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Affidavits of Lorenz Hagen, Chair-
6. SUPPRESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
A. The Nazi conspirators sought to subvert the influence of the churches over the people of Germany.
(1) They sought to eliminate the Christian Churches in Germany.
(a) Statements of this aim. Martin Bormann stated in a secret decree of the Party Chancellery signed by him and distributed to all Gauleiters 7 June 1941:
“Our National Socialist ideology is far loftier than the con
cepts of Christianity, which in their essential points have been taken over from Jewry * *. A differentiation between the various Christian confessions is not to be made here
the Evangelical Church is just as inimical to us as the Catholic Church.
All influences which might impair or damage the leadership of the people exercised by the Fuehrer with the help of the NSDAP must be eliminated. More and more the people must be separated from the churches and their organs the pastors. Just as the deleterious influences of astrologers, seers and other fakers are eliminated and suppressed by the State, so must the possibility of church influence also be totally removed.
Not until this has happened, does the state leadership have influence on the individual citizens. Not until then are the people and Reich secure in their existence
for all time." (D-75) Hans Kerrl, Reich Minister for Church Affairs, in a letter dated 6 September 1939 to a Herr Stapel, which indicated that it would be brought to the attention of the Confidential Council and of the defendant Hess, made the following statements:
“The Fuehrer considers his efforts to bring the Evangelical
(129-PS) Gauleiter Florian, in a letter dated 23 September 1940 to the defendant Hess, stated :
"The churches with their Christianity are the danger against
which to fight is absolutely necessary." (064-PS) Regierungsrat Roth, in a lecture 22 September 1941, to a group of Security Police, in the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) concluded his address on Security Police (Sipo) measures for combatting church politics and sects with the following remarks:
"The immediate aim: the church must not regain one inch of the ground it has lost. The ultimate aim: Destruction of the Confessional Churches to be brought about by the collection of all material obtained through the intelligence service (Nachrichtendienst) activities which will at a given time be produced as evidence for the charge of treasonable activi.
ties during the German fight for existence." (1815-PS) The Party Organization Book states:
"Bravery is valued by the SS man as the highest virtue of men in a struggle for his ideology.
"He openly and unrelentingly fights the most dangerous ene-
selves to the National Socialistic ideology." (1855-PS) (6) The Nazi conspirators promoted beliefs and practices incompatible with Christian teachings. The 24th point of the Program of the NSDAP, unchanged since its adoption in 1920, is as follows:
"We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility." (1708
PS) In official correspondence with the defendant Rosenberg in 1940, Bormann stated :
“Christian religion and National Socialist doctrines are not compatible.
The churches cannot be subjugated through compromise, only through a new philosophy as
prophesied in Rosenberg's works.” He then proposed creation of a National Socialist Catechism to provide a "moral foundation" for a National Socialist religion which is gradually to supplant the Christian churches. He stated the matter was so important it should be discussed with members of the Reich Cabinet as soon as possible and requested Rosenberg's opinion before the meeting. (098-PS)
In a secret decree of the Party Chancellery, signed by Bormann and distributed to all Gauleiters on 7 June 1941, the following statements appeared:
"When we National Socialists speak of a belief in God, we do not understand by God, like naive Christians and their spiritual opportunists, a human-type being, who sits around somewhere in the sphere * * *. The force of natural law, with which all these innumerable planets move in the universe, we call the Almighty, or God. The claim that this world force * can be influenced by so-called prayers or other astonishing things is based upon a proper dose of naiveté or on a business shamelessness.
“As opposed to that we National Socialists impose on ourselves the demand to live naturally as much as possible, i.e., biologically. The more accurately we recognize and observe the laws of nature and of life, the more we adhere to them, so much the more do we conform to the will of the Almighty. The more insight we have into the will of the Almighty, the
greater will be our successes." (D-75) Rosenberg in his book "The Myth of the 20th Century" advocated a new National Socialist faith or religion to replace the Christian confessions in Germany. He stated that the Catholic and Protestant churches represent “negative Christianity” and do not correspond to the soul of the “Nordic racially determined peoples"; that a German religious movement would have to declare that the idea of neighborly love is unconditionally subordinated to national honor; that national honor is the highest human value and does not admit of any equal valued force such as Christian love. He predicted:
“A German religion will, bit by bit, present in the churches transferred to it, in place of the crucifixion the spirit of fire
-the heroic—in the highest sense.” (2349-PS) The Reich Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst), a National Socialist youth organization, was prohibited from participating in religious celebrations of any kind, and its members were instructed to attend only the parts of such ceremonies as weddings and funerals which took place before or after the church celebration. (107-PS)
The Nazi conspirators considered religious literature undesirable for the Wehrmacht. National Socialist publications were prepared for the Wehrmacht for the expressed purpose of replacing and counteracting the influence of religious literature dissiminated to the troops. (101-PS; 100-PS; 064-PS)
The Nazi conspirators through Rosenberg's Office for Supervision of the Ideological Training and Education of the NSDAP and the Office of the Deputy of the Fuehrer "induced” the substitution of National Socialist mottoes and services for religious prayers and services in the schools of Germany. (070-PS)
On 14 July 1939, Bormann, as Deputy of the Fuehrer, issued a Party regulation excluding clergymen, persons closely connected with the church, and Theology students from membership in the Party. It was further decreed that in the future Party Members who entered the clergy or turned to the study of Theology must leave the Party. (840-PS)
(c) The Nazi conspirators persecuted priests, clergy and members of monastic orders. The priests and clergy of Germany were
subjected by the police to systematic espionage into their daily lives. The Nazi conspirators through the Chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) maintained a special branch of the Security Police and Security Service (Sipo/SD) whose duties were to investigate the churches and maintain constant surveillance upon the public and private lives of the clergy. (1815-PS)
At a conference of these police “church specialists” called by Heydrich, who was then SS Gruppenfuehrer and Chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), in Berlin, 23 September 1941, SS Sturmbannfueherer Hartl, acting for Heydrich, stated that the greatest importance was to be attached to church political activity. The intelligence network in this field, he continued, was to be fostered with the greatest of care and enlarged with the recruitment of informants, particular value being attached to contacts with church circles. He closed his lecture with the following words:
"Each of you must go to work with your whole heart and a true fanaticism. Should a mistake or two be made in the execution of this work, this should in no way discourage you, since mistakes are made everywhere. The main thing is that the enemy should be constantly tackled with determination,
will, and effective initiative." (1815-PS) In a letter of 22 October 1941, Heydrich, as Chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) issued detailed instructions to all State Police Offices outlining the organization of the Catholic Church and directing close surveillance of the activities, writings, and reports of the Catholic clergy in Germany. In this connection he directed:
"Reports are also to be submitted on those Theological students destined for Papal Institutes, and Priests returning from such institutes to Germany. Should the opportunity arise of placing someone for intelligence (Nachrichtendienst) purposes in one of these Institutes, in the guise of a Theological student, we should receive immediate notification.”
(1815-PS) Priests and other members of the clergy were arrested, fined, imprisoned, and otherwise punished by executive measures of the police without judicial process. In his lecture before a conference at the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) in Berlin, for "church specialists," of the Security Police, 22 November 1941, Regierungsrat Roth stated (1815-PS):
“It has been demonstrated that it is impracticable to deal with political offenses (malicious) under normal legal procedure. Owing to the lack of political perception which still