Religion and the Third Reich #2



Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) “Evangelical theologian executed because of his opposition to Hitler. .. In theological circles and elsewhere Bonhoeffer is regarded as a contemporary martyr.” Encyclopedia of the Third Reich


Barnett, Victoria. For the Soul of the People: Prostestant [i.e. Protestant] Protest against Hitler. New York: Oxford UP, 1992. Print. “The Confessing Church was one of the rare German organizations that opposed Nazism from the very beginning, and in For the Soul of the People, Victoria Barnett delves into the story of the Church’s resistance to Hitler. For this remarkable story, Barnett interviewed more than sixty Germans who were active in the Confessing Church, asking them to reflect on their personal experiences under Hitler and how they see themselves, morally and politically, today. She provides a haunting glimpse of the German experience under Hitler, but also gives a provocative look into what it has meant to be a German in the twentieth century.”

Barnett, Victoria J. “The Role of the Churches: Compliance and Confrontation.” Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies 14.1. ADL. Anti-Defamation League’s Braun Holocaust Institute, 1998. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. <>. “Churches throughout Europe were mostly silent while Jews were persecuted, deported and murdered by the Nazis. Churches, especially those in Nazi Germany, sought to act, as institutions tend to do, in their own best interests — narrowly defined, short-sighted interests. The list of ‘bystanders’ — those who declined to challenge the Third Reich in any way — that emerges from any study of the Holocaust is long and depressing. Few organizations, in or outside Nazi Germany, did much to resist Nazism or aid its victims. Assisting European Jews was not a high priority of the Allied governments as they sought to defeat Hitler militarily. The courageous acts of individual rescuers and resistance members proved to be the exception, not the norm.”

Batlogg, Andreas R. “A Martyr to the Nazis.” America Magazine. America Press Inc., 21 Jan. 2008. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. “Alfred Delp, S.J., was hanged for high treason in Berlin-Plötzensee at the age of 37. He had been condemned to death only a few months before the end of World War II, after a mock trial presided over by the fanatical priest-hater Roland Freisler. The execution took place just after three oclock in the afternoon of Feb. 2, 1945. It was the feast of the Presentation, one of the days when Jesuits have traditionally professed their final vows. At Hitlers command, Delps ashes were scattered to the winds. There was to be nothing by which to remember him.”

Bergen, Doris L. Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1996. Print. “How did Germany’s Christians respond to Nazism? In Twisted Cross, Doris Bergen addresses one important element of this response by focusing on the 600,000 self-described ‘German Christians,’ who sought to expunge all Jewish elements from the Christian church. In a process that became more daring as Nazi plans for genocide unfolded, this group of Protestant lay people and clergy rejected the Old Testament, ousted people defined as non-Aryans from their congregations, denied the Jewish ancestry of Jesus, and removed Hebrew words like ‘Hallelujah’ from hymns.”

Bodendorfer, Gerhard. “Excuse Instead of Confession of Guilt?” Jewish-Christian Relations. International Council of Christians and Jews, 1998. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. <>. “A Statement About the Vatican Document: ‘We remember: A Reflection On the Shoah’ In the first issue of BiLi 1998 I have concerned myself extensively with documents about Christian guilt in the Holocaust. This was caused by the awaited Vatican document which was published on March 16, after ten years of preparation. Many expectations and hopes had been linked to this document. In pre-stating my evaluation of it I have to say that, unfortunately, it lags far behind the expectations and has not brought about the clarifications and process of cleansing hoped for.”

Carsa, Alberto. “Pius XII: Hated or Revered by the Third Reich?” The Catholic World Report. 20 June 2013. Web. 24 June 2013. <>. “Pius XII is currently in the spotlight mostly because of the bumpy road to his beatification, which is opposed by those who accuse him of having been too lenient towards Hitler’s Third Reich or even of having been in cahoots with the Nazi regime. Recent years have seen the publication of a vast amount of scholarly works refuting these accusations, including books by Sister Margherita Marchione, who is an American nun and member of the Religious Teachers Order Maestre Pie Filippini, and Rabbi David Dalin.”

“The Catholic Church and the Holocaust.” First Things. May 1998. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <>. “On March 16, 1998, the Holy See released a long-awaited statement on the Church and the Holocaust, ‘We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah.’ (‘Shoah,’ which in its original Hebrew usage referred to destruction or ruin, is preferred by some over ‘Holocaust,’ which means burnt offering.) The statement was prepared by the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, whose president is Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy. Herewith the text of the statement, together with a cover letter from Pope John Paul II.”

“CATHOLIC PRIESTS SILENT ON NAZI-CHURCH DISPUTE, EXCEPT IN SOUTH GERMANY.” The New York Times 22 July 1935: 1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 4 Mar. 2013. “Priests in Freiberg, Baden, defied today a stern warning against criticism from the pulpit of the Nazi drive to end ‘political Catholicism’ as elsewhere in the tense Reich the Catholic clergy obeyed the government’s edict.”

Coleman, John A. “Edith Stein.” America Magazine. America Press Inc., 8 Aug. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. “On August 9 every year, the church celebrates the ‘ martyrdom’ of the Carmelite Sister Teresia Benedicta of the Cross ( Edith Stein) who was gassed at Auschwitz that day, seventy years ago. I put the term ‘marrtyrdom’ in quotations, since Edith Stein was murdered by the Nazis for being Jewish and only, secondarily, (and out of spite!) for being Catholic. The Roman Catholic Bishops of the Netherlands … had publicly issued a pastoral letter denouncing the Nazi’s Jewish policy of deportation and pogroms. Led by the intrepid Cardinal Johannes de Jong, the Dutch bishops had been warned that, if they proceeded to publish their denunciatory letter, the Nazi authorities would go after Jewish converts to Catholicism as well.”

Cordier, Bruno De. “The Fedayeen of the Reich: Muslims, Islam and Collaborationism during World War II.” China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly 8.1 (2010): 23-46. Ghent University Academic Bibliography. Universiteit Gent. Web. 01 July 2013. < >. “From 1941 to 1945, between 372,000 and 445,000 men of Muslim background and primarily from Soviet Eurasia and the Balkans, served in Hitler’s armies as combatants or as labour auxiliaries. This little-known page of war history is often used to discredit Islam and Muslims. But what were the actual sizes and causes of the phenomenon? This paper examines the circumstances and the proportions of wartime collaborationist movements among Muslims, and compared these to collaboration among non-Muslim groups in the territories and countries concerned.”

Crosby, John F. “The Witness of Dietrich Von Hildebrand.” First Things. Dec. 2006. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <>. “The witness of Dietrich von Hildebrand is rooted in his Christian personalism, which is developed in his many original philosophical and religious works. … Hildebrand has the distinction of being one of the earliest opponents of National Socialism; already in 1923, when Hitler tried to seize power in Bavaria, Hildebrand’s name was on a short list of enemies. He seems to have had from the beginning an unusual insight into a kind of gestalt of evil in Nazism.”

Darring, Gerald. “German Church and the Holocaust.” Spring Hill Church. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. <>. “The Catholic Church in Germany is unique in the history of the Holocaust because it confronted National Socialism throughout its existence, and because the confrontation pitted Germans against Germans. The Nazis were concerned about the German church in ways that did not concern them in connection with other national churches, so that the German church had a unique opportunity to influence events. What advantage did the German church take of that opportunity? Most importantly for our purposes: What was the reaction of the German church to the Nazi campaign against Jews?”

Darring, Gerald. “Western European Churches and the Holocaust.” Spring Hill College. Web. 09 Feb. 2013. <>.”Italy: Before Germany took over military control of Italy in September 1943, Italian Jews were relatively safe. But from that date to the end of the war, they were subjected to hostile legal actions, forced labor, arrest, and deportation. France: In the face of so great and utter a tragedy, too many of the Church’s pastors committed an offense, by their silence, against the Church itself and its mission. The Netherlands: There was no protest from the Catholic hierarchy. Indeed, Ger van Roon asserts that protests against anti-Jewish measures came earlier from Protestants than from Catholics, and they came more from pastors, priests and laity than from bishops and church leaders. Denmark: There is no other Holocaust story similar to that of the rescue of Danish Jews. Most of the country’s 8,000 Jews were saved by being ferried in boats to neutral Sweden, their rescue resulting from a combination of factors including the unique circumstances of Denmark’s occupation, Danish contempt for the Nazis and the desire to foil Nazis plans, the effectiveness of Danish resistance movements, and the cooperation of Lutheran lay people and church leaders. England: The information arriving in Great Britain regarding Nazi atrocities was extensive and rather accurate. Many Britons refused to believe this information, in part because of an ingrained antisemitism. The Catholic community was especially prone to be disbelieving, and in the fall of 1942 the Catholic Herald warned its readers to avoid swallowing wholesale the current reports of the anti-Jewish persecution.”

Delaney, John J. “Racial Values vs. Religious Values: Clerical Opposition to Nazi Racial Policy.” Church History 70.2 (2001): 271. JSTOR. Web. 7 May 2013. “Village and small town priests exercised their moral force and leadership in yet a second important way. Exemplary deeds encouraging common worship and understanding by Poles and Germans were matched by instructive acts of charity by Germans for Poles.”

Dietrich, Donald J. Catholic Citizens in the Third Reich: Psycho-social Principles and Moral Reasoning. New Brunswick, U.S.A.: Transaction, 1988. Print. “Dietrich finds that the German Catholic Church courageously resisted the Nazi practice of exterminating physically and mentally deficient people but that it compromised most of the time with Nazi racial practices, largely out of concern for survival.”

Dietrich, Donald J. God and Humanity in Auschwitz: Jewish-Christian Relations and Sanctioned Murder. New Brunswick, U.S.A.: Transaction, 1995. Print. “God and Humanity in Auschwitz synthesizes the findings of research developed over the last thirty years on the rise of anti-Semitism in our civilization. Donald J. Dietrich sees the Holocaust as a case study of how prejudice has been theologically enculturated. He suggests how it may be controlled by reducing aggressive energy before it becomes overwhelming.”

Doino, Jr., William. “The Judgment of History.” America Magazine. America Press Inc. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. “Pope and Devil” by Hubert Wolf is reviewed. “The Catholic Church’s record during the Nazi era has long been the subject of intense discussion, not all of it edifying. Part of the problem is that emotion and speculation, rather than documented facts, have too often driven the debate. Most of the controversy has focused on the church’s reaction to the Holocaust, when Pacelli himself ruled as Pope Pius XII (1939-58). Still, the preceding papacy of Pius XI (1922-39) is of equal importance, especially as it casts light on subsequent events and decisions. Those years encompass the early part of Hitler’s dictatorship, when Cardinal Pacelli was second in command at the Vatican, serving as Pius XI’s secretary of state.”

Downey, William. “Priest Ordained at Dachau Beatified for Defying Nazies (Karl Leisner).” National Catholic Reporter 32.33 (1996): 12. General OneFile. Web. 16 Apr. 2011.

Duchesne, Jean. “Letter from Paris.” Search First Things. First Things, Feb. 1998. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <>. “As could have been anticipated, the Declaration of Repentance issued by French bishops last fall concerning the silence and passivity of the Church in the face of the Holocaust evoked strong reactions. It is unfortunate that the document that triggered the commotion does not seem to have been carefully read and studied.”

Fleming, Brian. The Vatican Pimpernel: The Wartime Exploits of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty. Cork: Collins, 2009. Print. “Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty is an unsung hero in his native Ireland. During the German occupation of Rome from 1942 to 1944, he ran an escape organization for Allied POWs and civilians, including Jews. He placed thousands in safety and was known as `the Pimpernel of the Vatican.’ When the Allies entered Rome he had saved over 6,000 lives.”

Fogarty, Gerald P. “A Pope in Wartime.” America Magazine. America Press Inc., 15 Dec. 2008. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. “Over the last few months, the question of Pope Pius XII’s conduct during World War II has again made the news. At the recent Synod on the Word of God in Rome, Chief Rabbi Cohen of Haifa said that many Jews still believe certain Catholic leaders did not do enough to prevent the Holocaust. On Oct. 9, the 50th anniversary of Pius XII’s death, Benedict XVI endorsed the beatification of the late pontiff. Meanwhile, Abraham Foxman, the U.S. director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, has called for opening the Vatican archives for the war years to ascertain whether, as Benedict stated in October, Pius actually did work secretly to save many Jews.”

Franke, Greg. “A Cowardly Lion? : The German Catholic Episcopate and the Third Reich.” Thesis. Washington and Lee University, 2011. Washington and Lee University, 2011. Web. 28 June 2013. <>. “The history of the Catholic Church during the Third Reich remains highly contentious today, especially considering how differently many members of the same level of the Church hierarchy responded to the regime. Within the episcopate, some bishops, such as the chairman of the Fulda Bishops‟ Conference, Adolf Bertram, supported a limited response to the Reich‟s policies, preferring a program of sending diplomatically worded petitions to Berlin. Others, like Clemens August von Galen of Münster and Konrad von Preysing of Berlin, led strong and vocal protests against violations of human rights.”

Galvin, John P. “Five Views of Nazism.” America Magazine. America Press Inc., 13 Dec. 2004. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. “Catholic Theologians in Nazi Germany” by Robert A. Krieg is reviewed. “Robert Krieg, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, is the author of several studies of 20th-century German Catholic theologians. In the work under review, he examines the widely varying stances taken toward Nazism by selected Catholic theologians in Hitler’s Germany. His secondary goal is to analyze the policies of the German episcopate toward Nazism in light of the bishops’ conceptions of the church’s mission. Krieg’s project is particularly welcome, since Klaus Scholder’s studies of the churches and the Third Reich devote little space to individual theologians, and Robert Ericksen’s Theologians Under Hitler examines only Protestant authors.”

Gerlach, Wolfgang, and Victoria Barnett. And the Witnesses Were Silent: The Confessing Church and the Persecution of the Jews. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2000. Print. “This collection of essays by noted Holocaust historians explores controversial points in the study of the Nazi genocide of the Jews. These scholars believe that Hitler did order the Final Solution, and that the decision was not made until after the invasion of Russia. Some essays also discuss the factors that led to different survival rates in different countries, and the supposed Jewish passiveness. The participation of the bureaucracy, the logistics of setting up death camps, and the actual number of Jews killed are also covered in these fascinating scholarly pieces.”

“The German Churches and the Nazi State.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. <>. “The population of Germany in 1933 was around 60 million. Almost all Germans were Christian, belonging either to the Roman Catholic (ca. 20 million members) or the Protestant (ca. 40 million members) churches. The Jewish community in Germany in 1933 was less than 1% of the total population of the country. How did Christians and their churches in Germany respond to the Nazi regime and its laws, particularly to the persecution of the Jews? The racialized anti-Jewish Nazi ideology converged with antisemitism that was historically widespread throughout Europe at the time and had deep roots in Christian history. For all too many Christians, traditional interpretations of religious scriptures seemed to support these prejudices.”

Gorin, Julian. “Mass Grave of History: Vatican’s WWII Identity Crisis.” 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. <>. “The controversy over the canonization of Pope Pius XII concerns whether he spoke out enough against the slaughter of Jews during World War II. But that question is a red herring when trying to grasp the big picture of the Vatican’s role during the war. The real question is whether the Vatican supported the world order, or at least aspects of it, that the Third Reich promised to bring, a world order in which dead Jews were collateral damage – which Pius indeed regretted. The answer can be found in a region of Europe that is generally ignored despite being the nexus of world wars: the Balkans. The Catholic Church was looking for a bulwark against expanding, ruthless, church-destroying communism, but in doing so it supported a Croatian movement called Ustasha, which rose to become the genocidal regime of Nazi satellite Croatia.”

Green, Bernard. European Baptists and the Third Reich. Didcot: Baptist Historical Society, 2008. Print. “In this volume, Bernard Green deals with one of the most problematic periods in history through the prism of Baptists influenced and affected by Nazism and World War II.”

Heilbronner, Oded. “Catholic Resistance during the Third Reich?” Contemporary European History 7.03 (1998): 409-14. Print. “Thus, they [Catholic Church] avoided raising unpopular issues apart from ones concerned with religion or jurisdiction. It was during the war that Catholic society expressed its loyalty to the Nazi regime, and it is a pity that the three studies under discussion here have not tried to confront this issue.”

Heinegg, Peter. “Truth-Teller.” America Magazine. America Press Inc., 21 June 2010. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. “Who doesn’t know about Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45)? The story of his arrest and execution by the Nazis (days before the war’s end) and his posthumous career as perhaps the most credible and exciting Christian theologian of the 20th century (seen especially in The Cost of Discipleship, Letters and Papers From Prison and the unfinished Ethics) has been told and retold. The definitive biography is still that by Bonhoeffer’s close friend Eberhard Bethge (1,084 pages in the 2000 paperback edition); but shorter, readable tours of the man and his work are still welcome, and Eric Metaxas certainly makes an engaging guide.”

“Hitler Rebuffs His Reich Bishop.” New York Times 26 Oct. 1934: 1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 5 Mar. 2013. “For a third time he avoids Mueller who wishes to take oath of allegiance. Dissuaded at last moment from seizing church foes — Nazi leaders to meet.”

Ivereigh, Austen. “Sorry Is Not Enough.” America Magazine. America Press Inc., 27 Feb. 2009. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. “It was an apology of sorts — but not of the sort to make amends. The Holocaust-denying schismatic British bishop whose rehabilitation by the Vatican sparked an international row apologised last night for remarks in which he denied the scale of the Nazis’ genocidal campaign against the Jews. The apology, made in England (where he has returned after being expelled from Argentina), is carried by Zenit here. Referring to his interview with a Swedish TV station in which he denied the existence of the gas chambers, Bishop Williamson – a member of the breakaway traditionalist Society of Pius X — said: ‘I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.’”

Jones, Larry E. “Franz Von Papen, Catholic Conservatives, and the Establishment of the Third Reich, 1933-1934.” Journal of Modern History 83.2 (2011): 272-318. Academic Search Premier. Web. “This article discusses Catholic conservatives in Germany and examines the role they played in the overthrow of the Weimar Republic and the installation of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in 1933-1934.”

Kertzer, David I. The Popes against the Jews: The Vatican’s Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-semitism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. Print. “In this meticulously researched, unflinching, and reasoned study, … David I. Kertzer presents shocking revelations about the role played by the Vatican in the development of modern anti-Semitism. Working in long-sealed Vatican archives, Kertzer unearths startling evidence to undermine the Church’s argument that it played no direct role in the spread of modern anti-Semitism. In doing so, he challenges the Vatican’s recent official statement on the subject, We Remember. Kertzer tells an unsettling story that has stirred up controversy around the world and sheds a much-needed light on the past.”

Kidder, Annemarie S. Ultimate Price: Testimonies of Christians Who Resisted the Third Reich. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2012. Print. “Kidder … presents the writings of seven European Christians who, while acting in accordance with religious ideals, were kill [sic] because of their work to oppose Hitle’s regime.”

Krieg, Roberta A. “The Vatican Concordat With Hitler’s Reich.” America Magazine. America Press Inc., 1 Sept. 2003. Web. 19 Feb. 2013. “Seventy years ago a fateful meeting occurred in Rome. The Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII), and Germany’s vice chancellor, Franz von Papen, formally signed a concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich on July 20, 1933. This event ended negotiations that began after Adolf Hitler became Germany’s chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933. Among the witnesses to this event were Msgr. Giovanni Battista Montini (the future Pope Paul VI) and Msgr. Ludwig Kaas, the leader of Germany’s Catholic Center Party. Neither Pope Pius XI nor Hitler attended the meeting; both had already approved of the concordat. The pope ratified the agreement two months later on Sept. 10. The Concordat of 1933 specified the church’s rights in the Third Reich.”

Madigan, Kevin J. “HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SHELTERED NAZI WAR CRIMINALS.” Commentary 132.5 (2011): 20-24. ProQuest. Web. 4 Mar. 2013. “At a time when Jews in DP camps were being denied visas, Juan Perón’s agents were combing Europe for Nazi collaborators to rescue.* The Catholic priests and prelates who helped spring the Nazi bolt-hole were part of an organization called the Vatican Relief Commission (Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza, or PCA). According to the private diaries of Muench, who was his personal representative in occupied Germany, Pius sought pardons for Einsatzkommando Otto Ohlendor, a close associate of Himmler.”

McKnight, Scott. “Academic Theology in the Third Reich.” Jesus Creed. Patheos, 2 May 2013. Web. 04 May 2013. <>. “Those Americans who know Bonhoeffer tend to think about the church and theology under Hitler through Bonhoeffer’s experience. That is, harassed, spied upon, arrested, secretly tried, and eventually murdered. Bonhoeffer’s experience was not the norm for German theologians and pastors though neither was it atypical. Other kinds of experiences are known: Some capitulated to National Socialism, to racism, to German culture as a relentless machine of superiority, to technology as the future, to human life as utilitarian, economic success regardless of its implications, shutting down alternative voices, and the destruction of nature. Some turned their theology into a tool for the National Socialists, led by the ‘German Christians’.”

“Our Mothers, Our Fathers.” Unsere Mutter. Unsere Vater. Berlin Germany. Television. “A new television drama about wartime Germany stirs up controversy. German television viewers are used to frequent programmes exploring the Nazi era and the second world war. But rarely has such a programme triggered as much debate and interest as the screening in mid-March of a three-part drama, “Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter” (Our Mothers, Our Fathers), which tracks the lives of five young German friends from 1941 to 1945. The fictional drama, based on scrupulous research, had on average 7.6m viewers per night.”

The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich; Facts and Documents,. Pelican, 1940/2003. Print. “Here are the writings and speeches of the Pope and the German hierarchy, the official decrees and instructions of the government, and the speeches and teachings of the Nazi Party. The cumulative weight of this testimony is sufficient to establish the German persecution as the worst, because it is the most efficient, of modern times.”

“Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust.” Jewish Virtual Library. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. <>. “Pope Pius XII’s (1876-1958) actions during the Holocaust remain controversial. For much of the war, he maintained a public front of indifference and remained silent while German atrocities were committed. He refused pleas for help on the grounds of neutrality, while making statements condemning injustices in general. Privately, he sheltered a small number of Jews and spoke to a few select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews.”

“Reich Churches Resist Nazi Rule, Cooperate With Outside Forces.” New York Times 11 June 1943: 1. Print. ” The Nazis have met a major defeat in their efforts to destroy the Christian faith in the Third Reich, and the German churches, Protestant and Roman Catholic, are now planning methods of cooperation with religious forces in other countries to build a lasting peace when Hitlerism has been overthrown, according to a report reaching Religious News Service from an exceptionally reliable Scandinavian source.”

Sehl, Nicholas. For Church and State: “An Examination of the German Catholic Church in the Third Reich” Thesis. University of New Brunswick, Dept. of History, 2011. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2011. ProQuest. Web. 17 Aug. 2013. “From 1933 to 1945, the German Catholic Church actively participated in German society under the control of National Socialism. Catholic bishops and priests sought to remain relevant to the German people, as the Holy See engaged in diplomacy with the Third Reich to secure the protection of its members. This resulted in the appearance that the Catholic Church ignored the suffering of others to protect its own interests. The German Church, however, has maintained that it acted in accordance with its responsibility to mankind, by providing the German people examples opposite to the actions of Nazism, all the while being subjected to Nazi persecution. This thesis will analyze the traditional history of the German Catholic Church and the actions of its members during the reign of Nazism, in effort to answer the question, why did the Catholic clergy succumb to Nazism, seemingly without official resistance, and continue to support the German State even after the Party’s pernicious intentions had been made clear by the waves of persecution the Church suffered?”

Sifton, Elisabeth, and Fritz Stern. “The Tragedy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans Von Dohnanyi.” The New York Review of Books. New York Times, 25 Oct. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. <>. “We are concerned here with two exceptional men who from the start of the Third Reich opposed the Nazi outrages: the scarcely known lawyer Hans von Dohnanyi and his brother-in-law, the well-known pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Dohnanyi recorded Nazi crimes, helped victims, did his best to sabotage Nazi policies, and eventually helped plot Hitler’s removal; Bonhoeffer fought the Nazis’ efforts to control the German Protestant churches. For both men the regime’s treatment of Jews was of singular importance. Holocaust literature is vast and the literature on German resistance scant, yet the lives and deaths of the two men show us important links between them.”

Thomas, Theodore N. Women against Hitler: Christian Resistance in the Third Reich. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995. Print. “Adolf Hitler declared war on Christianity when he silenced the Catholic Church with a diplomatic treaty and arranged for a Nazi Army chaplain to become supreme bishop over the Protestants of Germany. The Confessing Church resisted. Pastors were muzzled, put under house arrest, jailed, and held for years in concentration camps. Thousands were drafted and sent to the war to die, while others were murdered outright. The result was a lack of man-power. Women stepped in. Pastors’ wives replaced their absent husbands in the pulpits, and Theologinnen—theologically trained women—preached and assumed administration of the orphaned parishes. Women fought to save their civil rights, and freedoms of speech, assembly, press, and religion. Some went to jail. Some died.”

Tillich, Paul, Ronald H. Stone, and Matthew Lon. Weaver. Against the Third Reich: Paul Tillich’s Wartime Addresses to Nazi Germany. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1998. Print. “Paul Tillich prepared 112 five-page addresses in German broadcast into occupied Europe from March 1942 through May 1944. … The essays are among the most concrete and passionate of his political writings. … [Tillich] was ‘a German Protestant theologian who saw the demonic, named it and did what he could to denounce it.’”

Walker, Lawrence D. Hitler Youth and Catholic Youth: 1933-1936: A Study in Totalitarian Conquest. [S.l.]: Catholic U Pr., 1970. Print.

Walker, Stephen. Hide & Seek: The Irish Priest in the Vatican Who Defied the Nazi Command. Guilford, CT: Lyons, 2011. Print. “The fascinating and untold story of intrigue, resistance, and escape during World War II that opens the window on the war in Italy from the perspective of an Irish priest in the Vatican. Contains the mystery, the violence, the suspense, and ultimate victory.”

Wilensky, Gabriel. “The Truth About Pope Pius XII:Are We Getting It?” 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <>. ”As a consequence of the Pope’s inaction (or at least ineffective action), the Germans deported over 1000 Roman Jews to their deaths with what was perceived to be carte blanche for the Pope.”