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 33 of 55)

Among the reasons cited for this action were the following:

"The whole behavior of the Guild of the Virgin Mary had therefore to be objected to from various points of view. It could be repeatedly observed that the Guild engaged in purely worldly affairs, such as community games, and then in the holding of 'Social Evenings'.

"This proves incontestably that the Guild of the Virgin Mary was active to a very great degree in a manner unecclesiastical and therefore worldly. By so doing it has left the sphere of its proper religious task and entered a sphere of activity to which it has no statutory right. The organization has therefore to be dissolved and forbidden." (1481-PS)

According to the report of a Security Police "church specialist" attached to the State Police Office at Aachen, the following points were made by a lecturer at a conference of Security Police and Security Service church intelligence investigators in Berlin, on 22 September 1941:

"Retreats, recreational organizations, etc., may now be forbidden on ground of industrial war-needs, whereas formerly only a worldly activity could be given as a basis.

"Youth camps, recreational camps are to be forbidden on principle, church organizations in the evening may be pre vented on grounds of the blackout regulations.

"Processions, pilgrimages abroad are to be forbidden by reason of the over-burdened transport conditions. For local events too technical traffic troubles and the danger of air attack may serve as grounds for their prohibition. (One Referent forbade a procession, on the grounds of it wearing out shoe leather)." (1815-PS)

(g) The Nazi conspirators suppressed religious education. In a speech on 7 March 1937, Rosenberg stated:

"The education of youth can only be carried out by those who have rescued Germany from disaster. It is therefore

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impossible to demand one Fuehrer, one Reich and one firmly united people as long as education is carried out by forces which are mutually exclusive to each other." (2351-PS)

In a speech at Fulda, 27 November 1937 Reich Minister for Church Affairs Hans Kerrl stated:

"We cannot recognize that the Church has a right to insure that the individual should be educated in all respects in the way in which it holds to be right; but we must leave it to the National Socialist State to educate the child in the way it regards as right." (252-PS)

In January 1939, Bormann, acting as Deputy of the Fuehrer, informed the Minister of Education, that the Party was taking the position that theological inquiry was not as valuable as the general fields of knowledge in the universities and that suppression of Theological Faculties in the universities was to be undertaken at once. He pointed out that the Concordat with the Vatican placed certain limitations on such a program, but that in the light of the general change of circumstances, particularly the compulsory military service and the execution of the four-year plan, the question of manpower made certain reorganizations, economies and simplification necessary. Therefore, Theological Faculties were to be restricted insofar as they could not be wholly suppressed. He instructed that the churches were not to be informed of this development and no public announcement was to be made. Any complaints, if they were to be replied to at all, should be answered with a statement that these measures are being executed in a general plan of reorganization and that similar things are happening to other faculties. He concludes with the statement that the professorial chairs vacated by the above program are to be turned over to the newly created fields of inquiry, such as Racial Research. (116-PS)

A plan for the reduction of Theological Faculties was submitted by the Reich Minister for Science, Education and Training in April 1939 to Bormann, who forwarded it to Rosenberg for consideration and action. The plan called for shifting, combining and eliminating Theological Faculties in various schools and universities throughout the Reich, with the following results:

"To recapitulate this plan would include the complete closing of Theological Faculties at Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich, the transfer of the faculty of Graz to Vienna and the vanishing of four Catholic faculties.

"a. Closing of three Catholic Theological Faculties or Higher Schools and of four Evangelic Faculties in the winter semester 1939/40.

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"b. Closing of one further Catholic and of three- further Evangelic Faculties in the near future." (122-PS)

In a secret decree of the Party Chancellery, signed by Bormann, and distributed to all Gauleiters on 7 June 1941, the following statement concerning religious education was made:

"No human being would know anything of Christianity if it had not been drilled into him in his childhood by pastors. The so-called dear God in no wise gives knowledge of his existence to young people in advance, but in an astonishing manner in spite of his omnipotence leaves this to the efforts of the pastors. If therefore in the future our youth learns nothing more of this Christianity, whose doctrines are far below ours, Christianity will disappear by itself." (D-75)

(2) Supplementary evidence of acts of oppression within Germany. In laying the groundwork for their attempted subversion of the Church, the Nazi conspirators resorted to assurances of peaceful intentions. Thus Hitler, in his address to the Reichstag on 23 March 1933 declared:

"While the government is determined to carry through the political and moral purging of our public life, it is creating and insuring prerequisites for a truly religious life. The government sees in both Christian confessions the factors most important for the maintenance of our Folkdom. It will respect agreements concluded between them and the states. However, it expects that its work will meet with a similar appreciation. The government will treat all other denominations with equal objective justice. However, it can never condone that belonging to a certain denomination or to a certain race might be regarded as a license to commit or tolerate crimes. The Government will devote its care to the sincere living together of Church and State." (3387-PS)

(a) Against the Evangelical Churches. The Nazi conspirators, upon their accession to power, passed a number of laws, under innocent-sounding titles, designed to reduce the Evangelical Churches to the status of an obedient instrument of Nazi policy. The following are illustrative:

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Document Number Date Reichsgesetzblatt Title and Gist of Law Page ------------------------------------------------------------ 3433-PS 14.7.33 I.471 Gesetz ueher die Verfassun der Deutschen Evanelischen Kirche (Law concerning the Constitution of the German Evangelical Church), establishing among other things the new post of Reich Bishop. [Signed by] Hitler, Frick. 3434-PS 26.6.35 I.774 Gesetz ueer das BesGhlussverfahren in Rechtsaneleenheite der Evanelisschen Kirche (Law concerning procedure for decisions in legal affairs of the Evangelical Church), giving the Reich Ministry of the Interior sole authority to determine the validity of measures taken in the Churches since 1 May 1933, when raised in a civil lawsuit. [Signed by] Hitler, Frick. 3435-PS 3.7.35 I.851 Erste Verordnung zur Durchfuehrung des Gesetzes ueber das Reschluss-verfahren in Rechtsanelegenheiten der Evanelischen Kirche (First Ordinance for Execution of the Law concerning procedure for decisions in legal affairs of the Evangelical Church), setting up detailed organization and procedures under the law of 21 June 1935. [Signed by] Frick. 3466-PS 16.7.35 I.1029 Erlass ueber die Zusammen fassung der Zustaendiykeiten des Reichs und Preussens in Kirchenaneleenheiten (Decree to unite the competences of Reich and Prussia in Church affairs) transferring to Kerrl, Minister without Portfolio, the church affairs previously handled by Reich and Prussian Ministers of the Interior and of Science, Education, and Training. [Signed by] Hitler, Rust, Koerner.

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3436-PS 24.9.35 I.1178 Gesetz zur Sicherun der Deutschen Evangelischen Kirche (Law for the Safeguarding of the German Evangelical Church) empowering the Reich Minister of Church Affairs (Kerrl) to issue Ordinances with binding legal force. [Signed by] Hitler, Frick. 3437-PS 2.12.35 I.1370 Fuenfte Verordnung Zur Durchfuehrun des Gesetzes zur Siherun der Deutschen Evanelischen Kirche (Fifth decree for execution of the law for the Safeguarding of the German Evangelical Church) prohibiting the churches from filling their pastorates, ordaining ministers, visitation, publishing of banns, and collecting dues and assessments. [Signed by] Kerrl. 3439-PS 25.6.37 I.697 Fuenfzehnte Verordnun zur Durchfuehrun des Gesetzes zur Sicherung der Deutschen Evanyelischen Kirche (Fifteenth decree for the Execution of the Law for Security of the German Evangelical Church) establishing in the Reich Ministry for Church Affairs a Finance Department, to supervise administration of the church property budget, tax assessment, and use of budget funds. [Signed by] Kerrl.

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