(2 of 6)
Fundamentally, theological inquiry cannot be placed on the same footing as the general fields of knowledge in the Universities as it represents less a free field of knowledge than a confessional (i.e. religious) aim of research. No doubts exist on this ground if the theological faculties in the German High schools are appreciably restricted.
In this case, as you have likewise pointed out in your letter, the clause of the Concordat and the Church Treaties are to be taken into consideration. In the case of certain faculties, which are not mentioned by a specific clause in the Concordat and Church Treaties, as for example Munich and a few others, a suppression can be begun without further to do. This is equally true of the theological faculties in Austria, Vienna and Graz.
But also, in the case of the faculties, which are specifically mentioned in the Concordat or Church Treaties, there now exists a special legal situation, which has been created by the general change in circumstances. Particularly, the introduction of military service and the execution of the Four-Year Plan must be considered. By virtue of these measures, and in addition by virtue of the fact of an extraordinary lack of replacement men in contrast to the earlier numerous replacement men available, it will be necessary to execute a certain reorganization of the German High Schools. Thus economics and simplifications are necessary. I should like to refer particularly once more to these questions on the basis of the oral discussion between Mr. State Minister Dr. Wacker and my expert. Because of this I would appreciate it very much if you would restrict the theological faculties insofar as they cannot be wholly suppressed in accordance with the above statement. In this event the matter concerns not only the theological faculties in the universities, but also the various state establishments which still exist in many places as institutes of high learning exclusively devoted to theology and without connection with a university.
I request in this instance the omission of any express declaration to the churches or to other places as well as the avoiding of a public announcement of these measures. Complaints and the like must be answered (if they are to be replied to) in the fashion that these measures are being executed in the course of the economic plan of reorganization and that similar things are happening to other faculties.
I would appreciate it very much if professorial chairs, thus vacated, can be then turned over to the newly created fields of inquiry of these last years, such as racial research, archeology studies, etc.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: Document Number 116-PS [above] concerns itself with a letter of the Leader of the Reich Chancellery sent to the Reich Minister for Science and Education and is dated 24 January 1939. This document was submitted to me for my information--I emphasize, "for my information." It refers to correspondence between the Party Chancellery and this Ministry regarding the limitation of theological faculty's, in which it is emphasized that the terms of concordats and church agreements would have to be taken into consideration; secondly, that it was necessary methodically to reorganize the entire higher educational system by amalgamation and simplification; and finally, it states that newly created fields of research, such as racial research and archeology, were also to be taken into consideration.
I could not see why, after 6 years of National Socialist revolution, new fields of specialization in scientific research should not find due consideration within the budget. I personally was interested in seeing that the subjects of agrarian sociology and the early history of Germany received proper consideration, specifically in regard to Germanic intellectual and spiritual history.
The Reich Government thus expect that the Royal Norwegian Government and the Norwegian people will respond with understanding to the German measures and over no resistance to them. Any resistance would have to be and would be broken by all possible means by the German forces employed, and would therefore lead only to absolutely useless bloodshed. The Royal Norwegian Government is therefore requested to take all measures with the greatest speed to ensure that the advance of the German troops can take place without friction and difficulty. In the spirit of the good German-Norwegian relations that have always existed, the Reich Government declare to the Royal Norwegian Government that Germany has no intention of infringing by her measures the territorial integrity and political independence of the Kingdom of Norway now or in the future. December 15-16, 1939: Quisling meets in Berlin with Rosenberg.
From von Ribbentrop's IMT testimony: I knew that Rosenberg had friends in Norway and that the name of Quisling was mentioned, but this name meant nothing to me at that time. On the request of the Fuehrer, at that time I gave Rosenberg certain amount of money for his friends in Norway, for newspapers, propaganda, and similar purposes. I knew nothing of these interviews [between Quisling and Rosenberg], according to my recollection.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: Suddenly, after the outbreak of the war, or shortly before--I do not remember exactly--Hagelin, an acquaintance of Quisling's, came to me with apprehensions similar to those expressed by Quisling. After the outbreak of the war, this assistant of Quisling's deported various details about the activity of the Western Powers in Norway. Finally, in December of 1939, Quisling came to Berlin with the declaration that, on the basis of exact information, he knew that the Norwegian Government was only seemingly neutral now, and that in reality it was practically agreed that Norway should give up her neutrality. Quisling himself had formerly been a Minister of War in Norway, and therefore, he should have had exact knowledge of these things.
In accordance with my duty as a German citizen, I recommended that the Fuehrer should hear Quisling. The Fuehrer thereupon received Quisling twice, and at the same time Quisling, with his assistant, Hagelin, visited Navy headquarters and gave them identical information. I spoke once to Raeder after that, and he also recommended to the Fuehrer that he listen to Quisling's report.
I would like to emphasize that although Quisling visited me, I had not been engaged on this question--I had not been involved in these political affairs for 6 years. Naturally, I had to consider it my duty to forward to the Fuehrer reports which, if correct, were a tremendous military threat to Germany, and also to make notes of, and report to the Fuehrer, those things which Quisling told me orally-namely, his plan to bring about a political change in Norway and then to ask Germany for support. At this time-I do not know, this development has been described in those documents produced by the Prosecution in words, which express it much more precisely than I could summarize it here. In Document Number 004-PS [See: June 15, 1940], my staff leader made a short summary of it about 11/2 or 2 months after the Norwegian operation.
From Goering's IMT testimony: One cannot exactly say that Hitler expressed his satisfaction [that Rosenberg had not raised any objection to the Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union]. If Rosenberg had raised any objection, Hitler would probably have expressed his dissatisfaction in a very unmistakable manner; but he did state that Rosenberg, too, had apparently understood this political step.
I have received your letter of 31 August and in no wise neglected your memorandum on the situation of the Evangelical Church in Germany, but read it through immediately. I must tell you that I agree with the portrayal of the situation down to the last word, although I must assume that the "inflation of principles" is also aimed at me. However that did not annoy me, I understand your idea rather completely. So that you understand me too, I want to continue your memorandum with my reasons. You close with the absolutely correct conclusion:
The State should neither combat existing religion nor introduce a new religion. It should allow Christianity to prove by itself that it still has vital force. It should confine itself to spiritual affairs and only exercise compulsion in the production of a legal and administrative unity of the Evangelical Church.
My action is determined however by the following situation:
As you know from the speech of the Fuehrer in the Reichstag on 30 January 1939, every power in exercising compulsion in the production of a legal and administrative unity of the Evangelical Church was completely withdrawn from me. The Fuehrer considers his efforts to bring the Evangelical Church to reason, unsuccessful and the Evangelical Church with respect to its condition rightfully a useless pile of sects. As you emphasize the Party has previously carried on not only a fight against the political element of the Christianity of the Church, but also a fight against membership of Party Members in a Christian confession.
I am of the opinion that in this situation it can very easily eventuate that the "Organization of German Understanding of the Christian Religion Through Luther" will collapse of its own accord, if, as in Austria and in the Sudeten Gau, the privileges, namely of collecting taxes and state subsidies are entirely removed from the Evangelical Church. If it comes to that then from the collapse of the organization of the Evangelical Church the advantage will redound not to the State but to the Catholic Church which cannot receive a mortal blow through such measures in its well-aimed unified, basically political organization.
The Catholic Church will and must, according to the law under which it is set up, remain a thorn in the flesh of a Racial State. An effective combating of it cannot ensue from a State, which thanks to its secure ideological basis desires and must refrain from every intervention into religious things. The National Socialistic State can therefore put nothing positive or new in the place of that which it must perhaps destroy and from the collapsing Evangelical Church the people somewhat deceived about their religion would in large numbers stream into the Catholic Church, and this Church would then divide the people into two mutually hostile groups in a much more regrettable manner than has happened through the confessions.
In addition every negative struggle, which cannot in a positive manner replace that which has been destroyed, is anyhow condemned to failure.
In this factual situation I see an unheard of danger for the religious peace of the German people approaching and, all my efforts--you will understand that--have previously been only directed at eliminating this danger. But that is only possible if the Party learns to distinguish in the clearest manner between religion and ideology and thus, as Luther established and Kant scientifically proved, realizes, that ideology must limit itself to the area of experience, where alone reason can become knowledge. It must further realize that knowledge based on reason alone cannot satisfy the human being here on earth, but, that he (the human being) according to the structure of the "world of freedom within himself", or let us say, according to "the Kingdom of God within himself" cannot overcome the compelling moral necessity to attain certainty concerning the essence of God. The human being is now no "purely moral being", but the torture and the happiness of his earthly life consists in moving about in flesh and blood.
Therefore however we have power over the inevitable weakness of not always being able to harmonize moral thought and deed. To be sure we do not need to be ashamed of original sin or to find our body despicable, for it, and thereby original sin is from God and we are no gods, but human beings. But how could we, who must believe in the moral importance of our life and the world, get along, because we without being sure of our immortality would not be able to yield our bodily life in fulfillment of our duty itself, without a religion going beyond the boundaries of reason? How could we who ourselves are righteous, doubt the fact that God must be just, and how could we demand of him the all-knowing, who knows our thoughts, that he confer on us immortality, if our righteousness condemns the one whom it recognizes as acting against his better moral conviction. Our life here on earth would be senseless, if we could find out nothing about the true essence of God, if we were not in some way certain that it is not righteousness but divine love. But we cannot find it out through knowledge based on reason, but only by the power of faith which we can get for ourselves through the personality of Christ, therefore from the true Christian religion, for which in no wise is the presentation of the priests standard, but only Christ himself.
The "Foundation of the Religion of Christ" rests in our own inner being. The Evangelical Church of today has not been able to lead us to this real "Religion of Christ". This Religion of Christ is only to be grasped if not only the genius of a Luther, but everybody has learned to distinguish the domains of reason and faith. It depends neither on sacred orders nor on sacraments, but one finds the way to it only if one has learned to doubt reason, as this reason has most accurately become acquainted with its magnitude and its narrow boundaries, and only Priests who have grasped that with reason and heart, can penetrate from pseudo-priesthood to the true priesthood and thus fill the hearts of the people with true faith.
Therefore for 15 years I have been working on a book which explains to everybody the scientific basis of National Socialism in such a way that one learns to recognize the extent and the boundaries of reason as well as of ideology and the necessity of the religion of Christ, and comprehends, that in this area Party and State can do only one thing: to completely take one's own position and to renounce any claim to a decision.
I believe I can finish this work at this time; its publication however will not be possible until the return of peace.
However, in order that meanwhile these conclusions mentioned above which would lead to the destruction of the organization of the Evangelical Church, might not occur, it was my most important job to see to it that today's pile of sects in the Evangelical Church would consolidate of their own accord into an organ at least filled with a desire for unity.
Therefore, as I was no longer allowed to issue orders under the State I tried again and again to exercise influence on the district church leaders even though they seemed to be powerless according to your statements approved by me in your memorandum, at least to create this condition for the possibility of preserving the organization of the Lutheran Church. These efforts have at least reached a certain conclusion and become fruitful to such an extent that it was possible to aim at a unity among them over three men, who as a confidential council of the church chancellery now possess the possibility of finding by positive work confidence of the people who feel united in the Evangelical Church.
If these men, Bishop Mardahrens, Bishop Schultz of Mecklenburg and Oberkonsistorialrat Hymmen apprehend the commandment of the hour, then by positive work they can line up the direction of the Evangelical Church with the goals desired by me into a complete legal and administrative unity. If they do not understand how to direct this positive work correctly, then both of us will have to bury the hope of a preservation of the organization of the Lutheran Church, because only the success of such a work can give the Fuehrer the justification of giving us full power in the direction desired by us.
You can imagine that I would much prefer to see you among these three men, because l would then know that the work was being actively and successfully lined up with the goal jointly desired by both of us. However I shall pursue this aim with all the energy in my power as long as I am in my job and the decision of the Fuehrer gives me approval or
These are difficult times into which our people are now entering, but I believe that Providence even here has correctly guided everything. It has through the Fuehrer created for conditions for the inevitable battle, as they cannot be found more favorable. If the German people maintain themselves--and what justifies us in doubting it--everything must come to a good and victorious end, and thereby would be created just the proper condition for the extension of the Third Reich externally in tranquil safety and in well-aimed work at home, but then would be created just the right soil for the possibility of nationalistic church work in the congregations, which you rightfully consider the most important thing.
Please be convinced that I am always happy to think of you and rejoice at every communication from you.
I know that you are a man who has already accomplished extraordinary things for the spiritual enlightenment of the German people and I am convinced that you will still accomplish in the future fruitful things in this work.
I need not emphasize to you that this letter is confidential. However, I shall make accessible to the Confidential Council copies of your splendid memorandum as well as copies of this letter for confidential cognizance. I would be especially glad if in the near future I found the opportunity to discuss orally with Reich Minister Hess your memorandum and my answer.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: Document 129-PS [above] is a letter of the Reich Minister for Churches to a well-known German author, Dr. Stapel, who was especially interested in religious reform. In this letter, the Reich Church Minister expresses the view that a common religious denomination should be especially promoted which would affirm the National Socialist State in particular and, at the same time, could enjoy and rely upon the support of the Reich Church Minister.
In the preliminary interrogation, a letter of mine was submitted to me, written to the Party Chancellery, relative to this matter, in which I declared myself against the calling of such a church congress by the Reich Church Minister on the principal ground that a National Socialist Minister of Churches did not have the function of joining a religious denomination of which he was the direct head, even if undeclared or only in appearance. It is exactly the same viewpoint which has provided the basis for many a reproach against me. If, in addition to publicizing my personal opinion, I had had the intention of providing or leading a religious group, then I would have had to give up all my functions, offices, and activities in the Party. That followed from a point of view of principle which I held. The Minister of Churches, as a National Socialist Minister, was, in my opinion, obliged not to promote a religion to which he was sympathetic, but to be independent of all religious denominations.
Nearly all the districts report to me regularly, that the Churches of both confessions are administering spiritually to members of the Armed Forces. This administering finds its expression especially in the fact that soldiers are being sent religious publications by the spiritual leaders of the home congregations. These publications are in part very cleverly composed. I have repeated reports that these publications are being read by the troops and thereby exercise a certain influence on the morale.
I have in the past sought by sounding out the General Field Marshall, the High Command of the Armed Forces and Party Member Reich Director Amann, to restrict considerably the production and shipment of publications of this type. The result of these efforts remain unsatisfactory. As Reich Director [Reichsleiter] Amann has repeatedly informed me, the restriction of these pamphlets by means of the printing paper rationing has not been achieved because the paper used for the production of these writings is being purchased on the open market. Publications can only be confiscated by special police measures because they are designed to weaken the morale of the troops. Such police measures are really unsatisfactory and in their final execution very much disputed.
Likewise, the prior censorship of all writings by the High Command of the Armed Forces which takes place at the distribution points of the Armed Forces service bureau, is not sufficient in my opinion, to guarantee that the soldiers are not given an undesired influence by the Churches. A publication, the contents of which are clearly tied to the Christian dogma and which do not contain attacks against Party, State or the Armed Forces, can not in general be refused permission by this examining commission.
If the influencing of the soldiers by the Church is to be effectively combated, this will only be accomplished, in my opinion, by producing many good publications in the shortest time possible under the supervision of the Party. These publications should be so composed that the soldiers will really prefer to read them, and at the same time, indoctrinate the soldiers with a National Socialist World philosophy, not the Christian viewpoint.
Thus at the last meeting of the deputy Gauleiterís complaints were uttered on this matter to the effect that a considerable quantity of such publications are not available. This is the reason I believe, that the publication by your expert, Office Director [Amtsleiter] Party Member Ziegler, "Soldier Belief Soldier Honor" [Soldatenglaube--Soldatenehre] has had so great a sale in a short time.
I maintain that it is necessary that in the near future we transmit to the Party Service Offices down to local group directors [Ortsgruppenleitern] a list of additional publications of this sort which should be sent to our soldiers by the local groups, Party military units [Sturme] or their adherents and friends in the field. I should not regard it as necessary or even good if the majority of these publications should have a spiritual or philosophical character. Rather I should regard it as much preferable if these publications in their finished form were styled in as varied a manner as possible, thus having an appeal to all members of the Armed Forces, regardless of their occupational or professional achievements, regardless of their interests and their background.
I should be very appreciative if you would devote your very special attention to this task, in the near future. My expert, Party Member Dr. Klopfer, is available to you for consultation about the material on hand here which is at your disposal at any time upon your call.
As the production of these publications (which at the moment are not in existence) will take a certain amount of time, and as, on the other hand, I believe that the supplying of the troops with good publications ought not to be delayed a day, I should be indebted to you if you would transmit to me a list of the already existing publications which the deputy of the Fuehrer can recommend to the Party Service Offices as suitable for dispatch to the Armed Forces.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: Document 101-PS [above] is a letter from the Chief of the Party Chancellery--at that time still Chief of Staff of the Deputy of the Fuehrer--in which the protest is made that many confessional writings tended to impair the resistance of the troops; and he suggested that it would be better to have my office issue such publications. An answer by me has not been presented here--has not been shown to me. My opinion has always been that, being in a Party office, it was not for me to write religious tracts, but that, of course, it could be left to every person as an individual-if one had something pertinent to say, to put it in writing, as others did . . . .
The Prosecution contends that it is a matter of a premeditated plan for the plundering of the cultural treasures of other states. In reality, the following was true: We were dealing with an unforeseen situation. A colleague of mine had accompanied a press delegation when the German troops marched into Paris and noticed that the Parisians were returning almost completely with the exception of the Jewish population, so that all organizations and institutions in that category of ownership were left behind empty, as well as the residences. and mansions of these leading personalities, so to say, ownerless. He suggested that research into property, archives, and correspondence should be made. I reported the matter to the Fuehrer and asked whether he approved of the carrying out of this suggestion.
This letter of mine to the Fuehrer was submitted to me in the preliminary interrogation but was not submitted to the Tribunal by the Prosecution. Thus, even though the documentary proof of the reason for this entire transaction is at hand, the Prosecution have still maintained the charge of a premeditated plan. The order of the Fuehrer was issued at the beginning of July 1940, and since a large number of art objects, in addition to the archives, was found in a dangerous position in many mansions, the safekeeping and the transporting of these objects of art into the German Reich was decreed by the Fuehrer . . . .
Of course, it was clear that we were concerned with an unusual problem, and for that very reason I did not talk with the military administration but went directly to the Fuehrer, so that I could get his opinion. But I believe the fact in itself can be understood, that we were interested in going into historical research regarding the extent to which, in the course of recent years or decades, various organizations had taken part in the activity which is here under discussion as destructive of peace; secondly, how many prominent persons individually took part in it; and thirdly, I remembered that many works of art, which in past times had been taken from Germany had not been returned to Germany for many decades, despite the agreement of 1815.
Finally, I thought of a measure which in 1914 to 1918 had been recognized by the Allies as being in agreement with the Hague Convention. At that period German citizens of a certain category--they were the racial Germans abroad, in foreign countries, also in occupied German territory-that is, in the colonies--had their property confiscated and later taken from them without compensation to the extent of a value of 25 billion Reichsmark. In the peace dictate of Versailles, Germany was in addition obliged to post security for these dispossessed Germans and to set up a special fund.
The Chief French Prosecutor declared at this Trial that the Versailles Treaty was based on the Hague Convention. Therefore, I drew the conclusion that this measure against a very distinct category of citizens in the midst of unforeseen military measures, with all due respect for private and public property otherwise, appeared justified. During the preliminary hearing, I was also asked about the legal hypotheses and had started to point them out, but I was interrupted with the remark that we were not concerned with that problem at the time.
Dear Party Member Rosenberg:
A few days ago you expressed to the Fuehrer at the Reich Chancellory that Reich Bishop Mueller had written an excellent book for the German soldier. I am of different opinion. This book familiarizes a new soldier who has already given up Christianity with partly camouflaged trains of thought.
As I have written to you already, I consider it the most essential demand of the hour that NS publications worth reading for the German soldier should be written immediately by your Office and other qualified National Socialists. This opinion has been confirmed by many regional Party leaders. Thus we set against the sale of Christian pamphlets the highly increased sale of national socialist publications which are popular.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: Document 100-PS (above) is a reproach from the former Chief of Staff of the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Bormann, that I had stated in the presence of the Fuehrer that the Protestant Reich Bishop, Muller, had written a very good book for the German soldiers. Reichsleiter Bormann said that this book by Muller did not appear suitable to him, because, after all, it was masked confessional propaganda. I do not believe that the reproach directed at me for unhesitatingly approving Reich Bishop Muller's expression of opinion given in a proper way--and naturally in keeping with his way of thinking--can be portrayed as religious persecution.
Subject: Directions for the administration of classes in religion
Dear Party Member Rosenberg: The deputy of the Fuehrer has heard from different sources, that Reich Bishop Mueller tells everywhere, that he received a commission from you to work out directions for formulating the teaching of religion for the schools.
I have not been able to examine the statements of Reich Bishop Mueller as to their correctness. The question, having come up for discussion again by the statements of Reich Bishop Mueller, is however in my mind of such fundamental importance for the future ideological position of the party, that I find it necessary, already now to point out to you the serious objections I have in regard to such a commission.
The ministry for education of the Reich has repeatedly indicated its desire in the course of the past few years for new directions for formulating the teaching of religion, which would also be acceptable to the NSDAP.
With your agreement, this request has repeatedly been refused by the Fuehrer's deputy. Just as your ministry did, so the deputy of the Fuehrer took the position based on the assumption, that it could not be the task of the party to give directions for the instruction of the teachings of Christian religions.
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 communities of Christian faith would never be able to stand by the ideology of national socialism in its entirety. The issuing of national socialist directions for the teaching of religious classes would however be based on a synthesis of national socialism and Christianity which I find impossible.
If the directions should really be permeated by the spirit of national socialism, some very fundamental articles of faith of the Christian teachings could not be recognized. I am referring here only to the position of the Christian churches to the race question, to the question of hindrance or destruction of life not valuable, its position to marriage, which speaks for the celibacy of priests and the toleration and furtherance of orders for monks and nuns, the teaching, contradictory to German feeling, of the immaculate conception of Mary, etc.
No matter how these directions may be formulated, in no case will they ever simultaneously find the approval of the church and the party.
In addition to this, the religions themselves cannot agree on the contents of the Christian teachings; as far as the Protestants themselves are concerned, there are not only the followers of the confessional church in the Reich and the German Christians, but also the adherents of a teaching, which is endeavoring to create a new Lutheran Christendom of a particular kind approximately in the shape which seems desirable to the Reich Minister of churches, party member Kerrl. The party thus would have to decide first which of these directions of faith it would give preference, or if it should even decide for a fourth. I do not think it entirely impossible that the Reich Bishop may take this latter road, since according to his last publication he himself has already turned sharply away from conceptions which up to now have been part of the faith of the German Christians.
But if directions for the instruction of religion should ever be worked out, it will not be enough, to my mind, to make them for Protestants only; respective directions should also be worked out for Catholics. To work out directions for instructions of Catholic faith, the Reich Bishop is hardly the suitable person, and one would probably have to choose a Catholic. Of course the directions for both faiths would differ in fundamental questions, each, however would lay claim to the fact that it really contained the truly authentic interpretation of article 24 of the party program.
By issuing directions nothing would therefore be improved in the present situation in the field of the churches. The fight between the faiths would be carried on in the old form and spread into the lines of the party. Yes, all faiths and Christian groups would attack state and party, because they had assumed to encroach upon their own territory, that of teaching the Christian faith and to try to reform it.
The churches cannot be conquered by a compromise between national socialism and Christian teachings, but only through a new ideology, whose coming you yourself have announced in your writings. Because of this conviction we have always been careful, not to exert a reforming influence on the Christian dogma in any shape nor to exert any influence on the church directives for religious teachings. In complete mutual agreement we have rejected the intention of the Reich Minister for churches who, against the objection of the party, always tried anew to renew the church life in the frame of national socialist spirit, in searching for a compromise between Christian teachings and the ideology of national socialism.
Should, however, any one personality emanating from the life of the church, be charged now to work out directions for the teaching of the Christian religion, the party would thereby basically approve and accept for itself the position of the Reich Minister for the churches previously opposed by it as there is no basic difference between a position which wants to reform and reorganize the church life in its entirety, and one which aims at this goal solely in the realm of the education of youth.
So far we have always been in accord, that by taking such a step the party would leave the soil on which it is firmly planted and would step on the swaying ground of the controversial Christian doctrines. It would enter into the domain of the interpretation of the teachings of Jesus, and there would doubtless be subordinate to those who for centuries have done nothing but interpret and rewrite the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth as written in the old books about the actual wording of which the scientists fight even today. When in later decades and centuries the German people's soul liberated by national socialism should once again be choked and crippled by Christian doctrines, it could be possible that it may have been caused by today's attempt to effect a synthesis between national socialism and Christianity.
On the other hand, of course I am also of the opinion that it is not possible to eliminate the religious instruction in schools without replacing it with something better for the moral education of youth.
Religious instruction as given in schools today does not only comprise the instruction in the Christian doctrines of faith, the teachings of the creation of the world and of the life thereafter; besides, the children receive also instructions in the ten commandments, which for most comrades of the people to this day still are the only directives for their moral behavior and for an orderly collective life in the people's community. If this instruction is taken from the children without replacing it with something better, the objection can be made--in my estimation not without reason, that, as many contend, the present degradation of youth is in part caused by the lack of religious instruction in schools.
What, in my opinion, is therefore necessary is the preparation of a short directive about a national socialist life formulation. We need for the work of education in the party, especially also in the Hitler Youth a short resume in which the ethical principles are documented, to respect which each German boy and girl, who at one time will be representatives of the national socialistic Germany, must be educated. In such a directive for instance belongs the- law of bravery, the law against cowardliness, the commandment of love for the soulful nature in which God makes himself apparent also in the animal and the plant, a commandment to keep the blood pure; many principles also belong here which are for instance also contained in the decalogue of the Old Testament, as far as they can be regarded as moral principles of all people's life.
The publication of such a directive can and must only come out of our national socialist conduct of life. Its commandments of customs need to be explained by reference to any doctrines of faith about the creation of life and about life of the soul after death.
They can and must originate beyond any confessional discussions.
I take the publication of such a directive to be of utmost importance, because the German boys and girls must once be told what they can and must do, and what is forbidden for them to do. I don't even think it necessary to introduce this directive immediately into the schools as a text; it would be sufficient if for the time being it would be introduced into the party and its affiliations. Later it could also be taken over by the schools just as the little Catechism also was not created by the school boards, but first taught by the Church and later taken over by the schools.
As far as the religious instructions in the schools is concerned, I do not think that anything has to be changed in the present situation. No fault can be found with any national socialist teacher, who after the unmistakably clear instructions of the Fuehrer's deputy, is ready to give school instructions in the Christian religion. For the contents of this instruction, however, the directives should still be binding which have in former year been made by the churches themselves. In the circular of the Fuehrer's deputy No. 3/39 of 4 January 1939 it is stated explicitly that the teachers charged with religious instruction are not to choose from the material on biblical history at their own discretion, but have the obligation to teach the entire biblical instruction material. Interpretations, explanations and separations in the sense of several attempts of particular church directions have to be omitted. The pupils must be given the entire picture of the biblical instruction material.
However, the teachers have the right to present this material as property of biblical thought and not as that of Germany or national socialism. If thus in some cases comparison will be drawn, this, according to the circular, corresponds only to the duties of the educator. Against such instruction of religion the churches cannot have any objections.
When, sometime later, the proposed directive for a new German conduct of life first to be used in the educational work of the party, will have found entry into the schools, it shall in no way supplant classes in religion. It may perhaps be used as a foundation for some classes in German and must have validity for all pupils, without consideration of their religious affiliations. Against such educational procedure the churches could not object, either because it would really be a matter of additional education, which would take place next to the religious instruction and without any connection with it. On the contrary, the churches would have reason to be thankful to the state because it is not satisfied with the religious instruction according to the very insufficient moral education based on the ten commandments, but that it is giving youth an additional Education, which makes much higher demands on its moral conduct.
Parallel to that the desire of the parents for the instruction in the doctrines of faith may thus well go on. The stronger and more fertile our positive educational work in the schools will be formulated, however the more certain it is that instruction of religions will be losing in importance.
If the youth which is now being educated according to our moral laws will later have to decide if it is still willing to have its children brought up in the far inferior Christian doctrines, he decision will in most cases be negative.
I would think that today, seven years after taking over the power, it should be possible to set up principles for a national socialist conduct of life. They have long been apparent to the people from the numerous early fighters for the national socialist idea.
As long as we do not master this task, however, it will always be pointed out from various sides, and rightly so, that children, not taking part in religious instruction, are no longer taught even the most simple moral laws which are a standard for the communal life of all nations.
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, who are especially affected by them. I would appreciate it very much if you would let me know your position in this matter before the discussion.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: Document 098-PS (above) contains a new reproach against me by the Chief of the Party Chancellery. He said that Reich Bishop Mueller claimed that he had had directives from me to work out basic principles for the organization of religious instruction in the schools.
Bormann set forth at great length that it was not the task of the Party to engage in reform measures with respect to religious instruction in schools. To this I would like to say the following. I could not give any instructions at all to Reich Bishop Muller on this topic. Nevertheless, the Reich Bishop visited me on two occasions, and on one occasion he told me, virtually with tears in his eyes, that he got no proper response to his work. I told him, "Your Excellency, as a military pastor, you are simply not well enough known to the public. It would be quite apropos if you would write a detailed work setting forth your views and your objectives, so that the various groups of the Evangelical Church might get to know your ideas, and in that way you can make your influence felt in the manner you wish." The Reich Bishop may well have spoken about this, and probably made a few additional remarks. I do not believe that the accusation made here by Bormann can be construed as persecution of the churches either.
Concerns: Confessional writing.
I am referring to the discussion of my expert, party member Dr. Klopfer, with party member Dr. Rienhardt, and inform you once more of the fact that according to a report I have received, only 10% of the over 3000 protestant periodicals in Germany, such as Sunday papers etc. have ceased publication for reason of paper saving. Party member Dr. Rienhardt has already informed my expert that at present the distribution of any paper whatsoever for such periodicals was barred.
I urge you to see to it in any redistribution of paper to be considered later that the confessional writing, which according to experiences so far gathered, possesses very doubtful value for strengthening the power of resistance of the people toward the external foe, receives still sharper restrictions in favor of literature, politically and ideologically more valuable.
Without doubt the draft of an order "for fulfillment of the organizational duty by the production of writings", presented upon your request, will be a suitable means for this purpose.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: Document 089-PS [above] is a letter by Bormann, which he sent to me for my information, in which he told me that he had proposed to Reichsleiter Amann that, because of the general scarcity of paper, religious writings, which had decreased by only 10 percent, should be further curtailed. I did not know to what extent the curtailment of all periodicals was undertaken at that time. I can only state that in the course of the war even the seven periodicals about art, music, folklore, German dramaturgy, et cetera, which were published by my office, were constantly curtailed and abbreviated along with the rest of the periodicals in the German Reich.
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. Those Germans who are not members of a Christian Church may be offended by an announcement in a daily newspaper that only the members of the Christian confession are holding a "divine service". After the National Socialist State has created the conception "God-believing" [Gottglaubig] especially for those Germans who confess the belief in God and who have placed their lives in the "Service of God"--without being members of a Christian confession--it can no longer be justified to refer exclusively to the Services arranged by the Christian confessions as "Divine Services", even in the National Socialist dailies.April 9, 1940: Nazi forces invade Norway and Denmark. From the Annex to IMT Document 007-PS:
The Political Preparation of the Military Occupation of Norway During the War Years 1939/1940: As previously mentioned, of all political groupings in Scandinavia only "Nasjonal Samling", led in Norway by the Former Minister of War and Major of the Reserve Vidkun Quisling, deserved serious political attention. This was a fighting political group, possessed by the idea of a Greater Germanic Community. Naturally all ruling powers were hostile and attempted to prevent. by any means, its success among the population. The Bureau [APA] maintained constant liaison with Quisling and attentively observed the attacks he conducted with tenacious energy on the middle class which had been taken in tow by the English.
From the beginning it appeared probable that without revolutionary events. which would stir the population from their former attitude, no successful progress of Nasjonal Samling was to be expected. During the winter 1938/1939, Quisling was privately visited by a member of the Bureau. When the political situation in Europe came to a head in 1939, Quisling made an appearance at the convention of the Nordic Society [Nordische Gesellschaft] in Luebeck in June. He expounded his conception of the situation, and his apprehensions concerning Norway. He emphatically drew attention to the geopoliticaly decisive importance of Norway in the Scandinavian area, and to the advantages that would accrue to the power dominating the Norwegian coast in case of a conflict between the Greater German Reich and Great Britain.
As the activities of the Allies became more and more noticeable in Norway, Quisling again came to Germany to voice his fears. He was received by Reichsleiter Rosenberg in the early part of December and he again presented his ideas. Firmly convinced that in the long run a genuinely neutral position in the great conflict would become impossible for the small nations and in his in faith in the victory of Greater Germany in this conflict Which also was an ideological one, Quisling considered it his duty Supported as he as by a small but determined minority--to tie Norway's fate to that of a Greater Germany as the new center of strength of a nordic-germanic life community. We knew that his courageous group was the only pro-German Party . . . .
On 20 March on the occasion of his participation in negotiations regarding German deliveries of antiaircraft artillery, he made a detailed report on the unceasing activity of the Allies in Norway with the acquiescence of the Nygardsvold Government. According to his report, the Allies were already inspecting the Norwegian harbor towns for landing and transport facilities. The French Commander, Kermarrec who had orders to that effect"--incidentally I also remember this name spelled Karramac, or something similar--"in a confidential conversation with Colonel Sundlo, the Commander of Narvik, who was also a follower of Quisling, had informed the Colonel about the intention of the Allies to land mechanized troops at Stavanger, Trondheim, and perhaps also at Kirkenes, and to occupy Sola airport near Stavanger . . . .
In his report of 26 March he"--that is, Hagelin--"pointed out once more that the speech of the Norwegian Foreign Minister Koht, dealing with Norwegian neutrality and his protests, was not taken seriously either in London by the English or in Norway by the Norwegians, since it was well known that the Government had no intention of taking a serious stand against England.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: It was all of 6 years before I saw Quisling again, and I did not intervene either in the Norwegian political situation or in the Quisling movement until he visited me in June of 1939, when the tension in Europe had increased, and expressed his apprehensions about the situation in Norway in the event of a conflict. He said it was to be feared that Norway would not be able to remain neutral in such a case, and that his home country might be occupied in the North by Soviet troops and in the South by the troops of the Western powers, and that he viewed things with great concern. My staff leader made a note of his apprehensions and then reported them to Dr. Lammers, as it was his duty to do.
That must have been in June 1939. Thereupon Quisling asked one of my assistants to help to maintain German-Norwegian understanding and especially to Acquaint his Party with the organization and propaganda of our Party movement. Thereupon, in the beginning of August there were, I believe, 25 Norwegians in our training school in order to train for this propaganda work and then to return home. I did not see them, nor did I speak to them individually. They were taught how to carry on more effective propaganda, and how the organization of the Party in this field had been built up in Germany. We promised to assist them in this field . . . .
These were the reports which Quisling had instructed Hagelin to make. I would like to add further that, some time after the Fuehrer had received Quisling he told me that he had instructed the OKW to consider this case from the military viewpoint, and he asked me not to talk about this subject to anybody else. In this connection, I would like to point out also that--as can be seen from the report Document Number 004-PS [above]--the Fuehrer had emphasized that he wanted the entire Scandinavian North to maintain neutrality at all costs, and would change his attitude only if the neutrality was threatened by other powers.
Later, an assistant of mine was ordered by the Fuehrer to keep up connections with Quisling at Oslo, and he received a certain sum from the Foreign Office to support; propaganda friendly to Germany to counteract other propaganda. He also returned to Germany with reports about the opinions of Quisling. Later I heard--and this was entirely understandable--that this assistant, who was a soldier at that time, had also received military intelligence reports which he disclosed after the Norwegian operation . . . .
The Fuehrer did not inform me of his final decision, or whether he had actually decided to carry through the operation. I learned of the entire operation of 9 November through the new paper and thereupon paid a visit to the Fuehrer on that day. Several weeks later, the Fuehrer summoned me and said that he had been forced to make this decision on the basis of concrete warnings which he had received, and documents which have been found gave proof that these warnings had been correct. He said it had been true to the letter that when the last German ships arrived in the fjord of Trondheim, I believe, they had already been engaged by the first of the approaching British vessels. The Fuehrer differentiated strictly between the official foreign policy and the policy followed on account of an initiative or suggestion which was urged upon me from outside. I believe all the documents show that he never asked me to participate in any conference concerning foreign policy or military preparations.
A pamphlet entitled "The Spirit and Soul of the Soldiers" written by Major General Dr. h. c. (doctor, honorus causa) von Rabenau has appeared in the publications section of the NSDAP.
Group I: German Military Might, published by the Central Publishing Co. of the NSDAP, Successors to Franz Eher Inc. Ltd. (GmbH) Berlin.
I cannot but point out this spiritual outpouring as a digression, at least as inadequate. It is on the same order as the many lectures which General von Rabenau gave to officers before the present war and its tendencies are directed against the concept of the German soldier which was born with the national-socialistic revolution, even if this tendency is cleverly kept to a minimum in this case. Just as in his lectures, Rabenau uses the method of arbitrary juggling with philosophic learning, which on one hand displays a widespread knowledge, and on the other consciously holds back from the clarity for which we strive with the national-socialistic world philosophy [Weltanschauung].
As I have reported before in conversation with you, General von Rabenau gave a lecture in Aachen some time before this war to a group of some 60 to 70 younger officers and about 15 leader of the party who were invited, and among whom I chanced to be, about the development of the people's army. According to Rabenau, the present people's army began about 1813 during the wars of Liberation (Napoleonic) and developed in the decades which followed to its present size, thanks to the great German qualities of soldiery which reached their zenith in the army of one hundred thousand men. The national-socialistic revolution which created the popular will for soldiery, and with it the developments for the establishment of the first German people's army is not mentioned in any way, much less, in the role of being the dynamic creative force. Rabenau contented himself with presenting only a few quotations from the Fuehrer's Mein Kampf. The politically ignorant officers got the impression, as Rabenau knew how to talk vividly and convincingly, that the size of the present day people' army was an accomplishment of the old military forces, and in their later thinking they will ask themselves: "Why is there so much emphasis on the Party? Why invite the Party fuehrers? This is an affair for soldiers."
Then I asked a question after the lecture, which unfortunately did not offer a discussion period, and explained to him that he was in no wise justified by history, that he had denied the mother of the people's army, the Revolution, the Party, he overbore me in the arrogant manner which is peculiar to him with reference to Indian, Chinese, French, English and German philosophies in order to prove to me in front of several listeners that his lecture presentation was correct. I replied with the philosophic ideas which I have won in the practical struggle of life, and insisted on the correctness of my concept. He professes not to be able to allow my contentions because they were not scientifically based. According to all appearances only those philosophic ideas are scientifically based, for him, which were developed before the national-socialistic revolution.
The inadequacy of Rabenau made itself clear at the close of this conversation, when the church came into the debate as the educational factor [Erziehungsfaktor]. After he had affirmed the necessity of the churches, Rabenau said with emphasized self-assurance something like the following, "Dear Gauleiter, the Party is making mistake after mistake in the business with the churches. Obtain for me the necessary powers from the Fuehrer and I guarantee that I shall succeed in a few months in establishing peace with the churches for all times." After this catastrophic ignorance I gave up the conversation about the importance of philosophic ideas for our ordinary life [Volksleben].
Dear Party Member Hess: The reading of General von Rabenau's pamphlet "Spirit and Soul of the Soldier" has reminded me again of this. In this brochure, just as at that time, Rabenau affirms the necessity of the church, straightforward and clearly, even if it is prudently careful. He writes on page 28:
There could be more examples, they would suffice to show that soldiers in this world can scarcely get along without thoughts about the next one.
Because General von Rabenau is falsely based spiritually, I consider his activities as an educator in spiritual affairs as dangerous and I am of the opinion that his educational writings are to be dispensed with absolutely, and that the publications section of the NSDAP can and must renounce these writings.
If such spiritual educational work should be done, in the interests of the German armed forces, then the Publications Section of the NSDAP can be permitted to accept for publication only brochures about "Spirit and Soul of the Soldier" which point out most strongly the permanent danger for "Spirit and Soul of the Soldier." The churches with their Christianity are this danger against which the struggle must always be carried on.
I considered it my duty to tell you again of my concept of General von Rabenau, as well as to convey my criticism of the Publications Section of the NSDAP.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: Document 064-PS [above] is a letter of the head of the Party Chancellery, in which I am informed of the letter of a Gauleiter referring to a pamphlet by General von Rabenau entitled, The Spirit and Soul of the Soldier. This Gauleiter criticized the very denominationally bound viewpoint of General von Rabenau, and he protested against the fact that this tract appeared in a series of pamphlets published by the Party. In that connection I would like to say that this tract by General Von Rabenau appeared in a series published by my Party office, and that I read this pamphlet personally beforehand and gave him the opportunity to voice his opinion in this series which contained many political tracts of a general historical nature. I did not withdraw this pamphlet.
Almost five years ago to a day, from the height of this rostrum, the most illustrious in Europe, a man spoke to other men dressed in field gray. His name was Alfred Rosenberg. I can testify to the exact date. It was 25 November 1940. Rosenberg leaned his elbows on this rostrum, where the voices of Jaures and of Albert De Mun were once heard and where, on 11 November 1918, Clemenceau nearly died of joy. Here are his words:
"In one gigantic revolutionary burst the German nation has reaped such a harvest as never before in its history. The French will admit one day, if they are honest, that Germany has freed them from the parasites of which they could not rid themselves unaided."
And the Nazi philosopher then proclaimed the victory of blood. He meant the victory of race; but it happens that a man may utter prophetic words unwittingly and without realizing the full import of the words which God places upon his lips. As Rosenberg predicted at the Palais Bourbon on 25 November 1940, it was indeed blood that won the victory. It was the blood of the martyrs which in the end choked the executioners.
I report the arrival of the principal shipment of ownerless Jewish "cultural property" [Kulturgut] in the salvage location Neuschwanstein by special train on Saturday the 15th of this month. It was secured by my staff for Special Purposes [Einsatzstab] in Paris. The especial train, arranged for by Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, comprised 25 express baggage cars filled with the most valuable paintings, furniture, Gobelins, works of artistic craftsmanship and ornaments. The shipment consisted chiefly of the most important parts of the collections Rothschild, Seligmann, Bernheim-Jeune, Halphen, Kann, Weil-Picard, Wildenstein, David-Weill, Levy-Benzion.
My Staff for Special Purposes started the confiscatory action in Paris during October 1940 on the basis of your order, my Fuehrer. With the help of the Security Service (SD) and the Secret Field Police [Geheime Feldpolizei] all storage--and hiding-places of art possessions belonging to the fugitive Jewish emigrants were systematically ascertained. These possessions were then collected in the locations provided for by the Louvre in Paris. The art historians of my staff have itemized scientifically the complete art-material and have photographed all works of value. Thus, after completion, I shall be able to submit to you shortly a conclusive catalogue of all confiscated works with exact data about origin plus scientific evaluation and description. At this time the inventory includes more than 4000 individual piece of art, partly of the highest artistic value. Besides this special train the masterpieces selected by the Reichsmarschall--mainly from the Rothschild collection--have been forwarded in two special cars to Munich already some time ago. They have been deposited there in the air raid shelters of the Fuehrer-building.
According to instruction the chief special train has been unloaded in Fussen. The cases containing pictures, furniture etc. have been stored in the castle Neuschwanstein. My deputies accompanied the special train and took care of the unloading in Neuschwanstein too.
First of all the paintings have to be unpacked to determine any possible damage suffered during the transport. Furthermore, the observation of climatic influences upon the paintings and their future careful maintenance necessitate their unpacking as well as their skillful setting-up. Due to lack of time a part of the shipment has not yet been fully inventoried in Paris. This has to be taken care of by my co-workers on the spot in Neuschwanstein to supplement the inventory in full. I have detached for Neuschwanstein the necessary technical and scientific personnel of my staff for the execution of this work. The required time for the unpacking and arranging in Neuschwanstein as well as the preparing of the exhibition rooms will take approximately- 4 weeks. I shall report the completion of the work to you then, and request you, my Fuehrer, to let me show you the salvaged works of art at the spot. This will give you a survey over the work accomplished by my staff for Special Purposes.
Over and above the chief shipment there are secured in Paris a mass of additional abandoned Jewish art possessions. These are being processed in the same sense and prepared for shipment to Germany. Exact accounts about the extent of this remaining shipment are at the moment not available. However, it is estimated that the work in the Western areas will be finished entirely within two to three months. Then a second transport can be brought to Germany.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: It is quite true that I received a governmental order to confiscate archives, works of art, and later, household goods of Jewish citizens in France. The deportation of Jews has nothing to do with that [to increase the profits of confiscationís and seizures]. The suggestion for these measures was given only when I was informed that the Jewish people in question no longer inhabited their institutions, castles, and apartments--that they had left Paris and other places and had not returned. When the German troops marched in, Paris was almost entirely depopulated. The rest of the Parisians and inhabitants of cities in the north of France returned in the course of time; but, as I have been informed, the Jewish population did not return to these cities-particularly not to Paris. Therefore they had not been deported, but they had fled. I believe the number of those who had fled was given as 5, 6, or 7 millions or more. It may very well be that the apartments of Jewish persons who had been arrested had also been confiscated under certain circumstances, but I cannot give any exact information about that ... as may be seen from the report which the French Prosecution made here, what actually happened was that confiscated apartments generally were sealed by the Police. Two months were allowed to elapse to see whether or not the owners of these apartments would return, and only after the fact had been established that this was not the case were the household goods transferred to Germany for those whose homes had been damaged by bombs. That can be seen from the report which the French Prosecution has submitted here . . . .
I have already said before, it is possible that a number of apartments of arrested people-other people who were absent-were included in that; but as I said before, in the other report there was more detailed information. I did not know about those trains [where Jews were shipped directly to concentration camps]. We definitely dealt with deserted apartments, and I was probably informed that eventually also the apartments of people who had been arrested, people who were still living, or had long since fled would be taken into consideration. Nothing more is stated here, and I could not give you any further information. As to the reports which have. been submitted here at the Trial, I have seen them here for the first time. I can only tell you that in the end I was informed that, before the conquest of Paris by Allied troops, all available furniture and household equipment was turned over to the French Red Cross . . . .
I have never received a report about these Tuesday conferences which took place regularly. The fact that my deputy for the furniture action had to maintain closest liaison with the Police Division as a matter of course, since the confiscationís of such articles could not be carried out by my office, that being an exclusive right of the Police. Therefore, one had to speak to the Police about these matters. It was not reported to me that there were regular Tuesday conferences. I believe that if such a report had been consistently turned in it would have been submitted to me. In my opinion that is not logical at all [that my organization was regularly informed of these actions], because if that certain Chief of Police sent secret transports of that kind into these camps, as has been revealed here, then it does not follow that he would report about that every Tuesday to the other gentlemen. Neither do I believe that this Chief of Police informed the representative of the Foreign Office about these things in detail.
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