Jan. 3, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page one, banner headline:
“Our Mission for 1923”
Text: ... The Volk, however, remains! It must bear the sins of a system in which people have been taught to believe for decades... Hopefully it will at some time rub from its eyes the devastated condition to which the criminals have brought it, and then it will also be ready to conduct a reckoning with its seducers and their fantastical reliance on visionaries and chatterers.
The mission of our movement for the year 1923 is to hasten this hour, to work untiringly toward it, so that a clearer recognition and a stronger German will emerge...
And so the first goal to strive toward is the advancement of training and support of a German nationalist government that will feel at home with running out the entire band of criminals ...
Only when Germany has become domestically pure and strong can foreign policy play a role, and then it can play a decisive one. The foreign policy problem is one of our domestic political system’s fate. This can only be brought about by an enormous strengthening of the will. To accomplish this is the mission, the great mission, of the National Socialist German Workers Party!
Jan. 13, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page one, banner headline:
“Down with the November Criminals!”
Text: Under this phrase our Party appealed to Munich on Thursday in the Circus Krone [largest indoor venue in Munich, capacity 7000] Thousands streamed there to hear how we have the Shame of Versailles to thank for the Scandal of Essen. Long before the start, the Circus was overflowing. Thousands were standing in all the passageways of the arena. Approximately 9,000 people waited patiently for our Führer. Thousands streamed into the hastily arranged parallel gatherings in the Hacker beer hall, the Augustiner beer hall, the Arzberger beer hall, which also were blocked off by the police because they were overflowing.
Jan. 14, 1923 Vice Consul Robert Murphy’s report of Jan. 14, 1923 to the U.S. State Department:
The German National Socialist Workingmen’s Party (Deutsch Nationale Socialist Arbeiter Partei) under the leadership of Herr Adolf Hitler (the self-styled Bavarian Mussolini) has been most in the public eye and its development has been most interesting. It is not represented in parliament. The party was founded through the agitation of Hitler who made his cause known by the use of enormous red placards posted in conspicuous places throughout the city announcing a meeting with speeches on current problems, and ending with the statement “No Admission for Jews.” While Hitler’s platform is anti everything, the principal plank seems to be anti-Semitism. He has denounced the Entente, the capitalists, the profiteers, the Federal Government, and the Bavarian Government, the Communists and the Socialists, as enemies of the people. He was not generally taken seriously until, carried along on the wave of political and economic discontent and misery, the people began to look up to him as the man who was always in the right. Most of his immediate supporters are young men, as he is himself, and have shown themselves well disciplined and aggressive in their frequent street collisions with Socialists and Communists. Hitler has succeeded in making an impression on those classes who have most to fear from Bolshevism. He has unquestionably raised funds from industrial circles who look to him to assist in suppressing strikes.
Before Mussolini’s coup d’etat in Italy, Hitler began to be looked up to as the man from whom the Bavarians and possibly the German nation could expect deliverance from present distress. As an indication of his popularity he was recently able to hold ten over-flow meetings in a single evening. He is not necessarily regarded as a monarchist, but rather as standing for a dictatorship or powerful government along the lines of the Mussolini model. He has so far avoided pinning himself down to say definite details of constructive programs.
Those who are personally acquainted with Hitler contradict many of the press accounts of his personality. He was the son of a petty Austrian employee who made his home in what is now Czecho-Slovakia near the Bavarian border. He fought in the Bavarian army during the war and is said to be self-educated. He appears entirely devoted to his cause, and apparently desires to avoid the sensational and theatrical. He is said to have declared that his anti-Semitic views are merely for advertising purpose, which is no doubt true since the Jewish question cannot justifiably be called acute in Bavaria.
His party includes all classes of society, with workmen in the minority as compared with students, government employees including policemen, officers, and the middle class generally. His well organized bands of disciplined young men are much in evidence, but it is difficult to estimate as to how many of these who crowd his meetings are moved by more than vaguely sympathetic curiosity.
In the beginning of 1922 Count Lerchenfeld was head of the Government of the Center, composed of the Bavarian People’s, Peasants, and Democratic Parties. Himself a man of liberal tendencies, he would have preferred to maintain the government as it was and thereby keep it less obnoxious to Socialists both in Bavaria and in North Germany than had been that of his predecessor, Dr. von Kahr. The majority of the Bavarian People’s Party, however, desired to introduce the Nationalists (Middle Party) into the coalition...
This swing of the Government towards the extreme right proved fatal to the Prime Minister, whose personality had also not endeared him to his nominal supporters. Count Lerchenfeld had to resign, and was succeeded in November as Premier by Dr. Eugen von Knilling, the last Minister of Religion in the Bavarian Monarchy, and subsequently a prominent member of the Bavarian People’s Party.
Source: US NARA M336 Roll 18 pp. 541ff.
Jan. 22, 1923 Encrypted telegram from Pacelli to Gasparri:
Baron Cramer-Klett has informed me secretly having learned from a trustworthy and well-informed person that the Berlin Government has decided, in the question of the Ruhr, to resist, even to ultimate consequences, which, in their development, could indeed place in danger the peace of Europe.
Source: www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 120.
Jan. 24, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page one, banner headline and advertisement:
“National Socialists and Party Members!”
Saturday, January 27, 1923, begins the Party Congress of the Movement, at 8 p.m.
Mass Gatherings in the Largest Munich Halls
Sunday, January 28, 1923, morning: Consecration of Flags ...
Feb. 2, 1923 Vice Consul Murphy’s situation report of February 2, 1923:
I have the honor to report the following concerning the Bavarian political situation during the past week:
Landtag, Government and Extraordinary Powers.
The oft-postponed national convention of the National Socialists Workingmen’s Party (Hitler’s organization) was held at Munich on January 27, 28 and 29 in an orderly manner unattended by excesses of any kind and with no attempt on the government. Party representatives from the south as well as the north of Germany together with members from Austria and Czecho-Slovakia filled to overflowing twelve large halls.
A proclamation of a special condition of affairs by the Cabinet under the provisions of which the Secretary of the Interior was named State Commissioner and clothed with extraordinary powers for the protection of the government and the maintenance of peace and order best indicates the apprehension felt by the government that Hitler’s followers would attempt a coup d’etat. The Secretary for the Interior had previously requested Hitler to indefinitely postpone the convention. The latter replied that postponement was impossible. Whereupon the proclamation was issued and the Secretary forbade all open-air assemblies and limited the number of indoor meetings to six instead of twelve. Hitler in return announced to the government that notwithstanding the government’s edict he intended to carry out the party’s programme as planned, and if the government prevented by force he would resist in like manner and assured the authorities the results would be bloody. The government thereupon, at the intervention of von Kahr, the recognized leader of the patriotic societies, helped by the sympathetic attitude of Polizei-President Nortz, an avowed royalist, weakened, and announced that the indoor meetings could be held. Hitler, however, insisted on the open-air assemblies also, and he finally carried his point and the programme was completely followed as originally planned.
The proclamation of an extraordinary condition, the stationing of an extra battalion of Reichswehr in and about Munich and the vacillation of the government were induced by fear and alarm and apparently not warranted by conditions. The Minister President yesterday addressed the Landtag in explanation of the government’s much criticized motion, and though the Chamber accorded him a vote of confidence, his coalition has been seriously weakened. Several newspapers announced the retirement of the Secretary for the Interior, and when he made a public denial of the report, openly declared that when the report was published it was taken for granted that after his shameful exhibition of weakness and vacillation his resignation was the only thing possible.
The government’s mistake has furnished Hitler and his party, as well as the United Socialists and the Communists new ammunition and ground for attack of which the best advantage is being taken.
The convention itself, the centre of the teapot tempest, was well attended, orderly, free from violence, and the speeches merely a review of the usual subjects of anti-semitism, necessity for a strong government, nationalism and resistance to the ‘enemy.’ The only new point uncovered was the opposition evinced to the new national ‘Einheitsfront’ – a united Germany. Hitler’s party refuses, and in order to continue to exist because of its past record and its anti-semitic platform it must refuse, to have anything in common with the United Socialists or the Communists.
A State’s President Possible.
The government’s predicament and weakened position has again renewed the agitation for the creation of the office of President of the State of Bavaria. The office would be elective and the tenure a definite period of years, possibly seven. Under the present system the sins and weakness of the government are borne by the Minister President who is likewise Minister for Foreign Affairs. In case of a lack of confidence the Minister President withdraws and the other ministers remain leaving the government without a responsible head. The selection of a new Minister President is then in the hands of the leaders of the majority parties. Much comment has been caused because of the fact that party leaders sidestep the responsible positions but control the situation through their party position. The principal function of the State’s President would be in case of resignation to call upon someone to form a new cabinet. Ex-Crown Prince Rupprecht and Dr. von Kahr (Middle Party) are the most prominently mentioned candidates for the proposed position.
Source: US NARA M336 Roll 18 pp. 623-625.
Feb. 3, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page one headline:
“National Socialists! Our deepest desire will soon be fulfilled:”
our fighting paper, the “Völkisch Observer,” is becoming a daily newspaper ...
The newspaper of the Völkisch freedom movement must receive help from all of you so that the “Völkisch Observer” becomes the leading paper and the most feared weapon.
Mar. 3, 1923 Vice Consul Murphy’s report of March 3, 1923:
National Socialist German Workmen’s Party (Hitler).
Campaign against Socialism, Profiteers (meaning thereby all Jews), Hunger, Poverty and the Parliamentary system of Government.
If the same amount of agitation, as is today the case in Bavaria, was indulged in and directed against the same objects among a people of more volatile temperament, serious explosions would have long since occurred. At the regular weekly meetings held by Hitler’s organization throughout the state enough sparks are struck to build a nation-wide conflagration but they fall among green timber.
The speakers at the meetings invariably adopt the well-worn tactics of opposing everything that readily arouses popular antagonism, viz., the errors committed by the socialists, the weakness of the government, the ‘Einheitsfront’ fake, the vicious party system, the illusion of Bolshevism, the evils of ‘unearned increment’ and above all the Jews. Upon the hands of the latter are heaped not only the sins of Germany but of the entire world, and to them are attributed the economic woes of the entire people.
The only published platform of the party, a copy of which is transmitted with this report, contains twenty-five planks, but fundamental throughout is opposition to the Jews. To them are accredited the evils of the present financial system and the race is portrayed as a menace to society. The arguments used by the party are far reaching. They endeavor to prove a united Jewish movement for world hegemony using Soviet Russia as an illustration of the first important step. Responsibility for the world war is laid at the Jewish door in the claim that the large Jewish money interests controlled the European situation and desired the disruption of Russia because of its attitude towards the Jews. The war was to be and was actually a source of profit to Jewish profiteers, but the principal aim was the destruction of the then existing order looking to the gradual progress of Jewish universal control.
The present money system and corporation system of business are savagely attacked as a yoke and fetter upon the German people. Hitler’s party demands a publicly owned banking system operated by and in the interest of the people. It does not demand public ownership of other private enterprises or the elimination of the master-servant relation. It imitates the Gandhi movement in advocating retrogression by elimination of the corporation in favor of individual ownership. A reasonable profit is to be granted the owner and the rest distributed to the employees in the form of fair wages. Multitudinous stock-holders – all Jewish – who offer increased dividends and decreased wages are to be entirely dropped.
Socialism is wrong and a cover for Jewish maneuvers. The evil genius of Rathenau has been a moth in the German fabric. The Reichsbank is a purely private and Jewish enterprise busily engaged in undermining the German nation. It is claimed that Jews actually control 80 percent of Germany’s wealth and have systematically manipulated the world situation with a view to plunging the German people into eternal poverty so that Germany which before the war produced 200 percent of its potatoes, 90 percent of its grain and 75 percent of its entire food requirements today is obliged to import 50 percent of its foodstuffs.
The details of the evidence offered in support of these platform arguments in pinning the responsibility for the difficult economic situation on the Jews, Socialism, etc., may be vague and nebulous but are impressed upon listeners, ready to be convinced, by positive expression. Even many members of the middle class, professors, doctors, etc., are ready to believe on an empty stomach that the Jews and socialists are to blame if convincingly told. Such arguments seriously impress the Socialist workman who today receives an average wage of 18,000 marks per day while coffee costs 20,000 marks the pound.
Many Bavarian Jews regard the movement with apprehension. The Jewish War Veterans League as well as the Society of Free Thinkers hold meetings and distribute counteracting literature. At a time recently when the situation looked threatening, a leading Munich banker, Jewish but of old Munich family, inquired whether I could safeguard a number of securities for him should a pogrom occur.
For the Department’s information there is also attached a copy of a recently taken photograph of members of the Hitler storm troops (Sturmtruppen) which are estimated at four thousand, showing the Swastika (Hakenkreuz) – the organization’s symbol – as well as the slogan “Germany Awake” (Deutschland Erwache). These are all young men who maintain military discipline and drill regularly in the country. They are divided into groups of hundreds, the leader of each of which receives the insignia of a metal star worn on the cap. The colors are red, white and black with the eagle. Members may also wear distinctive arm bands in these colors with Swastika.
The party proposes a united German people including Austrians, Czech nationals who are of German blood, etc., under the dictatorship of a strong man – a Bismark. The official organ of the party is the ‘Völkische Beobachter’ which now appears daily. At the annual convention on January 27th Adolf Hitler was again elected party leader.
Many stories are afloat concerning the source of the party’s funds. As previously reported Henry Ford’s organization is credited with contributions to assist the anti-semitic feature of the movement. Contributions from the French are charged by the Socialists who principally authorize the statement because of the arrest on suspicion of treason and of being a French agent of a Hitler leader (Ludke) recently. He was found in possession of a number of French francs as well as other foreign money. As a matter of fact the organization is not believed oversupplied with funds, and probably most of the money is contributed by Bavarian royalists, some of the larger industrials who look to Hitler’s people for assistance against the Socialist workmen, and the modest subscriptions of middle class sympathizers.
The party is now meeting with the active opposition of both the United Socialists and the Bavarian People’s Party.
Black Troops in the Rhineland.
As of possible interest to the Department there is transmitted with this report a sample of the propaganda published at Munich on the subject of the French colored troops in the Rhineland.
The Ruhr Occupation.
Notwithstanding that the Bavarians generally hope against hope that the United States will intervene in Germany’s favor in the Ruhr occupation the following view as expressed by the extremely nationalistic ‘Muenchner Augsburger Abendzeitung’ is probably illustrative of the majority view:
“There was a time when even Scheidemann and Ebert declared that the Treaty of Versailles must be revised...”
Source: US NARA M336 Roll 18, pp. 682ff.
Note: Vice Consul Murphy later wrote in his memoirs that he had “many enlightening conversations” in Munich with Papal Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli, who had “intimate knowledge of international politics” and was “one of the first to recognize that the future of Europe depended largely upon what happened in Germany.” Diplomat Among Warriors (1964), p.19. Murphy’s reports in 1922 and 1923 did not disclose that one of his sources was Nuncio Pacelli.
March 29, 1923 Pacelli to Gasparri:
Re: Attacks against the Holy See and the Jesuits for supposed participation in separatist movements in Bavaria
Following up my respectful Report No. 26845 dated March 18th about the trial commenced against Prof. Fuchs, I am fulfilling my duty to report to Your Most Reverend Eminence that some organs of the press, as much German-National ones as Socialist ones, have attacked the Holy See in recent times, as if it had participated in separatist movements in Bavaria. The Catholic newspaper Bayerischer Kurier, No. 86 of March 27th (cf. enclosure) has replied energetically to the stupid accusations and I, for my part, have not failed, for a good resolution, to give this Government some verbal, confidential information about the entirely correct attitude taken by the selfsame Holy See on the occasion of the visit (of which the Government itself already had received rumors) of the aforesaid Prof. Fuchs to the Apostolic Nuncio in Paris. The same Number of the Bayerischer Kurier published, moreover, an anonymous letter (dated Innsbruck, December 1, 1922), bearing the signature, “A faithful old Tyrolese ecclesiastic,” and sent indeed to ex-Kaiser Wilhelm. It is a vulgar diatribe against the Jesuits, who are accused of having, for the purpose of bringing back the Christian world to the bosom of Rome, worked with the Hebrews and with Jewish Freemasonry in the war against Germany, to weaken definitively the Protestant preponderance of Prussia…
Source: www.Pacelli-Edition, Document No. 1087.
Apr. 17, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page one, large three-column-wide advertisement:
Today! Tuesday, April 17, 1923, is the third of the great Huge Gatherings at the Circus on the Mars Field. Führer and Party Member Adolf Hitler will speak on “The Peace Treason of Versailles as the Eternal Curse of the November Republic.”
The Gathering Begins at 8 p.m. Entry 100 Marks / Free for disabled veterans / Jews have no entry. Members of the Volk, appear en masse!
Apr. 26, 1923 Letter from Baron Theodor von Cramer-Klett to Konrad Adenauer:
As I have learned from a gentleman from the Rhineland sojourning here, Your Honor has expressed the view that Cardinal Faulhaber, my most reverend Archbishop, has been advised from Rome that “they were dissatisfied with his conduct at the Catholic Congress last year and he should not allow his voice to be heard again in political matters. It can be considered as proof of this, that the Cardinal in recent months has kept silent about politics.”
I allow myself to inform Your Honor now that this view is wrong, and I can do this, because I
a) know from authentic sources that in Rome they were extraordinarily satisfied with the course of the Catholic Congress and that this has also been shared with Cardinal Faulhaber, and
b) because I personally had the good fortune in December of this past year to be received by Pope Pius XI, and the Holy Father spoke about the Cardinal in the most expansive and highest tones of recognition and satisfaction, whereby the Holy Father also touched upon the Catholic Congress, but with not a word that could be interpreted in the slightest as a criticism or lack of agreement.
I consider it my duty, Your Honor, to communicate this to those who are falsely informed in this matter and to leave to you, Your Honor, if it is allowed by the interests of your party, either to set right the above-mentioned false report or at least not to disseminate it further.
Kindly allow me, Your Honor, a further short general remark. We see clearly that divine providence, in the moment of upheaval and great danger but also great developmental possibilities, gave the Catholics of Germany a wealth of outstanding Bishops to an extent not seen for decades, perhaps centuries, so that we, in deepest gratitude, cannot sufficiently marvel at this wonderful dispensation. Think of those who occupy the Sees of Munich, Cologne, Breslau, Rottenburg, Freiburg, Mainz and Meissen, the most outstanding apostolic personalities, without allowing local-patriotic sentiments to dominate them, – Cardinal von Faulhaber actually does not belong to the old Bavarian hereditary nobility – and may I rightly say that in this circle of glowing stars our Archbishop does not stand in last place. Among any other people such a man would surely, at least among his co-religionists, be considered pure gold. Allow me therefore, most honorable Lord Supreme Mayor, to express to you my astonishment that from Catholic sources such things are said about this man as are designed to diminish his respect and his influence, and which certainly will be taken in that manner. You forget that this man is the Archbishop of a great diocese, a successor of the Apostles and a Cardinal of the Roman Church, before whom every Catholic, including a member of the Center Party, should have reverence and respect.
I allow myself to tell you openly that it is not Catholic in my opinion, when you publicly put down a Bishop, much less a Cardinal, based only on the most laughable and most small-minded considerations, merely because he makes some party bosses uncomfortable. Reverence toward a priest, and certainly a successor of the Apostles, should take precedence there. The leaders of the German people bemoan the frightful decline in general morals in all areas. Can these rulers really desire moral strengths among those they rule when they themselves are so enslaved to a spirit of partisanship that they trample Catholic principles underfoot? “Whoever dishonors you dishonors me.” Forgive, Your Honor, this frank expression, only as a member of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, and as a loyal son of my Archbishop, I feel myself obligated to combat and refute such erroneous utterances that diminish holy respect for him.
Source: Baron Theodor von Cramer-Klett to Konrad Adenauer, April 26, 1923, Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, no. 3503, reprinted in Volk, Faulhaber Papers, vol. 1, pp. 289-290.
Apr. 29, 1923 Announcement of Nazi stormtroop (SA) mass gathering in Ingolstadt on Sunday, April 29th:
“From the Movement of the National Socialist German Workers Party”
Public Gatherings ... Ingolstadt: Sunday, April 29, speaker Party member Hermann Esser ...
“Announcements of Local Groups Outside Munich”
Ingolstadt. Program of festive celebrations on the occasion of the delivery of flags to the Sturmabteiling [SA], with participation of outside local groups and the Patriotic Formations, on Sunday, April 29, 1923: From 7 a.m., pick-up of festival guests and leading them to the base camp; 9:30 a.m., gathering of Abteilungen; 10 a.m., march from the assembly points to the formation ground in front of Kavalier Elbracht, talk by the priest, delivery of flags by the local groups to the leaders of the SA, commitment of the SA by the stormtroop leaders, talk by the Führer of the Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler, SA and Patriotic Formations march off via the Esplanade, the Feld-Church-Tower, Ludwigstrasse at Stein and Harderstrasse to the Warrior Memorial, pass-in-review before the commander of the SA in the presence of our Führer Adolf Hitler; 12:30 p.m. dinner for guests in the Hotel Wittelsbach; 3 p.m., great public festival assembly in the Exerzier Hall (former 13th Inf. Regt.) by the Wunderlkajatie; Party member Hermann Esser speaks on “National Socialism, the Way to Freedom”; 8 p.m. in the Schäff Beer Hall, Great Patriotic Concert by the band of Herr Obermusikmeister Zimmer.
Source: Völkischer Beobachter, April 29-30, 1923, page 5.
Apr. 30, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page 4:
Sunday Worship Services: Catholic Churches. (Tuesday, May 1st, evening, beginning of May-prayers) Church of Our Lady [i.e., Munich Cathedral]: 5 a.m. -12 Noon hourly masses, 8:30 sermon, 9:00 high mass, 10:00 school mass, 11:00 holy mass with talk and congregational singing, 3:00 rosary... [and so forth for all Sunday masses of Munich’s Catholic Churches].
Old Catholic Church. [remnant of those Catholics who refused to accept Papal infallibility as defined doctrinally at the First Vatican Council, 1870; two masses are listed, one in a schoolhouse, the other at St. George Episcopal Church]
Protestant Churches [three services total]
May 1, 1923 After-the-event coverage of the April 29th stormtroop celebrations in Ingolstadt, from the Völkischer Beobachter:
“Announcements of Local Groups Outside Munich”
Ingolstadt. This past Sunday brought the Nazi Party here such an outstanding success, as Ingolstadt is considered a stronghold of the Reds. The Nazis’ arrangements were grouped around the flag blessing, for which about a thousand stormtroops as well as the entire Patriotic Formations were in appearance. First was the Festival Mass, at which City Pastor Wagner gave an inspiring nationalist sermon. Then the Formations marched with two bands to an open plaza in the fortress area, where the flags were ceremonially delivered by the Local Group to the Ingolstadt SA. Thousands of people gathered around the plaza while our Party members prepared them for enthusiastic announcements, especially Adolf Hitler, who gave the flag speech. Then followed the marching off into the City through the Marketplace, where Adolf Hitler as well as the Commander of the entire SA, Captain Göring, took in the passing in review of the SA as well as the Patriotic Formations, among them the “Bavaria and Reich League.”
Source: Völkischer Beobachter, May 1, 1923, page 6.
Note: The same page of the Nazi newspaper described the massive efforts at Nazi recruitment that were occurring in late April and early May 1923:
“News of the Movement: National Socialist German Workers Party: Meeting Calendar”
The enhanced recruiting activity of our Party in recent weeks is expanding further. In the midst of our great propaganda campaign against the lies and multi-faceted slanders that people use to drive out the Nazi movement, there is the series of speeches by our Führer Adolf Hitler in the Krone Circus on the Mars Field on the theme: “The Origin and the Program of the Nazi Party.”
We expect that our friends and members will not miss the opportunity to hear from the mouth of our Führer himself the explanation of our goals, essential for everyone who wants to spread the Nazi message. This gathering, which every single National Socialist has a duty to bring people to for a huge crowd, will become a powerful demonstration of the will of the German freedom movement.
These massive demonstrations, which have never before occurred in such numbers at our regular meetings, will take place repeatedly, on Tuesday May 1st, on Friday May 4th, etc.
On account of the gatherings the regularly scheduled meetings of the Party in Munich will not take place.
In particular, for the duration of the great demonstrations in the Circus building, all Party section gatherings are suspended. It is the obvious duty of all section members, therefore, to attend the mass gatherings without exception...
Source: Völkischer Beobachter, May 1, 1923, page 6.
May 2, 1923 L’Osservatore Romano’s article about Hitler, page 2:
“... and in Bavaria”
Dateline Berlin, May 1
The May 1st celebration caused some concern to the Bavarian Government. Radicals of the right and the left organized parades and demonstrations for today. The Communists then made it known that they intended to go through the streets of the city bearing the flags and symbols of the Soviets, to which the leader of the National Socialists, Hitler, responded with a statement that the Communist demonstrations would be met with force. It seems that all Hitler’s units had indeed been mobilized.
April-May 1923 Cardinal Faulhaber’s trip to America, as reported in L’Osservatore Romano, May 16, 1923, page one:
“From the United States: Cardinal Faulhaber in New York”
Dateline: New York, April
Thursday morning His Eminence Cardinal Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich, arrived in this city on the steamship Bayern.
This being the first time a German Cardinal has visited the United States, grand preparations were made to give maximum solemnity to the occasion. Present to receive His Eminence were many personalities of the Clergy and the laity; among others, two representatives of Archbishop Hayes of New York, the chancellor of the German Embassy, and directors of various Catholic Associations.
Hon. [Murray] Hulbert, representing the City of New York, immediately gave a welcome to the Most Eminent guest in the name of the citizenry, greeting him as an “Ambassador of the Omnipotent for great works of Christian charity.” His Eminence replied: “The mission of a Bishop is a mission of peace and this is precisely what mine is. I am eager to meet the American people to thank them for all they have done and will yet do for my nation’s suffering people and especially for its poor children. What America has done is a golden page in the history of civilization, not only for the benefit of a conquered people but for the entire world.
“Once Germany gave a large part of its strength, by way of emigration, to the United States, which is now reciprocating with full hands the previous benefit. My trip has no political purpose; I hope that my trip will contribute to the cause of peace and to good relations between two peoples.”
Then His Eminence, escorted by a squad of police on motorcycles, was conducted to the Archiepiscopal residence, where he was the guest of the Archbishop.
“A Great Assembly”
After having made the opportune visits and having brought his eloquent words to a few meetings of the faithful and of his co-nationals, the Most Eminent Cardinal attended a great assembly on April 24th, held in his honor at the Lexington Avenue Theater, with Prof. Remy of Columbia University presiding...
“Card. Faulhaber’s Speech”
After giving thanks for the welcome and cordial hospitality offered to him, His Eminence the Archbishop of Munich continued felicitously to say:
“At the tomb of General Grant on Riverside Drive I read the words: ‘Grant us peace”: but not only at the tomb of your great deceased did I read these words, but in the hearts of the living. In my country there is still no peace, however; we have war, and war against children; grant us peace, a Christian peace.
“I have not failed to censure my fellow Germans; indeed I frequently denounced their faults and errors; I also condemned the grave faults and errors committed by the Kaiser and the Imperial Government, before as well as during the war.
Thus with a tranquil conscience and confident spirit, His Eminence could present himself to his fellow brethren of America: “I know that you Americans also endure serious sacrifices to sustain the great works of charity for the benefit of your poor fellow citizens, and nonetheless each time an appeal rings out after a foreign catastrophe, America is always the first to respond; that is why I came to tell you how much my fellow Germans are grateful to you for all you have done for them. I was not sent by the German Government but came of my own initiative, and everything I can say is under my own personal responsibility, for I speak solely as a Catholic Bishop.”
The Cardinal, who made this exhortation in English, continued his speech in German, giving an impressive outline of the disastrous conditions experienced by the innocent children of his nation, lacking clothing and nutrition.
“Kids are so enervated they cannot study, while they are continually preoccupied by the thought of what they might be able to eat tomorrow. Dogs and cats in other countries drink more milk than German children...”
It is easy to imagine the impression produced by the Most Eminent Cardinal’s speech. In the coming days he will go to Washington, to continue his charitable trip to Baltimore and Philadelphia, where cordial welcomes are also being prepared for him.
An earlier report in L’Osservatore Romano, on May 5th, page one, summarized Cardinal Faulhaber’s fundraising purposes in America in somewhat different terms:
“From the United States”
Dateline: New York, April ...
“The Arrival of Cardinal Faulhaber”
There has been an announcement of the upcoming arrival of Most Eminent Cardinal Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich, who is coming to the United States to bring thanks to his co-nationals for their continuing valuable aid provided to their co-religionists, which has meant salvation from ruin for so many thriving Catholic institutions of Germany, whose rescue must be close to the heart for all sons of the Church, whatever their nationality. The Most Eminent guest will deliver talks in German and English in several of our great cities on religious and moral issues.
Newspapers are dedicating articles of welcome to him, recalling the Most Eminent Cardinal’s conduct during the revolution of 1919, especially in opposing the laicizing aggressions of the revolutionary government against numerous Associations of Parents for the protection of the Christian school, an opposition that he instigated and that stood its ground effectively against the adversaries; also likewise recalled with admiration are his sermons on Christian-Social thought, held in the Munich Cathedral, after the example of the great Bishop Kettler of Mainz.
Cardinal Faulhaber is making his crossing on the steamship Bayern of the Hamburg-America Line; the President of the Reception Committee sent a wireless telegram two days before his arrival worded thusly: “Archbishop Hayes of New York offers hospitality to Your Eminence extending his welcome.”
The Most Eminent Cardinal responded: “I thank you for the welcome and cordially reciprocate your greeting. I accept with gratitude the courteous hospitality of the Archbishop. I debark Tuesday morning.”
There is no doubt that the influential Cardinal will have a most cordial welcome and hospitality in all parts of the United States; his first speech will be held in the “Town Hall” of New York, where he will be able to deploy his well known qualities as an orator.
Source: L’Osservatore Romano, May 5, 1923, page one.
May 8-15, 1923 L’Osservatore Romano reports on the visit of King George V to Rome and his meetings with Mussolini and Pope Pius XI:
L’Osservatore Romano, May 7-8, 1923, page 3:
“The English Sovereigns in Italy”
London, May 5 – The Sovereigns of England left today at 4:30 p.m. for Rome...
Lord Curzon was not able to accompany the English Sovereigns to Italy because of the precarious condition of his health...
At exactly 3 p.m., their Royal Majesties the King and Queen of England arrived in Rome with their retinue, with the customary ceremonies.
At the station to receive their august guests were King Vittorio and Queen Elena, Prince Umberto, the Duke and Duchess of Aosta, as well as the Civil and Military Authorities and the Commissioner of Rome, who gave the official greeting to Their Majesties...
At 4 p.m., Hon. Mussolini went to the Quirinale to render George V the greetings of the Italian Government...
“Comments by the Newspapers”
It is not insignificant that the King of England, before departing, had conferred at length with Lord Curzon.
Concerning the trip to Italy by the King and Queen, the Morning Post says in its editorial: There are numerous and sufficient reasons why there has existed between the 2 countries not only friendly relations, but also a secure and durable alliance. “We were allies during the war,” writes the newspaper, “and we must be that during peacetime.”
France, Italy and Great Britain, united, could assure peace in Europe.
The Daily Chronicle dedicates its lead article to the trip of the English Sovereigns to Italy and says that Great Britain today, in the person of its Sovereigns, carries out a gesture of admiration, affection and respect towards Italy. It is not an exaggeration to say that all the English harbor a traditional love for Italy, because it is from Italy that the Western countries have received all civilization. The Nations that were infused with the Italian genius for legislation and the art of Government are today, and will remain, the dominant Nations of the world.
The newspaper Observer, speaking in a lead article about the visit of the English Sovereigns, points out that it could not have taken place at a more opportune and important moment.
“The Association among the Romans of Hon. Mussolini”
The Stefani Agency reports that the President of the Council received on Saturday a representation from the Association among the Romans that presented him the following order of the day:
“The Association among the Romans trusts that the Government, conscious of the greatness of Rome and its exalted significance, in conferring on the capital the necessary means for the worthy development of its life, will conserve that degree of municipal autonomy conceded to other cities, which is the right of all civil populations.”
The President recalled that the problem of the capital was already the subject of broad examination by the Government and by the Grand Council of Fascism ...
May 9, 1923 L’Osservatore Romano, page one:
“The King and Queen of England Visited His Holiness Pius XI”
Their Brittanic Majesties visited the Holy Father today.
The event, like the earlier visit of Edward VII, while finding sympathy in the noble English nation, gives rise to a sentiment of particular satisfaction in its Catholic subjects, and finds an echo of strong agreement in the entire Catholic world.
Tradition validates, with the authority of history, with the eloquent influence that the past always exercises in human events, this happy encounter of the successor of George III, of Victoria, and of Edward, with Him who sits on the Seat of St. Peter after Clement XIV, Pius VI, Pius VII, Pius VIII and Leo XIII; after Popes who saw the value in the past two centuries of having closer ties between Rome and one of the oldest and greatest Powers of the World, beneficial relations for religious and national interests...
The power of England, which came out of the war enlarged and strengthened, reaching out toward new undertakings and civil and political responsibilities, touches upon, sustains, and governs interests that are more vast in all parts of the world as the greatness of its empire … implicates in important ways the universality of Catholicism and the moral and humanitarian interests recognized by the Roman Pontiff, as Head of Christianity, the most ancient and most respected tutor...
“Details of the Visit to the Holy Father”
Tomorrow, Wednesday, at 9 a.m., their Royal Majesties the King and Queen of England will be received in solemn audience by the Holy Father Pius XI.
The English Sovereigns will go at 10:00 to the Patrizi Palace at St. Nicholas of Tolentino, the seat of Great Britain’s Legation to the Holy See.
At 10:30 they will move privately in the direction of the Vatican, where they will be received with appropriate ceremonies.
After the Pontifical Audience, the English Sovereigns will go to Most Eminent Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, Secretary of State; then they will return to the Seat of the Legation, where, immediately afterwards, Cardinal Gasparri will go to reciprocate their visit.
Then, at the same Legation seat, their Royal Majesties will offer a private luncheon at which, in addition to Cardinal Gasparri, high officials of the Pontifical Curia will participate.
L’Osservatore Romano, May 9, 1923, page 3:
“Comments by the English Newspapers”
Dateline: London, May 8
All yesterday’s newspapers commented at length and sympathetically on the English Royals’ trip to Italy.
The Times says that King George will be greeted in Italy as a friend and as no other Sovereign; he will find in the Italian people a Nation freed from incipient general paralysis, whose energy is entirely placed at the service of revival and national reconstruction.
The Daily Telegraph’s correspondent says from Rome that the Italians are proud to receive the royal guests under the Government of Mussolini in an Italy newly alive and full of fervent patriotism and conscious of its power and its destiny among the great nations of the world...
The Daily Express writes that the Italian people consider King George’s visit as a special tribute by the Empire to the Fascist Government and hope that the royal visit will coincide with the satisfactory resolution of the question of Jubaland [part of present-day Somalia given by Britain to Italy in the 1920s].
L’Osservatore Romano, May 12, 1923, page 4:
“The English Sovereigns in Rome”
“At the English Embassy near the Quirinale” ...
“At St. Paul’s Basilica”
Yesterday, Thursday at 10 a.m., Her Majesty Queen Mary of England, with her retinue, went to visit St. Paul’s Basilica…
“At St. Clement’s Basilica”
Immediately thereafter, the Queen of England, still accompanied by her retinue, went to the ancient Basilica of St. Clement...
“The Visit of the English Sovereigns to the Catacombs”...
L’Osservatore Romano, May 15, 1923, page 3:
“The Departure of the English Sovereigns: The Final Visits”
... St. Mary Major ...
“The Commissioner of Rome to the Lord Mayor of London”...
“The Return of Hon. Mussolini” [to Rome]
May 13, 1923 Robert Murphy’s report of May 13, 1923:
May Day at Munich
Preparations for an orderly celebration of this annual Socialist fete day had proceeded quietly enough ... During the celebration approximately 2,000 National Socialist (Hitler) “shock troops” fully outfitted with side arms, steel helmets, uniforms, etc., several bomb throwers and machine guns were held in check and prevented from colliding with Socialist groups by a detachment of Reichswehr in armored motor lorries, and by the police. Due to excellent police control and supervision, only a few minor street brawls, netting one killed and several wounded, occurred.
A counter demonstration in the form of a monster mass meeting was held by the National Socialists in the evening. It passed off uneventfully and proved a disappointment to the hot-bloods of Hitler’s organization. An incident worthy of mention in connection with the section of this report dealing with the swing of public opinion against Hitler happened at the meeting during Hitler’s usual inflammatory address. A feminine member of the Landtag, democratic fraction, was observed in the audience taking stenographic notes. She was ordered to refrain but refused at which the overzealous guards forcibly took the notes away, subjected the Landtag member to a physical examination and arrest, and generally conducted themselves in an insulting manner. The matter caused much indignation in the Landtag and especially antagonized the democratic group. The subject is mentioned because it is typical of many similar incidents which have done much to render Hitler’s movement unpopular with the conservative element in Bavaria. The showing made by the Hitlerites on May Day has gone far to discredit and weaken its organization...
Swing of Public Opinion Against Hitler
Former Bavarian Premier von Kahr now President of the Government of Upper Bavaria (which district includes Munich) as recognized leader of the patriotic societies in Bavaria delivered an impressive appeal on May 9, 1923, at a crowded meeting of the association “Bavaria and the Reich,” of which he is honorary president, calling upon his audience and all of Bavaria to forget factional and party strife and to unanimously support the Bavarian and Federal Governments. The speech is important because of von Kahr’s political strength, his position as an avowed loyalist and former Premier of Bavaria, and his popularity in monarchistic, nationalistic and student circles. As reported in previous despatches he is a close friend of Ludendorff, and it will be remembered that at the time of Hindenburg’s visit to Bavaria, the former field marshall was entertained and lodged at von Kahr’s home. Von Kahr is the strongest candidate, in the event Rupprecht should not desire the position, for the position of State’s President, and will probably be elected to that office if the coalition parties ever summon enough strength to amend the constitution.
While the speech was along the lines of the usual appeal to unity, that is to say, the usual assertions were made that the enemy stood neither to the left nor to the right but on the Rhine, and while it contained much criticism of the communistic element and the working classes who are unsympathetic to the old order of things, its principal importance lies in its criticism of Hitler’s organization, the National Socialist German Workmen’s Party, and the fact that it was timed two days in advance of the official government appeal and emergency ordinance mentioned elsewhere in this dispatch. Von Kahr, among other things, said: “Many feel today that they are called upon to guide the reins of government and in their ignorance of the relevancy of things and of the effectiveness of political negotiation believe themselves capable of correcting the destiny and psychology of a nation with fiery speech or several machine guns.” The foregoing and other parts of the speech clearly apply to Hitler although the latter’s name was not specifically mentioned. It confirms the belief of the writer that the National Socialist movement is on the wane, and it probably marks the return of Escherich as leader and moulder of the patriotic movement. Escherich will be remembered as founder of the “Orgesch” (Organization Escherich) which until two years ago was regarded as one of the most powerful patriotic and legalist societies in Germany. Escherich was also the leader of the Einwohnerwehr, the voluntary home protective league organized in Bavaria after the demolition of the Eisner regime.
Escherich has expressed himself to us as bitterly opposed to Hitler (obviously because of Hitler’s increased political strength which interferes with Escherich’s personal ambition) and as confident of a return of the so-called patriotic movement to his leadership for the reasons that the people are wearied of Hitler’s inflammatory agitation which yields no results and offers nothing constructive; his anti-semitic campaign has made many enemies; the rowdy-like conduct of many of his youthful following has antagonized order-loving members of the community. Hitler has failed to make serious inroads on the United Socialist ranks. His funds are reported very low and the financial status of the organization precarious because of large demands made upon it by the two-thousand odd “shock troops” many of whom are maintained on a salary basis by the party. The fiasco of May Day, described elsewhere in this report, has also done much to tarnish the stars of Hitler.
In addition to the above the leaders of the Bavarian Peoples Party (the majority coalition group) have slowly come to a realization of the political potentiality and competitive strength of Hitler, who has been thus far patronized and his organization regarded as a useful exhaust for the discontent of a troublesome element. If mass meetings and lurid speeches, play at military organization, drilling in the country, etc. would appease the ultra-patriots and die-hards, the government felt the movement should be fostered within reasonable bounds and a friendly attitude of understanding adopted to deflect the discontent from itself.
The time has arrived, however, when, to quote the Bavarian Premier, it is a question of whether the state is sovereign, or an independent organization is to be permitted to usurp the function of government.
On May 11, 1923, the Bavarian Cabinet, as a direct consequence of the demonstrations on May 1st issued a Proclamation and Emergency Ordinance – advance information of which was furnished our Embassy in Berlin...
Partly to blame for this condition of affairs is a certain element (Hitler’s group) who instead of supporting a patriotic government, as the former Einwohnerwehr (Escherich) did, see fit to follow their own political ideas, the object of which is often unclear, and the methods employed in execution impossible.
The State cannot permit usurpation of its authority by private organizations, and will not countenance opposition on their part to its regulations whenever such dissatisfy or displease.
The experiences of May Day serve to illustrate the unbelievable confusion of political factionalism expressing itself in extremist meetings and public demonstrations, which the government must decisively eradicate.
With this purpose in view the emergency ordinance has been passed furnishing the authorities with legal means for finally combatting the abuse of public assembly, misuse of the streets for dangerous parades and demonstrations, the despicable poisoning of public opinion by unlimited distortion and lies, and shameful treasonable conduct.
The government is decided to take the necessary measures to preserve its authority and to protect public order.
National Socialists and Reichswehr.
Interesting disclosures have recently been made by the Socialist ‘Munchener Post’ concerning the close liaison apparently existing between certain officers of the Reichswehr and the National Socialists (Hitler) Organization.
Source: US NARA M336 Roll 19 pp. 45-51.
May 28, 1922 Vice Consul Murphy’s report of May 28, 1922 on the political situation in Bavaria:
... Escherich is defended against bitter attacks being made upon him by Hitler’s organ (Völkischer Beobachter) especially in connection with the charge made that Escherich deserted the former officers of the Home Guard (Einwohnerwehr) of which Escherich was leader until the time of its dissolution two years ago, and as a result many have been forced to become desperadoes and adventurers attaching themselves to any extremist organizations which will employ them. The reply is made that the Einwohnerwehr was dissolved by orders of the Federal Government at the request of the Entente. Escherich did not wish to abandon his then organization but was obliged to conform to the government’s foreign policy.
National Socialists and Emergency Ordinance
The previously reported Emergency Ordinance is being judiciously but firmly enforced by the government, and treated with respect by the National Socialists. The Munich police department forbade a large mass meeting scheduled during the week and seized the usual large red posters advertising the assembly...
The usual Sunday parades and exercises of Hitler’s ‘shock troops’ which formerly began and ended in the city of Munich are now held sixty kilometers outside the city limits.
The situation of the government in respect to the patriotic movement is delicate but not critical. The past week reveals no political occurrence of an important nature. The emergency ordinance for the protection of the government is being judiciously and firmly enforced.
Source: U.S. NARA, M336, Roll 19, p.76.
June 7, 1923 L’Osservatore Romano, page one:
“The Roman Pontificate at the University of Munich”
Dateline: Munich, May, from our correspondent
At the Great Auditorium of the University of Munich, the well known Baron von Cramer-Klett, in the week before Pentecost, gave a lecture with projected slides about the Conclave of 1922. The gross receipts of the session were earmarked for relief for poor students.
The speech of introduction and presentation was to have been given by the President of the Council of Ministers, von Knilling. He being unable to come, however, the Magnificent Rector of the University, Prof. of Theology [Fr. Georg] Pfeilschifter.
He, having described the conditions of the poor students and the expedients used to procure for them the means to live and acquire books, working during vacations and also during the academic year, came to speak of how much the Holy Father, in addition to considerable subsidies accorded to other charitable activities and purposes, has particularly expanded those for students in Germany, without distinction of religion. The sums to date for this particular purpose amount to 300 million Marks.
In the name of the students and instructors of the University, the Rector asked His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio, present at the session, to convey to the Holy Father the sentiments of cordial and sincere gratitude by which they are animated. He also recalled that the Nuncio, Archbishop Pacelli, as the result of numerous demonstrations of sympathy for the University, has been inscribed in its roll of honor, and finally he had words of regret for his coming departure from Munich, as he was obligated to move to Berlin.
Then Baron von Cramer-Klett spoke, starting with a historical review of the elections of Roman Pontiffs, about political and religious influences that determined the development of the Conclave in various epochs, and how, in its turn, the selection of a given person had an influence upon the civil and religious history of his epoch. Then he came to the main issue, what happens from the death of a Pontiff until the election of his successor.
The slide projections were the subject of great interest, for the milieu they created for the viewers and for the events depicted. That is how the locking of the Conclave was seen.
The audience attentively followed the eloquent and interesting words of the speaker.
June 12, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter’s front page coverage of the June 10th Catholic mass for Nazi and Völkisch stormtroops, which immediately followed a speech by Hitler on the Königsplatz:
“Plighting of Troth on the Königsplatz”
... [Hitler]: We must gain from Schlageter’s death the realization that freedom will not come by way of protests and demonstrations, not by way of speeches, but only by way of deeds, and training for deeds! This single fanatic Schlageter was more hated by the French than 10,000 members of [German President] Ebert’s unity front! It is not the great front of weaklings that will bring us liberating deeds, but rather the fighting front of fanatics!
Yet it appears that this heroic death will eventually pass us by without any practical success. Why? Because we lack what could bring success from such a deed. It is necessary first that such heroes stand at the summit of the Reich itself, heroes who sweep along the Volk and rouse them to resistance. For lack of such men we lost the War, and we are experiencing the same thing now. The spirit of resistance must be enflamed from above! ...
Lord God! We promise you that we will sacrifice ourselves to the last breath for our freedom, and for that give us your blessing! Not for peace and not for rest is the spirit of resistance, until the day arrives when it will be sounded throughout Germany: The Volk arises! The storm breaks out!
The Deutschland über Alles [“Germany Above All”: national anthem] song rose powerfully up to heaven...
A worthy conclusion to the mourning service was achieved by the memorial mass in the St. Boniface Church. On both sides of the altar the flag- and standard-bearers of the patriotic fighting leagues stood as honor guards during the course of the mass, while the stormtroops and a great crowd filled the nave of the church to the last seat ...
After the reading of the Gospel, the former Abbot of Emmaus, Msgr. Schachleiter, who had been expelled from Prague, gave a talk to the stormtroops that was aflame with patriotic love, the gist of which was as follows:
The pulpit may well not be the place from which a political speech should be given, even though the time calls for it more than ever before; he has kept to that rule his whole life long and so it shall continue to be.
But what the present hour has brought upon our poor Fatherland is nothing other than the curse of the criminal Revolution that cries out to heaven, it is the result of the outrages by those who incurred the guilt for our debacle through their unpatriotic ways.
Albert Leo Schlageter, murdered by the cowardly French, was a German man with his whole heart and soul, a martyr for the German cause. We may not presume to judge the holiness of a human soul, but Schlageter fell in the service of the Fatherland and can approach the judgment seat of God as a sacrifice of the truest fulfillment of duty.
Abbot Schachleiter continued further to say that there is only one single path upward for the German Volk from the current oppression and crisis.
That path is a return to true faith, separating and disassociating from all that, in a criminal manner, aided and abetted the unfortunate ending of the war, brought about the revolution, stabbed our victorious army in the back and thereby incurred the guilt for the entire calamity and crisis of the present time.
The salvation of Germany can only succeed in a spirit of deep patriotic sentiment and willing self-sacrifice and strong unwavering faith in God. For that reason everyone who believes in the Fatherland and its future must renounce those who have incurred the guilt for the current calamity - must turn back to the ideas that once made our Volk great: to fulfillment of duty, self-sacrifice, fear of God and love of Fatherland. Then the day of reward will not delay.
During the consecration, the flags and standards were lowered at the command “Attention! To prayer” - on either side of the high altar, in the vow, true to the words of the preacher, and in the spirit of the patriotic fighting league, dedicating all our strength to the reconstruction and the future of our Volk community [Volksgemeinschaft].
Note: Page 2 of the same issue of the Völkischer Beobachter, June 12, 1923, says that the newspaper Vorwärts [“Forward”: the leading Social Democrat newspaper in Germany] was furious about German imperial tricolors and swastika flags at the funeral for Schlageter - and denounced as a vile exploitation of nationalist sentiment the talks of Prelate Neumann and Pastor Fricke at the transfer of Schlageter’s body to his home region in the Black Forest.
June 17, 1923 Münchener Katholische Kirchenzeitung, No. 24, pp. 186-87:
“German-Völkisch - Antisemitism, Fascism, National Socialism”
By Dr. Fr. Erhard Schlund, Franciscan priest; excerpt from his book “Catholicism and Fatherland”
In the German-Völkisch movement lies a good kernel, which possesses a strong inner right-ness: That is the striving to preserve the purity of the German race. But around this good kernel lies a bad husk. That is the character of extremism. The German-Völkisch movement proceeds in its praxis and in its theoretical demands often too sharply and thereby unjustly. It often allows a reprehensible hatred to arise against everything non-German and especially non-“Aryan.” Thus the Völkisch movement or many of its temperamental representatives sometimes try to bring back pure old-German morals and religion, which makes Catholics seem all the more suspect. Good German and good Christian are just as much non-contradictions as good German and good Catholic; to the contrary. The old-German religion has disappeared and will remain disappeared, and the old-German thought-world, however much we would love to regain it for historical and nationalistic reasons, can no longer be brought back to life. It is through Christianity that German blood first became what it is now; with Christianity the German race achieved its greatest cultural accomplishments. We are proud of it if we are good Germans and good Christians; but we never again want to become German pagans. We may seek to learn to know and love the morals of our forefathers, but we do not make a futile effort to roll back the clock by thousands of years. Honor the morals and customs of ancient forefathers; but no old-German un-culture. Our blood is and remains good and pure and German; but our culture is Christian.
The Völkisch movement is closely associated with antisemitism, thus with those efforts that really go back in time and seek to take power and wealth away from Jewry, and actually long to remove the legal and political equality guaranteed to the Jews. Also in the antisemitic movement, the Fatherland-loving Catholic must again make clear distinctions. He will share with antisemites the pain over the ever-increasing influence of Jewry, particularly in Germany, and the desire to see this influence ever more diminished. He will above all regret and combat the avaricious quest for money and material possessions, the predominance in the financial realm, the destructive influence of Jews upon religion, morals, literature and art, and political and social life. He will certainly remain ever conscious that the Jews are racially foreign. But he will not go so far as to want to combat and dislodge the Jews solely on account of their race, and even less will he reject the Old Testament on account of its having been imparted to the Jewish people. He will much more always remember that the Jewish people were God’s chosen people and that he as a Christian has a duty to be just toward Jews as toward other people.
The thoughts expressed here arise concerning a movement that we also think we can identify as an outgrowth of patriotism, Fascism, or in Germany National Socialism. Many spirits allow themselves to be taken up by this movement, since among us the socialism of the Revolution brought such bad consequences and since in Italy Fascism remains victorious with hardly any shedding of blood. We can safely understand it as a counterstroke against socialism, or better stated, against Marxism, which through its conquest in Russia and Germany has become a danger to the world. “Person vs. Masses” is the slogan of Fascism, and thus it sets up an antithesis to every thesis of Marxism. Marxism recognizes the international, Fascism recognizes the nation. Marxism proclaims the dictatorship of a class, Fascism proclaims the freedom of the person. Marxism conceives of the state mechanistically and lets it be determined by the majority; Fascism conceives of the state organically and demands the rule of the head, the reason of the Führer. Filippo Meda, the leader of the Catholic party in the Italian parliament, recently assessed the relationship of Catholicism and Fascism in his article “Il facismo e i cattolici” [Fascism and Catholics], and expressed it in this way: “Though there may be good in its goal of defending the Fatherland against destructive forces, and the revival of patriotic virtues – its violent means are not good. For the end does not justify the means. Fascism wages war against anti-state forces. But waging war may be done only by the state, not by individuals or groups. Fascism combats revolution. That also is an affair of the state. If the state is too weak to maintain order, then self-help is allowed only temporarily.” We can agree with that and add to it: Among us National Socialism has arisen, much less than Fascism in Italy, out of a more critical stance against Social Democracy and Marxism. It certainly says what should be put aside, but it does not say how it can be made better, or what should arise in place of what is put aside. We see that it lacks a positive program, namely a declaration of how National Socialism stands on religion and the Church, and what it means by the term “socialism” in its name. In any case, it frightens Catholics when occasional invective of a rather derisory nature is expressed toward the Church and Church institutions, while on the other hand the necessity of religion is still affirmed; then there are the terroristic methods and the strong antisemitic admixture, namely when one wing in Munich completely “rejects” the Old Testament, and finally the restoration of ancient pagan practices like, for example, the Yule-fest. In all events a Catholic must be careful and reserved, for the aforesaid reasons, toward this movement, which can yet develop much differently than perhaps it has appeared to date. Moreover, Church authority has not yet spoken.
German original: first page and second page
July 1, 1923 Münchener Katholische Kirchenzeitung, No. 26, p. 204, on the role of the Church, in the Munich Archdiocese, as the infallible guide in issues of the day as well as doctrine:
“From World and Church: More Catholic Courage!”
No one has less cause to keep quiet and stay in the background than we Catholics. We belong to a Church that is the foundation of truth and justice, that, in her greatness and unimpeachability, has defied all the storms of the centuries, that today as then is the eternal glowing light that illuminates the darkness, that infallibly shows all those the way who seek enlightenment and orientation in the errors and confusions of present day times. No, we do not want to stray from the Church nor stray from the Savior! Nearer, my God, to Thee! Lord, we remain in You, bcause You have the words of eternal life, and we want to have eternal life.
July 1, 1923 Münchener Katholische Kirchenzeitung, No. 26, p. 204, on the Christian cross vs. the swastika (twisted cross):
“Ave Crux!” [Latin: “Hail the Cross!”]
The new gospel that is preached to us today, the gospel of the swastika, will not be able to save the modern world, because hatred and force do not produce any lasting peace. Our cross knows no twists! It is the simple old Christian cross, on which our Lord and Master died. It is the same holy cross whose sign our worthy Catholic mother first taught us to make on our forehead, mouth and breast, which will one day be pressed in our final hour into our fast-chilling hands, as legitimation for our far journey into a better world. Our respects to you, holy cross, our only hope in life and in death!
July 24, 1923 Father Lorenz Pieper’s speech on the swastika to a Nazi gathering in Munich on July 24, 1923:
We find swastikas as early as 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, in the so-called Stone Age, first in Siebenbürgen, engraved on rocks, cliffs, etc. Approximately 1,500 years before the birth of Christ we find them in the City of Troy, then later as well in the Far East in Asia, 100 A.D. we see it in China, 600 A.D. in Japan. Even among the negroes we come upon some isolated examples. Likewise, in the West we see them proliferating, and we observe the swastika as a Christian symbol many thousand times over on the stones used to close up the sepulchers in the catacombs of Rome. We find them often on the armor of knights in the Middle Ages, and even on many clerical vestments for the Mass.
The speaker then went into the meaning of the swastika. The swastika is in and of itself not a pagan symbol. It represents the concept of the complete revolution around the sun, the light that shines and gives life. The sun was holy to the peoples of the North, because it [provided? - unclear] them essential light, warmth and life. It was thought of as a god driving a wagon and as a symbol, the wheel was thought of as this wagon, so that in the turning of the wheel there were four [parts?] and these [moved?] in a way that was thought to mean the movement of the sun. The cross on which Christ was crucified was not exactly like the Church’s symbol of today. Christ’s cross was two beams which had the form of a Latin “T.” The similarity of this so-called Christian cross with the swastika and the equivalence of the symbols – both represented light and – Christ even says of himself that he is the light – moved the Christian Church from practical considerations to take up a somewhat altered swastika as the cross of the Christian Church.
The swastika is also a Völkisch symbol, it does not in that regard represent the sun, but rather is a symbol of the Volk, intended to fulfill the Volk, with Völkisch warmth, with national and social will, and with national and social strength. It is intended to be a battle symbol against everything that harms the Volk and therefore it is also for us Nazis a holy symbol which should be borne everywhere in honor and love.
These outstanding words were received with well-deserved applause.
Party Member Kilger explained that the swastika was actually detectible much earlier than 3,000 years before Christ. The swastika is not a political battle symbol, but rather a Völkisch one, under which everyone can work together for the well-being of the entire Volk. The adherents of the swastika do not shy away from battle, when they must fight for the salvation of the productive German Volk.
Additionally, Party Member Kilger called for a numerous turnout for the evening celebration of the First Company at the Bürgerbràu Beer Hall [in Munich], and for donations for the Neuhausen Section. Pause: The result of the collection taken up at this time: 115,000 Marks. Party member Ostberg explained that it is the duty of every Party Member to bring the swastika into all places where respectful honor can be shown to this symbol.
Party Member Kilger closed this speech evening with a request to a Frieslander named Turner who was present, to convey best regards to the Party Members in Friesland.
Source: Fr. Lorenz Pieper, “The History and Meaning of the Swastika,” July 24, 1923, Protokoll der Ortsgruppe Neuhausen [Meeting Minutes of the Local Group in Neuhausen – a district of Munich], NSDAP Hauptarchiv [Nazi Party Main Archive], Reel 1a, fol. 218.
July 25, 1923 Matt to Pacelli:
Most Reverend Herr Nuncio!
At our meeting yesterday, Your Excellency made me aware that in the recent statement that I had the honor to transmit to Your Excellency on the 21st of this month, only a partial answer was given to the inquiry posed in Your Excellency’s letter of May 26th this year on Art. XIII sec. 1 subsection b of the Concordat draft, namely the issue whether the presentation of proof on account of private schooling is allowable only to the State high schools, or to any other equally qualified institution...
Aug. 1, 1923 Matt to Pacelli:
Most Reverend Herr Nuncio!
Your Excellency requested of me during our most recent discussion a further statement of position on the expressions in Your letter of June 16th this year about the expression "to give opportunity for reminders" in Art. XIV sec. 3, sentence 1 of the Bavarian Concordat draft, as the Papal See feels this expression is too imprecise and recommends as a substitute the customary form used in the Austrian states.
I have the honor to state the following herewith.
Aug. 18, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, Aug. 18, 1923, page 4:“Bavarian Review . . . Wasserburg am Inn (Patriotic Celebration.)”
On Saturday and Sunday the consecration of flags occurred here for the artillerymen’s alliance of Wasserburg and vicinity. Approximately 60 military and other associations from here and parts beyond made an appearance. The field mass on Sunday was celebrated by the pastor and religion teacher Franz Römer from Augsburg, himself a former artilleryman, who memorialized the war dead in an earnest address. In the afternoon a festive procession took place through the main streets of Wasserburg, and then a beer hall banquet concluded the beautiful celebration.
Aug. 22, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, Aug. 22, 1923, page 6:“German Congress in Ottobeuren”
Our Party has very quietly established itself also in Middle Swabia recently, and in the past weeks one local group after another has been formed up with genuine Swabian talent. Along with Kempten and Lindau, there are now fighting units in Memmingen, Leutkirch, Legau, Buchloe, Markoberdorf and Ottobeuren, the latter of which invited our Middle Swabian Party members to a German Congress for this past Sunday, the 19th of August. Even though the individual local units could naturally send only small representations, nearly 2,000 National Socialists nonetheless responded to the invitation...
On Sunday morning the consecration of stormtroop flags was conducted for various SA units, which began with a mass in the famous Benedictine church. In an unprecedented manner, the city pastor office refused to allow the consecration in the church, which aroused boundless exasperation among the Party members, who are almost entirely of the Catholic faith. The Church authorities do not do well to give offense to the faithful in this way.
Aug. 24, 1923 Father Pieper’s speech of Aug. 24, 1923 affirming Nazi racism and proclaiming that “a convinced Christian and Catholic must be an antisemite”:“Can a Catholic Be a National Socialist?”
This question was broached at a well-attended public gathering of our Party in Straubing [a town in Bavaria, northeast of Munich], by Party Member Vicar Dr. Pieper, where he said essentially the following:
Certain Center Party newspapers and representatives of the Center Party unscrupulously keep expressing the opinion that it is an obligation of conscience for a faithful Catholic to belong to the Center Party. No Center Party delegate and no Center Party newspaper has the right to speak with the authority of the Church, but only the Pope and Bishops. Leo XIII, one of the most spiritually gifted and important followers of Christ, explained in several Encyclicals: The Church is completely distinct from any party. To bring the Church into politics is not permissible. The speaker then posed the further question: Can a Catholic without prejudice to his faith belong to that party? The answer came: one may adhere to only one party, one that stands on the foundation of positive Christianity and shows its convictions through its deeds. Considered from this point of view, two parties can be excluded from the outset. First, the Social Democrats, and second, the Democratic Party. The first because, as Bebel (one of its prominent leaders) declared, it stands on a foundation of atheism, that is godlessness. The second, because it does not positively represent the Christian worldview, but rather has thrown itself in with the Jewish-liberal and freethinking point of view. A visible picture of the Democrats can be gained from the “Frankfurter Zeitung” and the “Berlin Daily Paper.” The Nazi Party stands on the foundation of positive Christianity and so works practically under the banner of a Christianity of deeds. It fights above all for Christian education and the denominational school. Alongside religion is a higher, holy concept of Fatherland, that is the collectivity of all members of German blood, destiny and Volk. God himself created the peoples differently according to blood, character and type, and thus wants the distinctions of blood, Volk and races. He also desires that what he created be kept and preserved pure. So we must turn away from everything that impairs racial purity. For this reason the racial viewpoint of National Socialism corresponds completely with Christianity. In the Spirit of Christ we must also turn against Jewry, an Asian horde, as the “famous” Rathenau called it. We have the right and the duty to direct ourselves against it. Dr. Pieper further mentioned the statements of Chaplain Roth of Indersdorf, which follow: Every Jew is from the outset a hidden danger to the Christian religion, and for this reason the Jew must be driven out of the public life of Christian peoples. The Völkisch movement is reproached for lack of love of neighbor on this ground, but it is an expression of neighborly love to keep one’s fellow men away from moral dangers, and it is an offense against Christian love of neighbor to dawdle while humanity is being plundered morally and economically by the Jews. Bishop Prohaska said it: Not hatred and incitement, but rather the love that we owe to ourselves leads us to pass laws against the Jews who hang on our necks like a millstone. Other writer-witnesses among the Catholic clergy include the author Hansjakob, the Bishop Martin, the Austrian Priest Sebastian Brunner, Bishop Keppler of Rottenburg, etc. All of them recognized and fought against the danger of Jewish contamination of our Christian life.
Based on these considerations, a convinced Christian and Catholic must be an antisemite. How does it look for the parties to hide behind Christianity everywhere. The Center Party press and the Center Party itself are forerunners of Jewry. Privy Counselor Marx, the leader of the German Center Party and a Catholic, has been required by the Jews to speak out against antisemitism. He did this with the following words: The Jews can depend on it, that we will support them. And how does it look now in the Christian Bavarian Peoples’ Party: In 1918 as the elections were right around the corner, the Party leadership in Regensburg made an alliance with Supreme Rabbi Dr. Mayer and said they would be happy if as many Jews as possible became delegates of their party in Parliament. Dr. Heim, easily the most important leader of this Party, was very inconsistent in his position toward Jewry from 1901 to 1923. In the early years he said the Jews should not push themselves forward so arrogantly, but in 1923, as a member of the board of directors of the Jewish-dominated Deutsche Bank, as father of a director of a Jewish malt factory in Schweinfurt, as father-in-law of a man in the Jewish Darmstadt Bank in Regensburg, he was happy as a Christian being taught by Jews.
The other political parties from Breitscheid to Stresemann sail in Jewish waters and, true to their men behind the scenes, in common with the all-Christian party, created the Law for the Protection of the Pre-eminence of the Jews (Republic-Defense-Law).
Since the National Socialist Party stands on the foundation of positive Christianity theoretically and practically, it is obvious that its Catholic members also identify with every single doctrine of faith and moral law of the Catholic Church. However, your Party gathering is not the place to deal with particular issues of the Catechism. Far more appropriate would be to inquire into how the Center Party with its unprincipled policies since the Revolution has harmed religion.
Thunderous applause showed that the evening was a complete success for the National Socialist German Workers Party.
A related article follows immediately afterwards.
The antithesis of the recent gathering in Straubing with our Party Member Dr. Pieper, with its dignity and calm and mutual toleration, was seen in a supposedly non-political gathering of the so-called Christian Association of Pfaffenhofen, in which Father Rupert Mayer spoke about “Christianity and modern contemporary currents.” Right away the introduction showed that this “non-political” lecture would be nothing but a demonstration against National Socialism. Taking as a pretext the “modern intellectual current of socialism,” the Bavarian People’s Party agitator in a priestly cassock tried to take down National Socialism as an “un-Christian intellectual current,” because National Socialism:rejects the Old Testament which is inspired by the Holy Spirit;
confers on positive Christianity so-to-speak a new content;
teaches not only hatred toward Jewry but also against our enemies.
These statements could naturally not be left uncontradicted. So our Party Member Haselmayer from Ingolstadt took the floor and disputed in front of everyone, with emphasis, whether the Christian organization of the Bavarian People’s Party combats Marxism. He rightly identified this organization as a comrade-in-arms with Marxists, because it gave up its Christian principles in establishing itself on the acknowledged foundation of the Jewish-internationalist-Marxist bank- and stock-exchange Revolution...
By the way, it must be set forth clearly that the method and manner in which Fr. Rupert Mayer engages in political struggle steadily causes direct scandal among the widest circles of the Catholic people.
Source: Völkischer Beobachter, Aug. 24, 1923, p.6.
Sept. 1, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page one:“German Congress in Nuremberg”
In the city of Albrecht Dürer it is German Day. From every district of Bavaria, especially Franconia, patriotic-minded men are streaming together, easily 50,000 of them, to experience and give voice again to this sentiment of Völkisch unity, which has been bitterly hated and persecuted by traitors to the Volk ever since those portentous days of November. In few cities does the contrast between old and new come so meaningfully into expression as in Nuremberg. Battlements, mighty walls and towers testify there to manly vigor and military valor, yet in the midst of these testimonies to a great past sit the bloodless, degenerate souls of democrats: and within the walls are offered for sale the printed works of arch traitors...
Sept. 4-5, 1923 Minutes (Protokoll) of the Bavarian Bishops’ meeting of Sept. 4-5, 1923:The Conference received a confidential report from the Archbishop of Munich with respect to the negotiations of the past year, which have been led by His Excellency Apostolic Nuncio Pacelli with remarkable sagacity and patience. The Conference must regret that the Holy Father was treated with such distrust by the Bavarian State Government and that some Cathedral Chapter members (not the Cathedral Chapters on the whole) showed so little understanding of the Church’s freedom to appoint bishops pursuant to Canon 329. For the undesirable event that the Concordat does not come to fruition, our next tasks are thoroughly considered. ( pp. 305-306).
Source: Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, No. 4056, reprinted in Volk, Faulhaber Papers, vol.1, p.310.
Cathedral Chapters obstructing Concordat negotiations, as described by Nuncio Pacelli in 1929 at the end of his Nunciature:During Concordat negotiations the stance of not a few members of the Cathedral Chapters and Theological Faculties was grievous. The former, indeed, in order to preserve, contrary to the intention of the Holy See, their full right to elect Bishops, did not stop short of lobbying state cabinet officials and Landtag delegates right up to the end, even non-Catholic and liberal ones, so that they would support the preservation of the Chapters’ election rights, which were portrayed as an old German right that was important even from a nationalist point of view; the latter acted in the same way with the Education Ministry, in order to impede to the utmost any improved establishment and expansion of the rights of the local Bishop in the appointment and removal of professors in the aforementioned Faculties, thus aggravating the already very serious difficulties presented in the negotiations on this issue.
Source: Eugenio Pacelli, Sulla Situazione della Chiesa Cattolica in Germania [On the situation of the Catholic Church in Germany: a detailed report to the Vatican at the end of his Nunciature], Nov. 18, 1929, reprinted in Hubert Wolf and Klaus Unterburger, eds., Eugenio Pacelli: Die Lage der Kirche in Deutschland, 1929 (2006), pp. 210-212.
Sept. 11, 1923 Pacelli to Matt:
The Holy See has not failed to turn its full attention to the Memorandum with the esteemed Note of July 21 this year, supplemented by the writings of July 25 and August 1, which was most kindly delivered to me by Your Excellency, and has now imparted to me the honorable task of informing Your Excellency of the answer to the statements given there...
Article III sections 1 and 2.
Notwithstanding the special importance of these points and the weighty reasons (as presented in Note No. 27728 of this June 16th) that showed the retention of the provision as proposed by the Holy See to be advisable and just, the Holy See will not reject the proposed wording from the Bavarian State Government, trusting that the spirit of extreme accommodation that has animated the Holy See consistently in the present negotiations will be appropriately appreciated and reciprocated by the Government...
Article XIV section 1.
The Holy See takes the matter as indeed settled, that the Bavarian Government accepts the text set forth by the Holy See insofar as it establishes the principle that the appointment of Archbishops and Bishops is a matter for the Holy See, as the Holy See will ascertain semi-officially, before the publication of the Bull of appointment, whether any objections of a political nature exist against a candidate.
Nevertheless, the Holy See cannot accept the new proposal of the Government, whereby the Chapter, upon a vacancy in an Archdiocesan or Diocesan See, delivers a proposed list with the names of at least two candidates to the Holy See, which will then appoint one of the proposed candidates. Such a proposal differs only as a matter of form from that of election of Bishops by the Chapter, which has been declared unacceptable. It would thereby completely preclude the vote of the Bavarian Bishops in the selection of candidates, of which it is to be presumed that the Bishops have a broader view of the religious needs of Bavaria than do the members of a Cathedral Chapter. Furthermore, the proposal would reduce the task of the Holy See practically to nothing, even though it is simultaneously recognized that the appointment of Archbishops and Bishops is a matter for It. It has caused the Holy Father considerable pain to perceive that the Government of a predominantly Catholic State insists so much on shutting out the Holy See from the selection of Bishops, as if the Holy See had not always shown toward Bavaria the most opportune care and as if the Bishops chosen by Rome had not served well for religion and for their Fatherland.
If the Holy See wanted now, finally, to give in to Bavaria in such a vitally important matter for the Church, it would retain no convincing arguments for denying the same privilege to all other Catholic States; that would, apart from the easily foreseeable confusion, undoubtedly effect a considerable dissolving of the bonds that tie all Churches to the See of Peter.
Based on these considerations, and for many other reasons, which will be passed over in the interest of brevity, the Holy Father has decided after careful consideration and lengthy prayer to stick to his position, which I had the honor to communicate to Your Excellency in my Note No. 27488 of May 26th this year, in which He allowed the Bavarian Chapters to submit their candidate lists directly to the Holy See every three years; the Holy See reserves the freedom to choose from these as well as from the lists submitted by the most reverend Bavarian Bishops. So that the Bavarian Government may nevertheless not believe that the Holy Father has paid no regard to their desire and has not considered an accommodation to the extent possible, He has – going to the furthest limits of His ability to compromise – let the matter rest with this amendment; that in the event of a vacancy of a Bishopric, only the interested Chapter – even if it has just recently sent the other Bavarian Chapters its aforementioned triennial list – will be convened in a new session within the established timeframe and procedures, in order to establish a new list of worthy and approved candidates for the office of Bishop and to submit the list to the Holy See. The latter will consider this list along with the earlier submitted triennial lists of the various Chapters and Bishops, while preserving its complete freedom.
The foregoing is the absolute most that the Holy See can concede, so that any further pressure in relation to this matter would be pointless, and a posture of rejection by the Bavarian Government as to this point would thus bring the Concordat negotiations definitively to failure, for the alleviation of which the Holy See has shown such great accommodation on all other points. The Holy See can nonetheless not help but observe that, if the Government were not to accept the rightful considerations of His Holiness, the responsibility for the failure of the negotiations would fall upon it; for it would not be understandable how the Bavarian State cannot be sufficiently protected by the proposed provisions, according to which the candidates for the office of Bishop must have German citizenship, must have received a graduation certificate from a high school recognized by the Bavarian State, after which, moreover, the lists of Bishop candidates from the Bavarian Cathedral Chapters and the Bavarian Bishops must be compiled, and finally the Holy See, before publishing the Bull of appointment, must ascertain that the Government has raised no objections of a political nature against the chosen person...
Source: Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State (Holy See), Section for Relations with States, AA.EE.SS., Baviera, 1918-1922, pos. 72, vol. III, fol. 244r-251r, reprinted in www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 1974.
Sept. 12 and 14, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter headlines:
Sept. 12: “How the November Republic Is Stealing from Its Citizens Under Cover of Law”; announcement of a speech by Hitler to a mass gathering on the Mars Field on the topic “The Collapse of the November Republic and the Mission of Our Movement.”
Sept. 14: “The Republic Is Ripe for Collapse” – “The Revolution Is a Singular Theft” – “We Are Ready to Fight!” - “The Collapse of the November Treason”
Sept. 15, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page one, banner headline:“Successful Revolution in Spain”
Subheads: “Military Dictatorship in the Country - Madrid Agrees with the Movement - The Fascist Intervention in the Spanish Crisis”
Additional features on page one:Left-side lead: “The Announcement of the Patriotic Fighting League”
Large advertisement in center of page: “Adolf Hitler will speak on September 15th and 16th at the German Congress in Hof an der Saale. Party Members! Turn out en masse! Völkisch Formations in Processions with Your Flags!”
Sept. 24, 1923 Pacelli to Gasparri:Re: Trip to Berlin – Political Situation – Ruhr Issue
Most Reverend Eminence,
As I did not fail to make known by private letter to Mons. Sostituto [Pizzardo] of the Secretariat of State – after having delivered to Bavarian Education Minister Dr. Matt the Note concerning the Concordat negotiations, a copy of which had already been transmitted by me to Your Most Reverend Eminence, I believed it my duty to go to Berlin, in order to introduce myself to the new Chancellor, Mr. Stresemann. This visit was indeed awaited by him with strong desire. Arriving in Berlin the morning of last Tuesday, the 17th, I was immediately received by him at 11:30am. The Chancellor explained to me the domestic and foreign situation of Germany. As to the first, he said that the rumors circulating in Bavaria that a Bolshevik or purely Socialist government will soon come to power in Berlin (rumors that steadily feed separatist tendencies) are unfounded. The Reich Army is loyal and ready to oppose any form of insurrection, be it from the right or the left. It is also false (he said) that the Socialists have a preponderant influence in his Cabinet, since they leave him freedom of action. If they were to exit the coalition, he would not resign, but would form a Cabinet purely of the bourgeois parties and, if necessary, obtain from the Reich President the dissolution of the Reichstag. It is rather likely that, because of the enormous increases in prices, there will be lootings in the shops and in the countryside, but these can be repressed. The situation is undoubtedly rather tense in Saxony and Thuringia, where the Red parties predominate, and the Reich Government is indeed disposed to act eventually at the opportune moment, but this has not yet arrived, because then he would be obliged to proceed also against the elements of the extreme right (National Socialists) of Bavaria, which, no less than the elements of the extreme left, despise and deprecate the Authorities of the Reich. I had to add, however, that if the Chancellor is expressing himself with so much confidence with regard to Bolshevism in talking to me, who am currently living in Bavaria, evidently for the purpose of calming the rumors circulating there, with other Ambassadors on the contrary, according to what they themselves have told me, he has depicted the Bolshevik peril in Germany, especially in Berlin, as grave and threatening.
Coming then to discuss the foreign policy situation ...
Source: Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State (Holy See), Section for Relations with States, AA.EE.SS., Germania , 1923-1928, pos. 525, fasc. 39, fol. 71r-75v, reprinted in www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 107.
Sept. 24, 1923 Hitler’s appeal on page 4 of the Völkischer Beobachter:“Combat Veterans!”
Comrades who victoriously fought with us shoulder to shoulder for over 4 years against overwhelming enemies, but through the treason of the November Criminals were deprived the victory of our arms, enlist in our ranks for the fostering of our former comradeship. What we expect from you is boundless love for our subjugated Fatherland, thus boundless hatred toward our enemies at home and abroad. What we demand from you is voluntary submission under our leadership and standing up for our goals and our movement, even at the risk of your lives. What we offer you is hope in a free life in a free Greater Germany for the attainment of our goals for you and your children.
Report daily from 10 to 12 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m., Schelling Street 39/I, at the stormtroop unit of the N.S.D.A.P. [National Socialist Democratic Workers Party]. Bring your military papers and your report of separation from active duty.
/s/ Hitler, shock trooper
Sept. 26, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, page one, banner headline:“The Result of the Berlin Capitulation: Adolf Hitler Entrusted with the Entire Political Leadership of the Fighting Formations”
Left side lead article:“A Unanimous Decision”
In the leadership session of the German Fighting League on the morning of September 25th, the leaders of the Oberland Fighting Formation and the Reich Flag Fighting Formation, which were already consolidated with the Nazi Party’s SA, declared:In view of the seriousness of the political situation, we sense the necessity of a unitary political leadership. In complete agreement as to means and goals, we the leaders of the Fighting Formations, with full preservation of their internal resolution of purpose, entrust this political leadership to Adolf Hitler.
This news will certainly arouse the utmost rejoicing in all Völkisch circles...
Large advertisement in middle of front page:National Socialists! Antisemites!
The position of the Nazi movement and the Patriotic Fighting Formations united with it on the increasingly imminent catastrophe and the events arising from it is resulting in
14 Mass Gatherings
which will take place on Thursday, September 27th at 8 p.m. in the following Munich halls:
Bürgerbräu Beer Hall, Löwenbräu Beer Hall, Hofbräuhaus Festival Hall at the Platzl, Schwabing Beer Hall, Hacker Beer Hall, Arzberger Beer Hall, Blüte, Kreuz Beer Hall, Coloseum Beer Hall, Franziskaner Beer Hall, The Rococo Hall, Thomas Beer Hall, Grosser Wirt in Schwabing, and Salvator Beer Hall
will speak in every one of the gatherings, and Party members will appear as speakers from every German-speaking region.
We expect a massive turnout.
Sept. 27, 1923 Pacelli to Gasparri:Re: Appointment of Mr. von Kahr as Commissar General of the State of Bavaria
Most Reverend Eminence,
Following up my respectful coded communiqué no. 442 of today, I have the honor to report to Your Most Reverend Eminence that the Bavarian Government, having (as Minister of Finance Dr. Krausneck told me yesterday evening) come to the certainty that the radicals of the right with Hitler at their head had already decided to give battle and were preparing political upheavals for the upcoming days, has appointed as Commissar General of the State, with exceptional powers for maintaining order, Mr. von Kahr. Since this appointment has been publicized this morning by the press, I believed (given the good personal relations I have had with the aforesaid gentleman from the time when he was Minister President) that I had an obligation of courtesy to go to his residence this afternoon to leave a letter of congratulations for the high office entrusted to him. Mr. von Kahr, however, having learned of my coming, wanted to see me, and he responded to my congratulations by expressing the grave responsibility that has been placed upon him. The Bavarian Cabinet indeed remains in place, but all powers are in reality in the hands of the Commissar. He had to begin by prohibiting, albeit reluctantly, the fourteen assemblies that Hitler wanted to hold today in Munich; he desires, however, to unite gradually with him and with the aforesaid elements of the right, which, in his opinion, have the defect of being too ardent, defending however in substance the good cause. As a result, he observed, one will see the meetings of the right permitted and those of the left prohibited. Then he added that the Government in Berlin, upon merely being apprised of the appointment of von Kahr, and fearing its influence even far outside the borders of Bavaria, had proclaimed a state of emergency also for the Reich, conferred executive power upon the Minister of the Reich Army, Gessler, and appointed in its turn, based on the principle that the law of the Reich prevails over the law of an individual State (Reich law trumps State law), a special Commissar for Bavaria in the person of General von Lossow (who, however, does not intend to accept). Thus he, von Kahr, however, has decided not to accede to, and not to obey, the decisions of the Reich Government, seeing in this a grave conflict with Berlin, a conflict that could lead even to a separation and to a restoration of the monarchy in Bavaria. The King [i.e. crown prince Rupprecht of Bavaria] – he added – who in recent days was in Munich (whence he has now departed), had a capable posture and played a rather important part in the development of the crisis and in the appointment of the Commissar. General Ludendorff – who had a discussion with the “King” in recent days, during which, while the two personages explained themselves to each other, they did not arrive at an understanding – had sought to become himself dictator for Bavaria, but this was not accepted. These confidential statements by Mr. von Kahr reveal, in my humble opinion, all the gravity of the situation and the most difficult domestic complications that could occur in Germany.
Humbly bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple, with sentiments of profound veneration, I have the honor to prove myself
Your Most Reverend Eminence’s
Most Humble, Most Devoted, Most Obliged Servant,
+Eugenio Pacelli, Archbishop of Sardis
Source: Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State (Holy See), Section for Relations with States, AA.EE.SS., Baviera, 1922-1925, pos. 151, fasc. 2, fol. 77r-78r, reprinted in www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 1089.
Sept. 29, 1923 Article on Gustav von Kahr and Nazism vs. Monarchism, Völkischer Beobachter, Sept. 29, 1923, page one:“Dr. von Kahr and Crown Prince Rupprecht [Wittelsbach heir to Bavarian throne]: A Statement from Dr. von Kahr”
In various conversations in recent days Dr. von Kahr has stated what he is doing, whether or not he is doing it with the approval of the King, he considers himself his regent...
We have stated, from the first moment of our appearance, that the current struggle in Germany is not a struggle about form, but rather about substance, namely the struggle between the Jewish-internationalist and the Völkisch-German concept. The Republic form and the Monarchy form may play out their conflict, but this only signifies a concealing and a mostly well-known silencing of the real and unbridgeable substantive dichotomy. If it was this conflict over form that was decisive for the salvation of the German Fatherland, then it could be resolved by a popular referendum on the form of government.
As opposed to the whole vulgar, dishonorable Marxist leadership, we have defended the merits of the houses of Hohenzollern and Wittelsbach; as to Frederick I, Kaiser Wilhelm I and King Ludwig I, we have held them in highest honor. But we have left no doubt about our viewpoint, that to play around now with the imposition of a monarchy, or to pass oneself off as an official of the monarchy, would be a crime against the Fatherland as well as against the monarchical concept in particular, which the officials think they are serving...
Adjacent article:“France and Hitler”
Dateline: Paris, Sept. 28th
In informed circles it is said that the danger of a civil war in Germany, even in the event of a successful putsch in Bavaria, is actually non-existent.
Le Temps on the other hand reckons with the possibility that Germany could undertake a war with France (!)
If Hitler succeeds in seizing for himself the leadership of the nationalist movement, then a battle against the left-wing parties and against France could also set in.
Sept. 30, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, Sept. 30, 1923, page one, banner headline:“An Appeal to Separatism!”
Picture of General Erich Ludendorff
Column one headline: The “Bavarian Courier” writes:
At Noon on the 1st of May 1919, as the socialist soviet domination in Munich was collapsing, the population, in their rejoicing, hoisted the white-blue [royal Bavarian colors] flag at the Residenz. That flag fluttering in the breeze served as a symbol that Bavaria had been victorious over the Red International.
Four and a half years later, the widely visible white-blue signal was also raised, as former Minister President von Kahr took over full executive power in Bavaria. And the whole Bavarian Volk and the rest of Germany and beyond know that Bavaria, German Bavaria, will be the guiding star of his leadership in office...
Announcement in middle of column one:“To All Local Party Organizations!”
I refer anew to my instruction on the position of Party members in associations that are not incorporated in the German Fighting League. I hold the administrators of the Local Party Organizations responsible to follow the instructions of the Party directorate, which the members of the movement are to follow without exception, insofar as they are not within ten days dismissed from associations that do not belong to the Fighting League.
If a Local Party Organization and its directorate refuse to follow this instruction, I will make use of my right to declare that they are no longer members of the Party.
Eventual exit from the Party is not grounds for failing to honor this instruction.
The work of the movement rests not with its fellow travelers, but rather with its fighters.
This instruction does not have applicability to Local Party Organizations outside Bavaria.
Oct. 1, 1923 Vice Consul Robert Murphy’s Report, “Bavarian Dictator under Martial Law,” Oct. 1, 1923:Coincident with the formal cessation of passive resistance to the Ruhr occupation by decision of the Reich, the Bavarian Cabinet on September 26, 1923, without formal notification to the central government of its intention, proclaimed a state of martial law throughout Bavaria, and under Article 48, Section 4 of the Federal Constitution, appointed Dr. von Kahr, former Bavarian Premier, and now President of the District Government of Upper Bavaria, as Commissioner-General (Generalstaatskommissar).
The following is a translation of the official proclamation:In accordance with Article 48, Section IV of the German Constitution and Par. 64 of the Bavarian Constitution, Dr. von Kahr has been appointed Commissioner General of the State until further notice.
Art. 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, and 124 and 153 of the German Constitution and Par. 14 and 16 of the Bavarian Constitutional Charter have been provisionally abolished.
In consequence the following is authorized:
Restrictions on personal liberty, of the right to freely express one’s opinions, including the liberty of the press, of the right to hold public meetings, of inviolability for letters, telegrams and telephone messages, the issue of search warrants and orders for the sequestration and confiscation of property, also outside the limits otherwise prescribed by law in this connection.
With the proclamation of this decree executive power is conferred on the Commissioner-General.
All the authorities of the Reich, of Bavaria, and of the boroughs will remain in office, but with the exception of the Courts of Justice, the administrative courts and the military authorities – they must obey the instructions of the Commissioner General. He is authorized to perform official acts in their stead. According to Par. 17 of the military law, he is empowered to demand the assistance of the army.
The decrees and orders of the Commissioner General supersede all decrees and orders of all other authorities with the exception of the courts of justice, the administrative courts and the military authorities. Legal appeals against the decrees and orders of the Commissioner General are not admissible unless he himself decides otherwise.
The Commissioner General can issue decrees for the maintenance of public safety and order and threaten with punishment the transgression of the same or any incitement or instigation thereto. He is also empowered to detain in protective custody and to restrict the rights of sejours.
The decree comes into force simultaneously with the proclamation of it. Munich, September 26, 1923. Dr. von Knilling, Gürtner, Dr. Schweyer, Dr. Matt, Dr. Krausneck, Oswald, Wutzlhofer, Dr. v. Meinel.
Article 48 of the German Constitution confers the power upon the state government as it does upon the Federal executive to temporarily waive certain constitutional rights, such as freedom of the press, and others, and adopt all necessary measures to insure the public safety and the maintenance of order should they be threatened or disturbed. Such measures are to be voided upon demand of the President of the Republic, or the Reichstag.
Section 64 of the Bavarian Constitution authorizes the Cabinet ‘in case of threatening danger’ to take all necessary measures to insure peace and order. For this purpose the state executive may temporarily abolish in entirety or partially such constitutional rights and privileges as he sees fit.
Temporarily under the proclamation the Bavarian legislative branch has ceased to function. It will be recalled that the parties of the right have endeavored in parliament to secure by the device of a constitutional amendment providing for the initiative and referendum a provision for a State’s President. The person upon whom support united was Dr. von Kahr who has now received temporarily at least the reins of government untrammeled by constitutional restrictions.
The government’s action, as embarrassing as it may be to Premier von Knilling, was well timed to satisfy public demand for strong action of some kind at the critical moment of surrender in the Ruhr question. It calmed nervous tension and alarm existing among the people and did much to prevent possible violence.
Von Kahr is a member of the Bavarian Mittelpartei (Deutsch Nationalen) was transition Minister President of Bavaria in 1921, and at the time of his appointment occupied the position of President of the District of Upper Bavaria. Of possible local interest is the fact that he is a Protestant. He is an intimate friend of Field Marshall von Hindenburg who enjoyed von Kahr’s hospitality during his two recent visits, and has been closely associated with Ludendorff in the patriotic movement. He is strongly nationalistic and outspokenly royalist. In referring to ex-Crown Prince Rupprecht, von Kahr is reported to have said that what he does, is done with the approval of the “King.” Until recently he was Honorary President of all the patriotic societies in Bavaria. He is reactionary and conservative. He is an advocate of a strong military establishment, and lent vigorous support to the Einwohnerwehr, and the oranizations resulting from its dissolution. He shares the view of the present Premier that the Versailles Treaty is to be regarded as null and void, and supports the campaign against the so-called “lies as to guilt for responsibility of the recent war” (Kriegsschuldlüge).
Upon his assumption of office as virtual dictator for Bavaria he immediately announced an open fight on socialism declaring that he governed for the Right. The announcement was accompanied by a prohibition against armed protective organizations of the United Socialists and Communist Party and a police raid conducted against the Muenchner Post (official Socialist organ) resulted in the seizure of a quantity of small arms, ammunition and handgrenades. No order was issued against the armed groups of the National Socialists (Hitler).
Strikes and lockouts have also been prohibited. Responsible for this prohibition was the fear that the railroads, posts and telegraph might close down because of a general retaliation strike engineered by the trade unions. The prohibition provided for severe penalties.
The Commissioner-General also issued an order punishing treason with death, and leaving the interpretation of treason vague and indefinite.
Political assemblies and public meetings of a political nature have also been prohibited. Fourteen mass meetings of the National Socialists (Hitler) scheduled for one evening were cancelled. The order was passively received.
Von Kahr’s appointment has caused further dissension among the patriotic groups and a distinct line has appeared between the views of Ludendorff and Hitler on the one side, and von Kahr and the government on the other. Certain of the patriotic groups known as the ‘Kampfbund’ threw their support to the Hitlerites. It is believed that von Kahr may succeed in his aim of consolidating the patriotic movement.
Source: U.S. NARA, M336, R19, pp. 294-298.
Oct. 3, 1923 Pacelli to Gasparri:Re: Visit of Mr. von Kahr – Negotiations for the Concordat with Bavaria
Most Reverend Eminence,
This morning the State Commissar General in Bavaria, Mr. von Kahr, came to pay me a visit.
He repeated to me how grave a responsibility weighs on him, and how painful it is to have to fight against the radical elements of the right, the National Socialists, who, despite their excesses, are felt to be fundamentally united by common ideals. Hitler has gone so far as to express his homage and personal devotion, and Kahr does not despair of being able to arrive at an agreement with him and his followers, which does not appear possible, on the other hand, with regard to General Ludendorff. Moreover, he has the power to make his authority respected; the Reich Army (he said) in Bavaria is faithful to his authority to the last man, and he has been able to seize most of the weapons at the disposal of the National Socialists. - As to the parties of the left, Kahr told me he is not afraid; he has dissolved their defense organizations; the Socialists are attempting to reconstitute them clandestinely under false monarchical names, like the King Ludwig III Memorial Association, and the Crown Prince Rupprecht Association, but he is not being deceived by these maneuvers, which, moreover, come to his attention before they are first discussed in the Socialists’ meetings. - Kahr added that the conflict with the Reich Government, which he expected (Report no. 28600 of Sept. 27), has not assumed an acute form, at least so far; in Berlin they will most probably want to avoid a rupture with Bavaria at this most delicate moment, as it could bring about the most serious consequences. - Kahr added that he wants to establish a solid foundation of order and authority. As to the numerous measures he has already taken, and which the press has reported, they will be followed by others, including one concerning foreigners, especially for the purpose of freeing Bavaria from not a few Russian and Polish Jews, who have infiltrated Bavaria.
I asked Mr. von Kahr if, as a result of the new political situation, the negotiations for the Concordat with Bavaria could encounter obstacles or delays. He replied to me resolutely that no, he has already asked the Education Minister, Dr. Matt, about the status of the negotiations, who assured him that he would send me right away the reply to my last Note (Report no. 28495) of this past September 12th. Kahr (Protestant, but fair toward Catholics) added that he intends to favor Christian principles and Christian education for youth, and that it is proposed to eliminate gradually from the schools those teachers who assume an anti-religious attitude, while leaving them freedom of conscience outside these matters...
Source: Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State (Holy See), Section for Relations with States, AA.EE.SS., Baviera, 1918-1922, pos. 72, vol. III, fol. 257r-258r, reprinted in www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 411.
Oct. 6, 1923 Heinrich Held’s letter of Oct. 6, 1923 to Cardinal Faulhaber:Your Eminence!
Serious religious and political concerns press me to take pen in hand for a letter to Your Eminence. What has long been my suspicion has now become my rock solid conviction: The entire nationalist-Völkisch movement in Bavaria, whose nucleus is the National Socialists and the Fighting League with Ludendorff at the head, is in its main tendencies a major movement of apostasy from the Catholic faith and the Church and at the same time a cunning struggle against the State of Bavaria and the House of Wittelsbach. The leading “initiates” of the whole movement are almost exclusively Protestants and mostly non-Bavarians, whose immigration here is mostly of recent date; of them it is clear that they are in closest contact with the Protestant League [Evangelischer Bund] and the North German sort of German nationalists surrounding Helfferich (the author of demagogic pamphlets under the name of Ulrich von Hutten). Ludendorff is the archtype of a Protestant Leaguer and Hitler is the docile student of Wolf and Schönerer, the Free-From-Rome people of Braunau. The financiers in Germany are Stinnes and the financiers of the Hollenzollerns, along with foreign antisemites and lodge members.*
(*Notes by L. Volk, ed.: Ludendorff ... fought against international powers (Jews, Freemasons and Jesuits) and for a religion based on north German race. Karl Helfferich was Vice Chancellor of Germany in 1916-1917. Karl Hermann Wolf was an Austrian politician prominent in the Free-From-Rome movement, as was Georg Ritter von Schönerer. Braunau am Inn is the Austrian town, directly across the Inn River from Bavaria, where Hitler was born.)
The Catholic Church and we German Catholics are denounced as anti-nationalist and opponents of the Reich. The “Black International” [Jesuits or Rome-directed international movement] is branded by these people as at least as dangerous for Germany and national unity and agreement as the Red International. Their systematic, veiled incitement, laced with nationalistic slogans, has a confusing and poisoning impact even in our Catholic ranks – many Catholics go along with the big crowd, without knowing how they are being exploited and wronged by resounding slogans. Yes, even clergy get entangled in National Socialist ideas and allow themselves to be shamelessly exploited as agitators. With devilish cleverness “German” Christianity is propagated and the real – Catholic – Christianity is conjured away. With “field masses” as drapery, the Catholic people, especially Catholic youth, are thoroughly deceived about the true intentions of the leaders of the movement. It is a pity and a shame, how the Catholic people of Bavaria are allowing themselves to be brought to their end by political and religious tricksters, charlatans and criminals.
Your Eminence! The danger is enormously great. No government or representative of the people can master this danger, because a year-long lying and poisoning demagoguery has deprived them of respect and trust, even among a considerable portion of the Catholic population. Herr General State Commissar Dr. von Kahr will also be unable to accomplish anything in this direction – either he does not recognize this danger or he is unable, as a Protestant, to summon the inner strength to dispel it, even if he is yet well intentioned otherwise. The danger is acute in the highest degree – the conduct of France aggravates it from day to day.
Thus there is only one salvation and it lies with Your Eminence and the episcopate as a whole. Your Eminence, do not take it as presumption, but as an imploring request, arising from a recognition of facts, from a true son of the Church and a friend of the Fatherland, if I implore Your Eminence to stake out a sure signpost showing the way out of this intellectual and spiritual entanglement, by means of an open strong word of warning and resistance to the Catholic people. I am convinced that one word from Your Eminence will bring our Bavarian Catholic people back to their senses and to proper Catholic and Bavarian behavior.
Your Eminence, excuse the frankness of my expression – it is the result of a long interior struggle.
With respectful greetings, Your Eminence’s grateful servant,
/s/ Heinrich Held
Source: Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, no. 7601, reprinted in Volk, Faulhaber Papers, vol.1, pp. 314-315.
Note: Heinrich Held is described by one historian as “the most important single figure behind the BVP [the Catholic Bavarian People’s Party] and long a decisive influence from behind the scenes. He became Minister President of Bavaria in mid-1924 and continued in that position until the Nazis took over the Bavarian Government in March 1933.” Harold Gordon, Jr., Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch (1972), p.547. The Bavarian post of “Ministerpräsident” was not the same as “president” in a modern republic. It was actually the equivalent of prime minister, subject to change with shifts in parliamentary majorities.
Oct. 5, 1923 Gasparri to Pacelli:It is learned with pleasure from the German Ambassador that Your Excellency's presence in Berlin is desired not only by the Government, but also by the Diplomatic Corps. The Holy Father considers it opportune that Your Excellency, to satisfy this honorable desire, divide your sojourning between Munich and Berlin until such time as it is possible to leave Munich definitively.
Source: www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 10285.
Oct. 7, 1923 Pacelli to Pizzardo:Dearest Monsignore,
I have continued to purchase new things by means of the religious note. I already have all the dishes and glasses. So far I have spent 1,300 Lire (not 1200 as I think I wrote you the other day) + 4,400 = 5,700. I find myself, Monsignore, in no small embarrassment, especially since I remain in considerable deficit also with office expenses, and I do not have any money!
Yesterday I received the telegram about residing in Berlin – Munich. I will seek to implement it to the extent it is humanly possible, and I allow myself to note:
1) In Berlin the Government and the Diplomatic Corps desire my presence, it is true, but everyone knows and acknowledges the important reason that keeps me in Munich. I repeated to the Chancellor that any time my presence is specially desired, he need only make me aware of it and I will come immediately. I said the same to some Ambassadors.
2) If I must keep myself frequently in Berlin for long periods, the Bavarian Concordat negotiations will inevitably suffer further deplorable delays, since I have there neither the Archive nor the necessary books, nor the means to confer with Ministers (the other evening I had a two-hour conference with the Education Minister), with Deputies, with Ecclesiastics and other Bavarians, nor the time and tranquility to work, being continually assaulted and molested by visitors, invites, etc. I might consider this to reflect on the excellent Ambassador Bergen, but of course the Bavarian Concordat means nothing to him, indeed . . . [elision in original] I therefore interpret the instruction to divide my sojourn in such a way that the Concordat will not suffer. In the event this interpretation is not correct, please advise me, but of course in that case I decline all responsibility for the inevitable delays and the results that could follow.
3) Finally (not complaining by returning to this argument), if I have to spend more and stay longer in Berlin than I have up to now, I will need a considerable sum of money to sustain the related expenses.
With unchanging affection,
Source: www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 2041.
Oct. 8, 1923 Pacelli to Gasparri:Most Reverend Eminence,
The separatist tendencies that I have already had occasion to report to Your Most Reverend Eminence (Report Nos. 28486, 28600 and 28643 dated respectively September 10 and 27 and October 3), having become much stronger in Bavaria at the moment the passive resistance in the Ruhr collapsed, have now, thanks to a calmer view of reality, notably lost their intensity. This is proved by recent statements of State Commissar General Dr. von Kahr (cf. enclosure), who, receiving the representatives of the press last Saturday, spoke as follows:Bavaria must become again a strong State. Strong States are an indispensable condition for a sound and strong Reich. From this it follows that Bavaria cannot conduct a separatist policy. The Bavarian people, in their great majority, have no love for the Weimar Constitution, which has been a disgrace for the German people. We in Bavaria want a new Constitution according to the principles of Bismarck. But this has nothing to do with separatism. The German people enjoyed blessing and prosperity in Bismarck’s time; today they are in misery, to which Bavaria does not want to shirk its part. The ties between Bavaria and the Reich are so close that the two of them, like Siamese twins, cannot be separated without placing in danger the lives of both.
The question of the monarchy also comes in second place to that of the fate of the German people, as our Crown Prince Rupprecht recently stated with words truly worthy of a Prince. A majority of the Bavarian people are monarchists. There has already been in these days repeated talk about proclaiming a monarchy, placing my person in rapport with it ... [elision in original] But I am too good a monarchist to carry out foolishness in this field, nor to offer myself for any policy of adventurism.
Moreover, as I have learned from various reliable sources, the same Crown Prince Rupprecht is (wisely, in my humble opinion) against a restoration of the monarchy at the present moment. Indeed, not only would it easily create a series of complications in domestic and foreign policy, but also, not being able to ameliorate the extremely sad current political and economic conditions, it could quite speedily produce the most serious disillusionments among the people, who would want bread at bargain prices and would expect from a King humanly impossible miracles. In that manner the monarchical principle would be left compromised, perhaps irreparably.
Humbly bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple etc.
Source: www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 1090.
Oct. 13, 1923 German Chancellor Gustav Stresemann’s letter of Oct. 13, 1923 to Cardinal Faulhaber:Your Eminence,
May I hereby express my deepest gratitude for the very good news that Herr Baron von Geier and Herr Dr. Mittelmann brought me. In the eight weeks that I have been at the summit of the Reich Government, I have learned much of great sadness from the German States, and the outer- and inner-political pressure of the responsibility upon me has been nearly unbearable. The courage to take on responsibility in Germany has sunk to lowest ebb. The concept of self-sacrifice for the State is overshadowed by an egoism that leaves us doubting the character of our people. Sometimes I have had the feeling as if, in my effort to steer the ship of State through the conflagration, I am standing all alone, and I can expect nothing of positive cooperation, but only negative criticism from those who otherwise are close to me. In this situation, which oppresses my soul extraordinarily, the news of Your Eminence’s standpoint was a great encouragement. Thus, as in my opinion the rising again of the German people can only grow up from a moral idea, so those who have positions of responsibility in the leadership of the State can only achieve something if along with their conscience their soul is strengthened through the conviction that outstanding friends of the Fatherland stand near them in their way of thinking and support them with their power and their desires. For that I am obligated to thank Your Eminence in an upright and heartfelt manner.
If I might direct a request to Your Eminence in connection with this, it would be that you take a public stand with the great influence of your personage for the concept of moral renewal of the people even beyond what has been accomplished up to now. Everywhere we see only destructive and subversive tendencies at work. Never has the unity of the Reich been so severely threatened as presently, for there often intrudes into the relationship of the States to the Reich, in place of the ideal source of power in which the Reich concept is rooted, a self-seeking that asks whether the individual States can only succeed if they free themselves from the whole. Never was the self-seeking of the parties greater than this, as they repeatedly consider the issue of whether they would lose this or gain that in taking this or that position. Never was the opposition among interests livelier than now, never were we so far removed from that viewpoint to which Germany owed its rising up again in Napoleonic times. In that time the Prussian Government could dare to reduce the salaries of its officials by one-third. In those days the King sold his gold tableware to improve the finances of the Reich, and the East Prussian nobility took out mortgages on their property to save the existence of the State. Today many believe that we have lost the greatest war in the history of the world, few work, and more people than ever are able to make greater claims upon the State. What does technical legislating matter, what do parliamentarianism and governing matter, compared to the great question of the reawakening of the moral strengths of the people, without which we will not overcome strong foreign pressure and domestic political anxieties!
In the struggle for the soul of the people the Catholic Church and its leaders have always been able to exercise a great influence. In that regard I see it as one of the least favorable results of the World War, however, that the previously often prominent distinctions of the denominations have faded now and the great common idea of a Christian concept of life has stretched its hand out beyond these distinctions into all the issues that concern the Fatherland. If Your Eminence would have the kindness to involve yourself in the service of matters of this moral rebirth of the people, then Your Eminence would be heard far beyond the bounds of your co-religionists, by the entire German people. We need speeches to the German nation that show us the way from the depths to the heights, out of darkness into light, that show us the way from division to unity and that enable us once again to live with faith in the future.
If Your Eminence is not inclined to refuse this appeal, then please be convinced that the Reich Government will consider it a matter of honor to place all possible support at the disposal of this work, and I ask that you consider me at your disposal in this regard.
If Your Eminence should travel to Berlin, I would consider it a great honor to have Your Eminence as a guest in my home and to present openly to Your Eminence the thoughts that motivate me, and also thereby perhaps bring up the many misimpressions that in my view arise from Bavaria to my deep regret.
Herr Dr. Mittelmann is entrusted with my intentions, and I ask Your Eminence to receive him in the most cordial manner and to let him have your answer.
Please accept, Your Eminence, the expression of my most marked respect and complete devotion, with which I have the honor to be, Your Eminence’s gratefully devoted,
/s/ Dr. Stresemann
Source: Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, no. 7229, reprinted in Volk, Faulhaber Papers, vol.1, pp. 316-318.
Nov. 6, 1923 U.S. Ambassador Houghton’s cable from Berlin to U.S. Secretary of State about Stresemann’s precarious position, Nov. 6, 1923:Had a long talk last night with Stinnes. He is somewhat disturbed by what he terms Stresemann’s obstinacy in refusing to recognize that a new government based on the right parties is now necessary. He so advised Stresemann at a People’s party conference yesterday afternoon. Stresemann had replied, however, that England, America and even France would regard his fall as calamitous and that under these conditions he could not surrender his post. Stinnes answered that no man who had lost the confidence of Bavaria could possibly continue long to function as Chancellor. There the incident ended.
This morning, however, the town is placarded with appeals to strike, in which Stresemann asserts definitely that the government proving both the means and the will to put down any illegal efforts to unseat it and calls upon all good citizens for support. It is uncertain just what this really means. Stresemann is undoubtedly slated to go. I am afraid if he does not go willingly an effort may be made to put him out by force. Whether he is prepared to take this risk only events themselves can tell. On the face of it he means to stay.
Stinnes told me further that he believed Wiedfelt would be called back to head the new government as Chancellor and Foreign Minister and that Minoux, an industrialist of great ability who has worked with Wiedfelt for many years, will act as Minister of Finance and probably supervise the internal reorganization. The program Stinnes said contemplated the reduction of the powers of the national, state and local governments to the one naked function of preserving order and the alienation for a definite number of years of all other functions such as railroads, trams, waterworks, electric light and power and the like to private ownership and control to the end that non-productive labor may be reduced to a minimum, that these functions may be efficiently and profitably managed and that a share of these profits may thereby be obtained for reparations purposes.
Stinnes told me also that the Separatist state was now probable. He said that the French were driving ahead with every means in their power to force the issue and that the population has been so manhandled and was so miserable that it was losing all power to resist.
Telephonic communication this morning with consuls in Munich, Leipzig and Frankfurt all tell the same story as in Berlin – that the high price of food and its scarcity are making a situation which is dangerous in the extreme and can not endure for long. November 6, 9 p.m.
Source: US NARA, M336, Roll 19, pp. 367-369.
Nov. 6, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter headlines on Nov. 6, 1923 about “treason” and “criminals,” as well as a piece on an Arab “anti-Zionist prayer” and an article about fears in Berlin of a Hitler coup.
Page one, top, six-column-wide banner headline: “Invasion of the Palatinate by Rhineland Traitors”
Column 3, middle of page: “The Struggle over the Rhineland Spreads from the Rhineland Treason of the Palatinate”
Column 3, bottom of page: “The Banishment of Traitors from Aachen”
Column 4, middle of page: “A Victim of High Treason”
Column 4, middle of page: “Negotiations with Traitors in Ohren”
Column 6, top of page: “The German Officer Since the Crime of November”
Page one features a prominent notice of price increases to 10 billion and 60 billion marks for monthly mail subscribers to the Völkischer Beobachter; the increases are explained as necessary in light of the rapidly escalating costs as the value of the Mark continues to plunge. By contrast, the cost of a monthly subscription mailed to the U.S. is just one dollar, Italy is 14 Lire per month, and England 3 shillings.
Page 2, headline:“An Arab Hate-Prayer against Zionism”
The Arab newspaper “Miraat el Sdart,” in one of its issues, brings up the text of a prayer that they recommend to Arabs for their daily prayer times. The prayer says:
“We do not recognize the Balfour Declaration (seven times). We do not want Zionism (eight times). We want our complete freedom (seven times). We want complete freedom without any type of Mandate; he hate the English (seven times). We hate the government of Palestine (seven times). Down with Zionism!”
The article closes: Everyone who might come into contact with Zionism in any way should continually repeat this prayer in order to be freed from the scourge of Zionism and become good and loyal nationalists.
In “Germany,” however, they make Zionists directors of the greatest commercial institutes.
Page 2, headline:“The End of the German Mark”
On November 5th in Berlin it was semi-officially announced: Last Sunday the Reich Finance Minister in cooperation with the Commerce Minister undertook comprehensive discussions with subject matter experts about the stabilization of the Mark...
Page 2, headline: “Consequences in Linderung of the November Crime”
Page 2, headline:“A Speech by Sollmann”
Dateline: Berlin, Nov. 5.
The Workers Association of the Republican Youth League of Germany held a rally yesterday for Reich unity and the German republic. Former Reich Interior Minister Sollmann declared that the German republic is still lacking in energy as a result of the economic crisis and the lack of freedom that results from the Versailles Treaty that holds down our Volk. (No, it is because of the inner incapacitating concepts that allow such thinking!) He had withdrawn from the Reich Government because he had lost confidence, and this cabinet could really be bereft of all means. If the republic dies, it will die as a result of the cowardice of its leaders. Germany can only be saved if Christianity and Socialism work together in a powerful way. The rally closed with a resolution that contained commitment of the Youth League to the German republic.
Page 2, headline:“Fear of the National Socialist Movement”
Dateline: Berlin, Nov. 5.
The republican assemblages that held a session last Sunday in the building of the former Herrenbank have decided to make an immediate appeal to the German people, regardless of party, in order to raise volunteers to strengthen the governmental defense forces against the Hitler forces.
Page 2, headline: “Yet Another Who Wants Nothing More to do with the November Criminals”
Nov. 6, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter on Cardinal Faulhaber’s words denouncing antisemitism, Nov. 6, 1923, page 5:“Cardinal Faulhaber as Jew-Protector”
We have heard that Cardinal Faulhaber, in his All Soul’s Day sermon in the Cathedral, allowed himself to be seen setting himself up as a Jew protector. He rounded against the anti-Jewish movement, especially against the antisemitic press, with the addition that Jews too are persons and that we also may not allow them to starve and freeze in the winter.
These statements have been brought to us and confirmed from several sources, so that we consider ourselves entitled to take notice of them. Such views do not really surprise us, if we might also take this occasion to remind the Lord Cardinal that he spoke entirely otherwise at the last Catholic Congress in Munich, where he used very sharp words against the Jewish press. The churches, however, have protected the Jews from time immemorial, which they have also repeatedly acknowledged in public. In any event, this acknowledgement has never induced the Jews to curb or moderate their struggle against Christianity in any way. Politically, on the other hand, the un-Christian Center Party and materialistic, anti-Christian Marxism get along famously well. If the Lord Cardinal thus stands up so warmly for the “poor” Jews, so that they do not starve and freeze in the winter – who does not laugh at that in view of the well-stocked cellars and storehouses of Munich Jewry! – then there is probably a political goal bound up with it. The powerful Völkisch upsurge goes against the grain for the Center Party just as much as for Marxism.
Note: All Souls Day was celebrated in Bavaria on Sunday, Nov. 4, not on the 2nd of November as occurs each year in the United States and some other countries.
Völkischer Beobachter, Nov. 6, 1923, page 5, column one, bottom of page:“Appeal !”
Winter draws near! Party members, think of our stormtroops who offer not only their health but even their clothes in service to the Fatherland. Remember the self-sacrificing devotion of our forefathers in the year 1813! Contribute second-hand articles of clothing, uniforms, woolens, field wear of the old army, shoes, etc. We can use everything! Articles will be picked up on request, otherwise drop them off at: Regimental office, 12 Cornelius Street (Party location).
We stand at the fateful turning point of our entire Volk; those of you who are still outside our ranks, are you going to allow the fate of your brothers and sisters to be completely passed over in silence? Remember that from time immemorial the highest virtue of German manhood has been military valor. Tarry no longer, do not think there is still time, but go and report immediately to serve the prosperity and the freedom of the German Fatherland, at the Regimental office, 12 Cornelius Street (Party location).
Those of you who may someday be called to be leaders of the German Volk, consider that only those who know how to obey are able to command! Along with the desire for intellectual development, today’s student must above all train his body and his will. Come to us, everyone who wants to have lively interaction with other callings and classes, everyone who wants to help purify the soul of the German Volk from Marxist poison! Step in rank and file with workers in the battle for the highest good of the Volk!
“Turn out, You Students!”
Report: Regimental office, 12 Cornelius Street (Party location).
Nov. 6, 1923 Cardinal Faulhaber’s Nov. 6 reply to Chancellor Stresemann’s Oct. 13 appeal for help:Esteemed Herr Reich Chancellor!
In your esteemed letter of October 13th you repeatedly expressed the idea, which also resounds to an extent in your public statesmanlike speech, namely that only in the moral rebirth of the German people lie the strong roots of its economic and social re-uplifting, and that the Catholic Church is in position to exert a great influence for this saving of the soul of the people. This idea is so near to my heart and contains such a high valuation of the harmonious cooperation of Church and State, that I feel myself obligated to thank Your Excellency most devotedly for the letter of October 13th.
Unfortunately, for reasons of health and for considerations of Church law, it is not possible for me to place myself at the disposal of the recommendation made in your letter. I may, however, give Your Excellency the assurance, without intervening in purely political developments and trying to take up today all the political issues of the moment, that the Church considers it a conscientious obligation to cooperate powerfully for the moral rebirth of the people, especially in the dismantling of a raging critical spirit and the fostering of a sense of authority, in the dismantling of hatred and opposition among classes and the fostering of a sense of the common good, in the dismantling of self-seeking and the fostering of a sense of self-sacrifice. I am writing this letter on my own authority, but I know that I am in unity of thought with the pastoral letter of the Bishops gathered in Fulda this year. How should men called to be statesmen have the enduring courage to bear the burden of responsibility in government, when their permanent guideposts are destroyed and all proclamations and measures of the government are answered with unfruitful and purely negative criticism instead of positive cooperation?
How should we master the immensely growing economic crisis and the coming misery of winter with unemployment, if all the moral powers do not work together without distinction of denomination and social class and party? How otherwise do we intend to dismantle the hatred that rages blindly against our Israelite fellow citizens or wholesale against other ethnic groups, without any indication of guilt on the part of the individuals who are condemned, or how do we prevent a civil war that would inevitably bring new devastations and would seal the misery of our poor people with self-destruction? History testifies that civil wars are always the bitterest and bloodiest and most damaging wars.
I have never made a secret of my view that the federal structure of the Weimar Constitution was a statesmanlike necessity, in order to end the incipient civil war and to muster the valuable energies of the various elements of the German people for the service of the whole. I have never made a secret of my view that all efforts toward Reich school laws that until now have threatened the legal status of the rightly existing denominational schools and thereby infringed upon the freedom of conscience of parents, have shaken the trust of widespread elements of the people in the new Reich. I have never made a secret of my view that the loyalty of the Bavarian people to their Royal House is entitled to recognition under the principle of self-determination for a people. But all of that may proceed only according to the Constitution, in non-bloody ways, not through revolution and powerful bloody interventions in the course of events. With God’s help may we succeed first of all in giving our poor people bread and work, in coming to a peaceful resolution with neighboring countries on the basis of justice and mutual respect and in preventing a civil war.
It was a necessity for me, esteemed Herr Reich Chancellor, to write this answer to your esteemed letter.
With the expression of exceptional justifiable respect I remain,
M. Cardinal Faulhaber
Archbishop of Munich
Footnote by editor L. Volk:... Faulhaber wrote an explanation for the editor of Stresemann’s papers: “I wrote the letter in the evening hours of November 6, 1923 in one sitting and gave it to Baron Geier at 11 p.m. that night, which he, as far as I know, immediately telephoned to Berlin... My verbal and written response that it was impossible for me, for reasons of health, to place myself at the disposal of his recommendation, also could naturally only be taken as relating to the theme of moral renewal. If the Reich Chancellor, for his part, was of the view that I should first of all work for the strengthening of the unity of the Reich, then that would have best been accomplished here in this place, not by a trip to northern Germany. To that extent the book (about Stresemann), concerning what the goals of the interaction between the Herr Reich Chancellor and me were about, surprised me a little... For myself no political task crossed my mind, rather a moral task, and there, where I touched upon political questions in the letter, I touched upon them only from the moral aspect, not to shy away, rather because then just as now I cannot consider cooperation in purely political questions to be the task of a Bishop. I have decided to provide this explanation because I see how one-sidedly some newspapers misrepresented and exploited my letter to the Herr Reich Chancellor, without covering the full meaning of his letter and mine.”
Source: Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, no. 7229, reprinted in Volk, Faulhaber Papers, vol.1, pp. 318-320.
Nov. 8, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter:“The 9th of November”
On this day the shame of the Revolution arrives at its fifth-year anniversary. It seems to us a meaningful sign that the criminal Marxist newspaper of Altheimer Eck is now allowed on Friday to resume publication. This noble paper then comes out, just exactly as to be expected, with an enthusiastic article to pawn off on its simple readership at the beginning of the sixth year of the Republic born of perjury and treason.
But will this old Marxist hag pull it off so easily this year? We know it will, for no party has at its disposal so many unctuous and lying catchwords as the United Social Democratic Party of Germany, every word of whose name is just a lying cliché. For it is neither united nor social, nor democratic, it is no party, but only a bunch of dumbheads, led by prostitute Jew-lackeys and manipulated by cunning Jews, and so it has nothing at all to do with Germany, nor has Germany with it. Nonetheless, the puff piece in praise of November 9th is harder to be done with. Therefore we want to direct some effort to the Marxists’ hired writers and hold up to the eyes of the German Volk the dimensions of this year’s 9th of November.
In the five years of its existence, the German Republic, as the daughter of the Jewish Revolution, has wasted and squandered the whole inheritance of the past. It promised peace, according to Scheidemann’s phrase. Since it arose from the unspeakable cowardice and treason of the stab in the back to an undefeated army, it could only bring a cowardly and rotten peace. Only the latent energies in the German Volk itself halted and delayed the process of final collapse. Without these, the unspeakable pacifistic passivity of the November-traitors would have already led much earlier to our absolute subjection to the enemy Entente. The first leaders of this Republic predicted to the Volk that capitalistic, imperialistic France would concede to Eisner-Germany a charitable peace. No one aside from our Adolf Hitler took a stand then against this enormous swindle, even though it was obvious; for how was a Clemenceau or Poincaré expected to handle foreign proletarians, who had been led to war across the Rhine against them, the militarists, more charitably than their own class of workers? Instead of summoning up the strengths of the Volk after the example of the first French Revolution, in a levee en masse against the foreign enemy, every last part of the army was broken up into atoms and Erzberger was sent into the woods of Compiègne to sign the most unheard of ceasefire stipulations of all world history.
From that November 9th on, the German Volk staggered foreign policy-wise into the abyss. Versailles, the destruction of the old Wehrmacht, the robbery of the colonies, of Alsace-Lorraine, the ripping off of good old German territories by Denmark, Poland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Czechoslovakia, the perpetuation of the Rhineland occupation, the invasion of the Ruhr district, all these are just the consequences of November 9th, which crippled Germany’s strengths and turned them self-destructively inward. Why has no German government since 1918 taken up the battle against the war guilt lie? Because the war guilt lie is bound inseparably with the lie of November 9! If one falls, the other goes too; if the old Germany is absolved of this infamy, then every justification for the Revolution falls away, it becomes perjury and treason before the whole world, its still living instigators and leaders from “high” to low turned over to the judgment of the nation.
Foreign policy enslavement was in step with domestic political mangling. This Revolution, this Republic, cowardly to the point of surrendering to those outside its borders, so that it acted itself to subordinate its constitution to the dictate of Versailles, conducted and conducts war against those inside its borders. Who is conducting this war, with whom, against whom? The Jewish International conducts this war with its bribed subjects and deluded workers and unreasoning intellectuals against the German Volk ...
Nov. 8, 1923, Midnight Vice Consul Murphy’s telegram to Washington sent from the city of Ulm on the Bavaria-Württemberg border because Nazis were preventing telephone and telegraph communications from Munich and environs:November 8, 12 p.m. (Midnight)
Urgent. Confidential. At a political assembly arranged by united patriotic societies this evening to which were invited Commissioner General Von Kahr and the entire Bavarian cabinet at which Kahr was to speak on the future of the German nation in contemplation outbreak of revolution at Munich five years previous. Adolf Hitler leader national socialists suddenly appeared accompanied by body guard having surrounded building with so-called Munich regiment of his organization announced that at that instant, approximately 9 o’clock national revolution had broken out and the new provisional Federal Government Hitler, Ludendorf, Poehner and Kahr was German. According Hitler task of this Government is to march on Berlin, wage twelfth hour fight; asserted that the dawn would see either new national government or the death of speaker. Bavarian Premier Knilling forced to retire and Kahr appointed States President... Poehner member of Hitler organization Bavarian Premier with dictatorial powers; Ebert declared hereby removed from office and German National Government declared German in Munich. Hitler undertakes political direction new government Ludendorff military direction. General Von Lossow named German Reich’s Minister of War Colonel Seisser German federal police commissioner. Kahr accepted the Hitler appointment with the statement “I have decided to undertake as Governor of Bavaria and Custodian of the monarchy the direction of Bavaria.” Hitler’s declarations appointments were greeted by tumultuous applause apparently had the full approval of entire assembly. Ludendorff who was not present, was secured from home, accepted appointment with the statement he would make every effort bring back honor glory to the Imperial colors. Telegraphic communication is cut off and little information available of troop movement toward Berlin. Rupprecht has not openly participated in movement which came as a complete surprise to Kahr and Bavarian cabinet though meets with approval. Rupprecht’s restoration will depend on success of move. If successful his restoration as King of Bavaria appears imminent.
Nov. 9, 1923, before dawn Translation of Franz Matt’s proclamation posted around Munich in the early morning of Nov. 9, 1923:Proclamation.
By a Hitler-Ludendorff Putsch the constitutional government was declared overthrown.
The constitutional government still stands. It appeals to the entire bureaucracy, police and Bavarian contingent of the Reich Army to remain true to their constitutional government and to refuse to serve the revolutionaries.
Whoever acts contrary to this will be treated as aTraitor
The government expects the Bavarian people in city and countryside will refuse obedience to the Prussian Ludendorff and his adherents, who have undertaken to lead our Bavarian and German people into unspeakable misforturne.
Further proclamations will follow.
November 9, 1923.
For the entire constitutional ministerial cabinet:
Source: L. Schmidt, Kultusminister Franz Matt, pp. 74-78 and E. Ludendorff, Auf dem Weg zur Feldherrnhalle (1938), p.63.
Note: Ludendorff’s book asserts that the drafters of Matt’s poster were Munich City Councilors Rauch and Scharnagl, who were prominent members of the Bavarian People’s Party, and that Rauch went to the Munich Archbishop’s Palace at 1:15 a.m. on November 9th to discuss matters with Cardinal Faulhaber. Ibid., pp. 76-77. Some sources asserted that Franz Matt was with Cardinal Faulhaber and Nuncio Pacelli on the evening of November 8th. Matt said he was at the theater that evening. One of his family members, however, when Gustav von Kahr called the house in the late evening of November 8th, said that Matt was away on a business trip. See Schmidt, op. cit.
Nov. 9, 1923 Völkischer Beobachter, Nov. 9, 1923, on the Faulhaber-Stresemann correspondence:“Chancellor and Cardinal”
Several days ago the former Marxist Reich Interior Minister, Sollmann, who had been ousted from the Stresemann Cabinet, used this striking turn of phrase in a speech or talk: Christianity and Socialism must work together to help the Fatherland out of the present emergency. This sudden acknowledgement by a cabinet minister who has been obligated for decades to follow the party program of religious indifference and the party practice of hostility to religion, has a remarkable enough ring to it, but it can also be taken as a veiled warning to the Center Party against helping their red coalition partners back into the saddle so as to restore to them their lost dominance over the left-wing-oriented masses. The exchange of letters between the Chancellor and the Cardinal, however, indicates the possibility that Sollmann’s expression was made under a particular understanding and that he was perhaps informed of certain efforts undertaken by Herr Stresemann to engage the influence of the Church for the rescuing of the current system. When matters are seen from this general perspective, the concerted actions of Stresemann’s comrades are not so unappealing. The Chancellor needs help from all sides and now he is falling back upon the Church. There are certain parallels in the past. The great French Revolution with its cult of reason – somewhat comparable to our worship of economics as the savior from all crises and the ruler of the world – nevertheless called upon the old God, and Frederick the Great ascribed the following words to his Minister of Culture and Worship: May he bring me back religion in the land!
Crisis teaches prayer, and waves are threatening to crash upon the Crisis-Governors of Weimar. Like a second Noah, Stresemann is sending out his dove, but it has not yet returned with an olive branch in its beak as the sign of emerging highlands, and the rainbow of peace is spanning neither between Berlin and Paris, nor between Berlin and Munich.
For the Munich Cardinal’s reply letter is actually a refusal. It is essential, if one wants to understand things in their entire interrelationship, and trace the Chancellor’s intentions all the way to the innermost wrinkles of his statesmanlike heart, to distinguish between what the Chancellor wants to attain for the Reich, and what he wants to attain for its relationship with Bavaria. The meaning of Stresemann’s letter to Faulhaber is not apparent on the surface, and one is left to go by conjectures – albeit ones of high probability. According to those, the Chancellor, based on statements by the Cardinal about the current state of Germany, encouraged him to propound his thoughts about the moral renewal of the Volk as the basis of a political and social mission for Germany. If one considers this line of thought to be at the basis of Stresemann’s letter, as reflected in the Cardinal’s reply letter, then it yields the following:
The Cardinal is rejecting the Chancellor’s end-justifies-the-means proposal for sound reasons and based on concepts of Church law. This rejection is grounded in considerations that are rooted in the somewhat weakened physical constitution of the Cardinal since his trip to America and general overwork, together with his high position as a Prince of the Church. Apparently the Cardinal does not himself see that the way is opportune, since he as a clever man knows well that in the burning questions that await a solution, the purely political question of the decisive battle between Nationalism and Marxism stands before us, and that the current system, still embodied in the rump cabinet of Stresemann, can only be rescued by means of his powerful word, because it is ripe for its downfall. But the Cardinal comes to the Chancellor in a realm that has been turned into a real battlefield.
The recent appeals of the Reich Government, like those of the parties in the previous coalition, express the need to gather all powers to rescue Reich and Volk. It is comprehensible from a human and party-political point of view, that for the authors of these appeals, the hopes for rescuing the Fatherland are bound up with their ardent wishes themselves to help, personally and party-politically, to bring salvation from the monstrous crisis. The realization has penetrated far into the masses of workers that Marxism has enslaved, taken away rights, robbed and devastated, in foreign and domestic policy, in the economy and cultural life, and that it must be replaced through outward-directed activity, inward-directed peace among Reich, States, interests and social classes, opportunity for work, bread for body and soul. It is the tragedy of Stresemann and the bourgeois parliamentary parties of the coalition, that they are still not able, even today, to recognize the necessity of this fundamental change, that they still continue to think that they themselves are able to rescue the situation, the system, by means of parliamentary twists and turns, powers without conviction, with tricks and treats. One after another they have tried everything, and we have experienced the amazing spectacle of the Red International and internationalist democrats even becoming nationalistic. Now they, these sworn anti-Christians, have resorted to religion, and the Cardinal of Munich, as the most outstanding exponent of the Catholic Church in Bavaria and the Reich, is supposed to exorcise the approaching storm. The once so abhorred mixing of religion and politics suddenly becomes a necessity of state. How times change.
The foregoing reflections would be incomplete for anyone who does not want to ignore the import of some of the especially significant things that should be seen as program points in the Cardinal’s letter. Dr. von Faulhaber turns against civil war, and he takes up the cause, even more pointedly than in his All Souls Day sermon that made such a stir, of the “Israelite fellow citizens” and other ethnic groups, with respect to which it still remains uncertain whether he means thereby Marxists, or the citizenry who are threatened by them in body and life. The Cardinal sharply raises yet three more challenges: The need for a revision of the Weimar Constitution in the interest of greater federalism, the preservation of the denominational school, and self-determination for Bavaria in the question whether to have a monarchy.
Here the Cardinal’s distinctively Bavarian program is combined with the overall series of concepts that he develops for the avoidance of civil war and for bringing peace to the Reich, and here there are also total and halfway contradictions. The Jewish question is closely bound up with solving the problem of Marxism, and solving it radically and decisively in the sense of an overall purification of the Reich from those dangerous elements from the East that plunder our country and Volk; this is one of the first priorities for reestablishing our mission. The Cardinal’s letter says here only what should not be allowed, but not what must surely be done according to the Cardinal’s conviction expressed in previous talks. In the domestic and cultural-political program, the majority of the Bavarian Volk, including those who stand outside parliamentary circles and have grown powerful, want to combine decisive forces for the formation of the will of the Volk with this concept of an active federalism; in that regard, however, it must be emphasized to the utmost that the nationalist circles in Bavaria that are unbound to political parties and have nothing to do with the parliamentary blundering and bungling under the Weimar Constitution, want to build rather from the ground up. The advocacy for a Bavarian monarchy is actually more a mental reservation for possible future development, than a postulate for the moment.
The Cardinal, in his reply to the Chancellor, showed himself to be more than a match for him. The attempt to win over the Munich Church Prince for specified parliamentary exigencies and thus preserve some influence over the direction of the governing factions in Bavaria, must be seen as having failed, despite the concessions to one point or another that are contained in the letter ...
Matters are rushing to a resolution, and the way is open for those men who alone can save Germany!
Nov. 9, 1923 Cable from U.S. Ambassador Houghton in Berlin to U.S. Secretary of State, Nov. 9, 10 a.m.Last evening in Bavaria a new Reich Government was set up including Kahr as National dictator, Ludendorff as commanding general and Lossow as War Minister. Movement initiated by Hitler but apparently indorsed by Royalists. At one o’clock this morning Maltzan came to Embassy to say that at cabinet meeting just held Ebert presiding it was determined to fight and that General Von Seeckt had been given full military power and charge.
No direct communication with Munich has been possible since midnight. This morning however Maltzan has just called to hand me a copy of a wireless message received from the Mayor of Nuremberg translation of which follows: “Herr Von Kahr, General Von Lossow and Colonel Seisser have declared that their consent to the action of Ludendorff and Hitler was extorted and that they are against the movement in every respect. They hope in the course of the day to gain control of the revolt. Any advancing troops of the Reichswehr would be informed of the facts in order to prevent further consequences. General Von Lossow has informed the Bavarian troops in this sense by wireless. Herr Von Kahr has instructed all local authorities to exercise the strictest passport control and to arrest all members of the National Socialist party and the Oberland organization. General Ludendorff and Hitler are to be arrested where found. It is reported from Bamberg that the leaders of the National Socialists there have already been disarmed. Maltzan tells me further that all reports from Northern and Eastern provinces indicate that the nationalist forces there had no previous knowledge of movement and will not join it. In his opinion confidentially expressed Crown Prince Rupert has intervened and ordered his friends to oppose movement.
Source: US NARA. M336, Roll 19, pp. 373-374.
Nov. 9, 1923 Bavaria Ambassador Ritter zu Groenesteyn’s cable of Nov. 9, 1923:Groenesteyn to the Bavarian State Foreign Ministry, Munich, November 9, 1923
Re: The Ludendorff-Hitler Putsch in Munich
The first news of the Ludendorff-Hitler Putsch in Munich had already been published in this country’s morning press when I paid my visit to the Cardinal Secretary of State this morning at the usual diplomatic reception.
The Cardinal appeared to be much alarmed by the news and especially expressed the fear that the name Ludendorff in connection with these events would provoke the French and offer them a welcome opportunity to proceed with new arbitrary and forceful collective punishment against Germany and against Bavaria in particular. Also, moreover, the Cardinal deplored a violent revolution of this sort because, even if by all appearances it was not motivated by the cause of separatism, it could still produce great dangers for Bavaria and the Reich, as it could cause unforeseeable results even beyond the borders of Germany. Therefore it is to be hoped and desired that a solution to this untoward incident be found as soon as possible, to re-establish lawful conditions for the good of Bavaria and the Reich.
The Cardinal had not yet received any reports from the Nuncio in Munich, and so it was entirely understandable that His Eminence would refrain from any further judgment about the foregoing press accounts. He raised only one other issue: what might become now of the Bavarian Concordat, if it should really come to a dictatorship in Bavaria.
In the Vatican they seem to be in considerable doubt whether it would be possible to conclude a Concordat with a dictator, because it is to be suspected that its validity under law could be subsequently disputed by the representatives of the people. Lacking instructions, and since the issue is not really pressing, I demurred to express myself on this.
The Vatican press has not commented on the proceedings in Munich. The other press here has, to be sure, contrived opinions about it, but has not raised any kind of malicious criticism about it; rather, their assessments have even taken account of many mitigating circumstances as well as pointing out the position of France, which ever more betrays that France only wants to achieve a single goal, namely the annihilation of Germany. On the other hand, however, the press does not fail to recognize the great dangers that could arise from such events for Germany and all Europe, and warns Germany earnestly therefore about trying to get out of its obligations under the Versailles Treaty in this manner. Also, Italy must insist on its own rightful claims.
Rastignac in the official “Tribune” takes the opportunity to impart to France the good teaching that it is in its own interest to avoid drawing the bow too taut.
Source: Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, “Akten der Gesandtschaft beim Päpstlichen Stuhl” [Bavarian Main State Archive, Files of the Embassy to the Papal See], no. 996, pp. 71-72. See also Gerhard Besier and Francesca Piombo, The Holy See and Hitler’s Germany, trans. W.R. Ward (2007), pp. 32, 217 & note 265.
Nov. 9, 1923 Pacelli to Gasparri:Coded telegram no. 443
During the past night Hitler with armed troops declared the Bavarian Government fallen, arresting the previous minister president, another minister, and proclaiming the new national German government with Ludendorff as head of the army. Commissar General Kahr, as reported to me, only apparently gave his adherence to the movement at the beginning in order to gain his freedom and thus take measures in opposition; it is believed that in a short time a restoration will be possible; probably, however, not without spilling of blood.
Source: Historical Archive of the Secretariat of State (Holy See), Section for Relations with States, AA.EE.SS., Baviera, 1922-1925, pos. 151, fasc. 2, fol. 6r, reprinted in www.pacelli-edition.de, Document No. 3198.
Nov. 10, 1923 L’Osservatore Romano front page articles about the Hitler-Ludendorff Beer Hall Putsch, Nov. 10, 1923:“The Situation in Germany: A New Reich Government Is Installed in Munich”
French news reports, dateline Paris, Nov. 9, 5 a.m. The Havas Agency reports from Berlin that General Ludendorff has been made dictator and that Bavaria is presuming to take over all of Germany.
The Echo of Paris is reporting these details from Berlin as of 1:00 a.m.:
The Bavarian troops, commanded by Hitler, have begun their offensive.
A dispatch from Berlin to the Matin datelined middle of the night states that, according to telegrams from Munich, von Kahr has been proclaimed Regent of Bavaria. The Interior Minister, Schweier, has been arrested together with von Knilling. Poehner, the former prefect of police, has been designated as President of the Imperial Council.
According to the Petit Parisien, the Reichswehr took possession of Weimar and immediately occupied the parliament building and the Interior Ministry. Some officials went to announce to the President of the Council the arrival of new contingents assigned to assure the constitutional situation in Thuringia. The city has been surrounded to prevent the arrival of any suspicious persons. In the evening a ministerial crisis was announced. It can be concluded that the government of Thuringia has been simply completely deposed.
According to the New York Herald, continental edition, a proclamation by Hitler says that the movement will not be localized and that the new government will necessarily be considered as the National Government of Germany.
The Havas Agency reports from Berlin concerning a proclamation of the Government to the German people:
In its proclamation to the German people, the Reich Government states that the authors of the coup d’état have arrested Von Knilling, have arrogated to themselves the power to form a Government, have conferred on Ludendorff the supreme command of the German Army and have appointed Hitler as the arbiter of the destiny of Germany. The proclamation then states that whoever supports the coup d’état will be guilty of high treason. It exhorts all patriots to defend the unity, the order, and the freedom of the Reich. Finally, it announces that all measures to combat partisans and to re-establish order have been commanded and will be executed with maximum force.
The Correspondence Bureau of Vienna reported yesterday from Munich that Hitler has deposed the current Government and has formed a new one with former Police President Poehner as administrator of the state, Ludendorff as supreme commander, and General Lossow as Minister of the Reichswehr.
Von Hitler assumes the office of political counselor.
“The German Version”
Dateline Berlin, Nov. 9, 1:50 a.m. As a result of the deposing of the constitutional Bavarian Government, the Reich Government has suspended domestic transit to and from Bavaria. There will be nothing more provided by the Reich to Bavaria until the re-establishment of constitional conditions.
(2:50 a.m.) The National Defense Ministry has prohibited the publication of domestic news concerning the events in Munich, except for official statements.
The Reich Government has directed an appeal to the German people, stating the decisions by the “putschists” in Munich are not valid and adding that all measures commanded to strike down the “putsch” will be applied with extreme force.
The Wolff Bureau, datelined yesterday, published the following:
Private reports from Munich indicate that, following a speech given by Commissar General von Kahr in the Bürgerbräu against Marxism, Hitler appeared in the room with 600 men, stating that the current Bavarian Government has been deposed and has been replaced by a new Provisional Government formed of Ludendorff, Hitler, Lossow and Poehner. Hitler’s troops blocked off the Bürgerbräu.
Up to 10 p.m. no incidents have been confirmed. The troops of the patriotic organizations occupied plazas in various quarters.
The attitude of the Reichswehr and the Bavarian Police is still unknown. Currently Von Kahr is seeking to negotiate with Von Hitler.
The post and telegraph offices have been occupied by the Bavarian Police.
The same Agency commented on the situation on the eve of the events and described it thus:
On the eve of November 9th the general domestic situation was considered to be completely calm. All measures had been taken to neutralize any eventual anti-constitutional attempts.
Newspapers affirmed there were no indications that similar actions were to be expected.
Reliable informants from Munich confirmed that also in Bavaria the situation is calm.
“How the Coup d’Etat Developed”
Dateline Berlin, Nov. 9. In a vast beer hall in Munich, yesterday evening around 5 p.m., von Kahr was speaking when Hitler burst into the hall with a command to stop and fired pistol shots into the ceiling. He declared the Bavarian and Berlin governments overthrown and declared a new Reich Government installed in Munich. He said the Bavarian Ministers had been arrested and that Poehner had been chosen as President of the Council, von Lossow as Minister of the Reichswehr, and Seisser as Prefect of Police; that he reserved to himself the political leadership of Germany and entrusted to Ludendorff the command of the German armed forces. Von Kahr was proclaimed State Regent, a position existing at the time of the monarchy and having a dictatorial character.
Hitler spoke to the crowd, wishing that Germany would return to the great and strong nation it had been, in the hands of a nationalist government.
Nov. 11, 1923 L’Osservatore Romano, Nov. 11, 1923, page one:“The Situation in Germany: The Bavarian Movement Fails: Hitler and Ludendorff Prisoners: The Official Report”
Dateline Berlin, Nov. 9 (Official)...
Nov. 14, 1923 Pacelli to Gasparri:Re: About the anti-Catholic character of the nationalist uprising in Munich
Most Reverend Eminence,
The details of the nationalist uprising that disturbed the city of Munich in the past days (cf. encrypted cables Nos. 443, 444 and 445), are already known to Your Most Reverend Eminence from the Italian press; thus I have no need to repeat them in this respectful Report. On one point, however, already alluded to in encrypted cable No. 444, I believe it opportune to communicate to Your Eminence some further details, that is to say on the demonstrations of an anti-Catholic character that have accompanied the uprising itself, but which have not surprised those who have followed what is published in the organs of the radicals of the right, such as the Völkischer Beobachter and the Heimatland.
This character was revealed above all in the systematic agitation against the Catholic clergy, with which the followers of Hitler and Ludendorff, especially in speeches on the public streets, whipped up the population, thus exposing ecclesiastics to insults and mockeries. Their attacks, however, targeted in a special way the learned and zealous Cardinal Archbishop here, who, in a sermon he delivered in the Cathedral on November 4th and in his letter to the Reich Chancellor published by the Wolff Agency on November 7th, had reproved persecutions against the Hebrews. To this was added the unfounded and absurd rumor that was spread in the city, and probably tailor-made, that accused His Eminence of having produced a change of opinion in Mr. von Kahr, who, as is well known, while at the beginning in the Buergerbraeukeller had apparently, to back away from violence, adhered to the Hitler-Ludendorff coup d'etat, then declared himself against it. Thus it occurred that, during the disturbances of last Saturday afternoon, a numerous group of demonstrators went before the Archbishop's palace, crying "Nieder mit dem Kardinal!" (down with the Cardinal!). His Eminence was fortunately absent from Munich, having left that day to go consecrate a new church in a locality near Mühldorf; but, when he returned the following evening in his automobile, he was similarly greeted with a hostile demonstration.
These anti-Catholic sentiments were further manifested in the tumultuous meetings of students that took place the day before yesterday in the University, in which disturbing outside elements were also mixed with the selfsame students (not even from Bavaria), forcing the Rector in the end to close the school until further notice. Also in the aforesaid Atheneum, the object repeatedly in recent times of the charitable solicitude and generosity of the Holy Father in favor of the students, there was squawking against the Pope, against the Most Eminent Archbishop, against the Catholic Church, against the clergy, against the Jesuits, against the "White International," against Mr. von Kahr, who, although Protestant, was characterized by one of the speakers as an Honorary Member of the Society of Jesus (Ehrenmitglied of the Jesuits).
I enclose an article that appeared today in the Bayerischer Kurier, in which these deplorable events are described and denounced.
Humbly bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple ...
Source: www.Pacelli-Edition, Document No. 1091.
Nov. 16, 1923 Cable from U.S. Ambassador Houghton in Berlin to Washington, Nov. 16, 1923A new political crisis is evidently approaching. Ebert has decided not to give Stresemann again power to dissolve Reichstag and so deprives him of his strongest weapon. If Ebert’s position does not change meanwhile Stresemann is likely to fall when Reichstag meets on November 30th.
Efforts are being made to patch up a new cabinet which will bring nationalists into government and reconcile Bavaria. New government perhaps succeed but a government so created can only be one step nearer a dictatorship and full control by the Right. In reality von Seeckt now dominates situation and these parliamentary efforts are largely a pretense to maintain the fiction of the republic.
Source: US NARA, M336, Roll 19, page 516.
Dec. 7, 1923 Pacelli to Gasparri:Most Reverend Eminence,
During my recent sojourn in Berlin, I had repeated occasions to engage in conversations with the new Chancellor of the Reich, Mr. Marx. He is undoubtedly an excellent and meritorious Catholic with truly edifying piety; however, I had to draw the conclusion that it would be an illusion to expect of him, for now at least, any positive action in favor of the Church’s interests. Many times I asked him if it would not be opportune to take advantage of the current moment to negotiate rapidly a Concordat between the Holy See and the Reich, taking as a foundation the already quasi-definitive schema that will soon be concluded with Bavaria, and I showed him how (prescinding from all other considerations), since the aforesaid Concordat would constitute an affirmation of the unity of the Reich, the German Government would have a most salient political interest in stipulating to the same, especially with regard to the population of the Rhineland; but Mr. Marx kept responding in an uncertain an evasive manner, and finally yesterday, upon my renewed request, he declared more clearly to me that it is impossible, adducing as a reason that the current Reichstag is already close to its end. In that regard, nonetheless, the good but timid Chancellor seems not to be taking sufficiently into account that the future Parliament – in which, at least as is commonly predicted, there will be greater numbers of extreme elements of the right and the left, sad to say Protestant nationalists and communists – will probably be even less favorable than the present one to the acceptance of a Concordat advantageous to the Church. – Not even for the school question will Mr. Marx, whom Osservatore Romano itself has called “the apostle of the confessional school,” dare, so far as it appears, to undertake anything. Certainly he is faced with formidable difficulties of domestic and foreign policy; it needs to be recognized, however, that the current Center Party and its leaders are for the most part far different from the great founders of the Party, thanks to whom the courageous struggle succeeded in victoriously coming out on top, and in breaking the resistance of the Iron Chancellor. – I spoke to Mr. Marx, moreover, about the project of the Concordat for Bavaria, which, as is well known to Your Most Reverend Eminence, must be submitted to the Government in Berlin, so it can examine it and confirm that it contains nothing in violation of the German Constitution, and he expressed the firm expectation that the current Reich Cabinet will not advance any difficulties in this regard. I am certain that the current Chancellor will not create, on his part, hindrances or objections of any kind; nonetheless his response here has also been more hesitant and less clear than that of his predecessor, Mr. Stresemann, now the Foreign Minister, who assured me in this matter without the least uncertainty that the examination in question would have been merely a formality.
This was my duty to report to Your Eminence, while humbly bowing to kiss the Sacred Purple. . . etc.
Source: www.Pacelli-Edition.de, Document No. 47.
Dec. 7, 1923 Cardinal Faulhaber’s Memorandum of His Audience with Cardinal Secretary of State Gasparri, Rome, Dec. 7, 1923:... “I have heard from Baron Ritter [zu Groenesteyn, Bavarian Ambassador to the Vatican, 1909-1934], you would have 30,000 Lire sent to you in connection with the defamation.” So you are the only chancellor, who after 10 years in office, a proof, that papal diplomacy has gone on straight and sure paths.
They have written now in France: The Pope is Germanic, then in Germany: The Pope is a Francophile. Then the same from him. “Eminence, there are also episodes among us in Munich that pass, but the historical reality remains constant.”
Pacelli is under strict instructions from us not to say a word, because whoever takes a position, is like a separatist. “And he has followed those.” So often in history the Church has reached out its hand in such things, and has gotten its fingers burned.
I explained why Pacelli did not send a telegram during the Hitler Putsch, that he had been working on the Concordat that night. The lies against the Papal See (the rage of the Protestants that the Church has such respect. Protestant officers have sold out countries). It is what was in the Kaiser’s letter...
Other lies: That a Danube State would be founded from here. He laughed loudly. “I have never even thought of it, never spoken about it. What states should then be in it?”
Likewise the beatification of Emperor Charles [of Austria-Hungary]. Again he laughed loudly and said, why not also beatify Kaiser Wilhelm.
The Concordat has been impeded again by the recent events, because apparently the Bavarian Middle Party (Mittelpartei) is not cooperating. I asked, what then, if it fails, will the old one still be valid. To that he gave no answer...
My letter to Stresemann: He did not go into that, apparently because of the political side of the letter. To Ritter he had said that it was a declaration of the Cardinal’s patriotic sentiment. To me he was silent, because I, to the inquiry of Corriere [redacted by L. Volk, ed.], which appeared to be inspired by him...
Source: L. Volk, ed., Akten Kardinal Michael von Faulhabers, 1917-1945 [Faulhaber Papers] (1975), vol. 1, pp.321-322.
Dec. 8, 1923 Cardinal Faulhaber’s Memorandum of His Audience with Pope Pius XI, Rome, Dec. 8, 1923He was so tired that he spoke Italian the whole time...
The situation is serious. Hunger, embitterment, nationalism as heresy, antisemitism and anti-Catholicism.
The Archbishop of Bamberg informed me. That is why your trip was postponed so long. I will donate to you a sum for the Anima. Just yesterday I received a lot of money and just said, then we can give that to Cardinal Faulhaber.
My thanks for the donations for Germany, for quiet help (the slanders on account of the telegram to Pacelli are receding, but the fact remains that no one, no government has promoted justice for Germany as the Holy See has), [redacted by L. Volk, ed.] for patience with the Concordat.
No sovereign has done that for us. That will remain a historical fact, even when all these episodes are past. “We have done what our conscience demanded. I just said to the French Ambassador: all that our conscience before our common Father ..., then he was calm. But it is very difficult. Whenever I write a word, then something else comes along ...”
But some good news. [German Chancellor Wilhelm] Marx sent me a long telegram and thanked me: 300 prisoners have been set free in the Ruhr district. We hope the number increases further still. We will do everything possible. Also in Ireland it is going better. Of 8,000 political prisoners, there are now only 5,000 in prison and we hope that they will be set free by Christmas.
Great damage by flooding, also around Rome. (Migone told me that Pius XI had suffered much under the terrible heat)...
My letter to Stresemann: A warning of civil war and the danger still exists today: it was an excellent thing, he said twice. My most special blessing (benedizione specialissima) to the benefactors in America and my thanks (gratiarum actiones). Father Lukas: ...
A little about the Concordat: This morning I addressed it until 2:00 with [Cardinal] Borgongini and “the Cardinal” [Gasparri]. He obviously spoke with you already. We are hopeful (speriamo). Pacelli is always finding another government in Berlin. Oh, he is working outstandingly, so sagaciously and so swiftly. During the Putsch he did not send a telegram. Such situations I also encountered in Warsaw. I said how difficult the situation is currently and that there is not much hope. We are hopeful (speriamo). He did not go into details. It will be a model for other Concordats, because it is a good Concordat, he repeated many times.
Source: Munich Archdiocese Archive, reprinted in L. Volk, Faulhaber Papers, vol. 1, pp.322-323.
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