The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933-45

By J. S. Conway | Go to book overview

Appendix 12: Treatment of a Lutheran
Pastor who protested against the persecution
of the Jews in 1938

(Reprinted from a mimeographed newsletter of the Confessing Church)

Pastor Julius von Jan of Oberlenningen, Württemberg, in his sermon on the National Day of Contrition and Prayer, 13 November 1938, amongst other things spoke out in a clear and unmistakable manner against the pogrom against the Jews. He declared:

'A crime has been committed in Paris. The murderer will undoubtedly receive his due punishment, because he has offended against the divine law. All our people are saddened by the horror of this event, and express our sympathy with the victim of this criminal act. But who would have believed that this one crime in Paris could have resulted in so many crimes here in Germany as a result? Here we see the reckoning for the great apostasy from God and Christ, arising out of organized anti-Christianity. Passions have been unloosed, God's commandments have been despised, the houses of God, which were holy places to others, have been burned down, and the arsonists left unpunished. The property of foreigners has been confiscated or destroyed. Men who have served our people loyally and done their duty in all conscience, have been thrown into concentration camps, simply because they belonged to another race! Even if the authorities do not admit this wrong, our sense of decency is offended, even if no one dares to speak about it. And we Christians cannot fail to see how this injustice condemns our people in the sight of God, and must bring his justified punishment upon Germany. Since it is written: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Yes, this is the terrible seed of hatred, which is now once again being

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