The Collegio Teutonico (German College), historically often referred to by its Latin name Collegium Germanicum, is one of the Pontifical Colleges of Rome. It was established in 1399 and maintained at the Vatican for the education of future ecclesiastics of the Catholic Church of German nationality. The German College is now divided into two separate colleges.
The site of the Campo Santo dei Tedeschi goes back to the days of Charlemagne and was then called the Schola Francorum. In the course of time the German residents in Rome were buried in the church of the Schola, then called S. Salvatore in Turri. In 1454 a confraternity was established, and in addition the guilds of German bakers and cobblers had their quarters there. In 1876, the hospice was replaced by the Collegio Teutonico del Campo Santo, established by Christian archeologist Anton de Waal, with a library specialized in Christian archeology for which he put together an important collection of early Christian art. In 1888 the Roman institute of the Görres Society (Görresgesellschaft) was established at the college. together they publish a quarterly review, the "Römische Quartalschrift fur christliche Archäologie und Kirchengeschichte".
During World War II, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty operated the “Rome Escape Line” clandestinely from his room in the Collegio Teutonico. O'Flaherty and his associates managed to hide about 6,500 escapees, mainly Allied soldiers and Jews, in flats, farms and convents.
Pope Benedict XVI raised the college to the Pontifical College of Priests.
The collegio is located in Italy and is one of the properties which form part of the territory of Holy See but which are located outside the confines of Vatican City boundaries.
It is one of the properties of the Holy See which are regulated by the 1929 Lateran Treaty signed with the Kingdom of Italy. As such, it has extraterritorial status.
Main article: Ratlines (history)
Bishop Alois Hudal was rector of the Pontificio Istituto Teutonico Santa Maria dell'Anima. After the end of the war in Italy, Hudal became active in ministering to German-speaking prisoners of war and internees then held in camps throughout Italy. In December 1944 the Vatican Secretariat of State received permission to appoint a representative to "visit the German-speaking civil internees in Italy", a job assigned to Hudal. Hudal used this position to aid the escape of wanted Nazi war criminals, activity about which he was later unashamedly open.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "College and Church of the Anima (in Rome)". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.