Page 8, 4th July 1941

4th July 1941
Page 8
Page 8, 4th July 1941 — Nazis and Fascists Combine to Persecute Catholics in Yugoslavia
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Locations: Boston, Ljubljana

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Nazis and Fascists Combine to Persecute Catholics in Yugoslavia

According to WRUL (Boston)

An account of the persecution of the Church in Yugoslavia was given by Dr. Petrovitch, who broadcasts to the Serbo-Croat people from WRUL (Boston), U.S.A.

According to Dr. Petrovitch, the Italians, after having set foot in Ljubljana, arrested Filip Tercej, professor of religious history at the University of Ljubljana. The Germans behaved in a similar manner. The Gestapo, the SS and the SA are now masters of Slovenia. The clerics, who were the leaders of the Slovene nation, have been replaced by Germans.

A German officer declared that no one may henceforward call himself a Slovene. The only ideology permitted was National Socialism, and the only leader, the Farm. Anyone who disregarded these injunctions would be taken before the Gestapo.

The German authorities have drawn up a list of all those Slovenes who immigrated into Styrian districts after 1913; they will all be expelled, and their place will be taken by Germans.

In Maribor, according to the same account, the Gestapo broke into the Bishop's

palace at 2.30 in the morning, taking away the old Bishop. Dr. Ivan Tomasic, together with his two secretaries and three canons; all their property has been confiscated. All priests in the diocese of Maribor have to live in their churches as the Germans have taken possession of their houses. The Franciscan monastery has been converted into the headquarters of the godless Gestapo.

In Maribor the clergy wear civilian clothes lest they arouse the attention of the Gestapo; about 300-400 priests of Slovene nationality have been arrested there.

The Franciscan monasteries in Grezice, in Cveta Trojca and in Slovenska Korica have been closed, and the Capuchins have been expelled from Celje and Yuj. The Lazarists were driven from Celje and the Minorites from Yuj.

Several hundred professors and intellectuals have also been arrested. In mockery the Germans drive the Slovene priests before the German troops. The professor also gave a somewhat impossible-sounding story of how, in Maribor, the German SS compelled the Franciscans to pull down with their own hands the Orthodox church, which bad been built as a symbol

of the religious tolerance and equality of rights obtaining in Yugoslavia. The monks had to do this during a terrible storm, and many of them collapsed and had to be taken to hospital.

Annexed territories are being Germanised and the Germans have closed down the monasteries, among them the famous one at Brezje. a popular shrine with the Slovenes, who used to come there in thousands to pray to Our Lady.

The godless German soldiers also broke into the Ursuline nunnery at night, the soldiers leading the nuns away to an unknown destination. The people rioted and serious clashes occurred, for their ceaseless works of charity had made the sisters very popular.

The Germans also closed the monasteries of the Lazarists in Brod, the Capuchins at Skopa Lova, the Franciscans in Kannik and Brezje.




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