There were, of course, members of the clergy throughout Europe during the Holocaust whose words and deeds reflected Christian conscience. And some of them were martyred for their faith. One example was Fr. Max Josef Metzger, a WWI German army chaplain and founder of Peace Alliance of German Catholics. For publicly protesting against the Nazis, Fr. Metzger was arrested by the Gestapo, condemned for high treason and executed…..
Notwithstanding the passivity of most European Christians during the Holocaust and the active participation of others, clearly, there were in Germany and in every Nazi-occupied or allied European country, people — clergy, religious and lay — who behaved humanely, even heroically. These righteous people bore witness that compassion and decency still existed in what had become hell on earth. Despite…..
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 situation for Jews in Italy took a dramatic turn for the worse in July, 1943, when the Allies invaded Sicily and bombed Rome. Italy’s fascist government fell, Mussolini was arrested and eventually executed by Italian partisans. Pietro Badoglio became Prime Minister of Italy and began to negotiate an immediate ceasefire with the Allies. Enraged, Hitler used force to bring Italy back into the Axis fold. …..
Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. Matthew 22:21
Not long after Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, a Polish public health nurse discovered the stark nature of evil. Forced to serve the regional government of Occupied Poland as it established a Jewish ghetto in her city, her duties included identifying the sick. She was assured that they would be treated in regional hospitals and reunited with their families. One day…..