On Christianity and the Nazis

Community News:  Christianity and the Nazis

There is the lie, the big lie, and the whopper. In my hand is the booklet “Handbook for Catholics.” The author is Mary Kathleen Glavich, S.N.D; the publisher, Loyola Press. The chapter “Journey of the Church  Through Time” contains  the following entries:

“1917 – A Communist Revolution occurs in Russia. An atheistic government restricts religious freedom.

 1933 - The Nazi government persecutes Christians and Jews in Europe.”

This is a whopper. Judeo-Communism did not just  restrict religious freedom, but tried to tear out Russian Orthodox Christianity by its roots.

Now to my childhood memories of Nazi Germany. I started first grade in 1941 at the Muensterhausen Public  School. Twice a week Reverend Sondtheimer came to school to teach us our catechism. In the morning we greeted our teacher with “Heil Hitler.” Reverend Sondtheimer started his lesson with “Vater unser – Our father...”  The first section of our Singkamerad was  headed “Mit Gott.” Our Ortsgruppenleiter, Herr Veit, was a Catholic in good standing. Being a leader in the Nazi Party, did not exclude being a Catholic. Leon Degrelle, a Belgian,  and one of the most decorated members of the SS was a devout Catholic. The SS was an international, voluntary elite, most men joined in order to preserve a Christian Europe.

After the secularization  (18th -19th century) the varied German states collected  a church tax (about 4% of the income tax). From these funds the clergy received a goodly salary. The Nazis kept this system. It is still the system of the present German government. When a priest committed a crime (I never heard of any scandal) the priest was penalized. There was no plundering of the dioceses. The canonization of Maxemilian Kolbe by the Polish Pope John Paul, was a political act.  I cannot ascertain the charges which interned Kolbe in Auschwitz, but I know it was not because he tended his flock. He was a ham radio operator. I suspect espionage.

A story from Marshfield, WI. Praschak erected a Jesus statue on his private property. This property with the statue was donated to the City of Marshfield. The Freedom from Religion Organization  subsequently sued the city. This lawsuit cost our city dearly ($80, 000).  The Knights of Columbus bought  a  parcel with the Jesus Statue  back from the city. The judge stipulated that a fence had to be built around that parcel with two signs (3x9 feet) stating “Private Park! This enclosed property is not owned or maintained by the City of Marshfield, nor does the city endorse the religious expression thereon.”  Bavaria has many wayside crosses. They were never challenged  under the Nazi government.  

I have  my father’s photo diary of the war in Russia. You can see in the  photos taken on Easter 1942  Russians  going to Church again. Yes, the Nazi reopened the churches which were closed by Stalin.

How about the Allies? In the Encyclopedia Britannica (15th  edition) you find the following entry under  Lisieux. “Lisieux, which was known for its streets of Gothic and Renaissance houses was burned down in a bombing raid in 1944.” But  it does not say who dropped the bombs. Lisieux was bombed by the Americans.

Monte Cassino, the oldest and most venerable monastery, was pulverized by the Allies on February 15, l944. Luckily the Nazi lieutenant,  Schlegel,  was able to persuade the Archabbot Gregorio Diamare  to transfer the library and the treasures of the Abbey to the Vatican. The transfer occurred in November l943  and was only accomplished by diverting  precious trucks, petrol and manpower to the task. Since the Nazis had given Monte Cassino the status of an extra territorial area  no German soldier was allowed to enter or even be in the vicinity of the monastery after that transfer.

Castel Gandolfo, summer residence of the popes, given by the  Nazis the status of an extra territorial area was bombed by the Allies on 1/22/1944,  2/2/1944,  2/10/1944, 2/13/1944. The first attack  took the lives of 17 nuns because an adjacent monastery was hit. On the third attack 500 of the 15 000 people who had taken refuge in the castel were killed.                 

My question is: who was and is anti-Christian?


On The Destruction Of  The Benedictine Monastery at Cassino

Laboriously, stone on massive stone ,

  Through generations, slowly did it rise

To crown Cassino’s head - to stand alone –

  A whitened sentinel against the skies.


A little kingdom set aside for God,

  And peopled through the years with monk and friar –

Christ’s emissaries (whom the world thinks odd),

  A patch of heaven midst a world afire.


America! Why should it fall to thee,

  A part that ne’er could suit thy honor well,

To crush this symbol of eternity,

  And play the role of denizen of hell?


May God contrition to our nation give

That we in penance for this outrage live.