The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933-45

By J. S. Conway | Go to book overview

Appendix 5: The Twenty-Eight Theses of
the Saxon National Church for the Internal
strengthening of the German Evangelical
Church
(Printed in Kirkliches Jahrbuch 1933-44 (Gutersloh 1948), pp. 30-2)
CHURCH AND STATE
The Theses I to 5 are to be read in conjunction with Paragraph 24 (2) of the programme of the NSDAP, since the Party and therewith the State represent the viewpoint of positive Christianity.
i. The German Evangelical Church exists within the State. She cannot lead a secondary role besides the State as certain factors hostile to Christianity would wish it to be. She cannot remain in a neutral position vis-a-vis the State, as those circles would prefer which meet the National Socialist State with suspicion. She cannot be a Church above the State which corresponds to the Roman Catholic attitude. Neither can she be a Church below the state. Only as a Church within the State can she be a National Church. Thus Luther's original theories about the State and Church can become a reality.
2. The Lutheran Church for the sake of its close relationship to the people cannot assume a hostile attitude vis-a-vis the National Socialist State. As the people's Church she must have full confidence in the State. The leaders of the Church can be only persons who possess the confidence of the leadership of the State. The State grants the Church full and free action because both State and Church belong to the two great forces of order in a nation. Their relationship is based on confidence not on legalistic agreements.
3. The National Church commits itself to the doctrines of blood and race because our people share a common blood and a common existence.

-353-

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