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 5 months ago
Fascinating!
9 years 5 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

Just about everyone is sick of the partisan rancor that radiates from Washington.
The EditorsJune 23, 2017
Beatriz Mejia of El Salvador speaks at a rally in front of the White House in Washington in March 2016 in support of immigrant families who are seeking asylum. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Can a Catholic carry out his or her job duties in good conscience if they include the deportation of people facing imminent death in their home countries?
Callanan, a professor and novelist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be awarded the $25,000 Catholic literary prize.
The EditorsJune 22, 2017
Retired San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn, left, is pictured in a 2004 photo in Saginaw, Mich. He died June 22 at age 88 in San Francisco. He headed the Northern California Archdiocese from 1977 until 1995. (CNS photo/Brett McLaughlin, Catholic Weekly)
Retired Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco, who led the Northern California archdiocese for 18 years, died on June 22 after a long illness. He was 88.