Hitler and the Jesuits: From November 4, 1944

According to a Stockholm report, the Fuehrer has decreed there shall be no exemption from military service for. any of the clergy, seminarians or religious. One sole exception is made. Jesuits, states Hitler, are not to be drafted, since they are "not worthy" to serve the Reich in that capacity. The explanation is given that Hitler fears the Jesuits will spread religious "propaganda" in the troops. It is an equally good conjecture that Hitler is using a rather obvious means for creating a prejudice against the Jesuits. Any exempted group, in these agonizing times, must necessarily be the object of envy, suspicion, dislike or contempt. Jesuits may possibly be forgiven if they crow a little over their privilege of being today among Hitlers most hated people. But the Fuehrers moods and policies are varying. At the beginning of the Nazi persecution of the Church, those clergy were singled out for special hate who were closest to the masses of the people in their daily lives-the parish priests, the Franciscan Fathers. Later on, the Benedictines and other monastic groups came into the full orbit of his wrath. Hitler ladles out his hate in generous portions. When he is through with his mad course, all Christians, will have received much the same share.
Keyran Moran
9 years 3 months ago
Fascinating!
9 years 3 months ago
Thanks... History tends to repeat itself. Your editorial reminded me of the book "Enemies Without Guns: The Catholic Church in China," by Myers, James T. and the use of "primary and secondary enemies" to deal with and destroy an institution or an organization... But as we have witness both attempts (Hitler and Mao) did not succeed...

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Celebrating Mass was wonderful the first time I did it 63 years ago. It is, if possible, even more wonderful today.
John Jay HughesApril 27, 2017
House Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to “reform and repeal” the Affordable Care Act before the clock runs out on the Trump administration’s first 100 days on Saturday, April 29.
Kevin ClarkeApril 27, 2017
Death-row inmate Ledell Lee. A ruling from the state Supreme Court allowing officials to use a lethal injection drug that a supplier says was misleadingly obtained cleared the way for Arkansas to execute Ledell Lee on Thursday, April 20, 2017, although he still had pending requests for reprieve. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP)
To take Holy Communion in the face of death is to say that it is fellowship, and not food, that matters most.
Terrance KleinApril 26, 2017
A man rides a bicycle past a billboard with an image of Pope Francis April 26 ahead of the pontiff's April 28-29 visit to Cairo. (CNS photo/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)
“Peace be with you” was the message of the Risen Jesus to his disciples on the first Easter, and it is the message Francis will bring to the Muslim and Christian communities in this land.
Gerard O'ConnellApril 26, 2017