Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

III
1. Clergymen and officials whose previous practice offers no security that at all times they appear unreservedly for the national State and the German Evangelical Church may be retired.
2. Clergymen or officials of non-Aryan extraction or married to persons of nonAryan extraction are to be retired.
3. Application of Section 2 may be waived in cases of persons who have rendered exceptional services toward the advancement [Aufbau] of the church in the German spirit.
4. Provisions of Section 2 are not valid for clergymen or officials who have already since August 1, 1914 been clergymen or officials of the church, of the Reich, of a [German] state [Land], or of any other corporation of public law, or who were at the front for the German Reich or its allies in the World War or whose fathers or sons fell in the World War.

Source: Joachim Beckmann (ed.), Evangelische Kirche im Dritten Reich (Gütersloh, Germany, 1948), pp. 24-25.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

C. S. Macfarland, The New Church and the New Germany ( New York, 1934), pp. 62-84. References for Document 145.


148
Barmen Confession May 29-31, 1934

Resistance to the Nazis and the German Christians was soon organized and expanded as the government's program became clearer. Led chiefly by Karl Barth ( 1886-1968), then professor at Bonn, the opposition group denounced the nationalist heresy and protested the decision of the Old Prussian Union synod to Aryanize the church. In 1933 the Pastors' Emergency League was formed with the vow drafted by Martin Niemöller ( 1892-1984):

1. I engage to execute my office as Minister of the Word, holding myself bound to the Holy Scriptures and to the Confessions of the Reformation as the true exegesis of the Holy Scriptures.
2. I engage to protest, irrespective of the sacrifice involved, against every violation of this Confessional position.
3. I hold myself responsible to the utmost of my ability for those who are persecuted on account of this Confessional position.
4. Under this vow I testify that a violation of the Confessional

From Arthur Frey, Cross and Swastika ( London, 1938). Translated by J. Strathearn McNab. Copyright, 1938, by SCM Press, Limited. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

-379-

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