|May 6th, 2011||#1|
Traditional Catholicism vs National Socialism
[This thread will flesh out the reaction of traditional Catholicism to National Socialism. It will show where and why the two philosophies oppose and disagree.]
[First up is an NS response to Catholic intellectual author Michael Hoffman, who has written extensively about jews from a critical but non-racialist, non-NS point of view, namely the view of the traditional, believing Catholic. This article is posted from "Radical Press, and it begins with that site's editor's note.]
[Editor’s Note: There’s little, if anything, that I could possibly add to Hans Krampe’s extraordinary and heartfelt assessment of Michael Hoffman’s exchange with Prof. Robert Fourisson and Horst Mahler.
Mr. Krampe has encapsulated not only his peoples’ soul and essence but the spirit of truthful perseverance in the face of apparently insurmountable odds. He has taken the expression, “Life is for learning” and maximized it to a degree hitherto unheard of and in the process overcome all odds while at the same time clarifying for all the non-Germanic people of the world what has been an ongoing nightmare of lies and an unprecedented distortion of historic reality.
It truly is an honour to publish this perceptive tribute to the German nation and to its unsung hero and leader, Adolf Hitler. Thank you Hans!]
I have read with great interest your exchange with Prof. Robert Faurisson and Horst Mahler, “Human Rights not Reich.” Some aspects in your responses, however, became very irritating to me and here is why.
I am a German Canadian, born during WW II, who for his first thirty years was raised and educated in both, East- and West Germany.
During my elementary schooling in East Germany, from grade one through grade three - my most formative years - I was INTENSIVELY indoctrinated with the glorification of communism and anti-Nazi hate propaganda in the form of grammar, textbooks, and STORIES palmed off as history.
The East German educators managed to weave the post WW I treacheries, subversions and crimes of the Moscow dominated communists into the degenerate and chaotic history of the Weimar republic, only to pass it off as having somehow been the product of Nazism. Of course, this re-enforced my positive attitude towards communism and my rejection of Nazism.
It formed a solid foundation for my continued anti-Nazi brainwashing (“education”) in the West. As it turned out, East and West brainwashings occurred entirely to Zionists’ specifications and under their control. In it the holocaust loomed large; not only in ours, but in all histories of WW II.
Worldwide, the above versions have been a roaring success!
Grade four saw the continuance of my indoctrination in West Germany, again in the form of anti-Nazi “history”, only now with anti-Communism added to it. The word “Nazi” was always hissed with a disgusted sneer of political correctness to emphasize its nasty nature. The intended guilt and shame to be a German materialized somewhat, but only to a very faint extent.
Additionally, my anti-Nazi indoctrination was positively re-enforced throughout, and beyond, my education into a more or less solid conviction of its truth by the West German media and the book publishing industry.
My grandfather was - and remained to the end of his life - a dedicated communist, chairman of the communist chapter of Wanne Eickel during the 14 years of starvation, hell and hopeless misery of the Weimar republic (democracy performing according to views of Alexis d’Toqueville). While this nurtured in me a sympathetic attitude towards communism, it also served as another positive anti-Nazi re-enforcement even in my family.
My grandfather spend most of WW II working underground as a coal miner; which turned out to be somewhat of a blessing for him. My father and my uncles, though, were soldiers of the Wehrmacht and, luckily, survived.
My parents were sympathizing with National Socialists and admired Adolf Hitler; which contrasted with my education at school and caused me to suspect them of a somewhat deranged and obstinate fanaticism. Needless to say, my relationship with my parents was often less than harmonious on that account.
Initially, the “product” of my “education” nestled firmly within my belief system…until the Internet came about. Until then I was never aware that I had been brainwashed. I felt vaguely ashamed of Germany because of its Nazi past, but innocent of any personal guilt. I considered this onerous subject as having been dealt with, ad nauseam, and closed.
At age thirty I immigrated to Canada and many Canadians (and Americans) I got acquainted with revealed in polite conversation a warped, if any, perception of Germany’s history of WW II, often constructing bizarre, if not downright ridiculous, impromptu embellishments and excesses in their effort to appear “knowledgeable” and getting somewhat testy when they were failing to obtain my unequivocal endorsement. It made me wonder what the hell they had been taught in school.
I couldn’t help noticing a very subtle and deep-seated hostility towards Germans suspected of less than utter rejection of Nazi Germany’s past, which surfaced either as strident and patronizing condescension or ridicule. As a consequence, I began to develop a pronounced annoyance with the popular perception that the Nazis - and Germans by extrapolation - had been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a malignant breed and would henceforth serve as THE ULTIMATE STANDARD OF EVIL, and therefore had also deserved every atrocious horror that had been inflicted on them as well…and more.
Thus it became clear that in the minds of North America, with few exceptions, Nazis and Germans seemed to appear as synonymous, equivocating rhetoric to the contrary; with WW II Germans as actual humans only grudgingly trotted out to obscure the profoundly nasty hypocrisy, if not ignorance as it turned out, of North American versions of “historical knowledge”.
Oddly to me, this was especially noticeable among academics and the intelligentsia who, with dismissive arrogance, give Germans like me to understand that my indoctrinated convictions WERE NEITHER SOLID NOR NASTY ENOUGH. They knew much better.
In other words, as a German I became suspect of nursing sentiments of Nazi sympathies and therefore incapable of assessing my country’s history correctly. I was advised to open my mind to the much more realistic perceptions of “North American experts”, the only ones deemed to have the requisite detachment, by distance in time and space I suppose, to know and appreciate the full extent of the evil of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis; which they seemed to accept as a form of divine truth manifested as earthly fact, based on “exhaustive investigations” and “incontrovertible data”…convincing examples of which I have yet to find anywhere.
Of course, they were (inadvertently) correct in pronouncing my inability to assess the Nazi history correctly, but completely unconvincing, in that they were far more debilitated and misguided brainwashees than I.
Although this increasingly grated on my nerves, I tried to accept it as an understandable attitude, considering my country’s past.
Beginning with the U.S. war in Viet Nam, and its aggressive interventions in Chile, its horrifying operations in Central America, all supported and approved of by lyin’ Brian Mulroney who had become prime minister of Canada in the 80s– not to mention the ever more subversive and sociopathic idiocies of successive administrations in the name of globalization, privatization and free trade - I became far more politically informed and aware than I had ever been before, realizing in the process my deplorable ignorance in terms of historical accuracy, which kept me dangling at the end of my rope in debates. Yet I kept learning by reading, and by debating in writing. I became a critical observer, wrote letters and was actively committed to demand and defend such elusive concepts as truth, human rights and justice.
I increasingly noticed, that whenever something evil needed to be emphasized in public discourses, the “Nazis” and “Hitler” and the “SS” had to rush hither to lend a habitual hand when any other derogatory term wouldn’t suffice to reach the desired level of malice.
This increasingly annoyed me to such a degree, that I eventually felt compelled to look for the flip side of the anti-Nazi coin to see for myself what’s what.
In short, I had it up to here with the constant German bashing.
On the Internet I searched for, and found, all kinds of factual and documented accounts, illuminating in their detailed historical context, and therefore generating an ever more understanding and sympathetic perception of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists. They also confirmed the anecdotal events that my parents, my grandfather and uncles had been talking about - which I had so far ignored - as more or less plausible. I now was forced to accept their first hand experiences of the twenties, the thirties, the war and the post war period as largely founded on real experience.
Thus began the gradual COLLAPSE OF MY ENTIRE ANTI-NAZI HOUSE OF MANIPULATIVE CARDS; making short shrift of my brainwashed convictions.
Though I sometimes found these accounts on white supremacist websites (often in downright racist contexts) to lend an air of respectability to themselves, they actually were based on REAL and EXHAUSTIVE investigations, conducted at great personal sacrifices and at great danger and expense to the investigating revisionists.
Well, you know all about it.
As I progressed with my Internet researches, I realized, that Canadians (and equally Americans) through their educational, info and entertainment systems have been subject to a just as intense and sustained anti-Nazi indoctrination than myself, if not more so…FOR OVER SIXTY YEARS!
But, unlike me, they obstinately insist, with a nasty form of self-righteousness, on their perceived prerogative to pass judgment on something about which they only know hate propaganda; so much so, that any unbiased form of critical questioning has become anathema, if not offensive…in their minds.
At this point let me clarify something important. I differentiate between Nazis and neo-Nazis. The only thing the latter have in common with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis are the accoutrements and symbols, which are ignorantly used as an expression of the nasty propaganda image with which they associate themselves. Nothing could be further from what the Nazis were all about.
When you state, willy-nilly, that you are “all for defending human rights, but refuse to support any attempt to defend or resurrect the “Third Reich”, then it behooves you to explain why. Standing by itself, it’s a dead give-away of a blinkered view, not to mention political correctness. And when you state that you never called Germans criminal except those directly associated with the Nazis of the time then you have stated a contradiction. You accuse ALL Germans of criminality, indeed, because all Germans were more or less Nazis, by your definition, as you will see below.
I therefore seriously question whether you have actually made, or even been capable of, an UNBIASED investigation of what the Third Reich ACTUALLY was, did and why. Judging by your tendency to view everything Nazi as evil, your “knowledge” is based on literally billions of tons of entirely negative distortions, spin and lies that Western historical literature is teeming with on this subject. This makes your “knowledge” irrational, fictitious and mendacious.
The insidious nature of a brainwashed mind, particularly as it pertains to National Socialism and Adolf Hitler, is such that it presents a solid barrier to even WANTING TO BEGIN searching for the truth, as opposed to the much more socially rewarding and easily obtainable confirmation of its alleged evil.
In your case, one can’t fail to notice it clearly in your exchange with Prof. Robert Faurisson and your reaction to Horst Mahler (Rights not Reich). I suspect, that this stance accounts for the fact that you are still at large and never had your face rearranged like Prof. Faurisson..
My point is to show you on my own example that YOUR MIND IS AS BRAINWASHED AS MINE ONCE WAS, and how this came about, and that it corrupts your search for truth. After all, you’re about the same age as me and you did receive your education from the same North American institutions that imposed their version of the Nazi era on the Germans, not to mention the rest of the world, since 1945.
You refuse to find out what National Socialism actually was; presumably having proceeded in your lackadaisical “research” under the faulty assumption that enough has been said about Adolf Hitler and the Nazis (all negative) and that any further scrutiny on your part would be superfluous. It’s a common attitude, especially among the intelligentsia. Any positive facts of Nazism can thus be dismissed as mere WHITEWASH.
This, I suggest, is THE most common modus operandi in the efforts of the proponents’ of anti-Nazi/German hate, to prove the uniqueness of the Nazi/Hitler “evil” as a uniquely one-sided “truth”. To this end everything needs to be revised in minute detail, EXEPT THE COMMON PERCEPTION OF NAZISM. The reverse of it seems to be in essence what you find annoying about Horst Mahler. Thus let me remind you: What’s good for the gander is good for the goose.
Concerning the history of German National Socialism, neither the period BEFORE WW I, nor that war itself, nor the EXTREMELY IMPORTANT interim period between 1918 and 1933, nor the period between 1933 and the outbreak of WW II can be avoided if one truly wants to know and understand, WITH AN UNBIASED MIND, what moved Adolf Hitler and the Germans/Nazis, as well as their choice of methods. All of it is inseparably interrelated.
PRACTICALLY ALL GERMANS WERE NAZIS BECAUSE THE REICHSTAG VOTED IN 1933 UNANIMOUSLY TO GRAND HITLER TOTAL POWERS FOR FOUR YEARS. After those four years ALL Germans approved him to carry on by voting 99% in a plebiscite, INTERNATIONALLY SUPERVISED. SUCH A VOTER TURNOUT AND SUCH A VOTE IS UNEQUALLED IN WORLD HISTORY.
As a result, Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, was quickly becoming a socially more equitable, more just and more humane alternative to the sociopathic and predatory capitalist establishments of war mongerers, scheming and conniving within the home bases of Germany’s enemies. The National Socialist alternative increasingly undermined the criminal nature of capitalism’s global economic hegemony by positive example. It also inspired the basest and most sadistic instincts of capitalist bullies, who were planning the biggest genocidal holocaust in the history of the world AGAINST GERMANY, always prodded and needled by Jewish usurpers from behind the scenes. As a historian you have to be deaf, dumb and blind to overlook this glaring fact.
Needless to say, THAT THIS GENOCIDE TOOK PLACE AS PLANNED IS IRREFUTABLE. The evidence consists of reams of photographic and diplomatic documentation, if one only looks for it with open and unblinkered eyes.
Comparing the Weimar republic’s performance (and that of every other contemporary “democracy”) with that of the National Socialists, under the conditions of the Versailles Treaty, in terms of the common indicators used to evaluate a regime — homogeneity, prosperity and health as a nation; standard of living; justice; freedom; integrity of government; the general disposition of the people; the maintenance of peace and order; and diplomatic efforts in relation to other nations — have to be ALL taken into account IN THEIR ENTIRETY to produce a fair and comprehensive record of either performances as a government.
The Nazis will emerge from such a comparison with flying colors. What the Bolsheviks promised to the German communists, but actively prevented by violent subversion, namely SOCIALISM, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis delivered, in spades and without violent bloodshed. National Socialism was, and remains, the most significant unbloody revolution to have taken place in history. To demonstrate its unbelievable effectiveness, consider the following:
While EVERY COUNTRY ON EARTH was suffering a deep depression during the Dirty Thirties, including Roosevelt’s raw “New Deal” for the USA, NAZI GERMANY WAS ENJOYING UNHEARD OF HIGHTS IN ITS STANDARD OF LIVING, UNSURPASSED TO THIS DAY; with scarcely any resources of her own, yet without needing to rob distant colonies of their resources.
That seems to be something the detractors of National Socialism have a hard time digesting…including you.
The picture that you ASSUME to be the truth is a chimera of the nastiest kind imaginable. Murderous Nazi Germany under the dominance of a vile dictator (i.e. 99% of all German speaking people; plus, millions of supportive sympathizers from other nations who were inspired by it, including Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Belgium, France, even England, ALL NAZIS) has to remain evil incarnate in order for the “truth” to be salacious enough for you.
By obstinately adhering to the officially promoted view of Nazi-Germany, you find exactly what you’re looking for, easily obtainable CALUMNY, dressed up as fact.
Nastiness happens in every country, to a more or lesser degree, but nowhere was, and is, it as prevalent and monstrous as in your own back yard. Ignoring THIS fact endows you with the prerequisite lack of humility in becoming an overbearing judge who enjoys condemning a victimized nation.
Revisionism doesn’t need to be revised; in your case IT NEEDS TO BE UNBLINKERED. What does need to be revised is the meaning of the term NAZI. It’s been grossly distorted, abused and misused for decades and has ossified into a malignant burr within your reason.
Whether you like it or not, in keeping with this hate mongering propaganda against Adolf Hitler, that demonstrably began in 1933 and never ceased, YOU ARE TELLING A GIANT UNQUALIFIED LIE.
I challenge you to produce evidence of a more popular, benign and efficient system of social organization, of any nation and its regime, anywhere on Earth, at any time in history, with a higher approval rating by its people and a greater popularity than Adolf Hitler’s.
Hitler must have been a funny “dictator”, because he put every major decision to the people, in referenda, supervised by international committees, and got consistent approval ratings of just short of 100%; including the Anschluss of Austria – presumably an “invasion” in your mind…right up until the outbreak of WW II.
WW II was the beginning of the end in the development of a great and promising nation.
National Socialism was a nascent system, extra-ordinary, and developing in circumstances that couldn’t have been more excruciatingly difficult in its beginning stages. Nevertheless, things were looking good for Germany in every way from 1933 on. Contrary to allied hate mongering Germany had no reason to go to war and Adolf Hitler demonstrably made every effort to avoid it. It’s amply documented.
The Zionist dominated allied-to-be governments unabashedly proclaimed their intent to DESTROY GERMANY AND THE GERMAN PEOPLE – not Adolf Hitler or the Nazis, mind you - while clandestinely working out, IN ADVANCE, the details of the phony SHOAH story, featuring NAZI GERMANY as the villain, set up as justification for a Jewish state in Palestine, and Germany’s reduction to a future cash cow. Most of this homicidal conniving and scheming took mainly place in your country.
Had the war gone on somewhat longer, and had the allies had the wherewithal, it is absolutely no stretch to know that they would have dropped atomic bombs on all of Germany and its people without batting an eye…enthusiastically applauded by intellectuals like yourself, no doubt.
The arming up, getting only underway just before 1938, and then necessarily with increased intensity, of Germany’s practically non-existent armed forces; and every military action since 1939 that Germany undertook, was an answer to the allies’ intentions the knowledge of which Adolf Hitler passed on to his people. Every German knew that Germany was going to be FORCED to fight for its very life, mortally threatened by a world bent on its merciless genocide. Historical evidence has more than amply confirmed this as well.
The homicidal demons, as I see it, were not the Nazis but THE ALLIES, including the Bolsheviks, but especially the Americans and the Britons who have a long history that has never stopped their murder, rape and pillage within and without their own borders. If you feel the need to get down to the nitty-gritty of evil you haven’t far to look. It’s right where you sit.
As to your critique of Horst Mahler’s use of the words GERMAN REICH…it’s ridiculous nitpicking and word fencing about some non-existing PR-strategy.
The GERMAN REICH is what Germans used to call their country BEFORE THEY WERE TRAINED BY THEIR GENOCIDAL MURDERERS TO BE ASHAMED OF IT. Just for that reason alone it’s more than appropriate to INSIST on re-invoking its name. At this point, as a German, I wouldn’t care a farthing what you, or any foreigner, might think in this regard.
Your argument is similar to me telling you that, “the U.S. is hated right now, worldwide, so when you travel abroad just call yourself a Canadian, as a PR measure.” Though it may be STRATEGICALLY EXPEDIENT it’s also cowardly. All it does is undermine your self-respect as an American.
The self-respect of Germans has already been undermined for over sixty years. IT NEEDS TO BE RESTORED BY ACCEPTING THE TRUTH AND BY IGNORING ANY ATTEMPTS AT INTIMIDATION IN THE GUISE OF A PR STRATEGY.
I agree with Robert Faurisson’s stance of openness, simple language and confrontational style (in the Celinian sense) because at this stage you can’t avoid confrontation. It’s obviously being forced upon any dissent anyway. What’s more than anything convincing is PERSEVERENCE a la Faurisson.
Yet, I agree with you that PR savvy is more than indicated at this stage. But I’m afraid it’s lost on ordinary mortals whose understanding and support is needed for revisionism to be successful. One of Hitler’s secrets of success was his PR savvy, when he spoke about the people’s concerns, loudly and clearly, in their language…CONFRONTATIONALLY.
Horst Mahler’s style of rhetoric I find sometimes hard to follow, and generally he seems to dwell too much on the spiritual aspect of nationhood. But he has a brilliant mind and a strong backbone; and he has a more correct, comprehensive and sympathetic understanding of National Socialism and Adolf Hitler than you do. Therefore he has the courage to envision the possibilities of such a model in the future.
As to his statement about all Jews being at the forefront of the attacks against Germany HE IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. Name ONE Jew who does reject the holocaust as an historical fact. If you can, it will be a miraculous exception.
By the way, an atheist Judaist is an oxymoron. Noam Chomsky is an atheist with Zionist proclivities, not a Judaist.
You may argue in your defense that you’ve done massive amounts of research and know what you’re talking about, and that you don’t deserve to be lectured by an amateur such as me.
To that I answer, yes, you’ve obviously done a lot of research. But so have I. On the issue of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis you seem to have wasted some fleeting glances with an extremely biased attitude; looking for, and finding, the entirely corrupted “evidence”.
In conclusion I suggest that you become MORE revisionist in your revisionism in order to achieve some semblance of truth, preferably nothing but…
Hans can be contacted at: Hans Krampe [email protected]
|May 24th, 2011||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Alfred Rosenberg on the competitive relationship between Catholicism and NS:
|May 24th, 2011||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2007
The Catholics’ strongest appeal to intelligent men has been the parade of horribles: if the Church isn’t the basis of society, communists will seize your property, or women will have loose morals, or the strong will devour the weak. It works well because all these things (and more) have happened under anticlerical regimes. As competition, NS alone shows that it can deliver the decent community the Catholics promise, but from organic sources, not alien, universal ones.
|May 24th, 2011||#6|
MIT BRENNENDER SORGE
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI
ON THE CHURCH AND THE GERMAN REICH
TO THE VENERABLE BRETHREN
THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF GERMANY AND OTHER ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE.
Venerable Brethren, Greetings, and Apostolic Blessing.
It is with deep anxiety and growing surprise that We have long been following the painful trials of the Church and the increasing vexations which afflict those who have remained loyal in heart and action in the midst of a people that once received from St. Boniface the bright message and the Gospel of Christ and God's Kingdom.
2. And what the representatives of the venerable episcopate, who visited Us in Our sick room, had to tell Us, in truth and duty bound, has not modified Our feelings. To consoling and edifying information on the stand the Faithful are making for their Faith, they considered themselves bound, in spite of efforts to judge with moderation and in spite of their own patriotic love, to add reports of things hard and unpleasant. After hearing their account, We could, in grateful acknowledgment to God, exclaim with the Apostle of love: "I have no greater grace than this, to hear that my children walk in truth" (John iii. 4). But the frankness indifferent in Our Apostolic charge and the determination to place before the Christian world the truth in all its reality, prompt Us to add: "Our pastoral heart knows no deeper pain, no disappointment more bitter, than to learn that many are straying from the path of truth."
3. When, in 1933, We consented, Venerable Brethren, to open negotiations for a concordat, which the Reich Government proposed on the basis of a scheme of several years' standing; and when, to your unanimous satisfaction, We concluded the negotiations by a solemn treaty, We were prompted by the desire, as it behooved Us, to secure for Germany the freedom of the Church's beneficent mission and the salvation of the souls in her care, as well as by the sincere wish to render the German people a service essential for its peaceful development and prosperity. Hence, despite many and grave misgivings, We then decided not to withhold Our consent for We wished to spare the Faithful of Germany, as far as it was humanly possible, the trials and difficulties they would have had to face, given the circumstances, had the negotiations fallen through. It was by acts that We wished to make it plain, Christ's interests being Our sole object, that the pacific and maternal hand of the Church would be extended to anyone who did not actually refuse it.
4. If, then, the tree of peace, which we planted on German soil with the purest intention, has not brought forth the fruit, which in the interest of your people, We had fondly hoped, no one in the world who has eyes to see and ears to hear will be able to lay the blame on the Church and on her Head. The experiences of these last years have fixed responsibilities and laid bare intrigues, which from the outset only aimed at a war of extermination. In the furrows, where We tried to sow the seed of a sincere peace, other men - the "enemy" of Holy Scripture - oversowed the cockle of distrust, unrest, hatred, defamation, of a determined hostility overt or veiled, fed from many sources and wielding many tools, against Christ and His Church. They, and they alone with their accomplices, silent or vociferous, are today responsible, should the storm of religious war, instead of the rainbow of peace, blacken the German skies.
5. We have never ceased, Venerable Brethren, to represent to the responsible rulers of your country's destiny, the consequences which would inevitably follow the protection and even the favor, extended to such a policy. We have done everything in Our power to defend the sacred pledge of the given word of honor against theories and practices, which it officially endorsed, would wreck every faith in treaties and make every signature worthless. Should the day ever come to place before the world the account of Our efforts, every honest mind will see on which side are to be found the promoters of peace, and on which side its disturbers. Whoever had left in his soul an atom of love for truth, and in his heart a shadow of a sense of justice, must admit that, in the course of these anxious and trying years following upon the conclusion of the concordat, every one of Our words, every one of Our acts, has been inspired by the binding law of treaties. At the same time, anyone must acknowledge, not without surprise and reprobation, how the other contracting party emasculated the terms of the treaty, distorted their meaning, and eventually considered its more or less official violation as a normal policy. The moderation We showed in spite of all this was not inspired by motives of worldly interest, still less by unwarranted weakness, but merely by Our anxiety not to draw out the wheat with the cockle; not to pronounce open judgment, before the public was ready to see its force; not to impeach other people's honesty, before the evidence of events should have torn the mask off the systematic hostility leveled at the Church. Even now that a campaign against the confessional schools, which are guaranteed by the concordat, and the destruction of free election, where Catholics have a right to their children's Catholic education, afford evidence, in a matter so essential to the life of the Church, of the extreme gravity of the situation and the anxiety of every Christian conscience; even now Our responsibility for Christian souls induces Us not to overlook the last possibilities, however slight, of a return to fidelity to treaties, and to any arrangement that may be acceptable to the episcopate. We shall continue without failing, to stand before the rulers of your people as the defender of violated rights, and in obedience to Our Conscience and Our pastoral mission, whether We be successful or not, to oppose the policy which seeks, by open or secret means, to strangle rights guaranteed by a treaty.
6. Different, however, Venerable Brethren, is the purpose of this letter. As you affectionately visited Us in Our illness, so also We turn to you, and through you, the German Catholics, who, like all suffering and afflicted children, are nearer to their Father's heart. At a time when your faith, like gold, is being tested in the fire of tribulation and persecution, when your religious freedom is beset on all sides, when the lack of religious teaching and of normal defense is heavily weighing on you, you have every right to words of truth and spiritual comfort from him whose first predecessor heard these words from the Lord: "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not: and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren" (Luke xxii. 32).
7. Take care, Venerable Brethren, that above all, faith in God, the first and irreplaceable foundation of all religion, be preserved in Germany pure and unstained. The believer in God is not he who utters the name in his speech, but he for whom this sacred word stands for a true and worthy concept of the Divinity. Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God. Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God who "Reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wisdom viii. 1). Neither is he a believer in God.
8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community - however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things - whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.
9. Beware, Venerable Brethren, of that growing abuse, in speech as in writing, of the name of God as though it were a meaningless label, to be affixed to any creation, more or less arbitrary, of human speculation. Use your influence on the Faithful, that they refuse to yield to this aberration. Our God is the Personal God, supernatural, omnipotent, infinitely perfect, one in the Trinity of Persons, tri-personal in the unity of divine essence, the Creator of all existence. Lord, King and ultimate Consummator of the history of the world, who will not, and cannot, tolerate a rival God by His side.
10. This God, this Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God's sun shines on every human face so His law knows neither privilege nor exception. Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to His word. From the fullness of the Creators' right there naturally arises the fullness of His right to be obeyed by individuals and communities, whoever they are. This obedience permeates all branches of activity in which moral values claim harmony with the law of God, and pervades all integration of the ever-changing laws of man into the immutable laws of God.
11. None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are "as a drop of a bucket" (Isaiah xI, 15).
12. The Bishops of the Church of Christ, "ordained in the things that appertain to God (Heb. v, 1) must watch that pernicious errors of this sort, and consequent practices more pernicious still, shall not gain a footing among their flock. It is part of their sacred obligations to do whatever is in their power to enforce respect for, and obedience to, the commandments of God, as these are the necessary foundation of all private life and public morality; to see that the rights of His Divine Majesty, His name and His word be not profaned; to put a stop to the blasphemies, which, in words and pictures, are multiplying like the sands of the desert; to encounter the obstinacy and provocations of those who deny, despise and hate God, by the never-failing reparatory prayers of the Faithful, hourly rising like incense to the All-Highest and staying His vengeance.
13. We thank you, Venerable Brethren, your priests and Faithful, who have persisted in their Christian duty and in the defense of God's rights in the teeth of an aggressive paganism. Our gratitude, warmer still and admiring, goes out to those who, in fulfillment of their duty, have been deemed worthy of sacrifice and suffering for the love of God.
14. No faith in God can for long survive pure and unalloyed without the support of faith in Christ. "No one knoweth who the Son is, but the Father: and who the Father is, but the Son and to whom the Son will reveal Him" (Luke x. 22). "Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent" (John xvii. 3). Nobody, therefore, can say: "I believe in God, and that is enough religion for me," for the Savior's words brook no evasion: "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also" (1 John ii. 23).
15. In Jesus Christ, Son of God made Man, there shone the plentitude of divine revelation. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by His Son" (Heb. i. 1). The sacred books of the Old Testament are exclusively the word of God, and constitute a substantial part of his revelation; they are penetrated by a subdued light, harmonizing with the slow development of revelation, the dawn of the bright day of the redemption. As should be expected in historical and didactic books, they reflect in many particulars the imperfection, the weakness and sinfulness of man. But side by side with innumerable touches of greatness and nobleness, they also record the story of the chosen people, bearers of the Revelation and the Promise, repeatedly straying from God and turning to the world. Eyes not blinded by prejudice or passion will see in this prevarication, as reported by the Biblical history, the luminous splendor of the divine light revealing the saving plan which finally triumphs over every fault and sin. It is precisely in the twilight of this background that one perceives the striking perspective of the divine tutorship of salvation, as it warms, admonishes, strikes, raises and beautifies its elect. Nothing but ignorance and pride could blind one to the treasures hoarded in the Old Testament.
16. Whoever wishes to see banished from church and school the Biblical history and the wise doctrines of the Old Testament, blasphemes the name of God, blasphemes the Almighty's plan of salvation, and makes limited and narrow human thought the judge of God's designs over the history of the world: he denies his faith in the true Christ, such as He appeared in the flesh, the Christ who took His human nature from a people that was to crucify Him; and he understands nothing of that universal tragedy of the Son of God who to His torturer's sacrilege opposed the divine and priestly sacrifice of His redeeming death, and made the new alliance the goal of the old alliance, its realization and its crown.
17. The peak of the revelation as reached in the Gospel of Christ is final and permanent. It knows no retouches by human hand; it admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternatives such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of race and blood. Since Christ, the Lord's Anointed, finished the task of Redemption, and by breaking up the reign of sin deserved for us the grace of being the children God, since that day no other name under heaven has been given to men, whereby we must be saved (Acts iv. 12). No man, were every science, power and worldly strength incarnated in him, can lay any other foundation but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus (1 Cor. iii 11). Should any man dare, in sacrilegious disregard of the essential differences between God and His creature, between the God-man and the children of man, to place a mortal, were he the greatest of all times, by the side of, or over, or against, Christ, he would deserve to be called prophet of nothingness, to whom the terrifying words of Scripture would be applicable: "He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them" (Psalms ii. 3).
18. Faith in Christ cannot maintain itself pure and unalloyed without the support of faith in the Church, "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. iii. 15); for Christ Himself, God eternally blessed, raised this pillar of the Faith. His command to hear the Church (Matt. xviii. 15), to welcome in the words and commands of the Church His own words and His own commands (Luke x. 16), is addressed to all men, of all times and of all countries. The Church founded by the Redeemer is one, the same for all races and all nations. Beneath her dome, as beneath the vault of heaven, there is but one country for all nations and tongues; there is room for the development of every quality, advantage, task and vocation which God the Creator and Savior has allotted to individuals as well as to ethnical communities. The Church's maternal heart is big enough to see in the God-appointed development of individual characteristics and gifts, more than a mere danger of divergency. She rejoices at the spiritual superiorities among individuals and nations. In their successes she sees with maternal joy and pride fruits of education and progress, which she can only bless and encourage, whenever she can conscientiously do so. But she also knows that to this freedom limits have been set by the majesty of the divine command, which founded that Church one and indivisible. Whoever tampers with that unity and that indivisibility wrenches from the Spouse of Christ one of the diadems with which God Himself crowned her; he subjects a divine structure, which stands on eternal foundations, to criticism and transformation by architects whom the Father of Heaven never authorized to interfere.
19. The Church, whose work lies among men and operates through men, may see her divine mission obscured by human, too human, combination, persistently growing and developing like the cockle among the wheat of the Kingdom of God. Those who know the Savior's words on scandal and the giver of scandals, know, too, the judgment which the Church and all her sons must pronounce on what was and what is sin. But if, besides these reprehensible discrepancies be between faith and life, acts and words, exterior conduct and interior feelings, however numerous they be, anyone overlooks the overwhelming sum of authentic virtues, of spirit of sacrifice, fraternal love, heroic efforts of sanctity, he gives evidence of deplorable blindness and injustice. If later he forgets to apply the standard of severity, by which he measures the Church he hates, to other organizations in which he happens to be interested, then his appeal to an offended sense of purity identifies him with those who, for seeing the mote in their brother's eye, according to the Savior's incisive words, cannot see the beam in their own. But however suspicious the intention of those who make it their task, nay their vile profession, to scrutinize what is human in the Church, and although the priestly powers conferred by God are independent of the priest's human value, it yet remains true that at no moment of history, no individual, in no organization can dispense himself from the duty of loyally examining his conscience, of mercilessly purifying himself, and energetically renewing himself in spirit and in action. In Our Encyclical on the priesthood We have urged attention to the sacred duty of all those who belong to the Church, chiefly the members of the priestly and religious profession and of the lay apostolate, to square their faith and their conduct with the claims of the law of God and of the Church. And today we again repeat with all the insistency We can command: it is not enough to be a member of the Church of Christ, one needs to be a living member, in spirit and in truth, i.e., living in the state of grace and in the presence of God, either in innocence or in sincere repentance. If the Apostle of the nations, the vase of election, chastised his body and brought it into subjection: lest perhaps, when he had preached to others, he himself should become a castaway (1 Cor. ix. 27), could anybody responsible for the extension of the Kingdom of God claim any other method but personal sanctification? Only thus can we show to the present generation, and to the critics of the Church that "the salt of the earth," the leaven of Christianity has not decayed, but is ready to give the men of today - prisoners of doubt and error, victims of indifference, tired of their Faith and straying from God - the spiritual renewal they so much need. A Christianity which keeps a grip on itself, refuses every compromise with the world, takes the commands of God and the Church seriously, preserves its love of God and of men in all its freshness, such a Christianity can be, and will be, a model and a guide to a world which is sick to death and clamors for directions, unless it be condemned to a catastrophe that would baffle the imagination.
20. Every true and lasting reform has ultimately sprung from the sanctity of men who were driven by the love of God and of men. Generous, ready to stand to attention to any call from God, yet confident in themselves because confident in their vocation, they grew to the size of beacons and reformers. On the other hand, any reformatory zeal, which instead of springing from personal purity, flashes out of passion, has produced unrest instead of light, destruction instead of construction, and more than once set up evils worse than those it was out to remedy. No doubt "the Spirit breatheth where he will" (John iii. 8): "of stones He is able to raise men to prepare the way to his designs" (Matt. iii. 9). He chooses the instruments of His will according to His own plans, not those of men. But the Founder of the Church, who breathed her into existence at Pentecost, cannot disown the foundations as He laid them. Whoever is moved by the spirit of God, spontaneously adopts both outwardly and inwardly, the true attitude toward the Church, this sacred fruit from the tree of the cross, this gift from the Spirit of God, bestowed on Pentecost day to an erratic world.
21. In your country, Venerable Brethren, voices are swelling into a chorus urging people to leave the Church, and among the leaders there is more than one whose official position is intended to create the impression that this infidelity to Christ the King constitutes a signal and meritorious act of loyalty to the modern State. Secret and open measures of intimidation, the threat of economic and civic disabilities, bear on the loyalty of certain classes of Catholic functionaries, a pressure which violates every human right and dignity. Our wholehearted paternal sympathy goes out to those who must pay so dearly for their loyalty to Christ and the Church; but directly the highest interests are at stake, with the alternative of spiritual loss, there is but one alternative left, that of heroism. If the oppressor offers one the Judas bargain of apostasy he can only, at the cost of every worldly sacrifice, answer with Our Lord: "Begone, Satan! For it is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matt. iv. 10). And turning to the Church, he shall say: "Thou, my mother since my infancy, the solace of my life and advocate at my death, may my tongue cleave to my palate if, yielding to worldly promises or threats, I betray the vows of my baptism." As to those who imagine that they can reconcile exterior infidelity to one and the same Church, let them hear Our Lord's warning: - "He that shall deny me before men shall be denied before the angels of God" (Luke xii. 9).
22. Faith in the Church cannot stand pure and true without the support of faith in the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. The same moment when Peter, in the presence of all the Apostles and disciples, confesses his faith in Christ, Son of the Living God, the answer he received in reward for his faith and his confession was the word that built the Church, the only Church of Christ, on the rock of Peter (Matt. xvi. 18). Thus was sealed the connection between the faith in Christ, the Church and the Primacy. True and lawful authority is invariably a bond of unity, a source of strength, a guarantee against division and ruin, a pledge for the future: and this is verified in the deepest and sublimest sense, when that authority, as in the case of the Church, and the Church alone, is sealed by the promise and the guidance of the Holy Ghost and His irresistible support. Should men, who are not even united by faith in Christ, come and offer you the seduction of a national German Church, be convinced that it is nothing but a denial of the one Church of Christ and the evident betrayal of that universal evangelical mission, for which a world Church alone is qualified and competent. The live history of other national churches with their paralysis, their domestication and subjection to worldly powers, is sufficient evidence of the sterility to which is condemned every branch that is severed from the trunk of the living Church. Whoever counters these erroneous developments with an uncompromising No from the very outset, not only serves the purity of his faith in Christ, but also the welfare and the vitality of his own people.
23. You will need to watch carefully, Venerable Brethren, that religious fundamental concepts be not emptied of their content and distorted to profane use. "Revelation" in its Christian sense, means the word of God addressed to man. The use of this word for the "suggestions" of race and blood, for the irradiations of a people's history, is mere equivocation. False coins of this sort do not deserve Christian currency. "Faith" consists in holding as true what God has revealed and proposes through His Church to man's acceptance. It is "the evidence of things that appear not" (Heb. ii. 1). The joyful and proud confidence in the future of one's people, instinct in every heart, is quite a different thing from faith in a religious sense. To substitute the one for the other, and demand on the strength of this, to be numbered among the faithful followers of Christ, is a senseless play on words, if it does not conceal a confusion of concepts, or worse.
24. "Immortality" in a Christian sense means the survival of man after his terrestrial death, for the purpose of eternal reward or punishment. Whoever only means by the term, the collective survival here on earth of his people for an indefinite length of time, distorts one of the fundamental notions of the Christian Faith and tampers with the very foundations of the religious concept of the universe, which requires a moral order.
25. "Original sin" is the hereditary but impersonal fault of Adam's descendants, who have sinned in him (Rom. v. 12). It is the loss of grace, and therefore of eternal life, together with a propensity to evil, which everybody must, with the assistance of grace, penance, resistance and moral effort, repress and conquer. The passion and death of the Son of God has redeemed the world from the hereditary curse of sin and death. Faith in these truths, which in your country are today the butt of the cheap derision of Christ's enemies, belongs to the inalienable treasury of Christian revelation.
26. The cross of Christ, though it has become to many a stumbling block and foolishness (1 Cor. i. 23) remains for the believer the holy sign of his redemption, the emblem of moral strength and greatness. We live in its shadow and die in its embrace. It will stand on our grave as a pledge of our faith and our hope in the eternal light.
27. Humility in the spirit of the Gospel and prayer for the assistance of grace are perfectly compatible with self-confidence and heroism. The Church of Christ, which throughout the ages and to the present day numbers more confessors and voluntary martyrs than any other moral collectivity, needs lessons from no one in heroism of feeling and action. The odious pride of reformers only covers itself with ridicule when it rails at Christian humility as though it were but a cowardly pose of self-degradation.
28. "Grace," in a wide sense, may stand for any of the Creator's gifts to His creature; but in its Christian designation, it means all the supernatural tokens of God's love; God's intervention which raises man to that intimate communion of life with Himself, called by the Gospel "adoption of the children of God." "Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called and should be the sons of God" (1 John iii. 1). To discard this gratuitous and free elevation in the name of a so-called German type amounts to repudiating openly a fundamental truth of Christianity. It would be an abuse of our religious vocabulary to place on the same level supernatural grace and natural gifts. Pastors and guardians of the people of God will do well to resist this plunder of sacred things and this confusion of ideas.
29. It is on faith in God, preserved pure and stainless, that man's morality is based. All efforts to remove from under morality and the moral order the granite foundation of faith and to substitute for it the shifting sands of human regulations, sooner or later lead these individuals or societies to moral degradation. The fool who has said in his heart "there is no God" goes straight to moral corruption (Psalms xiii. 1), and the number of these fools who today are out to sever morality from religion, is legion. They either do not see or refuse to see that the banishment of confessional Christianity, i.e., the clear and precise notion of Christianity, from teaching and education, from the organization of social and political life, spells spiritual spoliation and degradation. No coercive power of the State, no purely human ideal, however noble and lofty it be, will ever be able to make shift of the supreme and decisive impulses generated by faith in God and Christ. If the man, who is called to the hard sacrifice of his own ego to the common good, loses the support of the eternal and the divine, that comforting and consoling faith in a God who rewards all good and punishes all evil, then the result of the majority will be, not the acceptance, but the refusal of their duty. The conscientious observation of the ten commandments of God and the precepts of the Church (which are nothing but practical specifications of rules of the Gospels) is for every one an unrivaled school of personal discipline, moral education and formation of character, a school that is exacting, but not to excess. A merciful God, who as Legislator, says - Thou must! - also gives by His grace the power to will and to do. To let forces of moral formation of such efficacy lie fallow, or to exclude them positively from public education, would spell religious under-feeding of a nation. To hand over the moral law to man's subjective opinion, which changes with the times, instead of anchoring it in the holy will of the eternal God and His commandments, is to open wide every door to the forces of destruction. The resulting dereliction of the eternal principles of an objective morality, which educates conscience and ennobles every department and organization of life, is a sin against the destiny of a nation, a sin whose bitter fruit will poison future generations.
30. Such is the rush of present-day life that it severs from the divine foundation of Revelation, not only morality, but also the theoretical and practical rights. We are especially referring to what is called the natural law, written by the Creator's hand on the tablet of the heart (Rom. ii. 14) and which reason, not blinded by sin or passion, can easily read. It is in the light of the commands of this natural law, that all positive law, whoever be the lawgiver, can be gauged in its moral content, and hence, in the authority it wields over conscience. Human laws in flagrant contradiction with the natural law are vitiated with a taint which no force, no power can mend. In the light of this principle one must judge the axiom, that "right is common utility," a proposition which may be given a correct significance, it means that what is morally indefensible, can never contribute to the good of the people. But ancient paganism acknowledged that the axiom, to be entirely true, must be reversed and be made to say: "Nothing can be useful, if it is not at the same time morally good" (Cicero, De Off. ii. 30). Emancipated from this oral rule, the principle would in international law carry a perpetual state of war between nations; for it ignores in national life, by confusion of right and utility, the basic fact that man as a person possesses rights he holds from God, and which any collectivity must protect against denial, suppression or neglect. To overlook this truth is to forget that the real common good ultimately takes its measure from man's nature, which balances personal rights and social obligations, and from the purpose of society, established for the benefit of human nature. Society, was intended by the Creator for the full development of individual possibilities, and for the social benefits, which by a give and take process, every one can claim for his own sake and that of others. Higher and more general values, which collectivity alone can provide, also derive from the Creator for the good of man, and for the full development, natural and supernatural, and the realization of his perfection. To neglect this order is to shake the pillars on which society rests, and to compromise social tranquillity, security and existence.
31. The believer has an absolute right to profess his Faith and live according to its dictates. Laws which impede this profession and practice of Faith are against natural law.
Parents who are earnest and conscious of their educative duties, have a primary right to the education of the children God has given them in the spirit of their Faith, and according to its prescriptions. Laws and measures which in school questions fail to respect this freedom of the parents go against natural law, and are immoral. The Church, whose mission it is to preserve and explain the natural law, as it is divine in its origin, cannot but declare that the recent enrollment into schools organized without a semblance of freedom, is the result of unjust pressure, and is a violation of every common right.
32. As the Vicar of Him who said to the young man of the Gospel: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matt. xix. 17), We address a few paternal words to the young.
33. Thousands of voices ring into your ears a Gospel which has not been revealed by the Father of Heaven. Thousands of pens are wielded in the service of a Christianity, which is not of Christ. Press and wireless daily force on you productions hostile to the Faith and to the Church, impudently aggressive against whatever you should hold venerable and sacred. Many of you, clinging to your Faith and to your Church, as a result of your affiliation with religious associations guaranteed by the concordat, have often to face the tragic trial of seeing your loyalty to your country misunderstood, suspected, or even denied, and of being hurt in your professional and social life. We are well aware that there is many a humble soldier of Christ in your ranks, who with torn feelings, but a determined heart, accepts his fate, finding his one consolation in the thought of suffering insults for the name of Jesus (Acts v. 41). Today, as We see you threatened with new dangers and new molestations, We say to you: If any one should preach to you a Gospel other than the one you received on the knees of a pious mother, from the lips of a believing father, or through teaching faithful to God and His Church, "let him be anathema" (Gal. i. 9). If the State organizes a national youth, and makes this organization obligatory to all, then, without prejudice to rights of religious associations, it is the absolute right of youths as well as of parents to see to it that this organization is purged of all manifestations hostile to the Church and Christianity. These manifestations are even today placing Christian parents in a painful alternative, as they cannot give to the State what they owe to God alone.
34. No one would think of preventing young Germans establishing a true ethnical community in a noble love of freedom and loyalty to their country. What We object to is the voluntary and systematic antagonism raised between national education and religious duty. That is why we tell the young: Sing your hymns to freedom, but do not forget the freedom of the children of God. Do not drag the nobility of that freedom in the mud of sin and sensuality. He who sings hymns of loyalty to this terrestrial country should not, for that reason, become unfaithful to God and His Church, or a deserter and traitor to His heavenly country. You are often told about heroic greatness, in lying opposition to evangelical humility and patience. Why conceal the fact that there are heroisms in moral life? That the preservation of baptismal innocence is an act of heroism which deserves credit? You are often told about the human deficiencies which mar the history of the Church: why ignore the exploits which fill her history, the saints she begot, the blessing that came upon Western civilization from the union between that Church and your people? You are told about sports. Indulged in with moderation and within limits, physical education is a boon for youth. But so much time is now devoted to sporting activities, that the harmonious development of body and mind is disregarded, that duties to one's family, and the observation of the Lord's Day are neglected. With an indifference bordering on contempt the day of the Lord is divested of its sacred character, against the best of German traditions. But We expect the Catholic youth, in the more favorable organizations of the State, to uphold its right to a Christian sanctification of the Sunday, not to exercise the body at the expense of the immortal soul, not to be overcome by evil, but to aim at the triumph of good over evil (Rom. xii. 21) as its highest achievement will be the gaining of the crown in the stadium of eternal life (1 Cor. ix. 24).
35. We address a special word of congratulation, encouragement and exhortation to the priests of Germany, who, in difficult times and delicate situations, have, under the direction of their Bishops, to guide the flocks of Christ along the straight road, by word and example, by their daily devotion and apostolic patience. Beloved sons, who participate with Us in the sacred mysteries, never tire of exercising, after the Sovereign and eternal Priest, Jesus Christ, the charity and solicitude of the Good Samaritan. Let your daily conduct remain stainless before God and the incessant pursuit of your perfection and sanctification, in merciful charity towards all those who are confided to your care, especially those who are more exposed, who are weak and stumbling. Be the guides of the faithful, the support of those who fail, the doctors of the doubting, the consolers of the afflicted, the disinterested counselors and assistants of all. The trials and sufferings which your people have undergone in post-War days have not passed over its soul without leaving painful marks. They have left bitterness and anxiety which are slow to cure, except by charity. This charity is the apostle's indispensable weapon, in a world torn by hatred. It will make you forget, or at least forgive, many an undeserved insult now more frequent than ever.
36. This charity, intelligent and sympathetic towards those even who offend you, does by no means imply a renunciation of the right of proclaiming, vindicating and defending the truth and its implications. The priest's first loving gift to his neighbors is to serve truth and refute error in any of its forms. Failure on this score would be not only a betrayal of God and your vocation, but also an offense against the real welfare of your people and country. To all those who have kept their promised fidelity to their Bishops on the day of their ordination; to all those who in the exercise of their priestly function are called upon to suffer persecution; to all those imprisoned in jail and concentration camps, the Father of the Christian world sends his words of gratitude and commendation.
37. Our paternal gratitude also goes out to Religious and nuns, as well as Our sympathy for so many who, as a result of administrative measures hostile to Religious Orders, have been wrenched from the work of their vocation. If some have fallen and shown themselves unworthy of their vocation, their fault, which the Church punishes, in no way detracts from the merit of the immense majority, who, in voluntary abnegation and poverty, have tried to serve their God and their country. By their zeal, their fidelity, their virtue, their active charity, their devotion, the Orders devoted to the care of souls, the service of the sick and education, are greatly contributing to private and public welfare. No doubt better days will come to do them better justice than the present troublous times have done. We trust that the heads of religious communities will profit by their trials and difficulties tO renew their zeal, their spirit of prayer, the austerity of their lives and their perfect discipline, in order to draw down God's blessing upon their difficult work.
38. We visualize the immense multitudes of Our faithful children, Our sons and daughters, for whom the sufferings of the Church in Germany and their own have left intact their devotion to the cause of God, their tender love for the Father of Christendom, their obedience to their pastors, their joyous resolution to remain ever faithful, happen what may, to the sacred inheritance of their ancestors. To all of them We send Our paternal greetings. And first to the members of those religious associations which, bravely and at the cost of untold sacrifices, have remained faithful to Christ, and have stood by the rights which a solemn treaty had guaranteed to the Church and to themselves according to the rules of loyalty and good faith.
39. We address Our special greetings to the Catholic parents. Their rights and duties as educators, conferred on them by God, are at present the stake of a campaign pregnant with consequences. The Church cannot wait to deplore the devastation of its altars, the destruction of its temples, if an education, hostile to Christ, is to profane the temple of the child's soul consecrated by baptism, and extinguish the eternal light of the faith in Christ for the sake of counterfeit light alien to the Cross. Then the violation of temples is nigh, and it will be every one's duty to sever his responsibility from the opposite camp, and free his conscience from guilty cooperation with such corruption. The more the enemies attempt to disguise their designs, the more a distrustful vigilance will be needed, in the light of bitter experience. Religious lessons maintained for the sake of appearances, controlled by unauthorized men, within the frame of an educational system which systematically works against religion, do not justify a vote in favor of non-confessional schools. We know, dear Catholic parents, that your vote was not free, for a free and secret vote would have meant the triumph of the Catholic schools. Therefore, we shall never cease frankly to represent to the responsible authorities the iniquity of the pressure brought to bear on you and the duty of respecting the freedom of education. Yet do not forget this: none can free you from the responsibility God has placed on you over your children. None of your oppressors, who pretend to relieve you of your duties can answer for you to the eternal Judge, when he will ask: "Where are those I confided to you?" May every one of you be able to answer: "Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one" (John xviii. 9).
40. Venerable Brethren, We are convinced that the words which in this solemn moment We address to you, and to the Catholics of the German Empire, will find in the hearts and in the acts of Our Faithful, the echo responding to the solicitude of the common Father. If there is one thing We implore the Lord to grant, it is this, that Our words may reach the ears and the hearts of those who have begun to yield to the threats and enticements of the enemies of Christ and His Church.
41. We have weighed every word of this letter in the balance of truth and love. We wished neither to be an accomplice to equivocation by an untimely silence, nor by excessive severity to harden the hearts of those who live under Our pastoral responsibility; for Our pastoral love pursues them none the less for all their infidelity. Should those who are trying to adapt their mentality to their new surroundings, have for the paternal home they have left and for the Father Himself, nothing but words of distrust, in gratitude or insult, should they even forget whatever they forsook, the day will come when their anguish will fall on the children they have lost, when nostalgia will bring them back to "God who was the joy of their youth," to the Church whose paternal hand has directed them on the road that leads to the Father of Heaven.
42. Like other periods of the history of the Church, the present has ushered in a new ascension of interior purification, on the sole condition that the faithful show themselves proud enough in the confession of their faith in Christ, generous enough in suffering to face the oppressors of the Church with the strength of their faith and charity. May the holy time of Lent and Easter, which preaches interior renovation and penance, turn Christian eyes towards the Cross and the risen Christ; be for all of you the joyful occasion that will fill your souls with heroism, patience and victory. Then We are sure, the enemies of the Church, who think that their time has come, will see that their joy was premature, and that they may close the grave they had dug. The day will come when the Te Deum of liberation will succeed to the premature hymns of the enemies of Christ: Te Deum of triumph and joy and gratitude, as the German people return to religion, bend the knee before Christ, and arming themselves against the enemies of God, again resume the task God has laid upon them.
43. He who searches the hearts and reins (Psalm vii. 10) is Our witness that We have no greater desire than to see in Germany the restoration of a true peace between Church and State. But if, without any fault of Ours, this peace is not to come, then the Church of God will defend her rights and her freedom in the name of the Almighty whose arm has not shortened. Trusting in Him, "We cease not to pray and to beg" (Col. i. 9) for you, children of the Church, that the days of tribulation may end and that you may be found faithful in the day of judgment; for the persecutors and oppressors, that the Father of light and mercy may enlighten them as He enlightened Saul on the road of Damascus. With this prayer in Our heart and on Our lips We grant to you, as a pledge of Divine help, as a support in your difficult resolutions, as a comfort in the struggle, as a consolation in all trials, to You, Bishops and Pastors of the Faithful, priests, Religious, lay apostles of Catholic Action, to all your diocesans, and specially to the sick and the prisoners, in paternal love, Our Apostolic Benediction.
Given at the Vatican on Passion Sunday, March 14, 1937.
© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
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[wikipedia page on MBS and reaction to it]
Mit brennender Sorge
Mit brennender Sorge (German: "With burning anxiety/concern/care") is a Catholic Church encyclical of Pope Pius XI, published on 10 March 1937 (but bearing a date of Passion Sunday, 14 March). Written in German, not the usual Latin, it was read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches on one of the Church's busiest Sundays, (Palm Sunday). It condemned breaches of the Reichskonkordat agreement signed between the Nazi government and the Church in 1933, and furthermore contained criticism of Nazism and, in the opinion of some, a veiled attack on Hitler.
The encyclical was drafted by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber with an introduction added by Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) dealing with the historical background of the Reichskonkordat|Concorda between the Catholic Church and the Third Reich. At the time Pius XI credited the encyclical to Cardinal Pacelli. In fact, Pacelli is credited with changing the title from Mit grosser Sorge (With great concern) to the more strident Mit brennender Sorge (With burning concern).
Carlo Falconi asserted that the final encyclical was "not so much an amplification of Faulhaber's draft as a faithful and even literal transcription of it". According to Frank J. Coppa, Cardinal Pacelli wrote a draft that the Pope thought was too weak and unfocused and therefore substituted a more critical analysis. Pacelli described the encyclical as "a compromise" between the Holy See's sense that it could not be silent set against "its fears and worries".
Mit brennender Sorge spoke of "God-given rights" and invoked a "human nature" that went beyond national boundaries. It even stated that rejection of the Old Testament, which some leaders—religious as well as secular—advocated in Nazi Germany, was blasphemous.
Condemnation of racism
The encyclical condemned particularly the paganism of the national-socialism ideology, the myth of race and blood, and the fallacy of their conception of God. It warned Catholics that the growing Nazi ideology, which exalted one race over all others, was incompatible with Catholic Christianity.
Martin Rhonheimer writes that whilst Mit brennender Sorge asserts “race” is a “fundamental value of the human community", "necessary and honorable”, it condemns the “exaltation of race, or the people, or the state, or a particular form of state", "above their standard value" to "an idolatrous level.”
“None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are ‘as a drop of a bucket’ (Isaiah XL. 15).”
According to Martin Rhonheimer it was Pacelli who added to Faulhaber's milder draft the following passage:
Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the state, or a particular form of state, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community—however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things—whoever raises these notions above their standard value and raises them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God.
Against this background to the encyclical Faulhaber suggested in an internal Church memorandum that the bishops should inform the Nazi regime “that the Church, through the application of its marriage laws, has made and continues to make, an important contribution to the state’s policy of racial purity; and is thus performing a valuable service for the regime’s population policy.”
The encyclical was written in German and not the usual Latin of official Catholic Church documents. Because of government restrictions, the nuncio in Berlin, Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, had the encyclical distributed by courier. There was no pre-announcement of the encyclical, and its distribution was kept secret in an attempt to ensure the unhindered public reading of its contents in all the Catholic churches of Germany. Printers close to the church offered their services and produced an estimated 300,000 copies, which however was still insufficient. Additional copies were therefore created by hand and using typewriters. After its clandestine distribution, many congregations hid the document in their tabernacles for protection. It was read from the pulpits of German Catholic parishes on Palm Sunday 1937.
The (censored) German newspapers made no mention of the encyclical; the offices of every German diocese were visited the next day by the Gestapo and all extant copies were seized. Every publishing company that had printed it was closed and sealed, diocesan newspapers were proscribed and limits imposed on the paper available for Church purposes. Catholic flags were prohibited at religious ceremonies.
Frank J. Coppa asserts that the encyclical was viewed by the Nazis as "a call to battle against the Reich" and that Hitler was furious and "vowed revenge against the Church". Hitler wrote that “I shall open such a campaign against them [the Catholic clergy] in press, radio and cinema so that they won’t know what hit them …. Let us have no martyrs among the Catholic priests, it is more practical to show they are criminals.”
Thomas Bokenkotter writes that "the Nazis were infuriated, and in retaliation closed and sealed all the presses that had printed it and took numerous vindictive measures against the Church, including staging a long series of immorality trials of the Catholic clergy."
According to John Vidmar, Nazi reprisals against the Church in Germany followed thereafter, including "staged prosecutions of monks for homosexuality, with the maximum of publicity". 170 Franciscans were arrested in Koblenz and tried for “corrupting youth” in a secret trial, with numerous allegations of priestly debauchery appearing in the Nazi controlled press, while a film produced for the Hitler Youth showed men dressed as priests dancing in a brothel.
According to Eamon Duffy "The impact of the encyclical was immense, and it dispelled at once all suspicion of a Fascist Pope." However, Gerald Fogarty asserts that "in the end, the encyclical had little positive effect, and if anything only exacerbated the crisis." The American ambassador reported that it “had helped the Catholic Church in Germany very little but on the contrary has provoked the Nazi state...to continue its oblique assault upon Catholic institutions.”
Although the encyclical is widely hailed as "the first great official public document to dare to confront and criticize Nazism", there is some debate over the extent to which the encyclical challenged the Nazi regime. Although it did not identify him by name, it contained references to 'an insane and arrogant prophet", which scholars such as Bokenkotter, Vidmar, Rhodes and McGonigle have interpreted as referring to Adolf Hitler.
Falconi opined that the offering of a "conciliatory olive branch" to Hitler if he would restore the "tranquil prosperity" of the Church deprived the document of a "noble and exemplary intransigence". Catholic holocaust scholar Michael Phayer concludes that the encyclical "condemned racism (but not Hitler or National Socialism, as some have erroneously asserted)". Some scholars have criticized Phayer as having relied too much on German documents alone. Other Catholic scholars have regarded the encyclical as "not a heatedly combative document" as the German episcopate entertained hopes of a Modus vivendi with the Nazis. As a result the encyclical was "not directly polemical" but "diplomatically moderate", in contrast to the encyclical Non Abbiamo Bisogno dealing with Italian fascism.
|May 25th, 2011||#8|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Below is an attempt to cozy up to the jews by listing Catholic grievances against NS Germany. What’s striking is how little of this is about interference with anyone’s religious faith or freedom of worship. What happened to some Catholics happened largely because they were vocal political opponents of a regime that limited dissent. Incredibly, this reads like a Catholic brief for pluralism. When the Catholics run countries, pluralism is nonexistent. They loved El Caudillo since he ruled autocratically “por la gracia de Dios.” Here Catholics whine about NS censorship in effect at a time when the Church still maintained the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. The Catholic chameleon manages to be a humane liberal when someone else is in charge, and a brutal theocrat when he’s in charge.
Nazi Persecution of the Church
by Karol Jozef Gajewski
As the debate continues over the alleged "silence" of Pius XII during the Nazi persecution of the Jews, some scholars are drawing attention to the terrible fate of the Catholic Church at the hands of Hitler’s regime
On the night of January 30, 1933, rank after rank of SA storm troopers and black-uniformed SS detachments swung through the Brandenburg Gate onto the Unter den Linden in the center of Berlin. They carried flaming torches and were cheered by huge crowds lining the sidewalks, thousands hysterically giving the Nazi salute as a token of victory. Hitler had achieved his first goal that very day: to be appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg to lead the government.
As Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his Cabinet minister Hermann Goering acknowledged the cheers of the massed citizenry. Hitler was well aware that the victory was only a partial one. The Nazis were still a minority in a fragile coalition. Hitler had, in fact, warned earlier that day in a statement released to the world's press: "The Nazi Party has at last broken through to the government. I am determined to continue the struggle as fiercely within government as we fought outside it."
A major part of what Hitler saw as his forthcoming struggle was targeting, isolating and destroying millions of enemies in the way of his total mastery of Germany. There were the Jews, the Communists, the Social Democrats with their entrenched electoral support, the Catholic Center Party, and the Roman Catholic Church. All were enemies, each to be dealt with as quickly as circumstances would allow.
Though Hitler felt a particular urgency about dealing with the Jews and Communists, and the neutralizing of other political parties, he saw the Church as a pernicious opponent, a deeply-entrenched threat that must be immediately controlled and eventually uprooted in order to establish his Thousand-Year Reich.
To help eliminate Catholic influence, he turned to Alfred Rosenberg, arch-ideologue and convinced Nazi, who despised Christianity. In his book The Myth of the Twentieth Century, Rosenberg formulated a "scientific" theory of racism. For him, the supreme human value was that of race: individual races possessed their own collective soul, a mystical "power of the blood and soil." Each race also possessed a religious impulse (in the case of the Aryan Germans, this was the pagan cult of Wotan, King of the Gods). Christianity, for Rosenberg, was the distorted product of Semitic tribes who had tricked the Aryans into jettisoning their pagan truth. The Catholic Church, the prime mover in this spiritual "swindle," was singled out for sustained attack as the promoter of "prodigious, conscious and unconscious falsifications."
All during the 1930s, Rosenberg poured scorn on the Church. The clergy, hierarchy and Vatican were vilified as poisoners of German blood, race-death merchants, race-swamp promoters, race contaminators, race-chaos merchants, obscurantists or "men of shadows," sorcerers of Rome, and, referring to the Jewish roots of Christianity, as advocates of perverted "Orientalism."
Jesus Christ was singled out not only by Rosenberg, but by numerous lesser Nazis hired to slant the Savior's message toward Rosenberg's race theories. Christ, they claimed, was an unwitting tool of Jewish world conspirators, active as early as the first century AD. Or, alternatively, Christ was not a Jew at all, but a prototype Aryan, son of a Roman soldier stationed in Palestine. Throughout Rosenberg's career, up to the gallows at Nuremberg, he promoted these twisted theories in pamphlets, speeches, and training courses for Nazi leaders on the perfect "Nordic race."
Typical of the initial troubles between Nazism and the Church was a February 1933 confrontation following the death of a Catholic policeman, Sergeant Zauritz, killed in a riot between Communists and Nazis in Berlin. At his funeral in his Silesian hometown, the priest deplored the many violent deaths being suffered, saying how terrible was the maxim: "If they disobey us, their heads will roll." This was a clear reference to a speech by Hitler. The many storm troopers in the congregation began coughing to drown out the words of the priest. Undeterred, he shouted: "Cough all you like, but you will not cough me from telling the truth!"
That same month, Goering banned all Catholic newspapers in Cologne. Responding to protests, he denied that this was part of a deliberate campaign against Catholics: the government, he said, would "seal its own doom" with "such a policy." Though the ban was later lifted, it had sent a warning tremor through the largely Catholic Rhineland, and it would be only a short time before the Catholic press throughout Germany would be taken over by the Nazis.
Later that month, Hitler gave another signal when brown shirt SA gangs broke up meetings of Christian trade unions and the Catholic Center Party. The Manchester Guardian reported one such incident on February 22, 1933. A prominent Catholic politician, Adam Stegerwald, was attacked on the platform in Krefeld and a number of priests were hurt.
There was a brief lull in Hitler's persecution of the Church when the Fuehrer turned to achieving some kind of national unity in order to face potential enemies at home and abroad. He cleverly made a public appeal for the Church "to negotiate." Almost from the outset, however, discussions took place against a drumbeat of threats that the Church would be destroyed if agreement was not quickly reached. In spite of many misgivings, Pope Pius XI and his Secretary of State, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli — the future Pius XII — realized they could not refuse to talk with a legitimately established government. Also, if they refused, Hitler would publicize his apparently peaceful terms and claim that Catholics were obstructionists. Any written agreement, Pacelli reasoned, would offer a better basis for temporary coexistence than no legal arrangement at all. Lutherans already had similar safeguards.
In fact, mass arrests were already taking place — thousands of Catholic Center Party supporters were in concentration camps by the end of June. Although well aware of the real situation, government negotiator Franz von Papen, himself a Catholic, told journalists that relations between the Vatican and Reich were "so friendly" that it took only eight days to agree on the main details of the proposed Concordat.
In July 1933, a Concordat was signed which specified that certain activities — education, youth associations, meetings organized by the Church — were legally guaranteed by the Reich. In return, the Church's support for the Catholic Center and the Bavarian People's Parties would be withdrawn. Actually the Center Party, under relentless Nazi pressure, had already voted itself out of existence even before the Concordat was signed, a fact which Pacelli lamented because it handicapped him during the negotiations.
Pacelli would always argue that the Church had to accept the lesser of two evils. Without the agreement, Catholics would have been left at the mercy of SA, SS and Gestapo hit squads. With the agreement, they at least had legal grounds on which they could protest injustices. In July 1933, he remarked to a British Embassy official, that while the attacks on Catholics would not cease, "they will hardly break all the articles at the same time."
Nevertheless, the Nazis very soon began breaking them, and continued to break every article when they wanted to.
An "Editors Law" was passed in December 1933, forcing all editors to become members of the "Literary Chamber of the Reich" and to obey whatever directives might follow. This law made it an offense to give detailed accounts of pilgrimages, print liturgical calendars or even announce meetings of local Catholic clubs. In its definition of what constituted anti-State propaganda, the "Editors Law" was a death sentence for the large and thriving Catholic press.
Censorship tightened. Even individual typewriters were impounded on the whim of the authorities, and a partial blackout fell on what was going on inside Germany.
The Vatican, anxious for as accurate a picture as possible, found helpers in unusual quarters. A large and unrecognized army of witnesses, watching for the State agent who might be lurking nearby, passed along secret reports and documents. This ad hoc Catholic intelligence grapevine had a genuine hero as one of its leaders: Dr. Joseph Mueller, the chief "runner." Mueller was an anti-Nazi lawyer from Munich, known for his coolness and dependability. As an officer in the Abwehr (Military Counterintelligence), he was able to move freely between Munich, Berlin and Rome. In his Abwehr bag, immune to the random searches and prying eyes of Gestapo, he carried sheaves of documents giving a detailed account of the campaign waged against the Roman Catholics of Germany and Austria. When Vatican Radio broadcast extracts from Mueller's bulging files, the Gestapo reacted with wrath and began searching vigorously for the "mole."
Mueller's documentation established a clear progression of anti-Catholic measures between 1933 and 1939, ordered by a State determined to force young Catholics into the ranks of the Hitler Youth. Catholic schools and trade unions were dismantled and clergy targeted for prosecution and imprisonment. Clergy were humiliated and punished in "Currency" and "Immorality" show trials throughout 1935 and 1936. (Laws had been passed from 1933 onwards to regulate the import and export of currency. Exporting currency was made "high treason" and "economic sabotage." These were familiar principles to those used to a totalitarian economic system, but the Catholic clergy were not.)
Hundreds of prosecutions were carried out in an 18-month period, almost all resulting in lengthy terms of imprisonment and hefty fines. In one example, that of a Redemptorist, Father Aigner, the defense counsel complained that he was given only three hours to talk with his client and that all the documentation relating to the alleged crime had been seized by the police. Father Aigner, whose memory alone could not supply the lawyer with information, was so confused and frightened by his arrest and his four months already in prison, that he could not defend himself. The solicitor argued that Father Aigner could no more offer accurate testimony without records than the chief cashier of a bank would be able to testify about accounts without access to bank files.
Confiscation of accounts was a standard procedure used by police searchers who were often brutal in their methods. In May 1935 at the Convent of St. Charles Borromeo in Trebnitz, Saxony, two nuns died of shock when the Mother Superior and others were arrested on the charge of exporting money to a sister convent in Czechoslovakia. The Sisters argued that it was an absurdity to expect monks and nuns to possess advanced degrees in accounting when they spent their lives in charitable work. "It was common knowledge that even judges and State attorneys had fallen into error in matters of Currency Law," said a lawyer in Munster on July 22, 1935.
The immorality trials sought to destroy the reputations of Catholic religious. Priests, monks and nuns were accused of "perverted and immoral" lifestyles. The secret police set innumerable traps. The New York Times carried a report in May 1936 describing priests who had been summoned on sick calls to hotel rooms. Waiting in the rooms would be photographers. When the priest entered, the "caller" would turn out to be a prostitute, planted by the Gestapo. Photographs would later be produced in court as irrefutable evidence of corruption.
One notorious trial in 1936 concerned the Franciscans of the Rhineland town of Waldbreitbach. This trial was widely publicized and parents were warned in sanctimoniously penned editorials not to allow their children to enter Catholic schools. Even children themselves were encouraged to read the lurid trial accounts. In several cities, newspaper stands were purposely lowered so youngsters could read salacious and pornographic stories accompanied by cartoons in the pages of Der Sturmer (the newspaper controlled by Julius Streicher, notorious anti-Semite and anti-Catholic).
Witness statements from children were produced in court by secret police, whose testimony was not allowed to be challenged. Threats, bribes, brutal nighttime interrogations, and nervous breakdowns were reported.
In the US, protest meetings and marches began as news of the trials spread. In June 1936, a petition was signed by 48 U.S. clergymen, "We lodge a solemn protest against the almost unique brutality of the attacks launched by the German government charging Catholic clergy with gross immorality," they wrote. "The good name of the Catholic priesthood is to be defamed, in the hope that the ultimate suppression of all Jewish and Christian beliefs by the totalitarian state can be effected." Rabbis Samuel Abrams of Boston, Philip Bernstein of Rochester and Philip Bookstaber of Harrisburg, and 18 other Rabbis and 27 Protestant clergymen signed the protest. The New York Times reported that Christmas 1937 would see "more than a hundred Protestant pastors and several thousand Catholic clergymen in prison."
Legal moves against the clergy were accompanied by violent attacks in the streets, presbyteries and at frontier posts. Church services were disrupted, processions broken up and even individual Catholics assaulted. In the middle of one particularly vicious outbreak of violence by young Nazis in 1935, a large notice appeared on the police headquarters in Essen which read: "The Police Stand By The Hitler Youth!" When a police inspector was asked to investigate near-fatal assaults by Hitler Youth on Catholic teenagers in Limburg in February 1935, he dismissed the complaint by saying: "We used to have fights now and again when we were boys."
That Easter, pilgrims returning to Germany from Pius XII's blessing in Rome were punished at border checkpoints by Gestapo and SS units. They were put out of their trains and kept waiting for seven hours in pouring rain, while suitcases were ripped open and the contents scattered. Anything belonging to a "denominational organization" — flags, banners, books, tents, even knives and forks — was confiscated. Insults were hurled at the pilgrims: "So these are the Papists, the people who stabbed Germany in the back in 1918! They ought to be beaten and sent to a concentration camp... cutting their throats would be the best thing." In the teeth of outraged protests, the local police merely said they had been searching for illegal uniforms.
At the time of the Reichstag election of 1938, priests and laity were attacked after polling had finished. In Fellbach, near Stuttgart, Father Sturm, the parish priest, was surrounded by a group of some 25 SA and SS men demanding to know whom he had voted for. After ransacking his presbytery, the gang forced him to run the gauntlet of kicks, spitting and jeers: "There's the traitor. Father Sturm." After some two hours of abuse, he was taken to the mayor who lectured him about the Fuehrer's beliefs and his personal views on the duties of a parish priest in the new Germany. At midnight Fr. Sturm was released.
Although roving SA and Hitler Youth gangs had been warned against turning any senior clergy into martyrs, terrorizing priests was a common occurrence. Many priests were roughed up — one thrown out of a window had both legs broken. Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich was shot at, and Cardinal Innitzer's residence in Vienna ransacked in October 1938. There was a notorious incident that month when Bishop Sproll of Rottenburg was manhandled. He later received this anonymous letter of apology from an SA man, forced to take part in the riot: "I have always been proud of my country, but last Saturday I was, for the first time, ashamed to call myself a German."
Songs, films, speeches by party members, poster campaigns, and theater productions cruelly satirized clergy in the late 1930s. Anderl Kern's anti-clerical play, pointedly titled The Last Peasant, was performed all over Germany to almost universal critical acclaim. Characters included a parish priest with an illegitimate child, an eye for the opposite sex and easy money; a young seminarian who arrives home, announcing he has lost his vocation: and a mother who attempts to murder a maidservant with rosary beads in one hand and a dagger in the other. At the end of the play, the ex-seminarian emerges as "the true German hero," having renounced the priesthood and promised to father a large family for the security and future of the Aryan race.
The Nazi strategy was, essentially, to destroy Catholicism by eliminating all organizations supported by the Church, from schools and children's groups to Catholic trade unions. By 1939, Catholic schools and trade unions were virtually destroyed. Replacing them were National Socialist Schools, the Nazi Labor Front and the Hitler Youth with its female counterpart, The German Girls League.
The initial attack on Catholic schools in Munich reduced the percentage of students from 84% in 1934 to 65% percent in 1935. In 1937, parents were forced to choose their child's school in front of two witnesses, usually storm troopers in full uniform. These witnesses warned of future trouble and loss of employment. The children themselves would also suffer. There would be no primary school prizes for them; prizes were funded only in State schools. Parents still in favor of Catholic schools might be told that, "your little ones will have to go to a school on the outskirts, miles away."
Meetings were regularly held to vote on the issue of Catholic or "Community" schools. In Speyer, a town of some 40,000 inhabitants situated on the Rhine, one working man gave his bishop details of how his "vote" had been obtained in 1937: "I was told to go to the Parish Council offices. On arriving there I declared, I want the Roman Catholic school' and prepared to leave. The local Nazi cell-leader held me back and wrote a note to my firm stating that because of my declaration I would be dismissed from my job. A police constable then told me if I didn't change my mind I would never obtain public work again."
The government in Germany funded all schools, Catholic and State. A councilor of the Bavarian Ministry of Education announced that in 1936 alone, of 1,600 teaching posts formerly awarded to nuns, 600 would be taken away from them and transferred to secular staff. The councilor did not bother to explain what would happen to the unfortunate 600. The economic effects of such enforced layoffs forced many religious houses to close. Nuns were driven into subsistence jobs. Some had to return to their parents or move in with sympathetic relatives. Yet others applied for jobs in industry. In Baden, in the summer of 1938, there were 41 nuns working in one textile factory, all former teachers. The government then announced that all nuns renouncing vows would be automatically entitled to State employment!
Thus, on October 27, 1938, Adolf Wagner, Bavarian Minister of the Interior stated with pride: "The denominational schools throughout the whole of Bavaria have now been transformed into Community schools." By January 1939, more than 10,000 Catholic schools had been suppressed in Germany, and by the end of April that year, the Catholic Herald (London) reported that a further 3,300 schools had been abolished by decree in what was described as "A Black Day for the Catholic Rhineland."
Catholic youth associations, with a collective membership in the hundreds of thousands, were attacked for being "un-German." Teachers were reminded that as employees of the State, they had a duty to encourage their pupils to join the Hitler Youth or German Girls League (GGL). One teacher told her girls: "Join the German Girls League. When you leave school you'll be wanting a boy friend and if you've not been in the GGL you won't get one. And then, when you get married, your husband will lose his job the second they find out you haven't been a member of the GGL." Thousands of Catholic employees were threatened with disciplinary measures or dismissal unless they ensured their children were enrolled in the Hitler Youth or German Girls League. Training guilds, such as the Prussian Master-Craftsman Association, began announcing from 1935 onwards that only those enrolled in Nazi Party organizations would be accepted as apprentices. German Railways, employing hundreds of thousands, passed a similar ordinance the same year. Even farmers began issuing notices to the same effect, with shops advertising part-time jobs following suit. The New York Times on June 1, 1937 reported a Hitler speech stating: "We will take away their children. They shall not escape us."
With censorship silencing radio and press, the local Church was often the only place where the Catholic population would hear a protesting voice. It was exceedingly dangerous for priests to speak out, though some, such as Father Rupert Mayer of Munich, were prepared to risk imprisonment. Priests were all too aware that Nazi stooges were likely to be in the congregation listening to their sermons.
Senior clerics who challenged the Third Reich in its racist and anti-Christian policies included Bishop Clemens Count von Galen of Munster, Archbishop von Preysing of Berlin, Cardinal Bertram of Breslau, Cardinal Schulte of Cologne and possibly the most famous of all, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. His series of Advent sermons, preached from the pulpit of St. Michael's Church aroused national and international interest. They became so popular that thousands listened, some even in the streets outside. In the first of the sermons, preached on December 3, 1933, Faulhaber defended Christianity by defending the people from whom it had sprung: the Jews. He reminded them that Christianity made no racial distinction between Jew and Gentile, but asked only that its adherents should possess faith. The next month shots shattered the windows of his first floor study. In March 1934, the published edition of his sermons, "Judaism, Christianity and Germanism" was banned for its "slanderous views on the State."
Faulhaber continued his denunciations of Nazi policy on Catholic schools, youth organizations, rigged elections, sterilization laws, attacks on the Pope, and attempts to replace Christianity with what he called "fake" religion. The Nazis maintained their propaganda campaign against Faulhaber relentlessly.
Faulhaber played a considerable role in the writing of the great anti-Nazi encyclical, Mit brennender Sorge ("With Burning Anxiety") issued in March 1937. It denounced repeated attacks on the faith, the breaking of almost every article of the Concordat, and Nazi ideological and political theories. The encyclical was smuggled into Germany under the eyes of Gestapo agents who had been warned beforehand to expect some kind of protest from Rome. Copies were printed secretly in various parts of the country and the underground Catholic network was engaged to distribute it to parishes throughout Germany. Hundreds of helpers, in cars, on motorbikes and bicycles, handed copies secretly to clergy. According to the Daily Telegraph (London) of March 22, 1937: "the encyclical stated the Nazis had made it plain, that they were waging a 'war of extermination' against the Church, and after countless rebuffs the Pope had decided to make a final stand."
The reaction to the encyclical's publication was immediate. The German regime sent a formal protest to Rome; it was swiftly rejected by Cardinal Pacelli. An enraged Hitler and Goebbels gave orders to bring to trial dozens of clerics on charges of immorality and "slanders against the State." Gestapo and SS squads were dispatched to find which presses had produced the encyclical: 12 were confiscated and editors rounded up. In one parish, Essen in the diocese of Oldenburg, seven girls were arrested inside a church as they handed out copies after the Palm Sunday service.
The death of Pope Pius XI in February 1939 and the election of his successor, Cardinal Pacelli, drew sneers from Das Schwarze Korps ("The Black Corps"), house magazine of the SS and mouthpiece of Heinrich Himmler. It referred to Pius XI as the "Chief Rabbi of the Christians, boss of the firm of Judah-Rome." Cardinal Pacelli had already been labeled in the paper as an ally of Jews and Communists in a series of cartoons and articles published at the time of his official visit to France in 1937.
Sometimes new Nazi policies would be imposed from above, sometimes they would be rescinded as the dictates of political events changed or new strategies were adopted by Berlin. Harassment could be disguised or even halted. In August 1936, for example, when the Olympic Games were taking place in Berlin, orders were given to stop persecution against Jews, Catholics and Protestants and to hide show trials from the eyes of foreign journalists. The machinery of persecution roared into action again as soon as the correspondents left.
With the coming of war in 1939, Hitler favored postponing the total destruction of Christianity to more effectively prosecute the war. Others in the party, however, thought it a mistake to slow the Kirchenkampf, the battle against the Church. Martin Bormann reminded SS leader Himmler in 1941 that, "the influence of the Church must be entirely eliminated." There was little division of opinion among top Nazis regarding the persecution of the Jews. The war gave Hitler new opportunities to purify Europe of non-Aryans. Slavs were to be enslaved or killed, the Jewish people exterminated throughout Europe. With the closing of Germany's borders and the extension of its power deep into Russia, Nazi capacities to kill reached unimaginable levels.
Though the scale of Christian persecution cannot be compared to the Jewish Holocaust, except perhaps in Poland, the two persecutions are part of that single horror that was Nazism.
What Hitler did and intended for Christians is an essential part of the cataclysm that was the immense tragedy of World War II and the unprecedented slaughter of the Jewish people.
Baldur von Schirach, the leader of the Hitler Youth, was fond of addressing mass meetings of his followers with a motto: "We are a Youth that believes in God, because we serve the Divine Law that is called Germany."
We must not forget that blasphemous conception of the Divine Law led, by ten thousand crooked paths, to catastrophic suffering, war, pillage, and to the ovens of death.
Karol Jozef Gajewski, of Sandbach, Cheshire, England, is a teacher and scholar of European History.
|August 19th, 2013||#10|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Vincent Reynouard on being a National-Socialist and Catholic
Published on August 17, 2013 by Carolyn in Saturday Afternoon with Carolyn Yeager
August 17, 2013
French Revisionist Vincent Reynouard talks about his newest video Etre national-socialiste et catholique, une contradiction? (English: “Is it a contradiction to be both National-Socialist and Catholic?”)
The “Common Good” is the aim of National Socialism and the words used by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf;
The “Public Interest,” used in the French Republic (and others) is not the same thing as it encourages the freedom of individuals, each with his own separate interest as long as he doesn’t harm others;
Evolutionary theory alone offers no purpose for our being here – and when our central sun goes, we will leave no trace;
Reynouard says Hitler discovered on his own the idea of the Common Good and wrote that man is the image of “the Lord” (Seigneur);
Another video coming (Part 2) will argue that a National-Socialist doctrine (ideology) is not yet complete, but is still to be made;
Churchill and his faction admitted privately that they didn’t want peace with Germany but could not admit it publicly, even prior to and on Sept. 1st and 2nd, 1939;
Hitler was right to put Jews out of power but not to want to deport every last Jew from the Reich, thinks Reynouard;
Nothing can improve until White European people decide to change things – no use blaming the Jews;
The White race is the best race and it’s in the natural order that Whites should rule.
Paypal has censored Vincent’s accounts. Send cash donations in your own currency to Siegfried Verbeke — Toekomststraat, 47 — B-8500 KORTRIJK — Belgium. It will arrive safely. Include your email address to get a confirmation that it was received. Email Vincent at [email protected]
"White nationalism is real butter. Conservatism is that shitty vegetable spread made out of unhealthy industrial waste products."- Alex
"Our cause is a spiritual-religious thing, not a self-interest thing." -Alex