Hitler's Priests

Catholic Clergy and National Socialism
Northern Illinois University Press
  • erschienen am 14. April 2008
  • |
  • 369 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-60909-242-9 (ISBN)

Shaken by military defeat and economic depression after War World I, Germans sought to restore their nationÆs dignity and power. In this context the National Socialist Party, with its promise of a revivified Germany, drew supporters. Among the most zealous were a number of Catholic clergymen known as \u201cbrown priests\u201d who volunteered as Nazi propagandists. In this insightful study, Spicer unearths a dark subchapter in Roman Catholic history, introduces the principal clergymen who participated in the Nazi movement, examines their motives, details their advocacy of National Socialism, and explores the consequences of their political activism. Some brown priests, particularly war veterans, advocated National Socialism because it appealed to their patriotic ardor. Others had less laudatory motives: disaffection with clerical life, conflicts with Church superiors, or ambition for personal power and fame. Whatever their individual motives, they employed their skills as orators, writers, and teachers to proclaim the message of Nazism. Especially during the early 1930s, when the Church forbade membership in the party, these clergymen strove to prove that Catholicism was compatible with National Socialism, thereby justifying their support of Nazi ideology. Father Dr. Philipp Haeuser, a scholar and pastor, went so far as to promote antisemitism while deifying Adolf Hitler. The F\u00fchrerÆs antisemitism, Spicer argues, did not deter clergymen such as Haeuser because, although the Church officially rejected the NazisÆ extreme racism, Catholic teachings tolerated hostility toward Jews by blaming them for ChristÆs crucifixion. While a handful of brown priests enjoyed the forbearance of their bishops, others endured reprimand or even dismissal; a few found new vocations with the Third Reich. After the fall of the Reich, the most visible brown priests faced trial for their part in the crimes of National Socialism, a movement they had once so earnestly supported. In addition to this intriguing history about clergymen trying to reconcile faith and politics, Spicer provides a master list-verified by extensive research in Church and government archives-of Catholic clergy who publicly supported National Socialism.

  • Englisch
  • Ithaca
  • |
  • USA
Cornell University Press
  • 5,48 MB
978-1-60909-242-9 (9781609092429)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Kevin Spicer

Table of Contents
Preface Introduction
1. Adapting Catholic Teaching to Nazi Ideology
2. In the Trenches for Hitler
3. The Old Fighters under Hitler's Rule
4. Antisemitism and the Warrior Priest
5. From Nationalism to National Socialism
6. Germanizing Catholicism
7. Judgment Day: Brown Priests on Trial?
Appendix 1: German Catholic Ecclesiastical Structure
Appendix 2: The Brown Priests: Biographical Data
Sources Cited

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