease:
"The way in which one proud commercial palace follows the other, one old house after the other, one meadow spot after the other has to give way to the mighty stone colossi, is truly magnificent. If Berlin created a department store style, St. Gallen gave the world the type of the modern commercial building" (in the Tagblatt Jan. 13, 1912, quoted in Ernst Ehrenzeller, Geschichte der Stadt St. Gallen, VGS 1988, p. 440).