By Dr. Beth A. Griech-Polelle
Clemens August Graf von Galen, Bishop of Munster from 1933 until eventually his dying in 1946, is popular for his competition to Nazism, such a lot significantly for his public preaching in 1941 opposed to Hitler's euthanasia undertaking to rid the rustic of unwell, aged, mentally retarded, and disabled Germans. This provocative and revisionist biographical learn of von Galen perspectives him from a unique standpoint: as a fancy determine who moved among dissent and complicity throughout the Nazi regime, opposing definite parts of nationwide Socialism whereas selecting to stay silent on matters relating discrimination, deportation, and the homicide of Jews. Beth Griech-Polelle locations von Galen within the context of his instances, describing how the Catholic Church reacted to numerous Nazi regulations, how the anti-Catholic laws of the Kulturkampf formed the repertoire of resistance strategies of northwestern German Catholics, and the way theological interpretations have been used to justify resistance and/or collaboration. She discloses the explanations for von Galen's public denunciation of the euthanasia undertaking and the ramifications of his overtly defiant stance. She finds how the bishop portrayed Jews and what that depiction intended for Jews dwelling in Nazi Germany. ultimately she investigates the production of similar to von Galen as "Grand Churchman-Resister" and discusses the results of this for the parable of Catholic conservative "resistance" built in post-1945 Germany.
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Additional resources for Bishop von Galen: German Catholicism and national socialism
38 In December von Galen revealed to his congregation that the Fulda letter of August had so far gone unanswered. ’’ 39 Von Galen was not alone in believing that the church and state of Germany were about to face another Kulturkampf. Here we have an example of a Nazi oﬃcial who believed that another battle was looming on the horizon. ’’ Advising Frick, he wrote that it would be unwise for the state to wage a two-front war against both the Evangelical and the Catholic Churches. 40 From yet another perspective, Nazi oﬃcials tried to convince Catholics that if there was an impending persecution of Catholics, it was because Catholic bishops were taking action against the state.
Nazism, in his view, fought against godless Communism and socialism; it harked back to a traditional, orderly society that von Galen admired, and Nazism was ultranationalistic. What we ﬁnd is a man who eventually selected elements of National Socialism to oppose, such as the euthanasia project, while he remained silent on the equally important issues of roundups, deportations, and mass murder of Jews. 50 What they omit from their accounts is the question of Jews in Germany and what their place would be in a state based on ‘‘Christian’’ concepts.
15 Although Center Party leaders Lieber and Ludwig Windthorst fought the trend of growing anti-Semitism in the early years of the Kulturkampf, several Catholic theologians and authors sought to prove that ‘‘crafty Jews’’ were masterminding the Catholic persecution. 16 A professor of Catholic theology, Canon August Rohling, ex- 6637 Griech-Polelle / BISHOP VON GALEN / sheet 40 of 271 plained to his audience that Jews had a corrupting inﬂuence on German culture.
Bishop von Galen: German Catholicism and national socialism by Dr. Beth A. Griech-Polelle