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cussed with the members of the Reich Directorate, comprising the top leaders of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, as soon as possible. (098-PS) At one point in this letter, Bormann stated :

"Christianity and National Socialism are phenomena which originated from entirely different basic causes. Both differ fundamentally so strongly, that it will not be possible to construct a Christian teaching which would be completely compatible with the point of view of the National Socialist ideology; just as the communications of Christian faith would never be able to stand by the ideology of National Socialism in its entirety

(098-PS) After discussing various proposals for the formulation of a Nazi religious credo for instruction in the German school system, Bormann stated:

"The Fuehrer's deputy finds it necessary that all these questions should be thoroughly discussed in the near future in the presence of the Reich Leaders (Reichsleiter] who are especially effected by them

*." (098-PS) In a circular letter, dated 17 June 1938, addressed by Bormann as Reichsleiter and Deputy of the Fuehrer to all Reichsleiter and Gauleiter, there was enclosed a copy of rules prepared by Reichsleiter Hierl, setting forth certain restrictive regulations with respect to participation of the Reich Labor Service in religious celebrations (107-PS). Pertinent portions of the directives issued by Reichsleiter Hierl read as follows:

"The Reich Labor Service is a training school in which the
German youth should be educated to national unity in the
spirit of National Socialism
“What religious beliefs a person has is not a decisive factor,
but it is decisive that he first of all feels himself a German.
“Every religious practice is forbidden in the Reich Labor
Service because it disturbs the comradelike harmony of all
working men and women.
“On this basis, every participation of the Reich Labor Serv-
ice in churchly, that is religious, arrangements and celebra-

tions is not possible.” (107-PS) The position of Bormann as Deputy of the Fuehrer and chief of the Nazi Party Chancellery, and the position of Rosenberg as the Fuehrer's Representative for the Whole Spiritual and Philosophical Education of the Nazi Party, give to the foregoing views on religion and religious policy the highest official backing. The anti-Christian utterances and policies of these two conspirator



defendants reveal a community of mind and intention amongst the most powerful leaders of the party which was amply confirmed by the actual treatment of the churches since 1933 and throughout the course of the conspiracy. An excerpt from page 514 of “The Myth of the 20th Century," written by Rosenberg, reads as follows:

“The idea of honor-national honor—is for us the beginning and the end of our entire thinking and doing. It does not admit of any equal-valued center of force along side of it, no matter of what kind, neither Christian love, nor the Free-Masonic humanity, nor the Roman philosophy.(2349–

PS) In addition to promoting beliefs and practices fundamentally incompatible with Christianity, the Leadership Corps participated in the persecution of priests, clergy, and members of religious orders. A Gestapo telegram, dated 24 July 1938, dispatched from Berlin to Nurnberg, deals with demonstrations and acts of violence against Bishop Sproll in Rottenburg (848-PS). The Gestapo office in Berlin wired its Nurnberg office the following teletype account received from its Stuttgart office of disorderly conduct and vandalism carried out by Nazi Party members against Bishop Sproll:

“The Party on 23 July 1939 from 2100 on carried out the third demonstration against Bishop Sproll. Participants, about 2500–3000, were brought in from outside by bus, etc. The Rottenburg populace again did not participate in the demonstration. This town took rather hostile attitude toward the demonstrations. The action got completely out of hand of the Party member responsible for it. The demonstrators stormed the palace, beat in the gates and doors. About 150 to 200 people forced their way into the palace, searched through the rooms, threw files out of the windows and rummaged through the beds in the rooms of the palace. One bed was ignited

The Bishop was with Archbishop Groeber of Freiburg and the ladies and gentlemen of his menage in the chapel at prayer. About 25 to 30 people pressed into this chapel and molested those present. Bishop Groeber was taken for Bishop Sproll. He was grabbed by the robe and dragged back and forth

*." (848-PS) The Gestapo official in Stuttgart added that Bishop Groeber de· sired "to turn to the Fuehrer and Reich Minister of the Interior, Dr. Frick, anew"; and that he had found a full report of the demonstration after "suppressing counter mass meetings.” (848-PS)

On 23 July 1938 the Reich Minister for Church Affairs, Kerrl,


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sent a letter to the Minister of State and Chief of the Praesidium Chancellery, Berlin, stating that Bishop Sproll had angered the population by abstaining from the plebiscite of 10 April (849PS). In this letter Kerrl stated that the Gauleiter and Governor of Wuerttemberg had decided that, in the interest of preserving the State's authority and in the interest of quiet and order, Bishop Sproll could no longer remain in office. The letter reads in part as follows:

The Reich Governor had explained to the Ecclesiastical Board that he would no longer regard Bishop Sproll as Head of the Diocese of Rottenburg on account of his refraining from the election in the office and that he desired Bishop Sproll to leave the Gau area

because he could assume no guarantee for his personal safety; that in the case of the return of the Bishop of Rottenburg he would see to it that all personal and official intercourse with him on the part of State offices as well as Party offices and the

Armed Forces would be denied." (849-PS) Kerrl further stated in the foregoing letter that his Deputy had moved the Foreign Office, through the German Embassy at the Vatican, to urge the Holy See to persuade Bishop Sproll to resign his Bishopric. Kerrl concluded by stating that should the effort to procure the Bishop's resignation prove unsuccessful

the Bishop would have to be exiled from the land or there would have to be a complete boycott of the Bishop by the authorities

::" (849-PS) On 14 July 1939 Bormann, in his capacity as Deputy of the Fuehrer, issued a party regulation which required party members entering the clergy or undertaking the study of theology to leave the party (840-PS). The last paragraph of the regulation reads as follows:

"I decree that in the future party members who enter the clergy or who turn to the study of theology have to leave the

party.” (840-PS) In this directive Bormann also referred to an earlier decree, dated 9 February 1937, in which he had ruled that the admission of members to the clergy into the party was to be avoided. In that decree also Bormann referred with approval to a regulation of the Reich Treasurer of the NSDAP, dated 10 May 1939, providing that

"clergymen, as well as other fellow Germans, who are also closely connected with the church, cannot be admitted into

the party.” (840-PS) In the Allocution of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, to the Sacred

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College on 2 June 1945, His Holiness, after declaring that he had acquired an appreciation of the great qualities of the German people in the course of 12 years of residence in their midst, expressed the hope that Germany could rise to new dignity and new life once it had laid the satanic specter raised by National Socialism, and after the guilty had expiated the crimes they have committed (3268-PS). After referring to repeated violations by the German government of the Concordat concluded in 1933, His Holiness declared :

“The struggle against the Church did, in fact, become ever more bitter: there was the dissolution of Catholic organizations; the gradual suppression of the flourishing Catholic schools, both public and private; the enforced weaning of youth from family and Church; the pressure brought to bear on the conscience of citizens, and especially of civil servants; the systematic defamation, by means of a clever, closely-organized propaganda, of the Church, the clergy, the faithful, the Church's institutions, teachings and history; the closing, dissolution, confiscation of religious houses and other ecclesiastical institutions; the complete suppression of the Catholic press and publishing houses "In the meantime the Holy See itself multiplied its representations and protests to governing authorities in Germany, reminding them, in clear and energetic language, of their duty to respect and fulfill the obligations of the natural law itself that were confirmed by the Concordat. In those critical years, joining the alert vigilance of a Pastor to the longsuffering patience of a father, Our great Predecessor Pius XI fulfilled his mission as Supreme Pontiff with intrepid courage. “But when, after he had tried all means of persuasion in - vain, he saw himself clearly faced with deliberate violations of a solemn pact, with a religious persecution masked or open, but always rigorously organized, he proclaimed to the world, on Passion Sunday 1937, in his Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, what National-Socialism really was; the arrogant apostasy from Jesus Christ, the denial of His doctrine and of His work of redemption, the cult of violence, the idolatry of race and blood, the overthrow of human liberty and dignity "From the prisons, concentration camps and fortresses are now pouring out, together with the political prisoners, also the crowds of those, whether clergy or laymen, whose only crime was their fidelity to Christ and to the faith of their


fathers or the dauntless fulfillment of their duties as priests

“In the forefront, the number and harshness of the treatment meted out to them, were the Polish priests. From 1940 to 1945, 2,800 Polish ecclesiastica and religious were imprisoned in that camp; among them was the Auxiliary bishop of Wloclawek, who died there of typhus. In April last there were left only 816, all the others being dead except for two or three transferred to another camp. In the summer of 1942, 480 German-speaking ministers of religion were known to be gathered there; of these, 45 were Protestants, all the others Catholic priests. In spite of the continuous inflow of new internees, especially from some dioceses of Bavaria, Rhenania and Westphalia, their number, as a result of the high rate of mortality, at the beginning of this year, did not surpass 350. Nor should we pass over in silence those belonging to occupied territories, Holland, Belgium, France (among whom the Bishop of Clermont), Luxembourg, Slovenia, Italy. Many of those priests and laymen endured indescribable sufferings for their faith and for their vocation. In one case the hatred of the impious against Christ reached the point of parodying on the person of an interned priest, with barbed wire, the scourging and crowning with thorns

of our Redeemer.” (3268-PS) The Leadership Corps participated in the confiscation of church and religious property. A letter dated 19 April 1941 from Reichsleiter Bormann to Reichsleiter Rosenberg exposes the participation of the Gauleiter in measures relating to the confiscation of religious property (072-PS). The letter reads in part as follows:

"The libraries and art objects of the monasteries confiscated in the Reich were to remain for the time being in these monasteries, insofar as the Gauleiter had not determined other

wise." (072-PS) On 21 February 1940, the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Heydrich, wrote a letter to the Reichsfuehrer SS, Himmler, proposing that certain listed churches and monasteries be confiscated for the accommodation of so-called racial Germans. (Himmler was a Reichsleiter in the Leadership Corps by virtue of his position as Reichsfuehrer of the SS.) After pointing out that, on political grounds, outright expropriation of religious property would not be feasible at the time, Heydrich suggested certain specious interim actions with respect to the church properties in question, to be followed progressively by outright confiscation (R-101-A). Heydrich's letter makes the following statements :

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