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← German Church admits aiding Nazis

German Church admits aiding Nazis - Comments

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 1 by sidfaiwu

Great. Now if only we can get them to admit that their whole belief system is based on wishful thinking.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:30:00 UTC | #149926

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 2 by Quetzalcoatl

It should not be concealed that the Catholic Church was blind for too long to the fate and suffering of men, women and children from the whole of Europe who were carted off to Germany as forced labourers


The word the Cardinal was looking for should not have been blind. It should have been complicit.

Still. A bit late, but at least they've admitted it.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:36:00 UTC | #149931

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 3 by FightingFalcon

Not much of a story here, IMHO. Anyone who has actually studied Nazi Germany would know that there was nothing anyone could do to oppose Adolf Hitler internally.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:40:00 UTC | #149935

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 5 by al-rawandi

Falcon,




Don't you think it would be Christ-like to lay down your life in opposition to evil, as opposed to aiding it?

But then again there isn't much the Catholics do that is all that "Christ-like".

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:42:00 UTC | #149937

MPhil's Avatar Comment 4 by MPhil

They didn't admit a fraction of the actual responsibility they shared and share... it's disgusting.

How about Stepinac? How about the Franciscans who worked as overseers in death camps?

How about the Rat Line?

How about the beatification of Stepinac?

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/62/267.html

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:42:00 UTC | #149936

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 6 by Paula Kirby

The cardinal - who stood down in January as head of the German bishops' conference - noted that the number of forced labourers used by the Church was a small fraction of the estimated 13m compelled to work by the Nazis.

At the televised launch of the report in Mainz, the cardinal said the conditions in which people had been forced to work in Catholic institutions - such as hospitals, homes and monastery gardens - had not been as bad as elsewhere.
I'm not impressed with this at all. It sounds like "Sorry, but ..." to me.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:48:00 UTC | #149942

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 7 by FightingFalcon



Don't you think it would be Christ-like to lay down your life in opposition to evil, as opposed to aiding it?

But then again there isn't much the Catholics do that is all that "Christ-like".


Eh, I guess. But this sounds like the same argument that occurred when people found out that Pope Benedict XVI was a Hitler Youth. It's impossible to know exactly how anyone would act in that situation. I would probably have a hard time giving up my life for a cause that had no chance.

Had the Church shown any opposition, they probably would have just been destroyed by the SS/SD like everyone else was. I'm not giving them a pass by any means but criticizing them for participating in a mandatory program of the Nazi government isn't very fair, either.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:53:00 UTC | #149947

_riverrun_'s Avatar Comment 8 by _riverrun_

If only they would admit to having Hitler's Birthday celebrated every year from pulpits throughout Germany, for their vile anti-semitism that directly fostered the cultural climate that enabled Nazi ideology to spread, for helping 100s of top Nazi officials escape war crimes by using their vast networks of property paid for by the credulous, or admit to their priests selling out the brave fighters against fascism in Spain in the 1930s.. I could go on.

Tim.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:54:00 UTC | #149948

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 9 by al-rawandi

Falcon,



I know you wouldn't die for that, I probably wouldn't either....


But what about these people who believe in an afterlife?

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:56:00 UTC | #149949

mumbles's Avatar Comment 10 by mumbles

"At the televised launch of the report in Mainz, the cardinal said the conditions in which people had been forced to work in Catholic institutions - such as hospitals, homes and monastery gardens - had not been as bad as elsewhere."

Translation: It coulda been worse.

He may as well just say that they "saved" these people and claim a win for the catholic church. Absolutely appalling.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 14:05:00 UTC | #149952

theantitheist's Avatar Comment 11 by theantitheist

Duff man Al,

That made me laugh, I think that that kind of sums it up.

What is the problem with Christians getting themselves killed to stop bad things happening? They go to heaven where they get free sweetys and a harp (or if there into fishing, carp (sorry that's fucking shocking)).

Maybe this complete and utter belief is not so 'complete' and not so 'utter'.

But let's face it they might admit to being or helping the nazi's but admitting that they might be wrong above the bit cat in the clouds? doubt it.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 14:10:00 UTC | #149956

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 12 by FightingFalcon



I know you wouldn't die for that, I probably wouldn't either....


But what about these people who believe in an afterlife?


Again, its a hard position to put yourself in. No organized opposition was allowed in Nazi Germany and you can be sure that Heydrich and his SD would have found out if even the slightest opposition was being formed against the NSDAP. A few priests here or there may have been able to give up their lives but once it became a real issue, Hitler would have put an end to the existence of the church. This is the same man, after all, who wiped Lidice off the face of the Earth.

I fully support putting your life in danger to support a worthy cause but I think here it would have been pointless. Then again, like you point out, they do indeed believe in an afterlife. But they were probably more concerned with their church being kicked out of Germany than the preservation of human life.

At best, the Church can be seen as not actively opposing Hitler. At worst, I'm sure there were quite a few people in the hierarchy who were pleased to see Hitler oppose certain untermensch. Then again, the Church was actively involved in the effort to save the lives of many Jews in Europe.

Meh - this is why I dislike debating the actions of an entire organization. I hate generalizations like this.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 14:25:00 UTC | #149966

HalfMan_HalfMyth's Avatar Comment 13 by HalfMan_HalfMyth

I don't know about you gentlemen, but I'm definitely going to sleep easy tonight knowing that the Catholic Church is actually capable for apologizing for something.

Unfortunatly, they are still blind to the suffering of innocents in Somalia, Palestine, Northern Uganda and the like at the hand of God.

...not to mention their blindness to the eye of reason, but let's not detract importance from the children.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 14:51:00 UTC | #149982

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 14 by Diacanu

Hmm, wonder if they sided with the Nazis cuz der juden embraced a philosophy that was dangerous for children to even know about...

*Shock silence*

Too on the nose? Or too soon?

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 15:00:00 UTC | #149990

Inferno's Avatar Comment 15 by Inferno

What? The church aided that atheist dictator? There's a please explain here.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 15:46:00 UTC | #150010

secondsoprano's Avatar Comment 16 by secondsoprano

the cardinal said the conditions in which people had been forced to work in Catholic institutions - such as hospitals, homes and monastery gardens - had not been as bad as elsewhere


Oh, well that's alright then.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 15:53:00 UTC | #150014

Jay G's Avatar Comment 17 by Jay G

The Catholic Church made a pact with Germany because it was afraid of the Communists. The church failed to realize that their cure was worse than the disease.

the Church is only interested in protecting their institutions. It will make friends with any dictator who promises to let the church operate freely. Maybe, if the institution of the church was not able to sufficiently civilize Europe to prevent it from sliding down into the barbarity of the Third Reich, then the institution was no longer worth protecting.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 16:42:00 UTC | #150031

Apathy personified's Avatar Comment 18 by Apathy personified

In the wording above, am I blind, or was the word, 'Sorry' actually missing? technically that's not an apology, just a statement of what they did.
It would appear Elton John is right, sorry seems to be the hardest word. (I deserve to die for that one, 'sorry')

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 16:50:00 UTC | #150037

Big T's Avatar Comment 19 by Big T

Fighting Falcon has a point. It is easy for people living in a democratic society to say 'I would have stood up to Hitler'. It is true that the Catholic Church was complicit in more than just providing forced laborers as Hitchens and others have pointed out. And I am no fan of the Catholic Church. But for people living under the Nazi dictatorship to actively oppose it would require more courage than about 99 percent of the human race possesses. Which is one reason (among many) why I feel strongly about Europeans opposing fundamentalist Muslim immigrants. The time to oppose evil is BEFORE it comes to power.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 18:45:00 UTC | #150072

LeeC's Avatar Comment 20 by LeeC

12. Comment #157831 by FightingFalcon

Again, its a hard position to put yourself in. No organized opposition was allowed in Nazi Germany

19. Comment #157941 by Big T
Fighting Falcon has a point. It is easy for people living in a democratic society to say 'I would have stood up to Hitler'.


I'm not buying either of these views, but sorry if I misunderstood you both.

Don't you think if the church (not an individual) stood up and said this is wrong, that maybe, just maybe, millions of Jews and thousands of soldiers would not have had to die in the 1940's?

Here's my reasoning, feel free to shoot me down please...

If the church stood up then, maybe, the UK, France, the US etc would not have waited so long before acting against Hitler.

Would the US been able to say out of the WWII until a Pearl Harbour if their people back home knew what was going on - told by their church it was wrong?

Even this aside, shouldn't the church being showing us all a good example? So what if the church in Germany falls - it is what Jesus would have wanted right?

It merely shows that the church is run by men who have never spoken to God (how could they?) and certainly do not believe in the message 100% themselves. "Do as I say, not as I do" comes to mind

I would laugh if it wasn't so tragic.

Lee

EDIT
Big T wrote:
"Which is one reason (among many) why I feel strongly about Europeans opposing fundamentalist Muslim immigrants. The time to oppose evil is BEFORE it comes to power. "


Maybe we are on the same page after all. My point still stands to be shot at though. :)

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 19:16:00 UTC | #150077

Bigorra's Avatar Comment 21 by Bigorra

Germany's Roman Catholic Church has acknowledged the extent of its involvement in the use of forced labour during World War II.


Give the Church some credit. It took them only 63 years since WWII ended to admit the extent of their involvement. This is what the Vatican refers to as the "fast track".

At the televised launch of the report in Mainz, the cardinal said the conditions in which people had been forced to work in Catholic institutions - such as hospitals, homes and monastery gardens - had not been as bad as elsewhere.


Without judging members of the Church in their willingness for involvement, I still find this statement insulting. It is like justifying spousal abuse by saying, "At least I never hit my wife in the face, so she had it pretty good." The cardinal should have stopped after outlining Catholic involvement, rather than trying to equivocate their guilt.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 19:51:00 UTC | #150083

talib's Avatar Comment 22 by talib

This is interesting because without the church's constant attacks on Jews throughout history ( blood libel allegations, Crusades , Host Desecration...) There may have not been as much pent up anger towards them. This is of course just speculation.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 20:39:00 UTC | #150089

7Fred7's Avatar Comment 23 by 7Fred7

This Nazi business is too horrifically serious to be glib about. In the face of such appalling atrocities, there's a great deal that's forgivable. In asking why members of the Catholic church did as they did, one might also ask why so many 'good' German citizens didn't make a stand, or why those about to be exterminated didn't rebel. Some things can be hard to grasp unless you've been right there in the thick of it. In reflecting upon such gross horrors people should attempt to stand united, and suspend the relatively petty arguments about religion or lack of it.

Wed, 09 Apr 2008 22:13:00 UTC | #150102

Valiant's Avatar Comment 24 by Valiant

It's 60 years ago, get over it

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 00:48:00 UTC | #150150

Ian's Avatar Comment 25 by Ian

I'm afraid the churches' record on human kindness has never been as good as they tell you or as you'd expect from their claim to piety.

This is largely because they tend to align themselves with (and come from) the middle classes and so inherit a conservative(small C, people) agenda.

On the subject of standing up against the rise of Nazism: like the communists in Russia, the Nazis had significant popular support - enough for people to fear retribution if they spoke out and of course, once they'd caved in on misdameanours, it became increasingly difficult to oppose more serious crimes. It is by enticing people on to slippery slopes like this that such regimes get and then increase their purchase upon the population.

We'd all like to think we wouldn't co-operate, but in truth we'd never be given enough information at the start to make it clear what was going on.

It would be better to hope you'd have the courage to go back on your word when you realised what was happening.

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 01:08:00 UTC | #150152

Jon_Sociologist's Avatar Comment 26 by Jon_Sociologist

So I am curious how this all squares with the allegations by high level church officials, that the Nazis were an "Atheist" organization. Why would an "Explicitly Atheist" organization give slaves to churches? It seems a little odd to force people to work for a church that you are supposedly opposed to. It would seem to lend weight to the other side. It seems to make much more sense in light of the fact that most Nazis were christians, and that Hitler was a baptized catholic who constantly used terms such as providence ("A manifestation of divine care or direction").

Of course if they can ignore lines such as:

I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.

Adolf Hitler
then they can ignore anything. (source: stephenjaygould.org)

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 02:37:00 UTC | #150195

epeeist's Avatar Comment 27 by epeeist

Comment #158068 by Jon_Sociologist

So I am curious how this all squares with the allegations by high level church officials, that the Nazis were an "Atheist" organization.
This is one to put on the bookmark list.

The next time someone comes along with an argumentum ad hitlerum then there is an admission by the church, not just some debatable evidence from Hitler's writings.

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 02:43:00 UTC | #150198

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 28 by DamnDirtyApe

Is there anyone the church may wronged who they have NOT thrown money at?

Who are they represented by, Michael Jackson's legal team?

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 03:00:00 UTC | #150208

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 29 by FightingFalcon



Don't you think if the church (not an individual) stood up and said this is wrong, that maybe, just maybe, millions of Jews and thousands of soldiers would not have had to die in the 1940's?

Here's my reasoning, feel free to shoot me down please...

If the church stood up then, maybe, the UK, France, the US etc would not have waited so long before acting against Hitler.

Would the US been able to say out of the WWII until a Pearl Harbour if their people back home knew what was going on - told by their church it was wrong?


Nothing was going to stop the outbreak of WWII - certainly not opposition from the Catholic Church. Chamberlain and Petain were completely opposed to the idea of using force against Hitler before the invasion of Poland. Petain even attempted to get out of his obligations to Poland after Hitler invaded but ultimately had his hand forced by the British.

I would need to look at my dates again but I don't know how much earlier the United States would have entered the war. The Einsatzgruppen weren't organized until the invasion of the USSR in June 1941 and the execution camps followed shortly after. Concentration camps had existed since the rise of Hitler but these were mainly holding areas for political dissidents. There was quite a difference between an execution camp and a concentration camp.

My point being that even had the Church told the rest of the world what was going on (and I question how much it truly knew about the Holocaust), then it wouldn't have really affected the entrance of the US into the war. Wide-spread killing of untermensch didn't start until the invasion of the USSR anyway.

EDIT:


I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.

Adolf Hitler


Hitler said a lot of things in public that he obviously had no belief in. By no stretch of the imagination was Hitler a Catholic or a Christian. His personal brand of Positive Christianity, which he tried to force upon the German people, had almost nothing in common with Christianity. Hitler knew the benefit of religion keeping the people content and therefore did not make the same mistake that Bismarck made in the Kulturkampf.

Hitler was an avowed Occultist and Ariosophist. There is no reason to believe that he was a Catholic or even a Christian.

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 03:29:00 UTC | #150232

j.mills's Avatar Comment 30 by j.mills

Hitler was an avowed Occultist and Ariosophist. There is no reason to believe that he was a Catholic or even a Christian.


Er, apart from his repeated declarations of his Christianity?

Falcon, if what a person SAYS is their religion cannot be taken as, uh, 'gospel', then how on earth DO you determine a person's religion? Two people who believe themselves Christian can have wildly different views on (for instance) God's take on homosexuality.

My point is that there's no consensus benchmark of values that you could use to check if a person's deeds correlated with a particular religion. So surely if Hitler says he's a Christian, he's a Christian? If that's not so, then what criteria DO you use?

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 04:41:00 UTC | #150255