Leader of the Münster circle in the German Catholic revival; b. Berlin, Aug. 28, 1748; d. Münster, April 27, 1806. Adelheid Amalia, Countess von Schmettau, the daughter of the Prussian Count von Schmettau, was baptized a Catholic but was raised in an atmosphere of religious indifference. In 1768 she married the Russian Prince Dimitri Gallitzin, from whom she separated (1775) after bearing two children. With the encouragement of Franz Hemsterhuis, the Dutch philosopher, she settled in Münster (1779), retired from high society, and devoted herself to study. She and Franz von fÜrstenberg established the Münster circle, which discussed philosophy, pedagogy, and Christian perfection and maintained a fruitful intellectual exchange with Catholic groups in southern Germany. Its members included Johann
hamann, Friedrich von stolberg, Clemens von droste zu vischering, and Bernard overberg. Through the influence of Overberg (much more than that of Hamann), Princess Gallitzin ceased to be a disciple of the French enlightenment, returned to Catholicism (c. 1786), and became an active promoter of Catholic life in Westphalia. Later she became an intimate friend of goethe. Her son Demetrius gallitzin was a missionary in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Bibliography: s. sudhof, ed., Der Kreis von Münster: Briefe und Aufzeichnungen Fürstenbergs, der Fürstin Gallitzin und ihrer Freunde (Münster 1962–64) 1:1769–88, in process. j. galland, Die Fürstin Amalia von Gallitzin und ihre Freunde (Cologne 1880). p. brachin, Le Cercle de Münster (1779–1806) et la penséereligieuse de F. L. von Stolberg (Lyons 1952). e. reinhard, Die Münsterische "Familia sacra" (Münster 1953). w. h. bruford, Fürstin Gallitzin und Goethe (Cologne 1957).