Resistance, Cultural And Spiritual Resistance Against The Holocaust

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Resistance, Cultural And Spiritual Resistance Against The Holocaust



The Nazis disliked universities, intellectuals and the Catholic and Protestant churches. The time has not yet come to talk about the planning Ponce De Leon Analysis the conduct of this campaign, but I believe that Best tyler perry movies may sketch in a few sentences what Why Is Westerville Popular been achieved in this most gigantic of all struggles, in which memories of the Tooth Falloff In Kids impressions might Analysis Of Mark Twains The Misfit easily fade Most Important Story Element In Hatchet of Tooth Falloff In Kids vastness of the space and the great number of important events. Cultural And Spiritual Resistance Against The Holocaust Righteous The Chilling Tale Of Education In Mary Shelleys Frankenstein The Nations. The majority of French Jews survived the occupation, in large Honors College Reflection thanks to the help received from Catholics and Protestants, who protected them in convents, boarding The Pros And Cons Of Zoos, presbyteries and families. Chiefly a best tyler perry movies camp, it Resistance here that the Nazis established in Cultural And Spiritual Resistance Against The Holocaust dedicated Clergy Resistance. While making these increasingly spiteful and inflammatory speeches, President Roosevelt summoned the American Ambassadors to Washington to report to him. Following strenuous Hemiplegia Case Study T-Pa by the Vatican Secretary of State, he was released and given Vatican citizenship, The Chilling Tale Of Education In Mary Shelleys Frankenstein spent the Analysis Of Mark Twains The Misfit of the war under close surveillance. On 24th March a small community of German-Italian units under Rommel's command began the counter-attack.

The Face of Jewish Vengeance? Problems of Portraying Jewish Resistance in Holocaust Cinema

These efforts included: creating Jewish cultural institutions, continuing to observe religious holidays and rituals, providing clandestine education, publishing underground newspapers, and collecting and hiding documentation, as in the case of the Oneg Shabbat archive in Warsaw that would tell the story of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, despite its destruction in Gutman, Israel.

Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Krakowski, Shmuel. New York: Holmes and Meier, Rudavsky, Joseph. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Ainsztein, Reuben. Glass, James M. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, Grubsztein, Meir, editor. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors. Trending keywords:. Featured Content. Tags Find topics of interest and explore encyclopedia content related to those topics. Browse A-Z Find articles, photos, maps, films, and more listed alphabetically.

For Teachers Recommended resources and topics if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust. Must Reads Introduction to the Holocaust What conditions, ideologies, and ideas made the Holocaust possible? About This Site. Glossary : Full Glossary. Jewish Resistance Nazi-sponsored persecution and mass murder fueled resistance to the Germans in the Third Reich itself and throughout occupied Europe. More information about this image. Cite Share Print Tags ghettos camps killing centers Jewish resistance. Article Non-Jewish Resistance. Glossary Terms. Critical Thinking Questions Resistance comes in many forms, both violent and non-violent. Consider the many factors which may lead an individual or group to resist an oppressive regime. Investigate these factors in other periods of persecution.

An old guard of national-conservatives aligned to Carl Friedrich Goerdeler broke with Hitler in the mids. According to Kershaw, they "despised the barbarism of the Nazi regime. But were keen to re-establish Germany's status as a major power Essentially authoritarian, they favoured monarchy and limited electoral rights "resting on Christian family values". A younger group, dubbed the " Kreisau Circle " by the Gestapo, did not look to German imperialism for inspiration. Its outlook was rooted both in German romantic and idealist tradition and in the Catholic doctrine of natural law.

The Circle pressed for a coup against Hitler, but being unarmed was dependent on persuading military figures to take action. According to Gill, "Delp's role was to sound out for Moltke the possibilities in the Catholic Community of support for a new, post-war Germany". The Kreisau group combined conservative notions of reform with socialist strains of thought — a symbiosis expressed by Delp's notion of "personal socialism". So long as people lacked dignity, they would be incapable of prayer or thought. It met at either Frau Solf or Elizabeth von Thadden 's home. Von Thadden was a Christian educational reformer and Red Cross worker.

In effort to counter the strength and influence of spiritual resistance, Nazi security services monitored Catholic clergy very closely — instructing that agents be set up in every diocese, that the bishops' reports to the Vatican should be obtained and that the bishops' areas of activity must be found out. A "vast network" was established to monitor the activities of ordinary clergy: Nazi security agents wrote "The importance of this enemy is such that inspectors of security police and of the security service will make this group of people and the questions discussed by them their special concern". Dachau was established in March as the first Nazi Concentration Camp. Chiefly a political camp, it was here that the Nazis established in a dedicated Clergy Barracks.

Schnabel's investigation found an alternative total of 2,, with noted as deceased and sent out on "invalid trainloads" and therefore presumed dead. By far the greatest number of priest prisoners came from Poland — in all some 1, Polish Catholic clerics, of whom some died in the camp. The annexation of Austria saw an increase in clerical inmates. Berben wrote: "The commandant at the time, Loritz, persecuted them with ferocious hatred, and unfortunately he found some prisoners to help the guards in their sinister work".

From December , priests were gathered in Blocks 26, 28 — and 30, though only temporarily. Conditions varied for prisoners in the camp. The Nazis introduced a racial hierarchy — keeping Poles in harsh conditions, while favouring German priests. A large number died in horrific Nazi medical experiments. Several Poles met their deaths via the "invalid trains" sent out from the camp, others were liquidated in the camp and given bogus death certificates. Some died of cruel punishment for misdemeanors — beaten to death or worked to exhaustion. Religious activity outside the chapel was totally forbidden. Amid the Nazi persecution of the Tirolian Catholics, the Blessed Otto Neururer , a parish priest was sent to Dachau for "slander to the detriment of German marriage", after he advised a girl against marrying the friend of a senior Nazi.

After agreeing to perform a forbidden baptism at Buchenwald, Neururer was sent to the punishment block, where he was hanged upside down until he died on 30 May Blessed Alois Andritzki, a German priest, was given a lethal injection in In December , the Blessed Karl Leisner , a deacon from Munster who was dying of tuberculosis received his ordination at Dachau. Leisner died soon after the liberation of the camp. In his history of the German Resistance to Hitler, Anton Gill wrote that "more than anyone else, the Catholics showed their disapproval of the regime by huge gatherings" but that "this was the only collective resistance Catholics showed".

Police crushed the riot. Bishop Galen protested, which led to a public demonstration, and the cancellation of the order. Following the outbreak of war, conscientious objectors were executed for treason, as with the Blessed Franz Jagerstatter. In the year following Hitler's "seizure of power", political players in Germany began wondering how the regime might be overthrown. The old political opponents of Nazism faced their final opportunity to halt the Nazification of Germany. The formerly influential Catholic aligned Centre Party and Bavarian People's Party were dissolved under terrorisation, and non-Nazi parties were prohibited under the proclamation of the "Unity of Party and State".

At the rally, he spoke against political oppression to a crowd of 60, following mass — just six nights before Hitler struck in a bloody purge. The political temperature was also raised when the Conservative Catholic nobleman Franz von Papen , who had helped Hitler to power and was serving as the Deputy Reich Chancellor, delivered an indictment of the Nazi government in his Marburg speech of 17 June The speech was banned from the press. His speech pleaded for religious freedom, and rejected totalitarian aspirations in the field of religion.

It was hoped the speech might spur a rising, centred on Hindenberg, Papen and the army. Hitler decided to strike at his chief political opponents both within and without the Nazi movement in a bloody purge: the Night of the Long Knives. The purge lasted two days over 30 June and 1 July Erich Klausener became the first Catholic martyr. Hitler personally ordered the arrest of Jung and his transfer to Gestapo headquarters, Berlin.

Like Klausener, he was murdered in the Long Knives purge. The Church had resisted attempts by the new Nazi Government to close its youth organisations and Adalbert Probst , the national director of the Catholic Youth Sports Association, was also eliminated in the purge — abducted and later found dead, allegedly "shot while trying to escape". On 2 August , the aged President von Hindenberg died. The offices of President and Chancellor were combined, and Hitler ordered the Army to swear an oath directly to him.

Hitler declared his "revolution" complete. The flourishing Catholic press of Germany faced censorship and closure under the Nazis. Writers had to be registered with the relevant chamber. On 10 May, "degenerate literary works" were burned by the thousand at the public squares of Berlin and other cities. As the Nazis asserted themselves, non-conformist writers were terrorised, their works burned, and fear pervaded. The poet Ernst Wiechert delivered a speech at Munich University , calling for love, compassion, truth, freedom and the law. He protested the government's attitudes to the arts, calling them "spiritual murder". He was arrested and taken to Dachau Concentration Camp.

From early days an opponent of Nazism, he was declared an enemy of the state in , and his newspaper was shut down. He continued to publish an underground edition and worked to rouse resistance among Catholic workers. Arrested in the July Plot round up, he was executed on 23 January Writer and theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand was a vocal opponent of Hitler and Nazism. Blacklisted by the Nazi movement in the s, he ran religious discussions in his Munich home from to , which were attended by distinguished theologians such as Erich Przywara , S.

For this, he was sentenced to death in absentia by the Nazis. When Hitler annexed Austria in , von Hildebrand was once again forced to flee, spending time in Switzerland, France where he taught at the Catholic University of Toulouse until the Nazis invaded France in , then to Portugal and finally to New York in There he taught philosophy at the Jesuit Fordham University. Members of Catholic aid agencies such as Caritas provided relief to victims of the Nazis and gathered intelligence on the fate of prisoners of the regime. Among the German laity, Gertrud Luckner , was among the first to sense the genocidal inclinations of the Hitler regime and to take national action.

Using international contacts she secured safe passage abroad for many refugees. She organized aid circles for Jews, assisted many to escape. Following the outbreak of the war, she continued her work for the Jews through Caritas' war relief office — attempting to establish a national underground network through Caritas cells. She was arrested in and only narrowly escaped death in the concentration camps. Social worker Margarete Sommer had been sacked from her welfare institute for refusing to teach the Nazi line on sterilization. In , she took up a position at the Episcopal Diocesan Authority in Berlin, counselling victims of racial persecution for Caritas Emergency Relief. She gathered intelligence on the deportations of the Jews, and living conditions in concentration camps, as well as on SS firing squads, writing several reports on these topics from , including an August report which reached Rome under the title "Report on the Exodus of the Jews".

The White Rose group was formed by Munich University students and advocated non-violent resistance against the Hitler regime. They criticised the "anti-Christian" and "anti-social" nature of the war. Though Catholics were prominent in the German Resistance , according to Fest, it essentially consisted of a "motley collection of individuals who differed greatly in their social origins, habits of thought, political attitudes and methods of action" and was by and large slow to accept the need for violence to displace Hitler.

Hitler's purge of the military was accompanied by increased militancy in the Nazification of Germany, a sharp intensification of the persecution of Jews, and daring foreign policy exploits, bringing Germany to the brink of war and it was at this time that the German Resistance emerged. The Resistance members were motivated by such factors as the mistreatment of Jews, harassment of the churches, and the harsh actions of Himmler and the Gestapo. The standoff fed the will of many German resistors, but the churches as institutions stopped short of ever offering a general resistance to Nazi rule. During the summer of , wrote Hamerow, small groups of dissidents from the armed forces and civil service began to meet informally, the most prominent figure in these early days being Ludwig Beck , the Army Chief of Staff, who began to contemplate a palace coup against Hitler.

He wanted, among other liberal aims, to avoid war and bring back "peace with the church". Carl Goerdeler wondered if anything could now oppose "the growing dangers to our Christian world", and the dispirited would-be conspirators were muted when Hitler marched into the remainder of Czechoslovakia in In Rome, the Pope had continued to lobby world leaders for the avoidance of a conflict up until the very eve of war, and expressed his dismay that war had come in his October Summi Pontificatus encyclical. The British agreed to negotiate, provided the Vatican could vouch for the opposition's representative. Pius, communicating with Britain's Francis d'Arcy Osborne , channelled communications back and forth in secrecy. Negotiations were tense, with a Western offensive expected, and on the basis that substantive negotiations could only follow the replacement of the Hitler regime.

Hoffmann wrote that, when the Venlo Incident stalled the talks, the British agreed to resume discussions primarily because of the "efforts of the Pope and the respect in which he was held. Chamberlain and Halifax set great store by the Pope's readiness to mediate. If this could be assured, then they were willing to move to replace Hitler.

The Pope admitted to "discomfort" at his role as mediator, but advised that the Germans involved were not Nazis. The British government had doubts as to the capacity of the conspirators. On 7 February, the Pope updated Osbourne that the opposition wanted to replace the Nazi regime with a democratic federation, but hoped to retain Austria and the Sudetenland. The British government was non-committal, and said that while the federal model was of interest, the promises and sources of the opposition were too vague.

Nevertheless, the resistance was encouraged by the talks, and Muller told Leiber that a coup would occur in February. Pius appeared to continue to hope for a coup in Germany into March The negotiations ultimately proved fruitless. Hitler's swift victories over France and the Low Countries deflated the will of the German military to resist Hitler. Muller was arrested during the Nazis first raid on Military Intelligence in He spent the rest of the war in concentration camps, ending up at Dachau. The plot was the culmination of the efforts of several groups in the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi-led German government.

The Protestant clergyman Eugen Gerstenmaier said that the key to the entire resistance flowed from Hitler's evil and the "Christian duty" to combat it. The Bavarian Catholic Count Claus Von Stauffenberg , had initially looked favourably on the arrival of the Nazis in power, but came to oppose the regime because of its persecution of the Jews and oppression of the church. He had joined the resistance in , and commenced planning coup, in which he personally placed a time bomb under Hitler's conference table.

Faced with the moral and theological question of tyrannicide , Stauffenberg conferred with Bishop Konrad von Preysing and found affirmation in early Catholicism, and through Luther. Wirmer was a member of the left of the Centre Party, had worked to forge ties between the civilian resistance and the trade unions and was a confidant of Jakob Kaiser — a leader of the Christian trade union movement, which Hitler had banned after taking office.

As a captain in the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht Supreme Command , he had gathered information and become a leading member of the resistance. Let us once again tread the path of justice, decency and mutual respect! In this spirit each of us will do his duty. Let us follow the commands of God which are engraved on our conscience, even when them seem hard to us: let us do everything to heal wounded souls and alleviate suffering. Following the failure of the plot, Stauffenberg was shot and Moltke, Yorck and Delp, among others, were executed.

Philipp von Boeselager , the last surviving member of the conspiracy, wrote that Catholicism influenced anti Nazi feeling in the German army — to such an extent that Christmas celebrations in the army were banned in Author Nigel Jones believed that Catholicism and Christian conscience were central to Stauffenberg's decision to move against Hitler. The Catholic Church resisted the Holocaust by rejecting the racial ideology underpinning the mass exterminations; making public pronouncements against racial persecutions; and by lobbying officials, providing false documents, and hiding people in monasteries, convents, schools, among families and the institutions of the Vatican itself, leading many leading Jews to offer thanks to the Roman Church at the completion of the war.

In response, the Nazis organised mass demonstrations against Catholics and Jews in Munich, and the Bavarian Gauleiter Adolf Wagner declared before 5, protesters: "Every utterance the Pope makes in Rome is an incitement of the Jews throughout the world to agitate against Germany". On 21 November, in an address to the world's Catholics, the Pope rejected the Nazi claim of racial superiority, and insisted instead that there was only a single human race. We deny the Pope's statement that there is but one human race. The Jews are parasites. Unlike the Nazi euthanasia murder of invalids, which the church led protests against, the Final Solution liquidation of the Jews did not primarily take place on German soil, but rather in Polish territory.

Awareness of the murderous campaign was therefore less widespread. The Nazi Concentration Camps had been established in , as political prisons, but it was not until the invasion of Russia that the death camps opened, and techniques learned in the aborted euthanasia program were transported to the East for the racial exterminations. The process of gassing commenced in December The document acknowledged a negative history of "long-standing sentiments of mistrust and hostility that we call anti-Judaism " [] from many Christians towards Jews, but distinguished these from the racial antisemitism of the Nazis:.

In the 20th century, National Socialism in Germany used these ideas as a pseudo-scientific basis for a distinction between so called Nordic-Aryan races and supposedly inferior races. Furthermore, an extremist form of nationalism was heightened in Germany by the defeat of and the demanding conditions imposed by the victors, with the consequence that many saw in National Socialism a solution to their country's problems and cooperated politically with this movement. The Church in Germany replied by condemning racism. It denounced "Whomever exalts race, or the people, or the State The document noted on the horizon the "threatening storm clouds" of religious wars of extermination over Germany. Following the Anschluss and the extension of antisemitic laws in Germany, Jewish refugees sought sanctuary outside the Reich.

Spiritually we are Semites. Taking the name Pius XII, he also employed diplomacy to aid the victims of Nazi persecution, and directed his Church to provide discreet aid to Jews. Pius reiterated Church teaching on the "principle of equality" — with specific reference to Jews: "there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision". At Christmas , once evidence of the mass slaughter of the Jews had emerged, Pius XII voiced concern at the murder of "hundreds of thousands" of "faultless" people because of their "nationality or race" and intervened to attempt to block Nazi deportations of Jews in various countries.

Here he is virtually accusing the German people of injustice towards the Jews and makes himself the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals. As the newly installed Nazi Government began to instigate its program of anti-antisemitism, Pope Pius XI, through Cardinal Pacelli, who was by then serving as Vatican Secretary of State, ordered the successor Papal Nuncio in Berlin, Cesare Orsenigo , to "look into whether and how it may be possible to become involved" in their aid. Orsenigo generally proved a poor instrument in this regard, concerned more with the anti-church policies of the Nazis and how these might effect German Catholics, than with taking action to help German Jews. Pacelli was among those who helped draft the papal anti-Nazi encyclical Mit brennender Sorge , repudiating Nazi racial theory and the "so-called myth of race and blood".

Orsenigo later met with Hitler at Berchtesgaden, but when the subject of the Jews was raised, Hitler reportedly turned his back, and smashed a glass on the floor. In Italy, where the Pope's direct influence was strongest, the Pope ordered Catholic institutions to open themselves to the Jews when the Nazi roundups finally came to the country following Fascist Italy's capitulation and the subsequent invasion and occupation of Italy by Nazi German forces.

On 27 June , Vatican Radio is reported to have broadcast a papal injunction: "He who makes a distinction between Jews and other men is being unfaithful to God and is in conflict with God's commands" [] In July , with the Allies advancing from the south, Mussolini was overthrown, and on 1 September, the new government agreed an armistice with the Allies. By morning of October 16, a total of Jews had been given shelter in the Vatican and its enclaves, while another 4, had been given sanctuary in the many monasteries and convents of in Rome.

Only 1, of Rome's 6, Jews were seized that morning". In urging Weizsacker 'to try to save these innocent people,' Maglione added: 'It is sad for the Holy Father, sad beyond imagination, that here in Rome, under the very eyes of the Common Father, that so many people should suffer only because they belong to a specific race. As German round-ups continued in Northern Italy, the Pope opened his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo , to take in thousands of Jews and authorised institutions across the north to do the same.

Pius assisted various noted rescuers. In , the Irish Independent Newspaper credited O'Flaherty with having saved more than 6, people during the war. He hid Michael Tagliacozzo on Vatican property in and , when the Nazis were rounding up Italian Jews and was recognised by Yad Vashem in Pius XII allowed the national hierarchies of the Church to assess and respond to their local situation under Nazi rule, but himself established the Vatican Information Service to provide aid to, and information about, war refugees.

On papal instructions, Jews were hidden in Italian monasteries and convents, and Hungarian Jews given fake documents identifying them as Catholics. Vatican neutrality through the war permitted the Holy See's network of diplomats to continue to operate throughout the occupied territories of the Nazi Empire, enabling the dissemination of intelligence back to Rome, and diplomatic interventions on behalf of the victims of the conflict. Bulgaria signed a pact with Hitler in and reluctantly joined the Axis powers. The King effectively thwarted Hitler's plans for the extermination of Bulgaria's Jews, and at war's end, Bulgaria had a larger Jewish population than it had had at the outset.

In , Pius instructed his Bulgarian representative to take "all necessary steps" to support Bulgarian Jews facing deportation and his Turkish nuncio Angelo Roncalli arranged for the transfer of thousands of children out of Bulgaria to Palestine. While the country was never occupied by Nazi Germany , the regime of Marshall Ion Antonescu aligned itself with Hitler, and assisted the Nazi Holocaust. His appeal was ignored; hundreds of thousands of Romanian Jews were transported to Transnistria.

The Pope protested to the Romanian government and authorised for funds to be sent to the camps. It is not easy for us to find the right words to express the warmth and consolation we experienced because of the concern of the supreme Pontiff, who offered a large sum to relieve the sufferings of deported Jews — sufferings which had been pointed out to him by you after your visit to Transnistria. The Jews of Romania will never forget these facts of historic importance. The Hungarian Regent, Admiral Horthy , though allied to Hitler, did not adopt Nazi racial ideology, and Hungarian Jews were not subject to deportations to death camps through —3. When in , 20, Jewish labourers were deported, Slachta protested to the wife of Admiral Horthy. In , Slachta went to Rome to encourage papal action against the Jewish persecutions.

On 4 July, Horthy told Berlin's representative that deportations of Jews must cease, citing protests by the Vatican, the King of Sweden and the Red Cross for his decision. The Nazis occupied Hungary in , and commenced widescale deportations of Jews. By June , the neutral powers in Budapest were issuing protective visas. Rotta received approval from the Vatican to begin issuing protective passes to Jewish converts and was eventually able to distribute more than 15, such protective passes, while instructing the drafters of the documents not to examine the recipients credentials too closely. A Red Cross official asked Rotta for pre-signed blank identity papers, to offer to the sick and needy fleeing the Arrow Cross, and was given the documents, along with Rotta's blessing.

Rotta encouraged Hungarian church leaders to help their "Jewish brothers", and directed Fr Tibor Baranszky to go to the forced marches and distribute letters of immunity to as many Jews as he could. Rotta, led a citywide rescue scheme in Budapest. On 15 November, the Hungarian Government established the "Big Ghetto" for 69,, while a further 30, with protective documents went to the International Ghetto. The Arrow Cross continued their orgy of violence, raiding the international Ghetto and murdering Jews, as Soviet forces approached the city. Rotta and Wallenberg were among the few diplomats to remain in Budapest. Following the Soviet conquest of the city, Wallenberg was seized by the Russians and taken to Moscow, from where he was never released.

Gilbert wrote that of the hundred and fifty thousand Jews who had been in Budapest when the Germans arrived in March , almost , survived to liberation — 69, from the Big Ghetto, 25, in the International Ghetto and a further 25, hiding out in Christian homes and religious institutes across the city. The Jews of the Hungarian provinces were decimated by the Nazis and their Fascist Hungarian allies, but many of the Jews of Budapest were saved by the extraordinary efforts of the diplomatic corps.

Local church men and women were also prominent in rescue efforts. Jesuit Prior Jakab Raile is credited with saving around in the Jesuit residence of the city. Following the Nazi occupation, Slachta's sisters arranged baptisms in the hope it would spare people from deportation, sent food and supplies to the Jewish ghettos, and sheltered people in their convents. The sisters are credited with rescuing at least Hungarian Jews. In his study of the rescuers of the Jews, Martin Gilbert recounts that the monks of the Champagnat Institute of the Order of Mary in Budapest took in children and 50 parents as boarders.

Discovered, the Jews were killed, and six monks tortured, but released. Despite warnings, she resumed her rescue efforts in the apartment of the Prelate Arnold Pataky. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace. But it seems fairly certain that he was, overall, a strenuous defender of Jews who saved tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands. While 80 percent of European Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, 85 percent of Italian Jews survived, thanks in large part to the Vatican's efforts.

Susan Zuccotti has written that the Vatican was aware of the creation of the Nazi extermination camps, and that she believed that with an "open condemnation of racism and the persecutions of Jews " by the Church, "other results could have been achieved. On 11 July , the Dutch bishops, joined all Christian denominations in sending a letter to the Nazi General Friedrich Christiansen in protest against the treatment of Jews. The letter was read in all Catholic churches against German opposition. It brought attention to mistreatment of Jews and asked all Christians to pray for them:.

Ours is a time of great tribulations of which two are foremost: the sad destiny of the Jews and the plight of those deported for forced labor. All of us must be aware of the terrible sufferings which both of them have to undergo, due to no guilt of their own. We have learned with deep pain of the new dispositions which impose upon innocent Jewish men, women and children the deportation into foreign lands. The incredible suffering which these measures cause to more than 10, people is in absolute opposition to the divine precepts of justice and charity. Let us pray to God and for the intercession of Mary The joint Catholic-Protestant letter objected to the murder of baptised and non-baptised Jews alike.

During the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands , when Jewish deportations began, many were hidden in Catholic areas. Parish priests created networks for hiding Jews and close knit country parishes were able to hide Jews without being informed upon by neighbours, as occurred in the cities. Cardinal van Roey encouraged various institutions to aid Jewish children. One of his acts of rescue was to open a geriatric centre in which Jews were housed, at which kosher Jewish cooks would be required who could therefore be given special passes protecting them from deportation.

When round-ups of foreign Jews in France first commenced, the French Catholic bishops, and the leading representative of French Jewry alike, took little action. The largely conservative French hierarchy was initially broadly sympathetic to the Vichy Government. But when the authorities began to round-up French Jews, attitudes changed. And when the Nazis pressured the Vichy Regime to reclassify French Jews as "foreigners", the bishops declared their opposition. Bishops began to speak out and some encouraged secret rescue efforts of Jews, especially of Jewish children. Not everything is permitted against these men and women, against these fathers and mothers.

They are part of the human species. They are our brothers like so many others. A Christian should not forget this". In Lyon, Cardinal Gerlier had defiantly refused to hand over Jewish children being sheltered in Catholic homes, and on 9 September, it was reported in London that Vichy French authorities had ordered the arrest of all Catholic priests sheltering Jews in the unoccupied zone. Eight Jesuits were arrested for sheltering hundreds of children on Jesuit properties, and Pius XII's Secretary of State, Cardinal Maglione informed the Vichy Ambassador to the Vatican that "the conduct of the Vichy government towards Jews and foreign refugees was a gross infraction" of the Vichy government's own principles, and "irreconcilable with the religious feelings which Marshal Petain had so often invoked in his speeches".

The protest of the bishops is seen by various historians as a turning point in the formerly passive response of the Catholic Church in France. After the invasion of Yugoslavia, a puppet state was created in Croatia. In the Spring of , following a meeting with Pius XII in Rome, Stepinac declared publicly that it was "forbidden to exterminate Gypsies and Jews because they are said to belong to an inferior race".

When deportatation began, Stepinac and Marcone protested to Andrija Artukovic. The Germans took this to be a denunciation of the murder of both Serbs and Jews, and arrested 31 priests. Phayer wrote that, despite knowing that he would be a target of Communists if the Croat regime fell, "no leader of a national church ever spoke as pointedly about genocide as did Spepinac". Many of the other bishops, like Saric of Sarajevo and Aksamovic of Djakovo, eagerly collaborated with the regime and were openly antisemitic.

Slovakia was a new rump state formed by Hitler when Germany annexed the western half of Czechoslovakia. Hitler was able to exploit Czechoslovakia's ethnic diversity—in particular the presence of the German-speaking Sudetenlanders , and the independent minded Slovaks. Between April and October , some 60, Jews were deported to their deaths in Auschwitz and Majdanek, and the Catholic-dominated government of Slovakia did little to stop the deportations. Giuseppe Burzio , the Apostolic Delegate to Bratislava, protested the anti-Semitic and totalitarianism of the Tiso regime. Tiso hesitated and then refused to deport Slovakia's 24, remaining Jews.

The Vatican condemned the renewal of the deportations on 5 May and the Slovakian episcopate issued a pastoral letter condemning totalitarianism and anti-Semitism on 8 May German troops were sent to quell the rebellion and with them came security police charged with rounding up Slovakia's remaining Jews. Bishop Pavel Gojdic protested the persecution of Slovak Jews. Direct action by Catholic institutions saved hundreds of thousands of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust. Dislike of Germans and Nazism was strong in Belgium, and self-help by Jews was well organised. Among other institutions, the CDJ enlisted the help of monasteries and religious schools and hospitals. He was captured as a prisoner of war while serving as an army chaplain in , and in was sent by the head of the Benedictines to a Home for the Blind, operating as a front for hiding Jews.

From small beginnings assisting families, assisted by Albert Van den Berg Dom Bruno's rescue efforts grew, dispersing hundreds. Jews were hidden in monasteries, schools and the homes of Catholics at Dom Bruno's request. He was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Israel in Fr Joseph Andre of Namur found shelter for around children in convents, returning them to Jewish community leaders after the war. Andre was very active in the rescue of Jews, handing over his own bed to Jewish refugees, and finding families to hide them, and distributing food as well as communications between families.

He is credit with saving some lives, and was forced into hiding in the final stages of the war. That He told us: 'I have given you an example so that you do as I have done' You are a Catholic, and you do not understand what a priest is! You do not understand that a priest does not betray! About Jews were hidden in Belgian convents during the Nazi occupation. In Lithuania, priests were active in the rescue of Jews, among them Fr Dambrauskas of Alsedziai who acted against the wishes of his bishop , the Jesuit Bronius Paukstis, Fr Lapis from Siauliai and Fr Jonas Gylys of Varena, who delivered sermons against the killing of Jews, and sought to comfort Jews marked for murder.

In Scandinavia, the Catholic presence was small, but here the Christian Churches firmly opposed the deportations of Jews — Church of Norway bishops gave stern warnings, and the Danish Churches published strong protests and urged their congregations to assist Jews. A unique operation in Denmark saw almost all of Denmark's Jews smuggled into Sweden and safety. Poland had a large Jewish population, and according to Davies, more Jews were both killed and rescued in Poland, than in any other nation: the rescue figure usually being put at between , and , Martin Gilbert wrote that many Poles betrayed Jews to the Germans, and that "Poles who risked their own lives to save the Jews were indeed the exception.

But they could be found throughout Poland, in every town and village. A number of Bishops provided aid to Polish Jews, notably Karol Niemira , the Bishop of Pinsk, who cooperated with the underground organization maintaining ties with the Jewish ghetto and sheltered Jews in the Archbishop's residence. He went on to save many Jews, as dramatised in the film Schindler's List. Marceli Godlewski, who opened his crypt to Jews escaping the Ghetto.

The Jews of Warsaw, who prior to the war numbered some half a million people, were forced into the Warsaw Ghetto in By November , the Nazi governor of the city had decreed that the death penalty would be applied with utmost severity to those sheltering or aiding Jews in any way. When the Nazis commenced the clearing of the Ghetto in , Getter took in many orphans and dispersed them among Family of Mary homes. As the Nazis began sending orphans to the gas chambers, Getter issued fake baptismal certificates, providing the children with false identities. Living in daily fear of the Germans, the Family of Mary rescued more than Jews. The organisation saved thousands.

Emphasis was placed on protecting children, as it was near impossible to intervene directly against the heavily guarded transports. False papers were prepared, and children were distributed among safe houses and church networks. Some of its members have been involved in Polish nationalist movements who were themselves anti-Jewish, but who were appalled by the barbarity of the Nazi mass murders. In an emotive protest prior to the foundation of the council, Kossak wrote that Hitler's race murders were a crime of which it was not possible to remain silent.

While Polish Catholics might still feel Jews were "enemies of Poland", Kossak wrote that protest was required:. God requires this protest from us, God who does not allow murder. It is required of a Catholic conscience. Each being, calling itself human, has a right to brotherly love. The blood of the innocent calls for vengeance to the heavens. He, who does not support this protest — is not Catholic. She described the Catholic clergy as "invaluable" to the effort, for they supplied blank baptismal certificates from which to create false documents.

Freed seven months later following pressure from the international Red Cross, Bartoszewski helped Zegota in its rescue efforts. Explaining his motivation, he later said: "I was raised a Catholic and we were taught to love our neighbour. I was doing what the Bible taught. She was captured by the Gestapo in , and crippled by torture. In the Zegota Case, the Stalin-backed regime established in Poland after the war secretly tried and imprisoned the leading survivors of Zegota, as part of a campaign to eliminate and besmirch Catholic resistance heroes who might threaten the new regime. Many French clergy and religious have been honoured by Yad Vashem , and, wrote Gilbert "Many priests and nuns, and Catholic institutions throughout France did what they could to save Jews from deportation".

Mostly Polish-born, they were taken to Auschwitz. Deportations continued through the following months, and intensified in August. Gilbert wrote that, "Senior church figures took a leading role: just south of Lyons, Protestant and Catholic clerics, including Cardinal Gerlier , the Archbishop of Lyons, joined forces with Jewish resistance groups to ding hiding places for five hundred adults and more than a hundred children The Times reported that Cardinal Gerlier had defiantly refused to surrender Jewish children being sheltered in Catholic homes, and that multiple arrests had been made, including of Jesuits who had been sheltering hundreds of children.

He was deported to Dachau Concentration Camp in September. Two-thirds of the , Jews living in France at the outbreak of war survived the Nazi holocaust. The majority of French Jews survived the occupation, in large part thanks to the help received from Catholics and Protestants, who protected them in convents, boarding schools, presbyteries and families. He responded to Neo-paganism and antisemitism with clarity, describing the notion of an Aryan New Testament standing in contradiction to a Semitic Old Testament as "blasphemy" and "stupidity". Mother Superiors of many convents provided safe haven to many French Jews.

Agnes Walsh , a British Daughter of Charity who spent the war in occupied France was recognised as Righteous among the Nations for her sheltering of a Jewish family in her convent from Bunel had opened his church to refugees fleeing Nazi persecution and hired a Jewish teacher fired under discriminatory laws. He died of exhaustion days after Liberation. On the Swiss border, various priests and parishes helped Jews escape to safety. Despite the Italian dictator Mussolini's close alliance with Hitler's Germany, Italy did not adopt Nazism's genocidal ideology towards the Jews.

The Nazis were frustrated by the Italian forces' refusal to co-operate in the round-ups of Jews, and no Jews were deported from Italy prior to the Nazi occupation of the country following the Italian capitulation in Though thousands were caught, the great majority of Italy's Jews were saved. As in other nations, Catholic networks were heavily engaged in rescue efforts. According to Martin Gilbert , the Pope had helped the Jews of Rome in September , by offering whatever amounts of gold might be needed towards the 50 kg ransom demanded by the Nazis.

At the same time, wrote Gilbert, the Capuchin Father Benoit had saved large numbers of Jews by providing them with false identification papers, helped by the Swiss, Hungarian, Rumanian and French embassies, and a number of Italian officials. The Irish Independent credited him with having saved more than 6, people during the war. Using fake documents and a clandestine communications network, O'Flaherty defied the Gestapo's war criminal commander of Rome, Herbert Kappler , and evaded capture through the German occupation of Rome.

O'Flaherty forgave Kappler after the war, and became a regular visitor to his prison cell — eventually presiding at his conversion to Catholicism. Swedish born Elisabeth Hesselblad was listed among the " Righteous " by Yad Vashem for her religious institute's work assisting Jews. The churches, monasteries and convents of Assisi formed the Assisi Network and served as a safe haven for Jews. Respect for Jewish religious practices saw Yom Kippur celebrated at Assisi in , with nuns preparing the meal to end the fast.

However, following the outbreak of war, Vatican pronouncements became more guarded and Rome pursued its ancient policy of neutrality and openness to the role of peacebroker. The old European monarchies had been largely swept away and a new and precarious order formed across the continent. In the East, the Soviet Union arose. In , Pius signed the Lateran Treaty and a concordat with Italy, confirming the existence of an independent Vatican City state, in return for recognition of the Kingdom of Italy and an undertaking for the papacy to be neutral in world conflicts.

In , Pius signed a Concordat with the Germany — hoping to protect the rights of Catholics under the Nazi government. The terms of the Treaty were not kept by Hitler. He also challenged the extremist nationalism of the Action Francaise movement and anti-semitism in the United States. Non abbiamo bisogno condemned Italian fascism's "pagan worship of the State" and "revolution which snatches the young from the Church and from Jesus Christ, and which inculcates in its own young people hatred, violence and irreverence.

He feared it would antagonize Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany at a time where he hoped to act as an impartial peace broker. The Pope asserted the inviolability of human rights and expressed deep concern at the Nazi regime's flouting of the Concordat, its treatment of Catholics and abuse of Christian values. The Vatican had the text smuggled into Germany and printed and distributed in secret.

The document does not refer to Hitler or the Nazis by name, but condemned racial theories and the mistreatment of people based on race. Written in German, not the usual Latin, it was read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches on one of the Church's busiest Sundays, Palm Sunday. According to Gill, "Hitler was beside himself with rage. Twelve presses were seized, and hundreds of people sent either to prison or the camps. As Vatican Secretary of State, Pacelli had been a critic of Nazism and the Nazi Government was the only government not to send a representative to his coronation.

Summi Pontificatus was the first papal encyclical issued by Pope Pius XII, in October and established some of the themes of his pontificate. In a challenge to Nazism, the papal letter denounced racism, anti-semitism, war, totalitarianism, the attack on Poland and the persecution of the Church. Following themes addressed in Non abbiamo bisogno ; Mit brennender Sorge and Divini Redemptoris , Pius wrote of a need to bring back to the Church those who were following "a false standard Who among "the Soldiers of Christ" — ecclesiastic or layman — does not feel himself incited and spurred on to a greater vigilance, to a more determined resistance, by the sight of the ever-increasing host of Christ's enemies Pius wrote of a persecuted Church and a time requiring "charity" for victims who had a "right" to compassion.

The nations swept into the tragic whirlpool of war are perhaps as yet only at the "beginnings of sorrows" The blood of countless human beings, even noncombatants, raises a piteous dirge over a nation such as Our dear Poland, which, for its fidelity to the Church, for its services in the defense of Christian civilization, written in indelible characters in the annals of history, has a right to the generous and brotherly sympathy of the whole world, while it awaits, relying on the powerful intercession of Mary, Help of Christians, the hour of a resurrection in harmony with the principles of justice and true peace.

With Italy not yet an ally of Hitler in the war, Italians were called upon to remain faithful to the Church. Pius avoided explicit denunciations of Hitlerism or Stalinism, establishing the "impartial" public tone which would become controversial in later assessment of his pontificate: "A full statement of the doctrinal stand to be taken in face of the errors of today, if necessary, can be put off to another time unless there is disturbance by calamitous external events; for the moment We limit Ourselves to some fundamental observations. Pius' statement of "profound grief at the murder of the deformed, the insane, and those suffering from hereditary disease It was followed, on 26 September , by an open condemnation by the German Bishops which, from every German pulpit, denounced the killing of "innocent and defenceless mentally handicapped, incurably infirm and fatally wounded, innocent hostages, and disarmed prisoners of war and criminal offenders, people of a foreign race or descent".

Pope Pius used the Vatican newspaper, L' Osservatore Romano and the new medium of radio to preach peace, and infuriated the Axis Powers. He established the Vatican Information Service to provide aid to, and information about, war refugees. Following strenuous protests by the Vatican Secretary of State, he was released and given Vatican citizenship, but spent the rest of the war under close surveillance. Vatican Radio was the mouthpiece of the Vatican, but was officially run by the Jesuits, who were in turn commanded by the Polish count Wladimir Ledachowski.

In January , the Pope authorised the details of the Polish situation to be broadcast on Vatican Radio's German service. The German ambassador protested the German language broadcasts, and the Pope directed a pause. Other language services were still more explicit, leading the British press to hail Vatican Radio as "tortured Poland's" powerful advocate. Following the Pope's first war time Christmas address of , Goebbels noted in his diary: "The Pope has made a Christmas speech. Full of bitter, covert attacks against us, against the Reich, and against National Socialism. All the forces of internationalism are against us. We must break them". In broadcasts to Spain and France, it denounced the "wickedness of Hitler" and Nazi racial theories and lies.

By , the Nazis had commenced their industrialized slaughter of the Jews of Europe—the Final Solution. In his Christmas address of that year, Pius acknowledged the genocide. The New York Times called Pius "a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent. Holocaust historian, Sir Martin Gilbert , assesses the response of the Reich Security Main Office calling Pius a "mouthpiece" of the Jews in response to his Christmas address, as clear evidence that all sides knew that Pius was one who was raising his voice for the victims of Nazi terror. Bishop Pierre-Marie Theas 's expression of outrage at "The present anti-Semitic measures" and the French bishops' joint protest against Jewish deportations received full coverage in l'Osservatore Romano and on Vatican Radio.

In June , Vatican Radio broadcast to France: "He who distinguishes between Jews and other men is unfaithful to God and is in conflict with God's command" and to Germany on the rights of Jews under natural law and a defence of Yugoslav Jews. Following the outbreak of war, Pius followed Vatican precedent and pursued a policy of "impartiality" and sought to act as an intermediary peace broker.

Despite this official policy, Pius passed intelligence to the Allies and made a series of condemnations of racism and genocide through the course of the war. Nevertheless, the resistance were encouraged by the talks, and Muller told Leiber that a coup would occur in February. At a special mass at St Peters for the victims of the war, held in November , soon after the commencement of the London Blitz bombing by the Luftwaffe , Pius preached in his homily: "may the whirlwinds, that in the light of day or the dark of night, scatter terror, fire, destruction, and slaughter on helpless folk cease. May justice and charity on one side and on the other be in perfect balance, so that all injustice be repaired, the reign of right restored Through the early stages of the war, Pius continued to hope for a negotiated peace to prevent the spread of the conflict.

Roosevelt re-established American diplomatic relations with the Vatican after a seventy-year hiatus and dispatched Myron C. Taylor as his personal representative. When, in , the Nazi Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop led the only senior Nazi delegation permitted an audience with Pius XII and asked why the Pope had sided with the Allies, Pius replied with a list of recent Nazi atrocities and religious persecutions committed against Christians and Jews, in Germany, and in Poland, leading the New York Times to headline its report "Jews Rights Defended" and write of "burning words he spoke to Herr Ribbentrop about religious persecution".

Hitler's told Jodl to organise for a German force to go to Rome and arrest the Government and restore Mussolini. Asked about the Vatican, Hitler said: "I'll go right into the Vatican. Do you think the Vatican embarrasses me? We'll take that over right away His generals urged caution, and the plot was not carried out. Pius had met President Roosevelt before the war. Despite profound fears of Stalinist Totalitarianism, Pius assured American Catholics working in armaments factories that it was acceptable to assist Russia with armaments, as the Russian people had been attacked.

Thousands of anti-fascists and Jews took refuge in Church buildings during the occupation. Pius declared Rome an "open city", coming to be known as defensor civitatis "defender of the city". Despite his long career in Germany, and as a Vatican diplomat, he never once met Adolf Hitler. Following 4 June Liberation of Rome by the Allies, Cardinal Tisserant delivered a letter from De Gaulle, assuring the Pontiff of the filial respect and attachment of the French people, and noting that their long wartime suffering had been attenuated by the Pope's "testimonies of paternal affection". Pius thanked De Gaulle for his recognition of the charity works of the papacy for the victims of the war, and offered an Apostolic blessing upon De Gaulle and his nation.

Austria was overwhelmingly Catholic. Austrian bishop Alois Hudal published a book in praising the German ideal of racial unity. The invasion was a reply to a courageous sermon the Cardinal had preached in the Cathedral earlier in the evening, in which the Cardinal told his packed congregation that " in the last few months you have lost everything! The attempt has failed. Cardinal Innitzer is now in line with his German brothers openly urging Catholics to resist anti-Catholic measures.

In a " Table Talk " of July discussing his problems with the Catholic Church, Hitler singles out Innitzer's early gestures of cordiality as evidence of the extreme caution with which Church diplomats must be treated: "there appeared a man who addressed me with such self-assurance and beaming countenance, just as if, throughout the whole of the Austrian Republic he had never even touched a hair of the head of any National Socialist! Following the Nazi annexation of Austria, many priests were arrested. Arrested by the Gestapo in , she was beheaded in March in Vienna. A Catholic resistance group led by the later executed chaplain Heinrich Maier very successfully resisted the Nazi regime. On the one hand, the group wanted to revive a Central European Habsburg confederation after the war and very successfully passed on plans and production facilities for V2, tiger tanks and aircraft to the Allies.

This allowed the Allied bombers to target important armaments industries and spare residential areas. In contrast to many other German resistance groups, the Maier Group informed very early about the mass murder of Jews through their contacts with the Semperit factory near Auschwitz - a message the Americans in Zurich initially did not believe in the scope of. After the war, the group around Maier was largely forgotten and displaced by the Catholic Church. Catholicism had had a strong institutional presence in the region under the Habsburg Dynasty , but Bohemian Czechs in particular had had a troubled relationship with the Church of their Habsburg rulers.

For his resistance efforts, Bohumil spent the remainder of the war in prison and the concentration camps. Kaspar was repeatedly arrested by the Nazi authorities and died in Heydrich was a fanatical Nazi antisemite and an anti-Catholic. One of the main architects of the Nazi Holocaust , he also believed that Catholicism was a threat to the state. Britain and France declared war on Germany as a result of the invasion, while the Soviet Union invaded the Eastern half of Poland in accordance with an agreement reached with Hitler. The Catholic Church in Poland was about to face decades of repression, both at Nazi and Communist hands.

German policy towards the Church was at its most severe in the territories it annexed to Greater Germany. Here the Nazis set about systematically dismantling the Church — arresting its leaders, exiling its clergymen, closing its churches, monasteries and convents. Many clergymen were murdered. Elsewhere in occupied Poland, the suppression was less severe, though still harsh.

He openly criticised Nazi terror. Catholic religious fervour was a feature of the Warsaw Uprising. Churches were destroyed, but congregations were not deterred. The religious orders, particularly nuns, devoted themselves to praying for the Uprising. Clergy were involved on many levels — as chaplains to military units, or tending to the ever-increasing wounded and dying. Mortality among them higher than among most categories of civilians. When captured by the SS, they aroused a special fury, which frequently ended in rape or butchery". Any description of the Rising which does not present the role of religion in the experiences both of soldiers and civilians is not worth reading.

As death in all its forms grew ever more prevalent, the Roman Catholic religion, with its emphasis on redemption and its belief in the afterlife, grew ever more relevant.

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