Nazi Germany and the Catholic Church
Brian Holdsworth, 6 May 2023
2:10 The pictures of people in clerical dress offering the genuine Hitler salute are in fact Protestant clergy.
One famous such picture was used, if not by John Cornwell, by his fans at least. The page in question is now down.
The two "Catholic Bishops" depicted were in fact:
- Landesbischoff of Saxony = a Lutheran in Communion with Calvinists
- Reichsbischoff = a Calvinist in Communion with Lutherans.
Evangelische Kirche is a bit like United Church of Canada, but instead of Methodist + Calvinist, it is Lutheran + Calvinist.
Before it was invented in the 19th C., Saxony was mainly Lutheran, Berlin mainly Calvinist.
The salute which Catholic clergy are seen doing is in fact the Dollfuss salute.
Right hand holds thumb and pinky together as in the two natures of Christ, and three fingers between them stretched out as the Three Persons of the Trinity. The arm is stretched out at 90°, purely horizontal, like a flag pole in mourning. The words that went with that in Austria, probably not pronounced by clergy in the presence of Hitler, was "Hoch Dollfuss" ...
I don't think there is any picture of Catholic clergy offering the Hitler salute.
I saw a meme on Spanish quora where a "Catholic nun" was asking for Hitler's signature.
First, the "Catholic nun" was more like dressed like a Protestant "deaconess" as the word has resurfaced with a changed meaning.
Second, the signature could have been one of granting a donation or a privilege, not a signature collected by fans.
7:36 Fascism doesn't necessarily do so.
Austrofascism did not abolish the federal system of Austria.
In fact, the worst thing done by Austrofascism is what Trump proposes to do - camps for tramps. In Austria, they were for vagabonds, in US, he proposes they will be for homeless doing urban camping. B U T the thing is, only one of the nine Länder really implemented that with an Aufenthaltslager.
Those who were in it when Nazism took over in 1938 were in bad luck.
7:56 All Fascisms were at some point very much involved in serving the needy.
You may or may not think that the Novus Ordo Catholic soup kitchen of St. Eustache is a really Catholic thing.
But if it is, all Fascisms at some point had a really Catholic thing.
All Fascisms at some point had soup kitchens for the destitute.
8:01 Eugenics were embraced by:
- Communists under Lenin, but Stalin abolished it
- Social Democrats
- National Socialism
- Marshall Mannerheim of Finland.
It was not embraced by:
- Mussolini prior to 1937 (15 years after his takeover, 6 years before he was deposed)
- Franco or the Falange
- Dollfuss and Schuschnigg
- Corneliu Codreanu
- Admiral Horthy
15:38 I have somewhat of a devotion to Father Kolbe.
No, he did not publically denounce Nazism. At least this was not a major issue.
He was put in a camp because he identified as a Pole.
In Nazi Racism, Poles were supposed to be inferior, not to be worthy of having clergy of their own, and so, a German clergyman could have been fine (the surname was a German word, and his looks were more German and French than immediately identifiable as Slav), but he insisted he was a Pole. That wouldn't do.
By contrast, a nun in Vienna was arrested exactly one year before the execution of the White Rose. Her arrest was before they started. She had written a poem lampooning Hitler, and if she had agreed to become a normal laywoman, she'd have been fine. Maria Restituta insisted she was a nun.
She also did not publically retract the poem.
The HORRIFIC Execution Of The Nun That Stood Up To Hitler
TheUntoldPast | 7 Dec. 2022
19:08 If any Catholic you know has depicted me as a Nazi, I invite you to be better than that.
I am a Fascist, and an anti-Nazi. I won't even say "but" here.
The Church never condemned Austrofascism, Austrofascism never persecuted Jews.
The Jewish music theorist Schenker died peacefully in Vienna in 1935. His widow was deported to Theresienstadt.
To me there is a wide gulf between Austrofascism and Nazism, and I judge different parts of Mussolini in power according to how he's closer to one or the other.
That said, I subscribe, not only to Mit brennender Sorge, but also to the much milder criticisms of Mussolini in Non abbiamo bisogno. The one encyclical that concerns Austro-Fascism is Quadragesimo Anno. Dollfuss promised to make Austra "ein Quadragesimo Anno-Staat" - and no Pope objected to that claim.
Some French Catholics are so wildly anti-Nazi, that anything reminding them of Nazism, even by flimsy associations, triggers their N-adar, if you see what the portmanteau is meant to mean.
If I uphold the council of Cologne in 1860 and its condemnation of Darwinism, since that is "German Catholicism" - even just that, or denouncing Hochhut, makes me a Nazi to some over here.
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