The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter VII
Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State
(Part 32 of 55)

On or about 3 December 1941, a copy of a secret decree of the Party Chancellery on the subject of Relationship of National Socialism to Christianity was found by the Security Police in the possession of Protestant Priest Eichholz at Aix-la-Chapelle. For this he was arrested and held for questioning for an unknown period of time. (D-75)

(d) The Nazi conspirators confiscated church property. On 20 January 1938, the Gestapo District Office at Munich issued a decree dissolving the Guild of the Virgin Mary of the Bavarian Diocese, together with its branches and associations. The decree also stated:

"The property belonging to the dissolved Guild is to be confiscated by the police. Not only is property in cash to be confiscated, but also any stock on hand and their objects of value. All further activity is forbidden the dissolved Guilds, particularly the foundation of any organization intended as a successor or as a cover. Incorporation as a body into other women's societies is also to be looked on as a forbidden continuation of activity. Infringements against the above prohibition will be punished according to par. 4 of the order of 28 February 1933."

The reasons for the dissolution and confiscation were that the Guild of the Virgin Mary had occupied itself for years "to a most far-reaching degree" with arrangements of a "worldly and popular sporting character" such as community games and "social evenings"; and further that the president of the society supplied the members with "seditious materials" which served for "seditious discussions"; and that the members of the Guild were trained and mobilized for "political and seditious tasks." (1481- PS)

In a lecture delivered to a conference of police investigators of Church Affairs assembled in the lecture hall of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) in Berlin, 22 September 1941, Regiersrungsrat Roth stated that about 100 monasteries in the Reich had been dissolved and pointed out that the proper procedure called for seizure of the churches at the same time the monasteries were dissolved. (1815-PS)

[Page 271]

In February 1940, SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich suggested to Himmler the seizure of monasteries for the accommodation of Racial Germans. He proposed that the authorities of the monastic orders be instructed to make the monasteries concerned available and move their own members to less populous monasteries. He pointed out that the final expropriation of properties thus placed at their disposal could be carried out step by step in the course of time. Himmler agreed to this proposal and ordered the measure to be carried out by the Security Police and Security Service (Sipo and SD) in collaboration with the Reich Commissioner for Consolidation of German Folkdom. (R-101-A)

These orders for confiscation were carried out, as revealed in a letter dated 30 March 1942 from the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) Chief of Staff to Himmler mentioning claims for compensation pending in a number of confiscation cases. In this letter he stated that all rental payments to those monasteries and ecclesiastical institutions whose premises had been put to use as camps for resettlers had been stopped on receipt of Himmler's order. Concerning current developments, he stated:

"After further preparations in which-the Party Chancellery participated prominently, the Reich Minister of the Interior found a way which makes it possible to seize ecclesiastical premises practically without compensation and yet avoids the impression of being a measure directed against the Church.***" (R-101-D)

In a letter of 19 April 1941, Bormann advised Rosenberg that libraries and art objects of the monasteries confiscated in the Reich were to remain for the time being in these monasteries and that the Fuehrer had repeatedly rejected the suggestion that centralization of all such libraries be undertaken. (072-PS)

(e) The Nazi conspirators suppressed religious publications. On 6 November 1934, Frick, as Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior, issued an order forbidding until further notice publication of all announcements in the daily press, in pamphlets and other publications, which dealt with the Evangelical Church; with the exception of official announcements of the Church Government of the Reich. (1498-PS)

By order of the State Police for the District of Dusseldorf, the Police Regulation which is quoted in part below was promulgated 28 May 1934:

"The distribution and sale of published items of any sort in connection with worship or religious instructions in public streets or squares near churches is forbidden. In the same sense the distribution and sale of published items on the oc-

[Page 272]

casions of processions, pilgrimages and similar church institutions in the streets or squares they pass through or in their vicinity is prohibited." (R-145)

In January 1940, Bormann informed Rosenberg that he had sought to restrict production of religious publications by means of having their rations of printing paper cut down through the control exercised by Reichsleiter Amann, but that the result of these efforts remained unsatisfactory. (101-PS)

In March 1940, Bormann instructed Reichsleiter Amann, Director of the NSDAP Publications Office, that in any future redistribution of paper, confessional writings should receive still sharper restrictions in favor of literature politically and ideologically more valuable. He went on to point out:

"*** according to a report I have received, only 10 of the over 3000 Protestant periodicals appearing in Germany, such as Sunday papers, etc. have ceased publication for reasons of paper saving." (089-PS)

In April 1940, Bormann informed the High Command of the Navy that use of the term "Divine Service" to refer exclusively to the services arranged by Christian Confessions was no longer to be used, even in National Socialist daily papers. In the alternative he suggested:

"In the opinion of the Party the term 'Church Service' cannot be objected to. I consider it fitting since it properly implies meetings arranged and organized by the Churches." (068-PS)

(f) The Nazi conspirators suppressed religious organizations. On 28 May 1934, the State Police Office for the District of Duesseldorf issued an order concerning denominational youth and professional organizations which stated in part as follows:

"Denominational youth and professional organizations as well as those created for special occasions only are prohibited from every public activity outside the church and religious sphere.

"Especially forbidden is: Any public appearance in groups, all sorts of political activity. Any public sport function including public hikes and establishment of holiday or outdoor camps. The public display or showing of flags, banners, pennants or the open wearing of uniforms or insignia." (R-145)

On 20 July 1935, Frick, as Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior, issued secret instructions to the provincial governments and to the Prussian Gestapo that Confessional youth organizations were to be forbidden to wear uniforms, or uniform-

[Page 273]

like clothing, to assemble publicly with pennants and flags, to wear insignia as a substitute for uniforms, or to engage in any outdoor sport activity.

On 20 January 1938 the Gestapo District Office at Munich, issued a decree which stated in part as follows:

"The Guild of the Virgin Mary (de Marianisch Jungfrauenkongregation) of the Bavarian dioceses, including the diocese of Speyere, together with its branches and associations and the Societies of Our Lady (Jungfrauenverenen) attached to it, is by police order to be dissolved and forbidden with immediate effect."

The original plaintext version of part one or part two of this file is available via ftp.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.