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 1 month ago
Fascinating!
9 years 1 month 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

“My folks taught us that if someone is hungry, you feed them. That if someone is thirsty, you give them drink. If someone is a stranger you welcome them into your home.”
Michael O'LoughlinFebruary 27, 2017
Almost all major cities in the United States have experienced major decreases in violent crime over the past 25 years.
James T. KeaneFebruary 24, 2017
This is not a country at ease with itself, if it ever were. The United Kingdom continues to display more and more intolerance and anger.
David StewartFebruary 24, 2017

On St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate our Irish heritage and our good fortune to be Americans.

George J. MitchellFebruary 24, 2017