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 6 months ago
Fascinating!
9 years 6 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

El don de Dios es la sabiduría. Salomón la recibe como un acto misericordioso de Dios.
Juan Luis CalderónJuly 26, 2017
Then ask: Is it a pearl of great price?
Terrance KleinJuly 26, 2017
Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
The people behind “An Inconvenient Truth” can be forgiven for indulging in a bit of “I told you so” in their follow-up film, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.”
John AndersonJuly 26, 2017
Catholic Relief Services delivers seed and farming tools in Central African Republic in 2014. Photo: Kevin Clarke.
The impact of the Trump foreign aid reductions, if enacted, “would be swift, devastating, and felt for years to come, imperiling millions of lives and the course of global development, stability, and partnership.”
Kevin ClarkeJuly 26, 2017