Free Austria, the paper of the Austrians in London, printed in its issue of November a striking story of how the Gestapo works.
A peculiar treasure mpg the ancient churches and cloisters of Austria is the 900year-old Benedictine Abbey of Admont in the Ennsthal, in Styria. The foundation is famous not only for its wonderful cathedral but also for its old library, which contains artistic treasures and is a landmark of the old Austrian civilisation As part of the war which has been waged so cruelly and relentlessly against the Catholic Church, a commission of the Gestapo appeared in Admont for the purpose of " putting it in order."
The monks were forced to appear in turn before the conimission, which asked them what work they were doing. Scientific studies were declared useless and superfluous, as were also domestic or economic activities, such as, for instance. the management of the woods belonging to the foundations. Forestry was in future to be the business of the State.
DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR GOSPEL?
So all the monks were declared useless and superfluous and were ordered to leave
the convent. Only two were allowed to remain to say Holy Mass. Finally a sick old monk appeared before the Gestapo committee. The following conversation took place:—
Spokesman of the Gestapo: " What is your occupation?"
Father Anselm: " I have no regular office. I am 78 years old and ill, and can
only walk with a crutch. Last year was the fiftieth year that I have worked here, but for the last three years 1 have been unable to work. I pray and celebrate Holy Mass." Spokesman: " De you believe your Gospel?" Father Anselm: " Of course I believe it." Spokesman; " In your Gospel there annears somewhere or other the sentence: • Whosoever does not work, neither shall he eat.' You are quite superfluous. Be off. You must clear out before to-night."
FOUND DEAD Father Anselm left the home of his arduous life; a life dedicated to God ; left the scene of labours of a lifetime penniless, with his crutch and a small bag and with no idea where to go.
Two days later he was found dead by the roadside in a forest a few hours' walk from
his monastery. Cold and exposure were the causes of his death. He was not murdered by the Gestapo of course not, such things do not occur. He merely died. He was one of the many dumb victims, a martyr who died for his faith and for Austria.