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 4 months ago
Fascinating!
9 years 4 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

The Affordable Care Act has changed our expectations for health care. It shifted the way we live, which may be shifting what we believe.
Michael RozierMay 25, 2017
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speak to the media about President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget in the Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The U.S. bishops have raised some serious concerns about what this proposal says about our national values.
The EditorsMay 25, 2017
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, following after a Republican policy luncheon. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Congress is asking the nation to make “immoral choices,” said Sister Keehan, the president of the Catholic Health Association.
Kevin ClarkeMay 25, 2017
Philippine government soldiers walk past a mosque before their May 25 assault on Maute insurgents, who have taken over large parts of the town of Marawi. Residents started to evacuate Marawi after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao. (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)
Gunmen claiming to have links with the Islamic State group threatened to kill hostages, including a Catholic priest, who were taken from the southern Philippine city of Marawi on May 23.