Nazi Secret Instructions Exposed
Secret plans for the destruction of the Church in Germany show a striking similarity to the anti-religious proposals laid down in the U.S.S.R.'s Five-Year Plan.
The keynote of Nazi strategy in attempting to wipe out Germany's faith in God is
a subtle one. It is proposed to ridicule Catholicism, . . . even to sympathise with its " misguided " followers and, most important, to offer a better substitute.
The document below has reached the C.athotic Herald front a reliable source. It is dated October .28, 1936, and n)arked private and confidential.
Harsh persecution, it declares, has been shown up as futile. Gentler methods should prove more successful. The idea is to advertise the Church in the worst light possible, using 2,000 years' worth of occasional weaknesses and the misdeeds of certain of Her members during that time.
" If we are to combat effectively the Catholic Youth organisations we must be clear about the nature of the fight and about the tactics to be employed. From the outset it is clear that we must have at our disposal the same economic and finan cial means as our opponents. The fight would otherwise be hopeless.
" There are only two possible ways of destrOving an opposing organisation. The first way is to disaolve it and forbid it (not partially. of course, but 'completely) to make agitation impossible for its leaders; to suppress with the greatest brutality any attempt at resistance, and thus to wipe out and destroy the opposition. This method is today not possible.
" The other method (and the only one that is practicable) depends on a planned and systematic attack which, howeves, will be successful only if at the same time the lines of action outlined below are carried through to their conclusion.
" I. Lists must he made of all opponents (especially of religious unions—i.e., " kon
fessionellen Verbande and these must be according to districts. The organised execution of this point is set out in my circular sent to Bannftitu-er Klei. This step is justified for the following reasons:
(a) Later, at the final dissolution of the Verbande, we shall know who in fact is to be dissolved and where. while such a dissolution would be useless now. without exact knowledge of our opponents.
(b) In the case of those who come over to us, we shall have a criterion; those who are going to be appointed leaders can be weeded out if their names are in the lists of our former opponents. In no case may a former member of Catholic Action be promoted to the rank of leader among us.
(c) It must be brought about that in the future only those shall occupy leading positions in the State, in the Movement, in the army, and in any other important State or political institutions who have been members of the Hitler Jugend. Moreover, not only the candidates for such positions but also all candidates for official positions and employment in State and communal offices are to be set aside, if the Hitler Jugend, which is always to be consulted on these occasions, determines from its lists that there has been at some time opposition to our movement. This procedure protects the State betimes against unreliable elements whose presence and whose unreliability ought to be widely published.
(d) At the same time, from such a procedure we can count on intensifying the spirit of our own units whose members will be attracted by the work of drawing up a Black List.' As already indicated, this line of action can be made public for it will intimidate our opponents.
" Treat Them as Fools" " 2. For the future no respect is to be paid in public to the Catholic Youth (as our chief opponent); it must be set aside as of no account and ridiculed as much as possible. This is the right place for the tactic of silence.
" A noisy attack would only be propaganda for Catholic Action. Our attitude towards the religious unions (konfessionellen Verbande) must reflect our condescending sympathy. Our standpoint: ' You're a stupid, miserable lot!' The Catholic Youth Groups would he quite proud of themselves in a ' Persecution,' under ' Tyrannical Suppression'
and as a 'Forbidden Organisation.' They would meet in cellars and caves with guards at the doors, just as we did in the time when we were forbidden.
"Let us not leave out of account in this matter the psychological effect on youth, always attracted by the romantic.
" On the other hand, attractive to this romantic disposition of the young corresponds the political principle: We never fight against a negation, but for something positive.'
" In achieving a positive objective, the
negative is overcome. So the cardinal point isthia, -oar attack should not be dissipated Jr the negative opposition of Catholic Youth, but We must clearly state
our own positive objectives. Then the good will fight with us: and we shall not be sorry to lose the bad.
The Church's Lessons
" 3. It must not be forgotten that we have something to learn from the systematic method of the Catholic Church, tested by 2,000 years. For an opponent is best beaten with his own weapons. First of all our leaders must acquire something of the psychOlogical and diplomatic abilities, which, for example, are peculiar to the Jesuits.
Naturally only their leaders have this who still, unfortunately, for the most part seem subject to the Catholic clergy.
" Here the question arises whether we should not create two different systems of education: the one for leaders, the other for the rank and file. While the leaders are to be formed politically, psychologically and comprehensively, the mass must he doctrinally and dogmatically injected with national socialism in its most primitive form. For this it is necessary that our schooling of the mass at least should proceed along the lines of a religious cult.
" A definite rite is necessary for the evening meetings, a concluding ceremony with remembrance of the dead (the martyrs) of the Movement, and passages from our Programme, as from our New Testament (or our Ten Commandments), with the singing of our new. majestic songs, with the Heil for the Fuhrer, and, finally, a marching in and out with our banners; and all this regularly and always in the same form, but with changing content.
" The movement has already laid the foundations for such a rite in its remembrance meetings, with their opening, the march in with banners, the triple Heil and the Horst-Wessel Song. Would it not be right to make further progress along this line? The Divine Services of the religions have always the same forms, the theme alone changes."
This extraordinary document goes on to state that Catholic rites and services have been solely responsible for holding the Catholic Church together for 2,000 years.
Final advice containing a core of tremendous assurance concludes the lesson.
insidious Propaganda • " If Catholic Action is statistically registered, and if progress in state, communal and political life is made impossible for everyone of its supporters; if, in addition, the religious unions (konfessionelle Verbande) are made to look ridiculous; if, finally, the tested form and apparatus of the Catholic Church are cleverly applied by us in the training of leaders and the influencing of the masses; and if in systematic, unimpassioned instruction the Church is so presented with all her human weaknesses and strength, purely historically, with-all her crises, the quarrels of her leaders and their battles, that it is plain to everyone that they are dealing with the work of men and not an institution founded by God, then we shall have reached the beginning of the end of the Catholic Church.
But we must clearly present our ideals and our aims and let it be known that they are the motives of our actions."