Background: Adolf Wagner was the Gauleiter for Munich. In this article from Der Schulungsbrief, the party monthly for political education, he goes after the Church for failing to grant total power to National Socialism. This was published during a general public assault on the Church and its institutions alleging sexual improprieties, among other things. This article is apparently exerpted from a speech, although the details are not given..
The source: “Männer der Bewegung sprechen,” Der Schulungsbrief, 3 ( August 1936), 293-294.
Men of the Movement Speak
Good fortune probably determined that Adolf Hitler began his battle against the destruction of our German people in Munich. Here in Munich he met the concentrated strength that wanted to restore the roots of the German nation. And when the Red Internationale was replaced by the Black Internationale [a reference to religious opponents of Nazism] it did not change the battlefront for the young National Socialist movement since the enemy remained the same, even if its color changed.
Through tough and bitter fighting, the National Socialist movement threw these destructive forces to the ground. Finally the National Socialist revolution triumphed in the entire Reich; here in Bavaria the old leaders were tossed out on 9 March . There are not many Red Internationalists left in Bavaria. The most dangerous are in Dachau.
We do not need to bother with those noble and bourgeois elements that look with hopeful but nervous hearts to plans to restore the Hapsburgs in Austria and something similar in Bavaria. These elements are old and insignificant.
Things are entirely different in the churches, particularly with the Catholic Church. We must unfortunately recognize that although the great majority of the lower-level clergy have come to loyally support the state, the higher-level clergy, most prominently several bishops, have taken nearly every opportunity to oppose the National Socialist state and our movement.
I say this today not only because I have the opportunity to speak to you gathered in this room. I mention it because of a report of a sermon at the end of May by the Bishop of Eichstätt, Dr. Michael Nackl at confirmation in Ingolstadt. The Bishop of Eichstätt said in a subtle, but unmistakable way that the Church had sole claim to the worldview education of baptized Catholic youth. He proclaimed the same right with regards to Catholic organizations. He was just as subtle but unmistakable in objecting to a ban of political activity on the part of priests. He said that the party’s slogan of the previous year, that the political revolution was over and that ‘the National Socialist movement’s worldview battle for people’s minds’ was an attack on the Church, on Catholic bishops, priests, indeed on Catholicism in general. He said that he had to speak the truth openly since he was German, loyal and honest.
I want to reply to the Bishop of Eichstätt in just as German a manner, just as loyally and honestly: If a worldview claims political power, that worldview must demonstrate its right to claim political power by its achievements. During its three years of total power in Germany, the National Socialist worldview has proven in Germany that its demand for total power was justified, and that it also has the right in the future to maintain this total demand for power. 99% of the German people approved of this [in the referendum] on 29 March. And the National Socialist worldview’s economic achievements of the past three years have proven that it was, and will remain worthy, to claim that total economic power. National Socialism’s total power in political and economic matters has lifted an oppressed, defeated, economically ruined people into a free, proud, and hard-working people.
If the National Socialist worldview further demands the totality of youth education, it is equally as justified, since the German youth has left behind the fragmentation under which it once suffered and is on the way to becoming a healthy, productive youth. We know that our youth is better off in the hands of the HJ and the BDM than in the hands of some sort of monastic institution which is today the subject of criminal investigation, the findings of which are a disgrace not only for the Church, but for the entire German people.
The laws of National Socialism are unalterable. The laws of the National Socialist worldview are the laws of the Third Reich. We require and demand that everyone respect these laws, even bishops. All the questions that the Bishop of Eichstätt mentions are clearly regulated. It is senseless to object.
We recommend putting the time to better use: keeping order, cleanliness, fear of God, and honesty in the ancient body of the Church and its institutions.
The National Socialist worldview will follow its path, not resting until the German nation is once again great and splendid.
Our daily worship is go to our workplaces to build the German nation. And our daily prayer is work for the nation.
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