Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 9, 2013
Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII
An extraordinary study, published in 1977, presenting the response of the German churches – Catholic and Protestant – to the challenges posed by the rise of Hitler and his National Socialist Party. It is Scholder’s well documented conclusion that words like “blindness, lies, arrogance, stupidity, and opportunism” are appropriate to describe the behavior of both Catholic and Protestant churches in their interactions with Hitler.
The Protestant Churches – there were 28 regional organizations in Germany – talked and talked and talked, without ever taking a stand, while Hitler acted relentlessly in ways that, day by day, restricted the opportunities to oppose him.
By contrast, German Catholicism initially presented an almost united front against Hitler. The Diocesan offices in Mainz proclaimed this position (in 1930) as follows … “no Catholic may be a card-carrying member of the Hitler party … no member of the Nazi party may participate in funerals or any other Catholic events … so long as a Catholic is a card-carrying member of the Hitler party he may not be admitted to the sacraments … Racial hatred is fundamentally un-Christian and un-Catholic.”
In 1931-32, Catholic writers continued the attack … “The Nazis are a brutal party that would do away with all rights of the people … Hitler’s message does not proclaim peace and justice but rather violence and hate … National Socialism means enmity with neighboring countries, despotism in internal affairs, civil war, international war … National Socialism means lies, hatred, fratricide, and unbounded misery.”
What changed and totally undercut this Catholic opposition to Hitler were the workings of Pope Pius XI and Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) from Rome. Focused to the exclusion of all other considerations on the threat of Communism and the desire for a Reich Concordat, the Vatican began by disapproving the Mainz proclamation and then increasingly compelled the Catholic Centre Party to consider how it was to collaborate with Hitler.
The Catholic Centre Party in 1931-32 was the only power in Germany still capable of mediating between the different political parties to forge a moderate alternative to Hitler, but it failed to even make an effort to do so because of pressure from the Pope and Pacelli. German Catholicism’s previous open opposition to Hitler was thus undercut by pressure from Rome. The Catholic Centre party ended up fully capitulating to Hitler (in passing the infamous Enabling Act which made Hitler an unrestricted dictator) before voting itself out of existence.
Posted in * Uncategorized | Tagged: Cardinal Pacelli, catholic church and hitler, Hitler and Pacelli, the churches and the third reich | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 12, 2013
Several friends have expressed an interest in the research I am doing for my novel-in-progress, tentatively titled CHOOSING HITLER.
I organize my books on Goodreads.
- The books I have read or plan to read are listed in my book category “ch-research.” …
- Those I have reviewed are listed in the category “ch-reviews.” …
I welcome additional suggestions.
Here are some of the books I have so far found particularly useful in my research …
- Warsaw: The Cabaret Years (Nowicki)
- Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth (Shandler)
- The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood (Mahlendorf)
- Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland (Blobaum)
- Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Weitz)
- Justice Imperiled: The Anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany (Morris)
- State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda (Bachrach)
- The Catholic Church And Nazi Germany (Lewy)
- Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter: The Catholic Church and Independent Poland, 1914-1939 (Pease)
- Life is With People: The Culture of the Shtetl (Zborowski)
- Stranger in Our Midst: Images of the Jew in Polish Literature (Segel)
- Munich 1923: The Story of Hitler’s First Grab for Power (Dornberg)
- When Money Dies: The Nightmare Of The Weimar Hyper Inflation (Ferguson)
- Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate, 1918-1939 (Watt)
- Address Unknown (Taylor)
- There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok (Eliach)
- Poland’s Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present (Michlic)
- Hitler (Kershaw)
- Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews (Hoffman)
- The Catholic Church and Antisemitism … Poland 1933-39 (Modras)
- On The Edge Of Destruction: Jews Of Poland Between The Two World Wars (Heller)
- Why Hitler Came Into Power (Abel)
- The Coming of the Third Reich (Evans)
- The Face Of The Third Reich: Portraits Of The Nazi Leadership (Fest)
- The Anguish Of The Jews: Twenty Three Centuries Of Antisemitism (Flannery)
- Hitler And The Beer Hall Putsch (Gordon)
- Mein Kampf (Hitler)
- Hitler, Vol 1: 1889-1936 Hubris (Kershaw)
- Where Ghosts Walked: Munich’s Road to the Third Reich (Large)
- Adolf Hitler (Toland)
- Justice at Nuremberg (Conot)
Posted in * CHOOSING HITLER ... Lew's novel-in-progress, * Uncategorized | Tagged: Hitler, holocaust, Jewish historical fiction, Jews in Nazi Germany, Lewis Weinstein, Nazi Germany, Nazis, Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Poland | Leave a Comment »