German Catholics and Hitler's Wars: A Study in Social Control

German Catholics and Hitler's Wars: A Study in Social Control

German Catholics and Hitler's Wars: A Study in Social Control

German Catholics and Hitler's Wars: A Study in Social Control

Excerpt

WHEN THE WRITER left for Germany it was his intention to discover, if possible, what had happened to the German Catholic peace movement and its participants during the years of Nazi domination and, of course, during World War II. Such a movement had been formed shortly after the conclusion of the First World War and by the time Hitler came to power had achieved a remarkable degree of strength and standing. Under the leadership of the Friedensbund deutscher Katholiken (German Catholic Peace Union) and its principal founder and theorist, Franziskus Stratmann, O.P., the movement's impact led Catholics in other nations as well to begin giving new and serious consideration to the pacifist implications of their Faith. True, the German movement was not the sole source of such interest and concern; the horrors of World War I and its aftermath of almost complete disillusionment had inspired many similar movements, non-Catholic as well as Catholic, in other European nations. But few could claim the membership attained by the Friedensbund or the "official" tone given to it by its participation in the annual Katholikentag gatherings.

In a letter to the writer, Father Stratmann recalled that the Friedensbund had 40,000 members at one point in its history. This . . .

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