Translations and Notes, 1800-1918


1869 Civiltà Cattolica, ser. 7, vol. 7 (1869), p.756:

The Jewish-Masonic sect, which today exerts in Austria such a powerful and effective influence in public affairs, has at length been savoring the sweetness of this triumph, which was arranged by some member of the Vienna Cabinet. But it has studied, at the same time, how to direct some even harsher blow to the heart of the Catholic Church, and has searched for how it could at the same time procure the destruction of the Religious Orders and the theft of their property. To this end a vast conspiracy would carry out its plot under the guise that, under cover of infamous calumnies against the Religious Orders, these would be shown to be in need of elimination as an insult to the civil world; and that the Masonic press in making these calumnies would carry the argument to stir the masses to bestial violence; and this would succeed in the purpose of legitimizing the Government’s intervention, with new violations of ecclesiastical rights and immunities. This atrocious plan began to go into effect a few days after the conviction of Bishop Rudigier, on July 21st, in Cracow ...

Italian original

1869 Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux, Le Juif: le judaïsme et la judaïsation des peuples chrétiens, ch. XXIII:

... Il se verra donc, sur tous les points de ce globe où palpite un cœur de Juif, que ce Juif témoigne de ses sympathies les plus ardentes à la maçonnerie, sur laquelle l'Eglise du Christ a lancé les foudres de ses anathèmes. Car la maçonnerie, issue des mystérieuses doctrines de la cabale, que cultivait derrière l'épaisseur de ses murs le philosophe du dix-neuvième siècle, n'est que la forme moderne et principale de l'occultisme, dont le Juif est le prince, parce qu'il fut dans tous les siècles le prince et le grand maître de la cabale. Le Juif est donc naturellement, et nous ajoutons qu'il est nécessairement l'âme, le chef, le grand maître réel de la maçonnerie, dont les dignitaires connus ne sont, la plupart du temps, que les chefs trompeurs et trompés de l'ordre.

Au sein de ces hauts et impénétrables conseils de l'occultisme, dont le but spécial est de déchristianiser le monde et de refondre dans un moule unique les institutions de toutes les sociétés humaines, le Juif devra donc siéger en majorité ? Oui sans doute, et l'empire, dans ces régions de ténèbres sociales, lui est assuré par le nombre des voix. Ainsi le veut la constitution de l'Ordre ; ainsi le veulent les statuts, et ces statuts sont le secret suprême du véritable adepte. Voilà ce que nous devons dire, et c'est là ce que le monde ignore, ce que les initiateurs lui cachent comme le plus important de leurs mystères ; raison pour laquelle donner au public les preuves matérielles de la suprématie maçonnique du Juif, ce serait tenter à peu près l'impossible. Et nous le reconnaissons avec un empressement d'autant plus vif que les preuves de cette domination judaïque se sont inscrites d'elles-mêmes dans les faits qui sont la richesse de nos pages.

English translation:

It will be seen then, at every place on the globe where a Jewish heart beats, that this Jew testifies to his most ardent sympathies for Masonry, upon which the Church of Christ has launched the scourges of its anathemas. For Masonry, issuing forth from the mysterious doctrines of the Kabbala, which were cultivated behind thick walls by the 19th century philosophe, is only the modern, principal form of occultism, of which the Jew is the prince, because he was throughout the centuries the prince and grand master of Kabbalism. The Jew is thus naturally, and, we add, necessarily, the soul, the head, the real grand master of Masonry, whose recognized dignitaries are only, most of the time, the deceiving and deceived heads of the order.

At the heart of these high, impenetrable councils of occultism, whose special goal is to de-Christianize the world and refashion in a unique mold the institutions of all human societies, will not the Jew have to have a majority of seats? Yes, without doubt, and the empire, in these regions of social darkness, is assured to him by the number of votes. This is what the constitution of the Order provides; this is what the statutes provide, and these statutes are the supreme secret of the true initiate.

1870 Civiltà Cattolica, series 7, vol. 11 (1870), p.72:

Book Reviews: Gougenot des Mousseaux – The Jew, Judaism and the Judaization of Christian Peoples, by the Chevalier Gougenot des Mousseaux. Paris, Plon 1869. One vol. in octave, 568 pages.

Very well known is the name of the gentleman knight des Mousseaux, for his remarkable works about the metaphysical world, of which we took note in Series V, Vol. IV. The work that we now announce has a special importance, because it shows what is the principal instrument of the satanic spirit operating to de-Christianize the world. That instrument is Judaism. The author, with a great wealth of erudition, compiles the history of Jewish corruption and the atrocious, implacable war that the deicide nation has always waged against the religion of Jesus Christ. He examines and describes the immoral Talmudic doctrines and then describes them in practice, delineating with strong brush strokes the Jewish influence in today’s world. Gold, of which the Hebrews have despoiled the Christians in nearly all the countries of the West, is in their hands; journalism is for the most part their affair, or dependent on them; in the secret or Masonic fraternal orders that disturb all of social life, they have the most powerful hand: in sum, that which is called revolution and is distinguished from all the social ills of past times by its hatred of what it knows of Christianity, and driven above all by the Jews, who have become thereby the secret masters of a great portion of Europe. The facts and documents that the knight des Mousseaux reports and quotes in great number cast great light upon what he demonstrates: and it is impossible to scan his present book and not see clearly that the primary motive forces of the modern spirit, dwelling hidden at the foundation of Judaism, are always the same as itself in rancor against the name of Jesus Christ. We invite those who study social matters to read and meditate on this most intriguing work, which deserves to be more recognized and distributed in our language in the Italian Peninsula, which is already subjected to the Jews and dominated by them much more than it may seem. The Univers Israelite of Paris (issue of April 13, 1870) is furiously defamatory toward Mr. des Mousseaux’s book; but it knew no other way of refutation but insolence. The most beautiful fruit to be gained from this book is to sense that supporting revolution does nothing but drive ever more the Christian peoples to fall into the clutches of Judaism, which sucks their blood, corrupts them, demoralizes them and subjugates them secretly but in reality to their tyranny.

Italian original

1871 August Rohling, S.J., Der Talmudjude, pp. 110-111:

... dass Cremieux Grossmeister der franz. Loge und zugleich Präsident der alliance israélite ist, weiß man längst. Woher diese Eintracht zwischen Juda und der Loge? Wir antworten mit der Gegenfrage: woher die Lorbeerkränze, die Juda in alter Zeit dem Arianismus und in unsern Tagen, wie z.B. in den Archives israélites pag. 463 1867 Voltaire, Volney, Garibaldi wand? Das wahre Christenthum und der christliche Staat sind beiden gleich verhasst. Gleichheit aller Menschen, gleiches Recht für Alle, heißt die schöne Parole; daher Theilung und dafür zunächst Beschlagnahme des Eigenthums, Sturz der hemmenden Gewalten in Staat und Kirche durch die Revolution: was folgt, ist Vertheilung der Beute unter die Räuber, wobei die Geplünderten das Zusehen haben. Dann wird Cremieux’s, des Präsidenten der alliance, neues Jerusalem an Stelle des Thrones der Kaiser und der Päpste stehen. Arme Loge, die herrschen will und ein Mittel geworden ist, die Herrschaft Juda’s aufzurichten!

English translation:

... that Cremieux is Grand Master of the French Lodges and at the same time President of the Alliance Israélite, has been long known. Where does this concord between Judaism and the Lodge come from? We will answer with the counter-question: where did the victor’s crown come from that Judaism in ancient times placed on Arianism and in our days, for instance in the Israelite Archives p. 463 of 1867, placed on Voltaire, Volney and Garibaldi? True Christianity and the Christian state are both equally hated. Equality of all people, equality of rights for all, sound like nice words; but from them come redistribution, and for that purpose confiscation, of property, the overthrow of the restraining powers in the State and Church by means of revolution: what follows is distribution of the booty among the robbers, whereby the plundered are the spectators. Then will Cremieux’s new Jerusalem, the new Jerusalem of the President of the Alliance, stand in the place of the thrones of Kaisers and Popes. Poor Lodge, which wants to rule but has become the means for establishing the dictatorship of Judaism!


1880 E.N. Chabouty, Franc-maçons et Juifs: Sixième âge de l'église d'après l'Apocalypse (Paris: Société générale de librairie catholique, 1880).

Jan. 1, 1881 Civiltà Cattolica, pages 105-113:

Contemporary Chronicle, Florence, December 22, 1880, our correspondent, Rome:

Concerning the current so-called German antisemitic or anti-Jewish agitation. How the Jew is always a foreigner in the country where he lives. How, therefore, the foreign Jewish race should be not naturalized but rather regulated by special, exceptional laws for its own protection no less than for ours.

From the present condition of true and real disaffection, notwithstanding certain appearances to the contrary, the well-organized and disciplined influence of official and intentional Masonry is already becoming obvious everywhere, and not the least indication and argument for this, as we said in our preceding article, is the German anti-Jewish movement, so-called today antisemitic agitation, which in essence, in the final analysis, is an anti-Masonic agitation. Masons and Jews, in fact, are so essentially and intimately connected by the bond of hatred for Jesus Christ and for his Church and for all forms of civil society, that is, Christian society, that you cannot deal with the one without dealing with the other. Nor is it possible to say whether so-called Liberalism and so-called Great Principles, which are the external manifestation in the civil and public order of what is secretly hatching within the confines of the Lodges, are more Jewish or more Masonic in nature, especially considering the eloquent fact of the so-called liberal press which, as in Italy and especially in Germany, is known to be entirely in the hands of the Freemasons and the Jews; as to which is more, in truth, it is as much one as the other. It is also the case that as soon as the so-called liberal principles, i.e. Masonic ones, crop up or try to crop up in some part of the world, immediately there surfaces the naturalization, the protection, the freedom, and thus naturally the predominance of the Jews. Not to mention the fact of the Englishman John Toland, the extremely corrupt man who was the first, as far as we know in the modern era, to publish a book in London of the reasons for naturalizing the Jews, in 1715, that is precisely at the early dawn of nascent Masonry; and the Prussian, Dohm, who published another book in Berlin on the political reform of the Jews in 1781, that is exactly when Masonry was already rising and acquiring the power to turn the world upside down (their work was then copied by Mirabeau and the schismatic Bishop Grégoire, great leaders of the revolution); and who does not know that among us in Italy in 1848, even before the other Christians were emancipated, it was immediately thought to emancipate the poor Jews wherever the Liberals, Freemasons and Carbonari were able to make heard their first and most moving cries of pain? Nor is it thus surprising if the first preacher against the German agitation against the Jews was their confrere Bacci, promptly raising his voice in the last issue of the Masonic Review, November 15 of last year, grasping the generalized judgment against the Germans as a barbaric and even uneducated people. “We contemplate (he says) with a smile of supreme indifference (which means the matter is rather important) the retchingly nervous but powerless (we will have to see about that) exponents of Teutonism who are now reviving the medieval persecutions against the Jews: (whence we see that according to Master Bacci the Middle Ages lasted until this century in Europe). Like all the people who have abandoned the true path of civil progress, the ruling classes, the dynasties, the imperialists, the feudal and military classes of that country (this Germany that Bacci considers learned when it persecuted the Catholics but barbaric now when it does not want to be skinned alive by the ghetto) exude poisonous and deadly secretions, declaring the word of anathema against that ancient persecuted and industrious race and industrious personification in the wandering Jew (nice personification!) of the Legend, and have spanned the centuries contemplating in its humble yet powerful activity the collapse of much pride and humiliation and of much arrogance.” Nor, obviously, could one speak with greater enthusiasm of the Church of Jesus Christ, to which alone it is possible to attribute truthfully the best of this period: and not indeed to the Jewish race, which, since it has miraculously endured and will endure to its conversion to the Christian Faith at the end of the world, perforce contemplated and will have to contemplate, not as much as others, their own collapse and humiliation without having, we believe, as much time to lose in contemplating as those others. Which instead contemplates and will always contemplate the Church as the one which, among its other merits, can also be said to serve civilization only in a manner such that it is not influenced or influencing. And therefore Europe is even more today the most civilized part of the world. “We,” continues Bacci, “might even now predict the next fatal downfall not only of the newly born empire, but also of the old, great Teutonic nation. Persecutions of Jews have always preceded the collapse and destruction of the country that has allowed them.” That is how dangerous it is to touch a hair of a Jew! Fortunately, Bacci considers that “this reaction is inexcusable and such stupid attempts will only bring deserved shame on those who are otherwise not guilty.” And what is worse, “this inconceivable fact (how inconceivable if, as Bacci speaks as a witness, it has been heard so many times and so many countries have been made to collapse?) will not remain without an echo. Since for this it will be unmasked and (note this) held up to suspicion and indignation from all decent men (i.e. of all the Bacci brethren) those wretches who have tried to make German freedom into a machine against (note this) the freedom and independence of the civilized world.” So that now the civilized world and the decent world for brother Bacci is the Jewish world: just as if the Jewish world and the Masonic world were the same world, as in fact they now are. These and similar outbursts of Bacci that are just as Masonic, clearly provide a way to see the alliance and similarity that runs between the Jews and their daughter, Masonry, and their rabbinical cabal, or, at least to confirm it as their slave and now most humble servant, instead of their patron and admirer. What surprise then if, because pecuniae obediunt omnia [everyone obeys money], especially in the so-called civil world of today, between the secular liberal and Masonic press and those many associations that obey and serve Jewish gold, there has now also come about a press and institution more strictly or officially Masonic?

So great, however, is the abomination that the Jewish race always and everywhere inspires toward itself, among every type of people, that the same Masonry, even today, continues in most places, the ancient and indeed common law excluding Jews from the lodges of the Freemasons. Not indeed, mind you, that the Jews have not always had their lodges from the beginning and have not greatly influenced the same foundations of that anti-Christian order (as appears from the Rituals and Catechisms which are all full of Rabbinic, Talmudic and Kabbalistic rubbish): but, in light of the repugnance that Christian civilization always felt and feels toward the Jewish race, it was necessary in its beginnings, that despite the renowned tolerance of the Masons, just like blacks and women, the Jews set up their own Lodges and their Grand Orient for them alone, as a dangerous, excluded and pestiferous people. And although now nearly everywhere, including England and especially among us in Italy (but we do not believe in the Spanish and Portuguese lands), Jews and Masons fraternize together in Lodges and Grand Orients; and indeed in Italy and also in France it can be said that the Jews control Masonry; yet in Germany they have not been able to achieve this within Masonry, which has indeed been called absurd, prejudiced and fanatical. Against which the first public attack was by the Mason Lessing in 1780: and before that he discussed the matter several times in the Lodges. Some German Lodges started to accept Jews especially in the time of Napoleon’s domination over Germany. But that could not last. So that even at present, as we write, the Germanic Lodges, whether in Germany or in Austria, do not accept Jews, who are condemned now, even in so tolerant Masonry and so learned Germany, to seeing themselves excluded from the civil society of the also wicked and malicious, albeit, at least in name and race, Christians. Whence all the more admirable is the malice, even if it is not ignorance, of brother Bacci, who knows this, or at least should know it, yet he marvels and emits loud cries because in Germany people are imitating in some manner what is mainly Germany’s own Masonry. But it is really crazy to expect to find in them such things as good faith and good logic.

Now as to the matter of this German anti-Jewish agitation, which in essence amounts to an anti-Masonic agitation, it could also be more appropriately called a true and well-understood Kulturkampf, being a struggle in favor of Civilization, when the movement is guided by that truly Christian spirit which does not breathe in those countries that are inaptly called independently Christian because they are non-Catholic. But moved indeed not by the pure spirit of justice, of religion and of well-understood social defense, but primarily by the passion of envy and revenge, they are not to be expected to endure long, and they may well be driven by whatever other passions that the Jews themselves know well how to create and exploit. On the other hand, in places where the Catholic spirit prevailed in civil society and still reverbated even in those parts of society that remained Protestant, Jews lived in the midst of Christians for centuries and were not persecuted or persecutors, tolerating and tolerant, protected sufficiently to ensure their and our common quiet life, as everyone knows, including the life of the Ecclesiastical State in particular. To that extent the Jews lived peacefully and left others in peace, minding their own business and not that of others, thanks to the wise, Christian special laws adapted to the particular nature of this entirely singular and also portentous race. And in general it is notable that in Italy the Jews were always less oppressed than elsewhere, precisely because they were always restrained by the laws, first of Rome and then of Canon Law and Christian civil law of various Governments. In the same business in which the Jews were so prevalent, they always found formidable competitors, especially among the Italians in the Middle Ages. By preventing them from becoming too rich, they were prevented also from becoming too hated. Thus the Jews were not only tolerated but also protected and defended; but together with the provisions of the laws and customs, and especially with the precarious status of their residence, this was always granted as a temporary favor to a foreign people and never considered as a right of people who were citizens or naturalized citizens. If this foreign Jewish race is left too free in itself, it quickly becomes persecutor, oppressor, tyrant, thief and devastator of the countries where it is established. And for that it too was often persecuted, oppressed, tyrannized, robbed and devastated by exasperated peoples. Hence, to prevent this race from persecuting or being persecuted, wise restraints and special laws are necessary for its own no less than our defense and health. Without Jews, in fact, we cannot stand, since they are miraculously destined to endure in the world until at the end they shall be converted to the true Christian faith, as we are taught in the authentic prophecies. But neither can we stand with them being so intrusive, so arrogant, so smart, so hostile, whether by nature or by the form of their current religion which is not Mosaic but Talmudic and Rabbinic, against all of human society that does not belong to their race. And what is therefore necessary for the common well-being and defense, is special legislation which indeed does not persecute the Jews, but prevents them from persecuting Christians. Precisely, if well considered, as happens with children in families: for whom there is a special code of paternal and maternal authority which alone makes possible domestic peace and indeed civil society. What if a great reforming philosopher and Mason like Leopold and Joseph, considering that all men are men as well as boys, granted to them rights of men that could live more in this world? It is well known that to their expense in many countries where there were Jews, eternal childish insolent, obstinate, dirty, thieves, liars, ignorant, pests and plagues of near and far, were granted not only one but the entire freedom that others have. Immediately they abused this to prevent the same for the others, grabbing, one does not know how, the public fortune, occupying all, jamming all in their networks, and now almost controlling themselves not only money that was hoarded completely in their hands, but with the same legal authority they also come in hand with the rest in countries where they were allowed to exercise in full to any extent. It is therefore not surprising that, at the first cry to which any give voice against this invasion and vandalism of one enemy race that is hostile to Christianity and to society generally, many think immediately to strike back, as always happened in the past and is now happening in Germany. All these, however, are always will o’ the wisps, until it is a matter of returning to the former fruitful, wise legislation. Thus relying on the nature of things and considering the Jews as a race that are not citizens but foreigners, and applying to them laws that are appropriate to the nature of this foreign race, both they and we will be allowed a coexistence that is peaceful, quiet, and in a manner no less useful to them than to us.

Oh how wrong and how deceived are those who believe that Judaism is only a religion like Catholicism, Paganism, Protestantism, and is not indeed precisely a race, a people and a nation! Just as it is completely certain that others can be, for example, Catholic and at the same time Italian, French or English, or else pagan and at the same time Chinese, African or American; or else Protestant and at the same time from whatever land or nation, without the religious ties of Catholics, pagans and Protestants extending with them also into their social, civil, patriotic and national associations; so it is a great mistake to suppose that the same is true among these. These others are such because of their religion, whether it is indeed Mosaic or today Talmudic and Rabbinic, they are also and especially such on account of their race. This is kept distinct and separate from all the others in whatever part of the world they may be precariously and temporarily established as tenants are in an inn or a charitable institution: if not indeed, rather, as in exile and in prison. The Jews, in fact, are not considered as citizens, patriots and nationals of countries other than their Palestine, for which they always yearn as their only true fatherland and national home, according to which there also arise the same projects that come out every day in their newspapers about this vain hope of re-establishing a Jewish kingdom in Jerusalem or its environs. This opinion, or rather the fact of its being believed and guiding a separate people without a real homeland anywhere, but with an ideal home in their heads that makes them not only aliens but hostile to those where they are living, whether by necessity or by choice, is not so much caused by the real fact of their descent from their ancestors, that is by their race, as it is by their current religion which is not Mosaic, as we have said, but Talmudic and Rabbinic. All the other races, in fact, the Italian, French, Spanish, German and so forth mingle to live with each other and finally blend until they cannot be distinguished from each other as they live together. Nor is the newly born of the former Spaniards, Swiss or English hindered from being, after a greater or lesser time, a true citizen and co-national of that country where his ancestors came to pitch their tent. This is something that is seen, as elsewhere, especially in Rome as the common fatherland: where nobody would dream of doubting the pure Roman-ness [romanità] of many families that have little obligation, after all, to search the memory of times gone by to find where their ancestors came from. And as the Romans are, so consequently are the Italians, although not long before, they were Swiss, Spaniards, Germans or others. It is therefore not race or lineage that prevents the Jews from mingling, like those of other races, with the peoples among whom they live; it is religion. Nor is circumcision, as some might believe at first glance, the point of distinctive indication of the race, as appears from the Mohammedans who are all circumcised and yet different as to race and nation, and citizens of various homelands and obedient in civil matters to different princes. What therefore makes the Jews foreigners to all other peoples is only religion. And not indeed the Mosaic religion that they abandoned even if it is not known by that name, but the Talmudic and Rabbinic indeed overarches them precisely as to that which always necessarily remains distinctive and indeed repugnant to other peoples and nations. In fact, even a Jew who is made sincerely and truly Catholic (and not indeed falsely as has occurred on many occasions and will continue to occur) and immediately, while strongly preserving the race and descendants, acquires real and true citizenship in the country where he resides without any notice to be other than Italian or French or, in short, a countryman of his countrymen. And those who, for example, never realized that it was not Italian and a sign that Tullio Dandolo, author of such noted historical and scholarly works, did not have much time and his sons also died in Rome for the Republic of Mazzini: and the father of Tullio was in fact the son of a Jew who converted in Venice in the last century, who took his name from the House of Dandoli which included his godfather at Holy Baptism? Thus Italy today is full of families that are totally Italian, whose origins are Jewish: as it can be guessed in not a few cases also from the name of the family removed from the town or professions. If, therefore, the Jew of religion is necessarily also a Jew of race and nation, without being able or willing to ever mingle with the other peoples among which they live, then it is easily seen how great is the deception and solemn equivocation on which the modern legislation is based. The false premise that the Jew living in Italy is Italian and the one living in France is French like the Protestant, for example, or even the pagan and the Muslim, conceded to the Jews citizenship and equality of rights that follows from it. With that the Jews were granted more than other foreigners, even Christian ones; which, as long as foreigners and citizens are kept in their respective homelands, are always everywhere, even now, governed by laws that are more or less special and exceptional. Nor will anyone imagine, for example, having Germans govern the schools, parliament, ministries and tribunals of France, or the French those of Germany, or non-naturalized Turks those of Italy. Instead, when Jews are naturalized, by a legal fiction, but not naturalized by necessity of religion more than of race, the door is now open to more jealousy: if it is now granted to the Jews, enemies of the Christian name and Christian society, to have mastery and quasi tyrannical despotism over the races that hate them to death. The Jews naturally deny this and swear to be Italians in Italy like citizens elsewhere. And the same, with more or less erudition and good faith, is argued by others perhaps more than by the Jews. But doesn’t common sense, and the senses of sight and hearing, suffice to convince that the Jew is always a Jew, when he is not a Christian? He does not have, in truth, a real fatherland, which even the Gypsies have. But he thinks he has the right to live anywhere he currently dwells. And while waiting to return to his lawful fatherland of right, he is kept united with all his fellow nationals wherever they live, not only with ties that are simply religious and charitable (such as unite all the Catholics of the world) but also with civil rites, with reciprocity of rights and duties, with mutual interests, not with the common persuasion of all Jews that they are unfairly exiled by the world. So that the Jew is everywhere a foreigner who aspires to a fatherland; nor resides, say, in Italy or France with the love of an Italian or Frenchman, but only for the profit that can be realized, and for the violence and necessities of matters that expose his condition and that leave him always in a state of latent hostility and retaliation and hatred against the country that harbors him and the citizens who surround him. So that a Jew by religion who is not also Jewish by fatherland and by race is an absurdity, a contradiction in terms, in a way that is obvious even without benefit of the increasingly persuasive evidence from rabbinical books now in use for regulating the Jews and their religion in theory and practice. Of these we discourse perhaps at another time, supported by ancient and modern learning, in great disdain and shame toward the Jews, who studied and published their books, their customs, and their maxims and principles of morality and government. We know that Judaism also has no shortage of free thinkers and the religiously indifferent, more atheist than Jew, as well as Jews who, as it is commonly said, are more Christian than many Christians. But without wanting to judge here whether all these are not more appearance and fiction than reality, and whether under the circumstances the atheist or gentleman Jew is not and should not be ready to show that he is a Jew, that is, let it suffice for the usual precaution of honorable exceptions always as to assumptions when it comes to this person or that particular individual. This generally we know, but in principle the Jew can and indeed should be Talmudic, and in appearance can observe any religion. And in particular it holds for a certainty that many Jews especially in Germany have themselves baptized only in order to acquire lands, nobility and offices, to be used to increasingly impoverish their neighbors and enrich the synagogue. It consists then in the guise of one who was born a Jew and became first Protestant, then Catholic, then a priest and even a religious, who said that his Jewish father taught him this maxim in his youth: A man must always live according to the religion of the country where he dwells: and this in order to avoid scrapes and be more free and less observed or even persecuted in his dealings. And the fact is that the child must have learned well to live by this maxim. For he lived as a Jew among the Jews, as a Protestant among the Protestants, as a Catholic among the Catholics, as a priest among the priests, as a religious in a religious order, and then finished by returning to live as a Protestant and married a Protestant, as shortly before he was living as a Muslim among the Muslims. And since perhaps he is still alive, it is not absolutely impossible that he ends up Jewish in his native ghetto. We recognize, however, that these are perhaps exceptions, although not honorable. But, in any case, even from far more than what was mentioned, everyone can guess how great is the wisdom of modern legislation which, following liberal and masonic principles, removed all restraints of exceptional laws on a race that is foreign to any country in which it resides; and however vain and fleeting may be any order that does not lead back to a special law for the Jews, by virtue of which they are not persecuted or harassed, but rather defended and restrained as against what always leads to persecutors and oppressors, which always proved harmful to people who could not be restrained and to the Jews themselves, against whom more popular hatred and revenge will sooner or later break out. But that is enough said for now.

Source: Civiltà Cattolica, January 1, 1881, vol. 1.

1894 Doctor Bataille [Jogand-Pagès, a/k/a Leo Taxil], Le Diable au XIXe Siècle [The Devil in the 19th Century], volume 2:

... If the Masonic sisters [an invention by Jogand in an earlier work; there were no female Masons] have their great role in the combat of the international sect against the Church of Jesus Christ, how much more important yet is the role of the Jews. The Masonic sisters are, apart from a few rare exceptions, the instruments; the Jews, by contrast, are the instigators, they participate in the most violent enterprises, they bring anti-Christian hatred into the center of the lodges, and, in connivance with Palladism [a super-Masonic order also invented by Jogand in earlier works] where a good number among them are chiefs, they even have their own behind-the-scenes lodges, confederated without the knowledge of the common Masons and governed by the Sovereign Patriarchal Council of Hamburg.

Here, I am obliged to separate myself completely from Mr. Leo Taxil.

Mr. Leo Taxil is more occupied with exposing the rituals than with studying the history of the sect. In his excellent work The Mysteries of Freemasonry, he hardly traced a rough sketch of the history of the Order ...

Mr. Leo Taxil does not believe that Jewry and Masonry are compatible ... He is my friend, and I know him to be of good faith. But he is mistaken; he is absolutely mistaken.” ...

There is among Jews a racial solidarity, not a religious solidarity, so that in this regard the Israelites are united as implacable enemies of the Catholic religion...

Moreover, the union of the Jews in Freemasonry, a union that is incontestable, is a fact of racial solidarity; for there, they have complete brotherhood, Kabbalistic Jews, skeptical Jews, atheist Jews...

The question of the Jews in Freemasonry being of very great importance, I will treat it at length. Until now this question has been hardly touched upon by antisemitic authors. It has seemed to me necessary to make it all known; the invasion of Jews everywhere, the election of Adriano Lemmi as supreme head of the sect, these are the major reasons for omitting nothing of what is essential for the public to know.

... the Jewish Masons organized themselves in turn, with the authorization of the Supreme Dogmatic Directorate of the sect, in secret association, creating Israelite lodges side-by-side with ordinary lodges and functioning currently under the direction of the Sovereign Patriarchal Council of Hamburg...

Once he becomes a Freemason, what is to stop the Jew from becoming all that he could wish in today’s society, of which the Freemasons are soon going to become the masters, by means of this revolution long prepared in their councils? ...

I think this definitively demonstrates, taking for an example one small country (Switzerland), the role played by the secret Jewish lodges within worldwide Freemasonry and alongside its official lodges which do not suspect the existence of this formidable confederation ...

If you reflect now on the implications of the pact signed in 1874 between Albert Pike, the sovereign pontiff of Palladism, and Armand Levy, the director general of all the B’nai-B’rith chapters of the New and Old World, and you look at the colossal Masonic power of the Jews, you will understand what can be attempted and accomplished, in the battle of the sects against the Church, by this mysterious Sovereign Patriarchal Council of Hamburg...

As for the finances of the Sovereign Patriarchal Council of Hamburg, it has, per year, in round figures, 5,400,000 Francs, for the general propagation of Masonic Jewry.

Their purpose is above all to conspire against the Christian religion and to work in concert with a view to increasing their influence ... there are several Israelite sisters affiliated with the federation, mainly in Hamburg ...

The secret place where the Sovereign Patriarchal Council holds its meetings is situated on Valentinskamp Street ... distinct from the place of the Grand Lodge of Hamburg ...

The throne of the Sovereign Patriarch is of an unheard-of richness ... In meetings of the Sovereign Patriarchal Council, the Jewish Masons wear a great white tunic, drawn to the waist by a wide red sash, with gold fringes at the ends that hang down over the left thigh. No Masonic ribbon; but a silver chain with triangular rings around the neck, hanging down on the chest; a golden plaque in a form representing the tablets of the law, 7 centimeters high, hangs from the chain...

The Israelite sisters are in an ordinary robe de ville dress ... As for the Sovereign Patriarch, he is vested in ... Like the high priest of ancient times, he wears a hoschen breastplate, attached by a chain of gold; but instead of twelve gems representing the twelve tribes, there are diamonds in the form of a flamboyant star. His head is done up in an enormous turban, with a plaque of gold on the front, on which are engraved Kabbalistic signs... Then, silence having been established, the Sovereign Patriarch pronounces in a grave and solemn voice: Adonai-Begon-Galchol... The Jewish brothers form a steel arch ... The visitor advances under crossed swords ... and tramples the crucifix. He is now worthy of the assembled high Jewry ...

Note: Jogand may have chosen Hamburg as the site of the Sovereign Patriarchal Council because the Masonic lodge of Hamburg was more open to Jewish members than were other circles of Freemasonry in Germany.

Aug. 15, 1896 Civiltà Cattolica’s coverage of the electoral victory of Karl Lueger and his Christian Social Party in Austria, also known at the time as the Antisemitic Party; Civiltà Cattolica reported “the victory of the antisemites in the capital” with these words:

... the triumph of Dr. Lueger was such as to give the coup de grace to the old mafia of Jewish capitalism, allied in Vienna with Masonic liberalism. Here we take up again the development of antisemitism or anti-liberalism, which was interrupted previously when the Emperor refused his consent, under the influence of Badeni, to the appointment of Dr. Lueger as Mayor of Vienna. To that refusal the City Councilors of Vienna gave their response this past April 18th, re-electing Dr. Lueger for the fourth time, by 96 out of 138 total votes. The Jewish-liberal press of Vienna and Budapest did everything again to prevent the confirmation of the appointment ... (vol. 3, p.484)

Sept. 19, 1896 Civiltà Cattolica, Sept. 19, 1896:

There was a time when male Masonry denied having sisters and swore ignorance of female lodges. But those who are intelligent about Masonic matters never let themselves be fooled ... taking advantage of the naivete of good people, Masonry dared its brazen perfidy three or four years ago, which gave rise to the terrific explosion of Taxil, Are There Women in Freemasonry? ... The formidable revelations of Doctor Bataille and of Miss Diana Vaughan [another Jogand pseudonym] put the ultimate seal on the question, resolving it forever.

... Leo Taxil was the first to publish the true rituals of the Perfect Adoption [a supposed order of Freemasonry], which had been kept secret because they were so lewd... F. Ragon, the Sacred Author of French Masonry, had printed a compendium that misrepresented them. The rituals of satanic Mopse [the supposed female order of Masons] were guarded so jealously that Taxil had to pay their weight in gold just to get them into his hands long enough to transcribe them. His book Are There Women in Freemasonry?, published in 1891, was truly a revelation to the entire world and to many ordinary Masons themselves. Adolf Ricoux acquired only at great expense the dogmatic bull of Pontiff Pike, in which is openly stated the diabolical doctrine of Palladism, and the moral system of the male and female Palladists. Doctor Bataille, penetrating courageously into the satanic lodges and reporting what he had seen with his own eyes, in two large volumes of great value and faith, provided a means for studying and understanding Masonry. The books of De la Rive will remain the most weighty monuments for those who study Jewish Masonry and the Mopse order, built as they are on an unshakable foundation. John Kostka, a former Satanist of high rank, burns now in public what he had adored [French historical allusion to the Frankish king Clovis, who was converted by St. Rémy and was instructed to burn the idols he had previously worshipped]. Miss Diana Vaughan, called from the deepest darkness to the light of God [Jogand invented her as an escapee from the highest ranks of female Masonry who had converted to Catholicism], prepared by divine providence and armed with knowledge and personal experience, turns to the service of the Church with her inexhaustible and valuable publications, which have no equal in exactitude and utility. Masonry is in a state of consternation, and to ward off the blows of the fair virgin, it spreads the rumor that she does not exist and is only a myth. It is a tactic of children; but Masonry has nothing better. (p.684 and note 1)

Sept. 19, 1896 Advertisement for the First Anti-Masonic Congress, inside back cover of Civiltà Cattolica, September 19, 1896:

From the 26th to the 30th of September the First Anti-Masonic Congress will be celebrated at Trent in the Tyrol, attended by representatives of all the nations to coordinate more opportunely to deal with this ill-starred sect, which aims at the de-Christianization of the world. The Supreme Pontiff, Leo XIII, Mgr. Valussi the Prince-Bishop of Trent, and the Austrian governing authorities have given their consent and approbation ... ceremonies in the cathedral, famous from the Council of Trent.

Above the advertisement for the Congress can be seen an offer of a book describing the “recent conversion of Miss Diana Vaughan” for 20 centisimi (0.20 Lire).

Note: Civiltà Cattolica’s endorsement and advertisement of Jogand’s works, under his various pseudonyms, helped him to become widely read and believed among Catholics in France. Jogand’s credibility was so high among French Catholics by the mid-1890s that his works became a factor in the life of a Carmelite convent, a place where non-devotional reading material is normally excluded. St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a Carmelite sister at the time and perhaps the best-known Catholic saint of the 19th century today, wrote a letter of encouragement to Diana Vaughan, enclosing a photograph. The photograph depicted Thérèse dressed as Joan of Arc in a convent play. Jogand displayed that photograph on the wall, using a limelight projector, during his April 19, 1897 press conference at the Geographical Society in Paris.

Civiltà Cattolica devoted four pages to Leo Taxil’s announcement on April 19 that his writings were a hoax, one page on May 1 and three more on May 15, 1897.

May 1, 1897 Civiltà Cattolica tried to excuse its past promotions of the works of Diana Vaughan, saying it had once called Diana Vaughan “unfindable” and had said that others write that she is a “myth,” claiming these as fulfillment of its duty of truthfulness to its readership. (vol. 2, p.367) The journal mentioned that Pope Leo XIII summoned the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris immediately to the Vatican after Jogand’s disclosure.

May 15, 1897 Civiltà Cattolica wrote about Jogand’s works:

“From the above-mentioned it does not follow that everything Taxil said about Masonry is false, much of it being verifiable as true from genuine sources ...”

As to Jogand-Taxil himself, the journal wrote of his “moral suicide,” asking what could lead him to commit “a suicide leaving him no hope among Catholics and none among liberals.” (vol. 2, pp. 481-483)

May 1, 1897 Civiltà Cattolica’s lengthy response (vol. 2, pp. 257-271) to the rise of the Zionist movement:

“The Dispersion of Israel in the Modern World”

For those who do not believe in the divine inspiration of Scripture and reject the prophecies of both the Old and New Testaments, it must come off as inexplicably strange that as a matter of fact, unique in the history of the human race, there has been a people dispersed and wandering for more than nineteen centuries, without a king, without a temple, without a priesthood, without a country; yet always subsisting, interspersed in the nations of the globe, with none of whom they have ever intermarried, always remaining looked down upon as enemies and outcasts by all these same nations.

Such is, without any doubt, the fact about the Jewish people, whose very existence provokes today, more than ever, hatreds that are all the more dangerous the more closely associated they are with the question above all other questions, namely the social question. The phenomenon becomes singular indeed, if one may say, when one considers that the animosity appears sharper in those nations where the liberties of this people have been more expansive and where they have been admitted to full enjoyment of the rights of citizenship.

And in fact, according to what a German Jew wrote a while ago, “the antisemitic current is making a world tour.” But he could have added that in the places where it does the most violence, as in France, Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Italy, semitism has been the most favored by the laws...

Now 1,827 years have passed since the fulfillment to the letter of the prediction of Jesus of Nazareth that Jerusalem would be destroyed, so that not one stone would remain on another, that the Jews would be delivered into slavery among all the nations, and would continue to be dispersed there until the consummation of the times. (footnote: Matthew 24:1,15; Luke 13:35, 19:41, 20:16, 21:6,20) Of this prediction, up to the present day, not a syllable has gone unfulfilled. The imprecation of his (Jesus’) blood be upon us and upon our children, cried out indeed by the people in the presence of Pontius Pilate (footnote: Matthew 27:25), continues to be fulfilled in all of them, with the same constancy with which the sun rises and sets for all: and now, however much semitism and antisemitism are spoken and written about, it will not be superfluous to see the fulfillment in today’s world.


What is the status of the Jewish people in the midst of the nations of our time? To a great extent it is new. But it is precisely the novelty of their state that has given rise to the question that goes by the equally new name of antisemitism. We want to reflect on that civic emancipation which, in almost every country, has made them equal with the people of the nation, exciting tremendous angers and rivalries.

The first to make this beautiful gift of fraternity with the Christian peoples was revolutionary France in 1791, imitated then little by little, step by step, in the course of the next century, by other States. England carried out the task from 1849 to 1858; Denmark in 1849; Austria-Hungary from 1840 to 1867; Germany from 1869 to 1871; Italy from 1860 to 1870; Switzerland from 1869 to 1874; Bulgaria and Serbia from 1878 to 1879. Thus the only regions in which the Jews, today, are not united in civic fraternity and equal with the native inhabitants are Russia and Romania at one end, and Spain and Portugal at the Gallic opposite end of Europe. But it may be noted that in the latter two countries the Jews, who before the 15th century amounted there to about half a million, were expelled and those who remained were baptized, nor have they thus far returned in numbers that would make it worth the while to originate a law of equality on their behalf...


The progeny of Jacob have always increased in number, to the point of numbering today seven or eight, but certainly not ten million witnesses. If they have increased to that extent, that is to say they are still scattered throughout the globe. The prophecy of their dispersal, ut pulverem ante facem venti, delebo, “that they may be dust borne on a breath of wind throughout the earth” (footnote: Psalm 17:40-42 [Psalm 18:40-42 in many Bibles]) ...


It is clear that a breath of wind of heavenly wrath has scattered the children of Israel thoughout the universe...


Although so scattered everywhere, the Israelite race still always and everywhere has remained and does remain the same. By tradition and temperament, they are incapable of mingling and assimilating with others. The Goths, the Visigoths, the Vandals, and the Lombards, little by little, were intermingled with the peoples whose territories they had occupied, and formed nations with them there, which were of one blood and one tongue. But not so the Israelites. Just as no ancient people has been so able to remain a unique body in itself by keeping themselves under exceptional laws, so no modern people has come to identify with them, notwithstanding the full liberty they have been conceded. The Jew continues always and everywhere to be immutably a Jew. His nationality is not in the land of his birth, nor in the language he speaks; it is in the seed, in the lineage, and in that mixture of Bible, Talmud and Kabbala that he claims as his history and his religion. An innate and secret tie binds him to his brethren in Abraham. The equality of civic rights that he enjoys where he lives does not detract in any way from his real nationality. Everywhere he is a foreigner to everyone, except to those with whom he has a common origin and a shared malediction. Apart from his own interest, he has no political aims, wherever he dwells. It is by every cause, under every flag in the world, and from all the dynasties, that he facilitates his acquisition of gold. For him the most favored nation is the one that provides the best way to accumulate gold: the Jew simply laughs that in Italy, France and Germany, they get all sentimental with tenderness for their country. He aspires to secret domination, rather than overt, but not out of an ambition to cultivate pride, but rather as an instrument of greed. In sum, together with his own people, he makes his own nation out of whatever nation he is in, not organically subsisting in any place, but conditionally existing in all places...


But nowhere have the Jews been elevated to such a level of power as in the present Austro-Hungarian Empire, in about thirty years since they were emancipated there, and the Empire has become little but their fief. In Vienna, until recently when the vigorous resurgence of the Christian Socialists began, they were in all the public offices, in City Hall, in the cabinet ministries, and they dictated the law in the Imperial Court itself...


And, to tell the truth, Berlin and Paris are already on the way to full enjoyment of the delights whereby civic equality, extended to the Jews, has blessed the Christian cities of Vienna and Pest [today one city, Budapest, combined with Buda across the Danube River]. Not to mention that, of 87,000 persons inscribed in the rolls as merchants in the capital of the German Empire, fully 41,000, as of three years ago, were Jews; and of 100,000 others employed in domestic services, no more than 320 Israelites were counted. Which says that today Israel commands and does not serve...


Among the remedies proposed to free Christianity from the Jewish plague, there is the proposal to turn them out from their confines, to reunite them anew in Palestine and have them re-establish their pristine land with gold finagled from the peoples of Europe, as a bodily reconstituted and refashioned nation, refabricating an opulent Jerusalem that would rise up again as the capital of their Kingdom.

Their ardent apologist, Leroy-Beaulieu, has studied this bizarre proposal, and had to reject it as impossible to effectuate for this reason: “Palestine would not have the means to provide food for the entire family of Israel. All of Syria would not be capacious enough to welcome them, unless it was a very slight portion of the seven or eight million Jews who live scattered throughout the globe. Might the Christians and Muslims be evicted to make room for them? Could we give our Holy Sepulchre into the custody of the Synagogue? What Christian would tolerate that? Even if all the open territory of Syria were handed over to Israel, from the desert to the Euphrates, not more than a third or a quarter of the Jews of Europe could manage to live there. It would be a great deal if the ancient country of Canaan and its surrounding regions could be home to several hundreds of thousands.

So, even such a zealous defender of the emancipation of the Jews still cannot resist adding: “And the new settlements there will get started only with people from the ghettoes of the East, since Paris could not really be compared with Berditchev, nor Vienna and Berlin with Jassy. The Jew who might think of setting his house on the soil of his ancestors would not be the inconvenient guest that our capital cities would willingly pass off; nor would he be the rotten middleman, nor the bold speculator, nor the cosmopolitan adventurer in search of ignoble markets, nor the publicity agent, shrewd hoarder of pens and venal votes. All of these types would remain there in the way. We could make Israel, as long as we liked, into to the land of the twelve tribes, but, in order to attract them to Jerusalem, there would have to be built on Mount Zion a stock exchange, banks, chambers and trade unions, and everything appropriate for the operations that they long to monopolize.” (footnote: Israel chez les Nations, pp. 410-11.)

These are human arguments that add experiential value to higher and divine arguments, which are never less valuable. According to holy writ, the Jewish people must always exist as a scattered people, wanderers among the other peoples, so that, not only by the deposit of Scripture, which is venerated and preserved, but also, by being in that state, they give testimony to the faith of Christ. He, through the mouth of David, prayed the Father that the race would not be killed, as to him and as to his enemy, ne occidas eos [Latin: do not kill them], but he had dispersed and degraded them by his power, disperge illos in virtute tua et deppone eos [Latin: disperse them in your power and bring them down]. (footnote: Psalm 58:11 [Psalm 59:11 in most Jewish, Protestant, and current Catholic versions]). Which was to say: disperse them among all the nations of the world that they would always be a living and present example of your justice and a palpable demonstration of the truth of the Gospel. “They were dispersed,” observed Augustine, “the Jews, so that they would be made into testimonies of their iniquity and of our truth.” Now nineteen centuries have passed, and the prophetic word is fulfilled nowadays more obviously still than in earlier times. Pulverized Jewry clutters the civilized Christian world.

As for reconstructing Jerusalem, then, to become the center of a revived Israelite Kingdom, it will be observed how contrary that is to the preaching of the same Christ who affirmed that Jerusalem calcabitur a gentibus, “would be trampled upon by the Gentiles,” will be pressed down by the Gentiles, that is by rulers of non-Jewish descent, donec impleantur tempora nationum [Latin: until the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled], until the conversion of the nations has been set out, and the end of the world arrives (footnote: Luke 21:38): at which time Israel will be taken by the hand of God’s mercy and brought into the fold by the Messiah they had renounced. Nevertheless it is not said that even then, when the Jews have turned back to see Him who the pierced, they will be returning to their former dominion and possession. That is where their invented remedy is not worth more than a chimera, a dream.


The more practical remedy, instead, one that is more readily at hand and more efficacious, is found in that shaking off of the Jewish yoke, of which the Christian Socialists of Vienna and Austria have given, and continue to give, spendid example to the city and to Catholic regions. We have already sketched a quick outline of the monstrosity of oppression in which the capital of the Empire was signally held by Judaism overflowing from Poland and tied by a double bond with Masonry and liberalism. Kannengieser, in his famous volume Juifs et Catholiques en Autriche-Hungrie [Jews and Catholics in Austria-Hungary], has presented us a picture that makes one shudder enough to take one’s breath away, in which he recounts the origin of the revival, thanks to the worthy Baron Vogelsang, to whom Vienna will one day be obliged to erect a statue.

The clergy and the people were the two targets most attacked and mauled by this three-headed Hydra. The one, despised as much as they were understood in the anti-Christian hearts of the race of Judas Iscariot and High Priest Caiphas; the other, devoured to the marrow of the bone. They could hardly appear on the streets of Vienna in cassocks without provoking the vituperations and insults of the Judaizing rabble. Tradesmen, laborers and small shopkeepers were all caught between the teeth of the ruthless beast.

What did the clergy finally do there, once they resolved to take the bull by the horns? Kannengieser recounts it well: Turning to the people, in defense of their rights, undeceiving them, devoting themselves to relieving their misery, they made them aware of who were their true benefactors, and who were their malefactors. Clergy and people united in comradeship, the highest nobles and citizens assisted them and favored them with all manner of help. The Christian Social Party was formed, it grew, and it became huge. With the elections to the Vienna City Council in 1895, Judaism’s strength in the Council slipped, and so did its servants in City Hall; and now, with the recent political elections under universal suffrage, it has already been cleaned up for the most part in Parliament as well. Arrogant Judaism is defeated there. Unity and industriousness in the faith have brought victory to the Catholics of Vienna and Austria. It was lawful action that they threw into the jaws of the Hydra, and by lawful action they sallied forth and retook that civic, religious and economic liberty which the evil invaders had usurped.

That is the remedy, for now, the most infallible that Providence offers to redeem Christian countries from servitude to the emancipated Jews. It is not in violence, nor in reprisals, nor in riots, nor in ransacking; but in the faithful exercise, wherever it is provided by law, of that weapon of popular suffrage itself, which corrupting Judaism has used to subject to itself those countries that have welcomed it. When, finally, the Christian representatives in Parliament hold the majority, it will be possible to see, at that point, an end of the equality of rights that has been conceded to dispersed Israel, except for charity and justice, whether to maintain, or to remove, or to reform. The example has been given: fide, concordia et operibus [Latin: faith, concord and hard work]; Christianity will surely shake off all the ills produced by the Magna Carta of 1789.

Sept. 16, 1899 Civiltà Cattolica, Sept. 16, 1899, p.749, on the Third Zionist Congress:

The Zionist Jews held their third Congress at Basel under the presidency of Dr. Herzl, who is well known as the zealous “apostle” for the re-establishment of the ancient Kingdom of Judea. In its final session, the Congress elected a large Action Committee, which will have the task of fulfilling the resolutions passed thus far. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and America have two representatives on this Committee; Romania and Britain have three; Russia twelve; and France, Galicia, Italy, Transvaal, Belgium, Switzerland and Egypt have one. That means the Zionists have received support more or less proportional to the numbers of Israelites in nearly all the world. Indeed, some newspapers recounted that the richest and most powerful Jews have already resorted to the Sultan and the Ottoman Porte [government], cloaking themselves in strong protections and having the most seductive promises flashed about, in connection with certain concessions; but, not daring to arouse the opposition of Christian peoples by an insult to the Holy Places, they did not say a word about Jerusalem and nearby territories; rather limiting themselves to asking for the settlement of some Syrian districts and the island of Cyprus. As concerns the latter, however, the final result of these operations will depend more on the consent of Britain than of Turkey, and it appears that the Court of St. James, in order to protect itself from importunities, has put forward the jealousy of the Cypriots for their own Greek nationality and their fears that excessive numbers of Jews, allied with the Muslims, would be able one day to gain the upper hand over the Christians. In consideration of that, Great Britain may allow some Jewish settlements in Cyprus, but in limited numbers so as not to give umbrage to the current population and not to create a continuing source of disorders.

Meager success, as anyone can see; but what sort of Zionism is this, which even at the initial steps renounces Jerusalem and the entire ancient Kingdom of Palestine? Is that not equivalent to a renunciation of itself and a proclamation that its own goals are utopian? Why not give up the very name of Zionism? The deicide race, despite all the favors lavished on it by the anti-Christian sects, feels defeated before fighting, overcome by the Nazarene.

January 25, 1904 Theodor Herzl's diary on his audience with Pope Pius X this date; excerpts:

We cannot give approval to this movement. We cannot prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem – but we could never sanction it. The soil of Jerusalem, if it was not always sacred, has been sanctified by the life of Jesus Christ. As the head of the Church I cannot tell you anything different. The Jews have not recognized our Lord, therefore we cannot recognize the Jewish people...

Pope St. Pius X’s words to Herzl also touched upon the pivotal time when the Roman Empire, as reported by Josephus Flavius, superseded Israel by destroying Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70:

He spoke of the Temple at Jerusalem. It had been destroyed forever. Did I suppose that one ought to reconstruct it and perform the sacrificial services there in the ancient way? He also talked about Josephus Flavius and quoted him; but I didn’t quite understand that.

Source: Raphael Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, trans. H. Zohn (1960), vol. IV, pp. 1602-1603, 1606-1607.

Easter 1907 Pope St. Pius X on bad press and good press:

In face of unrestrained license of the anti-Catholic press, which impugns or denies eternal laws of truth and justice, which stirs up hatred against the Church, which insinuates into people’s hearts most pernicious doctrines, corrupting minds, fostering evil appetites, flattering the senses and perverting the will – all ought to recognize the great importance of union between good people for turning to advantage of the Church and society a weapon the enemy uses to injure both.

Source: Croce of Naples, reprinted in English translation in “The French Ecclesiastical Revolution,” American Catholic Quarterly Review, vol. 32 (1907), p.665.

February 9, 1916 Cardinal Gasparri’s letter to the President and Directors of the American Jewish Committee was published on May 6, 1916 in Civiltà Cattolica:

Contemporary Chronicle

Rome, April 8-28, 1916

I. Events in Rome ...

1. Just published since mid-April was the letter that the Holy Father had sent on February 9 by the Cardinal Secretary of State to President Marschall and all the members of the executive committee of the “American Jewish Committee” of New York, in response to the letter that Jews of the United States of America sent to Benedict XV, to implore pontifical mediation in favor of their brethren in Europe who have often suffered opposition and travails in regions ravaged by the war, especially those where the Russians are waging war.

Here is the most noble papal document, which enhances the merits of Benedict XV as a pacifier in the current war:


The Supreme Pontiff has sincerely taken cognizance of the letter that you addressed on December 30, 1915.

It is in the name of three million Israelite citizens of the United States of America that you turn to His Holiness to denounce in a general manner the treatment to which your co-religionists are forced to be exposed in various regions, and at the same time ask Him to intervene “with the weight of His supreme moral and spiritual power so that this suffering might finally be ended, with an act of that humanitarianism to which the Holy Father is so passionately devoted.”

The Supreme Pontiff is not in position to pronounce on the particular facts referred to in the “memorandum” attached to your letter; but on principle, as head of the Catholic Church, which, faithful to its divine doctrine and to its most glorious traditions, considers all men as brothers and teaches them to love one another, [he] does not cease to inculcate among individuals, as among peoples, the observance of the principles of natural law, and to reprove all that violates them.

This law must be observed and respected toward the children of Israel as toward all men, because it would not be consistent with justice and with religion itself to derogate from it solely on account of divergence of religious confessions...

Italian original: page 358 and page 359

June 30, 1917 Pacelli to Gasparri:

Most Reverend Eminence,

Having returned this morning to Munich, I am fulfilling without delay my duty to send Your Most Reverend Eminence a more detailed report of my trip to Berlin and Kreuznach, of which I already had the honor to send news to you telegraphically in my respectful coded cables of the 26th and 30th this month.

Leaving here accompanied by Msgr. Schioppa, the Auditor of this Nunciature, on the evening of Monday the 25th, I arrived in Berlin the following morning at 7:20. At the station to receive me was Deputy Erzberger, who, with a splendid military automobile, which was placed at my complete disposition during all the time of my stay in Berlin by the Ministry of War, accompanied me to the Hotel Continental, one of the best in the Capital, where I was lodged in a very dignified apartment on the first floor, as the guest of the Imperial Government. I will say here that immediately upon my first encounter with Mr. Erzberger, I renewed the request, already made to him in writing, to arrange that the press would not speak about my trip, in order to avoid future hostile comments toward the Holy See on the part of the Entente's newspapers, which in all probability would have represented the selfsame Holy See as always more closely tied to the Central Powers and inclined to cooperate with them for the achievement of a so-called German peace. This request achieved full effect, as the newspapers were prevented by the Censor from giving any hint of the matter.

I celebrated Holy Mass at the nearby Catholic Church of St. Hedwig, then met first, at 10:00, Dr. Jordan, First Legation Secretary, assigned to me personally by the Foreign Ministry, and then, at 10:15, Mr. Diego von Bergen, First Minister, already well known to me because for several years he was in Rome as the Secretary of the Prussian Legation to the Holy See, and he gave me some useful information for my audience with the Chancellor of the Reich. This took place at 11:30 and was truly marked by the most respectful deference and the most sincere cordiality. Making the customary compliments, Mr. von Bethmann-Hollweg (who is a man of imposing figure, of pronounced features, and rather rough appearance, but frank and loyal) inquired attentively into the precious health of the Holy Father, and I, after giving him the news he requested, gave him the copy of the Letter that His Holiness has addressed to His Majesty the Kaiser. He read it in its entirety with the fullest attention and he immediately spoke with admiration and praise of the attitude and humanitarian intentions of the August Pontiff. He said that Germany sincerely desires an end to this horrible war that it did not provoke, as it well demonstrated this past December with its offer to enter into peace negotiations with the enemy States...

... he charged me repeatedly to say to the Holy Father that he counts greatly on His activity, convinced that the August Pontiff is destined to play a major role when the time comes for the desired peace...

My departure for General Headquarters took place Thursday evening in a sumptuous Imperial special train car, where I was seated with Msgr. Schioppa and the aforesaid Mr. Jordan, who was assigned to accompany me. Arriving at Kreuznach at 9:30 Friday morning, the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, - after having celebrated Holy Mass in the chapel of the large Lazzaretto Hospital (over which the Papal flag was flying), which was attended by the Generals-Plenipotentiary of Austria-Hungary and Bavaria - I was taken by Imperial automobile to the residence of His Majesty, where an elegant apartment had been prepared for me. The Imperial audience took place with solemnity at 12:45. After the customary introduction to civil and military dignitaries of the Imperial household, I was brought into the presence of the Kaiser, handing over to him the venerated Pontifical Original Letter, explaining to him, in accordance with the instructions I received, the anxious preoccupations of the Holy Father about the prolongation of the war, building up hatreds and accumulating material and moral destruction, which represents the suicide of civilized Europe and reverses centuries of progress of humanity...

His Majesty listened to me with respectful and serious attention. I will say right away, however, that in the way he fixed his gaze, in gesture and voice, He (not so much by nature as in consequence of the preoccupations of three long years of war) appeared overexcited and not at all well-balanced... He recalled the peace offer of last December, lamenting that the Holy Father had not spoken out then, while Wilson had. Naturally I explained to His Majesty the reasons for this silence, which already had been highlighted, moreover, briefly but clearly, in the selfsame Pontifical Letter. Then the Emperor spoke to me at length about the perils that international socialism presents to action in favor of peace and insisted a great deal on the necessity that the Holy Father issue a solemn document addressed not indeed to Governments, but to clergy and to the faithful of the whole world, commanding prayer and work in concord in favor of peace. He had no doubt of the efficacy of such a pontifical prescription. There are, he said, two powerful organizations on the earth: the Catholic hierarchy and the Prussian army, which are threatened today by international socialism. Then he spoke to me about the current King of Italy, atheist, profound hater of priests and monks, and whom he called the “traitor king.” In March 1914, Victor Emmanuel III expressly promised him that, if the issue were presented, the armies of Italy would be deployed alongside Germany! He is finished forever, added the Kaiser, with the House of Savoy, who will have to pay for their betrayal (and here he made the same gesture with clenched fist that he did at the beginning). The Pope’s situation is intolerable; it is necessary in the interest of his sovereignty that he have an independent territory with access to the sea to assure freedom of communications...

Source: Italian original and German summary at, Document No. 366. The original is reprinted from Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State (Holy See), Section for Relations with States, Vatican Secret Archives, AA.EE.SS., Stati Ecclesiastici, 1914-1921, pos. 1317, fasc. 470, vol. III, fol. 111r-120v.

July 27, 1917 Pacelli to Gasparri:

Your Most Reverend Eminence,

Following up on my respectful coded cable of the 25th, I am fulfilling my duty, upon returning to Munich, of giving Your Most Reverend Eminence a more particularized report of the discussions I had in Berlin about the peace proposals by the Holy See.

Arriving in the Capital on the 24th, I immediately had a long conference both with Mr. Michaelis, the new Reich Chancellor, and with Mr. Zimmermann ... After the usual pleasantries, I told them that the Holy Father and Your Eminence were left very satisfied by the most courteous welcome and the openness shown me by the Imperial Government, on the occasion of my first visit to Berlin, concerning the views of Germany on the principal questions that relate to the current conflict and to the way of ending it, and indeed that the Holy See would consider presenting, either immediately or this coming autumn (when the offensive will have ended and its ineffectiveness will be evident), to all or at least to the principal belligerent States, a peace proposal on the fundamentals, of which I gave copies to both the aforesaid Men of State in Italian, as well as in an exact German translation that I had taken care to have prepared. I added that, although these fundamentals had not yet been communicated to the other Powers, nonetheless the selfsame Holy See, based on information that is possible for It to obtain thanks to its admirable worldwide organization, believed able to consider not indeed certain, but seriously probable, that the proposal itself would be welcome. However, the Holy See, before proceeding to an official step with the various States, desired, out of a special regard toward Germany, which has shown itself more inclined toward peace than all the others, to know confidentially the thoughts of the Reich Government concerning the often-mentioned foundations. I concluded that Germany, showing itself conciliatory in a way to expedite peace, would add to military glory the merit of having given back to humanity a new era of civilization and prosperity, and would regain the sympathy of the whole world, while the new Chancellor would thus begin his exalted office under the best auspices...

Source: Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State (Holy See), Section for Relations with States, Vatican Secret Archives, AA.EE.SS., Stati Ecclesiastici, 1914-1921, pos. 1317, fasc. 470, vol. III, fol. 148r-151v, reprinted at, Document No. 378.

Sept. 4, 1917 Pacelli to Gasparri:

Re: Request for intervention by the Holy See in favor of the Israelite community

Most Reverend Eminence,

The Israelite communities of the German Empire, by way of the “Free Association for the Interests of Orthodox Jewry” of Frankfurt and Professor Dr. Werner, rabbi of Munich, have turned to this Nunciature for the following purpose:

According to the words of the Bible, the aforesaid communities, for the Laubenhüttenfest or feast of tabernacles (which occurs on the first of October), have need of palms, which ordinarily come to them from Italy. Now, unexpectedly and against its own interest, the Italian Government has suddenly prohibited the export of palms that are available at Como, nor can they be fetched up to now, even though they cannot serve any purpose as food or any other advantage. Time is of the essence, since the exportation should take place within a few days, in order that the palms not arrive too late, especially since they were supposed to be distributed then throughout Germany.

The Israelite communities thus confide in an intervention of the Holy See with the Italian Government and ask the Apostolic Nunciature to intercede for this purpose, adding that thousands of members, faithful to their religion, would prove their profound gratitude for a happy success.

It seemed to me that this concerned not indeed an assistance provided to the Israelite communities for a purely civil purpose or for the protection of natural rights common to all men (in that there would not have been any problem), but rather a cooperation, material and remote, but positive and direct, in the exercise of Jewish worship. I therefore responded courteously to the aforementioned rabbi that, since it was not possible for me to use the telegraph for such a matter (which, because entirely extraordinary, would have required much explanation), I would have an urgent report sent immediately about this to the Holy See, but that I foresaw that because of the timespan for communications it would be difficult for it to arrive in time, and moreover I did not know what action the Holy Father would be able to take in this regard with the Italian Government...

Source:, Document No. 4018.

Sept. 18, 1917 Gasparri to Pacelli:

Most Illustrious and Reverend Signore,

Your Most Illustrious Excellency’s Report no. 1258 of Sept. 4th reached me in due course, concerning the subject of “the request for intervention by the Holy See in favor of the Israelite communities.”

I have taken cognizance of what you brought to my attention, and I entirely approve the way you handled this delicate matter, since the Holy See, obviously, cannot support the request of Prof. Dr. Werner. Therefore, in giving a response in that sense to the same gentleman – a response that I refer to your well-known dexterity – you will be able to insist on the fact that the Holy See does not maintain diplomatic relations with the Italian Government.

I take advantage of this occasion to confirm further the receipt of Report no. 1210 of August 30th concerning the sending of a report by Deputy Erzberger, and with sentiments of distinct and sincere esteem …

Source: www.Pacelli-Edition, Document No. 9612.

Sept. 28, 1917 Pacelli to Gasparri:

Re: Concerning the Israelite Communities of Germany

Most Reverend Eminence,

As soon as Your Most Reverend Eminence’s venerated Dispatch No. 41955 of September 18th arrived, concerning the notable request for intervention by the Holy See in favor of the Israelite Communities, I devoted my attention to communicating verbally with all delicacy to Professor Werner what Your Eminence so indulgently signified to me in the cited Dispatch, insisting in particular on the fact that the Holy See does not maintain diplomatic relations with the Italian Government.

Professor Werner showed himself to be perfectly convinced by the reasons expounded to him and thanked me warmly for what I had done in this regard...

Source:, Document No. 4019.

Oct. 17, 1917 Pacelli to Gasparri:

In compliance with the venerated instructions imparted to me by Your Most Reverend Eminence via Your encrypted cable of August 26th, and after having accomplished the considerable operations necessary, whether it be with the Military Authorities here, or with Switzerland to expedite the packets, about which I had the honor to communicate to Your Eminence by my respectful Report No. 638, I was finally able today to visit the prisoner-of-war camp at Puchheim, where more than six hundred French and one thousand Russian prisoners are quartered, almost all of them simple soldiers or non-commissioned officers.

Arriving at the aforesaid camp, accompanied by the Secretary of the Nunciature, by General Voetter and by His Highness Prince Oettingen-Wallerstein, a Lieutenant à la Suite in the Army, placed at my disposal by the War Ministry here, I found all the prisoners (with the exception of those who were sick and those who were occupied with work in the camps) gathered together, despite the rather cold temperature, in an open area; and having the French come closer to me (to whom alone it was possible for me to speak in their language), I directed the following words to them:

“My dear friends. I feel a deep emotion and a true satisfaction in being among you at this moment, and in being able to express to you in person the sentiments of paternal tenderness and affectionate devotion with which He whom I represent, your father and mine, the Sovereign Pontiff, does not cease to surround you in all your trials.

“You know all that Pope Benedict XV has already done and all that he would still like to do to ameliorate the lot of unfortunate prisoners of war. While I was working with Him at the Vatican, I was often moved in realizing, at the moment when He was giving me His orders, to what extent Our Holy Father was expressing His benevolent solicitude for the prisoners. One could say that He does not cease to think of them, to reflect on possible ways to soften the sorrows of their situation.

“How deeply I would like to have you feel, my friends, this tenderness of the Pope! It is in His name and with His great heart that I say to you: Courage and trust! When at times your life at the moment may seem heavier, remember immediately that Someone carried for us, by love, by devotion, a Cross even more heavy and no less bloody, and seek in prayer a new strength to climb your Calvary!

“Your Cross, it is made heavier by the thought of your families, by this so painful separation from all whom you love, by the same thought that your own captivity causes them to suffer. It is also prayer that will console you, because prayer will bring you close to those who are praying for you at the same instant perhaps that you yourself are praying for them.

“Yes, it is at the foot of the Cross, it is upon the Heart of Our Lord, that you will most surely find a bit of consolation in your trials, more strength to endure with a valor worthy of Christians and Frenchmen.

“The visible center of this consolation and of this strength, as you know, is in the very heart of the Pope. It is from this living source that I will draw the blessing, directly in His name and by His will, that I am going to invoke upon you, as the token of His inexhaustible love, His unceasing devotion for you who are His sons and are all the more dear to Him the more unfortunate you are.”

After this I imparted the benediction and immediately had the packets distributed, which were pre-positioned at my side on two large tables. Each of them was bundled in paper bearing the imprint of the papal tiara and the message: “The Holy Father offers with blessing,” and contained 200g of chocolate, 1 packet of biscotti, 6 packets of American cigarettes, 125g of soap, 1 breakfast chocolate milk, 100g of tea, 200g of sugar. To the French priest Deschamps, himself a prisoner of war, with spiritual care for Catholics detained in that camp, I gave the task of distributing the medals, which I had brought with me, to those he believed most opportune, having regard to the religion and principles they professed. Then a long and pitiful line of prisoners began to pass before me (many of whose martyrdom has lasted for more than three years), the greater part of them in tattered clothes, pallid, dirty, some of them, especially among the Russians, half in a daze. All of them, French, Russian Catholics, Russian Schismatics (with the sole exception of the Russian Jews), respectfully kissed my ring, thanking me movingly, and more than one asked me to express to His Holiness sentiments of deepest gratitude for His charity and His condescension. I spoke some words of comfort to them and wanted to inform myself about their condition; but it was impossible for them to open up sincerely, since they were always surrounded by German officers who, especially whenever any prisoner showed an interest in talking with me, came ever closer with the obvious intention of listening to our conversation. So, under the watchful guard of their keepers, the greater part of them responded in a sad manner that they were fine; some, not having perhaps the strength, stared at me, without offering a word, with inexpressive, sad, anguished eyes. Only at the end of the visit did I succeed, by eluding for the moment the vigilance of the officers, in talking freely, albeit with utmost circumspection, with a Frenchman. He confided to me the moral suffering of the poor prisoners, told me the food is completely insufficient, and that packets sent by their own families are not delivered or have some of their contents removed.

The distribution of packets being finished, I was accompanied by the aforesaid Genral Voetter and the local Commandant to visit the vast camp...

Within days I will visit the important camp at Ingolstadt, where many officers, in addition to the simple men of the troops, are confined.

Bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple ...

Source:, Document No. 4021.

Oct. 22, 1917 Pacelli to Gasparri:

Most Reverend Eminence,

As Your Eminence deigned to write me in Your venerated confidential letter of Oct. 13th, it is most true, and no one deplores more than I, the blindness and obstinacy of the men who currently govern Germany. A few days ago, Mr. Bethmann-Hollweg came to visit me privately here in Munich. I recalled to him how much he had done for me on the occasion of my first visit to Berlin, concerning the various questions related to peace, and he affirmed and confirmed everything. I believe that if Bethmann-Hollweg would have remained in power, Germany’s response to the Pontifical Appeal would have been more along the lines of the most just desires of Your Eminence and more in the interests of the Central Powers themselves. It is said he was overthrown first of all by the excellent Erzberger, to whom, however, as he added without bitterness, he has shown the greatest loyalty! I do not want, in this, to promote complaints against Erzberger, who was brought to this step, of which he did not reckon the importance, by his rather impulsive character; but unfortunately the consequences were rather harmful. Now we will see if, as a result of the crisis, someone will rise to power with a broader viewpoint than the Protestant-bigot Michaelis.

To turn to Mr. Erzberger, he is at this moment the object of great hostility and very strong attacks, even by many distinguished Catholics and members of the Center Party. Count von Hertling himself has often spoken to me strongly against him, as an unbalanced, dangerous, and compromising man. He has added that Erzberger is the agent of Prince Bülow, whose future return as Chancellor Hertling considers (as the result of known former disagreements with the Center Party) as a catastrophe; however, this could perhaps be doubted for various reasons. I have known that also His Eminence Cardinal Hartmann (whose sentiments – I am told – are rather pan-Germanistic) is decidedly adverse to Erzberger, as are all conservative Catholics, who condemn the well-known Reichstag peace resolution successfully moved by Erzberger, and his tendencies in favor of the “parliamentarization” of Germany. Despite such oppositions, I do not believe I can abandon him, since he is intelligent, good, animated by the best intentions, phenomenally energetic, and has offered and rendered (unique perhaps among the political men of the Center Party), spontaneously, a great many services to the Nunciature and the Holy See; but I must naturally use the utmost circumspection, all the more so because among his undeniably eminent qualities, prudence, restraint and reserve are certainly not the most prominent.

After this, wishing Your Eminence every grace and benediction from the Lord, with sentiments of unalterable devotion, liveliest gratitude and most profound obsequy, I bow to kiss the Sacred Purple and have the honor to profess myself

Your Most Reverend Eminence’s

Most Humble, Most Devoted, Most Obliged Servant

+Eugenio, Archbishop of Sardis

Apostolic Nuncio

Source:, Document No. 4043.

Nov. 15, 1917 Gasparri to Pacelli, encrypted cable:

Swiss Israelitic communities have supplicated the Holy Father to take an interest in the safety of Jewish places and population of Jerusalem. I therefore invite Your Illustrious Excellency to act solicitously with the German Government in the name of the Holy Father in the desired sense.

Source:, Document No. 2389.

Nov. 30, 1917 Gasparri to Pacelli, by encrypted cable:

I am informed that the Ottoman Government has the intention to issue three dispositive laws concerning marriages of Muslims, Hebrews, Christians. It recognizes Christian marriage celebrated before a civil functionary, establishes impediments and divorce: it does not want to accept a regulation about Catholic marriage. The Apostolic Delegate has presented a regulation for Catholics. Your Illustrious Excellency shall intervene to strive effectively to have the Berlin Government act upon the Ottoman Government to accept this guideline.

Source:, Document No. 5999.

Dec. 6, 1917 Schioppa to Gasparri:

Re: Transmission of petition

Most Reverend Eminence,

Enclosed herewith I have the honor to send Your Most Reverend Eminence a petition, duly recommended by the Prince-Bishop’s Delegate in Berlin, in which the Administration of the Jewish Women's Association of Berlin asks this Nunciature to implore the exalted intervention of the Holy Father for a cessation of the current persecutions against Jews, especially in Galicia and Poland.

Beseeching Your Eminence to please lay this supplication – if it is so deemed – before the August Throne of His Holiness, humbly bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple ...

Source:, Document No. 2119.

Dec. 8, 1917 Pacelli to Gasparri:

In my respectful Confidential Report of October 22nd, I had the honor to inform Your Most Reverend Eminence of the hostility and attacks that were targeting Deputy Erzberger, especially by distinguished Catholics and members of the Center Party. These oppositions have neither ceased nor diminished; and some Catholic political personages on the conservative side, among them Baron Frankenstein [usually spelled Franckenstein], notable member of the Reichstag, have come to visit me, asking me to make known to the Holy See that Mr. Erzberger, who has remained for a long time the principal source of information for the Nunciature and the Holy See itself, does not represent, from the viewpoint either of foreign policy or of domestic reforms, the entire Center Party delegation in the Reichstag, much less the entire Party. I have responded that undoubtedly Mr. Erzberger furnishes spontaneously and continually much important news, but he is neither the only nor the most important source of information, and that, moreover, I would be grateful also to members of the minority of the Reichstag, to which the aforementioned Gentlemen belong, if they too would like to favor me with reliable reports verbally or in writing about German’s various political events and express therein to me their point of view, since only with knowledge and discussion of various inclinations is it possible to make an exact and complete judgment of the situation. The discontent of the aforementioned Gentlemen against Mr. Erzberger was especially provoked by the famous peace resolution approved by the Reichstag this past July 19th. Voting against it was a minority composed of five members of the Center Party in addition to the Conservatives and the Nationalist Liberals: two other Center Party members abstained, since, notwithstanding their aversion toward it, they did not want to assume too harsh a posture with respect to peace. The majority of the Party was divided in two groups, of which one fully approved Erzberger’s thought, while the other had more or less serious concerns about it, and probably would have lined up against the proposal, had they not been taken by surprise and impressed by the speech of Erzberger himself in the Reichstag Committee.

This division in the Center Party delegation corresponds to the difference of opinions that has long existed within it over the question of the so-called war goals or Kriegsziele. All are in agreement that the territorial integrity of Germany is inviolable and must be defended at all costs; all are also, or at least say they are, united in the desire for an expeditious peace; all avow equally that the future economic development of Germany must be guaranteed in any case, and the security of the Fatherland must be enhanced to the maximum. Plans of conquest, yearnings for annexations, humiliation and annihilation of enemies, as goals in themselves, find no open followers in the ranks of the Center Party. Nevertheless, within these limits, a profound divergence of views is manifest. Not a few, in fact, maintain that without enlargements of territory and relative indemnities of war, it is impossible to assure to Germany political security and the necessary economic development; and in particular in the question of Belgium they deem unacceptable the restoration of that country to full independence. For this reason, Scheidemann’s formula “without annexations, without reparations,” encounters even in Center Party circles the strongest disapproval; and in the Reichstag resolution of July 19th it was above all the renunciation of annexations (“erzwungene Gebietserweiterungen”) that aroused the greatest opposition, opposition that then became ever stronger after the recent successes of the Central Powers and will probably increase even more if, freed up from the eastern front, they are able to launch (as is already expected here) a big offensive in the west against England and France.

Erzberger’s action had as a necessary consequence the formation in the Reichstag of a majority composed of the Center Party, the Progressives and the Socialists. The cooperative work among these three parties has become increasingly close; all important questions are discussed and resolved by their leaders (in many cases with the participation of the Nationalist Liberals) in joint meetings, in which the Center Party is represented by Erzberger with Trimborn or Fehrenbach. The result is that these parties are currently deciding and determining by joint accord the foreign and domestic policy of Germany.

Now Baron Frankenstein and his friends profoundly deplore this intimate alliance, not for its manner of acting for a particular goal [not per modum actus], but for its very essence [per modum habitus] – the Center Party with the other two aforesaid parties of the left which want the parliamentarization and centralization of Germany, two tendencies which the Center Party has combatted up to now on fundamental principle. Nor is this all; the Center Party (these Gentlemen also observe) has united itself in cooperative work with those parties that want to eliminate the Christian idea from the State and direct their forces to separate schools and the State from the Church and go so far as to oppose the adoption of legislative enactments directed to the protection of youth from irreligious and immoral literature.

This group of strictly conservative tendencies in domestic politics and pan-Germanic ones in foreign policy, and which therefore inclines toward the new Fatherland Party (Vaterlandspartei) headed by the famous Admiral von Tirpitz, is favored and supported by a notable part of the clergy whether secular or religious, and His Eminence Cardinal Hartmann, Archbishop of Cologne (as I have been assured and had occasion to report it to Your Eminence in my aforementioned Report). That is why all, as a natural consequence, could not succeed in accepting the work of this Nunciature directed to supporting with devoted zeal the Holy Father’s action in favor of peace in conformity with the proposed bases in the Pontifical Appeal and which thus coincided rather with the program of Erzberger and with the Reichstag resolution rather than with the postulates of the Fatherland Party. The aforesaid distinguished conservative and pan-Germanistic Catholics undoubtedly greeted the aforesaid Appeal with dutiful respect; nevertheless, in reality, they were discontented, since it appeared to be contrary to their aspirations and favorable to the Entente. For that reason they kept maintaining that the Pontifical Note did not constitute a question of conscience, nor a resolution in a matter of faith or morals, nor a measure of internal Church government; and even as some of its individual points expressed reservations especially concerning the question of Belgium. (Cf. also Fr. Ehrle, S.J., “Die päpstliche Friedensnote an die Häupter der Kriegsführenden Völker vom 1. August 1917,” [The Papal Peace Note to the Heads of the Warring Nations of August 1, 1917], in Stimmen der Zeit, Vol. 94, 1st Issue, October 1917). As to Alsace-Lorraine, according to them such question no longer existed for Germany.

I come now to the particular question of the person of the aforesaid Cardinal Hartmann. Already before I arrived in Germany, the Most Eminent Archbishop of Cologne honored me, as Your Eminence undoubtedly recalls, with a frequent and large correspondence, and this continued uninterruptedly after my arrival here, remaining always courteous and indeed, if this word on my part is not too bold, cordial. His Eminence often asked me about questions of law (cf., for example, my Report no. 1762 dated this October 9th); and I, in my turn, just recently submitted to him my proposal of Instructions to the Bishops and Religious Superiors of Germany Concerning the Military Clergy, to which he solicitously replied, giving it ample praise and calling it a “vortreffliche,höchst begrüssenswerte Instruktion.” [outstanding, extremely welcome instruction]

On the occasion of my first trip to Berlin and General Headquarters, I planned to go also to Cologne, as stated in my obsequious encrypted cable of this June 19th, and I had respectfully given advance notice to this Highest Eminence; but at the last moment, His Majesty the Emperor of Austria having come to Munich for a few hours, where he also received the Diplomatic Corps, I was obliged to put off that visit to a more opportune time (cf. Report no. 440 of June 30th). And in fact, on the first of September, anticipating perhaps a break of several days from the continuing work of this Nunciature, I hastened to communicate to Cardinal von Hartmann my proposal to effectuate the desired trip; but I received the response that his Highest Eminence, while having a strong interest in speaking to me, was however at that moment far from Cologne for a cure at the baths. From then on, because of the ever more pressing work that had to be attended to, I did not believe I could in conscience absent myself, even for a very brief time, except for the four and a half days I devoted to the visits to the prisoner of war camps of Puchheim and Ingolstadt. But also of this impossibility, I gave most obsequious timely notice by letter to the oft-lauded Archbishop, asking Him to excuse the involuntary delay and assuring Him of my continuing desire to express in person my sentiments of most profound veneration and hear from Him such important information and wise counsel as He might be pleased to impart to me.

Despite all that, according to what has just been reported to me, the Most Eminent von Hartmann is complaining of not having any meeting with me up to now and has deplored that, while I am dealing continually with Erzberger, I have still not spoken with him, who could inform me, rather than hearing from said Deputy and his followers, about the true sentiments of the intelligent and sensible part of the Catholics of Germany. Even though, after all I have been permitted to express here about the political opinions of the Archbishop of Cologne, his statements, if also corresponding fully to the truth, do not seem to me surprising, nevertheless I believed it my duty to inform Your Eminence, and most of all to request, to the extent You may deem it useful, permission to absent myself for several days from Munich and go to Cologne, and secondly to implore from Your Eminence any instructions that are deemed in order.

In conclusion, while I take this parting occasion to humbly give Your Eminence my best wishes for all the best in the now approaching recurrence of Most Holy Christmas, I bow to kiss the Sacred Purple ...

Source:, Document No. 225.

Dec. 14, 1917 Pacelli to Gasparri, encrypted telegram:

I confirm receipt of Your Reverend Eminence’s encrypted telegram no. 14. The Foreign Ministry here now responds to my note of November 16th that, according to information received from the Berlin Foreign Ministry, there is no reason to fear Turkish Authorities, especially in Palestine, taking any measures against the Jewish population, and that Jerusalem and other cities, objects of Christian and Jewish veneration, will be spared and protected, to the extent that military necessities allow.

Source:, Document No. 4296.

Dec. 18, 1917 Ambassador Otto Baron von Ritter zu Groenesteyn to Pacelli:


Most Reverend and Dear Monsignor!

Recalling your cordial invitation at Lindau Harbor to write you often and frankly if I should ever have any concern about any matter, I want to make known to you today one such concern in an entirely confidential and absolutely unofficial manner.

As you know, I was charged some time ago to bring to the attention of His Holiness the Pope the urgent desire of His Majesty the King of Bavaria to see His Excellency Archbishop von Faulhaber named Cardinal as soon as possible, together with a request for the fulfillment of this desire. The expression of this desire was occasioned by the rumor of an impending Consistory.

I expressed myself along these lines to His Eminence the Lord Cardinal Secretary of State with the request that His Holiness be correspondingly informed.

Whereupon I have now received the answer of His Eminence, which reads as follows:

I had the honor to receive the Confidential Note of October 30th, by which Your Excellency has graciously expressed to me the strong desire of His Majesty the King of Bavaria to see the holder of the Archepiscopal See of Munich elevated to the honors of the Sacred Purple in the event of an upcoming Consistory taking place.

In this matter I have the honor of informing Your Excellency that the news of an upcoming Consistory, announced by some newspapers, is entirely lacking in foundation.

Since His Eminence says absolutely nothing in this Note of the desire of His Majesty having been made known to the Holy Father, and since moreover the Note is so worded as if this desire had been expressed only for the putative Consistory in the month of December this year, I fear that the answer of His Eminence will arouse dismay on the Promenadeplatz...

Source: Vatican Secret Archives, Archive of the Munich Nunciature, pos. 349, fasc. 4, fol. 12r-17v, reprinted at, Document No. 6385.

Dec. 27, 1917 Matthias Erzberger’s letter to Michael von Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich:

Your Excellency,

Please allow me to convey the following thoughts with the request that they be subjected to a thoroughgoing examination.

At the end of the terrible World War a great Catholic renaissance will and must be initiated. The nationalistic, egotistic, old-pagan power idea has collapsed; it plunged the countries into dire straits before the war and into a bloodbath during the war; the saying that war is the “last resort,” which the world believed for years, has been proven deceptive. Only godly, Christian justice can be the foundation for a more favorable development of peoples in the future. The power of war has raged for 3-1/2 years; its end, however, will be the triumph of justice. A real hunger for the concept of justice and precepts of justice will flow through mankind.

Who should and can take this hunger into account? Only Catholicism, which unifies authority in an auspicious way, which paves the way for true democracy, gives “a highway for all the righteous” and yet forms the foundation of all authority. Social Democracy with its general concepts of freedom and denial of authority cannot work constructively; the implementation of the Social Democratic idea has failed in agriculture and industrial production, despite the military dictatorship. What today is called conservative party politics is not represented by the old saying: “Not majority, but authority,” rather it embraces the most open brutality that knows only oppression and ruthless power. Protestantism, as a force of the mind and the heart, has completely collapsed in the war, has accomplished nothing for the reconciliation of peoples; it has died in its 400th anniversary year.

War, which represents lawlessness among countries, has had the natural result that lawlessness prevails also in the interior life. The terribly true phrase of the Englishman about “moratorium of the Sermon on the Mount” needs to be expanded: the war has made the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Commandments null and void. Humanity must be brought up anew. As far as I can survey the situation, this moral moratorium has really worked most devastatingly among the so-called “educated circles,” in which Mammon and power have appeared most strongly in place of self-sacrifice and justice; this mania on high has manifestly spread and increased as it flows down.

It has been more than 100 years since the time when world-spanning Catholicism necessarily encompassed all fields, namely the powers of the cultural and intellectual world. New forms must be sought in order to make the old Catholic spirit alive after the war and transmittable into a hungry society. The exhortation of our reverend Bishops has shown the way here.

Please allow me to submit the further expression of the following thoughts:

1. As to what concerns the political organization of German Catholics, that will still be found after the war in the Center Party. It is completely obvious that the Center will be able to take in stride a sound and just democracy. The Peace Resolution was the pathbreaker for this. Today, when we are preparing the way for a provisional peace with Russia on its soil and for the proclamation of the Holy Father, the Peace Resolution stands undisputed as the champion of justice. Today millions of Catholics and Center Party voters will be grateful that the Party became the pathbreaker of inviolable justice through the Resolution of July 19th. What needs to be adjusted in the Center Party, if I may be allowed, is something that I will explain to Your Excellency verbally the next time I am in Munich.

2. For the academic endeavors of German Catholics there is the Görres Society, which I promise will have a great future after the war, especially since its Chairman has now become Reich Chancellor [Georg von Hertling]. Now, when so much money is at hand, there must be consideration of a direct increase in capital for the Görres Society.

3. The People’s Association for Catholic Germany will take public education in hand, after as before. It has proven itself during the War to be very adaptable.

4. The International Catholic Union, whose seat is in Switzerland, will render great service by the closer association of Catholics from various countries. Now that a Group for International Law has been established in Germany, the Union has already gained a broader field of action. It is precisely this group that has a highly promising future in representing the concept of justice.

5. The Committee for Defense of German and Catholic Interests Overseas will also find a great field of action after the war, in making clear to other peoples the distinctive German contributions to Catholicism.

6. What we are lacking, on account of which I turn to Your Excellency with a particular request, is: a creative center for the cultural-intellectual world, literature, theater, etc., a center that influences all the individual organizations, leading and directing them intellectually; the center of a great Catholic renaissance. The seat for this, in my opinion, can only be in Munich. There the royal court is Catholic, the representative of His Holiness the Pope is in Munich, the government ministers are overwhelmingly Catholic, the majority of the state population is Catholic. The acknowledged leader is Your Excellency. I have thought through the following for execution of the plan:

If Your Excellency would take the trouble to allow an open discussion among respected leading Catholics in cultural and intellectual life to take place, for instance, every Thursday evening in the Archbishop’s palace, then a seed would be sown that would yield hundred- or thousand-fold fruit. A short lecture could sometimes start off the discussion and have the effect of clarifying and deepening the exchange. Quite soon there would come to these conferences not only Munichers and Bavarians, but men from the entire German Reich, at Your Excellency’s invitation. I am strongly convinced that similar conferences could soon be introduced in most of the episcopal sees. An exchange of ideas and speakers would occur spontaneously. Thus we would have focal points for intellectual, religious and cultural life. Foreigners and non-Catholics would ask to be allowed into these conferences. The blessing of such an institution cannot even be imagined today. It is the introduction of the great Catholic renaissance.

Since I have only put these thoughts to paper briefly, may I be allowed to bring them before Your Excellency in more detail verbally the next time I am in Munich.

With sincerest best wishes for the New Year and with the expression of my highest esteem, I have the honor to be,

Your Excellency’s entirely devoted,

/s/ M. Erzberger

Member of the Reich Parliament

Source: Erzberger to Faulhaber, Dec. 27, 1917, Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, no. 7228, reprinted in L. Volk, ed., Akten Kardinal Michael von Faulhabers, 1917-1945 [Faulhaber Papers] (1975), vol.1, pp. 24-26. This volume contains no record of a response by Archbishop Faulhaber.


Jan. 9, 1918 Memorandum in Munich Nunciature files dated Jan. 9, 1918:

Title: Secret Documents Published by the Bolshevik Government

... Excerpts from the agreement concluded among Great Britain, France and Russia with Italy to give combined assurances to the latter.

... Art. 15. France, England and Russia undertake to support Italy to prevent the Holy See from undertaking any diplomatic step intended for the achievement of peace and the resolution of issues that are related to the current war.

Source:, Document No. 8005.

Jan. 20, 1918 Munich Archdiocesan newspaper’s detailed report on the organization of Freemason lodges in Germany includes this passage:

The Association statute was not well accepted among many of the lodges, because the more numerous, though less active, Prussian great lodges have secured to themselves the leadership, and have pushed aside the “Association of German Freemasons” that was formerly very active, thus disadvantaging the Jews in Masonry.

German original

Note: The German title of this weekly Archdiocesan newspaper changed from 1918 to 1919. In 1918, the title was Wochenblatt für die katholischen Pfarrgemeinden Münchens, or “Weekly Paper for the Catholic Parish Communities of Munich.” Beginning in 1919, the title became Münchener katholische Kirchenzeitung, or “Munich Catholic Church Newspaper,” with the subtitle of “Wochenblatt für die katholischen Pfarrgemeinden Münchens.”

Feb. 3, 1918 The Munich Archdiocesan newspaper’s article warning about the influence of Freemasonry in Germany includes this passage:

... the three old-Prussian Great Lodges are “Christian” oriented (as opposed to “humanistic”), because Jews are not admitted to them as members).

German original

February 1918 Hochland article, “Das Problem der Revolution,” by Ignaz Seipel:

Es ist ein merkwürdiges Schauspiel, die Vertreter der monarchischen Mittelmächte mit den Delegierten der russischen Revolution bei den Friedensverhandlungen zu sehen. Insbesondere Oesterreich fühlte sich in vergangenen Zeiten als der Hort der Legitimität. Für einen Metternich z. B. wäre es undenkbar gewesen, eine Revolutionsregierung in irgendeiner Weise anzuerkennen. Hat ihn doch mit die Furcht, gegen das Legitimitätsprinzip zu verstoßen, sogar veranlaßt, fast allein in ganz Europa sich dem griechischen Befreiungskampfe gegenüber ablehnend zu verhalten. Sein Nachfolger aber behandelt die Abgesandten der Petersburger Volkskommissare ganz als vollwertige Vertreter einer fremden Macht. Diesen Umschwung nur mit der Opportunität zu erklären oder damit zu begründen, daß eben seitdem das neue Prinzip der Nichteinmischung in die inneren Verhältnisse fremder Staaten zur Herrschaft gekommen sei, genügt tiefer angelegten Menschen nicht. Jenen, die an die Existenz unveränderlicher sittlicher Normen glauben und von deren Zuständigkeit auch für das öffentliche Leben überzeugt sind, drängt sich unwillkürlich die Frage auf, ob wir denn eine Revolution unter allen Umständen als einen Verstoß gegen die sittliche Weltordnung betrachten müssen oder ob wir sie in diesem oder jenem Falle doch als berechtigt anerkennen dürfen.

Wir sind längst gewöhnt, uns in solchen Fragen zuerst an die Vergangenheit zu wenden, bevor wir selbst ein Urteil abzugeben wagen. Viel Material, das uns für diesen Zweck gute Dienste leisten kann, hat der Professor für Geschichte an der Frankfurter Universität Fritz Kern in seinem Buche ,Gottesgnadentum und Widerstandsrecht im früheren Mittelalter’ verarbeitet, das, schon vor dem Kriege geschrieben, 1915 erschienen ist. Die Beschränkung auf das frühere Mittelalter schloß doch lehrreiche Ausblicke auf das Altertum und die neuere Zeit nicht aus, so daß man mit Hilfe dieses Buches die ganze Linie der Entwicklung bereits überschauen kann. Es muß bemerkt werden, daß Kern noch nichts ganz Abgeschlossenes bietet. Er selbst weist wiederholt darauf hin, daß an dieser oder jener Stelle noch tiefer gegraben werden muß, als es ihm bisher vergönnt war. Vielleicht ist diesem Umstände auch eine gewisse Ungleichmäßigkeit in der Beurteilung der auf den Ausgleich zwischen Gottesgnadentum und Widerstandsrecht gerichteten Bestrebungen zuzuschreiben. Diese Ungleichmäßigkeit macht sich einige Male gerade gegenüber der katholischen Kirche bemerkbar. Kern zeigt eine Neigung, über die Kirche rascher als über andere Faktoren ein Verdikt auszusprechen und ihren Vertretern unsachliche Motive unterzuschieben, wenn es ihr nicht immer gelang, in einer so schwierigen Materie jene Mittellinie einzuhalten, die, von unserem heutigen Standpunkt aus betrachtet, als die richtige erscheinen mag. Doch da es uns hier nicht um eine Buchbesprechung im gewöhnlichen Sinne des Wortes, die wir den Fachorganen überlassen müssen, zu tun ist, soll hierauf nicht näher eingegangen werden. Wir wollen viel mehr versuchen, unter gelegentlicher Ergänzung und Korrektur des von Kern bereitgestellten Materials in kurzen Zügen die Stellungnahme der Kirche zum Revolutionsproblem zu zeichnen, um dann einige feste Richtlinien für die moralische Beurteilung der Revolution zu gewinnen.

Der Hauptgrundsatz, von dem sich die Kirche in ihrer Stellung zur Staatsgewalt leiten ließ, war jederzeit das paulinische Wort: ,Es gibt keine Gewalt außer von Gott; die aber, welche bestehen, sind von Gott gesetzt’ (Rom. 13, 1). In diesem Satze spricht sich zunächst die Überzeugung aus, daß die Menschen nach Gottes Willen unter Obrigkeiten leben müssen, und zwar ist, wie der Hinweis auf den Blutbann im folgenden Vers 4 und auf die Abgaben und Zölle in Vers 7 zur Genüge andeutet, von weltlichen Obrigkeiten die Rede. Es liegt in diesem Satze ferner ein tiefer Glaube an das Walten der göttlichen Vorsehung, die gerade diesen oder jenen Menschen in den Besitz der obrigkeitlichen Gewalt eingeführt hat. Für den Inhaber der Gewalt bedeutet diese ein Amt, nicht ein privat- rechtliches Eigentum, ein Unterschied, der übrigens nach der christlichen Auffassung nicht viel ausmacht, da ihr ja auch das Eigentum stets nur anvertraute, Gut ist, für dessen Verwaltung der Mensch vor Gott Rechenschaft legen muß. Der Untertan ist der Obrigkeit Unterwerfung schuldig, und zwar, wie im Vers 5 in aller Deutlichkeit hinzugefügt wird, nicht nur um der Strafe willen, sondern auch des Gewissens wegen. Auflehnung, Widersetzlichkeit verträgt sich mit dieser Anschauung von der obrigkeitlichen Gewalt nicht; denn wer sich gegen sie auflehnt, .widersetzt sich der Anordnung Gottes (Vers 2). Über die Regierungsform und über den Weg, wie jemand auf rechtmäßige Weise in den Besitz der obrigkeitlichen Gewalt kommt, hat der hl. Paulus nichts gesagt und nichts sagen wollen. Das ergibt sich schon daraus, daß er ganz allgemein von der Obrigkeit redet, nicht etwa nur vom obersten Träger der Staatsgewalt. Im Gegenteil, für seine Leser hatte die Frage, wie sie sich einem Prokurator oder Proprätor gegenüber stellen sollten, viel größere Bedeutung als die nach dem Kaiser, mit dem sie persönlich kaum je zu tun hatten. Nun kam damals wie jetzt ein Beamter auf ganz andere Weise zu seiner Gewalt als der Kaiser. Der hl. Paulus aber macht keinen Unterschied. Es wäre falsch, wenn man daraus den Schluß zöge, daß die Kirche sich auch in alle Zukunft nie um die Legitimität einer Obrigkeit kümmern sollte, oder daß sie das evangelische Ideal verlassen habe, wenn sie es einmal tat. Man muß nur bedenken, zu welcher Zeit und für welche Leser der hl. Paulus schrieb. Die Christen waren sämtlich Untertanen; der Herrscher und die höheren Beamten waren nicht unter ihnen. Es wäre ganz gegen den Geist einer vernünftigen Seelsorge gewesen, den Christen von jemals zu erklären, wie sie sich verhalten müßten, wenn der Kaiser Christ geworden wäre und der Staat nach christlichen Grundsätzen eingerichtet mdcn könnte. Wer derartiges in der Heiligen Schrift sucht oder, weil es nicht darin findet, der Kirche verwehren möchte, später zu neuen Verhältnissen eine neue Stellung einzunehmen, verkennt ganz und gar das Kern und die Eigenart der Heiligen Schrift. Diese war ja nicht dazu bestimmt, in einem Kasten verschlossen zu werden, damit man sie später inmal herausnehme, um daraus ein Orakel zu schöpfen, sondern sie harte mittelbar dem praktischen Gebrauche zu dienen. So schrieb auch der hl. Paulus seinen Römerbrief, damit er sofort von den Römern, d. h. römischen Christen seiner Zeit, gelesen würde. Er hatte nichts bälgen, daß die Römer den für sie bestimmten Brief auch an andere Christen itcrgaben und dafür, die Briefe eintauschten, die er an andere Gemeinden geschrieben hatte. Er erwartete eben, daß die Christen schon selbst so sein würden, die Anwendungen auf ihre Verhältnisse zu machen. In selben Weise ist uns Späteren die ganze Heilige Schrift anvertraut, sie gibt uns ewige Weisheitslehren im Gewände jener Zeit, in der sie rundgeschrieben wurden. Aus ihnen Winke zu entnehmen, die für uns sktisch sind, ist unsere Sache. Und dazu, daß wir bei diesem Streben, die Wiche Lehre und das christliche Gesetz für uns auszuschöpfen, nicht nen, haben wir die lebendige Autorität der Kirche, die uns, vom Heiligen leiste geleitet, unfehlbar den Sinn der christlichen Lehren und Gebote deuten kann.

So erklärt es sich ganz ungezwungen, daß die Kirche in den ersten Jahrhunderten nach der Legitimität der Herrscher so gut wie gar echt fragte. Solange diese heidnisch waren, hatte die Kirche an ihnen keine Seelsorge zu üben. Für die Christen aber genügte es vollständig, denn sie wußten, daß sie der Obrigkeit gehorchen mußten. Der Gefahr, daß dieser Gehorsam zu einem unsinnigen und unsittlichen würde, war durch das Beispiel und die Lehre des anderen Apostelfürsten hinreichend Sebeugt, von dem die Christen den Spruch gelernt hatten: ,Man muß Gott mehr gehorchen als den Menschen' (Apg. 5, 29). Anders wurde die der Kirche, als der Kaiser selbst Christ und die christliche Religion allmählich Staatsreligion geworden war. Nun unterstand der Kaiser der schlichen Seelsorge wie jeder andere Christ und ,ratione peccati’, um den Terminus des alten und neuen Rechtes zu gebrauchen, auch ihrer Rechtsprechung. Für ihn war es aber die erste Gewissensfrage, ob er rechtmäßiger Herrscher sei oder nicht. Trotzdem konnte die Kirche mich °«nals Staatsumwälzungen verhältnismäßig ruhig nn'tansehen und zu Usurpatoren bald in «in freundliches Verhältnis treten. Dazu bot das heimische Staatsrecht die Handhabe. Im ganzen Altertum, auch in der Kaiserzeit, bestand, wenigstens als Fiktion, der Glaube an die Volks-[546] souveränität zu Recht. Die primitive Demokratie der Komitien, der versammelten Stadtgemeinde, hatte sich freilich überlebt. Aber sowohl das Volk in Waffen, das Heer, als seine ideale Repräsentanz, der Sendung konnten die oberste Gewalt im Staate ausüben und übertragen. Wer daher das römische Heer oder, da es keine einschränkenden Normen gab, ein römisches Heer seinen Feldherrn zum Imperator ausrief, oder wen der Senat einen Heerführer als Imperator grüßte, so war er Imperator, auch wenn es einen anderen Imperator schon gab, und er konnte daher gegen diesen zu den Waffen greifen. Freilich war das Heer, das in der spat Kaiserzeit die Imperatoren machte, nicht das römische Volk in Waffen, sondern ein Söldnerheer, meistens waren es die Prätorianer allein, also genau unterschied man nicht. In der allgemeinen Auffassung war Heer eben Heer und Imperator Imperator. Die Feinheit, dasselbe Wort einmal mit Feldherr, das andere Mal mit Kaiser zu übersetzen, ist eine Erfindung moderner Philologie. So waren die vielen Thronstürze im west- und oströmischen Reiche faktisch zwar Revolutionen, juristisch aber eigentlich nur Bürgerkriege zwischen gleichberechtigten Thronbewerbern. Der Erfolg entschied allein über die Rechtmäßigkeit. Die Kirche gewöhnte sich gerade in ihrem Glauben an die göttliche Vorsehung, früh, im Waffe, erfolg ein Gottesurteil zu sehen. War aber ein Herrscher im ruhigen Bestand der Gewalt, dann galt auch von ihm das Wort der Schrift: Es gibt keine Gewalt außer von Gott.

Als die Germanen ins Römische Reich einrückten und nach und nach auch in die Kirche Eingang fanden, brachten sie ihre Verfassungen, wen man dieses Wort auf jene ursprünglichen Rechtsverhältnisse anwenden darf schon mit. Das Königtum der Germanen war etwas anderes als eim römischer Magistrat. Große Bedeutung hatte bei ihnen von Anfang das Geblütsrecht. Da aber vom Herrscher außer dem königlichen Geblüt auch persönliche Eignung für die Heerführung und das Richteramt gefordert wurde, so war, wie Kern überzeugend nachwies, doch auch immer eine Art Wahl, sei es durch die Landgemeinde der Freien, sei es durch die Fürsten, die später die Stelle des Volkes zu vertreten pflegten, notwendig um einem bestimmten Anwärter auf die Krone ein jus in re zu vermitteln wenn einmal oder mehrere Male das Geblütsrecht beiseite gesetzt worden oder gar wenn keine eingelebte Dynastie mehr vorhanden war, mußte das Wahlrecht immer mehr in den Vordergrund treten. Es ist ganz natürlich, daß die Fürsten, die so einen Machtzuwachs erhalten hatten, daraus bedacht waren, nicht wieder eine Dynastie mit regelrechter Erbfolge auf kommen zu lassen. Die gewaltsamen Staatsumwälzungen in den germanischen Staaten sind fast alle auf den Dualismus zwischen Geblütsrecht und persönlicher Eignung als Kriterien der Legitimität zurückzuführen. Ein förmliches Absetzungsrecht gab es nicht. Aber es war, und das scheint mir Kern nicht genügend erkannt zu haben, ähnlich wie beim römischen Imperium. Die Wähler, oder wie man sonst jene nennen mag, denen [547] es zustand, einen neuen König zu berufen, machten von diesen, ihrem Rechte mitunter auch Gebrauch, solange der alte König noch am Leben und im Amte war. Es gab kein Gesetz, das die Königswahl nur auf den Fall der Sedisvakanz beschränkte oder wenigstens keines, daß sie außer diesem Falle für null und nichtig erklärte. Dieser Umstand wurde lange Zeit hindurch gerade im Interesse der dynastischen Erbfolge aus genutzt, indem der König noch bei seinen Lebzeiten seinen Sohn wählen und krönen ließ. Geschah Ähnliches gegen den Willen des alten Königs, so gab es dann rechtlich zwei Könige, die genau so wie zwei römische Imperatoren das Waffenglück zwischen sich entscheiden ließen. Die Absicht der Kirche ging nun dahin, die Regierungsverhältnisse, die vielfach hochst ungeordnet waren - folgte doch in manchen Staaten eine blutige Palastrevolution der anderen - , zu konsolidieren. Sie erreichte dies durch drei Mittel: einmal entschied sie im Konfliktsfall mit Vorliebe für die persönlich Nichtigkeit gegenüber dem bloßen Geblütsrechte — das entsprach ganz und gar der christlichen Auffassung vom Königtum als einem Amt, nicht einem privaten Familienbesitz — ; dann gab sie dem einmal ordnungsgemäß bestellten Herrscher eine höhere Weihe durch die kirchliche Salbung und Krönung — in der ersten Zeit und in den Ländern, wo ein erhöhter Schutz der königlichen Person besonders notwendig erschien, auch durch förmliche Aufnahme in den geistlichen Stand — und drittens trachtete sie an Stelle der formlosen Verlassung des Herrschers und der stets zum blutigen Bürgerkrieg führenden Wahl eines Gegenkönigs das geordnete kanonische Rechtsverfahren zu setzen, wenn wirklich einmal die Beseitigung eines ungeeigneten Herrschers notwendig wurde, sie konnte dies um so leichter, als Fürsten oder Volk die Absetzung eines Herrschers ja fast stets nur wegen moralischer Vergehen forderten, gegen welche die Kirche mit ihren Zensuren einschreiten konnte. Wer aber den kirchlichen Zensuren verfallen war, konnte damals tatsächlich nicht länger regieren. Gewiß waren sich die kirchlichen Persönlichkeiten nicht immer dieser Richtung, die das Verfassungsleben nahm, bewußt; gewiß mochte im einzelnen Fall mit anderen, unzutreffenden Argumenten die Vorherrschaft der Kirche begründet werden, oder ein Bischof oder Papst auch direkt von Herrschsucht geleitet sein; aber den Vorwurf, daß die Kirche planmäßig die Monarchie geschwächt habe, darf man ihr nicht machen. Das Gegenteil ist richtig. Es scheint höchstens anders, wenn man Geblütsrecht, Volkswahl und religiöse Weihe isoliert betrachtet. Sicher hätte jedes einzelne dieser drei Momente für sich allein die Monarchie ein eitlicher und dauerhafter begründet. Sie waren aber nun einmal nur alle zusammen im Widerspiele wirksam, und da hat die Kirche alles getan, um das Ausspielen des einen gegen das andere ungefährlicher zu machen. Daß sie dabei nicht so weit ging, einen zäsarpapistischen Absolutismus zu fördern, war sie sich selbst und auch den Untertanen, die von ihr Schutz gegen Unterdrückung erwarteten, schuldig.

Gerade hierin traf sich aber die Kirche wieder mit der germanischen Rechtsanschauung, der zufolge das Verhältnis der Untertanen zum Herrscher nicht eigentlich ein Gehorsams-, sondern ein Treuverhältnis ist. Zwischen Gehorsam und Treue ist ein großer Unterschied. Gehorsam kann und muß auch der Obrigkeit geleistet werden, die Unrecht tut, wenn auch vielleicht nicht gerade in dem, worin sie Unrecht tut, aber in allen anderen Beziehungen. Wo hingegen ein Treuverhältnis obwaltet, ist es anders. Wer selbst die Treue bricht, verwirkt damit das Recht, daß ihm der andere Treue halte. Den schärfsten Ausdruck hat diese Anschauung unter der Herrschaft des Lehenssystems gefunden. Lehensherr und Lehensmann konnten ja unter gewissen Umständen sich gegenseitig aufsagen, d. h. die Treue kündigen. War dies geschehen, dann konnte der Lehensmann sich einem anderen Herrn, vielleicht dem Gegenkönig, anschließen, ohne daß er dadurch Hochverräter wurde. Aus derselben Wurzel sind gewisse verfassungsmäßige Bestimmungen entsprossen, die den Untertanen das förmliche Recht gewährten, dem Herrscher im Falle seines Treubruches mit bewaffneter Hand entgegenzutreten oder, mittelalterlich ausgedrückt, ein bellum justum gegen ihn zu führen. Ein solches Recht hat schon Karl der Kahle 856 zugestanden. Die berühmtesten Beispiele find aber das Widerstandsrecht der englischen Barone, das ihnen die Magna Charta von 1215 einräumte, das Insurrektionsrecht der Ungarn, das im Artikel 31 der goldenen Bulle Andreas III. von 1222 ausdrücklich verbrieft und erst 1687 wieder beseitigt wurde, und das aragonesische Unionsrecht von Weihnachten 1287, das bis 1298 in Geltung blieb. Der Papst hat zwar gegen die Magna Charta protestiert, aber nur, weil sie sein kurz zuvor begründetes Oberlehensrecht über England verletzte.

Zur Ausbildung einer eigentlichen christlichen Staatstheorie kam es erst, seitdem das Mittelalter mit der aristotelischen Politik bekannt geworden war. Von Aristoteles übernahmen die Theologen u. a. zwei wichtige Anschauungen: die Vorliebe für die Monarchie, aber mit starker Betonung der Tüchtigkeit des Herrschers, hinter die das Vorrecht des Geblütes weit zurücktreten muß, und die sogenannte Tyrannus-Lehre, d. h. die Lehre, daß der Herrscher, der schlecht regiert, aufhört, König zu sein und statt dessen Tyrann wird. In diesem Sinne allein gebraucht der hl. Thomas von Aquin im engsten Anschluß an Aristoteles den Ausdruck Tyrann. Die Späteren unterschieden den Usurpator, den sie tyrannus tituli nannten, vom an sich rechtmäßigen, aber durch den Mißbrauch seiner Gewalt zum Tyrannen gewordenen Herrscher, tyrannus regiminis. Gegen den Usurpator war nach der Ansicht aller offener Widerstand zulässig, solange er nicht im ruhigen Besitz der höchsten Macht war. Bezüglich des Tyrannen im engeren Sinne blieb die Meinung geteilt. Manche Theologen, in späterer Zeit auch viele Protestanten, hielten sogar den Tyrannenmord für erlaubt. Dagegen sprach sich mit [549] aller Entschiedenheit das Konzil von Konstanz 1415 aus.* Aber auch die anderen, die nicht so weit gingen, hielten doch meist an der Meinung fest, daß das Volk in äußerster Bedrückung dem Tyrannen den Krieg erklären dürfe. Es ist bezeichnend, daß diese Kontroversen gerade so lange im Schwange blieben, als die vielen großen und kleinen Tyrannen der Renaissance ihr Unwesen trieben.

Nach und nach festigten sich jedoch die Herrschaftsverhältnisse. Usurpatoren war das Aufkommen erschwert. Der Ständestaat bot ziemlich ausreichende Sicherungen dagegen, daß eine rechtmäßige Regierung in Tyrannis ausarte. Der Absolutismus, der offen oder mehr versteckt ihn ablöste, war stark genug, um lange Zeit fast jeden Gedanken an offenen Widerstand niederzuhalten. Damals kehrte die Theologie der Schule, die auch stark unter dem Einfluß der herrschenden Zeitströmung stand, wieder mehr zur bloßen Betonung der Gehorsamspflicht zurück. Das Ventil der Notwehr gegen einen unerträglichen Druck blieb ja immer offen; aber man sprach nicht viel davon. Die Revolutionen der jüngsten Geschichtsperiode, die den Absolutismus beseitigten, wurden als unabänderliche Tatsachen entgegengenommen. Die blutigen Greuel und die religionsfeindlichen Strömungen, die mit ihnen verbunden zu sein pflegten, mußten die Abneigung, sie auf eine etwaige moralische Berechtigung hin zu untersuchen, nur verstärken. Der Syllabus Pius’ IX. vom Jahre 1864 verwirft den Satz: Den rechtmäßigen Fürsten den Gehorsam zu verweigern, ja sich gegen sie zu empören, ist erlaubt.** Der neue Codex Juris Canonici verbietet den Geistlichen die aktive Beteiligung an Staatsumwälungen (Can. 141 § 1).

Suchen wir nun nach dieser historischen Betrachtung in positiver Form die Grundsätze für die moralische Beurteilung der Revolution zusammenzustellen: Ein Recht der Untertanen, nach Willkür die Regierungsform des Staates zu ändern, oder den Herrscher, der nicht nur als eine Art Magistrat für eine bestimmte Zeit bestellt wurde, zu wechseln, gibt es nicht, und zwar auch dann nicht, wenn die Verfassung des betreffenden Staates die Volkssouveränität festsetzt und das Volk selbst den Herrscher gewählt hat. Denn ein solcher willkürlicher Regierungswechsel wäre auf jeden Fall gegen das Gemeinwohl. Aber auch, wenn die Untertanen Grund haben, mit der Regierung ihres Herrschers unzufrieden zu sein, und wenn sich selbst schwerwiegende moralische Vergehen zuschulden kommen ließ, kann ihn das Volk nicht dafür zur Verantwortung ziehen, es sei denn, daß die Verfassung ein solches Recht ausdrücklich anerkennt und ein Verfahren für diesen Fall bestimmt.***

* Denzinger-Bannwarr, Enchiridion symbolorum 12 n. 690.

** Denzinger-Bannwart, 12 n. 1763.

*** Das Konzil von Konstanz verwirft nur den Satz: Populares possunt ad 5»um suum arbitrium dominos delinquentes corrigere. Denzinger-Bannwart, 12, 596.

Eine andere Frage ist es, ob ein Herrscher, der offenkundig schlecht regiert und vielleicht durch unmoralisches Verhalten seine persönliche Ehre befleckt hat, noch die geeignete Persönlichkeit ist, den Staat zu leiten, und ob es daher nicht etwa seine Pflicht wäre, im Interesse des Gemeinwohls abzudanken. Gegen das Gemeinwohl, aus Gründen des Privatinteresses die oberste Gewalt festzuhalten, wäre sicher unrecht. Freilich wird es im einzelnen Fall nicht leicht sein, festzustellen, was mehr im Interesse des Gemeinwohls liegt. Denn auch ein mehr oder weniger freiwilliger Rücktritt des Herrschers, der damit eine Schuld eingesteht, bat seine Nachteile, insofern er das Vertrauen der Untertanen auf die Autorität schwächt. Wäre die moralische Schuld des Herrschers und im Zusammenhange damit die Minderung seines Ansehens so bedeutend, daß daraus eine förmliche Regierungsunfähigkeit hervorginge, zeigten sich unzweifelhaft die üblen Nachwirkungen auf das Gemeinwesen in einer immer größeren Zerrüttung, dann könnten das Volk oder seine verfassungsmäßigen Repräsentanten wohl den Rücktritt des unfähigen Herrschers verlangen und selbst erzwingen; denn dann wäre der Staat in der Notwehr. Das Volk braucht gewiß nicht sich und sein Gemeinwesen dem Untergang entgegen treiben zu lassen, weil gerade ein unfähiger Herrscher an seiner Spitze steht. Was eben über die moralische Regierungsunfähigkeit gesagt wurde, gilt natürlich auch von der physischen infolge von Krankheit u. dgl., nur daß hier leichter durch Kuratel und Regentschaft vorgesagt werden kann. Ob diese oder ein Thronwechsel vorzuziehen ist, wird rein vom Standpunkt des Gemeinwohls zu entscheiden sein. An sich ist es sicher entsprechender, ,daß derjenige, der die Macht des Königs hat, auch den königlichen Namen führe, wie sich Papst Zacharias gelegentlich der pipinischen Revolution äußerte. Immerhin könnte aber die Thronentsetzung des physisch unfähigen Herrschers einmal als solche Erschütterung der Legitimität erscheinen, daß man lieber zu anderen Mitteln, die Staatsgewalt in fähigere Hände zu legen, greifen mag. In der Notwehr gegenüber dem legitimen Herrscher könnte auch der einzelne Untertan oder eine Gruppe von Untertanen sein. Denn auch gegen den Herrscher kann jedermann seine wesentlichen Lebensgüter mit allen zulässigen Mitteln verteidigen, und zu diesen Mitteln gehört die Abwehr der Gewalt mit Gewalt. Hier müssen aber nicht nur die allgemeinen Schranken der berechtigten Notwehr eingehalten werden, sondern es ergeben sich neue aus der notwendigen Rücksicht auf das Gemeinwohl. Schon der hl. Thomas hat darauf hingewiesen, daß selbst die ganze Kommunität auf ihr Notwehrrecht verzichten müßte, wenn zu befürchten wäre, daß aus dessen Ausübung schwere öffentliche Unruhe, also eine ernste Schädigung der Gesamtheit, hervorginge.* In den Fällen, in denen den einzelnen die Nottvehr gegen den Herrscher gestattet ist, können sich gewiß auch mehrere oder viele, die in der gleichen Lage sind, miteinander verbinden, um die Abwehr ungerechter Angriffe wirksamer zu gestalten.

* Summa theol. 2. 2. q. 42 a. 2 ad 3.

Wir haben bisher immer nur vom Widerstand gegen die Person des Herrschers gesprochen. Aber wäre es nicht auch möglich, daß das ganze System, die Regierungsform selbst, sich als völlig ungeeignet erwiese, den Bedürfnissen des Staates und der Untertanen zu genügen? Gewiß. Ist es so, dann muß zunächst auf verfassungsmäßigem Wege oder, wenn in solcher nicht vorgesehen ist, durch Verhandlungen mit dem Herrscher in Systemwechsel angestrebt werden. Führt dieser Weg nicht zum Ziele, dann ist das Volk wieder in der Notwehr und kann sich in der Not hindurch helfen, daß es selbst andere, zweckmäßige Staatseinrichtungen schafft. Fügen sich der Herrscher und die bisherige Regierungsform in diese nicht ein, dann kann das Volk die besseren neuen Einrichtungen gegen sie verteidigen, und zwar, wenn es anders nicht geht, auch mit Gewalt.

In Rußland ist der politischen Revolution die soziale gefolgt, d. h. starke Gruppen im russischen Volke behaupten, der Staat könne nur gesunden, wenn mit dem Regierungswechsel gleichzeitig eine Neuordnung der ganzen Struktur der Bevölkerung und insbesondere der Eigentumsverhältnisse erfolge. Kann man zugunsten der politischen Revolution sagen, daß niemand, auch der Herrscher nicht, ein Privatrecht am Staate habe, so setzt sich die soziale Revolution doch ganz offenbar auch mit wohlerworbenen Privatrechten in Widerspruch. Zur vollständigen Ausübung alles Privateigentums dürfte daher bei einer sozialen Revolution niemals fortgeschritten werden. Wohl aber könnte eine bessere Grundlage der Volkswirtschaft durch Neuverteilung des bisherigen Gemeindeeigentums, der Staats- und Krondomänen und des auf Grund der bestehenden Gesetze rechtsgültig eingezogenen Privateigentums geschaffen werden. Reichen diese Maßregeln nicht aus, so daß es unbedingt notwendig erscheint, im Interesse des Gemeinwohls, nämlich um den Staat wieder zu einem normalen und ruhigen Leben zurückzuführen, auch das Privateigentum in stärkerem Maße als sonst heranzuziehen, dann ist dafür der Weg der gesetzlich aufzuerlegenden Abgaben gangbar. Wie Geldabgaben so können gewiß auch Abgaben in Naturalien oder in Grund und Boden verlangt werden. Das zulässige Maß ist rein durch die Notwendigkeit bestimmt. Unrecht wäre es, einer Doktrin zuliebe weiterzugehen, als es die strenge Notwendig keit erfordert.

Über einzelne tatsächlich vorgekommene Revolutionen, sei es aus alter, sei es aus neuer Zeit, ein Urteil abzugeben, liegt außerhalb des Rahmens dieser kleinen Studie. Im allgemeinen wird man sagen müssen, daß es sicher Fälle gegeben hat, in denen eine Staatsumwälzung durchaus berechtigt war; wir denken dabei an die bereits einmal genannte pipinische Revolution. Ebenso sicher ist es, daß meistens nicht so bedacht vorgegangen wurde wie damals, daß viel unedle Leidenschaft und insbesondere auch viele verkehrte Doktrinen die Staatsnotwendigkeit oder die Notwehr zum bloßen Vorwande nahmen, um Staatsumwälzungen zu rechtfertigen. Dennoch werden wohl auch in diesem Falle viele im guten Glauben sich an revolutionären Unternehmungen beteiligt haben, so daß es nicht angeht, sie samt und sonders moralisch zu verurteilen. Die Schwierigkeit aber, über eine bestimmte Revolution ein sicheres Urteil abzugeben, rechtfertigt hinlänglich, wenn Fernerstehende, darunter auch die Regierungen und öffentliche Meinung in auswärtigen Staaten, sich hüten, jedesmal für alte Regierung gegen die neue Partei zu ergreifen. Sicher ist das eine, auch aus einer verwerflichen Revolution eine neue legitime Regierung hervorgehen kann, die ihre Legitimität daraus schöpft, daß der Staat nie ohne Regierung bleiben darf, daß aber eine andere Regierung, die die Staatsgewalt ausüben könnte, nicht mehr da ist als eben die revolutionäre. Wenn daher die Kirche und fremde Staaten eine Revolutionsregierung anerkennen, sobald sie tatsächlich im gefestigten Besitz der obersten Gewalt ist, so ist weder Prinzipienschwäche noch bloße Opportunitätspolitik.

Citation: Ignaz Seipel, Das Problem der Revolution, Hochland 15:1:5 (Feb. 1918), S. 543

March 27, 1918 Memorandum from Matthias Erzberger:

Title: The recognition of Lithuania as a free and independent state by the German Government

... The Lithuanians have been a minority for centuries and have suffered so much that they will certainly guarantee all minorities, including Polish and Israelite ones, the full development of their economic powers and their intellectual qualities, all the more as the development of these minorities with their multiform talent can only be of great usefulness to the still infant Lithuanian State...

Source: www.Pacelli-Edition, Document No. 9014.

April 6, 1918 Schioppa to Gasparri:

Most Reverend Eminence,

I received from a reliable source, and carry out my duty to transmit to Your Most Reverend Eminence, the following information about the current domestic situation in Russia.

The Bolsheviks are forming a new army of revolutionary elements, as they have not lost hope of bringing revolution into the Central Powers, and would not hesitate for a moment, despite the accepted peace treaty, to advance with these new forces against the same Central Powers.

The Heads of all the Ministries are Jews. Only the less important posts are occupied by workers of intelligence and good will. For these workers, however, young Jewish lasses are placed alongside to dominate them and make them work in conformity with the Government. The girlfriend of a Minister told a secret agent that the Russian Revolution is primarily the work of the Jews and that it is founded on the idea of a worldwide Jewish government. The Russian Secretary of Foreign Affairs explained to this same Secret Agent that it is easier to attract the Russian people to the revolutionary idea: Germany and Austria present greater difficulties, but the matter is most difficult in France, since it is easier to overturn a monarchy than a Republic. The same Secretary added that the Alliance Israélite would succeed in this Jewish revolutionary goal, while the Zionists are said to be opposed, because they have other ideas.

The Bolshevik Government is not in danger. It has assumed more moderate manners and, moreover, the bourgeois are without power, and the peasants do nothing against the Government.

Humbly bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple ...

Lorenzo Schioppa

Chargé d’Affaires

Source:, Document No. 2152.

May 1918 Hochland article, “Der russische Mensch,” by Karl Pfleger:

[p.130]... die spezifische russische Religiosität ist Rettung und Heil... mystisch genährte Überzeugung Dostojewskijs ... In der strengsten und möglichst reinen Orthodoxie, verbunden mit hermetischem Abschluß vom ,durchfaulten Westen’, sieht er die einzige Rettung Rußlands und durch Rußlands Vermittlung die Rettung der Welt. Rußland hat eine messianische Weltmission.

Hier wohnen wir der Geburt des Panslawismus aus der national überspannten Orthodoxie bei...

[131] ...

Citation: Karl Pfleger, “Der russische Mensch,” Hochland 15:2:2 (May 1918), S. 125

June 1, 1918 Gasparri to Pacelli:

Most Illustrious Signore,

To avoid journalistic polemics to which my letter to His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, could give rise, I believe it opportune to clarify the meaning, which was abundantly evident in itself, of my words.

Before anything else I must recall that the Times of London published a letter in which the following words were attributed to me: “While there would be reason to give thanks that the Holy City has been redeemed from infidels, it is to be lamented that the liberation has been accomplished by a Power that does not have the true faith.” Having never said anything like this, I sent a telegram of protest and denial to Eminence Bourne, followed up then by the well-known letter saying that England, in preference to the other Powers, would give assurance of impartiality, respect for established rights, and improvement of the Holy Places.

My thought in the referenced words is the following: England gives greater confidence than all those Governments that newspapers, men of state, or agreements have indicated as possible candidates, whether alone or in combination with others, as the eventual successor to Turkey in Palestine. Who are those Governments?

Among the secret documents published in Petersburg there is a signed agreement of March 6, 1917 which says that to assure the religious interests of the Allied countries, Palestine with the Holy Places will be placed under a special regime in conformity with an accord among Russia, France and England. In the same agreement is proposed the establishment of an independent Arab kingdom, and some have dropped the name of Jerusalem as the capital. It is also well known that important men of state have shown their favor for the reconstitution of the Jewish kingdom. Now neither Russia nor an Arab or Jewish kingdom gives any assurance of religious freedom, of respect for established rights, of improvement. It has likewise been affirmed that Palestine would be governed by an international commission composed of Representatives of England, France, Russia, Italy and perhaps also other nations; now apart from the most serious drawbacks that such a mixed regime would present, apart from the fears that the presence of Russia would engender, the Holy See would really not look favorably upon the presence of Italy, since its current distressing situation would prevent it from having the frequent interactions with the Italian government that would thereby be necessary. Finally France, in a threatening pro-memoria reaching the Holy See by indirect paths, says that with the end of the French protectorate in the Middle East, “The Government of the Republic having no longer any interest in defending the privileges in which it will no longer henceforth have any part, will be able eventually to be led to fix anew the objects of its policy in the Middle East and consequently allow the triumph of the demands formulated by the Greeks or the Armenians”; now, since the French protectorate in the Middle East, with the end of the Turkish domination, will automatically pass away as a matter of law, by the very nature of things, without any act by the Holy See, it follows that, having to take account of these threats, the Holy See would have to prefer the domination by England alone.

This and nothing else is the meaning of my words. Your Excellency shall communicate this to His Excellency the Chancellor and arrange that all polemics about this be avoided in the press.

With sentiments of sincere and distinct esteem ...

Source:, Document No. 2995.

June 4, 1918 Pacelli to Gasparri:

Re: Report about profanation of tombs and churches – News about Palestine

Most Reverend Eminence,

Mr. von Bergen of the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, with file No. 29529/78191 of this May 31st charges me to transmit to the Holy See the here-enclosed report about “Profanation of tombs and churches committed by the French and the English – with 31 original photographs.”

He communicates to me at the same time that, according to reports reaching Berlin, England has conceived a plan to establish itself in Palestine with the help of Zionism; that in Cairo, an English Zionist Commission of Study has been meeting for some time, in which French Israelites also are said to be taking part, to examine the situation on the spot. It is said that another Commission, composed of American and Italian Israelites, will soon leave for Palestine...

Source:, Document No. 3049.

June 24, 1918 Pacelli to Gasparri:

Re: Concerning recommendations in favor of Italian prisoners of war

Following up my respectful Report No. 7266 dated June 17th, I have the honor to transcribe for Your Most Reverend Eminence the here-enclosed excerpt, translated from the German, of the following letter that reached me today from the priest Aloys Beckmann, Military Chaplain at Cellelager [prisoner-of-war camp near Celle in northern Germany], to whom I have turned in several cases for news and recommendations about Italian prisoners of war interned there.

“The Camp Commandant has received, especially in recent days, via Your Excellency, numerous recommendations in favor of Italian officers who are prisoners of war, in part also with the petition to inquire whether they could be considered for an exchange. The last of these came indeed from the Holy Father himself. However, I am constrained to communicate to Your Excellency that the recommended officers, in great part – not to say a majority – are not worthy of the special concern of His Holiness or Your Excellency. That goes also for the officers who have been recommended to me personally as the Camp Chaplain. Repeatedly I have had to attest that they were unbelievers and not only were not frequenting church services, but were trying moreover to exercise a bad influence on their companions. Among the prisoners recently recommended to the Command are a large number of Jews, atheists, men openly hostile to religion, and indeed a considerable portion of them have venereal diseases. These latter cannot be considered for an exchange. These recommendations in favor of such persons have given rise to strong disapproval and discontent among the good Catholic Italian officers...”

I replied to the excellent and zealous Chaplain in similar terms to those I already used with the aforementioned Dr. Rolshoven (cf. encrypted cable Report No. 7266); moreover, I asked him to indicate to me the names of the good officers, to whom he alludes, so that I can recommend them also, adding indeed that, if any of them have need of monetary help (not being, however, in a position, under the present local circumstances, to send food or articles of clothing), I am ready to provide it to them.

In the hope that I have not too poorly interpreted the August and charitable intentions of the Holy Father, and awaiting those instructions that Your Eminence may be pleased to impart to me in this regard, I humbly bow to kiss the Sacred Purple ...

Source:, Document No. 2175.

July 2, 1918 Gasparri to Pacelli:

Dearest Monsignore,

I have received your no. 7191, concerning my letter to Eminence Bourne.

The reason or motive that occasioned my letter was essentially the following. In the Times and the Morning Post of London, it was published that I had deplored that Palestine had been occupied by a Power that did not have the true faith, that is England. I replied that this is absolutely false, that indeed I maintained that England, in preference to all other Powers, would give assurance of order, respect for established rights, and improvement of the Holy Places. In truth, I believed I had written: in preference to other Powers, but I am moving on.

With the words: in preference, etc., I did not intend and could not intend to make a comparison between England and all the other Powers of the whole world, but between England and the other co-occupying Powers, that is France, Italy and (at least in rights under agreement) Russia; and the other Powers mentioned in speeches by highly important men of state and the most serious newspapers as probable successors to Turkey in Palestine, that is the Greeks, the Arabs and the Hebrews. The other Powers of the world, Germany, America, Austria, etc., not excluding Turkey, were not in question, thus my words could not refer to them. Now I certainly prefer England to all the other Powers named above, as better explained in my previous letter.

This is the meaning of my words; I expect You to get that into the thick skulls of the Germans.

Affectionate greetings,


Source:, Document No. 2468.

July 19, 1918 Gasparri to Pacelli:

Most Illustrious and Reverend Signore,

According to reports reaching the Holy See from a reliable source, currents adverse to Catholicism are sharply advancing in Poland, especially on the part of the Hebrews and the Protestants, for whom the Germans would create a solid public situation in the new State, nor, before having it assured to them, will they turn over to the Polish Government – as it seems – the “Religious” game that is in their hands. The anti-Catholic current is making itself felt in such a way that Deputy Bell of the Center Party, in the Reichstag session of June 8th, unambiguously denounced the systematic exclusion of Catholics from being employees and Officials in the occupied countries, particularly in the General Government of Warsaw.

Also in Ukraine the Germans are said to be favoring the Orthodox over the Catholics, as seen also in the enclosed Proclamation of the Ukrainian Hetman to the populations of Chelm and Podlachia, which was examined and censored by the occupation Authorities, who have prohibited the Corpus Christi procession outside the Churches and instead permitted the infamous [Russian Orthodox Metropolitan] Evlogij to lord it over them.

Not even the most urgent and necessary request for the liberty of the Catholic Church, that is, the abolition of the Russian laws against it, could be realized up to now. The Polish Bishops already presented this request to the State Council, but it is absolutely defenseless and powerless, while on the other hand, the occupation Authorities who alone were able to bring it about, do not appear disposed to do it before having seen about the Protestants and Hebrews, and before having “administered” ecclesiastical property.

These reports have caused displeasure and concern to the Holy Father, Who, via myself, is involving Your Illustrious Excellency to take desired efforts to obtain at least the abolition of the laws issued by the Russian Government against the liberty of the Catholic Church. You may be able, for this purpose, to make appeal to the profound Catholic sentiments of the Reich Chancellor [Count Hertling], or to request prudently the intervention of some influential Center Party Deputy and other German Personages.

His Holiness fully understands all the difficulties and all the delicacy of the matter, but since he also knows Your noble zeal and Your tested prudence, he is certain that You will succeed in obtaining some amelioration of the situation of the Catholic Church in the territories in the East occupied by the German armies...

Source:, Document No. 3470.

Nov. 11, 1918 Nuncio Pacelli from Munich to Cardinal Gasparri in Rome, by encrypted telegram:

His Excellency the Archbishop of Munich came to me and represented to me that if the Armistice clause about the continuation of the blockade of Germany should remain in effect, it appears that hundreds of thousands of city dwellers, in Belgium alone, could die of hunger, and this would work a horrific catastrophe. He therefore supplicates His Holiness to take opportune steps with the President of the United States and the Entente governments to forestall such a tremendous misfortune.

The same Most Excellent Archbishop, considering that my person is exposed to near and grave danger, has confidentially suggested to me that I should betake myself to Swiss territory; Your Most Reverend Eminence may wish to deign to impart opportune instructions, both for me and for the personnel of the Nunciature.

Source: Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State (Holy See), Section for Relations with States, Vatican Secret Archives, AA.EE.SS., Stati Ecclesiastici, 1914-1918, pos. 1317, fasc. 470, vol. XII, fol. 390r, reprinted at, Document No. 6092.

Nov. 15, 1918 Nuncio Pacelli to Cardinal Gasparri, from Munich:

Most Reverend Eminence,

In your esteemed detailed letter of October 23rd, Your Most Reverend Eminence deigned to request explanations concerning the causes of Germany’s enormous catastrophe on the Western Front. Although the various Reports after this event that should have arrived in Rome could have amply clarified this question, I am nonetheless carrying out my duty to summarize concisely here the causes of the events:

1. The first cause of the German defeat was the active intervention of the United States, which, sending to France a huge army composed of young, fresh elements and armed with the most copious quantities of high quality war materiel, reversed the military situation in short order in favor of the Entente, forcing the German troops to begin their retreat. Especially effective were the actions of innumerable tanks, whose assaults were irresistible. Germany realized too late the formidable error it committed when it announced unrestricted submarine warfare, which provoked America’s entry into the war. The military authorities, following the usual prideful mentality that led them to underestimate the enemy, laughed off the idea of American intervention at the time, thinking it was an American bluff and that the United States, so far away and so little prepared for war, without military training, without officers, etc., would not be able to create terrible forces to overpower the invincible German organization... Then in July of last year, when Deputy Erzberger demonstrated to the principal Reichstag Commission the lack of success of the [submarine warfare] enterprise and provoked the vote on the well-known “Peace Resolution,” and shortly after he read to a Center Party meeting a secret report from [Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister] Czernin to the Emperor, which outlined the future in rather grim terms, the pan-Germanists and militarists, in their blindness and crazy pride, pounced on him, accusing him of defeatism and practically of treason against the fatherland, making him live it down and practically disavow the “Resolution” itself.

2. Simultaneously with the growth of the power of the armies of the Entente, by contrast, the strength of the armies of the Central Powers became weaker. The diminished fighting spirit of the German troops was already apparent during the offensive on the Western Front from March to July last year, as Germany tried to pre-empt, by an audacious strike, the imminent threat of the Americans’ intervention... The reasons for this deterioration were several-fold: (a) the inevitable weariness from four long years of fighting and suffering, (b) the lack of adequate food and clothing, the soldiers often being famished and injured, (c) the active Socialist and Bolshevik propaganda in the ranks of the army, (d) the detrimental influence exercised upon the military, often instigating them to rebellion, by their own family members, who were also worn out by such struggles and privations, whether this influence came by way of letters or above all while they were on leave.

3. The depression in the German army naturally increased when the retreat began around the middle of July. At the beginning of August the Supreme Command decided to pull back the troops upon the old Hindenburg Line, which was considered impregnable, and even though they had to recognize that there was no longer any way to win the war, yet they believed it certain that they would not be conquered and that they would be able to defend indefinitely. Instead, the ever-growing power of the Entente, under the united command of General Foch, continually pressing the offensive and not giving a single day of respite to the German troops, not only made their powerful line waver, but brought, as the even graver result,

4. the collapse of Germany’s allies, of which Austria-Hungary had to surrender not so much because of the military situation (it was still able to maintain its front), as by reason of complete internal dissolution. Nevertheless Germany, even when left alone against an entire world of enemies, could perhaps, with a new levy of manpower, have avoided a breakthrough on its front and a military catastrophe, if the increasingly troubled and restless domestic situation had not constrained it to beg for an armistice and peace at any price, opting for capitulation. With the armistice it got revolution, which overthrew all the thrones and proclaimed the socialist republic.

There is no doubt that if Germany had heeded the suggestions of the Holy See, it would not have been brought to such a sad end. The Chancellor, Mr. von Bethmann Hollweg, had actually agreed to the point proposed by the Holy See, but precisely because of his relative moderation, he was overthrown, seemingly by an attack from Mr. Erzberger, but in reality by the overbearing will of Hindenburg and Ludendorff, who dictated to the Emperor, who, moreover, was a rather unbalanced man and was, along with them, a pan-Germanist and a militarist, and surrounded by pan-Germanists and militarists...

As Your Eminence can well understand, I have not had a possibility of seeing either the Emperor or, up to now, the ex-Chancellor [Count von Hertling] who has retired to his estate at Ruhpolding [Bavaria]; but Your Eminence can be assured that I have shown all the other political and diplomatic men with whom I am in contact the error committed by the governing figures of Germany in persisting in the folly and pride of their warlike way, notwithstanding the suggestions from the Holy See, and I must add that many of them have recognized the truth of this observation...

Source: Vatican Secret Archives, reprinted in Emma Fattorini, Germania e Santa Sede [Germany and the Holy See] (1992), pp. 307-310, and at the online, with Italian original and German translation. The Pacelli Edition is an online searchable database of correspondence between Pacelli's Nunciature in Germany and the Vatican Secretariat of State; it is a project of the University of Münster, Germany, in cooperation with the German Historical Institute in Rome and the Vatican Secret Archive; it is financed by the German Research Foundation.

Nov. 15, 1918 Nuncio Pacelli to Cardinal Gasparri, from Munich:

Most Reverend Eminence,

The revolution in Bavaria exploded suddenly like lightning. The revolutionary leaders themselves did not believe (for all one can suppose) that they had triumphed in that tragic night of November 7th to 8th. They attempted a sudden strike. They speculated on the psychological state of masses eager for peace, starved for bread, wearied by four years of unheard-of sacrifices. The soldiers could be the strong arm of the revolution. Under the weight of a discipline made even more steely by the exigencies of war, they also, tormented by long and painful privations, were easily lured by terrible passion.

To these psychological conditions must be added the example of Russia and the Socialist propaganda in the army. These can be stated as the remote causes of the revolution. It would be a mistaken assessment to believe that the excesses into which the Russian Revolution degenerated would be a salutary example for revolutionaries in other countries. What for men of order were slaughters, muggings and massacres, were for men who dreamed and worked for the revolution, events that encouraged them and drove them on to the fulfillment of their cruel ideals. Then Socialist propaganda in the ranks of the army was so widespread and continuous that it could not fail to contribute its effects.

However (much as the future was rather obscure), no one predicted and no one could predict that such a storm would occur in Bavaria for the first time and so suddenly explode.

The Socialist Party and the Free Workers Associations had planned a big demonstration for peace at 3 o’clock on Thursday the 7th of this month, remembering on that day the anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Similarly inclined to celebrate on this occasion the union of the Socialists with the Independents (the left wing of the Socialists), orators from both parties spoke on this day. Naturally the Independents put forward a radical order of the day that went from social providence for the workers and soldiers to the abdication of the Kaiser and the renunciation of the Crown Prince.

Already during the speeches and the demonstration that followed them, the soldiers agitated among the crowd (which was counted at several hundreds of thousands of persons), and this military agitation was headed up by the publicist Kurt Eisner and by Deputy Gandorfer. Spirits were fired up, calm went out the window, and riots were threatening. After shouting “down with the King” and the Kaiser beneath the Residence Palace until a late hour, the revolutionary leaders wanted to attempt a coup. Soldiers and the crowd went off toward the barracks. What happened there is indescribable. Everything was devastated, stolen by the unrestrained rebellion, without any limitations from the mob of soldiers. The officials were forced to flee, disarmed and beaten, forced to tear off the national cockade from their hats, which all the soldiers had already taken off and thrown away. No battalion, no company, no soldier from the garrison remained faithful to his King (as ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs von Dandl told me the day after). Thus it was that, developing tumultuously, in the rooms of a beer hall, a first council of soldiers and workers, the revolution took possession of the telegraph and telephone offices, the central train station, and all the public administrative buildings. And meanwhile throughout the night there was sporadic firing of rifles, machine guns, hand grenades, which the soldiers had seized in the barracks, sacking all the munition depots...

Nonetheless the population, if unable to sleep tranquilly during that night, believed in general that conflicts between police and demonstrators had provoked the continuous shooting. Instead Munich, waking up on the morning of the 8th of this month, was surprised by the news in the newspapers that Bavaria had become a Social Democratic Republic.

In fact in this historic night the revolutionaries took over the Landtag and constituted there a Provisional Council of workers, soldiers and farmers, proclaiming Bavaria a democratic and socialist republic and overthrowing the Wittelsbach Dynasty...

When Kurt Eisner retained for himself the presidency of the Ministerial Cabinet, he said he did it because his persona was the symbol of the revolution. He was right. To sketch his person is to summarize what the revolution in Bavaria truly represents. Atheist, radical socialist, implacable propagandist, intimate friend of Russian nihilists, head of all the revolutionary movements of Munich, imprisoned any number of times for political crimes, and moreover a Galician Jew, Kurt Eisner is the flag, the program, the soul of the revolution, which rages in Bavaria and menaces its religious, political and social life. It is said that in the first secret session Eisner had exclaimed, “Now we need to be done with the priests.” The other Ministers found that the moment had not yet arrived. And in fact the tactic of the revolutionaries is explained for the time being as not offending the sentiments of the population. They are making it believed that they will give full freedom of worship, that there will not be another Kulturkampf, that conscience will be respected. And meanwhile the Minister of Education is a Protestant and a well-known anti-clerical.

Thanks be to God, Bavarian Catholics have taken a stand. The newspaper of Catholics in Munich, the Bayerischer Kurier, in an explicit, energetic article, stated that Catholics will not provoke disorders, but, trusting in the promise of freedom by the revolutionary Government, are demanding this freedom for religion, for the schools, and for the exercise of worship, and will defend with drawn swords the rights and goods of the Church.

The Catholic labor associations, in a solemn assembly, affirmed the same program. The Bishops are consulting with each other to establish a unified and energetic line of conduct. The Center Party is not asleep. The clergy and religious Orders are seeking to save themselves and save their rights and their property. The catastrophe is immense, however, and everyone is afraid that the saddest days may be approaching for the Catholic Church in Bavaria. The general opinion is that the men who stand in power will not be able to remain long. Everyone is hoping in the National Assembly elections, everyone is preparing for them. But who is unaware that the elections are held by the Government, which holds the power in its hands? The Monarchy appears gone forever, all the more since the King released the officials from their oath of loyalty, and since, with the Bavarian Monarchy have passed away one after another of the Reigning Houses in Germany, starting with that of the Hohenzollerns. The future appears uncertain and perilous. Bolshevism, anarchy, famine, the disorderly return of the troops from the front, the lack of the most necessary things for them, lodging, work, bread, clothing, are likewise problems of extreme gravity that obscure the present hour, so that the eye fears that it cannot see beyond the present. And as matters stand today, only the Mercy of God can save the Catholic Church in Bavaria.

To complete this report written with a distressed and affected heart, I say that on the day after the proclamation of the Republic, the Diplomatic Corps (consisting only of Germans and the Austrian Minister) met with the Nuncio for a conference about the attitude to take toward the new Government. It was decided unanimously to refrain from any action that could appear to be a recognition of that Government. However, I was asked to demand on behalf of all, permission for free movement, which was granted.

The day after, the telegraph offices having begun to refuse my coded telegrams, the Auditor of the Nunciature, Msgr. Schioppa, went to the Minister President. After an hour in the waiting room among domestics, while soldiers, workers and women, people of a hardly reassuring appearance, had free access to the aforementioned Minister, the Auditor was not received. Having to return the next day, and with difficulty, thanks to the intervention of the Head of Session (employed by the former Government), he could obtain for the Nunciature permission (or better said, recognition of its right) for telegrams in code and for correspondence under seal addressed to the Pontifical Representative in Bern, albeit without couriers and diplomatic guarantees. The behavior of Mr. Eisner was so unencouraging that it would be entirely contrary to the dignity of a Pontifical Nuncio to deal with him...

Source: Vatican Secret Archives, reprinted in Fattorini, Germania e Santa Sede, pp. 310-314, and in the online, with Italian original and German summaries. The Pacelli Edition is an online searchable database of correspondence between Pacelli's Nunciature in Germany and the Vatican Secretariat of State; it is a project of the University of Münster, Germany, in cooperation with the German Historical Institute in Rome and the Vatican Secret Archive; it is financed by the German Research Foundation.

Nov. 20, 1918 Pacelli to Gasparri, from Munich:

Re: On the relationship with the new provisional government

Most Reverend Eminence,

This morning the State Councilor, Mr. von Lössel, came to me; he has been for some time a high official in the Bavarian Foreign Ministry, where he is now remaining temporarily. He told me that he came to visit me in the name and at the instance of the current Minister, Kurt Eisner, and that, through Baron von Ritter, who still continues provisionally in the handling of the Affairs of the Bavarian Legation, the constitution of the new Government has been communicated to the Holy See. Mr. von Lössl insinuated to me at the end that, if I were to pay a reciprocal visit to the Ministry, the Minister himself would come to his office, where I could thus meet him. For my part, I limited myself to thanking the aforesaid State Councilor for his visit, adding that in the afternoon I would give him a response to his proposal. Then I disclosed to him that tomorrow I will depart for Switzerland, but I noted that it is a matter of ordinary temporary sick leave.

In the afternoon hours, according to my promise, I verbally made it known by way of Monsignor Auditor to Mr. von Lössl that I did not find it opportune, at the current moment, to visit. Monsignor Schioppa stated in my name that I did not intend to create any conflict nor to give offense to the Government or to the person of the Minister; indeed I fervently hope that in the future, whatever may be the form of the legitimate Government, the relations of the Holy See with Bavaria shall become excellent. Nonetheless (added Mons. Auditor), given the uncertainty at the present moment and the concerns that the current Government is arousing among Catholics, obvious reasons of prudence, as well as necessary considerations about Catholic public opinion (since the press would certainly highlight such a meeting), impose upon the Nuncio an attitude of reserve, in the expectation, rather, that the selfsame Government would give serious guarantees of respect for the rights of the Catholic Church.

The reasons for this response of mine were the following: 1st) The current Government, which moreover is only provisional, is composed of atheists, Jews, protestants, all Socialist revolutionaries, with whom it does not appear that an Apostolic Nuncio can have decent relations. Particularly debatable then is the person of Foreign Minister Kurt Eisner, Galician Hebrew, many times convicted and incarcerated for political crimes. 2nd) The proposed meeting would have produced, I believe, the worst impression among Catholics and indeed among all men of order. 3rd) The Government currently wishes to have the appearance of being in good relations with the Apostolic Nunciature, to calm Catholics and thus weaken their opposition in the upcoming elections, apart from that - but carrying out afterwards, naturally, when it feels completely secure, its anti-religious program. That is why, while in Saxony and Protestant Prussia the respective provisional Governments have already announced the separation of State and Church, the Bavarian Government has instead held back, for now, as it does not want to irritate the sensibilities of the Catholic population at the moment. In accepting this meeting, I would have played the game of the revolutionary and anti-religious Government. 4th) Monsignor Archbishop here (as he himself narrated to me a few days ago) not only refused to receive a committee of the Soldiers’ Council that was presented to him, but did not even want to go to the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, who indeed showed his surprise at that. 5th) None of the other members of the Diplomatic Corps resident in Munich have gone to the Foreign Ministry. It is really true, however, that the Sovereigns by whom they were accredited have all lost their thrones. 6th) Also the form in which this visit or meeting was proposed seemed to me abnormal and not very convenient. The Minister, who has been in power for thirteen days, has not yet notified the Diplomatic Corps of his entry into office, in any way, according to rule, indeed has somewhat pretended to ignore the Nunciature, whose right to send encoded telegrams was recognized only with difficulties (as I already had the honor to report to Your Most Reverend Eminence). And now I would have had to present myself at an introductory meeting in the office of a subordinate official, with the sole purpose of then having it announced to the public that the Apostolic Nuncio went to visit Kurt Eisner, with whom he is in good relations. 7th) I wanted, nevertheless, in order to avoid needless frictions, to remove from my refusal any character of harshness, and I therefore had it communicated by Monsignor Auditor in the terms referenced above.

I would have wanted to consult with Monsignor Archbishop here, before giving my response, but he is absent from Munich and will not return until tomorrow evening. Moreover, it was impossible to wait longer, since Mr. von Lössl expected a decision the same day.

In the hope that my conduct cannot fail to merit the superior approbation of Your Eminence, bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple ...

Source:, Document No. 234.

Nov. 28, 1918 Schioppa to Gasparri:

Re: Immediate Guilt for the War

Most Reverend Eminence, Following up report No. 3269 of December 30, 1917, I believe it my duty to report to Your Most Reverend Eminence concerning an event that for some days has occupied all the German press, which certainly will have a large echo abroad as well, and which has produced and undoubtedly will produce notable political consequences.

The Bayerische Staatszeitung (No. 275 of Nov. 26th) reproduced the following official note: “Bavarian Minister President and Foreign Minister Eisner recently presented to the Central Government a proposal to publish the files about the origins of the war. This proposal is dictated by the conviction that only by means of the full truth can the people possess that trust which is the precondition for a peace according to the desire of the people themselves. The Bavarian Minister President, for his part, will undertake to publish from the Bavarian diplomatic documents those files that will clarify the prehistory of the world war. First of all will be published some details taken from reports by the Bavarian Ambassador in Berlin, Count Lerchenfeld. In a report of July 18, 1914, the Bavarian Ambassador in Berlin, Count Lerchenfeld, speaks of the relations of the Berlin Government and the most unfortunate Austrian Ultimatum to Serbia.”

The text of said report follows, a text which I have the honor to enclose herewith (Attachment I). According to it, Germany appeared directly culpable for the outbreak of the war, since it was perfectly aware of the content of the Austrian Ultimatum to Serbia.

This publication by the Bavarian Government was greeted by the majority of the press with the strongest reprobation, although it conformed to the necessity of the people being illuminated about the origins of the war. “But it is another thing,” wrote Germania, “if a single State or the representative of a single State should do it by its own policy, which, more or less directly, leans on that man of State among our enemies who undoubtedly wishes the worst upon us, and who will certainly want to frustrate any political and diplomatic action by the Central Government in the interest of the German people.”

And here the newspaper makes an attack on Mr. Kurt Eisner, which is worth the pain of reproducing: “The question is posed (says Germania): who really is Mr. Kurt Eisner.” The public knows him only recently as Bavarian Minister President, as this representative of the people pridefully proclaims himself. We do not want to attack his person if we are tempted to verify that east-Galician Jewish origin hiding under the German-sounding name Eisner and those grand lordly manners this representative of the proletariat assumed in a salon-car.” (In fact Mr. Eisner, in his recent excursion from Munich to Berlin and back again, traveled in a special royal train.) “But we must give greater importance to the fact that he is in continuous relations with the Prime Minister of the French Republic, Clemenceau, as Eisner himself declared yesterday in the conference of the Federated States of Germany, saying that he knows the situation of the Entente not from the newspapers, but from personal relations.”

In addition to the reprobation by the press, there are other facts to note concerning the aforesaid Bavarian publishing, including

1st) The Bavarian Legation to Berlin has communicated that the published report was not written by Ambassador Count Lerchenfeld, but by Dr. Hans von Schön.

2nd) The then Bavarian Ministers of Education, of Justice, of Finance, and of Communications have declared to the current Minister President of Bavaria that until now they had no knowledge, either officially or privately, of the mentioned report and the facts contained in it.

3rd) The Foreign Minister of Berlin has published in this regard the following: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has protested against the publication made in Munich about the prehistory of the war...”

Source:, Document No. 3042.

Nov. 28, 1918 Schioppa to Gasparri:

Re: Transmission of a petition from the Archbishop of Munich

Report no. 11066

Most Reverend Eminence,

The Archbishop of Munich has interested me in making his here-enclosed petition come to the August Throne of the Holy Father, concerning the right of appointment to Parish Churches that the current revolutionary Bavarian Government might presume for itself as successor to the rights of the former Monarchy.

The petition was accompanied by a letter addressed to me in which Archbishop von Faulhaber says: “We Bishops are all convinced that it would be too broad a power to concede to the new Government the patronal rights of the Royal Government. Moreover, we are no less convinced that without tolerance and restraint, the separation of State and Church will be immediately required in Bavaria, and the clerics in these times of misery would be condemned to extreme poverty... It would be very important for the discussions to be held in the upcoming Conference of the Bavarian Bishops schedule for the 10th and 11th of December, to have the decision of the Holy Father, or at least a ‘provisoinal instruction.’”

Beyond this letter, there is associated with the petition an opinion from the Bishop of Regensburg, which Archbishop von Faulhaber has requested that I hold in the Nunciature Archives, but which I believe it my duty to send, here-enclosed, to Your Most Reverend Eminence for a complete understanding of the issue. Concerning this opinion, Archbishop von Faulhaber has told me that it cannot be taken into consideration, because the Ministry has already been wary of the intention of the Bishops to play for time.

In a conversation I then had with the aforesaid Archbishop of Munich, he said to me that, since the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs is pushing for the appointment to vacant parishes, he will make it known to him that the Bishops do not have the right to make a decision on their own in this regard, that the issue has already been carefully explained to the Holy See and that one needs to await the decision that the Holy Father will deign to make.

Meanwhile Archbishop von Faulhaber urgently requests to care be taken to make the implored decision as soon as possible, even though he assured that there will not be any harm if the Parishes remain vacant for yet some time, but that this time could not be prolonged to more than three or four weeks.

In asking Your Eminence to be pleased to place the aforesaid petition in the venerated Hands of the Holy Father, I have the honor to bow humbly to kiss the Sacred Purple ...

Source:, Dokt No 251

November 1918 Hochland article by Eduard Stadtler, “Der revolutionäre Geist in Rußland. Eine Studie zur Entstehung der russischen Revolution”:

Der Einfluß der revolutionären Bewegung Westeuropas auf Rußland war stets ein eigenartiger. Die Revolution von 1789 hat Rußland seinerzeit direkt gar nicht berührt. Während in Westeuropa die Pariser Weltgeschehnisse tiefe Wirkung ausübten, blieb man im zaristischen Ostreiche wie außerhalb der Einflußsphäre dieses fern im Westen sich abspielenden Dramas. Dafür aber wirkte die Revolution indirekt um so stärker: die antirevolutionäre Reaktion, welche als Gegenwirkung gegen den stürmischen Radikalismus der französischen Revolution in Frankreich und in den zum Miterleben gezwungenen Nachbarstaaten sich auslebte, kam ausgerechnet in dem von der Revolution unberührt gebliebenen Rußland am schärfsten zum Ausdruck. Paul I. hat diese Reaktion nach innen ebenso maßlos durchgeführt, wie sie Alexander l. und Nikolaus l. nach außen in den Beziehungen zur europäischen Staatenwelt zur Verwendung brachten. Alexander l., die Seele der Heiligen Allianz, gestützt auf die rohe Kraft seines mehr außerhalb der westeuropäischen Kultursphäre gewordenen Staates, hat den reaktionären Druck gegen das revolutionäre Frankreich mit allen ihm zur Verfügung stehenden ideellen und materiellen Mitteln wirken lassen.

Auch die Revolution von 1848 prallte an den undurchdringlichen autoritären Mauern des zaristischen Rußlands ab. Sie hatte desgleichen wieder die indirekte Wirkung, daß die gegen die revolutionären Ansrürme Westeuropas aufgerichteten reaktionären Schutzdämme verstärkt wurden. Auch dieses Mal tobte die russische Reaktion gegen die abendländische Revolution im Innern Rußlands, und es fällt nicht auf, daß in Rußland die Jahre 1848-1855 im Zeichen der höchsten Reaktion standen. Man kann diese Wirkung der Revolutionen von 1789 und 1848 mit den Wirkungen vergleichen, welche hysterische Gespensterfurcht auf unreife Geister ausübt.

Auf den vorwärtsstrebenden Teil des russischen Volkes mußte diefe Gespensterfurcht im Sinne stärkeren Antriebes zur Erreichung der verbotenen Frucht wirken. Deshalb sind denn auch aus diesen durch die inneren Zustände Rußlands nicht gerechtfertigten Reaktionsbewegungen heraus, die sich an den revolutionären Bewegungen des Auslandes ihr Objekt suchten, in Rußland je und je kleinere oder größere politische Bewegungen und revolutionäre Putsche entstanden. Zunächst der Dekabristenaufstand von 1825, der als erste bemerkenswerte Nachahmung der Großen Französischen Revolution anzufehen ist. War die Reaktion von Paul l. und Alexander l. gewiffermaßen Importware vom Westen, so trug auch der Dekabristenaufstand als Gegenbewegung durchaus den Stempel des ,Westlertums’, denn er wurde inszeniert von jenem Teil des Offizierskorps, welcher von den westeuropäischen Schlachtfeldern die Sehnsucht nach der politischen Kultur Westeuropas, vor allem Frankreichs, mit in die Heimat brachte. Anschließend [172] sind zu nennen die weniger tumultuarischen Freiheitsbewegungen von 1840 bis 1848, besonders aber die große Freiheitsbewegung von 1855-1862, die dann auch einen mit dem Namen Alexander II. verbundenen gesetzlich konstitutionellen Ausdruck fand. Teils unter dem Einfluß des chaotischen revolutionären Gedankensystems Westeuropas, teils unter dem Druck der unsystematischen, gefühlmäßig extremen Art des russischen Volkscharakters, teils auch infolge der unorganischen Entwicklung des russischen Staates endeten diese Bewegungen stets in jäher Weife mit einem Ausbruch reaktionärer Gegenströmungen. Die politischen Bewegungen, ob fie konstruktiv oder zerstörend, ob sie von oben oder von unten kamen. entbehrten nie des radikalen Zuges und trugen deshalb keimartig die Gegenbewegung schon in sich. Zwischen den genannten freiheitlich-revolutionären Zeiten liegen denn auch stets wie Schluchten zwischen Berghöhen reaktionäre Perioden.

Im Jahre 1905 brach dann mitten in den Erschütterungen eines verlorenen Krieges die erste ,Große’ russische Revolution aus. Sie hatte einen halb bürgerlich-demokratischen. einen halb proletarisch-sozialistischen Charakter und war recht und schlecht ein gemischtes Plagiat der Revolution von 1789 und der Revolution von 1848 mit starker Betonung der verfassungspolitischen Tendenzen dieser beiden Revolutionen. Nach außen hin trat als Errungenschaft dieser Revolution die Duma in Erscheinung, ein Wechselbalg. der niemanden zur Freude geriet. weil er gegenueber den immer schärfer in Rußland sich herausarbeitenden extremen Richtungen von rechts und links eine viel zu geringe innere, zeitgemäße, pofitive Kraft befaß. Als konstitutionelle Einfuhrware aus dem Westen war die Duma entweder ein Spielzeug in der Hand der Reaktion oder eine revolutionäre Waffe in der Hand der Revolution. Und es kann deswegen nicht wunder nehmen, daß auch die Duma die extremen Pendelbewegungen reaktionärer und revolutionärer Kräfte nicht zu mäßigen imstande war, daß sie vielmehr selbft von den Bewegungen mitgerissen wurde.

Auf die Revolutionsbewegungen von 1905 bis 1907 folgte automatisch eine scharfe Reaktionsbewegung, die in direktem Verhältnis stand zu der radikalen Kraft der Erschütterung des Jahres 1905.

So stellte das Rußland des 19. Jahrhunderts einlebendiges Revolutionsfeld dar; nur dem Nichtkenner konnte es aus weiter Ferne den Eindruck eines politischen Kirchhofes machen. In Wirklichkeit schossen die revolutionäre Saat des Westens und das reaktionäre Gegengift in wildem Wettbewerb üppig empor.

Dringt man nun von der Oberfläche geschichtlichen Geschehens in die Tiefen der russischen Volksseele hinab, um die dem staatlichen Werdegang zugrundeliegenden geistigen und sozialen Kräfte der russischen Kultur zu ergründen, so staunt man über die ,revolutionäre’ Veranlagung und die radikale Tendenz dieses auf den ersten Blick so fromm-demütigen und apathischen Volkes. Dann wird der tiefe Zusammenhang der revolutionären Ereignisse Rußlands bloßgelegt. Man gewinnt dabei die Überzeugung, daß [173] der revolutionäre Geist in wenig Ländern so tiefe Wurzeln geschlagen hat wie gerade in Rußland.

Revolutionärer Geist ist das Streben nach einer solchen Aenderung bestehender Zustände, daß durch die Vernichtung des Bestehenden und durch plötzliche radikale Umwälzung der Neuaufbau ,von Grund auf’ ermöglicht wird. Es steht dieser Geist im Gegensatz zum Evolutionsgeist, zum organischen Prinzip. Hier geht das Streben auf Formveränderung von innen heraus, nach den Gesetzen der biologischen Erneuerung, durch natürliche, allmähliche, konsequente Fortentwicklung. Es sind zwei Weltanschauungen und zwei Temperamente zugleich, die sich dabei entgegenstehen.

Revolutionäres Denken und radikales Temperament wurzeln sehr tief in den gewaltigen Gegensätzen, welche Rußland kennzeichnen. Eine Überwindung dieser Gegensätze durch Synthese ist bislang noch nicht geglückt. Die schroffste Antithese, die krassesten Widersprüche sind und bleiben das Charakteristische dieses Landes.

Da sind zunächst die klimatisch-geographischen Zuftände Rußlands. Das extreme kontinentale Klima mit seinem langen, grausam kalten Winter und seiner kurzen, heißen Sommerzeit ohne die zarten und versöhnenden Übergänge einer lieblichen Frühlingszeit, eines sonnigen Herbstes konnte nicht ohne Rückwirkungen auf den Charakter des Volkes sein. Jener schlaffe, fatalistische, ergebene Zug, der den Russen kennzeichnet, ist sicher ein physiologischer Reflex auf den Druck, den äußerste Kälte und äußerste Hitze auf den Menschen auszuüben vermögen. Gleichzeitig bedingt diese klimatische Sprunghaftigkeit von äußerster Kälte zu äußerster Hitze jenen plötzlichen, unvermittelten, unorganischen, jenen radikalen und revolutionären Zug, der nur scheinbar dem passiven Grundzug zuwiderläuft, ihn in Wirklichkeit aber in ganz natürlicher Weise ergänzt.

In derselben Richtung wirken dann auch die Raumbedingungen des Landes. Die Unendlichkeit dieser Raumverhältniffe, die unermeßliche Weite und Breite der russischen Erde nehmen dem Volke den europäischen Sinn für den Wert der Zeit, besser gesagt, für den Wert der Minute und für den Wert der Intensitäts- und Qualitätsarbeit. Die ,breite’ russische Art liebt es, sich der Fülle der Raumquantität vertrauensvoll und träumerisch hinzugeben.

Wenn der Mensch das Unendlichkeitsmotiv, angewandt auf Raum und Zeit, auf sich wirken läßt, verfällt er bekanntlich einer passiven, mystischen Gottergebenheit, die seinen Willen zur Tat gewissermaßen außerhalb des Raumes und der Zeit stellt. Dabei wird der Mensch der irdischen Tat unfähig. So geht’s dem Russen in Bezug auf das Verhältnis zur Raumunendlichkeit seines Landes. Seine Vorstellungen von Vaterland, Staat, Gesellschaft und Volkswirtschaft werden gewissermaßen dem Augenblick entrückt, in die Weite geworfen, von der Wirklichkeit abstrahiert. Traumhaftes und Emotionales macht sich überall da breit, wo der Zwang zur Tat und der Sinn für die Wirklichkeit den Willen [174] bestimmen sollten. Auch diese passive, traumhafte Stellungnahme zu Raum und Zeit bedingen dann jeweilig, wenn die Not am größten, plötzlich Ausbrüche des lang verhaltenen Tätigkeitstriebs, radikale Explosionen der Naturkraft des russischen Willens gegen die Widerstaende, welche Außenwelt und Innenwelt der russischen Natur entgegensetzen.

So ist der radikale, revolutionäre Geist etwas Ur-russischen. Er ist der Passivität und Schlaffheit der russischen Volksseele wesensverwandt, im Sinne der notwendigen, temporären Ergänzung, des natürlichen Gegenpols. Die passive Art und die revolutionär-aktivistische Art des russifschen Wesens stehen zueinander wie weibliche Art und männliche Art in der Menschheit. Man sagt allgemein, der russische Volkscharakter sei durch und durch weiblich, die geistige Rezeptivität sei größer als die Produktivität, das Gemütsleben trete beherrschend in den Vordergrund, auffallend sei der Mangel an männlichen Willensmerkmalen, wie Stetigkeit, Konsequenz, Entschiedenheit, Machtstreben., der Russe sei irrational wie das Gemüt, das ihn beherrsche; aber das ist nur die eine Seite der russischen Natur, allerdings die augenfällige. Daneben ist der Russe auch zeitweilig von roher, ungebundener Männlichkeit. Das merkt man schon bei seinem unberechenbaren, sprunghaften Draufgängertum im Denken und bei seinem noch unberechenbareren, stoßhaften Tun und Wollen. Der Russe denkt und handelt plötzlich, fliegend, ruckweise, blitzartig, im Nu der Welt und der Wirklichkeit entrückt. Immer ,radikal’ und ,revolutionär’! Oft tragen ihn dabei kindlicher Instinkt oder sicherer Takt glücklich durch den philosophischen Urwald. Aber die Fähigkeit zum systematischen; planvollen, organischen Verstehen oder gar zu bedächtigem, allseits gesichertem Streben und Wirken geht ihm im allgemeinen ab. Gegeben ist den Russen, wie Puschkin sagt, die glückliche Regung, doch fehlt's am Vollenden. Puschkin hätte besser von blinder Regung gesprochen, die erst durch die Begleitumstände glücklich oder unglücklich wird. Russische Schriftsteller gehen sogar so weit, diesen Gegensatz unter einen ethischen Maßstab zu stellen.

So stellt sich uns der radikale Geist, die revolutionäre Veranlagung des Russen als eine Eigenart dar, die auf den natürlichen Verhältnissen des Landes ruht und als eine psychologische Reaktion temporär-explosiver Art gegen die urgewaltig der russischen Seele aufgedrückte Passivität charakterisiert werden kann. Unausgeglichen stehen sie nebeneinander, die extrem weibliche, im allgemeinen vorwiegende Passivität und die extrem männliche, doch viel seltenere Aktivität.

Was die Natur des Landes schon an Extremen aufweist, was in der Tiefe der russischen Volksfeele als unausgeglichener Gegensatz lebt, das äußert sich auch in der russischen Geschichte, in der russischen Literatur, vor allem in der russischen Politik. Überall begegnen wir im Leben des russischen Volkes und in den Erscheinungen der russischen Kultur dieser Polarität: langanhaltende feminine Hingabe an irgend eine mehr oder weniger roh und äußerlich waltende Kraft und dann plötzlich das vulkanartige Ausbrechen gegen den übermäßigen Druck dieser Kraft. Mit weib- [175] lichem Duldersinn paßt sich der Russe irgend einem Gegebenen an, ordnet sich sklavisch den Geboten der Umgebung unter, um hin und wieder in unberechenbarer Weise sich Emanzipationsgelüften hinzugeben. Ans Ziel gelangt er beide Male nicht. Denn in beiden Stadien überwiegen Gemüt und Gefühl, das Emotionale. Die Hingabe sowohl wie die Emanzipation arten in blinden Fanatismus aus. Angesichts des unausbleiblichen Mißerfolges schwankt dann die russische Seele in der Beurteilung ihres Könnens und Nichtkönnens zwischen mörderischer Selbstanklage bis zur Selbstvernichtung und leichtherziger Selbstüberschätzung bis zu gotteslästerlicher Überhebung.

Erst durch das Verständnis des oben gekennzeichneten russischen Doppelwesens werden einem sonst ganz rätselhafte Erscheinungen der russischen Politik etwas verständlicher. So z. B. der Gegensatz zwischen ,Westlertum’ und ,Allrussentum’. Im ,Westlertum’ haben wir es mit einer übertriebenen, extremen, oft unsachlichen Verehrung der westlichen Kultur zu tun. In dieser Verehrung finden wir alle kennzeichnenden Eigenheiten des russischen ,Radikalismus’ wieder: überschwengliche Empfänglichkeit für die wirklichen und für die scheinbaren Werte der westeuropäischen Zivilisation, passive Hingabe an dieselben, Unfähigkeit; das Niveau der westlichen Kultur in systematischer Arbeit zu erreichen, plötzliche Ausbrüche radikalen Wollens, um sie sich auf einmal, ,revolutionär’ anzueignen, dann wieder Rückfall in den Fatalismus, in verzweifelnde Gleichgültigkeit. Durch alle Stadien des geistigen Sicheinlebens und des praktischen Kämpfens hindurch bleiben dabei die ,Westler’ gefühlsmäßig ihrem Ideal true, ja der Mißerfolg erhöht nur ihre echt-russische, orientalische Vergötterungssucht gegenüber dem unerreichbaren ,Westen’.

Im ,Allrussentum’ finden wir dasselbe wieder; nur das Objekt ändert sich. Das slavische Ideal tritt an Stelle des ,Westlichen’. Auch hier Überschwang in der gefühlsmäßigen Hinneigung, Radikalismus der Begeisterung, hinreißende Ansätze zur Tat, köstlicher Elan, aber keine Fähigkeit zum Denken nach geordneten; nüchternen Reihen, zum Abwägen, zum zweckmäßigen Aufbauen der Handlungen. Und auch im Verhältnis zwischen ,Westlertum’ und ,Allrussentum’, gerade weil beide irrational gedacht, empfunden und angestrebt werden, wird der Gegensatz im harten Ringen des Alltags nicht abgeschliffen, sondern verschärft. Denn es fehlt an vermittelnden Größen, als da sind nüchterne Verstandesbegabung und Zwang zur Tat.

So erklärt sich auch die ,radikale’ Art des ganzen russischen Parteilebens. Überall ,Maximalismus’, revolutionärer Geist, ,Bolschewismus’. Die Linksströmungen des westeuropäischen Parteilebens haben gerade in Rußland ihre extremste Ausdrucksform gefunden. Die Spannungen zwischen den Idealforderungen der Demokratie und den Zuftänden des gesellschaftlichen und politischen Lebens sind schon in Westeuropa so gewaltig, daß der auf gewaltsame Lösung hinstrebende Massengeist auch dort nur zu leicht dem Radikalismus verfällt. Zum Glück sind in Westeuropa die traditionellen Bindegewalten so stark, daß sie die Staaten im Gleichgewicht [176] erhalten und bei revolutionären Erschütterungen wieder in ein gewisses Gleichgewicht zu bringen imstande sind. Anders in Rußland, wo jene Spannung eine ungeheuer viel größere ist und zugleich die traditionellen Bindegewalten geringeren moralischen inneren Wert haben. In einem solchen Land muß deshalb rebus sic stantibus, der radikale Trieb in den ,fortschrittlichen’ Schichten besonders stark auswachsen. Der Nihilismus, der Anarchismus, der Bolschewismus sind denn auch typische russische Bewegungen, weniger wegen ihres geistigen Gehaltes als wegen ihrer ,radikalen’ Form.

Dasselbe gilt aber auch von den Rechtsströmungen im russischen Parteileben. Der Zarismus ist ja im Grunde genommen auch nichts anderes als eine urrussische Erscheinung der Politik. Das Wesen des Zarismus ist doch der aus Unvermögen und Schwäche gegenüber den Forderungen einer von innen ausgehenden und nach innen gerichteten Staatsentwicklung geborene radikale Drang nach äußerer Bewältigung der schwierigen Aufgabe. Der Zarismus und die ihn stützenden parteipolitischen Rechtsströmungen fußen auf der Voraussetzung, daß die russischen Raum verhältniffe und die ungeheuren Widerstände der russischen Volkskultur weder im Tempo noch mit den Methoden Westeuropas staatlich gebunden und bezwungen werden können. In diesem echt russischen Ohnmachtsgefühl gegenüber dem Zwange zu organischer Gestaltung verlegt sich der Zarismus auf eine den Schwierigkeiten und Widerständen entsprechende extreme Gewaltpolitik. Mildernd wirkten dabei nach außen die Gefühlsmomente der russischen Staatsreligiosität und noch mehr die einer durchgreifenden Gewaltpolitik als unüberwindliches Hindernis entgegentretende ,Raumwirtachaft’.

Das politische Machtmotiv in seiner radikalsten Form ist so charakteristisch für die russische Kultur, daß es über die Sphäre der Parteipolitik und der allgemeinen Staatspolitik auch auf das ganze Geiftesleben Rußlands über gegriffen hat. Man kann ruhig von politischer Radikalisierung oder mit einer anderen Nuance von einer radikalen Politisierung der russischen Geisteskultur reden. In anderen Ländern sind die Zusammenhänge zwischen Literatur und Politik nur lose. In Rußland greifen beide so stark ineinander, daß der Fremde staunt. Die russische Literatur ist durch und durch ,politisch’. Fast alle russischen Dichter und Romanschriftsteller sind zugleich radikale Politiker: sie unterminieren die den Prinzipien freien Geistesschaffens so feindseligen staatlichen Grundlagen des russischen Reiches, sie sabotieren den Zwangsstaat und das Machtmotiv (Nassilje) als Grundlage staatlicher Kultur, sie geben unstaatlich und antistaatlich wirkende Losungen aus, sie höhlen das Staatsgebäude aus, dem sie kulturelle Tragsäulen einzubauen berufen wären. Mit anderen Worten: die russischen Schriftsteller sind Berufsrevolutionäre. Umgekehrt sind fast alle russischen Politiker, besonders im Parteileben und in der Presse, Literaten, Künstler, Poeten. Das zeigt sich schon darin, daß derselbe Mann heute Theaterkritiker oder Theaterregisseur, morgen Parteisekretär, übermorgen Dumakandidat ist. Schauspieler ist ja der Russe von Geburt, und wo anders als auf der Bühne und [177] auf dem Überbrettel moderner Parlamentspolitik kann sich dieses Schauspielertalent ausleben? Auch genügt ein Blick in die russischen Zeitungen, um den Eindruck hervorzurufen, daß da statt politischen Denkens, statt politischen Tatendrangs literarischer Impressionismus herrscht. Wann überlegt sich ein russischer Journalist einen Artikel auf dialektische Sicherheit und auf taktische Wirkung? Ihm genügt der Künstlerstolz einer gelungenen literarischen Schöpfung. Er schreibt aus der Stimmung heraus mit den Schwingen künstlerischer Intuitions, und Phantasiebegabung, meist ohne klar erkanntes Ziel, ohne politisches Zweckwollen, besonders ohne System. Morgen schreibt er ganz anders, nicht aus einer anderen Situation, sondern aus einer anderen Stimmung heraus. Nicht viel anders ist der Parteipolitiker. Er legt seine Seele (Duscha), sein ganzes Gemüt in die Partei aufgaben, gleichsam wie ein Künstler, der sich in seinem Objekt verzehrt. Deshalb ist der russische Parteipolitiker ein Fanatiker par excellence., gefühlsmäßig beweglichen Geistes, stets zu impulsiver Tat bereit.

Es braucht wohl nicht gesagt zu werden, daß diese Verquickung von Politik und von Literatur für das russische Volk als dem Objekt einer literarisch frisierten Revolutionspolitik und einer radikalpolitisch wirkenden Literatur verhängnisvoll werden mußte. Denn so wertvoll es ist, wenn die Politik nicht ohne künstlerische Note ist - da die Politik ja selbft eine Kunst ift -, und so bedeutungsvoll es andererseits bleibt, wenn die Literatur die mannigfaltigen und dank der Verschmelzung von Volkstum und Staat so volkstümlichen Stoffe der Politik nicht achtlos beiseite schiebt, so verderblich ist es, wenn zwischen Politik und Literatur Synthesen zustande kommen, die das Wesen der einen oder der anderen Gattung beeinträchtigen und Wirkungen heraufbeschwören, die dem staatlichen Leben wie der höheren Geisteskultur gleich gefährlich werden.

So reicht die Revolution von 1917 mit ihren Wurzeln tief hinunter in den Urboden der russischen Natur. Ohne Kenntnis der geopolitischen und ideologischen Gründe des jetzigen Geschehens sieht man mit der rein staatspolitischen - und dazu zählt auch die schematisch-parteipolitifche - Erklärungsmethode vor der Monumentalität der russischen Ereignisse ganz hilflos da. Und wozu diese Hilflosigkeit führen kann, zeigt der unerhörte Wirrwarr in der öffentlichen Meinung Deutschlands gegenüber den russischen Fragen und vor allem die ängstlich abwartende, in der Begründung unklare, in der Taktik sprunghafte Politik des Deutschen Reiches gegenüber dem russischen Staatschaos. Da niemand anderer als Deutschland den Wiederaufbau im Osten organisatorisch leiten und durchführen kann, tut um so eingehenderes Studium der treibenden Kräfte der russischen Geschichte und der jetzigen Revolution dringend not. Wie sollen wir sonst Ersatz bieten können für den Verstand, welchen jetzt das russische Volk mit seinem Gefühlsradikalismus bei der revolutionären Vollendung des Tolstoischen Werkes entthront hat? Und was nützt deutsche Organisationskraft, wenn sie blind und kurzsichtig mit den schematischen Mitteln der Bureaukratie zur Bewältigung des russischen Chaos angesetzt wird?

Citation: Eduard Stadtler, “Der revolutionäre Geist in Russland. Eine Studie zur Entstehung der russischen Revolution”, Hochland 16:1:2 (November 1918), S. 171

Dec. 6, 1918 Schioppa to Gasparri:

Re: Transmission of petition

Most Reverend Eminence,

Enclosed herewith I have the honor to send Your Most Reverend Eminence a petition, duly recommended by the Prince-Bishop’s Delegate in Berlin, in which the Administration of the Jewish Women's Association of Berlin asks this Nunciature to implore the exalted intervention of the Holy Father for a cessation of the current persecutions against Jews, especially in Galicia and Poland.

Beseeching Your Eminence to please lay this supplication – if it is so deemed – before the August Throne of His Holiness, humbly bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple ...

Source:, Document No. 2119.

Dec. 7, 1918 Schioppa to Gasparri:

Re: The elections for the new Bavarian Landtag

Finally Minister-President Kurt Eisner had to give in. This morning a proclamation was published in which it was announced that: “The Government of the People’s State of Bavaria orders that the elections for the new Bavarian Landtag will take place on January 12, 1919.”

As I had the honor to report to Your Most Reverend Eminence in my respectful Report No. 11100 of Dec. 2, the main opposition to the convocation of the National Assembly came precisely from the Minister-President. In this he was followed by the Bolshevik Minister for Social Affairs and the Minister for Military Affairs, while all the other members of the Cabinet were for the National Assembly. The will of the Minister-President was then sustained by a ring of iron that was stretched around him and his Ministry through the Night of Revolution since in truth the Provisional Government could not be said to be free. The Councils of workers, soldiers and farmers, which were formed in the dramatic night of 7 to 8 November, elected the Ministers as they pleased, and this is why these Councils want to keep all force in their own hands, wanting to govern together with the Ministers and also have the executive power. The Council of workers, soldiers and farmers of Munich was formed from the dregs of the people, and in first place among them in the night of the Revolution were, in the majority, non-Bavarians, Sailors come for the purpose of Revolution, many Hebrews, and also rabid Bavarians who had already for a long time cried out against the nobility and the clergy...

Source:, Document No. 905.

Dec. 8, 1918 Wochenblatt für die katholischen Pfarrgemeinden Münchens [Weekly Paper for the Catholic Parish Communities of Munich]:

“Calm Yourselves! The Lord Means Well!”

It is time to examine the bad aspects of the state of our Fatherland with the naked eye instead of through darkened glasses, and to observe the many good things the world war has hitherto brought.

Yes indeed: the many good things!

And what would they be?

Russian Czarism, which was always completely hostile toward the Roman Catholic Church, has been overthrown. With their enormous growth in population, the land-grabbing Russians would have been able to march into Berlin without even striking a blow. They would have conquered simply by their numbers. The destruction of this Moloch is to the everlasting credit of Hindenburg and his soldiers, who were thereby the instruments of a higher power. Along with Czarism has disappeared the support for the Orthodox clergy and the entire Schism. The enormous guilt of the year 1054 meets with its punishment...

Note: The name of the Archdiocesan weekly newspaper changed at the beginning of 1919 to Münchener katholische Kirchenzeitung [Munich Catholic Church Newspaper].

Dec. 14, 1918 Schioppa to Gasparri:

... Here in Munich, then, the head of the Spartacist Party is precisely a Hebrew Russian, a certain Dr. Levin...

When the Bolshevik crisis is overcome, it can be trusted that the Bavarian People’s Party will have the majority. To this party are running every day not only new Catholic recruits but Hebrews, Liberals, Generals of the army, in sum all those who recognize in this party the good will to maintain public affairs still on a solid footing...

Source:, Document No. 903.

Dec. 20, 1918 Text of letter from Baron Cramer-Klett to Count Lerchenfeld of the Catholic political party in Bavaria, the Bayerische Volkspartei [Bavarian People’s Party], transmitted this date by the Munich Nunciature to Cardinal Gasparri in Rome:

Right Honorable Herr Count!

In response to the Circular that has come into my possession, please allow me to inform you that I will pay into the designated Account in coming days the sum of __ Marks. [blank in original] According to the schema that was enclosed, approximately one-fourth of this sum would be a charge upon my account. I am ready, if possible, to make a further contribution to the People’s Party, and I am also preparing the way for this, however, as I consider making this allotment. I would not like to join the People’s Party straightaway, yet I pledge it my vote and that of my wife for the upcoming election.

My reasons for not joining are the following: Even though the Bavarian People’s Party stands up for the denominational school in its platform, yet every other part of it is interdenominational and insipid. Thus situations can arise in which the People’s Party must sacrifice Catholic interests in consideration for the great number of non-Catholic voters. Such a party I cannot join, because God’s blessing cannot rest upon it in the future. In this I catch a whiff of Modernism, which is a greater danger than Socialism, because it rages within our fold like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I am convinced that the leading personalities of the People’s Party are themselves not conscious of how dangerous a path they are on...

Source: Baron von Cramer-Klett to Count Hugo von Lerchenfeld auf Köfering und Schönberg, Dec. 13, 1918, reprinted at, Document No. 703.

Dec. 31, 1918 Gasparri to Schioppa by encrypted cable:

I am resending, unchanged, cable 169 of Dec. 27. I have report 11066. It would have been opportune to warn Abp. Faulhaber in time so that he not bring up something that would compromise the Holy See. Now, after the fact, concerning the current Ministry’s presumed appointment to Parish Churches, you shall communicate to the Bavarian Bishops that the Holy See is disposed to examine the needs of the new situation if a new Government in Bavaria is durably constituted and is willing to negotiate with it. In the meantime Bishops, in individual cases, can act on their own, in a way solely de facto, without prejudicing Canon Law principles and without compromising the Holy See, possibly by setting up temporary parish administrators.

Source: Pacelli-Edition, Dokt No 3266

December 1918 Hochland editor Karl Muth’s article “Zur Zeitenwende”:

Wie große Katastrophe unserer Niederlage und deren natürliche Frucht, die politische und soziale Revolution, die mit noch unübersehbaren Folgen über uns hereingebrochen ist, haben uns jenem schon lange vorauszusehenden Augenblick nähergebracht, wo sich die christlich-sozial denkende und die revolutionär-sozialistische Welt wie zwei große Heerlager gegenüberstehen. Es wird der letzte große Entscheidungskampf sein in dem ungeheuren Ringen, das sich seit der Lockerung und schließlichen Auflösung der christlichen Gesellschaftsordnung des Mittelalters zwischen den bewahrenden und ausgleichenden Mächten und dem sich naturnotwendig immer erneuernden Umsturz durch die letzten vier Jahrhunderte hinzieht. Es ist kein Gegensatz möglich, der schärfer wäre als dieser. Hier die Begründung aller Autorität und damit aller sozialen und politischen Ordnung auf Gott, als dem letzten und ewigen Grund jeglicher Gewalt, dort die Proklamierung der Souveränität des Volkswillens als des beweglichsten und unzuverlässigsten Elementes, das wir in der sittlichen Welt kennen. Daher denn auch, wie Papst Leo XIII. sagt, die Staatsgesetze nur zu oft nicht die ,geschriebene Vernunft’, sondern einzig und allein die numerische Macht und das Übergewicht einer politischen Partei darstellen. Die bisherige Entwicklung hat keinen Zweifel darüber gelassen, daß man, um mit den Worten der gleichen höchsten geistlichen Autorität zu sprechen, die großen Prinzipien der Religion nicht über Bord werfen kann, ohne die Grundlagen der bürgerlichen Wohlfahrt zu erschüttern.’ Es tut not, daß man es heute mit aller Rücksichtslosigkeit ausspreche: Die absolute [226] Gewalt der Fürsten und aller derer, die sich in ihrem Namen als die Verkünder und Vollstrecker der absoluten Staatsgewalt betätigte, haben mit innerer Notwendigkeit auch in unserem Volke das Widerspiel dieser Autokratie in dem politischen Dogma von der Souveränität des Volkes heraus gefordert und großgezogen, und es ist tief schmerzlich, daß es einer solch ungeheuren Lehre, wie diese Katastrophe sie darstellt, bedurfte, um großen politisch tätigen christlichen und katholischen Kreisen in Deutschland die Augen zu öffnen über die Gedankenlosigkeit, mit der die christlichen Parteien des Reiches und der Einzelstaaten sich abgefunden hatten mit den vollendeten Tatsachen. Wenn man zurückdenkt an jene großen katholischen Tage, da ein Görres im ,Athanasius’ dem Leviathan der Staatsallmacht den Kampf mit allen Aufgeboten ansagte, als dann ein Mallinckrodt und Schorlemer in den Frühtagen des ,Kulturkampfes’ das christliche Gewissen mobil machten gegen den heidnischen Übermut der Advokaten des Erfolgs und sich nicht scheuten, den Idealisten des Irrtums sowohl den regierungstreuen wie den revolutionären, das im Recht verkörperte göttliche Gebot entgegen zuhalten, so wird man heute besser als je verstehen können, wie sehr die spätere Politik, die sich gouvernemental gebärdete, der großen Impulse verlustig ging und sich nur mehr in opportunistischer Alltagsgeschäftigkeit und Parteitaktik ohne großen strategischen Ideenaufmarsch: das Leben fristete. Indem wir hiermit aussprechen was unzählige durch Jahrzehnte empfanden und im stillen klagten, sind wir weit entfernt, die Verdienste dieses regierungsfähig gewordenen Zentrums zu verkennen die wir vielmehr als groß und unvergeßlich trotz alledem ansehen. Aber nachdem die Tore einer neuen Zeit sich weit geöffnet haben und unermeßliche, nie dagewesene Aufgaben des katholischen Volkes und seiner politischen Vertretungen harren, und nachdem jetzt mehr als je die Lage die große Gefahr mit sich bringt daß unsere Einheit zersplittert, indem wir, dem Vergangenen nachtrauernd, uns nicht schnell genug aus der angelebten Mentalität zu befreien wissen, ist nichts notwendiger als auf jenes alte Prinzip der Einheit und Einigung zurückzugehen, das in der grundsätzlichen Gegnerschaft gegen alle Staatsomnipotenz und ihre heidnische Gefolgschaft beruht. Wir müssen uns darüber klar werden, daß hier und jetzt nur eine im Grunde verkehrte Staats-, Sozial- und Wirtschaftsordnung die andere abzulösen im Begriffe steht, und daß wir nicht minder im Irrtum lebten, da wir uns der vergangenen anglichen, als wenn wir es jetzt der neuen gegenüber täten. Ein anderes allerdings ist es, die einmal bestehende Gewalt insofern anzuerkennen als man sich allen ihren sittlich und religiös erlaubten Anordnungen fügt und ihr im Interesse der öffentlichen Wohlfahrt treue Mitarbeit leistet ein anderes, die Prinzipien bejahen oder auch nur stillschweigend gelten lassen, aus denen sie ihre Existenz herleitet und mit der sie sie als unerschütterlich begründet. So wenig wie in der Religion und Moral gibt es in der Politik eine indifferente Theorie, und es bleibt somit für alle Zukunft nichts übrig, als daß wir von neuem und nach- [227] drücklicher als je beginnen, den Ideen einer integralen christlichen Politik wie der zu ihrem Rechte zu verhelfen. Diese christliche Politik kann sich unter jeder Staatsform betätigen, und wenn sich ihre Außerachtlassung schon unter den Monarchien so furchtbar rächte, daß diese heute nahezu alle dem Untergange geweiht sind, wieviel notwendiger, weil allein lebenverbürgend, wird sie erst in den demokratischen und republikanischen Gemeinwesen sein. Denn es ist eine unveräußerliche Wahrheit, die einer der ersten Fürsprecher der Demokratie in Europa in dem Worte ausdrückt: ,Der Gegensatz der Religion und der Demokratie ist der Untergang der letzteren; die bedrohte Freiheit rettet nur die Religion, um das religiöse Leben auch in seiner organisierten Form der Kirche nicht nur in den Gemütern, sondern auch in seinen äußeren Institutionen aufrechtzuerhalten, wird aber künftig nichts so notwendig sein als die innere und äußere Geschlossenheit der Katholiken in ihrem öffentlichen Auftreten. Diese zu bewahren, müssen nun alle Kräfte aufgeboten werden. Wir dürfen in Deutschland unter den Katholiken nicht Zustände bekommen wie vor dem Kriege, noch folche, wie sie in den romanischen Ländern alle Hoffnungen auf einen endgültigen Erfolg der guten Sache in ferne Zeiten verschieben, wo nicht gar für immer zunichte machen, und diese Einigung muß gleich vom ersten Augenblick an in die Erscheinung treten. Jetzt, wo im Hinblick auf die durchaus mit dem Christentum unvereinbare falsche Theorie der Souveränität es offenbar macht, wie die Staatswesen von gestern und heute sich gleichen trotz des scheinbaren Gegensatzes zwischen dem äußerlich betonten Gottesgnadentum und dem nunmehr verwirklichten Volksgnadentum; denn angesichts der praktischen Manifestationen der alten Staaten während des Krieges besteht kein Zweifel mehr, daß auch, in ihnen das christliche nur äußerlich war, da es zu ihrem machtstaatlichen Grundprinzip in unauslöslichem Widerspruch stand.

Die Religion wieder in ihre Rechte im öffentlichen Leben einzusetzen, ist somit eine unabsehbare folgenreiche und wichtige Angelegenheit. Aber es wäre wenig geleistet, diese Rechte bloß proklamiert und gleichsam institutionell anerkannt zu sehen, um ihre Wirksamkeit ihr Staate zu begründen, muß man unten, nicht oben anfangen. Das ist ja das Verhängnis aller modernen Verfassungen, daß sie, von Abstraktionen ausgehend, das Glück den Menschen im Großen bringen wollen, bevor die Menschen verstehen, es durch eine richtige Verfassung schon im kleinsten Gemeinwesen zu verwirklichen. Das Urbild aller Staatlichkeit ist und bleibt die Familie. In ihr empfangen wir die früheste Schulung für alles das, was wir im öffentlichen Leben, als Kraft des Zusammenlebens, der Friedensbewahrung, der Verständigung und Hilfsbereitschaft, des Herrschens und Dienens, der Freiheit und der selbstgewollten Ein- und Unterordnung brauchen und als unentbehrlich für die allgemeine Wohlfahrt ansehen. Ein Staatsmann, der es nicht vermöchte, in seinem eigenen Hause Ordnung und Eintracht durch Selbstbeherrschung, Liebe, Gerechtigkeit und die Kunst, der Menschen behandlung zu wahren, darf uns nie Vertrauen einflößen für eine Tätigkeit [228] im großen. So ist letzten Endes aller Streit um Verfassungen nur das ins Völkerleben projizierte Bild der Ordnung des Zwiespaltes menschlicher Rechte und Pflichten schon im menschlichen Herzen. Hier aber ist es, wo die Religion ihr Werk beginnen muß, soll sie zugleich im Gesellschaftsleben wieder zur wahren Schätzung gelangen. Diese so einfache und doch so große Wahrheit hat keiner eindringlicher verkündigt als Adam Müller, der Vorkämpfer einer politischen Restauration im Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts, dem er sie als reifes Vermächtnis politischer Weisheit hinterließ. Er erklärt mit Recht alle politischen Diskussionen über die allgemeine Staatsform als ein leeres Spiel und als eitlen Luxus hoffärtiger Vernunft im Vergleich zu dem Ernst der höheren Verhandlung über die Formlosigkeit, in welche das häusliche Leben und selbst der einzelne verfallen sei, weil man das organisierende Prinzip der Religion ausgeschaltet hat. Und doch kann die Religion allein, wie Hermann Plah es ausdrückt, das ,anthropozentrische Chaos in den theozentrischen Kosmos' verwandeln. Erst wenn diese Erkenntnis allgemein zu werden beginnt, dürfen wir Hoffnung schöpfen, in mitten der Wirbel dieser Zeit auch wieder jene terra firma zu finden, auf der sich allein das Glück der Völker und Staaten begründen läßt. Dann wird wahr werden die Verkündigung, mit der Adam Müller seine Betrachtung über den wahren Staat abschließt und womit auch wir hier schließen wollen, denn, wer in auch vor nahezu hundert Jahren gesprochen, gelten die folgenden Worte für unsere Zeit um so viel mehr, als wir ihrer Verwirklichung nähergerückt sind und die Leiden und Erfahrungen dieses Weltkrieges und die bittere Frucht, die er uns getragen, uns für ihr Verständnis reifer gemacht haben:

,Wenn alle Wunden dieses Jahrhunderts verblutet und alle Leidenschaften, welche die Urteile verwirren, zur Ruhe gebracht sein werden, dann wird die spätere Nachwelt in den krampfhaften Bewegungen dieser Zeit nur das Erwachen der Religion wahrnehmen: sie wird das dumpfe Geschrei nach Verfassungen, welches alle ruhige politische Untersuchung übertäubt, verstehen; erkennen wird sie, daß es allerdings eine Konstitution, eine Verfassung gegolten hat, ein Hinaustreten zu jener ersten und einzigen politischen Verfassung, welche auf der Erde bestanden hat, der christlichen nämlich; ein dringendes, unwiderstehliches Verlangen nach jenem natürlichen, aber von einem gehorsamen Herzen für das unmittelbare Werk Gottes anerkannten Stande oder Staate der Menschheit, welchen die eitle Vernunft, eben weil sie überhaupt ihrer innersten Natur nach zu keiner Anerkennung irgend einer Verfassung gelangen kann, niemals erschwingen wird.’

Citation: Karl Muth, “Zur Zeitenwende,” Hochland 16:1:3 (Dez. 1918), S. 225

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