“Doctor Haass The Holy Doctor of Moscow”

"Friedrich Joseph Haass, a young German physician and Catholic, gained fame, respect and money. When nominated the Head Doctor of Moscow’s prisons, he dedicated his life to alleviating prisoner’s sufferings. Haass died with no money left of his own, as he had given it all away to the poor. “Hurry on to do good things!” was his motto. This biographical film tells the story of Doctor Joseph Friedrich Haass, a German Doctor who comes to Russia a the beginning of the 19th century at invitation of the Russian court. The first part tells about the background and the circumstances of his arrival in Russia and about the person of Dr. Haass. Then we learn about the involvement of Dr. Haass in the war of 1812 between Russia and France as an army doctor and his experiences in this period. After a brief period in Germany Haass returns forever to Russia. After great success in his medical praxis he realizes the problems of the poor and starts to dedicate his skills to those who usually are not able to afford a physician. Through the use of the interviews with Fr. Wilfried Wehling we learn about Haass' ethical and spiritual convictions which led him to accept the position of head-doctor of Moscow's hospitals and prison-hospitals and to use every means possible in order to alleviate the harsh conditions of the prisoners. His professional expertise and his unlimited dedication led to a strong opposition and wrong accuses against the doctor. The interviews with Archpriest Pyotr Derevyankov give us insight into the actual pastoral situation in a modern prison in Russia and further information about the man Joseph Haass. Through the use of several anecdotes the film pictures the personality of Haass, his outstanding altruism, and his love for Christ and his patients. The final sequence explains the circumstances of his death, the memory which he holds still in our days with common people, and some facts about the process of his beatification in the Catholic Church. "

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