The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I believe the next portion has been quoted, too. I now pass
to the participation of the Leadership Corps in the
suppression of the Christian Church and persecution of the
clergy, and cite some illustrative crimes.

The evidence relating to the systematic effort of the
defendants and co-conspirators to eliminate the Christian
churches in Germany has been previously introduced in
Exhibit USA Book "H" by Major Wallis with respect to the
Nazi efforts to eliminate the Christian Church. The evidence
now to be presented is limited to proving and pointing out
the responsibility of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party
and the members thereof, for illegal activities against the
Christian Church and clergy.

The defendant Bormann issued a secret decree to all
Gauleiter entitled, "Relationship of National Socialism and
Christianity". And that is Document D-75, toward the top, I
believe, your Honour. It is Exhibit USA 348. In this decree
Reichsleiter Bormann flatly declares that National Socialism
and Christianity are incompatible and that the influence of
the churches in Germany must be eliminated. I quote from
pertinent portions of this decree beginning with the first
paragraph thereof, top of page 3, which reads as follows:

     "National Socialist and Christian concepts are

     Our National Socialist ideology is far loftier than the
     concepts of Christianity which, in their essential
     points, have been taken over from Jewry. For this
     reason, also, we do not need Christianity.... If,
     therefore, in the future our youth learn nothing more
     of this Christianity whose doctrines are far below
     ours, Christianity will disappear by itself.... It
     follows from the irreconcilability of National
                                                   [Page 46]
     Socialist and Christian concepts that a strengthening
     of existing confessions, and every assistance for
     originating Christian confessions, is to be rejected by
     us. A differentiation between the various Christian
     confessions is not to be made here. For this reason,
     also, the thought of an erection of an Evangelical
     National Church by merger of the various Evangelical
     churches has been definitely given up, because the
     Evangelical Church is just as inimical to us as the
     Catholic Church. Any strengthening of the Evangelical
     Church would merely react against us....

     For the first time in German history, the Fuehrer
     consciously and completely has the leadership of the
     people in his own hand. With the Party, its components,
     and attached units the Fuehrer has created for himself,
     and thereby the German Reich Leadership, an instrument
     which makes him independent of the Church. All
     influences which might impair or damage the leadership
     of the people, exercised by the Fuehrer with the help
     of the N.S.D.A.P., must be eliminated. More and more
     the people must be separated from the churches and
     their organs, the pastors. Of course, the churches must
     and will, seen from their viewpoint, defend themselves
     against this loss of power. But never again must an
     influence on leadership Of the people be yielded to the
     churches. This influence must be broken completely and
     Only the Reich Government and, by its direction, the
     Party, its components and attached units have a right
     to leadership of the people. Just as the deleterious
     influences of astrologers, seers, and other fakirs are
     eliminated and suppressed by the State, so must the
     possibility of Church influence also be totally
     removed. Not until this has happened does the State
     leadership have influence on the individual citizens.
     Not until then are people and Reich secure in their
     existence for all the future...."

I next offer in evidence Document 070-PS, towards the
beginning, Exhibit USA 349, which is a copy of a letter
issued from Bormann's office, dated 25th April, 1941, to the
defendant Rosenberg in his capacity as the Fuehrer's
representative for the supervision of the entire mental and
ideological training and education of the N.S.D.A.P. In this
letter Bormann's office states that the measures have been
taken leading to the progressive cancellation of morning
prayers and other religious services, and their substitution
by Nazi mottoes and slogans. I quote from the first
paragraph of Document 070-PS:

     "We are inducing schools more and more to reduce and
     abolish morning religious services. Similarly the
     confessional and general prayers in several parts of
     the Reich have already been replaced by National
     Socialist mottoes. I would be grateful to know your
     opinion on a future National Socialist morning service
     instead of the present confessional morning services
     which are usually conducted once per week...."

In a letter from Reichsleiter Bormann to Reichsleiter
Rosenberg dated  22nd February,  1940, Document 098-PS,
Exhibit USA 350, which I offer in evidence, Bormann declares
to Rosenberg that the Christian religion and National
Socialism are incompatible. Bormann cites, as examples of

                                                   [Page 47]
THE PRESIDENT: Would you take care to give us the number the

COLONEL STOREY: I beg your pardon, Sir.

THE PRESIDENT: This is 098-PS.

COLONEL STOREY: Document 098-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: The one before you referred to was 070-PS.


THE PRESIDENT: Before that, D-75.

COLONEL STOREY: That's correct. With your Honour's
permission, rather than quote the whole document I will
summarise it: divergence between Nazism and the churches,
the attitude of the latter on the racial question; celibacy
of the priests; monasteries and nunneries, etc. Bormann
further declares that the churches could not be subjugated
through compromise but only through a new philosophy of life
as prophesied in Rosenberg's writings. Bormann proposes the
creation of a National Socialist Catechism in order to give
that part of the German youth which declines to practice
confessional religion a moral foundation and to lay a moral
basis for National Socialist doctrines, which are gradually
to supplant the Christian religions. Bormann suggests that
some of the Ten Commandments could be merged with the
National Socialist Catechism and states that a few new
Commandments should be added, such as: "Thou shalt be
courageous; Thou shalt not be cowardly; Thou shalt believe
in God's presence in the living nature, animals, and plants;
Thou shalt keep thy blood pure;" etc. He concludes that he
considers the problem so important that it should be
discussed with the members of the Reich Directorate as soon
as possible.

And now a quotation from the fifth paragraph on the first
page of that translation:

     "Christianity and National Socialism are phenomena
     which originated from entirely different basic causes.
     Both differ fundamentally so strongly that it will not
     be possible to construct a Christian teaching which
     would be completely compatible with the point of view
     of the National Socialist ideology; just as the
     communities of Christian faith would never be able to
     stand by the ideology of National Socialism in its

Then I quote from the last paragraph on Page 5 of that

     "The Fuehrer's deputy finds it necessary that all these
     questions should be thoroughly discussed in the near
     future in the presence of the Reich Leaders
     (Reichsleiter) who are especially affected by them..."

I next offer in evidence Document 107-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you suggest that these Blockleiter were
actually present at that discussion?

COLONEL STOREY: Your Honour, in connection with the policy
directives, the security of the sect goes from the top to
the bottom, and if that policy is adopted they may by
directive send for the Blockleiter. He is to discuss it in
connection with the Reichsleiter, who are the Party
Directors, and I assume that, if the Party Directors
establish it as a policy, then they were to issue
appropriate directives to the other subordinate members. Mr.
Lambert has suggested also that it would not be possible to
discuss this matter with all the Leadership Corps and
therefore they discussed it with the Party Directors.

                                                   [Page 48]

THE TRIBUNAL (MR. BIDDLE): Does that show that he discussed
it with the Directors?

COLONEL STOREY: No, Sir, that does not follow, but it shows
that it was a subject of discussion for the Board of
Directors of the Nazi Party.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but the question is, who are the

COL. STOREY: Five or six of them sit here, a total of 16.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but I thought that you were asking us to
declare the whole of the organisation down to the
Blockleiter as criminal.

COLONEL STOREY: That is true, your Honour, but this is one
piece of evidence, one instance of the criminality of the
organisation, and we cannot prove at each stage that all of
them knew about it. We are trying to select different
offenses and different crimes that were committed within the

Document 107-PS, which is Exhibit USA 351, and which we now
offer in evidence, is a circular letter, dated 17th June,
1938, addressed, by the defendant Bormann as Reichsleiter
and Deputy of the Fuehrer, to all Reichsleiter and
Gauleiter. Bormann's letter encloses a copy of rules,
prepared by Reichsleiter Hierl, setting forth certain
restrictive regulations with respect to participation of the
Reich Labour Service in religious celebrations. I quote
pertinent portions of the directions issued by Reichsleiter
Hierl, beginning, with the first paragraph, the list of
directions in Document 107-PS, on Page 1 of the English

     "The Reich Labour Service  is a training school in
     which the German youth should be educated to national
     unity in the spirit of National Socialism....
     What religious beliefs person has is not a decisive
     factor, but it is decisive that he first of all feels
     himself a German.
     Every religious practice is forbidden in the Reich
     Labour Service  because it disturbs the comradelike
     harmony of all working  men and women.
     On this basis, every participation of the Reich Labour
     Service  in religious arrangements and celebration is
     not possible."

The Tribunal will appreciate that the position of the
defendant Bormann as Deputy of the Fuehrer of the Leadership
Corps of the Nazi Party and Chief of the Nazi Party
Chancellery, and the position of the defendant Rosenberg as
the Fuehrer's representative for the whole spiritual and
philosophical education of the Nazi Party, give to the views
of these defendants on religion and religious policy the
highest official backing. The anti-Christian utterances and
policies of these two defendants reveal a community of mind
and intention amongst the most powerful leaders of the Party
which was amply confirmed, as the evidence will show, by the
actual treatment of the churches since 1933 and throughout
the course of the conspiracy. I now offer in evidence
Document 2349-PS, Exhibit USA 352, which is an excerpt from
the book "The Myth of the 20th Century," written by the
defendant Rosenberg. I quote from that document:

     "The idea of honour -- national honour  -- is for us
     the beginning and the end of our entire thinking and
     doing. It does not admit of any equal-valued centre of
     force alongside it, no matter of what kind, neither
     Christian love, nor the Free-Masonic humanity, nor the
     Roman philosophy."

I now offer in evidence Document 848-PS, Exhibit USA 353,
which is a Gestapo telegram, dated 24th July, 1938,
dispatched from Berlin to Nurem-

                                                   [Page 49]
berg, dealing with demonstrations and acts of violence
against Bishop Sproll in Rottenburg. The Gestapo office in
Berlin wired its Nuremberg office a teletype account
received from its Stuttgart office of disorderly conduct and
vandalism carried out by Nazi Party members against Bishop
Sproll. I quote from the fourth paragraph of Page 1 of the
English translation of Document 848-PS, which reads as

     "The Party, on 23rd July, 1938, from 2100 hours on
     carried out the third demonstration against Bishop
     Sproll. Participants, about 2,500-3,000, were brought
     from outside by bus, etc. The Rottenburg populace again
     did not participate in the demonstration. This town
     took a rather hostile attitude toward the
     demonstrations. The action got completely out of hand
     of the Party member responsible for it. The
     demonstrators stormed the palace, beat in the gates and
     doors. About 150 to 200 people forced their way into
     the palace, searched through the rooms, threw files out
     of the windows and rummaged through the beds in the
     rooms of the palace. One bed was ignited. The Bishop
     was with Archbishop Groeber of Freiburg and the ladies
     and gentlemen of his menage in the chapel at prayer.
     About 25 to 30 people pressed into this chapel and
     molested those present. Archbishop Groeber was taken
     for Bishop Sproll. He was grabbed by the robe and
     dragged back and forth."

The Gestapo official in Stuttgart added that Bishop Groeber
desires "to turn to the Fuehrer and to Reich Minister of the
Interior Dr. Frick, anew," and the Gestapo official added
that he had found a report of the demonstration after
"suppressing counter mass meetings."

On 23rd July, 1938, the Reich Minister for Church Affairs,
Kerrl, sent a letter to the Minister of State and Chief of
the Praesidium Chancellery, Berlin, stating that Bishop
Sproll had angered the population by abstaining from the
plebiscite of 10th April. I now offer in evidence Document
849-PS, Exhibit USA 354. In this letter Kerrl stated that
the Gauleiter and Governor of Wuerttemberg had decided that,
in the interest of preserving the State's authority, and in
the interest of quiet and order, Bishop Sproll could no
longer remain in office. I quote from the third paragraph of
the first page of the Document 849-PS:

     "The Reich Governor had explained to the Ecclesiastical
     Board that he would no longer regard Bishop Sproll as
     head of the Diocese of Rottenburg, on account of his
     refraining from the election in the office and that he
     desired Bishop Sproll to leave the Gau area because he
     could assume no guarantee for his personal safety; that
     in the case of the return of the Bishop of Rottenburg,
     he would see to it that all personal and official
     intercourse with him on the part of State offices, as
     well as the Party offices and the Armed Forces, would
     be denied."

Kerrl further states in the above letter that his deputy had
moved the Foreign Office through the German Embassy at the
Vatican to urge the Holy See to persuade Bishop Sproll to
resign his Bishopric. Kerrl concludes by stating that should
the effort to procure the Bishop's resignation prove
unsuccessful, "the Bishop would have to be exiled from the
land or there would have to be a complete boycott of the
Bishop by the authorities."

On 14th July, 1939, the defendant Bormann in his capacity as
Deputy of the Fuehrer issued a Party regulation which
provided that Party members entering the clergy or
undertaking the study of theology would have to leave

                                                   [Page 50]
the Party. I now offer in evidence Document 840-PS, Exhibit
USA 355, and this is a copy of a regulation by Bormann,
relating to the admission of the clergy and students of
theology into the Party. I quote from the last paragraph of
the English translation, which reads -- I quote from the
second page near the end of the document:

     "I decree that in the future Party members who enter
     the clergy or who turn to the study of theology have to
     leave the Party."

In this directive Bormann also refers to an earlier decree,
dated 9th February, 1939, in which he had ruled that the
admission of members of the clergy into the Party was to be
avoided. In this decree, also, Bormann refers with approval
to a regulation of the Reich Treasurer of the Party, dated
10th May, 1939, providing that "clergymen as well as other
fellow Germans who are also closely connected with the
Church cannot be admitted into the Party."

I now offer in evidence Document 3268-PS, Exhibit USA 356,
which contains excerpts from the Allocution of His Holiness
Pope Pius XII, to the Sacred College, 2nd June, 1945. In
this address His Holiness, after declaring that he had
acquired an appreciation of the great qualities of the
German people in the course of 12 years of residence in
their midst, expressed the hope that Germany could "rise to
new dignity and a new life once it has laid the satanic
specter raised by National Socialism, and the guilty have
expiated the crimes they have committed." After referring to
repeated violations by the German Government of the
Concordat concluded in 1933, His Holiness declared as
follows, and I quote from the last paragraph of Page 1 of
the English translation of Document 3268-PS:

     "The struggle against the Church did, in fact, become
     ever more bitter, there was the dissolution of Catholic
     organisations; the gradual suppression of the
     flourishing Catholic schools, both public and private;
     the enforced weaning of youth from family and Church;
     the pressure brought to bear on the conscience of
     citizens, and especially of civil servants; the
     systematic defamation, by means of a clever, closely
     organised propaganda, of the Church, the clergy, the
     faithful, the Church's institutions, teachings and
     history; the closing, dissolution, confiscation of
     religious houses and other ecclesiastical institutions;
     the complete suppression of the Catholic Press and
     publishing houses...
     In the meantime the Holy See itself multiplied its
     representations and protests to governing authorities
     in Germany, reminding them, in clear and energetic
     language, of their duty to respect and fulfill the
     obligations of the natural law itself that were
     confirmed by the Concordat. In these critical years,
     joining the alert vigilance of a pastor to the long
     suffering patience of a father, our great predecessor,
     Pius XI, fulfilled his mission as Supreme Pontiff with
     intrepid courage.

     But when, after he had tried all means of persuasion in
     vain, he saw himself clearly faced with deliberate
     violations of a solemn pact, with a religious
     persecution masked or open but always rigorously
     organised, he proclaimed to the world on Passion
     Sunday, 1937, in his Encyclical, `Mit brennender Sorge'
     that National Socialism really was: the arrogant
     apostasy from Jesus Christ, the denial of His doctrine
     and of His work of redemption, the cult of violence,
     the idolatry of race and blood, the overthrow of human
     liberty and dignity...
                                                   [Page 51]
     From the prisons, concentration camps, and fortresses
     are now pouring out, together with the political
     prisoners, also the crowds of those, whether clergy or
     laymen, whose only crime was their fidelity to Christ
     and to the faith of their fathers or the dauntless
     fulfillment of their duties as priests...
     In the forefront, for the number and harshness of the
     treatment meted out to them, are the Polish priests.
     From 1940 to 1945, 2,800 Polish ecclesiastics were
     imprisoned in that camp; among them was the Auxiliary
     Bishop of Wloclawek, who died there of typhus. In April
     last there were left only 816, all the others being
     dead except for two or three transferred to another
     camp. In the summer of 1942, 480 German-speaking
     ministers of religion were known to be gathered there;
     of these, 45 were Protestants, all the others Catholic
     priests. In spite of the continuous inflow of new
     internees, especially from dioceses of Bavaria,
     Rhenania and Westphalia, their number, as a result of
     the high rate of mortality, at the beginning of this
     year did not surpass 350. Nor should we pass over in
     silence those belonging to occupied territories,
     Holland, Belgium, France (among whom the Bishop of
     Clermont), Luxembourg, Slovenia, Italy. Many of those
     priests and laymen endured indescribable sufferings for
     their faith and for their vocation. In one case the
     hatred of the impious against Christ reached the point
     of parodying on the person of an interned priest, with
     barbed wire, the scourging and the crowning with thorns
     of our Redeemer."

THE PRESIDENT: I think perhaps it would be time now to

(The Tribunal adjourned until 1000 hours on 18th December, 1945.).

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