If the Catholic Church and wider Christianity were smoothing the path for genocidal racist regimes in Nazi time it would not be the first time.  Despite this donations from ordinary people flooded to the Church...money gave the church its dark voice and its power to use silence to see death and destruction.


The Catholic Church in Nazi Germany by Austin Cline, About.com

Germany was responsible for some of the most horrific acts of the twentieth century, if not of all human history.

Germany was at the time a very Christian nation with large numbers of both Protestants and Catholics. How did they reconcile their religion with Nazism? How did the churches go along with the Nazi government? In Pope Benedict XVI: A Biography of Joseph Ratzinger, John L. Allen Jr. writes about the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Nazi Party: Many ordinary Catholics objected to attacks on their church, but there was simply no opposition to Nazism tout ensemble. ... In fact, there were key points at which Nazi and Catholic attitudes intersected and created a basis for mutual support. Both groups hated the Weimar Republic. The Nazis opposed Weimar because it was allegedly too Jewish and led by the “November Criminals” who sold out the country after the First World War; Catholics objected to it because it smacked of liberalism, sexual degeneracy, and an irreligious spirit. Cardinal Faulhaber, for example, gave a speech in May 1933 in which he expressed thanks for the Volksgemeinschaft, or spirit of community, which Hitler had fostered, and rejected “liberal individualism.” Moreover, Catholics shared with Nazis an instinctive fear of the Bolsheviks.

Finally, there was a form of anti-Jewish sentiment that was openly accepted among Catholics, based in part on the theological argument that the Jews sinned by rejecting Christ and in part on the historical fact that many Jews had played leading roles in the Kulturkampf. As early as 1925, a Franciscan priest named Erhard Schuland wrote a book called “Katholizismus und Vaterland” (Catholicism and Fatherland) that called on Germans to fight “the destructive influence of the Jews in religion, morality, literature and art, and political and social life.” Schuland expressed what was very much the consensus in German Catholicism of the day...

Support for the Nazis, their social policies, and their anti-Semitism was not limited to ordinary Catholics and a few random priests: Archbishop Konrad Gröber of Freiburg was known as the “Brown Bishop” because he was such an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazis. In 1933, he became a “sponsoring member” of the SS. After the war, however, he claimed to have been such an opponent of the Nazis that they had planned to crucify him on the door for the Freiburg Cathedral. Bishop Wilhlem Berning of Osnabrück sat with the Deutsche Christen Reichsbishop in the Prussian State Council from 1933 to 1945, a clear signal of support for the Nazi regime.

Cardinal Bertram also had some affinity for the Nazis. In 1933, for example, he refused to intervene on behalf of Jewish merchants who were the targets of Nazi boycotts, saying that they were a group “which has no very close bond with the church.”

Bishop Buchberger of Regensburg called Nazi racism directed at Jews “justified self-defense” in the face of “overly powerful Jewish capital.”

Bishop Hilfrich of Limburg said that they true Christian religion “made its way not from the Jews but in spite of them.” Because the Catholic leadership did not consistently oppose the Nazi policies, it was relatively easy for the Nazis to co-opt the Catholic churches in their effort to round up and exterminate the Jews.

A large number of Jews converted to Christianity in order to avoid persecution and the only way the Nazis found them out was because of the help of Catholic authorities: After April 7, 1933, civil servants in Germany were required to prove that they were not Jews. Because births had been registered by the state only since 1874, the church was called upon to provide many records. The Catholic church cooperated right up to the end of the war.

Likewise, after the 1935 Nüremberg laws that forbade marriage between Aryans and non-Aryans, most Catholic priests did not perform such ceremonies, even though the number of Jewish conversions to Catholicism was accelerating because of the persecution. Yes, right up until the end of the war, Catholic clergy were actively assisting the Nazi program of racial purification. They provided detailed records of who converted and who didn't, who married and Jew and who didn't. When two people wanted to marry, Catholic priests enforced Nazi race laws against Aryans being allowed to marry non-Aryans. The Nazis' agenda of racial discrimination and purification would not have worked without the active, willing, and eager cooperation of Christian churches. After the war, the Allies tried to rely on Catholic clergy to help them in their program of de-Nazification of the government. That was a mistake — Catholic assistance to the Nazis hadn't ended when the Nazis surrendered. Catholic bishops realized that eliminating all Nazis would leave Communists and Social Democrats in charge and they concluded that that would be worse than having the Nazis in power — so they basically lied to the Allies. Unrepentant Nazis were returned to positions of authority over the German people because Catholic clergy gave them a clean bill of political and ideological health. Eventually the Allies grew wise to the Catholic duplicity and stopped relying on the word of priests about whether someone had been a Nazi. That is the legacy of the Catholic Church from Nazi Germany: not resistance,


Red Cross and Vatican helped thousands of Nazis to escape The Guardian

The Red Cross and the Vatican both helped thousands of Nazi war criminals and collaborators to escape after the second world war, according to a book that pulls together evidence from unpublished documents. The Red Cross has previously acknowledged that its efforts to help refugees were used by Nazis because administrators were overwhelmed, but the research suggests the numbers were much higher than thought. Gerald Steinacher, a research fellow at Harvard University, was given access to thousands of internal documents in the archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The documents include Red Cross travel documents issued mistakenly to Nazis in the postwar chaos. They throw light on how and why mass murderers such as Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie and thousands of others evaded capture by the allies.

By comparing lists of wanted war criminals to travel documents, Steinacher says Britain and Canada alone inadvertently took in around 8,000 former Waffen-SS members in 1947, many on the basis of valid documents issued mistakenly. The documents – which are discussed in Steinacher's book Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's henchmen fled justice – offer a significant insight into Vatican thinking, particularly, because its own archives beyond 1939 are still closed. The Vatican has consistently refused to comment. Steinacher believes the Vatican's help was based on a hoped-for revival of European Christianity and dread of the Soviet Union. But through the Vatican Refugee Commission, war criminals were knowingly provided with false identities. The Red Cross, overwhelmed by millions of refugees, relied substantially on Vatican references and the often cursory Allied military checks in issuing travel papers, known as 10.100s. It believed it was primarily helping innocent refugees although correspondence between Red Cross delegations in Genoa, Rome and Geneva shows it was aware Nazis were getting through. "Although the ICRC has publicly apologised, its action went well beyond helping a few people," said Steinacher. Steinacher says the documents indicate that the Red Cross, mostly in Rome or Genoa, issued at least 120,000 of the 10.100s, and that 90% of ex-Nazis fled via Italy, mostly to Spain, and North and South America – notably Argentina. Former SS members often mixed with genuine refugees and presented themselves as stateless ethnic Germans to gain transit papers. Jews trying to get to Palestine via Italy were sometimes smuggled over the border with escaping Nazis. Steinacher says that individual Red Cross delegations issued war criminals with 10.100s "out of sympathy for individuals … political attitude, or simply because they were overburdened". Stolen documents were also used to whisk Nazis to safety. He said: "They were really in a dilemma. It was difficult. It wanted to get rid of the job. Nobody wanted to do it." The Red Cross refused to comment directly on Steinacher's findings but the organisation says on its website: "The ICRC has previously deplored the fact that Eichmann and other Nazi criminals misused its travel documents to cover their tracks."

 "Studying that war, one can perhaps accept that 25 percent of the SS were practicing Catholics and that no Catholic was ever even threatened with excommunication for participating in war crimes. (Joseph Goebbels was excommunicated, but that was earlier on, and he had after all brought it on himself for the offense of marrying a Protestant.)" - Christopher Hitchens "The collusion continued even after the war, as wanted Nazi criminals were spirited to South America by the infamous "rat line." It was the Vatican itself, with its ability to provide passports, documents, money, and contacts, which organized the escape network and also the necessary shelter and succor at the other end." - Christopher Hitchens


Goldhagen also minces no words. In his introduction he writes, "Christianity is a religion that consecrated and spread throughout its domain a hatred of one group of people - the Jews. It libelously deemed them to be Christ-killers, children of the devil, desecrators and defilers of all goodness, responsible for an enormous range of human calamities and suffering. This hatred led Christians, over the course of two millennia, to commit many grave crimes against Jews, including mass murders. The best-known and largest of these mass murders is the Holocaust."

Konrad Adenauer, the first German Chancellor after WWII, wrote in 1946 "The German people as well as the bishops and clergy bear great guilt for the events in the concentration camps."

Where Goldhagen fails, Richard Steigmann-Gall, in his book "The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity", succeeds. He not only demonstrates a connection between Nazi antisemitism and Christian antisemitism; he shows without doubt that many high ranking Nazis where themselves Christian, and believed their movement was a Christian one. Here we have a much more to-the-point analysis. He shows what Nazis thought about Jesus, the Bible, Martin Luther, and the Reformation. Steigmann-Gall points out that the Nazis derived their ideology not from Catholicism, but rather PROTESTANTISM.

Goldhagen's book reveals that, despite recent professions and declarations to the contrary, the complicity of Pope Pius XII and the Roman Catholic Church was much deeper and more widespread than originally thought.


No Copyright