Historians term the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of World War I, a “Golden Age” for Jews. Things began to change for the worse, however, when Austro-Hungary, allied with Germany, was likewise defeated by the Allies in WWI. Under terms of the…..
Article 16 of the Reich Concordat of 1933 required Catholic bishops and priests to swear an oath of allegiance to the Third Reich. It read:
“Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following formula:…..
On July 20, 1933, at a formal ceremony in Rome, only six months after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII) on behalf of Pope Pius XI, signed the Reich Concordat between Nazi Germany and the Vatican, making it the first treaty between the new regime and a sovereign state. At the time,…..
The term “anti-Semitism,” first coined in 1879 by German writer Wilhelm Marr who wanted a scientific-sounding euphemism for Judenhass, or Jew-hatred, purported to explain why Jews should be reviled as defined by race. Adopting an extreme version of anti-Semitism, Nazi propaganda depicted Jews not only as an inferior race but as a demonic one, whose threat could only be eradicated…..
A premise of my book, “The Holocaust, the Church, and the Law of Unintended Consequences, How Christian Anti-Judaism Spawned Nazi Anti-Semitism,” is that Nazism’s virulent brand of genocidal anti-Semitism was rooted in the Church’s 1900 plus year animus against Jews, termed anti-Judaism.
“Anti-Semitism,” wrote Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1994, “is a great sin against humanity.” But he made no…..
Hitler’s propaganda machine, under the leadership of Joseph Goebbels, relentlessly bombarded the German people with negative messages — in feature films, faked newsreels, phony documentaries, fabricated news stories, radio plays, even in children’s books — demonizing, dehumanizing and scapegoating Jews for just about every problem of German society. Public demonstrations were regularly choreographed and mass rallies staged to vilify…..
Like Yugoslavia and Hungary, Czechoslovakia was a political entity created at the end of World War I, a so-call Versailles state. It included the Czech provinces of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Despite its multinational population and conflicted relations with neighboring countries, all of which coveted its territory, Czechoslovakia remained a functioning parliamentary democracy until 1938. On September 29, 1938,…..
Pope Pius XII’s role before and during the Holocaust, both as Pius XI’s Secretary of State and as wartime pope, is the subject of ongoing controversy. The controversy started at war’s end when the existence of ratlines, i.e., a system of Vatican approved escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe to avoid prosecution for war crimes, came…..
Pope Gives Catholic Traditionalists “Aceto”
Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist Mike Keefe’s cartoon for August 2, 2013 shows a smiling Pope Francis, arms outstretched on the balcony outside the papal apartments (which he does not occupy), saying, “Gay Priests? Who Am I To Judge?” and “Women Priests? I’ll Be The Judge Of That.” Four months into his pontificate, the cartoonist captures Francis’ dilemma, the tightrope he is walking – how to appeal to Progressive Catholics calling for meaningful…..
In 2007, several weeks after retiring as a NYS Family Court judge, I was invited to participate with a number of others in planning, developing the curriculum for, and team-teaching an inter-disciplinary, multi-session adult education course eventually entitled The 2000 Year Road to the Holocaust — An Interfaith Project of the Greater Rochester Community. Looking for projects to keep me busy in retirement and wanting to study the Holocaust in depth, a topic that had intrigued and troubled me for…..