Background: This rather interesting memo to party speakers in Kreis Eisenach came from the Kreisleiter (county party head), Hermann Köhler. He orders them to “voluntarily” break any affiliation with the church. As speakers, their full loyalty was to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Kreis speakers were authorized to speak at public meetings, training speakers spoke only to party meetings.
The note is particularly interesting in that the word “voluntarily” is inserted, though the memo itself tells its recipients in the clearest terms that they are to end their church membership. It was not a good idea to disagree with one’s Kreisleiter.
The source: The letter is found in the Kreis Eisenach collection at the University of Michigan. This consists of the files of the Nazi Party county office in Eisenach. The originals are being returned to Germany, but the university retains a microfilm of the holdings: reel 4, box 2, folder 14.
NSDAP Kreisleitung Eisenach ————————————————————— 1 July 1941
Memo Nr. 23/41: To all Kreis Speakers and Trainee Speakers
I ask you to inform me immediately if you and your family have any commitment to a church or church-related organization, alongside your commitment to the Führer’s worldview.
If yes, I ask you to tell me if and when you intend to voluntarily [the word “voluntarily” is inserted in the otherwise typed copy here] break that commitment. A political leader and propagandist may have no other commitment, if he wants to be an honest National Socialist, than that to the Führer and the party.
He and his family must serve the German people and its Führer without any reservations, and trust him absolutely.
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