Translations and Notes, 1934

Alfred Rosenberg (1893-1946), Nazi ideologist; writer for Nazi publications (1920-); editor of the Nazi Party newspaper, Völkischer Beobachter [Völkisch Observer] (1923-); head of Nazi Party while Hitler was imprisoned (1924); Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories of Ukraine, Baltic States, Russia (1941-1945).

Rosenberg authored the leading Nazi book on racial theory, Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts [The Myth of the 20th Century] (1930). This book expounded Nazi ideology, glorifying the “Aryan” Germanic Volk; calling for a rebirth of German nationalism and greatness; and denigrating Jews, Africans, Asians, and “non-Aryan” Europeans such as the French.

The book’s fundamental racist character can be seen at a glance from the dust cover: “The ‘Myth’ is a grandiose, racial-psychological drama ... Rosenberg proves himself to be ... a brilliant thinker and a gifted seer ... ‘The Myth of the 20th Century’ is the myth of the blood, which, under the sign of the swastika, unleashes the racial world revolution, and it is the awakening of the racial soul, which after a long slumber puts a triumphant end to racial chaos.”

The book’s introduction emphasizes racial conflict: “the mission for the future means ... altercation between blood and blood, race and race, Volk and Volk.” Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts (Munich: Hoheneichen, 1935), pp. 1-2.

Rosenberg repeatedly denounced Christianity, especially Catholicism, as a weakening influence on German-ness. Rosenberg held the Catholic Church responsible for the “numerous pacifist priests” in Germany who are “robbing the German Volk of their pride in the defenders of the homeland in 1914” and who “drag through the mud those who preserve Volk and Fatherland.” In place of Christianity, Rosenberg put forth elements of ancient Nordic myth, such as Odin, the supreme god, the guardian of law and agreements. Ibid., pp. 8-9, 598.

Rosenberg’s exaltation of the swastika as the symbol of racial struggle for the supremacy of German, Nordic, Aryan bloodlines, parallels Hitler’s Mein Kampf, which describes the swastika as the symbol of the Nazi Party’s “mission” to fight and triumph for the Aryan race over the Jews.


Early 1934 Evidence of German Catholic Bishops resisting Nazi regime pressure to display swastika flags on churches on national memorial days such as January 30 (Hitler’s coming to power) and April 20 (Hitler’s birthday), includes:

(a). Cardinal Faulhaber’s “Flaggenfrage” [Flag question] file.

Files of Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich from 1917 to 1952, include a copy of a 1929 Prussian state law exempting churches from obligations on flag display days, along with many other documents about the issue, and correspondence and notes concerning other German Bishops.

Cardinal Faulhaber’s resistance to displaying swastika flags on churches on national memorial days designated by the Nazi regime led to conflict reflected by documents in the file.

On March 6, 1934, the Rector of Munich’s Cathedral of Our Lady [Frauenkirche] received a letter from a Nazi official expressing his “astonishment” that “the symbol of the new Germany, the swastika,” was not displayed on the Cathedral together with Bavarian flags and Church flags on the most recent flag display day. Source: Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, no. 8212.

(b) Vatican Nuncio Orsenigo’s meeting with an official in the German Foreign Office on February 19, 1934, as reflected in a memorandum prepared by a German official:

Memorandum by Bülow, Berlin, Feb. 19, 1934

In his visit today the Nuncio mentioned that in the Diocese of Mainz the flag question has taken an embarrassing turn. The Bishop of Mainz had apparently been the only Bishop in Germany to allow the national flags to be displayed on churches on the occasion of national holidays. When he noticed that in the rest of Germany only church flags were displayed, he gave the instruction to do the same in the future in his diocese as well. Thereupon, however, a government regulation was enacted for the State of Hesse [in which Mainz was the Diocesan See] directed at January 30th – signed by Jung – whereby the national flags are to be displayed next to the church flags. He found it embarrassing that for Hesse a different regulation applied than in other German States. The Nuncio mentioned that Herr von Papen is already involved in this question. He continued that the Bishop of Mainz is in an embarrassing position that he finds extraordinarily difficult. He is accused unjustly of separatist inclinations, and on Fasching [Shrove Tuesday, i.e. Mardi Gras] about 30 people dressed up as Frenchmen and serenaded him with French music.

Source: German Archives, reprinted in Dieter Albrecht, ed., Der Notenwechsel Zwischen dem Heiligen Stuhl und der Deutschen Reichsregierung, [The Note Exchange Between the Holy See and the German Reich Government] (1965-1980) (hereafter “Note Exchange”), vol. 3, pp. 19-20.

(c) Archbishop Gröber of Freiburg, in addition to Bishop Hugo of Mainz, apparently displayed swastika flags on Nazi-ordained memorial days around this time. Guenter Lewy, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964), p.221.

(d) German historian Gerhard Besier’s observation, based on archival documents, that Bishop Berning of Osnabrück stopped displaying swastika flags on churches in his diocese in early 1934, after displaying swastika flags previously. G. Besier and F. Piombo, The Holy See and Hitler’s Germany, trans. W.R. Ward (2007), p.141.

(e) Diplomatic note from the German Government to the Vatican, dated March 14, 1934, protesting the German Bishops’ reluctance to display swastika flags:

“... The Church knows well, from its own experience, the close association that a people has with the symbols of its inner vitality. That the decision whether to display the symbols of nationalist Germany on church buildings is mostly framed as an issue of rights rather than joyful participation in the fulfillment of a duty seen by the people as a patriotic matter of course, shows a deplorable lack of sympathy, with consequences that are not the fault of the government or the people.”

Source: Albrecht, Note Exchange, vol. 1.


Feb. 7, 1934 Cardinal Schulte’s report of his meeting with Hitler:

Among the factors I have observed in the Rhineland, especially in the Archdiocese of Cologne, which since Fall 1933 have combined to jeopardize the initially positive and joyful agreement of the people toward the new Reich, I called attention to the public speeches of various government Ministers and Party leaders, against Christianity and the Church, especially the appearance of Rosenberg as author of “The Myth,” which is a pack of slanders against the Catholic Church and her sovereign, the Holy Father.

The Reich Chancellor interrupted me energetically with the words: “I don’t want this book, Rosenberg knows it, I’ve told him myself; I want nothing to do with pagan things like the cult of Wotan and so forth.”

At that I replied: “So, Herr Reich Chancellor, you can speak no more about Rosenberg and his book.” To the Reich Chancellor’s quick, sharp retort of “why not?” I answered: “Because a few days ago you officially installed this same Rosenberg as ideological head instructor of the Nazi Party and thereby of a major part of the German people. From now on, whether you want to or not, you are going to be identified with Herr Rosenberg.”

The Reich Chancellor’s reply: “Yes indeed, I am identified with Herr Rosenberg, but not with the writer of the book ‘The Myth.’”

The impossible distinction between Rosenberg and the author of “The Myth” gave me the occasion to ask the question: “How do you intend to make this clear to the world?”

Instead of going into this question, the Reich Chancellor explained to me: “Rosenberg is our Party dogmatist” and then went into an unexpected accusation: “The Bishops helped Rosenberg’s book to gain significance and circulation; without them this book never would have aroused attention.”

To my astonished and emphatic question: “What, the Bishops should be held guity?” I found myself hearing: “Yes, the Bishops; didn’t the Cardinal of Munich preach about it and try to destroy for German youth their ideal of old-German-ness?” After I said it was turning things on their head to put the blame on the Bishops for Rosenberg’s “Myth,” the Reich Chancellor dropped the topic.

Source: Cardinal Schulte’s contemporaneous notes, given by the Cardinal’s secretary to Cathedral Rector Corsten, reprinted in Bernhard Stasiewski, ed., Akten Deutscher Bischöfe über die Lage der Kirche, 1933-1945 [Papers of the German Bishops about the Situation of the Church] (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1968-1979), vol. 1, pp. 539-540, hereafter cited as Stasiewski, German Bishops’ Papers.


Feb. 7, 1934, p.m. L’Osservatore Romano, page 2:

“A Book of Odious Falsity for German Youth”

The Myth of the Twentieth Century by Alfred Rosenberg, one of the more prominent figures of the German National Socialist Party, is now widely disseminated (73,000 copies in three years), especially among the youth in Germany today.

The truth, writes Father Barbera in Civiltà Cattolica, is not encountered in this book, in every page of which, as in Rosenberg himself, so many errors are compounded, with such rash propositions and insults agaisnt what is most sacred at the heart of Christianity.

Not only the Catholic Church and Catholics, who numerically constitute a good third of the population of the Reich, but all Christians who believe in the Religion revealed by God, who are the great majority of the Reich, are dragged there through the mud, are fingered for suspicion, in anti-Christian contempt and hatred. And that in the name of the German fatherland and nation, in the name of a new religion promulgated by Rosenberg, which must replace Christianity: the religion of race. This book is fanatical and violent to excess, sowing racial and religious hatreds, sowing discord and rivalry among the offspring of the same nation, and thus entirely opposite to the general goal of National Socialism - to unify the German people for their national rebirth - it is entirely opposed to Hitler’s statements of wanting to found the “Third Reich” on “Christian foundations,” and furthermore most troublesome with respect to other nations, which cannot be expected to welcome the exaltation of Germanism that Rosenberg presents throughout his book as the original fountainhead of all civilization.

It is very well known that Catholic doctrine, confirming and illuminating the natural law, not only does not reprove, but indeed promotes the legitimate love of country, of one’s own nation and one’s own race, a love prescribed by well-ordered charity. But the racist theories of Rosenberg are presented by him in intimate relationship with an essential opposition to Christianity; and thus the well-being of the German nation through the resurgence of the Nordic-Germanic race is made by him to depend on the total destruction of Christianity, not only that professed by Catholics, but also that professed by believing Protestants.

Everyone sees, in this respect, how insulting this book is, not only to religious conscience, but also to national conscience itself.

Thus it gives rise to a profound sadness to see common sense so misled by the dissemination among youth of a work that is so anti-pedagogical, anti-Christian, anti-national, and anti-human. There is no need to take the time to refute its individual errors, since their enormity is so great that merely the manner in which they are presented, with arbitrary suppositions and inductions and bold affirmations, without real proof, contains their own refutation; moreover, a learned and serene refutation of these errors that are current today in Germany was given by His Eminence Cardinal Faulhaber in his magisterial lessons on Sacred Scripture in the Church of St. Michael in Munich, with extraordinarily high attendance and universal plaudits. L’Osservatore Romano related a lengthy summary of it...

And these are the principal lines of this “Myth.”

As for prehistory, the legend of submerged Atlantis had its real foundation in a continent at the North Pole, between northernmost America and Europe, having then a more mild climate, and it was a “prehistoric northern center of culture,” indeed the “central point of the world,” from which the Nordic race went forth.

In all these regions there remain traces of the Nordic race, “of whitish skin, blue eyes and blond hair.” Also in Galilee, since “the Amorites founded Jerusalem,” and they constituted the stratum of the Nordic race in Lower Galilee, that is in the ‘region of the Gentiles,’ from which, moreover, Jesus was born“ (pp. 24-27).

Thus, Jesus, according to Rosenberg, was of the Nordic race, and not of the Jewish race, and therefore must be regarded as such after exposing the false Judaization: “the young generation wants to consider the great personality of the founder of Christianity in his proper greatness, without those false mixtures with which Jewish zealots like Matthew, materialistic Rabbis like Paul, African jurists like Tertullian, or useless sophists like Augustine have made him into a terrible hodgepodge” (p.13).

It is useless, however, to wonder what Rosenberg means when he speaks of the “great personality of Jesus,” since he simply endeavors to destroy all belief, not only of Catholics, but also of Protestants who believe in the Gospel. His book, which has the appearance of an energetic and active work, is in reality a negative and destructive book.

All that is great, noble and civilized in the history of the world and its peoples, all of it comes from the Nordic, Atlantic and Aryan race, say what you want, according to the racist mythomania of Rosenberg.

“Whatever may be the results of research into the country of origin of the Nordic race and into its migrations,” Rosenberg asserts, “one great fact cannot be changed, which is that the sense of history of the world has been spread through the entire world from the North, carried by a blue-eyed and blond-haired race, which in rather great waves has determined the spiritual aspect of the world, even where it has had to fade over time...


May 14, 1934 Cardinal Pacelli’s diplomatic note of this date was one of his longest to the German Government; in the middle of the note is this passage responding to the German Government’s complaint of March 14 about the Bishops’ resistance to the swastika:

... How generous and peacefully-inclined the Bishops of Germany were from the first moment onward, when the former stance of National Socialism toward the Church appeared to accomplish a turnaround-to-the-positive, was evident in the position of the Bishops following the March 23, 1933 speech in the Parliament by the Reich Chancellor making solemn statements of a cultural- and Church-policy-nature, and his [Hitler’s] promise to honor the Concordats previously concluded with German states and to strengthen relations with the Holy See, as these [statements] were immediately taken by the Bishops as an occasion for considering as a given that the ruling Party was guaranteeing an accommodating policy, and thus as an occasion for revoking the measures previously imposed by the Church and having them [prohibitions on Catholics joining the Nazi Party] decreed to be positions that are now overtaken by events...

... The Promemoria maintains that the scruples of the Bishops against the hoisting of the swastika flag on the churches should be seen as “a deplorable lack of sympathy” with the new reality of the nation. Anyone familiar with the many un-Christian or even anti-Christian meanings that often have been and are being given to this symbol by National Socialists, will be able to understand that the Bishops’ scruples were and are justified. To see in this any kind of hostile attitude toward the state is false. Beginning on the day when the swastika is no longer connected by its partisan champions with meanings and missions whose anti-Christian tendency offends the faithful, the resistance based on religious considerations will diminish of its own accord. It should also be considered that in other countries where relations between Church and State are amicable – countries with no less claim to be “authoritarian” states – the display of national flags on the churches has never been demanded, as for example in Italy. Anyone who appreciates the character of the Catholic Church as house of God and abode of the eucharistic presence and the liturgical sacrifice will understand the reasons why the truly religiously sensitive person must wish that this realm, dedicated to the eternal, not be dragged into the din and conflict of the day. A Catholic way of expressing solidarity with the people on patriotic holidays will never be rejected if the bishops are allowed freedom to find the forms that they consider appropriate.

Source: German Foreign Office Archive, reprinted in Dieter Albrecht, ed., Der Notenwechsel Zwischen dem Heiligen Stuhl und der Deutschen Reichsregierung [The Note Exchange Between the Holy See and the German Reich Government] (1965-1980), vol. 1, pp. 138-139, hereafter cited as Albrecht, Note Exchange.


May and June 1934 Diplomatic notes from Cardinal Pacelli to the German Government:

May 4: Protesting the order of a Nazi district leader prohibiting and dissolving Catholic youth associations.

May 8: Protesting delays in the negotiations over Art. 31 and Catholic associations.

May 9: Protesting pressures on students to engage in swordfights and duels.

May 9: Protesting pressures on Catholic theology faculties and students. Ibid.

May 14: Inquiry concerning reports that the head of the SA has forbidden SA members to take part in “church-political demonstrations.”

May 14: Lengthy protest as to lack of progress in negotiations about Catholic associations, pressures on Catholic youth, promotion of Nazi neo-pagan religion, and various attacks on the Catholic religion, together with response as to German Bishops’ resistance to swastika.

May 31, 1934: Protesting a unilateral Prussian state decision concerning a university theological faculty, which affected Catholic seminarians studying for the priesthood at the state university and Catholic priests on the university’s theology faculty.

June 1, 1934: Protesting reductions of state subsidies for Catholic philosophy and theology faculties in Bavarian state universities.

June 11, 1934: Protesting actions of the Munich police in banning the films “Rome the Eternal City” and “The Vatican in Art and History.”

June 12, 1934: Protesting propaganda against Archbishop Faulhaber of Munich (signed by Stempel, not Pacelli).

June 14, 1934: Following up the May 4, 1934 protest against a prohibition by a Nazi regional leader [Gauleiter] of Catholic youth organizations.

Source: Albrecht, Note Exchange, pp. 118-173.


June 7, 1934 German Bishops’ Joint Pastoral Letter, translated from the original German:

Dear Faithful!

The Holy Father has gifted Catholic Christianity and the entire globe with a Holy Year, announced in his Apostolic Constitution of April 2nd this year. Holy Years stand as milestones on the broad expanse of the centuries along the path of divine love and mercy. Divine love wishes to be imparted then more than other times, wider than ever are the spiritual treasuries of the Church opened, full of the incalculable merits of Christ and his saints. The explicit occasion for the proclamation of the Holy Year has been provided by the 1900th anniversary celebration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ and the solemn memorial of all the events that were closely associated with Christ’s sacrifice on Golgotha: the institution of the most holy sacrament of the altar, the first communion of the Apostles and their consecration as priests, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the conferring upon the Apostles of the power to forgive sins, the establishment of the Primacy of Peter, then the Ascension of the Lord, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the glorious commencement of apostolic preaching. If ever a centenary celebration was justified, it is doubtless the one decreed by the Pope for the year 1933 and now presently extended for the year 1934. There are underlying events that no other centenary anniversary can point to – events that are proceeding according to Pius XI’s words, the true rebirth of the world, the beginning of all blessings of the Christian life and of Christian civilization, whose ripe fruits we are tasting. This is the deep meaning of this Holy Year.

According to the view of the Holy Father, the Holy Year should be a mission time for all Catholic Christians ...

Dear faithful, in earnest consideration of these thoughts, how bitter the pain is to us Bishops, and how agonizing the anxiety about it, that precisely in recent years currents and movements have arisen in our Fatherland and grown stronger, which turn themselves directly against the above-mentioned great events of Jesus Christ and against the fundamental truths of the Catholic Church, and – not satisfied with that – toward the goal of founding a new religion and a German national church, which they want to found with a “new faith,” as they say, with the “myth of the blood.” ...

As children of the Church of Christ, taught by Christ’s word, we believe in a God, a true and living God, who is creator and Lord of heaven and earth. This God is not an image created by human hands, like the idols of the ancient pagans, nor an image of the spirit of man that is born from blood and race and “becomes and grows in people,” as modern representative of a new paganism say...

With the vow of our baptism we are obligated to faith in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, our Lord: who out of love for us men and for our salvation, took on human nature; who suffered and died on the cross to save us from sin and guilt; Christ, whose glorious resurrection is our pledge of victory over death and hell; Christ, who sometime will come again to judge the living and the dead. Today, however, false prophets are arising in our Fatherland who deny the divinity of Christ and teach another way than what Christ teaches by word and example...

As baptized Christians we have obligated ourselves to faith in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Catholic Church. The third person of the Godhead, the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17), speaks to us through the holy books of the Old and the New Testament ...

Christ has endowed his Church for all peoples and for all times ...

Those who are bringing us a national church want to set us free from Rome, from the Rock of Peter, on which however Christ, the Son of God, has built his Church; they want to separate us from this Church, which according to the words of Saint Paul “is the pillar and foundation of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15). Certainly if “blood and race” are supposed to be the basis and determining factors of faith and religion, as the new pagans maintain, then the State would take the place of the communion of all believers, that is the place of the Church, as the collective power of the members of our people. Then its claim to “totalitarianism” would be justified in the sense of understanding that it means a claim of complete rule over all human relationships, so that all rights of the individual, all rights of the family and all human association is completely subjected to its rule.

Such is this neo-pagan doctrine, then, you recognize it, beloved, and have often heard complaints about it from your pastors, a radical denial of Christianity in the entirety of its doctrine, its morals, its richness of mercy...

Sincerely bound to love for the Church and love for our German people and Fatherland with the faithful who are entrusted to us, we protest against such subversive activity against Christianity and the Church, and especially emphatically because it seeks to contravene the intentions of the Reich Government that have been proclaimed repeatedly in clear words, and if it were to succeeds, it would destroy all hope of a secure continuation of our form of government and a prosperous future for our suffering people. The authority of the State must inevitably collapse if it is no longer founded on the authority of God, “from whom alone all authority has its origin” (Romans 13:1), which therefore can also only demand obedience “as a matter of conscience” when it is in conformity with the will of God. If in human society belief in God and fear of God wither away, and God’s authority, which binds the conscience, is disrespected, then sovereign power becomes involuntarily borne human caprice, and obedience becomes superficially produced slavish fear. Truly the gates and doors are then opened to uproar and anarchy and security and order are continually in danger.

When such dangers threaten, we Bishops may not remain quiet... We may not timidly remain quiet when we see that not only private individuals but public persons are found among the bearers and proclaimers of neo-pagan ideas, to whom far-reaching influence and powerful means are at their disposal.

And now the antithesis: While neo-paganism is recruiting aggressively, our Catholic press no longer has the freedom to address candidly the great issues of the day in the light of Catholic doctrine and moral teaching and to ward off the attacks upon Christianity and the Church. Sunday, the day for God and the family, is continually so severely caught up in the demands of state-recognized organizations for compulsory ceremonies and deployments, that no time remains for prayerful participation at mass and for nurturing Christian family life...

Dear faithful! To speak totally clearly, we Bishops will not cease to warn you against those empty slogans that confuse your faith and can weigh down your conscience.

You have heard and read: Dogmas are made up by men. But we, your Bishops, say to you: Dogmas, articles of faith, are divine concepts, divine laws, which are taken from divine revelation by the Church in its teaching office under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and are presented to us to believe. Thus dogmas are not made up by men.

You have heard and read: Whenever you put on a uniform, you cease to be Catholic or Protestant. To that we Bishops say: However loyally you must nurture comradely service and mutual respect, nevertheless religious conviction is not something that you put on and take off like your coat and hang up on a nail during your duty hours...

You have heard and read: You can even without faith in Christ, the Son of the living God, and without faith in the Gospel of Christ, confess a positive Christianity. We, your Bishops, say to you: Positive Christianity is only present when you confess Christ, God’s Son, the savior of the world who became man, and believe in his whole Gospel and acknowledge all his commandments...

You have heard and read: Morality is what serves the interests of the Volk. Morality is what corresponds to the demands, the goals and the well-being of the race. . . .

You have heard and read: You can place yourself under an unconditional oath. We, your Bishops, observe as a precaution: An oath is a solemn invocation of God and thus can never obligate you to fulfill it in a way that would violate a commandment of God. One can take on an obligation under oath such as the oath taken by officials or by soldiers, for loyal work in a profession, for obedience toward the rightful authorities. But whenever an order shall require something that violates God’s commandments and conscience, then what applies is what the Fulda Bishops Conference expressed in November 1919 in a solemn statement about the law of the Weimar Constitution: “In what concerns the oath to be taken to the constitution, Catholics will obviously not be obligated by it to anything that conflicts with a divine or ecclesiastical law and thus with their conscience.”

You have heard and read: Christianity was a misfortune and a corruption of the race for our Germanic ancestors. But we, your Bishops, say to you: The introduction of Christianity among the Germans was a precious gift from heaven . . .

Dear faithful! You may perhaps hear it said, as it has often been said, that the Bishops’ standing up for the faith of our fathers, their warnings about the heresies of neo-paganism and the slogans of its representatives is an uncalled-for “meddling in politics.” Conscious of our religious mission and the obligations of our holy office, we reject this untrue misinterpretation of our conduct...

Thus we reject it as an untruth, whenever Catholic Bishops are portrayed in speeches or writings as representatives of worldly interests or political hacks striving for power...

Dear faithful! Last year we joyfully greeted the Reich Government’s announcement of its decision and steadfast desire to respect and to defend the rights and the freedom of the Church. In sincere love for our German people, in upright recognition of the Government’s measures to stop godless propaganda and public immorality, in trusting their intent to make the force of Christianity the weight-bearing foundation of the new Volk-order, we were and are ready to set about the unhindered work that has been guaranteed for us on the part of the Church for the salvation of people, for the true good of our people...

Dear faithful! Thus we have expressed anew in a serious time openly and candidly the painful anxieties that fill us in view of the undisguised attacks of neo-paganism against God and his truth, against Christ and the religion of the cross, against the Church and her task of sanctifying humanity...

Remain true to the religion of your fathers! Be assured that Christ, the God-man and savior of the world, remains with his Church, to which he gave the promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it...

The Apostle spoke these comforting words: “Cast all your cares upon the Lord” (I Peter 5:7)...

May almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Given at Fulda in the St. Boniface Church, on June 7, 1934.

Signed,

Adolf Cardinal Bertram, Archbishop of Breslau

Source: Breslau Amtsblatt [Official Bulletin for the Clergy], no. 9 of June 25, 1934, reprinted in Stasiewski, German Bishops’ Papers, vol. 1, pages 704-715. Italian translation published in L’Osservatore Romano, Aug. 4, 1934. Spanish translation published in Criterio (Buenos Aires), Aug. 30, 1934.


June 18-19, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano’s coverage of Papen’s June 17 Marburg speech:

“The Political and Spiritual Problems of Germany in a Speech by von Papen at the University of Marburg”

Vice Chancellor von Papen gave an important speech on the internal situation of Germany at the University of Marburg, highlighted “by his devotion to Hitler and all his work.”

Von Papen emphasized the anti-Marxist and anti-collectivist character of the revolution and the necessity of a satisfactory solution to the dualism between Party and State. In a State of true national community, internal cries of fighting must cease.

The Vice Chancellor sought to demonstrate the duties of the German revolution in a decisive period in which the press must be courageous and sincere. The Government is strong enough to tolerate constructive and loyal criticisms. The Vice Chancellor deplored “young and over-zealous revolutionaries” who consider as reactionaries even “those conservatives who are conscientiously dedicated to their duties. The one-party system is all the more justified to the extent it is necessary to assure regime change, and until the new system has become fully operational.”

Education for service to the State is natural, but it has its limits.

Speaking of religious discord, the Vice Chancellor exhorted “those Germans who demand a unitary religious foundation to remember that Christian doctrine is the religious force behind all Western thought.” The unfolding battle will decide if the new Reich is Christian or if it will be lost in a pseudo-religious idealism.

The Germans do not have the right to rule themselves out of the ranks of Christian peoples. That would impede them from acting within the European sphere and would endanger the Reich.

Von Papen affirmed that there exists currently an abyss between intellectual tendencies and the daily realities of the German revolution.

No one has the right to judge religious life with intellectual disdain. “On the other hand, the concepts of humanity, liberty and equality under consideration are German Christian notions, not expressions of liberalism. The Reich Government draws itself up against only false concepts of personality cult. The nation will know how to overcome serious sacrifices, provided that all criticism is not interpreted as malice and patriots who think differently are not stigmatized as enemies of the State.”


July 21, 1934 Civiltà Cattolica, vol. 3, p.219, on Papen’s Marburg speech:

[following a discussion of Germany’s economic difficulties]

... Added to these difficulties -- the inevitable result of the generalized crises of today -- is the exaggerated anti-Christian racial spirit, which, while pretending to make of the German people a homogeneous, close-knit community, offends the most sacred rights of conscience and digs a deep gulf of division. Of this mindset Vice Chancellor von Papen became the authoritative interpreter when, in a speech at the University of Marburg on June 17, lamenting that “young and overly ardent revolutionaries” are accusing conservatives of being reactionary, he admonished “those German citizens who demand a unitary form of Germanic faith” not to forget “that Christian doctrine is the religious impulse of all Western thought,” adding: “The impending battle will necessarily decide if the new regime will be Christian or will be lost in a pseudo-religious idealism. Germans do not have the right to exclude themselves from the ranks of Christian peoples, because, in that event, they could not act European-wide and they would impair the idea of the Reich.”


June 18-19, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano on Hitler’s speech in Gera, Germany:

“A Speech by Hitler: After the Meetings at Stra” [with Mussolini]

Dateline Berlin, June 18. Chancellor Hitler gave a speech in Gera [Germany] about National Socialist policy. The Chancellor mentioned, among other things, how the German Nation had regained the consciousness of its strength, and then said: “... if we are asked, “What do you plan to do for world peace?” we will respond that we will not only teach a Nation of 70 million people to respect themselves, but also to respect the rights of other Nations...”

“... we do not want to attack others, but we want to be strong enough to defend ourselves if we are attacked. We do not engage in conspiracies with other powers, but we must beware of the dangers and conspiracies directed against us: we want peace, but we will defend to the last drop of our blood if we are attacked.”


Civiltà Cattolica’s coverage of the same Hitler speech two weeks later:

... Chancellor Hitler, having departed Venice the evening of June 15, gave a speech at Gera in Thuringia on June 17, setting forth essentially peaceful intentions, saying that Germany respects the rights of others, just as it wishes to have its own rights respected, and that it claims equality of rights in matters of armaments, not, that is, for an ability to attack, but for power to defend. Far from any “conspiracy” with other Powers, it guards against any insidious efforts against it and is disposed to peace, yet ready to defend itself against attacks to the last drop of its blood.

From the words of these two men of state themselves, one can conclude that Italian-German action does not seek to be a threat to anyone ... Thus, this is not an arrangement or combination or bloc that seeks to set one group of Powers against another group... Newspapers commented on the meeting in Venice, adding that Italy would have to help Germany regain its place in the community of nations, with parity of rights and treatment, which is implicit in any international assembly but has thus far been refused. Finally, it is said that one of the points agreed upon was the absolute independence of the Republic of Austria.

Source: Civiltà Cattolica, July 7, 1934, vol. 3, pp. 101-102.


June 27, 1934 Bishop Berning’s notes of the meeting of three Bishops with Hitler in Berlin:

After the Reich Chancellor greeted us, Bishop Berning thanked him for the audience and for the opportunity for an exchange of views with the Reich Government. He pointed out that the Bishops had placed themselves on the footing of the new State and had led the people to it, but were filled with great concern about whether the Concordat would be implemented in all its provisions... The Reich Chancellor spoke about the duties of the Party and State, whose goals are only to build a Volk community [Volksgemeinschaft] and build the State... He will in all events protect the Church in its proper sphere...

... Bishop Berning asked the Chancellor at the end for a specific instruction to the Party and the Government agencies to cease all neo-pagan propaganda. The Chancellor agreed to this. Also Bishop Berning asked for utmost efforts toward a compromise agreement on the question of Catholic associations.

Source: Stasiewski, German Bishops’ Papers, vol. 1, pp. 731-732.


June 30, 1934 Reaction of Vatican Nuncio and Catholic Bishops who were in Berlin for negotiations with Nazi regime June 25-29:

“At a meeting on the evening of June 30th at the Berlin diocesan offices among Nuncio Orsenigo, Archbishop Gröber, Bishop Berning, Bishop Bares, Vicar General Steinmann and Cathedral Vicar Adolph ... under the impact of the events, the Nuncio exclaimed, ‘That’s Soviet-esque,’ Bishop Berning: ‘Bolshevism’ and Bishop Bares: ‘The shooting of Klausener was the ending point of our Concordat negotiations.’”

Source: Stasiewski, German Bishops’ Papers, vol. 1, p. 753, editor’s footnote.


Night of the Long Knives L’Osservatore Romano’s coverage of the Night of the Long Knives and the days that followed (originals can be accessed from links in source citations):

July 1, 1934:

“Röhm Suspended from Office”

Dateline Berlin, June 30, p.m.

The German News Bureau reports that Captain Röhm, Chief of Staff of the SA and Reich Minister Without Portfolio, has been suspended from office and expelled from the SA for lack of loyalty to Hitler.

Lutze, group leader of the SA, has been named Chief of Staff in place of Röhm.

“Unfounded Rumors of Unrest in Munich, Bavaria”

Dateline London, June 30, p.m.

The surrounding of the fashionable neighborhood of Tiergarten by Göring’s special police has given rise to rumors of unrest in Munich, Bavaria. These rumors appear to be unfounded.

Agricultural policy was being discussed at the Ministry of Propaganda when Goebbels was informed of the events in the Tiergarten and the strong reinforcement of Göring’s troops. All traffic in many important areas has been completely interrupted.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, July 1, 1934, page 1.

Note: The Tiergarten was a large park in Berlin with a zoo (Tiergarten means literally “beasts-garden”), bordering on a fashionable residential district which included the Vatican Nunciature and other diplomatic residences. Göring, as President of the German Reichstag and Premier of Prussia, had placed SS chief Himmler in charge of the Prussian Police and Gestapo several weeks before the Night of the Long Knives.

July 3-15, 1934 Headlines and excerpts of articles appearing in L’Osservatore Romano:

July 3 L’Osservatore Romano, July 2-3, 1934, page one: (Italian original with translations of headlines and excerpts)

Headline: “The Events in Germany”

Sub-headlines: “Repression of an attempted revolution – arrest and shooting of the head of the SA – the tragic death of ex-Chancellor Schleicher and his wife – numerous executions”

Heading: “Details of the Plot”

A communiquè from the press office of the Nazi Party exposes thus the details of the plot:

For many months various elements have tried to drive a wedge between the SA and the State and so create a division ...”

Heading: “An Appeal to the Army”

Text: “The Minister of Defense, Gen. von Blomberg, directed the following appeal to the army:

“The Führer, with military decisiveness and exemplary valor, has personally attacked and annihilated the traitors and mutineers. The army, which keeps far away from all internal political disputes, expresses its gratitude ...”


Text: “The first notices on Saturday of the shooting of ex-Chancellor Schleicher and the arrest of Röhm concerned an attempted insurrection that was promptly crushed.”

Text: “Papen’s home is guarded by police and no one can pass. It is not confirmed whether he was arrested for his own protection.”

Heading: “Statement of the new Head of the SA” ...

July 3 L’Osservatore Romano, July 2-3, 1934, page one, article on lower half of page: (Italian original of article)

“Demonstrations in Favor of Hitler”

Dateline Berlin, July 2

Official reports confirm that the population’s state of mind is the same in all of Germany, whereby telegrams of fidelity are continually arriving for Hitler, demonstrating the loyalty of the population.

Demonstrations in favor of the Chancellor that were conducted on Saturday evening, when Hitler arrived from Munich, continued Sunday morning.

Along the Wilhelmstrasse intense excitement reigned throughout the morning and increased extraordinarily at midday.

Hitler, accompanied by General Litzmann and Minister Frick, appeared at a window of the Chancery and was greeted with unending ovations.

The city, the nation, the press, the street, all are impressed by the putting down of the conspiracy and are unanimous in admiring Hitler’s energy. This fact is highlighted by the newspapers’ special editions and taken up as well in the press yesterday and today, which added the sober and eloquent description that Goebbels gave yesterday evening over the radio, which was also transmitted by a station in Buenos Aires, by English stations, and by shortwave stations in English, French and Portuguese.

News reports from abroad show the strong echo aroused abroad by the events in Germany. Vienna highlights the energy with which the conspiracy was put down, and the strengthening of the authorities, and New York explains the increase in Hitler’s prestige.

In Munich, the Führer’s swift and energetic action has brought about the most intense satisfaction. Munich, the capital of the movement, continues to be faithful to the Führer and his work.

Already by yesterday morning the city was showing an appearance of normal tranquility.

Goebbels gave a radio speech that was retransmitted throughout Germany. “Taking the slogan of ‘the second revolution’ as their rallying cry,” he said, “reactionary rebels revolted against the will of the Führer, maintaining relations with a foreign power...”

Commentary by L’Osservatore Romano in italics following article about “The Events in Germany”:

“Some newspapers have received and published ‘with all reserve’ the report that ‘eminent members of Catholic Action committed suicide to avoid arrest.’ Among these, supposedly, was ‘the head of Catholic Action in Berlin, Klausener,’ the director general of the Prussian Interior Ministry.

“Such reports need no denial, as they are obviously absurd. Just as the faith and the program of Catholic Action exclude in Germany, as in all other countries, participation in political movements, so the faith and life of its members exclude also the believability of suicide. The double defamation thus insinuated, even if it be ‘with all reserve,’ is in any event belied by the facts, it being completely false that the unfortunate Klausener has taken his own life.

“Raise to his memory a moving, reverent, Christian thought recalling the noble words he spoke to the solemn gathering of Catholics in Berlin. They will remain engraved in the hearts of German youth as a testament of singular piety, of fervent zeal and of exemplary love for Church and Fatherland. May God receive this chosen soul where peace forever blooms, the eternal reward of sacrifice.”

July 4 L’Osservatore Romano, page one: (Italian original)

Lead headline: “The Causes of the Revolt and Repression in Germany”

Sub-headlines: “The toll of the sanguinary day – Hitler’s totalitarianism and the contrast between the right and the left – the moral standards of the SA – the new situation”

The particulars of the sanguinary German repression of the threat of a coup d’état are now known through the official and unofficial detailed accounts. The firing squads and the SS have assured control of the situation. The official communiqués have not yet stated how many victims lost their lives on the day of June 30th; they have, however, assured the world that the seditious attempts have failed. An ex-Chancellor, a Minister in office, seven generals of the Hitlerite militia, and other personalities have been subdued with the methods of Reason of State.

Now that the “purge” - according to the terminology of the German press - has achieved its results, it is important to explain the causes of the threatened “putsch,” because only by going back to the reasons of the revolutionary upheaval is it possible to understand the new conditions following the sanguinary day of June 30th.

The crisis of the new regime, which exploded so loudly, is a political and moral crisis.

Conflicts of political, economic and religious views and interests came to light in an increasingly obvious way in recent times from within the contours of that spiritual unity about which the German press spilled so much ink on the eve of the revolt, upon the occasion of the anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles.

The story is very clear and significant. Von Papen’s speech at Marburg represents the first public manifestation of discontent. In Berlin Goebbels responded and prevented the publication of the speech, in Munich Rosenberg attacked while Hitler was going to the summer residence of Hindenburg.

What antagonism hides under the ashes? In addition to tall the discontents of a religious and spiritual nature, concerns had been growing in the ranks of the right over the proposals for socialization of industry and agriculture that would strike at the interests of the capitalist and landed classes.

National Socialism was shown to be like a nationalism and a socialism that are not merged but are in conflict.

The military situation appeared equally murky, especially as concerned the relationship between the Reich Army and the Nazi SA (Sturmabteilung): recently there had been an attempt on the part of Minister Röhm to merge the two armed bodies, but this effort had failed because of the intervention of Hindenburg himself in favor of maintaining the political non-involvement of the Reich Army, considering it to be a bulwark for the security of the State, high above all partisan struggles. To that might be added the recent conflicts between the Steel Helmets and the Nazi militia.

The discontent created by the seriousness of the economic situation is the penultimate cause of the discord and malaise aggravated by the condition of international isolation in which Germany found itself after withdrawing from [the League of Nations at] Geneva. It was a damaging isolation, which Minister Röhm could take advantage of to go seek support in the Danube and Balkan countries of Europe for a coup by military force against Austria, planned in Munich by the heads of the Bavarian Hitlerite legion who would have had to enter Austrian territory “manu militari” [Latin: by military hand or means].

But the reasons for the crisis are much more profound, as they concern the very spiritual roots of a civilization, the moral standards of a class of political leaders who were not ashamed to alienate themselves from Christian precepts on the basis of the dim-witted deviations of atheist and racist philosophy.

A picture of the moral standards of the squadrismo [Fascist cult of violence] that victoriously came to power was given by Hitler himself in his “administrative order” to the new Chief of Staff of the SA.

Hitler said that among the legionaries who “saved and won over Germany” were some “ridiculous apes.” Was this perhaps a matter of irresponsible individuals, or of subversive elements? Hitler himself stated that in the luxurious Berlin headquarters of the SA “as much as 30,000 Marks were spent monthly on meals and parties,” that the leaders were using “luxury limousines” while millions of their fellow citizens “lack the most basic essentials of life.” While Germany is writhing in a grave economic crisis that does not allow it to pay its debts, the Hitlerite militia were spending “public funds for merrymaking and such things” and were making “thousands of useless and expensive orders” for an “indecorous and gaudy” lifestyle against which there were criticisms of intolerance from the totalitarian regime.

The extravagance and unbridled immorality promptly aggravated the situation to the point of making it necessary to shoot and subdue those responsible, along with some not responsible, for the serious corruption of public morals.

The killing of von Schleicher and the temporary sequestering of von Papen are posited, by official communiqués, in relation to a mysterious plan to overthrow the regime, prepared by right-wing elements with the collaboration of the SA headed by Röhm, and in accord with a foreign country...

The events of June 30th and July 1st cannot fail to have consequences at the heart of the formation of the Cabinet itself, where the influence of the triumvirate Hitler-Goering-Goebbels is increasingly evident.

But what are the moral forces capable of re-establishing an order that is respectful of the human person and just in the guarantees of rights? This is the problem. An SA order requires the removal of Röhm from his position and establishes that “the honorary daggers dedicated to Röhm must be immediately retired and replaced with service daggers.” That is not all. “It is impossible to make a population happy by violence,” says Dollfuss commenting on the events in Germany.

“The Events in Germany”

We note some affirmations of the press about possible developments in the German situation. Le Journal writes:

“The latent conflict of the past several weeks has placed in contention, on the one hand, the conservative Catholics of von Papen and the military element of the Reich Army, and on the other hand, the leaders of thousands of SA units that, after constituting the guard of the Hitler regime, were now appearing to be won over to a system called ‘socialist,’ tending to communism. The situation is grave for the Chancellor, who must now choose between nationalism and socialism. Two perils threaten him: on the right, a restoration, and on the left, communism. Finally, as if the situation was not already full of unknowns, it has been heard that President Hindenburg is gravely ill. The passing away of the old soldier at this moment could only aggravate the discontent and uncertainty of the hour.”

The Times reports:

“The Reich Army is the most stable element in Germany today and, as General Blomberg said this past week, it remains the tie between the regime and its head. But then, Hitler has given proof of his will, and the Reich Army keeps in full effectiveness and remains apart from politics. It can thus be said, continues the Times, that the ‘purge’ of June 30th, apart from the ruthless methods resorted to, was necessary. And for that reason, June 30th has perhaps signaled a decisive step in the tempestuous history of Hitlerism. To begin with, von Papen can consider himself eliminated, and now the Nazi Party is entirely commanded by the triumvirate of Hitler, Goering and Goebbels, and while their authority may be a matter of discussion to some extent in Germany, there is no doubt that the triumvirate holds supreme power after the tragic episodes of June 30th.”

July 4 Additional headlines and articles on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano:

Headline: “How the Attempted Treason was Crushed”

Subheads: “Reorganization of the SA – new executions – Von Papen freed – various versions about the repression”

The Minister President of the Prussian Government, Goering, has issued a decree in which he appoints the head of the Nazi SS and the police general of Prussia, Dalnege, to reorganize the units of the SA in Berlin-Brandenburg, Pomerania, Eastmark and Silesia, acting in concert with the competent authorities of the Party and the SS.

The Minister of Propaganda, Goebbels, has praised the German press for discipline and rectitude it showed during the suppression of the Röhm revolt...

“Von Papen to Neudeck?”

Dateline Berlin, July 3

The surveillance of Vice Chancellor von Papen was to be removed last night.

According to some reports, von Papen will travel today to Neudeck.

Note: Neudeck was the rural estate of German President Hindenburg in East Prussia.

July 6 L’Osservatore Romano, page one: (Italian original)

Headline: “Von Papen Remains Vice Chancellor by the Intervention of Hindenburg: The Reorganization of the SA”

Page One Heading: “The Position of Von Papen”

July 8 L’Osservatore Romano, page one: (Italian original)

Headline: “Those Arrested and Now Released”

Subheads: “Von Papen did not Participate in the Cabinet Meeting – the Reorganization of the SA”

Dateline Berlin, July 7

The “German News Bureau” reports that Guenther von Tschirschky, Karl von Savigny, and Margarete von Stotzitgen [three members of Papen’s staff] ... have been released because they had nothing to do with the traitors.

This official report is the first positive indication that the position of von Papen is now stabilized ... his close collaborator von Bose was killed by a pistol shot in the office of the Vice Chancellor...

July 10 L’Osservatore Romano, July 9-10, 1934, page one: (Italian original)

“The Events in Germany: A Pacific Speech by Hess”

Dateline Berlin, July 9

The German News Bureau denied that ex-Minister Treviranus was shot...

Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s Lieutenant in the Directing of the National Socialist Party, gave a speech yesterday to the Party Congress in East Prussia, which was transmitted by radio to all Germany via the Koenigsberg station.

After briefly describing the recent events as a necessary action to avoid civil war in Germany, Hess dedicated all the rest of his speech to the issue of peace, with particular respect to Franco-German relations...”

July 12 L’Osservatore Romano, page one: (Italian original)

Headline: “Speech by the Minister of Propaganda: Goebbels Repeats that June 30th Passed Without Incident: Criticisms of the Foreign Press that Described the German Events”

Dateline Berlin, July 11

In a radio address transmitted over all German stations, Minister Goebbels spoke on the theme: “June 30th seen from abroad.”

The minister attacked certain international press whose only ambition is to publish the most sensational news possible, declaring that June 30th gave them the opportunity to establish some matters of falsehood and calumny and real distortion of facts, in a way unprecedented in the history of journalism.

“June 30th,” the minister said, “passed in Germany without the least incident or public commotion...”

Commentary in italics by L’Osservatore Romano at the end of the article:

We are publishing this for the record, but also for the record we attest that if on June 30 there occurred in Germany, according to the speaker, not the slightest disturbance, then also by declaration of the speaker, these “facts” nevertheless occurred. And to deny then the reported exaggerations, lies, calumnies of the foreign press, it suffices to point out these “facts” in their true rationale, in the manner of their implementation, in their exact proportions. This obviously would be accomplished more effectively by a comparison between the methods of the foreign press on German matters and the methods of the German press on foreign matters; especially because such a comparison could not avoid referring to the news that German newspapers published about events in Vienna, and in recent days, about the “most painful existence” in Austria under the Government of Dollfuss.

But a speech has been announced by the Chancellor to the Reichstag this Friday, on the “facts” of June 30; we can thus await this far more authoritative word without attributing an importance to yesterday’s speech that goes beyond a curiosity about the news.

Note: Because of the still unrepaired damage from the Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933, the Reichstag delegates convened in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin rather than in the Reichstag building. Following the Reichstag election of November 12, 1933, all Reichstag delegates were members or supporters of the Nazi Party.

July 15, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano, page one: Italian original

“Hitler’s Speech to the Reichstag on the Repression of June 30 - the Absence of Von Papen”

Dateline Berlin, July 14

The plenary session of the Reichstag, held as usual in the Kroll Opera House, opened at 8 p.m. with a brief introduction by Reichstag President Göring, who immediately yielded the floor to the Reich Chancellor.

Hitler began by stating that he had convened Parliament to illuminate the German people about facts that he hopes will go down in history as a sad cautionary reminder. “Political reasons and personal guilt,” said Hitler, “human weakness and human failings, have provoked a crisis in the young Reich, which could have produced truly disastrous consequences.”

“The Limits of Sincerity”

I propose to present these matters with a sincerity limited only by the interests of the State and the demands of propriety.

From the abdication of the Kaiser and the German princes, the German people found themselves at the mercy of people who, as representatives of a world of parties of the past, either knowingly caused or else allowed the political and economic decadence of Germany that we found upon coming to power. All the former parties and their Marxist or bourgeois leaders had the opportunity to show their capacity to govern in Germany, but they all failed ...

“The Plans of Röhm and the Deceased”

The Chancellor identified the various elements which, in contrast to the 41.5 million Germans who are enthusiastic supporters of the Nazi State, thought they could poison the soul of the German people again... Röhm and other SA leaders … with Schleicher ... wanted to place the Army under the command of Röhm and dismiss Vice Chancellor Papen and the other members of the Cabinet.

“Details of the Session”

Hitler arrived at the Reichstag in an open car and was greeted with applause.

In front of the hall were numerous SS foot soldiers with rifles.

On the governing bench were Goebbels and von Neurath. Von Papen was absent.

In all the plazas and principal arteries of Berlin there was great bustle. Double rows of SS lined the passages for the official cars. It can be said that all Germany was glued to the radio waiting for the Chancellor’s statements.

Hitler’s two-hour speech was followed by Göring’s declaration that the Reichstag approved it fully.

Commentary in italics by L’Osservatore Romano at the end of the article:

From our information here, similar to what appears in all other newspaper reports, it is clear that this is a limited summary, in comparison with the full communication by the Chancellor, which lasted two hours, so that it does not allow a precise idea and an accurate assessment of the statements themselves nor, therefore, of the eventuality of appropriate relief.

Civiltà Cattolica’s coverage of the Night of the Long Knives two weeks later, July 21, 1934, vol. 3, pp. 220-221.

And here, suddenly, the political sky darkened and an unexpected storm let loose, in which approximately sixty persons are thought to have tragically lost their lives, according to the most recent official notices. According to these, when Chancellor Hitler learned that Captain Röhm, head of the SA, was collaborating with ex-Chancellor General von Schleicher and allegedly with a ‘foreign power,’ in a plan to overthrow the present order of things, Hitler went immediately from Bonn in Westphalia to Munich in the earliest hours of June 30th. There he dismissed Röhm ... Later notices said that Röhm, arrested and jailed by Hitler, had refused to commit suicide, and was shot; that General von Schleicher ... was killed along with his wife ... that another seven regional commanders of the SA suffered the same fate; that two colleagues of Vice Chancellor von Papen were arrested, and that Papen was held under house arrest until July 2nd. There was talk of his departure from the government, all the more since he refused to participate in the Cabinet meeting of July 3rd. Then it was announced that he will remain at his post, by the will, it is said, of President Hindenburg. There is mystery about a man remaining in the government who is treated with such little regard for his colleagues ... President Hindenburg congratulated Hitler for his energetic action, which had ‘spared the German people a great shedding of blood and spared the Fatherland grave upheavals.’ The Cabinet declared that the measures of June 30 and July 1-2, since they were taken for ‘legitimate defense of the State,’ should be considered ‘legal.’ But this declaration did not dispel the shadow cast on a repression carried out with no semblance of even summary justice. All the more, since among those killed were the names of persons who were far from any idea of subversion, like Father Muhler and Klausener, the head of Catholic Action in Berlin, on whom was cast the shame of suicide for reasons unknown. The German press protested against exaggerations in foreign newspapers, but did not deny the insinuations or intimations of suicide against those arrested, or the refusal of corpses to relatives, the cremation of Klausener, the refusal of assistance of clergy to him when condemned to death, because these ‘were not worthy of refutation.’ Another relief arises spontaneously. Captain Röhm was known as a pervert, and a scandalous trial would not have kept his repugnant tendencies concealed from the public. Other faults of Röhm and his companions were revealed by Hitler in the instructions given to the new stormtrooper chief: gourmet banquets that cost ‘up to 30,000 marks per month,’ luxurious automobiles, waste of public funds for celebrations, making ‘a thousand useless expensive orders’ for an ‘indecorous and raucous’ life. These facts, not just vigilance against betrayal, explain the reluctance of Catholics to let their own sons enter into the stormtroops. So the explanation now given by Hitler to justify his actions is this: ‘I wanted every mother to be able to entrust her sons to the SA organization or to that of the Hitler Youth, without fear that their morals would be corrupted.’(footnote: While we were going to press, newspapers gave a summary of the speech of the Chancellor on July 13th. From this summary it is clear he spoke about the bankruptcy of the ‘second revolution,’ but not so as to the other points. We will speak of this again in the next issue.)”

Civiltà Cattolica’s next issue, Aug. 4, 1934, devoted five pages to coverage of Hitler’s speech to the Reichstag. The last page, in a footnote, mentioned three of the prominent Catholic victims, Papen’s press secretary von Bose, Catholic Action leader Klausener, and Catholic sports association president Adelbert Probst, as well as General Schleicher and his wife, and Gustav von Kahr, who as Commissar of Bavaria in 1923 had played a central role in putting down Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch.

These are excerpts from pp. 330-334:

“III. International News.

“1. Germany. The repressive measures of June 30 according to Hitler’s speech. 2. Austria. Changes in the Government and measures against terrorists. Assassination of Dollfuss.

“1. (Germany). In the hall of the former Kroll Opera House, on July 13, Chancellor Hitler spoke about the events of June 30, promising to speak frankly, with no other restraints than those imposed ‘by the interests of the Reich and the requirements of propriety.’

“In the first part of his speech, the Chancellor brings to light the salvific work of National Socialism, which, coming to power on January 30, 1933, found the State in complete disorder ... ‘absurd to think of returning to a regime of political parties.’ ...

“Speaking now of the general question of enemies, the Chancellor passed into the second part of his speech, bringing to light the disruptive aspects of the SA. At that time the voice of a new revolution was heard with such insistence ...

“The third part of Hitler’s speech, dedicated to describing the conspiracy ... Röhm ... Schleicher ...

“On the first of June, Hitler summoned Röhm. In a meeting that lasted five hours, he gave indications that he was preparing a National-Bolshevik revolution ...

“... according to Hitler the persons killed in putting down the “Röhm Putsch” were ... In total, 77 persons. (footnote: The list however is not complete. Missing from it, for example, are the names of Schleicher and his wife; the name of von Bosen, press secretary to von Papen; the name of Dr. Klausener; the name of von Kahr, former Governor of the State of Bavaria; the name of Probst, president of Catholic Youth; and others.)”

“... A serious gap is noticeable in the categories of the victims. The Chancellor spoke of a National-Bolshevik movement. But National-Bolshevism certainly does not pertain to Klausener, Muhler, Probst and other Catholics who were killed, as appears. His silence on this question of the killings weakens his effort at self-justification.”

Civiltà Cattolica also published the condolences of Pope Pius XI and Cardinal Pacelli to the Austrian President and the widow of Engelbert Dollfuss, along with Mussolini’s guarantee of the independence of Austria. Ibid., p.335.


July 4, 1934 Diplomatic Note from Cardinal Pacelli to German Government, addressed to Ambassador von Bergen:

Your Excellency,

I have the honor to request respectfully that the following be communicated to the German Reich Government: According to information that has reached the Holy See, the Reich Government has forbidden German nationals to study at the Theological Faculty in Innsbruck.

The Holy See must call the Reich Government’s attention to the fact that Art. 13, sec. 1(c) of the Bavarian Concordat ... was given the following binding interpretation by the ... Bavarian State Government.

Source: Albrecht, Note Exchange, vol. 1, p.174.

Diplomatic Note from Pacelli to Bergen, July 4, 1934:

Your Excellency!

In connection with the Note from the Holy See of May 9th this year concerning the protection of the freedom of conscience of Catholic citizens of the Reich against pressures to engage in swordfighting and duels, which has thus far received no comment in reply ... Developments have indicated the urgency of the concerns raised by the Holy See in the above-referenced Note.

Source: Albrecht, Note Exchange, vol. 1, p.175.


July 13-15, 1934 Argentine press coverage of prohibition of swastika flags in Buenos Aires Province; clippings of the following articles are in the German Argentine Embassy files maintained in the Foreign Office Political Archive in Berlin:

La Nacion, Buenos Aires, July 13, 1934:

“The Display of the ‘Nazi’ Flag in the Province of Buenos Aires: Issuance of a Decree by the Governing Ministry in Response to an Inquiry”

Dateline La Plata, July 12, 1934

A decree has been issued by the Government Ministry, informing police headquarters that according to provisions contained in the decrees of April 28, July 8, and November 7,1933, issued by the national government, regulating the display of flags, it is only authorized to hoist with the Argentine flag the flags of foreign nations with which the Republic maintains friendly relations, requiring the prohibition of any other foreign symbol.

The decree is based on an inquiry submitted by police headquarters about the procedure to be adopted with reference to the display of flags on patriotic anniversaries and because of the hoisting in a particular locality, along with Argentine and German flags, another with the swastika cross. In the preamble it says that the regulation of the display of national symbols pertains to the national government and not to the provinces, and that the national Executive Authority, in the decree of April 28, 1933, prohibited “in public meetings, assemblies, demonstrations and parades, the display of other flags than the Argentine and those of foreign nations with which the Republic maintains friendly relations.” Additionally, in that same decree, it is specified that the provincial governments, as the natural agents of the federal government in their respective territories, are responsible for its implementation.

Note: This clipping is attached to a short memorandum typed in German, stating as follows:

The Government has promulgated a decree in this regard.

La Plata, July 12 – The Province today informed the police, by a decree, that they must confiscate flags whose display is not authorized by the applicable laws of the national government.

This measure is the result of flags with the swastika of German fascism being displayed on various houses on July 9th of this year.

As a result, the police will have such flags taken in if they are displayed in public.

Source: “Flaggenfragge” [Flag Question] file, vol. 3, German Embassy to Argentina, Political Archive of the German Foreign Office, Berlin.


El Pais, Cordoba, Argentina, July 13, 1934:

“Concerning the Hoisting of Flags, the Executive Authority of the Province of Buenos Aires Explained”

Dateline La Plata, July 12

Because of an inquiry submitted by police headquarters, the Executive Authority, via the Ministry of Government, has made it known that, in accordance with decrees enacted by the national government regulating the display of the flag, display of flags jointly with the Argentine flag is only authorized for the flags of foreign countries with which the Republic maintains friendly relations, requiring the prevention of hoisting of those that are not in this category.

In the preamble of the resolution, it is stated that the inquiry was submitted in reference to a particular locality where a swastika cross was displayed jointly with another flag, citing the point that the regulation of national symbols pertains to the government of the Nation and not to the provincial authorities, who are to implement the provisions contained in various decrees concerning the display of the flag.

Source: Flaggenfragge file, see above.


Critica, Buenos Aires, July 15, 1934:

“The Nazi Flag Is the Symbol Not of a Nation but of a Party: Its Presence in our Country, Says a Reader, Profanes Our Streets”

Reflecting a state of mind that I take to be widespread, and responding to a current event, concerning the prohibition by Dr. Rodolfo Moreno, Minister of the Provincial Government, of the display of the swastika flag in the entire province, we are publishing a letter that was sent to Critica, which contains commentary that deserves to reach our readers:

Among the German Nazis ... in Buenos Aires – and among them there are quite a few who have not been removed from the lists of the Party because it has its local seat in the same German Embassy – the decision of the Minister of the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires, Dr. Rodolfo Moreno, prohibiting the display of the swastika in the entire territory of the Province, has been passionately discussed. It is argued that the swastika is the flag of the German nation. It should be highlighted that it was officially established in 1924 as the flag of the Nazi Party. By Hitler’s decree, the swastika was made official in the early weeks of the past year, but international law does not recognize the decrees that emanate from authorities that are not constitutionally legislated bodies. Therefore, the Nazi cross should not and cannot be recognized abroad as the symbol of German sovereignty, but only, consequently, as signifying a party flag. It is not amiss to note that the swastika remains the emblem of the Nazi Party, which is a very different matter from the German people and nation.

If humanly speaking it can be understood that some German fanatics are fooled by Hitler’s grandiloquence, it is right to believe that the aspect of the Argentine street is profaned by exhibiting the cross of the confessed murderer of 77 of his friends, the result of which is not only intolerable but extremely pernicious for the good name of the Argentines, among whom are three generals of our national army who attended a party of German Argentine adventurers, where homage was rendered to this flag and where the Horst Wessel Song was sung, the sanguinary partisan song of Hitlerism.


El Diario, Buenos Aires, July 15, 1934:

“Efforts for Prohibition of the Nazi Flag: The Directors of Accion Argentina Submitted a Request to the Interior Minister: Reasons Disclosed”

In the last meeting of the Executive Committee of Accion Argentina, it was resolved to address the Interior Minister, requesting that, in accordance with the decree of April 28, 1933 given by the Executive Authority, the display of the Nazi flag be prohibited in the entire territory of the nation.

In accordance with this decree – they state – the national flag can only be displayed with flags of countries with which our country maintains relations. This flag, whose display is requested to be prohibited, is not that of any nation, but rather represents a political idea of a portion of the German people in which our fatherland has no interest, and whose display could lead to internal unrest by its professed ideology, which is to be prevented by good governance.

Accion Argentina, a patriotic institution that aspires to a reign of peace and harmony emanating from the faith of our ancestors, adopts this resolution considering that, in the days of the celebration of the anniversary of our political independence, various Nazi flags have been hoisted.


El Liberal, Santiago del Estero, Argentina, July 15, 1934:

“Request for the Prohibition of the Display of a Flag: The Nazi [Flag] Represents a Political Idea that is of No Interest Here” ...

La Vanguardia, Buenos Aires, July 15, 1934:

“The Flags of Hatred Can No Longer Fly Under the Skies of Our Liberty”

The Nazi flag, the same one whose shadow fell on those assassinated on June 30th, and whose folds drowned the protests of the victims of Hitler’s savagery, can no longer be hoisted under the skies of Buenos Aires. The swastika cross, the symbol of racial persecution, can no longer be caressed by the breezes of a nation whose Magna Carta [the Argentine constitution] offers a home to all the people of the world who want to live here.


July 18, 1934 German Ambassador Thermann’s memorandum to Argentine Foreign Minister Saavedra Lamas:

The enclosed clippings show that the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires has issued a decree concerning display of flags, in which, according to the opinion of the said newspapers, it would be prohibited to hoist the flag with the swastika cross jointly with the national flag.

The German Embassy has the honor to ... be permitted to make reference to its note of April 22, 1933, No. 214 (to which the Ministry responded on the 26th of the same month), which note communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Relations that the German flag is composed of two, the black-white-red and the swastika cross, which should be hoisted jointly.

Note: Red pencil marking at the bottom of the memorandum indicates that it was hand-delivered to Carlos Saavedra Lamas by Thermann on July 19.

Note: A letter from Argentine Foreign Minister Saavedra Lamas to the German Embassy said that the anti-swastika decree of the Government of Buenos Aires Province would have no effect on the display of the swastika flag, thus indicating that the federal government of Argentina would allow swastika flags to be displayed with the German imperial tricolor. A red pencil question mark to the right of nada afecta indicates Thermann’s uncertainty about the effect of this memorandum. It does not appear that this memorandum or a countermanding of the Buenos Aires Provincial Government’s anti-swastika decree was publicized in the Argentine press.

Source: Flaggenfrage file, vol. 3, German Embassy to Argentine, German Foreign Office Archive, Berlin.


July 18, 1934 Diplomatic Note from Cardinal Pacelli to German Ambassador to the Vatican Diego von Bergen:

Your Excellency!

The Holy See has for a long time followed with increasing consternation the efforts that have arisen from the time of the ratification of the Concordat to change the de facto and de jure status of the denominational schools to the disadvantage of teh Catholic Church...

Source: Albrecht, Note Exchange, vol. 1, p.176.


July 29, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano, page one:

“Hitler’s Letter to the ‘Most Esteemed’ von Papen”

Dateline Berlin, July 28

Esteemed Herr von Papen,

As the result of the events in Vienna, I have felt constrained to propose to the President of the Republic of Austria the dismissal of Dr. Rieth, German Ambassador to Vienna, for being ready, at the invitation of the federal ministers of Austria, to give his support to an agreement concluded between them for the safe conduct and transport of the rebels into Germany, without having consulted with the Reich Government. The ambassador thus involved the Reich in an internal Austrian question for no reason whatever. The attack on the Austrian Chancellor, which has been condemned and deplored in the strongest terms by the Reich Government, was fatal through no fault of ours ... and I desire, if possible, to contribute to a detente in the overall situation and to a new beginning of normal and amicable life in the long-troubled relations between the nations of Germany and Austria.

For these reasons I turn to you, most esteemed von Papen, with the request that you take up an important assignment, yours because you, from the time of our collaboration in the Cabinet, enjoyed and still enjoy my exalted and unlimited trust.

Therefore I have proposed to the Reich President that you, having left the Cabinet and the post of Commissioner for the Saar, be sent as special ambassador to Vienna. In this position you will report directly to me...

Civiltà Cattolica on Hitler’s appointment of Papen:
... On July 26th, the Cabinet, commemorating Dollfuss and resolving to continue his works faithfully, decided to institute a special tribunal to try the rebels. German Ambassador Rieth was recalled ... the body of the heroic former Chancellor lay in state among the condolences of all the people ...

In the midst of these events, the German authorities dismissed Habicht from the office of “inspector for Austrian National Socialism” and prevented Frauenfeld, an Austrian who had made death threats against Dollfuss and his government colleagues on the eve of these events, from speaking on Munich radio. A great impression was made by the appointment of von Papen as Ambassador to Vienna, by Hitler’s letter deploring the events, and by his declaration of his desire to restore amicable relations between the two nations.

Source: Civiltà Cattolica, Aug. 4, 1934, vol. 3, p.444.


July 31, 1934 Ambassador von Bergen’s cable to Berlin:

From confidential sources I have learned the following:

The Pope has been deeply affected by the news he has received from Germany about the details of the shooting of Klausener, Probst, Schmidt and Beck, the alleged denial of assistance of clergy to some persons condemned to death, the cremation of Catholics and the way their ashes were sent to family members, as well as the death of Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss. He is therefore little inclined at the moment to enter into negotiations with the Reich Government and is decidedly against giving unconditional agreement to the decision reached in Berlin between the Reich Government and the Bishops, against which various German Bishops have already asserted their views.

We have no decisive interest in pressing to expedite negotiations on pending issues, and we can wait. And the momentary psychosis will pass.

Source: Documents on German Foreign Policy (1959), vol. C3, p.166.


Aug. 2, 1934 Text of oath taken by members of the German military on the day President Hindenburg died and thereafter:

I swear before God to give my unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Reich and of the German Volk, supreme commander of the Wehrmacht, and I pledge my word as a brave soldier to observe this oath always, even at peril of my life.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Aug. 4, 1934, page one; John Wheeler-Bennett, The Nemesis of Power (1954), p.339.


Aug. 4, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano, page one:

Banner headline: “After the Death of President Hindenburg: The First Acts of the New Head of the Reich Adolf Hitler”

“General Demonstrations of Condolence - A Law for the Reform of the Constitution - The Validating Plebiscite Set for August 19 - The Army Swears Loyalty to Hitler”

L’Osservatore Romano’s article on Aug. 4, p.1, about the German military’s oath to Hitler personally [rather than to the constitutional government of Germany]:

“The Oath of the Army”

In virtue of the law concerning the Head of State of the Reich and the Nation, Reichswehr Minister General von Blomberg ordered that all soldiers take an oath of loyalty to Hitler.

The form of the oath is the following:

“I pronounce this sacred oath before God: I will obey unconditionally the Führer of the Reich and of the German People, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and as a brave soldier I will be ready to commit my life for this oath.”

“The New Responsibility of Hitler as Assessed by the French”

Dateline Paris, Aug. 3

Hitler, head of the National Socialist Party and Chancellor of the Reich, has now become President of the Reich and has an absolute power that no Emperor or King has possessed in Germany. He is Head of the people and of the State, and his will becomes the raison d’état. He is truly the sole master of the destiny of Germany. The Nazi regime thus wields the totality of power. Death has taken away the only man whose moral authority still prevailed, in the eyes of the German people, over the person of the Führer, and who, by the major powers within his ambit, could give orders to Hitler. These are now his alone, and his responsibility increases.

Great importance should be attributed to the words spoken by Hess in the afternoon. It is striking indeed that in his eulogy for the Marshal [Hindenburg] he emphasized only his military glory and his decision to call Hitler to power. A decisive struggle is beginning for a total renewal [rinnovamento totale].

No one could now prevent Hitler from completely carrying out the famous program of February 23, 1920.

The original idea of National Socialism, proclaimed at the outset of the movement, will enter into a decisive phase of realization.


Aug. 4, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano, page two, full-page publication of the German Bishops’ pastoral letter of June 7, 1934, which was withheld from publication by the Bishops during the June 1934 negotiations with the regime, then banned by the Nazi regime from publication in Germany in July and thereafter:

“The Joint Pastoral Letter of the Bishops Gathered Around the Tomb of St. Boniface”

The joint letter of the German Bishops, from their last meeting in Fulda, was covered by newspapers at the time, in more or less brief summary form, and its exact text has not been known until now.

The document is of singular importance above all for the principles it commemorates in the face of circumstances that make it more necessary than ever to appeal to the conscience of the faithful and to public opinion; secondly, for dignified and exhaustive refutation of the accusations leveled against the Catholic Church in recent times, as if the Church’s beliefs, discipline, works, and faith itself were at odds with the ideals and the interests of the Fatherland.

But the letter not only provides a clear dogmatic exposition, not only a defense of the thought and action of the German clergy and Catholic people, but also, as to the spread of pagan doctrines that pretend to be a genuine interpretation of the national tradition and spirit, the letter recalls and celebrates the national Christian tradition and spirit, which has more than a thousand year history in Germany.”

Headings in the Pastoral Letter, as published in L’Osservatore Romano, were as follows: “The Profound Significance of the Jubilee Year - The Ancient Creed Against All Error - The Church of Christ and the New Rebellion Against It - The Bishops Counter the Attack on the Christian Faith - Catholic Associations and Catholic Press - Religion and Politics - For Truth and Justice - Always Ready for God and Fatherland - And the Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail”

The following is a partial translation of the text of the Pastoral Letter:

Dear Faithful!

The Holy Father has gifted Catholic Christianity and the entire globe with a Holy Year, announced in his Apostolic Constitution of April 2nd this year. Holy Years stand as milestones on the broad expanse of the centuries along the path of divine love and mercy. Divine love wishes to be imparted then more than other times, wider than ever are the spiritual treasuries of the Church opened, full of the incalculable merits of Christ and his saints. The explicit occasion for the proclamation of the Holy Year has been provided by the 1900th anniversary celebration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ and the solemn memorial of all the events that were closely associated with Christ’s sacrifice on Golgotha: the institution of the most holy sacrament of the altar, the first communion of the Apostles and their consecration as priests, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the conferring upon the Apostles of the power to forgive sins, the establishment of the Primacy of Peter, then the Ascension of the Lord, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the glorious commencement of apostolic preaching. If ever a centenary celebration was justified, it is doubtless the one decreed by the Pope for the year 1933 and now presently extended for the year 1934. There are underlying events that no other centenary anniversary can point to – events that are proceeding according to Pius XI’s words, the true rebirth of the world, the beginning of all blessings of the Christian life and of Christian civilization, whose ripe fruits we are tasting. This is the deep meaning of this Holy Year.

According to the view of the Holy Father, the Holy Year should be a mission time for all Catholic Christians ...

Dear faithful, in earnest consideration of these thoughts, how bitter the pain is to us Bishops, and how agonizing the anxiety about it, that precisely in recent years currents and movements have arisen in our Fatherland and grown stronger, which turn themselves directly against the above-mentioned great events of Jesus Christ and against the fundamental truths of the Catholic Church, and – not satisfied with that – toward the goal of founding a new religion and a German national church, which they want to found with a “new faith,” as they say, with the “myth of the blood.” ...

As children of the Church of Christ, taught by Christ’s word, we believe in a God, a true and living God, who is creator and Lord of heaven and earth. This God is not an image created by human hands, like the idols of the ancient pagans, nor an image of the spirit of man that is born from blood and race and “becomes and grows in people,” as modern representatives of a new paganism say...

With the vow of our baptism we are obligated to faith in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, our Lord: who out of love for us men and for our salvation, took on human nature; who suffered and died on the cross to save us from sin and guilt; Christ, whose glorious resurrection is our pledge of victory over death and hell; Christ, who sometime will come again to judge the living and the dead. Today, however, false prophets are arising in our Fatherland who deny the divinity of Christ and teach another way than what Christ teaches by word and example...

As baptized Christians we have obligated ourselves to faith in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Catholic Church. The third person of the Godhead, the “Spirit of truth (John 14:17), speaks to us through the holy books of the Old and the New Testament ...

Christ has endowed his Church for all peoples and for all times ...

Those who are bringing us a national church want to set us free from Rome, from the Rock of Peter, on which however Christ, the Son of God, has built his Church; they want to separate us from this Church, which according to the words of Saint Paul “is the pillar and foundation of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15). Certainly if “blood and race” are supposed to be the basis and determining factors of faith and religion, as the new pagans maintain, then the State would take the place of the communion of all believers, that is, the place of the Church, as the collective power of the members of our people. Then its claim to “totalitarianism” would be justified in the sense of understanding that it means a claim of complete rule over all human relationships, so that all rights of the individual, all rights of the family and all human associations are completely subjected to its rule.

Such is this neo-pagan doctrine, then, you recognize it, beloved, and have often heard complaints about it from your pastors, a radical denial of Christianity in the entirety of its doctrine, its morals, its richness of mercy...

Sincerely bound to love for the Church and love for our German people and Fatherland with the faithful who are entrusted to us, we protest against such subversive activity against Christianity and the Church, and especially emphatically because it seeks to contravene the intentions of the Reich Government that have been proclaimed repeatedly in clear words, and if it were to succeed, it would destroy all hope of a secure continuation of our form of government and of a prosperous future for our suffering people. The authority of the State must inevitably collapse if it is no longer founded on the authority of God, “from whom alone all authority has its origin” (Romans 13:1), which therefore can also only demand obedience “as a matter of conscience” when it is in conformity with the will of God. If in human society belief in God and fear of God wither away, and God’s authority, which binds the conscience, is disrespected, then sovereign power becomes involuntarily borne human caprice, and obedience becomes superficially produced slavish fear. Truly the gates and doors are then opened to uproar and anarchy, and security and order are continually in danger.

When such dangers threaten, we Bishops may not remain quiet... We may not timidly remain quiet when we see that not only private individuals but public persons are found among the bearers and proclaimers of neo-pagan ideas, who have far-reaching influence and powerful means at their disposal.

And now the antithesis: While neo-paganism is recruiting aggressively, our Catholic press no longer has the freedom to address candidly the great issues of the day in the light of Catholic doctrine and moral teaching and to ward off attacks upon Christianity and the Church. Sunday, the day for God and the family, is continually so severely caught up in the demands of State-recognized organizations for compulsory ceremonies and deployments, that no time remains for prayerful participation at mass and for nurturing Christian family life...

Dear faithful! To speak totally clearly, we Bishops will not cease to warn you against these empty slogans that confuse your faith and can weigh down your conscience.

You have heard and read: Dogmas are made up by men. But we, your Bishops, say to you: Dogmas, articles of faith, are divine concepts, divine laws, which are taken from divine revelation by the Church in its teaching office under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and are presented to us to believe. Thus dogmas are not made up by men.

You have heard and read: Whenever you put on a uniform, you cease to be Catholic or Protestant. To that we Bishops say: However loyally you must nurture comradely service and mutual respect, nevertheless religious conviction is not something that you put on and take off like your coat and hang up on a nail during your duty hours...

You have heard and read: You can even, without faith in Christ, the Son of the living God, and without faith in the Gospel of Christ, confess a positive Christianity. We, your Bishops, say to you: Positive Christianity is only present when you confess Christ, God’s Son, the savior of the world who became man, and believe in his whole Gospel and acknowledge all his commandments...

You have heard and read: Morality is what serves the interests of the Volk. Morality is what corresponds to the demands, the goals and the well-being of the race...

You have heard and read: You can place yourself under an unconditional oath. We, your Bishops, comment as a precaution: An oath is a solemn invocation of God and thus can never obligate you to fulfill it in a way that would violate a commandment of God. One can take on an obligation under oath such as the oath taken by officials or by soldiers, for loyal work in a profession, for obedience toward the rightful authorities. But whenever an order shall require something that violates God’s commandments and your conscience, then what applies is what the Fulda Bishops Conference expressed in November 1919 in a solemn statement with respect to the law of the Weimar Constitution: “In what concerns the oath to be taken to the constitution, Catholics will obviously not be obligated by it to anything that conflicts with a divine or ecclesiastical law and thus with their conscience.”

You have heard and read: Christianity was a misfortune and a corruption of the race for our Germanic ancestors. But we, your Bishops, say to you: The introduction of Christianity among the Germans was a precious gift from heaven ...

Dear faithful! You may perhaps hear it said, as it has often been said, that the Bishops’ standing up for the faith of our fathers, their warnings about the heresies of neo-paganism and the slogans of its representatives are an uncalled-for “meddling in politics.” Conscious of our religious mission and the obligations of our holy office, we reject this untrue misinterpretation of our conduct...

Thus we reject it as an untruth, whenever Catholic Bishops are portrayed in speeches or writings as representatives of worldly interests or political hacks striving for power...

Dear faithful! Last year we joyfully greeted the Reich Government’s announcement of its decision and steadfast desire to respect and to defend the rights and the freedom of the Church. In sincere love for our German people, in upright recognition of the Government’s measures to stop godless propaganda and public immorality, in trusting their intent to make the force of Christianity the weight-bearing foundation of the new Volk-order, we were and are ready to set about the unhindered work that has been guaranteed for us on the part of the Church for the salvation of people, for the true good of our people...

Dear faithful! Thus we have expressed anew in a serious time openly and candidly the painful anxieties that fill us in view of the undisguised attacks of neo-paganism against God and his truth, against Christ and the religion of the cross, against the Church and her task of sanctifying humanity...

Remain true to the religion of your fathers! Be assured that Christ, the God-man and savior of the world, remains with his Church, to which he gave the promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it...

The Apostle spoke these comforting words: “Cast all your cares upon the Lord” (I Peter 5:7)...

May almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Given at Fulda in the St. Boniface Church, on June 7, 1934.

Signed,

Adolf Cardinal Bertram, Archbishop of Breslau


Cardinal Faulhaber’s report to Cardinal Pacelli about Abbot Schachleiter’s meeting with Hitler on Aug. 10, 1934:

Your Eminence!

For the current negotiations about the Reich Concordat, the following report may be important. On August 10th Abbot Schachleiter was with Reich Chancellor Hitler in Munich. When the Abbot remarked that the pastoral letter of the German Bishops had been banned by the police, the Reich Chancellor literally threw up both hands above his head and said, “I had wanted that pastoral letter to be read aloud from every pulpit...”

A few hours ago I had a conversation with Herr State Secretary Hofmann, the new State Secretary in Munich for the Reich’s Governor of Bavaria; he is a practicing and earnest Catholic man, who told me: Several days ago he was at Obersalzburg with Führer and Reich Chancellor Hitler, who openly said he was waiting for an answer from Rome: “I bent over backwards in the negotiations with the Bishops, going as far as I could...” State Secretary Hofmann had the impression that the Herr Reich Chancellor greatly desired to reach agreement in the negotiations.

Source: Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, no. 1201, reprinted in Stasiewski, German Bishops Papers, vol. 1, pp. 895-896.


Aug. 16-17, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano, page one:

Headline: “Hindenburg’s Last Testament: Von Paper Delivers the document to Hitler”

...

Headline: “The Testament and the Campaign for the Plebiscite”

Dateline Paris

... The plebiscite on Aug. 19 will be important. Indeed, Hitler has boundless confidence and appears destined to increase his authority prodigiously.


Aug. 19, 1934 On the day of the nationwide referendum to confirm Hitler’s usurpation of the Presidency, page one of the Völkischer Beobachter features Bishop Berning’s statement, along with another Bishop’s scheduling of special masses for the referendum:

“The Bishops of Speyer and Osnabrück on the Referendum”

Dateline Speyer, Aug. 18

The Bishop of Speyer, in a message to his faithful, has called upon God’s help, enlightenment and protection for the referendum of 19 August. Masses of intercession are being scheduled, to which th e faithful will be invited by extra ringing of bells.

Hanover, Aug. 18

The Bishop of Osnabrück, Dr. Berning, made the following statement about the referendum:

“I consider it the obvious duty of every single German to vote emphatically ‘Yes’ on the Führer question for the sake of the solidarity and unity of the German Volk.”


Aug. 21, 1934 In Bishop Berning’s letter to the Catholic Bishops of Germany, he claimed he was misquoted and taken out of context, and then continued:

I know that the publication of such a statement caused great unrest in many Catholic circles, and I deeply regret that through this misrepresentation which victimized me, many Catholic consciences came under pressure.

I think I owe your Excellencies this explanation.

Source: Letter of Bishop Berning to the German Bishops, Aug. 21, 1934, reprinted in Hans Müller, Katholische Kirche und Nationalsozialismus: Dokumente 1930-1935 [Catholic Church and National Socialism: Documents 1930-1935] (1963), pp. 298-299.


Aug. 30, 1934 Criterio, no. 339, p.429, page one, on persecution of the Catholic Church by Nazi Germany:

“The Voice of a Church”

We have removed some material from this issue to make room for the entire text of the June 7 pastoral letter of the German Bishops Conference. The Nazi government prevented its publication from the outset ... The events of June 30 and the subsequent assassination of the great Austrian Chancellor Dr. Dollfuss have darkened the outlook even more. To give an idea of the lack of freedom to which the Church in Germany has been reduced, consider the fact that L’Osservatore Romano, despite its exceptional access to information, only recently became able to present the complete text to its readers on the 4th of August.

The document has a masterful simplicity, in lines of admirable clarity of expression, and an intensity of doctrine that is seldom achieved. It goes far beyond the succession of events: it searches out the roots, the deeper causes profound, and brings them to light. It shows that, at the foundation of everything, there is a direct hatred of Christianity, the logical consequence of a pagan restoration involving racism. It is a warning from an episcopacy that is aware of the dangers that threaten the faithful, and that is nobly fulfilling its duties, knowing the vengeance that it has to suffer.

Indeed some recent words from Hitler that might seem pacifying do not deceive anyone, because they are contradicted by painful experience.

The march of events since the advent of Nazism is instructive. Hitlerian documents prior to the seizure of power, beginning with the Führer’s speeches, were so deeply and absolutely contrary to Catholicism that the German Bishops, individually and collectively, expressed the incompatibility between the religious attitude of National Socialist and Christian faith. But on March 23 of last year, in a speech to the former Reichstag in Potsdam, Hitler stated among other things that “the National Government considers the two Christian denominations to be the most important factors for the moral preservation of the race. Their rights will not be touched… The National Government will accord and assure to the Christian denominations the influence that corresponds to them in formation and education: it will cultivate a sincere cooperation between State and Church.”

For these and other stances of the Chancellor, the Bishops, assembled at Fulda, declared on the 28th of the same month that “without removing the condemnation contained in our previous measures against certain religious and moral errors, the episcopate to think confidently believe that these general measures of interdiction and prevention (prohibition of Catholics belonging to Nazi organizations) should not be considered necessary.”

Peace was only in appearance. According to what I said in correspondence I sent from Munich last year, at that time I found not a single priest who did not fear for the future. And many episcopal documents of April and May, while doing everything possible to pacify souls, still give a discernible impression of anxiety. Various events that need not be related here led the German Bishops to decide to make their position even more clear, and this was the purpose of the magnificent pastoral letter of June 12 [1933], which provoked commentary even far from the country of origin.

An event supervened that was destined to make all fears seem to dissipate. On July 8 a Concordat was concluded between the Holy See and Germany, which provided a solution in principle for all problems, and the same day a decree from Chancellor Hitler revoked all the measures against the Catholic Church. The additional Protocol of July 20 completed the work, and the Bishops expressed their sincere joy.

This did not last long. Attesting to this, among other documents, is the pastoral letter of Cardinal Bertram of October 15, 1933, and the allocution by the same Cardinal pronounced a fortnight later. Events moved quickly, and by the end of the year the battle against the Church was openly underway. Criterio has published two articles about this conflict, with facts that we need not repeat here (Nos. 313 and 314, March 1 and 8). Since these dates, the Bishops’ documents have been multiplying, and above them the voice of the Holy Father has been heard in increasingly energetic terms. The shooting of the President of Catholic Action of Berlin, Klausener, and of other Catholics, the imprisonment of dozens of priests, the closing of nearly all the press, and the destruction of the youth associations, have escalated matters to the extreme of a real persecution.


Sept. 2, 1934 Diplomatic Note from Cardinal Pacelli to Dr. Klee, Chargé d’Affaires of German Embassy to Vatican:

Mr. Chargé d’Affaires,

I faithfully request that Your Excellency bring the following to the attention of the German Reich Government.

The review of the Bishops’ report on the negotiations that took place between the representatives of the Bishops and the Reich Government ... leads the Holy See to state the following:

1. What the representatives of the German Reich Government have insisted upon, in various essential matters, is less than what the Concordat guarantees by way of freedom for the Church, and thus cannot be considered a reasonable implementation of the Concordat by the judgment of the Holy See nor by the viewpoint of the German Bishops ... Further negotiations with the German Bishops’ representatives are thus necessary, to agree on the required modifications...

2(a) The express exclusion from political party activity under Reich Concordat Art. 31, section 2, does not entail for Catholic organizations any restriction on their collaboration for the common good in the spirit of the classic encyclicals of recent Popes...

Source: German Archives, reprinted in Albrecht, Note Exchange, vol. 1, pp. 184-185.


Sept. 5-11, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano’s coverage of Hitler and the Nazi Party’s Congress in Nuremberg:

Sept. 5, 1934, p.8 (back page), articles previewing the Congress:

“On the Eve of the Nazi Congress at Nuremberg: The Program of Events”

Dateline Nuremberg, Sept. 4

Preparations for the second Congress of the National Socialist Party since Hitler came to power are reaching maximum intensity. The Congress will be opened tomorrow, Wednesday, in the afternoon, with the ringing of the bells of all the churches of the city and with the official reception for Hitler in the City Hall.

The whole city is decorated with flags of the national colors and with flowers. The streets on the way into Nuremberg present a scene of utmost animation. The first special train of participants in the Congress carried a thousand members of the volunteer work service from the regions of Berlin and Potsdam. Another 500 special trains will arrive in Nuremberg during the night. The first special envoys of the press have already arrived in Nuremberg; they will number more than a thousand. Under the direction of the noted film actress, Leni Riefenstahl, scenes have already been in production for several days for the prologue of a great film that will present all phases of Congress.

The diplomatic corps, specially invited by Hitler, will arrive in Nuremberg by special train and will be accompanied by the head of protocol from the Foreign Ministry. During the Congress Chancellor Hitler will give a speech every day...

“The Foreign Missions to the Reich Chancery”

It has been officially announced that German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, in his capacity as Head of State, will receive the heads of the various foreign missions on Wednesday, September 12, in the old palace of the Reich President. This reception is the official visit of presentation after the naming of Hitler as Head of State and will permit the heads of the foreign missions to greet him personally and present their congratulations...

“The Latest by Radio: On the Eve of Nuremberg”

Dateline Berlin, Sept. 4, p.m., as reported:

On the occasion of the opening of the Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, the Minister President of Prussia, Göring, in an article entitled “The Day of Hosts,” published in the Völkischer Beobachter, writes that the days of Nuremberg have ceased to be an affair that concerns only the Party, because it is not only representatives of the Party who are gathering there, but delegates of the German people united in this one movement. The unity of the people and of the German State solidly forged by Hitler is vigorously demonstrated...

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 5, 1934, p.8. Original document in Italian

Sept. 6, 1934, p.6 (back page), articles about Nuremberg’s welcome for Hitler with church bells, Hitler’s World War I service, attendance of diplomats at the Congress, and “the Thousand Year Reich”:

“Nuremberg’s Welcome for Hitler”

Dateline Nuremberg, Sept. 5, as reported:

When Hitler arrived in the city, the bells of all the churches rang, signaling the official opening of the National Socialist Congress.

The “Führer” arrived at City Hall, accompanied by leading officials, at 8 p.m. A dense crowd of 100,000 people welcomed him.

In front of the gate into the city was an honor guard of blackshirts [SS], brownshirts [SA], and young men of the labor service, and of police with their standards, and a company of the Reichswehr bearing the bloodstained flag of the Bavarian reserve regiment in which Hitler himself fought during the war...

Hitler said the Congress of the Nazi Party of the Reich will be not only a great spiritual and intellectual experience, but also a true gift to all citizens...

“The Event Observed from London” ...

“The Invitation to Diplomats”

Dateline Berlin, Sept. 5

At the invitation of the Führer, participating in the Nazi Congress, in addition to Foreign Minister von Neurath and his State Secretary von Bülow, were also the German Ambassadors to London, Paris, Rome and Moscow, the German Ministers to The Hague, Sofia, Brussels, Warsaw, Bern, Budapest and Stockholm, and the German Consul Generals to Zurich, Danzig and Milan.

“The Latest by Radio: Hitler Proclaims in Nuremberg There Will Be No Revolution in Germany for the Next Thousand Years”

Dateline Nuremberg, Sept. 5, p.m., as reported:

Today at 11 a.m. at the opening of the Nazi Party Congress, a proclamation by Hitler was read. The Führer and Chancellor of the Reich declared that the last twelve months have brought a definitive consolidation of Nazi power in Germany and represent a year of work by the Government that has been immensely constructive and productive.

The revolutionary effort for power has been terminated and has gotten exactly what it deserved. Revolutions only abolish powers. It is only evolution that changes the state of things.

I warn those who want to have the right to critique the apparent disproportionality between the power of our movement and the number of its representatives in the tens of thousands of managerial offices in the State, because what was not capable of accomplishment up to now, will be done in the future.

The strength of our idea did not die on January 30th: on the contrary, it is beginning now to be propagate even where it first encountered superficial resistance. From the supreme leadership of the State to the vast masses of offices, tens of thousands of collaborators have adhered interiorly in ever increasing measure to the National Socialist idea. The will of the National Socialist leadership is absolute: it knows what it wants and wants what it knows.

The form of German life has been definitively determined for the next thousand years.

Casting a retrospective glance upon the popular vote of March 1933, Hitler observed that overwhelming majority have approved government decisions in the field of foreign policy and declared themselves in favor of the National Socialist State.

The fact that our enemies ...

During the next year we must continue to develop the internal order of the Party and its associations, purging this community of all elements that do not want to belong to it with unconditional obedience, absolute fidelity and loyalty.

We will implement new efforts to gain compatriots who belong to us by blood, but we will also cope with those who think the time has come when they can resume their destructive work. The fist of the National Socialist State will strike them. We will do everything to strengthen faith and trust among our people.

“Long live our German people, long live the National Socialist Party and our Reich!”

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 6, 1934, p.6. Original document in Italian

Sept. 7, 1934, back page, article on Hitler affirming Nazi doctrine of race and blood, which presents him upholding European culture against Bolshevism, Marxism, “Jewish intellectualism,” and the effects of the French Revolution; article describing Hitler being honored as the first to wear a new German combat decoration; and article conveying Hitler’s speeches in Nuremberg:

“Nazi Art: Hitler Reaffirms the New Esthetic of Blood and Race”

At the cultural session of the National Socialist Congress, Hitler made ​​a lengthy report on the rules that must dominate the aesthetics of a Third Reich that is based on blood and the Germanic race. “War and peace are natural alternatives in the life of peoples,” he said, “but war dominates historical memories.” According to Hitler, after the turning point in history produced by the French Revolution, disorder has reigned on earth. Putting on trial Bolshevism and Marxism, Hitler maintained that the German people have recently broken the tide that threatened to bury European culture; then he hurled abuse at doctrines injected into the nations by Jewish intellectualism that is limited to social forms without roots and complete emptiness from a cultural point of view. The Chancellor protested against some schools, stating that two perils threaten the National Socialist movement. It is essential to avoid at all costs novelty in art, which is devoid of the significant ideas based on race and blood.

It is essential to guard against Cubism and futurists who understand nothing of National Socialism. Thanks to National Socialism, creations without value will be replaced.

“Hitler First to be Decorated with the Battlefront Cross”

Dateline Nuremberg, Sept. 6

The memory of President Hindenburg was particularly invoked today when the Interior Minister, Dr. Frick, asked Chancellor Hitler to be the first to wear the Battlefront Cross for combat veterans, created in honor of Hindenburg.

“The Latest by Radio: Hitler’s Speeches in Nuremberg”

Speaking to the sessions of the labor service, Hitler said: We are not National Socialists because we are in power, but we will that Germany become National Socialist so because her offspring are such. You, men of labor, who are participating for the first time in the National Socialist Party Congress, you are the first witnesses who will guarantee that our great effort will not fail, to educate the people according to the new concept of labor and labor community, erasing the former social and professional class distinctions. The entire nation will pass through your school.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 7, 1934, p.8. Original document in Italian

Sept. 8, 1934, front and back page articles in L’Osservatore Romano about the Nazi Party Congress; the front page article reviewed British press coverage of the Nazi Party event and a Hitler speech. The back page quoted a speech from the Nazi Party Congress glorifying Hitler for his road construction projects, comparing his roads to Roman roads, and proclaiming that future generations will have “eternal gratitude” for “Adolf Hitler’s roads.”

“The Speeches at Nuremberg in the Opinion of the English”

On the recent statements of Hitler at the Nuremberg Congress the Times makes the following comments:

“Mr. Hitler has repeated that if Germany continues to work for peace and to seek friendship with other countries, this does not mean that the present generation should show less resolution in defending its honor, its independence, its freedom. But,” replies the Times, “who wants to deny the honor, the independence and the freedom of Germany? On the contrary, there is a general disposition to accept it and treat it as an equal in the community of nations.”

“However, it will be necessary that Germany not measure its honor, its independence, its freedom only by reference to its material needs while condemning as an enemy any other nation that does not agree immediately, without any discussion, to everything it asks.”

Source: em>L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 8, 1934, p.1. Original document in Italian

Back page:

“The Latest by Radio: Speeches in Nuremberg”

As reported: “Speaking about the construction of roads in Germany during the past twelve months, the Inspector General of Roads, Todt, declared to the Nazi Party Congress that approximately 500,000 persons have found work in road construction.

“The construction of expressways has commenced at 51 points in Germany.

“The Frankfurt-Darmstadt section and the one from Munich to Holzkirchen will be finished by winter. In 1935 around 300 kilometers will be finished and by 1937 the total is expected to be 2,700 kilometers... The expressways, the technological expression of the National Socialist Reich, will always be tied to the history of Nazi Germany, as the Roman roads are with the history of the Roman Empire.

“The task of road construction will be completed in such a manner that future generations will acclaim these roads with eternal gratitude as Adolf Hitler’s roads...”

“A Speech by Bishop Hudal in Graz on Christianity and the German Race” - dateline Vienna, Sept. 7

His Excellency Bishop Hudal, Rector of the German College of St. Mary of the Anima in Rome, gave a speech in Graz in which he acutely criticized racial theory, concluding with the statement that the Germans need to break free from the teachings of Nietzsche and find the way towards the Church. “It is false,” he said, “that race is the supreme good. The continually variable factor of ethnic character cannot be made an end in itself. It is false that Germanism has been put to sleep by Christianity, which, rather, has contributed to the greatness of Germany.”

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 8, 1934, p.8. Original document in Italian

Sept. 9, 1934, front page article about Nazis forces passing in review before Hitler, with words about Hitler being “visibly moved” and giving a “vibrant appeal to loyalty, discipline, obedience and devotion”:

“The Nazi Congress: Two Hundred Thousand Political Leaders Pass in Review before Hitler”

Dateline Nuremberg, Sept. 8, as reported:

Yesterday evening at 6 p.m. the appeal to the political leaders of the Nazi Party took place. Present were 200,000 men in brown uniform. The reviewing platform for the leaders dominated the immense arena to the west.

The political leaders had been brought during night and day by 180 special trains. they advanced into the arena in ranks of 12 with haversacks on their shoulders. Many appeared exhausted. The 180,000 leaders carried 21,000 red standards with the swastika cross.

Hitler arrived under floodlights casting a spectral light, advanced and ascended to the platform. Ley said: “My Führer! Here are gathered 200,000 political leaders, from the heads of districts to the heads of the smallest groups. Above and beyond the 200,000 who are present, there are 800,000 united with us in thought. They are the General Staff of the Party.”

Standing, visibly moved, Hitler spoke to the immense crowd and recalled how the same appeal took place the previous year, but then the political leaders were only 100,000. Hitler thanked them and asked them to continue their work to maintain and develop the results that have been achieved. “We will hold onto power so they will not get the better of us. Today the Nazi Party is the Reich, and it is the German people. Even if foreign countries are malevalent toward us, Germany can never pass away.” Hitler concluded with a vibrant appeal to loyalty, discipline, obedience and devotion from the political leaders, who must demand sacrifices of others and must make sacrifices personally.

Alfred Rosenberg delivered a violent diatribe against Russia.

Speaking of contemporary Russian youth, Rosenberg declared that the Soviet regime represents a return to absolute tyranny. “A small group of bosses are armed with all the technical means of the 20th century, and they are requiring tremendous efforts from tens of thousands of men in order to aggravate social problems in other States with economic disintegration and to carry the torch of Communist revolution throughout the world.”

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 9, 1934, p.1. Original document in Italian

Sept. 9, 1934, back page:

“The Voluntary Labor Service”

Dateline Berlin, Sept. 8, p.m.

In reports about the presence of the voluntary labor service at the Nuremberg Congress, the German press is emphasizing that all the world knows that the shovel is the unique arm of the German laborer, and that for at least six hours per day, the members of the labor service are employed in shoveling fallow ground by way of peaceful labor. In light of these facts it is incomprehensible that military intentions are being imputed to the German labor service.

The Nuremberg correspondent for the Tag speaks of the presence at the Nazi Congress of 600 delegates from the international motorists congress, who have taken note that the only purpose that Adolf Hitler proposes to realize with these “peaceful soldiers” can only be a work of peace.

Road construction alone shows that Hitler is not thinking of war, but of a long period of blessed labor.

Sept. 10-11, 1934, back page, two articles on the Nazi Party Congress and four short articles with other news from Germany:

“Parade of the Nazi SA Stormtroops in Nuremberg: Hitler Declares He Will Keep the SA Organization”

Yesterday morning in the immense Luitpold Arena, the grand parade of the SA and the SS took place, the culminating ceremony of the Nazi Congress. Splendid weather favored the performance of the ceremony, which included 115,000 members of the SA, the SS, and special units such as political police and aviators.

From the first hours of the morning, the stands for the public were packed. On the main platform the guests of honor had taken their places, among them members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Germany, who had been personally invited by Chancellor Hitler.

A little after 8 a.m., Chancellor Hitler arrived in the arena accompanied by his lieutenant, Rudolf Hess, and a small retinue.

He gave homage to those fallen in the Great War, whose monument stands prominently in the arena. Hitler headed from the main platform toward the monument, accompanied at a short distance by the head of the SA, Lutze, and by the head of the SS, Himmler. Reaching the monument, he saluted with raised arm, while the military band played the song, “Ich Hatt’ einen Kameraden,” [German military song: “I Had a Comrade”] and the flags and standards were lowered.

To complete the ceremony, Hitler addressed brief remarks from the main platform to the members of the SA and SS. A special theme has made me convene a new Congress about one year after the “Congress of Victory” [the theme of the Nazi Party Congress of 1933].

He said: “A few weeks ago a dark cloud came over our movement, which led our enemies to believe that the strength of National Socialism had come to an end. I have called my comrades to this place to make a triple declaration: First, to affirm that this cloud does not strike the SA or any element of the Nazi Party; second, to show that my relations with the SA have not changed, and that thousands of times over I have experienced fidelity; third, to declare that I have no intention to dissolve what I myself have built.” He concluded with a “Viva” to the SA.

Hitler then proceeded with a so-called “baptism by blood” of 126 new SA standards, 75 SS standards, and numerous flags. They were then carried to the city center to be present for the passing in review of the SA and SS before Adolf Hitler in the plaza. The parade was conducted in perfect order and lasted from midday until 5 p.m.

“The Latest by Radio[telegram]: The Final Day of the Nuremberg Rally”

Dateline Nuremberg, Sept. 10, p.m., as reported:

“After numerous demonstrations, marches and sessions, in which hundreds of thousands of Germans have participated, the Congress ended today with a political speech by the ’Führer.’ Moreover, today was dedicated to the Reich Army, which was participating in the Congress for the first time. This participation is natural because now the ‘Führer’ and Chancellor of the Reich is the supreme head of the Reich Army.

“The City of Nuremberg already has an air of departing. While the sun favored the demonstrations of the past days, today the sky has become gray. The Hitler Youth departed yesterday evening in 55 special trains. In order to return the SA to their homes, 293 trains are required.

“Also today, Monday, the Zeppelin landing zone disgorged tens of thousands of spectators, anxious to be witnesses to the beautiful military spectacle that will take place today before the ‘Führer.’

The Minister of the Reich Army, General von Blomberg, arrived a little before 10, frenetically greeted by the spectators, together with General Fritsch, chief of staff of the Army, and the chief of staff of the Navy, Raeder.

Among the military personalities were noted the head of the ministerial service of the Ministry of Defense, General von Reichenau, and numerous generals.”

***

Dateline Nuremberg, Sept. 10, p.m.

According to a communication from the management of the railways, during the Nazi Congress 770,000 persons arrived in Nuremberg by ordinary trains and special trains. Already 112 special trains have left Nuremberg, 70 of them in the past 24 hours.

All of this traffic moved without the slightest incident, except for some minor delays.

“Motorway Conventioners in Germany”

Dateline Leipzig, Sept. 10, p.m.

Participants in the 15th International Motorway Congress, who are currently finishing a trip through Germany, arrived here yesterday, visiting the city and primarily the central train statino, one of the most beautiful in the world, and left today for Dresden.

“Unemployment in the Reich”

“The number of the unemployed in Germany at the end of August was 2,398,000, which is 28,000 fewer than at the end of July. The decrease is due to new measures to provide private sector jobs.”

“The Death of a Noted Banker”

Dateline Berlin, Sept. 10, p.m.

Banker Oscar Wassermann of Blomberg has died at 65 years of age after a long illness; he was president of the “German Bank and Discount Society” for several decades.

Named director of the stock exchange by the Deutsche Bank in 1912, the deceased had directed the affairs of this bank for many years.

Note: Oscar Wassermann had approached Cardinal Bertram of Breslau, Germany, on the eve of the Nazis’ first nationwide boycott against Jewish businesses of April 1, 1933, asking him to speak out against this injustice. Cardinal Bertram declined.

“German Branch Offices in England?”

Dateline Berlin, Sept. 10, p.m.

According to news reports from London, 18 German garment manufacturing companies are planning to open branch offices in London, 9 of them in Manchester and 9 in London.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 10-11, 1934, p. 6. Original document in Italian

Sept. 12, 1934, front page article about the Nazi Party Congress:

“The Nazi Congress: Hitler Repeats His Principles about the State: The Exercises of the Reich Army”

Dateline Paris, Sept. 11

It was from Berlin that Hitler presided over the closing session of the Nazi Congress. He delivered a speech in which he critiqued the old ways of the political parties of the Weimar Republic, affirming that only National Socialism was qualified to assume power. Nazism long remained a minority because it represented the highest values of the German people. As long as the National Socialist State exists, the National Socialist Party will also exist.

“We want this State of the Reich,” said Hitler, “to live for the next thousand years.” Therefore the first task is to reinforce the essential unity of all the members of the Party. Hitler finished by saluting the Army and the Party. One day the Party will have, nexxt to the Army, the political direction of the Reich, and then these two institutions will form “the Germanic man” and will bear on their shoulders the German State, the German Reich.

Yesterday afternoon the exercises of the Reich Army took place. They were carried out in the form of a small military maneuver, with a regiment of infantry, a battalion of engineers, a public affairs unit, a unit of drivers stationed in Munich, a regiment of infantry stationed in Nuremberg, a regiment of cavalry stationed in Stuttgart, and finally a battalion of engineers stationed in Magdeburg. Mock battles between infantry and cavalry, with machinegun fire, firing of mortars, double frontal assaults, then moving to a scene of artillery fire against infantry and a final combined battle between two sides, blue and red, engaging all arms of the services.

After the exercises, the units of the Reich Army passed in review, carrying torches, before Hitler.

The 800,000 participants at the Congress have now left the city.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 12, 1934, p.1. Original document in Italian

Sept. 12, 1934, back page:

“The Latest by Radio: Hitler to Berlin” – Berlin 11 a.m.

“Early this morning Hitler left Nuremberg by airplane, arriving at 8 a.m. in Berlin.”

“The Reich Expressway”

Yesterday morning the groundbreaking for the expressway from Goettingen to Cassel took place in the presence of the authorities.

“Return of the ‘Zeppelin’”

Dateline Friedrichshafen, 11 a.m.

Returning from its seventh voyage this year, in South America, the “Graf Zeppelin” landed yesterday morning ...


Sept. 13, 1934, L’Osservatore Romano’s back page features six items about Germany. The first two concern Hitler and foreign ambassadors. As Erik Larsen’s historical work In the Garden of the Beasts (2011) points out, Hitler and the Nazi regime tried hard to get foreign ambassadors to attend the Nazi Party Congresses of 1933 and later, which U.S. Ambassador Dodd refused to do.

“The Latest by Radio: Yesterday Hitler Received the Diplomatic Corps”

Dateline Berlin, Sept. 12, p.m., as reported:

For the first time in his capacity of Head of State, the Führer received yesterday the heads of missions of countries accredited to the Reich.

In extremely large numbers, the population of Berlin, from the first hours of the morning, gathered on the pavement in front of the Chancellery and the former palace of von Hindenburg, which is now the Presidential Chancery, to attend the interesting spectacle of the arrival and departure of the diplomats and to greet the Führer. Numerous guards on foot and on horseback had to keep struggling to hold a passage open for the diplomats’ automobiles. The roofs of houses were crowded with the curious.

From a palace window hung a large flag with a swastika cross and the flag of the Reich.

In the meanwhile an honor guard consisting of one official, one drummer, six subalterns, and 30 soldiers, was brought to the entrance of the palace to render honors to the diplomats according to their rank.

At 11:30 the Russian Chargé d’Affaires and the Ministers of Uruguay and Haiti, Sampognara and Mrs. Costantine Fouchard, presented their credentials. The entire diplomatic corps was then received.

The ceremonies that ensued were those of the annual New Year reception.

Count Bassewitz, the Master of Protocol, received the diplomats and led them into the great reception hall, where they were presented to the Führer. The dean of the diplomatic corps, His Excellency Archbishop Orsenigo, Apostolic Nuncio, delivered a speech of well wishes, to which the Führer responded by thanking the diplomats for having come, and greeting them by shaking the hand of each one.

The Führer was accompanied by Minister von Neurath, by the State Secretary for the Presidential Chancery, Dr. Meissner, by State Secretaries von Bülow and Lammers, by the Ministerial Director, Dr. Doehle, by the Legation Counselor, von Plessen, by Military Aide de Camp Hossbach, and by his personal adjutant, Gruppenführer Brückner.

Even after the automobiles of the diplomats left the Presidential Palace, the enthusiasm of the crowd knew no limits. The crowd rhythmically repeated the words, “We want to see our Führer,” until Hitler was drawn to the window together with von Neurath and Meissner. Then they came down and showed themselves under the portico, where they were applauded frenetically.

“Thanks to Hitler”

Dateline Berlin, Sept. 12, p.m.

In the name of the diplomats who attended the National Socialist Congress, the Ambassador of Japan, leaving Nuremberg, sent a telegram of thanks to Hitler for the cordial welcome they had received.

“Disputes in the Saar District” ...

“Reflections in Berlin on the Oriental Pact” ...

“Fatal Automobile Accident” [in Berlin] ...

“Railway Incident in the Ruhr” ...

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 13, 1934, p.6. Original document in Italian


Sept. 14, 1934 Völkischer Beobachter, page one, on Hitler’s visit to Vatican Nuncio Orsenigo:

“The Führer’s Visit to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps”

In reciprocation for yesterday’s visit of the Diplomatic Corps, Führer and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler conducted an exchange visit at 12 Noon today to the dean of the foreign representatives accredited to Berlin, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Orsenigo, in the Nunciature on Rauchstrasse; the Führer was accompanied there by the State Secretary of the Presidential Chancery, Dr. Meissner, and by his personal adjutant, Gruppenführer Brückner.

Source: Völkischer Beobachter, Sept. 14, 1934, p.1. Original document in German

Note: It was rare for the Nazi newspaper to show favor to the Catholic hierarchy. Any appearance of favor toward the Vatican in this instance was counterbalanced by the adjacent headline: “Alfred Rosenberg to the Westphalia Congress at the Hohensyburg.” Rosenberg, the editor of the Völkischer Beobachter, was the main target of condemnations by the Vatican and German Bishops against Nazi neo-paganism.


Sept. 23, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano’s coverage of Reich Bishop Müller and his reported words calling for a unified German church free from Rome:

“Notes – Correction”

Given the particular importance of the facts, it is not out of place or superfluous to return to the words that the newspapers reported on the 21st of this month, in summarizing the speech given in Hanover by the head of the Reich Church, Dr. Müller, words attributed to the speaker himself.

That is:

“We want a German church that is free from Rome. The purpose for which we fight is: one State, one people, one church.”

Such statements, if they were confirmed to be accurate, would obviously give rise – particularly at this time in which negotiations are developing between representatives of the Catholic Bishops of Germany and the Government of the Reich for an equitable agreement for religious peace – to a justifiable regret not only in the minds of Catholics, but of those who know and feel that it would be harmful for everyone, without distinction, among such material troubles, to have a spiritual backlash.

We have seen, however, that a statement released for publication by the same Müller acknowledged that the above sentences attributed to the head of the Reich Church not only were not spoken, but were contrary to the letter and spirit of his speech.

“I only said” – says Müller in fact – “that Luther wanted to form a church free from Rome. We do not want a fight against the Catholic Church in Germany; on the contrary, I maintain that the two great Christian churches should not act in conflict, but that they have a common moral duty and humanity.”

These statements come at a good time. Of course they merit appropriate reservations on the part of Catholics, whether as to the appropriateness of discussing such delicate matters in a public speech, or as to the doctrinal content of the same press release. In any event it is fair to take note of the promptness with which they were confirmed publicly and the intentions that they openly manifested.

Immediately following is this article:

“From Sinai to Moscow

“A Titta Modia in Mattino of Naples says that, regarding women in the criminal code of the Soviet Republic, the Bolshevik law approximates the divine law of the Decalogue, to which it is similar if not identical. Protected and favored in Moscow, just as the woman is protected and favored at Sinai. And he writes: This favoritism towards the woman is not of today: it was already found in the Sacred Laws, in the commandment that prescribes, ‘do not covet another’s woman,’ but does not say ‘another’s man,’ which does not put limits on the desires of women; and St. Paul as well, in his First Letter to the Corinthians, insists upon a unilateral formulation … ‘and the man must not repudiate his wife ... Men, love your wives as Christ loves the Church ...’

“Thus, first of all, that the liturgy of ‘memento homo’ on the first day of Lent, should be thought of as woman not being ‘pulvis’ nor ‘in pulverem revertetur’; it should be concluded that since it is always stated ‘rights’ and ‘duties of man,’ the woman has no rights or duties. And it should be demonstrated that because ‘human’ and ‘humanity’ are words derived quite evidently from ‘man’ and not from woman or female, because otherwise it would say ‘feminine’ and ‘femininity,’ the woman does not appear to belong to the human species and is not ‘within the bounds’ of humanity.

“And in fact it is not to be suspected that the admonition of St. Paul does not apply also for the woman, seeing that the man is to love the woman as Christ loves the Church, and the woman - even more so - is to love the man as the Church loves Christ. This is especially so since this bilateralism does not emerge only from logic, but from the texts. And anyone who has the Sacred Scriptures at hand should not forget verse 10 of chapter 2 of Leviticus, where adultery is punishable by death, as much for one spouse as for the other; as it should be perfectly remembered about those who are ready to stone the adulteress, whom Jesus defended, but also commanded: ‘sin’ no more.

“The article from Mattino strikes at the Soviet code with a bit of burlesque irony. But such a game does not lend itself to the Sacred.”

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 1934, p.2.


Sept. 28, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano, page 3, juxtaposing picture of Cardinal Pacelli with this article about a speech by Bishop Hudal:

“Rome, Christianity and Germanism: At a Lecture by Bishop Hudal in Trier”

In the course of a recent conference of the Görres Society in Trier, a lecture was given by His Excellency Bishop Hudal, Rector of the College of St. Mary of the Anima in Rome. His chosen theme is of the greatest current relevance and – at the present moment in Germany – is extremely delicate: “Rom, Christentum und deutsches Volk” (Rome, Christianity and the German People). The select audience of this leading academic association of German Catholics, including most notably the Bishop of Trier, the President of the State of Rhineland [Koblenz-Trier], and Duke John George of Saxony, followed Bishop Hudal’s talk with rapt attention and warmly applauded him in agreement and gratitude.

We are looking forward to a summary of the salient points of this lecture, as the proceedings of the conference have not yet gone to press.

The speaker took his starting point from the episode told by Tacitus, in the second book of his Annals, of the two brothers Flavius and Arminius, who found themselves fighting, one on the side of Rome, the other against Rome. This episode, said the most excellent Bishop, has value as a symbol that still has significance even in our day. When the two opposing armies were facing each other from the opposite banks of the modern-day Weser River, the two brothers, accosting each other across the river, spoke, the one of the “magnitudo romana” [Latin: the greatness of Rome], the other of the “fas patriae” [Latin: the right of the country]. The scene was repeated many times in German history. The cultural upheavals of the German people, especially during the course of the 15th and 16th centuries, seem accompanied by the roar from the Germanic Pantheon coming forth from the abyss.

We find in the Germans, on the one hand an enthusiasm for the civilization of southern Europe, and on the other hand a struggle and incessant search that would like to reconcile the two civilizations, one of which, via the Imperium Romanum [Latin: Roman Empire], disseminated Christianity with such success into northern Europe.

Many want to think that in the Middle Ages the contrast between the Germanic genius and the genius of Rome was the result of the antithesis between the sacrum imperium [Latin: holy empire] of the Popes and the lay empire of the German Nation; that would be, it seems to them, the essentially most profound problem of Germanic history. To clarify this problem well, it is necessary to follow the tracks that the German genius has indelibly stamped in its encounter with ancient civilization, and then with that of Rome, above all as the center of Catholicism.

We must examine, that is, whether the German genius has not indeed had an essential part in the religious formation of Western thought and thus also in the formation of a culture and homogeneous civilization in Europe.

We do not share Spengler’s idea that civilizations are subject to ineluctable organic laws of development and decay. Civilization is certainly more than the result of influences of the land and the climate, of blood and of race, even as these are elements of remarkable influence.

Traveling through Germany, one is profoundly impressed at the sight of Gothic cathedrals and ancient Germanic monuments, testimonies, all of them, to Roman history and German history.

This coexistence and harmony of the two civilizations was, it is certainly true, undermined by the destructive philosophies of Chamberlain, Nietzsche, Lagarde and similar writers, but today the West needs unity in its moral decisions; it needs to collect its thoughts within the rock that is the bulwark for those who believe in Christ.

The speaker thus illustrated, with numerous examples from history, the efficacious collaboration of the Church of Rome and the German genius in the formation of Western civilization. The city of Rome itself, he said, bears the profound imprint, more than any other city, stamped upon it by the German genius.

The great dispute between Gregory VII and Henry IV gets assessed from a spiritual point of view, by eternal values, since in the final analysis, it was interiorly about the goal of instilling in the spirit of the time a more perfect understanding of the Christian spirit.

The deplorable religious struggle of the 16th century was fatal for Western civilization. Its devastating results were presaged already by Melanchthon, the disciple of Luther, who, in his commentary on the Book of Daniel, given to Archduke Ferdinand after the session of the Diet of Speyer, expressed his fears for the fate of Western civic unity and confessed to seeing collapse, in the upheavals of his day, a millenium of Roman and German history. Since that time the German people limp along, like Amfortas in the legend [of Parsifal], with a wounded heart, which all the glories of their history do not have the power to heal.

Rome and the German people, working in concord in past times, built a new ideal of civilization upon the civilization of old, and more recently they have been seeking since the 16th century to draw closer. This aspiration to draw near again, to collaborate in a new concord for new tasks, represents the tragic impulse – because it still remains unfulfilled – in the history of the German people.

Between Rome and the German people there exists no contrast by reason of race, because Rome does not represent a race, but rather an indelible expression of a great civilization. Man of classical antiquity gave to civic progress the contribution of his practical sense, the fruit of worldly experience and of the vigor of the expressive forms in his creations; Germanic man, for his part, has brought with him the impulse toward the infinite, the restlessness of seeking and of dialectic, the inclination to mysticism and romanticism, with ardent enthusiasm for all the issues of the time, gifts of high value that preserved ancient civilization from the rigidity of formalism. Christianity, triumphant over pagan antiquity, then conferred upon Rome and Germanism a spirit of new heroism.

Today the German people are presented with the vital question of whether they are going to have the strength to break free from the dissolute doctrines of their 19th century philosophers and turn back anew to Rome to find the liberating syntheses for their civilization. The German people have a mission all their own, which is to mediate between East and West and to act as a trusted bulwark against Bolshevism. For its part, the mission of Rome will always remain the same, which is to act as a faro delle genti [Latin: light to the nations]. The more that particular civilizations freely progress, the more they need an integrating center that is the custodian of eternal truth.

A great son of the Church, of German blood, Nicholas of Cusa, stated in his last will: If I die in Rome, may my body be buried in Rome but my heart returned to German soil; if I die in Germany, may my body stay there but my heart go to Rome.

In the same way – concludes Bishop Hudal – we too want to love Rome and the Fatherland with all our hearts.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Sept. 28, 1934, p.3. Original document in Italian

Note: A summary of Hudal’s lecture in Trier can be found in the annual volume of proceedings of the Görres Society, Jahres- und Tagungsbericht (1934). This detailed multi-page summary contains no mention of Nazi Germany’s “mission.”


Oct. 1, 1934 La Prensa, Buenos Aires, page 12:

“The Flags of the German Section of the Congress Were Blessed by Archbishop Copello”

In the sober setting of the Church of St. Ignatius, yesterday shortly before noon, occurred the blessing of the flags and standards of the German delegation to the Eucharistic Congress, which were displayed in the great ceremonies of an international gathering. The former colonial edifice had been decorated for the occasion with red drapes and Argentine flags, and the main altar was brightly illuminated with candelabras and lights.

During a mass, in which a choir performed a program of sacred music, a sermon was given by Father Jacob Wagner, president of the German delegation to the Congress. After prayers, seats facing the main altar were occupied by the Minister Plenipotentiary of Germany, Mr. von Thermann, and by the sponsors designated to act in the consecration of flags, the Argentine flag, the German flag, and the Pontifical flag, as well as the red flag with swastika and pendant, which had been placed in the sanctuary.

Moments later Monsignor Copello, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, recited the customary prayers to consecrate the flags, and then solemnly blessed the faithful with the Most Blessed Sacrament. With this and a hymn sung by the congregation, the event came to an end.

Source: La Prensa, Oct. 1, 1934, p.12. Original document in Spanish


Oct. 1934 Bishop Hudal’s description of his meeting with Pope Pius XI in October 1934 (excerpts from Hudal’s memoirs, in translation):

After my return from Trier in Fall 1934, I brought to Pope Pius XI certain thoughts of nationalist-minded German Catholics who found it remarkable, as a contradiction and double-mindedness, that this same Nazi movement that was considered Concordat-worthy in the German Reich was denounced in Austria from the pulpit, in the confessional, and in the meetings of Catholic Action, using every means of religious propaganda to call it “anti-Christian.” ... (p.216)

Then I told Pope Pius XI in our private audience for the first time about my preparations for this book and also gave the name of my original title, “The Spiritual Foundations of National Socialism” ... (p.217)

Nazism had, religiously speaking, in my opinion, a providential mission in Europe vis-à-vis the advance of Nihilism from the East ... (p.217)

The Pope interrupted me with the remark: “There you have made your first mistake. One cannot speak of spirit in this movement. It is a massive materialism.” ... (p.217)

A crippling pessimism was expressed in the Pope’s closing words to me: “We do not believe in the possibility of an agreement, but I wish you all the best.” He would prove right!” (p.218)

Source: Alois Hudal, Römische Tagebücher: Lebensbeichte eines alten Bischofs [Roman Diaries: The General Confession of an Old Bishop] (1976).

Note: The title of Hudal’s memoirs is an exercise in irony. Lebensbeichte is the German term for what is known among English-speaking Catholics as a “general confession.” A general confession consists of admitting before a priest, in a confessional or other private setting, the sins of one’s entire life, including especially mortal sins. General confessions are familiar to converts to the Catholic Church and to Catholics who make an in-depth spiritual retreat.

Hudal’s memoirs are in fact the opposite of a general confession. They acknowledge no wrongdoing. They seek to excuse and justify what any normal human being would regard as grave sins and serious crimes. Hudal openly boasts in his memoirs about helping Nazi war criminals flee Europe to escape justice. The objects of his favor included death camp commandants and other significant figures in the Holocaust.


Oct. 9-16, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano’s page one coverage of Cardinal Pacelli’s arrival in Buenos Aires:

Banner headline: “The Voyage of the Cardinal Legate: The Triumphal Entry of the Cardinal Legate into Buenos Aires”

Subheads: “The President of the Republic Receives Him at the Port - The Grandiose Cortege - the Cathedral - The Visit of His Excellency General Justo - Enormous Crowd, Unparalleled Spectacle”

Text: (From our correspondent) The crowd covered everything, blotting out all views of factories, wharves, boats ...

On the deck, mantled in Roman purple, the Papal Legate. Aloft in the wind, in the sun, in the homage of a people, the banner of the Authority of Peter.

An invocation: Christ the King!

Ambassador d’Estrada whispered to me with tears in his eyes: “What a precious heritage Columbus left behind.”

“The Grandiose Homage by the Metropolis”

Dateline Buenos Aires, Oct. 9, 8 p.m. local time.

For the arrival of the Cardinal Legate and the Eucharistic Mission, on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress, the jubilant city bestowed on the august Guest a triumphal welcome...

His Excellency, Signor Presidente, also introduced to His Eminence General Martinez Pita, Rear Admiral Flabet, assigned during these days to His person.

When the introductions ended and the exchange of these first cordial greetings, the Mayor of the City advanced toward the Cardinal Legate, who, surrounded by the Mission and the Government Officials, had the President of the Republic at his side among this imposing crown of authorities. And he pronounced the following greeting:

“The City’s Greeting”

“Your Eminence! I greet in the Pontifical Legate the foremost sovereign of the world to whose spiritual power all other sovereigns bow in veneration.

“Your Eminence arrives among us in a tragic moment for the historiy of the world, due to the crises of civilization, the crises of labor, a general anxiety by which all people cry for justice, hope for peace, and must generously collaborate for that, not locking themselves into the most fatal egotisms.

“The Representative of the Pope comes at this hour like Jesus to the gates of Jerusalem.

“But Buenos Aires will know to recognize in him a gift of God himself. Buenos Aires will listen to the message of peace brought by the envoy of the Vicar of Christ the King, invoking and actualizing the peace of the Lord. This peace lies in order, in harmony, in charity. Treasures, these, that come from God: happy will be the people cuius dominus Deus eius [Latin: for whom God is Lord].

“This peace is to be found first and foremost at the Tabernacle of Christ with the prodigy of love, outdoing all miracles, which remains among us and with us, so that all peoples and all souls are a new Jerusalem that He desires to conquer.

“May we also be worthy of this saving and vivifying conquest, all the more knowing to renounce materialism in life with its destructive legacy of violence and injustices.

“Happy, therefore, I repeat, the people that understands this sweet message, the call coming from Christ, which is repeated here in You, Eminence, in the name of the Father of All.”

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Oct. 14, 1934, p.1. Original document in Italian with headlines translated


Oct. 11, 1934 German Ambassador von Bergen’s report to Berlin on his audience with Pope Pius XI on Oct. 11:

... After a few remarks about the excellent progress of the Eucharistic Congress at Buenos Aires ... the Pope, obviously quite purposely, turned the conversation to Germany. All sorts of events, especially in recent months, had given him cause for serious anxiety, not only about the Church but also about Germany as a whole. The Pope read out a report from the French newspaper L’Aube which had just been submitted to him and according to which a National Catholic Church had been established at Essen with its own Bishop, services in the German language and the admission of Protestants... To all appearances Germany wanted to bring about a schism, but despite all sufferings and persecutions the Catholic Church would remain unharmed, for she was under God’s protection ... Moreover, he could not conceal from me his great dissatisfaction over the slow and unsatisfactory progress of the negotiations hitherto ...

I protested against the Pope’s accusations ... The Government had no intention whatever of establishing a National Catholic Church ...

Although a speeding up of the negotiations is most desirable and has been impatiently awaited by the Pope, I would renew my plea that the negotiations be protracted until the Cardinal Secretary of State returns; without his moderating influence the danger that, under certain circumstances, the Pope will take disastrous decisions is considerably increased.

Source: German Archives, reprinted in Documents on German Foreign Policy, C3, no. 245, pp. 477-478.


Ben-Dror Cover
Photograph of swastika flag near large cross at central point of 1934 Eucharistic Congress
La Prensa article
Passage in La Prensa describing honor guard with swastika flag around the altar and monumental cross

Oct. 15, 1934 La Prensa, page 9, description of Pontifical Mass celebrated by Cardinal Pacelli on Oct. 14, 1934, with swastika flag in honor guard near the altar at the large cross of the Eucharistic Congress; including this passage:

“Flags and Pendants of the Foreign Delegations Surrounded the Christian Altar”

From early on, the foreign pilgrim groups that had come to Buenos Aires were arriving at the central point of the ceremonies to attend the culmination of religious commitment. While groups of the faithful, some numerous, others smaller, but all enthusiastic, were finding their places in the areas reserved for each group, the flag-bearers, with emblems and pendants, ascended the steps of the platform, to form in the foreground an honor guard for the symbol of Christianity.

The monument then took on the appearance, as the ceremony began, of a large international trophy decorated with the most widely recognized national colors in the western world.

The Vatican flag, in the midst of all the others; multiple Argentine flags; the French with its bow of crepe; the British next to the American; the German with the cross of the National Socialist regime; each, in sum, adding its own particular significance to a most eloquent meaning for the enormous crowd of people straining to take in all that was happening.

Spanish original full page with these headlines:

“The Pope Imparted His Blessing on the Final Assembly of the Eucharistic Congress Yesterday Morning in Palermo - The solemn Pontifical Mass, which the Cardinal Legate, Mons. Pacelli, celebrated beforehand, was heard by an incalculable multitude - An honor guard was formed around the high altar at the intersection of Alvear and Sarmiento Avenues, by flags of the foreign delegations to the Congress - Homily was given by the representative of the Holy See - Plenary indulgence was given to the faithful - Countless Faithful Came Together for the Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Morning - Flags and Pendants of the Foreign Delegations Surrounded the Christian Altar - Cardinal Pacelli Arrives in Palermo - The Solemn Pontifical Mass Begins - The Congress Proclaims the Kingship of Jesus Christ - The Eucharist of Divine Counsel - From the Vatican the Pope Spoke by Radio-Telephone and Imparted the Blessing - Conclusion of the Ceremony and Departure of the Cardinals”

Photograph from Official Proceedings of Congress showing arrangement of cross, altar, loudspeakers and platform


Oct. 1934 Ambassador Thermann’s account of his interactions with Copello and Pacelli at the Eucharistic Congress in Buenos Aires, as told to an Allied interrogator after World War II and reported to the U.S. State Department:

“Relations with the Catholic Church, which in the beginning had been somewhat strained, took a dramatic turn for the better when Cardinal Pacelli (the present Pope Pius XII) visited Buenos Aires in 1937 [sic] for the Eucharistic Congress and on that occasion attracted wide attention by inviting the Thermanns to social functions and conversing with them in fluent German. Having discovered that Pacelli was interested in aviation, Thermann offered to place a Junker plane at his disposal for the duration of his visit. This offer was accepted and Cardinal Pacelli, Thermann and Archbishop Coppello [sic] took a sight-seeing trip together in that plane. Since that day, Archbishop Coppello had been a frequent visitor to the German Embassy. Incidentally, it was through the Archbishop that the Thermanns became friendly with General Martinez Pita.”

Source: Report of interrogation of Edmund von Thermann, former German Ambassador to Argentina, dated July 11, 1945, page 3. Original Secret interrogation report, declassified

Additional post-war reports of interrogations of Thermann reveal that the newspaper El Pueblo received German propaganda subsidies of 3,000 German Marks per month. El Pueblo was the daily Catholic newspaper of Buenos Aires, a semi-official publication of Copello’s Archdiocese according to Austen Ivereigh, Catholicism and Politics in Argentina, 1810-1960 (1995), p.80. The first page of the Special Interrogation Report of November 30, 1945 indicates that Thermann was interrogated on a total of nine days, after the date of the earlier July 1934 report.

The first paragraph of an interior page of the report shows El Pueblo receiving German propaganda subsidies as of 1942:

“The prisoner was confronted with a list prepared by the German Embassy in March, 1942, setting forth the monthly needs in marks for subsidizing publications in Argentina. The principal beneficiary was El Pampero, with 42,000 marks a month; other substantial sums were paid to Ahora (7,200 marks), Deutsche La Plata Zeitung (7,000 marks) and El Pueblo (3,000 marks)."


Oct. 17, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano, Oct. 17, 1934, page one, headlines and excerpts:

“The Cardinal Legate to Our Lady of Lujan: At the Temple of the Patroness of the Republic - In Flight over Buenos Aires - The Inauguration of the Atheneum for Youth ...”

(By radio telephone and radio telegraph from our special correspondent)

“Remembering the Unforgettable Hours”

Dateline Buenos Aires, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. local time

(C.L.) - The city awakens as in a dream.

Not exactly: It continues in the dream, so engraved in the mind are its imaginings, so bound to the heart...

“Visions” ...

The crowd, first and foremost the crowd, enormous, incredible; like two great walls along the Avenue Alvear ... Newspapers of every persuasion have affirmed that two million persons participated in these incredible apotheoses. Two hundred thousand on the platforms, a million in the field, eight hundred thousand along the street.

...

In the afternoon His Eminence accepted an invitation from the Argentine Association and went to the airport toward 5 p.m., and took a flight over the metropolis for twenty minutes...

Note: It is not clear whether Cardinal Pacelli took the flight with Ambassador Thermann at 5 p.m. as indicated here, or whether he took two flights, one at 5 p.m. and another with Thermann. The latter explanation is more likely, since photographs of Pacelli disembarking from the German JU-52 plane show it on the water, equipped as a hydroplane, not equipped for takeoff and landing from an airport.

“The Atheneum for Youth” ...

“The Homage by the Armed Forces”

Half an hour later, in accordance with the desire expressed since Friday and welcomed with spirited acceptance, the Legate received the visit of homage by the armed forces. Present were sixty general officers and admirals, that is the entirety of the Argentine general staff, with the President in his character as a general, and Ministers of War Rodriguez and of the Navy, Videla...

“Radio Transmissions in Germany”

... Throughout Germany, Catholics had the possibility of hearing the words of the Pope transmitted from Vatican City to the closing of the International Eucharistic Congress. Radio stations in Munich, Breslau and Cologne broadcast the ceremony and the speech ...

“The Next National Congress of Catholics in India” ...

“The Government of Manchukuo and the Catholic Missions” ...

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Oct. 17, 1934, p.1.


Oct. 20, 1934 Civiltà Cattolica, pp. 126ff.:

“‘The Jewish Question’ and National Socialist Antisemitism”

Note: This article and its sequel discuss a book that was central to Nazi antisemitic propaganda, the Handbook of the Jewish Question. First published in 1887 by German antisemite Theodor Fritsch, the Handbook was incorporated into the German school curriculum, along with Rosenberg’s presentation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, by an October 13, 1934 decree of the Reich Education Minister.

Civiltà Cattolica criticizes the Handbook for taking antisemitism to undue extremes and for attacking the Jesuit Order and the Catholic Church. The October 20th article denounces “rowdy and extreme ‘antisemitism’” among the Nazis, which is “ineffective as to just and equitable restrictions on Jewish predominance or arrogance in all parts and levels of social life ...” The article concludes with the statement that Zionism “signals a very bad policy [pessima politica] as well as an anti-Christian and anti-Catholic initiative, and prepares turbulent days in Palestine by its initiation of Jewish colonization. And all this information certainly confirms the existence and the seriousness of the ‘Jewish peril.’”

Civiltà Cattolica’s first of two articles, Oct. 20, 1934:

“‘The Jewish Question’ and National Socialist Antisemitism”

If contradiction is a reliable indicator of error – as we have often had occasion to note, and most recently again in relation to Luther and Lutheranism – then it is no less an indicator when there is exaggeration of that part or at least semblance which it retains of the truth. And it is in fact easiest to make exaggerations or falsifications of truth in the speculative order, as it is very easy to move or slide from one extreme to another ...

Of this equally old and new truth, we find today a fresh example in Germany, in a current of the Nazi movement, a naturalistic and neo-pagan current, as was also demonstrated with too sad evidence (cf. Civiltà Cattolica, 1934, vol. I, p. 238, “Antichristian Racial Myth”; p.374, “Defense of Christian Race and Ethics,” etc.) It has gone from an openly declared and Masonic “semitism” to a more rowdy and extreme “antisemitism,” thus also ineffective as to just and equitable restrictions on Jewish predominance or arrogance in all parts and levels of social life, which was a result of the old liberalism, connected with certain Protestant sects, to the detriment of the Catholic religion. It has gone, that is, from one extreme to another, and with equal offense to truth and to justice, as well as open violation of the most essential precepts of Christian equity and charity. And the exaggeration or imbalance becomes all the more intolerable to the extent the dubious zeal of the Nazi antisemites vaunts and opposes its own excesses to the moderation of the Catholic Church, of the Roman Pontiff in particular, and of the hierarchy and its unity. And it so opposes with such boldness as to outdo the most excessive calumnies and defamations against the Church itself and against Catholics, progressing then from words to deeds consistent with the words, that is, to the most unjust and violent persecutions toward Catholics, both people and hierarchy, including also bloody deeds - like those of last June 30th - which the history of modern civilization will record with horror.

II.

The absurdity of such calumnies, moreover, had already been prefigured by old Ludendorff, exasperated by the defeat and the spectacle of the subsequent disintegration of his country: as he dreamed of striking a blow at all the ills brought on by the Masons, whom the Protestants had so cherished, and by the Jews, and even also by the Jesuits, all supposedly working together, each with the others. But the nice little find that consoled him in his distress was not even his own invention: it was rather the dream of a certain G. zur Beek, who, publishing “The Secrets of the Elders of Zion” to many curious and helpful notices, mixed exaggerations and incredible absurdities, with defamations of Catholics and Popes, but above all the Jesuits. As to the latter, a whole chapter poured forth the most ridiculous legends, told with all the presumption and condescension of the scholar, starting with the most far-fetched imaginings: that “the Jesuits have made a truce with the Jews,” and then also with the Masons, their natural allies: that they wanted to negotiate with them to make better profits, and then divide the universal sovereignty, notwithstanding that they rule the world: that with such plans they would form “a great Catholic central power comprising Rhineland-Westphalia, Bavaria, Austria and Poland,” and dismember Italy in the process. All of this was written by the erudite German in 1919, purporting to presage the future! But the prophet is only as credible as history bears him out; and he presumed to accredit his inventions with a long and fantastical enumeration of Popes “of Jewish ancestry,” including of course the so-called Popessa Joan and then, without a shadow of proof, “Innocent II, Anacletus II, Callixtus III, Alexander VI, Clement VIII, Paul V and Pius IX; and then a series of Archbishops and Cardinals who were likewise “Jews,” including “the famous Cardinal Antonelli, Cardinals Henry Newman, originally Neumann, Mariano Rampolla, Netto of Lisbon, originally Solomon Netter.” ... [p.129] These accusations are made in a publication that is distributed in Germany in the hundreds of thousands - the Handbook of the Jewish Question - edited by Theodore Fritsch ... the publication speaks of a league against Judah and Rome ... There is a chapter in the Handbook by an Alberto Kunkel, which studies the question of the ancestral origin of the Jewish people ... the Handbook speaks of “the Popes of Rome, who give a Christian label to their ambition to rule the world!”

The Handbook refuses to affirm the Judaic nature of our savior Jesus Christ ...

The heretical sense of Protestant antisemitism is confirmed again in the subsequent historical turns in which it encountered Judaism in the medieval and modern eras, whether that of the ghetto - the Ghetto Era as it is called - or in our days, particularly with reference to the Jews in the Germanic countries, under the Hapsburgs in Austria no less than under the Hollenzollerns in Prussia and the rest of the German empire. And if it is possible to recognize truly with the author and deplore the progress of “Judaizing,” as it is called, then it is not only in Berlin but in many other cities around Germany, as in France and Poland, as well as all Europe. But Protestant unbelief does not see, or does not want to see, that this “Judaizing” was in fact one of the triumphs of the Protestant revolution and of the unbelief disseminated through Europe, with the original foundation and then the total predominance of Masonry, which was so favored by Protestantism, as previously noted... but the incoherence and contradictions and absurd conclusions of the author’s study ... “And under all international organizational questions stand two powers: Rome and Judah,” exclaims our astute German, without needing any proof. So, the phenomenon of “Rome and Judaism” can be seen in all Christian civilization and is found in struggle, naturally, with the German people; a perennial struggle that is the history of two thousand years, leading to the last world war, which represents: The Highpoint of this Struggle. “We have lost!” - so concludes tragically - Rome and Judah are the principal victors in the world war and revolution: our defeat signified the victory of the world domination of Rome and Judah.

... this incites hatreds among so many millions of souls of the worst sort ... fanatics and imposters seeking the salvation of the fatherland... as Bismarck ... Policy of the Middle Way - and according to Wolf, the greater ... of the immense German ... not to value Rome for avoiding the danger of Judaism and Marxism, nor of Jews and Masons to conquer the danger of Rome.”...

This, according to him, is the only renewal that can save them. And for this nonetheless it is “the example of Jesus and of Luther,” in accordance with which they intend to “liberate the religion of Jesus” from what makes for the German people a mixture, the “amalgam of Rome and Judah.” This is the struggle against Rome, which is against Catholics and all Christian civilization, palliated by a clumsy pretext of a mixture, or alliance, with Judah, that is with Judaism its irreconcilable enemy. Only this struggle, so to speak, “only a radical revolution will bring help: a return that is to the way of Luther, of the Hohenzollerns and of Bismarck, without which there is no thought of true progress”... With that we are well advised of their true intent, and the meaning of what is promised.

But hope smiles on them: that the enemies themselves, the Jews and the Romans, will help them: because, Jews and Romans, like Latins and Slavs, do not know how to preserve the extent of their good fortune, and “by abusing their own strength, pursuing impossible goals, they precipitate themselves into the abyss.” And this will be, he concludes, a nice “irony of history.” Such is the curious historical pragmatism, or strange philosophy of two new adversaries of Rome and of Christian civilization! The conclusion of this rationale is meant to be the proposal of a renewed persecution - a renewal of the old Lutheran and Bismarckian culture war - against the Catholic Church.

The matter of these aberrations exhausts historians, not least theorists; the expositors, we say, of the doctrine of Judaism. And here the next chapter, one of the most temerarious of even the undersigning “pastors,” the Protestant Pastor Falck, involves the most absolute condemnation of Judaism and the entire Old Testament Bible, and that of a collection of texts interpreted according to rationalist criticism, with an exegesis of scorn, as with the old incredulity of the French Encyclopedists and German Enlightenment. Thus, as a necessary prerequisite, the good Protestant “pastor” rejects as not only incorrect but also totally unfaithful - absolutely useless - the translation of the Bible of their so vaunted Luther ...

... that Yahweh, the God of the Jews, is unjust, is vindictive and cruel ... in sum is a popular divinity solely and totally created by the Jews. With similar impudence ... that suppose that such opinions or rather formal oaths of our Protestant antisemites... On the other hand, with a more serious appearance and with a foundation of truth, the study follows Jewish doctrine concerning the Talmud, the Jewish Kabbala, ritual murder, and other similar questions, debated and debatable, pertaining to the Jews subsequent to the destruction of Jerusalem, when they ceased to be the chosen people, and the religion of Moses became that of the Talmud. In this sense we can see the reasonableness of the author’s statement that “the Jewish question in our times is no longer a religious controversy.” But the argument treated here by a Protestant scholar with such superficiality and passion, which would require many reservations, was rather well, fully, and serenely studied and discussed by Catholic authors, including modern ones, of whom we would like to name two who have written with a particular competence in history and doctrine: Bonsirven and Vincent. In the works of the first the reader will find, in addition to a good orientation on the history of Judaism, an excellent summary of its essence and its own doctrine, inasmuch as it is at the same time a nation and a religion, but a nation and religion in a form all its own. In the works of the second - who has drawn much from the first, and rightly so - in addition to the most strictly expositive part on rabbinic literature, on Jewish doctrine and morals, will be found also concise historical information on the destruction of Jerusalem and ... and on Jewish autonomy giving rise to the great Talmudic schools, which fostered the rabbinic tradition and the decline of Judaism, then faded with modernism and contemporary liberalism into complete unbelief, as for instance that of the recently deceased Solomon Reinach and such other Jewish scholars.

The Catholic authors do not conceal the irreparable rift that runs between Jewish thought and Christian thought; they show it and document it as a historical fact, with serene impartiality, but altogether without the hostility of a preconceived polemic, which is rather the custom and method of the partisan antisemites such as the Nazis of our “Handbook.”

We do not deny at all that these also appear excusable, and perhaps even worthy of commendation, if their political opposition were contained within the limits of a tolerable resistance to the intrigues of the Jewish parties and organizations: on which another long chapter of the Handbook covers much important information, albeit not all of it proven and accurate. It calls attention to the various associations of the Jews in different countries, notably that in France of the famous Alliance Israélite Universelle, founded in Paris in 1860 by a lawyer, Crémieux, with a second branch in England, formed in London in 1870, the “Anglo Jewish Association”; but especially the many Jewish associations of Germany, and the last known attempt of “Zionism,” much favored by Dr. Herzl and the famous Lord Balfour: as it seems to us and has been reaffirmed by our journal (CC 1922, vol II, p.299; III, 116ff; 1924, IV, p482ff), signals a very bad policy [pessima politica] as well as an anti-Christian and anti-Catholic initiative, and prepares turbulent days in Palestine by its initiation of Jewish colonization. And all this information certainly confirms the existence and the seriousness of the “Jewish peril.”

Source: Civiltà Cattolica, Oct. 20, 1934, vol. 4, pp. 126-136.


Nov. 1, 1934 Völkischer Beobachter, Nov. 1, 1934, page 3, reporting the meeting of the two reinstated Lutheran Bishops, and a third Bishop, with Hitler:

“Reception of the Regional Bishops by the Führer”

The Führer and Reich Chancellor today received Regional Bishops Mahrarens, Meiser, and Wurm, in the presence of the Reich Interior Minister, for a discussion about questions of policy toward the churches.


Nov. 1, 1934 All Saints Day sermon by Bishop Hudal:

“The Führer Role of the Catholic Priest”

The Führer concept has come of age. After the aberrations of democracy, Marxism, and the liberal concept of government, all peoples are calling for strong Führer figures. The realization is dawning that it is not the masses but only individual personalities who shape the direction of history, that without goal-directed leadership, States and peoples are consigned to their downfall.

... As meritorious and necessary as this Führer role is in the purely political realm, so must it receive an extension into the realm of the religious worldview through the Führer role of the Catholic priest, which is essentially such by the grace of God. No other Führer role can be established on the same level with this.

Source: “Das Führertum des Katholischen Priesters: Gedanken aus der Primizpredigt am Allerheiligenfeste in der Anima” [The Führer-ness of the Catholic Priest: Thoughts from the Sermon at the First Mass on the Feast of All Saints at the Anima], Munich Archdiocese Archive, Nachlass Faulhaber, no. 1395.

Note: An examination of the files of the Cardinal-Archbishop of Munich shows that he regularly received materials from Hudal, which are found in folders no. 1395 and no. 4006 of Nachlass Faulhaber in the Munich Archdiocese Archive. These materials show Hudal sending copies his books, an invitation to his consecration as Bishop by Cardinal Pacelli in 1933, and a printed copy of his sermon on All Saints Day 1934 in Rome, excerpted above.

The “Führer role” of the Catholic priest was exemplified literally in some historical examples both before and after Hudal’s sermon. In March 1933, the Catholic priest who had been head of the Center Party in Germany since 1928, Ludwig Kaas, insisted that all Center Party delegates vote in favor of the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler power to rule by decree. In March 1939, a Catholic priest who had become the leading figure in the provincial government of Slovakia, a province of Czechoslovakia – Josef Tiso – led Slovakia in seceding from Czechoslovakia, one day after meeting personally with Hitler in Germany, and one day before Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia.

Bishop Hudal’s active role in sending his writings to key German figures in the Catholic Church can also be seen in the files of Otto von Ritter zu Groenesteyn, Bavarian Ambassador to the Holy See (1919-1934), for example:

Letter from Bishop Hudal to Ambassador Ritter zu Groenesteyn, November 4, 1934, from Rome

Most Honorable Excellency,

For the exceedingly lovely words of the Rome-concept, I would like to express my most sincere thanks, which go especially to our mutual friend Prelate Wilpert. I will send you each month our Church Bulletin, and further, as soon as my Trier lecture is in final printed form, a copy of that also.

Source: Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Nachlass v. Ritter [Bavarian Main State Archive, Ritter Papers], Folder 24.

German original:

Für die so überaus liebenswürdigen Worte der Rom-gedenkens möchte ich meiner herzlichtsten Dank aussprechen, dem sich unser gemeinsamer freund Prälat Wilpert besonders einschliesst. Ich werde jeder Monat unsere Kirchlicher Mitteilungen senden, ferner, sobald der Trierer Vortrag in Drucke fertig gestellt ist, auch ein Examplar...


Nov. 3, 1934 Civiltà Cattolica’s sequel about the Handbook of the Jewish Question, Nov. 3, 1934, vol. 4, pp. 276-284:

The worst and most inexcusable wrong of the antisemitic writers of the Handbook - of which we wrote in the article in our preceding issue - is their constant pertinacity in wanting to trample with the same accusations as Judaism, others who do not deserve it: the Popes, that is, and Catholics, as well as Catholicism as such. We wrote of this in the previous article, but they are still overcome by the passionate hatred of the other authors of the Handbook, who assess Judaism in its relationship with civil society in Germany, with respect to policy and with respect to the Christian churches and all religious sects, especially Protestant and also Catholic; also with respect to industry, arts, letters, medicine, statistics and the like. A certain Paul Dehn has acutely studied the political parties, that is, with regard to antisemitic motives, in the 19th century, and has pointed out the interference by the Jews. Another writer, Arno Franke, deals with the “Marxist parties,” that is, those derived from the socialism of Karl Marx, who published his book Das Kapital in 1867, followed by so many other socialist and communist writers: and in this is also shown a false democracy, that of a social-democratic party of Jews. And that which is said against Jewish Marxist theory - that which has given embodiment to the new socialism and communism, as well as Bolshevism, which was in great part a creation of Judaism - which can only be admitted as a notorious fact. But we may well add that, well before these German Protestants, the matter was not only affirmed but well demonstrated by us and by other Catholic writers. (CC 1920, IV, p. 90 ff; 1922, IV, p.111; 1922, II, p.299; III,, p.116)

We have also early and often reiterated the true Catholic meaning of peace and Christian brotherhood, against that pacifism and that movement joined to it, of international brotherhood which is the palliative of Masonry and of modern Judaism as it was formerly of the famous three-fold slogan of the French Revolution. As to this pacifism, a work of Jewish inspiration and anti-national impact, Alfred Miller writes, but with blunders and exaggerations that we cannot approve. And yet they are worse yet in the subsequent writing about the so-called Pan-Europe movement, in which they see only the hand of Judaism and Masonry, more than that of its inventor, Count Coudenhove Calergi (a Greek born in Tokyo in 1894). This movement in fact is a purely political one, albeit subject, like all others, to exploitation and abuse by Jews and by Masons. Miller takes on the latter, denouncing Masonry, with all its lodges in Germany, as a more or less conscious instrument of Judaism for the domination of peoples. And in this he would have been completely right, but he included an error by stating the obvious historical falsehood about Masonry along with the idea of the priesthood of the ancient Jews; because the priesthood, founded, he says, by the Patriarch Abraham, continued its existence to the present day, precisely via Masonry... Miller adds such a legend that is not at all necessary to confirm the origin or the preponderance of Jews in Masonry; legends on which the serious historian cannot rely in the absence of solid foundations, and which appear to be the fruit of popular imaginings or even fantasies of Masonic writers: who pretend to ennoble their sect and its rites with fictitious references to the ancient origins of Israel, as with Solomon and his temple.

More serious and pernicious, however, are the errors committed by this same Miller, in another chapter, which immediately follows, which considers Judaism in its relations with the Christian churches, with Protestantism especially, and with Catholicism. But he acknowledges, rightly, that the position of Protestantism with respect to the Jewish question is fundamentally not essentially different from that of Catholicism: the one difference flows from the greater freedom, might we say, granted for free examination by Protestants, for the faithful of the Protestant churches: that of free interpretation of the sacred scriptures, those of the Old as well as the New Testament; which makes it easier to be “liberated from Jewish dogmas, and so prevent the Jewish spirit, under the veil of religion, from penetrating too much among the people.” But this, the author adds, “is the only advantage that the Protestant churches have over the Catholic Church.” Now it is clear to all that such an advantage is nothing other than an ability to more easily deny the original divine revelation and all the supernatural, which informs the Old Testament, as the divine preparation for the New...

... Luther’s commentary in the last decade of his life, in which he recognized the danger of Judaism. The new Protestants thus move away from Nazism, also in this, to their own confession, by their old teachers, while rejecting the Old Testament as opposed to the German spirit, and thus reject, even while professing not to reject, all the official teaching of their churches or evangelical sects. To this, in fact, we attribute, among other things, the great wrong of providing credibility and support to Judaism, by their adherence to the Jewish idea of the Messiah: so, we add, “because of this church our people, with respect to Judaism, can in no way say they have difficulty seeing clearly.”

Miller writes, “The Catholic Church has a worldwide supranational power like Judaism ... both these powers yearn to dominate the world: for this reason, one depends spiritually on the other, that is, it is subject to serving it in all things; both in full or in part work together and cooperate for the realization of their designs.” Can one imagine reading such impudence and ignorance in a writer who wants to be taken as learned and serious? Yet similar things were said of the Catholic Church with respect to Masonry, as we have cited above... Those who even emphasize such a point of the accord or union of Masonry with Judaism, what is it for them to aver the strange song of the imagined cooperation of these with the Church, with the Pope, with the Jesuits, and so to speak with all Catholics ...

Such is the idée fixe and the constant refrain of the Nazi Protestants: which, if little henceforth related to the old heritage of their Protestantism, is still related to the whole hatred against the Church and Catholics. Protestantism having, in fact, lost all concept of the supernatural spirit and the universal mission of the Church - since their pretended “reform” was nothing but deformation and corruption with enslavement of religion to the secular powers and to material interests - cannot see anything but a hateful current in Catholicism, and in the Church, which concerning the salvation of souls is just an ambitious tyranny of worldwide universal domination!

This hatred explains the massacre plotted and carried out against Catholics in the turbulent days of this past June, and the vexations that continued up to the present day, which has still not appeased the Nazis. It is true that the poison of hatred breaks out less from the pages of Miller, than in those of the old errors and prejudices of Protestants, as the author knows how to dissimulate under a guise of impartiality; but his accusations engender of themselves, among a crowd of unsuspecting readers, hatred and revulsion against the accused.

... and supposes the conduct of the Church toward Judaism is contradictory, as if it alternates between opposing and abetting; then adds more that is even less coherent and more false, that “the Jewish question in the Catholic Church is well buried forever”: and this solely because it is not located, and much less resolved, in the absurd and brutal terms of the German Nazis. He adds, but in his generosity says he does not really mean to agree with these things - thus it is still not said - “that the ultimate intentions of the Catholic Church and of Judaism are really identical and that both of them should therefore merge in an indissoluble unit.”! What nonsense! And who does not admire the great concessions of the Nazi antisemites? But he ... states: “The Catholic Church - so it goes - has drawn its most powerful impulse and full operating strength from having proclaimed itself the continuation and consummation of the Judaism of the Old Testament, while taking up the heritage of the Caesars in the world subject to the Roman Empire. But in order to take up this heritage it had to allow in the Messianic-Judaic spirit, and from this alone it had to exchange the spirit of serving love of Christianity for the spirit of world conquest at the foundation of the traditions of Rome, with this spirit masquerading as the true Christian spirit.”

Such is the foolishness of the ideas confounded in this poor text, in which do not enter the concepts of the spirituality and universality of the Kingdom of God and of the resulting universal mission of the Catholic Church; that type of “world conquest” has nothing to do with the traditions of pagan Rome. It derives all its explicit mandate from Christ himself, which Protestantism denies or distorts, concerning the continuity of its spirit and of its mission with that of Christ. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you,” says Jesus to his apostles ... (John 20:21). And again: “There has been given to me all power in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and teach all peoples, baptizing ... and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded. And behold I will be with you for all days to the consummation of the ages.” (Mt 28: 18-20).

Such a universality is the antithesis of Jewish or Pharisaic “particularism,” that is the narrow nationalism of old, no less than of recent times, which is also that of Nazism, just as totally unoriginal as Judaism and equally exclusivist. Yet Miller is not aware of his contradictions and continues undaunted to say: “The spirit of the Catholic Church today is the spirit of Pharisaic Judaism, for otherwise the church would not have been able to think in terms of world conquest.” But the identity, according to this logic, has brought a rupture and struggle between the two conquering Phariseeisms: “the representatives of the one (the old) Phariseeism, have become enemies of the representatives of the other (the new). And that is the root of the hatred of Judaism against Christianity! The old (genuine) Phariseeism seeks to destroy the new.” And with this passage Miller, ignorant of the true cause of the struggle of the Jews against the Christians, while recognizing the fact, which remains historically incontestible, thus manages to confirm the testimony of the Fathers.

But the recognition of the ancient dogmatic opposition of the Catholic Church to Judaism must serve as Miller’s excuse for deploring the claimed conciliation or pacification with the Jews of our day. Of this he thinks he can find a sign in the new code of canon law. This, we are told, has deleted the references to Jews among the canons concerning the resolution of impediments to marriage related to differences of religion. Now such an argument is truly childish, like so many others of our Nazi antisemites. The Jews, in fact, are clearly addressed, for anyone who can read plain Latin, in the section that speaks of the non-baptized (canons 1070, 1071); there is no special mention of the Jews because the law is general, extending, that is, equally to all who are not Christians. And like this, the other omissions of previous particular laws that mentioned the Jews explicitly - omissions that the author deplores in the new code as indications of philo-semitism - are explained and justified, for every man of good sense, in the new summary of ecclesiastical legislation, which corresponds with the progress of the science of law in modern times, and with recent civil legislative practice among Christian peoples: therefore one cannot give umbrage or insinuation of philo-semitism, as the German antisemites do. Such is the bullying and smallmindedness of scholars who have a mania for gathering mud to sling at the Catholic Church!

And not to be ignored in our reflections: those parts that are worthy of praise, as Miller’s treatment of the article in Civiltà Cattolica of May 19, 1928, commenting on the decree of condemnation of the association “Friends of Israel.” He covers it to a great extent in more than one dense page, and concludes with an expression of surprise, that “such great insight (into the Jewish question) could hardly be expected from these quarters.” But he hastens to annul this favorable recognition, grasping small items of news, rumors and gossip from the newspapers, to conclude that the article ended with words that do not signify that “Rome wants to renew the struggle against the Jews or their deplorable manifestations”; inasmuch as “Rome needed Judaism,” which serves its interests; as with the “Italian Commercial Bank (director general Toeplitz)” - which would be entirely a Jewish matter, according to this erudite collection of fairy tales - and similar ... nonsense.

We feel that we must now ask pardon of our readers for covering such nonsense, yet there is even an echo of applause: so we save ourselves the trouble of following the sad event. From the data described, now appears fanaticism, hatred and confusion of ideas where the Nazi fantasy unites Rome with Judah, the Catholics with the Jews, the Catholic Church with Jewish society. Now such an excess of fanaticism impairs, without doubt, the practical effectiveness of the antisemitic movement: indeed it raises the suspicion that the Nazis have more against Catholics than against Jews and Masons.

We had rather hoped to sense a dispelling of this by the last chapter, where the noted “Pastor Falck” prepares us with his concoction “the history of German antisemitism.” But that was not the case, nor in what concerns the first upsurge, the development and the progress of the antisemitic movement before the War, nor its development and outbreak after the War, when it intensified in various fields and in the entirely different form of “antisemitism of the old type,” with the cropping up of “first signs of a springtime of the people,” as the Protestant pastor says. To this springtime the Epilogue of our “Manual” alludes, or rather sings its praises; and the lyrical praise exalts it to an absolute rebirth that has made the German people into the archtype and model for all peoples, of natural civilization on earth; but it is combatted, however, by international Judaism, in which we are still shown “the Jew as a peril to the human race.”

This Jewish peril, moreover, was well warned against before, insofar as it is a sad reality, and denounced by the Catholic elements. And the Nazis themselves cite at the beginning of their epilogue the testimony of Civiltà Cattolica - putting this work in Milan! - which has just been repeated for more than eighty years, but in quite another style, with more moderation and precision, than what is found in modern exaggerations of antisemitism.

Thus no one will be able to interpret our words of open criticism of the present Handbook of the German antisemites, as if it were an apologia, or worse, an exaltation of Judaism and the Jews, who always have been and still are, as it is professed, sworn and irreconcilable enemies of Christ and of Christianity, especially of open and frank Christianity, the Catholicism of the Roman Church. But by this enmity, which is of the essence of Judaism, we had all the more to rise up against the lies that are repeated throughout the book, and in the epilogue itself it is reaffirmed: that Catholicism, or as it is said at the end, Ultramontanism, is approached and infused with Judaism, even with no less than Rabbinic Talmudism! And that by the spirit of reference to and obedience to authority, according to the laws of Christ and the Church, which have nothing to do with the blind servility of the Talmud (p.546).

From the enormity of such prejudices and their conclusions - although we reported thoroughly - one could well see reason in the false concept that the authors of the Handbook have of the Jewish question and danger, and of the remedy they propose to apply to make us safe. The remedy is worse than the disease, for the disease is so much worse as to call it even the “Life-Lie of Humanity”; as the greatest lie of humanity. And because this deception of life, as they denounce it, begins with religious teaching in the schools, with the introduction of the study of the Bible, which they want to take away, abolishing all biblical instruction, or religious instruction, that is in use in the schools. And there is no writing to justify this radical abolition: that in the religious teaching that is still in effect, the Jewish spirit of cunning and malice that is represented as the creator of the world, as divine; and with this fundamental deception of Judaism, the youth are introduced to the world to be given over to the grasp of the age, which is liberalism, that is Judaism. And the sticky disease of Judaizing has become hereditary among men, where it is necessary to the word of the men who surround and obey Adolf Hitler, to obtain the renewal of the people.“

As the Nazi antisemites, clarifying their program, under the pretext of fighting the Jews and Judaism, want to banish religious instruction, as it was said of the Masons, which they presume and boast of fighting. And “much has been done - they add at the end - but infinitely more remains to be done.“ It remains to remake everything, more than reform, of the state and the people, in all parts of life, public and private: politics, economics, arts, culture, religion”: the new formation of State and Volk... So, leaving aside the rest, turning to the sole point of religion - Christian dogma and morals - we have insisted, because the Jewish danger is not so grave and extreme as the danger of a new apostasy from genuine Christianity, from the true religion of Christ, an apostasy even worse and more radical than that of the old Protestantism.

This would not be a solution of the Jewish question: it would be a catastrophe, from Judaism to a more extreme atheism, as has occurred in Russia with that Bolshevism which Nazism boasts of fighting to the bitter end, but in reality imitates and favors. But such a catastrophic solution and that true Catholic solution to this vexing question which must be opposed to it, will be appropriate to discuss with more ease and respect, keeping equally distant from both extremes, according to the balance of the pure doctrine of the Gospel, which is that of the Catholic Church alone. (footnote: other than that policy proposed for the Jewish question by the Englishman Hilaire Belloc in The Jews, recently translated into Italian).

Source: Civiltà Cattolica, Nov. 3, 1934, vol. 4, pp. 276-284.


Nov. 17, 1934 Civiltà Cattolica, Nov. 17, 1934, vol. 4, pp. 400-407, reviewing a book by Bishop Hudal:

“German Culture in Italy”

At the present moment, Germany does not enjoy general sympathy in the world. This is a fact whose reasons are noted by all. Nontheless, we believe we are able to say that in Italy, a country of balance and moderation between extremes, it is known how to make distinctions between what is characteristic of the German nation and what is particular to this or that excessive or fanatical current, between that which is permanent and that which is a passing phenomenon. But beyond this subjective reason about the disposition of mind of the Italians, there is another objective reason that has not made and will not make them lose all sympathy for the German nation.

Ever since the German people were converted to Christianity - which is the strongest civilizing force and at the same time the most agreeable - more than a millenium ago, the most elite part of the German nation has always been in spiritual contact with Rome and with Italy, in greater numbers than from other nations, which is primarily a result of the religious idea and the cultural and artistic yearning toward Christian Rome and the Rome of classical and medieval antiquity.

With this element, the better representation of the German nation, the Italian, Catholic and Roman spirit naturally finds itself in harmony, in a mutual communication of religious, artistic and cultural life. And with this likewise are found in similar harmony all the other nations, to the extent they participate in Christian civilization, and the more sincerely and fruitfully they do so, the closer they approach to the universality “of that Rome where Christ is Roman.”

In this way there appears a much appreciated opportunity to skim through history up to our times and through various regions of the Italian peninsula, especially the Eternal City, as the works and institutions of German culture in Italy pass in review, under the enlightened and serene guidance of the current Rector of the Anima ...

For Milan, Bishop Hudal notes with pleasure, the intiation of regular pastoral care for the German Catholic enclave originated from the voluntary service provided by Monsignor Achille Ratti [who became Pope Pius XI, 1922-1939], from 1886 to 1914, for the German Catholics residing in that city.

Spiritual care became ever better organized, so that, in 1904, the protectorate for Germans residing in Italy was instituted by the Holy See. The First Cardinal Protector was appointed by Pius X, Cardinal Kopp, the Archbishop of Breslau, who assigned Monsignor de Waal as his deputy. The current Protector is Cardinal Schulte, since 1921, and his Commissar-deputy, since 1932, is Bishop Hudal.

***

While the various Protestant sects, especially those of American origin and the Waldensians, are devoted to a more or less fanatical proselytism in Italy, Lutheran Protestantism, in our peninsula, is at present limited to the “Evangelicals” of the German nation and language, who are for the most part travelers, students, business people, and persons who are seeking out the mildness of the Italian climate. In the past, an early introduction to Lutheran Protestantism in Italy, but always just among the Germans, was that arising in the 16th century in the so-called Foundation for Germans in Venice, a commercial emporium, where at a certain point Protestantism had the upper hand, until, by the work of the Jesuits, the German community was led back anew to Catholicism...

After an account of the diplomatic representatives and ambassadors to the Holy See and the Quirinale [seat of Italian Government in Rome], from Austria, Bavaria, Prussia and the German Reich, with historical comments up to our time, Bishop Hudal records the long list of scholars from the Germanic nations who came to Italy since the 15th century. Especially in the Eternal City in the 19th and 20th centuries, there are numerous names of world-renowned Germans; among the Catholics it suffices to name Cardinal Hergenröther, Father Denifle, Cardinal Ehrle, Cardinal Franzelin, Cardinal steinhuber, Bishop Ehses, Ludwig Pastor, Bishop Wilpert, Father Hagen, director of the Vatican Observatory, Father Fonck, organizer of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Bishop Kirsch, director of the Pontifical Christian Archeological Institute; and among the non-Catholics: Mommsen, Gregorovius, von Sickel, Ernesto Steinmann, P.F. Kehr, Christian Hülsen and Arthur Haseloff.

After a final chapter about the schools for the German community in Rome, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Trieste and Venice, Bishop Hudal concludes with some nice comments about friendly relations between Italy and Germany in various fields, especially culture, and about two recent institutes that promote these relations...

With this book, ordered in its parts and accurate in its historical details, bishop Hudal has accomplished a highly commendable work, showing legitimate patriotism towards his noble nation, and above all a Christian, cordial harmony between peoples, who certainly feel more bound in brotherhood as they consider their links with Rome and strengthen them.

We are pleased therefore to conclude with the selfsame noble words that the Most Excellent Author laces at the conclusion of his book:

The modern era, in its relations between peoples, has today other ideals and other means than those of the men of past centuries; but the world will be saved neither by politics nor by scientific theorizing, but by a clear adhesion to the immutable and absolute. Christianity and Antiquity are again today the two cornerstones on which Western culture is built. Once again today Rome is the custodian of the seal of great truths, which stands erect through all times up to the present, living and fruitful. When German pilgrims of the Middle Ages, after walking for many weeks, arrived at Mount Mario and saw the Eternal City for the first time from that height, they greeted it with the ancient pilgrim song of the ninth century, whose words historically present the great capital thoughts of German pilgrims in Italy, and with these we would like to conclude our book:

O Roma nobilis,

Orbis es domina,

O Roma, salve!

[Latin: O noble Rome, you are the ruler of the world, O Rome, hail!]

Source: Civiltà Cattolica, Nov. 17, 1934, vol. 4, pp. 400-407.


Dec. 26, 1934 Statement of the Catholic Bishops of the Cologne Church Province:

On Sunday, January 13, 1935, the referendum in the Saar District will be held, on the question whether this German State and its inhabitants shall or shall not remain in the separation from the German Reich which was forced upon them by the dictated peace of Versailles. In the face of the upcoming decision in the Saar, so momentous for our Fatherland, no true German can be indifferent. As German Catholics we are obligated to stand up for the greatness, the welfare, and the peace of our Fatherland.

Source: Hans Müller, Katholische Kirche und Nationalsozialismus, Dokumente 1930-1935 [Catholic Church and National Socialism, Documents 1930-1935] (1963).


Dec. 30, 1934 L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 30, 1934, back page, review of Bishop Hudal’s newest book:

BISHOP HUDAL: Rome, Christianity and the German People, Tyrolia-Innsbruck-Vienna. 1935. 61 pages.

L’Osservatore Romano has covered (Sept. 8 and 28, 1934) the speech that His Excellency Monsignor Hudal, titular Bishop of Ela and Rector of the Church of St. Mary of the Anima in Rome, gave in September in Trier and Graz on the theme, which today is of the greatest importance for the German nation, of the relationship between Catholicism and Germanism in the past, in the present, and in the future.

Now this speech, whose salient points we had noted immediately, has appeared as an elegant booklet, expanded and annotated with bibliographic references, and represents a precious feature of the Catholic defense against the historical and logical errors of the “Myth” of Rosenberg.

The author’s profound consciousness of the providential, productive collaboration of the German genius and the Latin genius, in Rome and in the world, offers abundant documentation of the congruence and harmony, rather than division and irreconcilability, between the German race and the Catholic Church.

If Luther nefariously dug an abyss which four centuries have not been able to fill back up, on the other hand the Catholic Church and its faithful sons have continued to give to the German people, and to all the nations of the world, light and energy that have saved German civilization from the barbarism into which it would be led by the new false prophets of a fantastic paganism that is more foolish than all the old theogonies.

If the latest utopia of blood and race should mislead the German people to separate from the civilization of Rome, then would be realized – as Bishop Hudal observes – the sad prognostication of the satiric poet and atheist philosopher Heinrich Heine, who a hundred years ago characterized the German philosophy of his day with his caustic pen in these words: “It is natural that a methodical people like the Germans would begin with a religious reformation, continue with philosophy, and finish with political revolution. The heads that are engaged by philosophy to think, can then be chopped off by the revolution, according to its unique talents.”

Never fear, you German republicans: your revolution will not be milder or more moderate than others, just because it was preceded by the criticism of Kant, by the transcendental idealism of Fichte, or by so-called natural philosophy.

From the doctrines of German philosophy will arise the revolutionary forces that are just waiting for the right moment to release and fill the world with awe and terror. They will arise from the Kantians who also, in the real world, have no interest in piety, and who, with no compunction, go rummaging about with scissors and paste through the dark underworld of European life to tear up as well the last roots of the past. From Fichte’s followers will arise fighters who in their determined fanaticism cannot be held back by fear or self-interest, because they live in the spirit and resist all material influence. But worst of all will be the natural philosophers who put their hand to a German revolution, identifying themselves with the work of destruction. For, if the hand of the Kantian strikes with conviction and force because his heart is not moved by respect for tradition, if the Fichtean courageously withstands all dangers because for him they do not exist, the natural philosopher will be a terror because he considers himself invested with the primeval force of nature, because he can invoke the demonic power of ancient German pantheism, and because that will awaken in him the ancient German love of battle that does not fight to destroy, nor to conquer, but simply for the taste of battle.

The sarcastic anti-Christian poet must at least recognize at this point that Christianity has the great merit of mitigating somewhat this warlike passion of the Germans, but – so he says – Christianity was not able to eliminate it, and if one day on German territory the Cross should collapse, there would flare up the old warlike ferocity, the insane “furor teutonicus,” of which the Nordic poets tell us and sing to us so many things. Then, the ancient gods of stone would rise again from the derelict rubble, shake off the dust of millenia, and Thor, with his gigantic hammer, would destroy the gothic cathedrals.”

Preventing Heine’s grim prediction, already partially fulfilled, from becoming completely fulfilled, is essential, writes Bishop Hudal, not only for the German nation, but for all of Europe, because the fury that would destroy Christian civilization in Germany would not stop at its borders but would inexorably take hold of those other European states that think they can escape the scourge of Bolshevism.

In this field there is only one doctrine that can prevail, and that is Catholic doctrine. The impressive systematic philosophy of Thomas Aquinas and Albert the Great, monumental in its simplicity, imperious through the years, suffices also today to dispel all doubt, to resolve all problems. The doctrine of Christ is the sole and infallible touchstone for recognizing the truth in the midst of all error, because through it shines the divine ray that dispels all human weakness.

The author shows that no people, and least of all the German people, can have any reason to break away from Rome, to renounce faith in Christ. Bishop Hudal’s study will serve to clear up many doubts, to restore peace to many consciences troubled by presumptuous and absurd theories of Pan-Germanism and materialism in our day.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 30, 1934, p.8. Italian original


Dec. 1934 Excerpts from Bishop Alois Hudal’s Rom, Christentum und Deutsches Volk [Rome, Christianity and the German Volk], published in winter 1934-35; manuscript dated last Sunday of October 1934 (Feast of Christ the King in the pre-Vatican II liturgical calendar); Hudal posited a religious obligation to serve the Nazi authorities and to love Volk and Fatherland:

Introduction ...

Nation in the broadest sense, my homeland, my dear Fatherland, Austria, but above and beyond that, all Germany, whose rising again, after the years of Marxist destruction of all ideals, so many patriotic Germans beyond Germany have welcomed...

Fidelity to Rome and national consciousness, love for homeland, Fatherland and Volk are really not a conflict of conscience for the German Catholic. Rome is not a danger that brings nations death, but rather blessing; for the Church, whose spiritual wealth as the heir of antiquity means the spiritual unity of the West, is not international in the sense that Marxism is...

We want to remain faithful to Rome without thereby lowering to halfmast the ideals of the Fatherland and the Nation. We Catholics, in our love for the Fatherland and the Volk, are bound not by means of momentary formulas of a governmental constitution, for we serve the authorities not merely out of national motives; rather our love for the Fatherland, as a religious virtue, is anchored in the granite rock of the concept of Christian culture.

Hudal continued with a visionary appeal for the flags of Nazi Germany and Roman Catholicism to fly jointly over Germany:

We therefore desire only that along with the banner of the nation, the flag of the Kingdom of Christ might also wave over the whole German country, because only under the signs of the Fatherland and of Christ is an auspicious future assured to our Volk. So as German Catholics in a world-historic hour for our Volk, we want to fulfill our duty toward Church and Fatherland...

Rome, on the Feast of Christ the King, 1934.

Source: Bishop Alois Hudal, Rom, Christentum und Deutsches Volk (1935), pp. 7-12.


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