withdraw from the Church
I. Archdiocesan Office, Freiburg in Breisgau
25 November 1942
TO THE ARMED FORCES HIGH COMMAND
For many years so many men from the Waffen-SS have withdrawn from the Church in our diocese that it is impossible to escape the conclusion that a systematic movement is being organized in favour of leaving the Church, which is endangering every Christian commitment in the ranks. Such announcements of the decision to withdraw from the Church from the ranks of the Waffen-SS have lately reached us in an increasing number from field-stations. Last year there were 24, this year there have been so far 27, who have declared their determination to leave the Church, while such declarations from the other armed forces units are scarcely noticeable.
In Radolfzell since 1937 there has been a barracks of the Waffen-SS which holds about 1000 men, formerly the III Germania Regt.; in I940 it became the garrison of the SS Infantry Training Battalion I, and since the beginning of 1941 an SS-NCO Training School. About a third of the unit used to belong to the Catholic Church, but nothing was ever known about any participation by the Catholic members of this barracks in the church services of Radolfzell, which is to a great degree Catholic. Participation in uniform is apparently strictly forbidden, and leaving the camp in civilian clothing is only possible in exceptional cases. Now the Catholic Parish office informed us that the following declaration of intentions to leave the Church have been received from the members of this barracks: 1937, 4; 1938 and 1939, 3 each; 1940, 67, of which 31 were in February, 13 in April; 1941, 56 of which 16 were in April, 26 in August; 1942 up to now 129; groups
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Publication information: Book title: The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933-45. Contributors: J. S. Conway - Author. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1968. Page number: 347.
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