Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Late Modern European -- Clemens August Graf Von Galen: Neue Forschungen Zum Leben Und Wirken Des Bischofs Von Munster Edited by Joachim Kuropka

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Late Modern European -- Clemens August Graf Von Galen: Neue Forschungen Zum Leben Und Wirken Des Bischofs Von Munster Edited by Joachim Kuropka

Article excerpt

Clemens August Graf von Galen: Neue Forschungen zum Leben und Wirken des Bischofs von Muenster. Edited by Joachim Kuropka. (Muenster: Regensburg. 1992. Pp. 439. DM 48.)

Clemens August Graf von Galen, Bishop of Muenster (and, after the war, Cardinal), earned the reputation of being a resister to National Socialism. At home and abroad, von Galen was depicted as a representative of the "other" Germany; the Germany which refused to be co-ordinated to Nazism's ideology. He received worldwide fame in August, 1941, when he delivered a series of sermons in which he took aim at Nazi policies, especially that of the euthanasia program. Von Galen, the strong Catholic prelate, opposed Nazism's attempts to interfere with the practice of Catholicism in Germany. Von Galen, the ultra-nationalist, at the same time praised the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

This works suggests the complexities of a conservative German Catholic nationalist who chose his positions concerning National Socialism selectively. Several German monographs studying the bishop already exist. The present volume is a valuable collection of recent studies, edited by Joachim Kuropka. Brought up in an aristocratic and strict household, the young "Clau's" intellectual and spiritual development is explored in the first three essays. Barbara Imbusch cites von Galen's ultranationalism during World War I when he called for the placement of the Lithuanian population by settling German Catholic nobility in their place (p. 39). Other essays, such as Klemen-August Recker's, show von Galen to have been not only ultra-nationalistic, but also anti-democratic and anti-socialist.

Joachim Maier and Susanne Leschinski focus on the bishop's ideas of justice and natural rights. …

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