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prevails among the legal authorities, suspension of this pro-
7. Protective custody."
On the death of von Hindenburg, the Reich Government ordered the ringing of all church bells on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th August 1934. In Bavaria, there were many instances of failure to comply with this order. The Bavarian police submitted a report outlining the above situation and stating that in three cases the taking into protective custody of recalcitrant clergy could not be avoided.
“The Parish priest, Father Johann Quinger of Altenkun-
felsdorf, BA Burglengenfeld, refused to ring the church bells on the 2nd and 3rd. He is badly tainted politically and had to be taken into protective custody from the 5th to the 8th
of August 34 in the interests of his own safety." (1521-PS) After Hitler's rise to power, Bishop Sproll of Rottenburg delivered a series of sermons regarded by the Nazis as damaging, and on 10 April 1938 he refrained from voting in the plebiscite. For this, the Reich Governor of Wuertemberg declared he would no longer regard Bishop Sproll as head of the Diocese of Rottenburg; made an official request that he leave the Gau; and declared he would see to it that all personal and official intercourse between the Bishop and the State and Party offices as well as the Armed Forces would be denied (849-PS). For his alleged failure to vote in the plebiscite, of 10 April 1938, the Party caused three demonstrations to be staged against the Bishop and his household in Rottenburg. The third demonstration was described as follows in a teletype message from Gestapo Office Stuttgart to Gestapo Office Berlin:
"The Party on 23 July 1938 from 2100 on carried out the third demonstration against Bishop Sproll. Participants about 2,500-3,000 were brought in from outside by bus, etc. The Rottenburg populace again did not participate in the demonstration. The town took rather a hostile attitude to 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 the rooms, threw files out of the windows and rummaged through the beds in the rooms of the palace. One bed was ignited. Before the fire got to the other objects of equipment in the rooms and the palace, the flaming bed could be thrown from the window and the fire extinguished. 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. Finally the intruders realized that Bishop Groeber is not the one they are seeking. They could then be persuaded to leave the building. After the evacuation of the palace by the demonstrators I had an interview with Archbishop Groeber, who left Rottenburg in the night. Groeber wants to turn to the Fuehrer and Reich Minister of the Interior Dr. Frick anew. On the course of the action, the damage done as well as the homage
of the Rottenburg populace beginning today for the Bishop I shall immediately hand in a full report, after I am in the
act of suppressing counter mass meetings." (848-PS) Reich Minister for Church Affairs Kerrl and other Party officials alleged that these demonstrations were spontaneously staged by indignant citizens of Rottenburg and caused representations to be made to the Holy See in an effort to effect the Bishop's removal from office. (8.49-PS)
On or about 3 December 1941, a copy of a secret decree of the Party Chancellery on the subject of Relationship of National Socialism to Christianity was found by the Security Police in the possession of Protestant Priest Eichholz at Aix-la-Chapelle. For this he was arrested and held for questioning for an unknown period of time. (D-75)
(d) The Nazi conspirators confiscated church property. On 20 January 1938, the Gestapo District Office at Munich issued a decree dissolving the Guild of the Virgin Mary of the Bavarian Diocese, together with its branches and associations. The decree also stated:
"The property belonging to the dissolved Guild is to be confiscated by the police. Not only is property in cash to be confiscated, but also any stock on hand and other objects of value. All further activity is forbidden the dissolved Guilds, particularly the foundation of any organization intended as a successor or as a cover. Incorporation as a body into other women's societies is also to be looked on as a forbidden continuation of activity. Infringements against the above prohibition will be punished according to par. 4 of the order of
28.2.1933." The reasons for the dissolution and confiscation were that the Guild of the Virgin Mary had occupied itself for years “to a most far-reaching degree" with arrangements of a "worldly and popular sporting character” such as community games and "social evenings”; and further that the president of the society supplied the members with "seditious materials" which served for "seditious discussions”; and that the members of the Guild were trained and mobilized for “political and seditious tasks.” (1481-PS)
In a lecture delivered to a conference of police investigators of Church Affairs assembled in the lecture hall of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) in Berlin, 22 September 1941, Regiersrungsrat Roth stated that about 100 monasteries in the Reich had been dissolved and pointed out that the proper procedure called for seizure of the churches at the same time the monasteries were dissolved. (1815-PS)
In February 1940, SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich suggested to Himmler the seizure of monasteries for the accommodation of Racial Germans. He proposed that the authorities of the monastic orders be instructed to make the monasteries concerned available and move their own members to less populous monasteries. He pointed out that the final expropriation of properties thus placed at their disposal could be carried out step by step in the course of time. Himmler agreed to this proposal and ordered the measure to be carried out by the Security Police and Security Service (Sipo and SD) in collaboration with the Reich Commissioner for Consolidation of German Folkdom. (R-101-A)
These orders for confiscation were carried out, as revealed in a letter dated 30 March 1942 from the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) Chief of Staff to Himmler mentioning claims for compensation pending in a number of confiscation cases. In this letter he stated that all rental payments to those monasteries and ecclesiastical institutions whose premises had been put to use as camps for resettlers had been stopped on receipt of Himmler's order. Concerning current developments, he stated:
“After further preparations in which the Party Chancellery participated prominently, the Reich Minister of the Interior found a way which makes it possible to seize ecclesiastical premises practically without compensation and yet avoids the impression of being a measure directed against the Church.
(R-101-D) In a letter of 19 April 1941, Bormann advised Rosenberg that libraries and art objects of the monasteries confiscated in the Reich were to remain for the time being in these monasteries and that the Fuehrer had repeatedly rejected the suggestion that centralization of all such libraries be undertaken. (072-PS)
(e) The Nazi conspirators suppressed religious publications. On 6 November 1934, Frick, as Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior, issued an order forbidding until further notice publication of all announcements in the daily press, in pamphlets and other publications, which dealt with the Evangelical Church; with the exception of official announcements of the Church Government of the Reich. (1498-PS)
By order of the State Police for the District of Duesseldorf, the Police Regulation which is quoted in part below was promulgated 28 May 1934:
"The distribution and sale of published items of any sort in connection with worship or religious instructions in public streets or squares near churches is forbidden. In the same sense the distribution and sale of published items on the oc
casions of processions, pilgrimages and similar church institutions in the streets or squares they pass through or in
their vicinity is prohibited.” (R-145) In January 1940, Bormann informed Rosenberg that he had sought to restrict production of religious publications by means of having their rations of printing paper cut down through the control exercised by Reichsleiter Amann, but that the result of these efforts remained unsatisfactory. (101-PS)
In March 1940, Bormann instructed Reichleiter Amann, Director of the NSDAP Publications Office, that in any future redistribution of paper, confessional writings should receive still sharper restrictions in favor of literature politically and ideologically more valuable. He went on to point out:
according to a report I have received, only 10% of the over 3000 Protestant periodicals appearing in Germany, such as Sunday papers, etc. have ceased publication
for reasons of paper saving." (089-PS) In April 1940, Bormann informed the High Command of the Navy that use of the term "Divine Service" to refer exclusively to the services arranged by Christian Confessions was no longer to be used, even in National Socialist daily papers. In the alternative he suggested :
“In the opinion of the Party the term 'Church Service' cannot be objected to. I consider it fitting since it properly implies meetings arranged and organized by the Churches."
(068-PS) (f) The Nazi conspirators suppressed religious organizations. On 28 May 1934, the State Police Office for the District of Duesseldorf issued an order concerning denominational youth and professional organizations which stated in part as follows:
“Denominational youth and professional organizations as
(R-145) On 20 July 1935, Frick, as Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior, issued secret instructions to the provincial governments and to the Prussian Gestapo that Confessional youth organizations were to be forbidden to wear uniforms, or uniform