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June 19, 1964 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-06-19

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Lewy's 'Catholic Church and Nazi Germany'
Shows How Bishops Submitted to Hitler Rule

Prof. Guenter Lewy drew wide
attention with his comments on
"The Deputy," and he has emerg-
ed as an authority on German af-
fairs. He had left Germany in
1939 at the age of 15 and since
coming to the United States has
taught in American universities,
and has written extensively.
His newest work, "The Catholic
Church and Nazi Germany," pub-
lished by McGraw-Hill Book Co.,
is of immense value in the current
effort to unravel the mysteries
that causes the Germans to sup-
port the Nazi regime.
As in the instance of his pre-
sented views on "The Deputy,"
Lewy's book, while it points to
numerous instances of resistance
by Catholics, in no sense exon-
erates either Pope Pius XII or
the church in Germany. The re-
lations between the Catholic
Church in Germany and Adolf
Hitler and the Nazis shows clear-
ly that while there were rumb-
lings there was constant yield-
ing to the new totalitarian re-
While, at the outset, Hitler had
left most of the sniping against
the church leaders to the Voel-
ischer Beobachter, the official
Nazi organ, there soon developed
a nearly total submission to the
At first there was a tendency to
prevent Catholics, by hierarchal
expressions, from joining the Nazi

Shearith Israel
Gets Old Records

Shearith Israel, the Spanish and
Portuguese Synagogue in New
York, was presented with a copy
of the oldest known synagogue
record book of Continental North
America, its own financial ac-
counts for the year 1720-21.
The presentation was made by
Prof. Jacob R. Marcus, Adolph S.
Ochs Professor of Jewish History
at the Hebrew Union College-Jew-
ish Institute of Religion in Cin-
cinnati and director of the Amer-
ican Jewish Archives, who had
identified the accounts after they
were found in the Public Record
Office of London, England, among
the papers of Nathan Simson, a
prominent New York merchant of
the early 18th century.
The record book provides im-
portant source material for the
early history of the Jews in New
Its author, Nathan Simson, who
kept the records while he was
president of the congregation,
came to New York City, probably
from the German city of Bonn—
now the capital of West Germany
—via London, England. The name
Simson is a variation of. the He-
brew Samson. Evidently while in
England, on his way to America,
Nathan Simson had taken an En-
glish name which was similar to
his Hebrew name. He landed about
the year 1703 and probably kept a
store in Long Island until he
moved to New York City where
he speedily became a very impor-
tant merchant. He was one of the
outstanding merchants of New
York City from about 1703 to
1722. The bulk of his business was
done with the West Indies and
with London.
Numerous data, many unknown,
can be derived from this annual
record. The name of the congrega-
tion then was not Shearith Israel
but Shearith Jacob. In all possibil-
ity, in 1728, when the congrega-
tion, which had been founded in
1654, was reorganized, it took its
present name of Shearith Israel,
meaning Remnant of Israel.
In his accounts Simson uses
English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and
Portuguese. The use of the differ-
ent languages in this congregation
reflects the fact that the congrega-
tion was composed of Sephardim
(Spanish-Portuguese Jews) a n d
Ashkenazim (German or Yiddish-
speaking Jews.)



Friday, June 19, 1964

coats or cassocks . . ." But that was
at the beginning. Lewy asserts
that "whenever Hitler did stop
restrictive measures, it was usually
for tactical reasons."
When the Concordat was
adopted the Voelkischer Beo-
bachter saw in it "a most sol-
emn recognition of National So-
cialism by the Catholic Church."
Lewy states that while Arch-
bishop Groeber reflected that
the Concordat deceived German
Catholics and the world, he
himself, on the other hand, in
1937, edited a handbook with
the recommendation of the en-
tire German episcopate regard-
ing the Concordat as "proof that
two powers, totalitarian in their
character, can find an agree-
ment, if their domains are
separate and if overlaps in juris-
diction become parallel or in a
friendly manner lead them to
make common cause."
The chapter "The Jewish Ques-
tion" in Lewy's book, which ap-
peared in Commentary and which
has been subject to considerable
discussion, while indicating that
ROME (JTA) — Foreign Min- there were Catholics who were
ister Giuseppe Saragat charged striving to prevent the Nazi ter-
in Parliament that attacks against rors the accumlated evidence of
the late Pope Pius XII over his church actions, does not absolve
role during the Nazi slaughter of them. Neither is Pope Pius XII
European Jewry were partly a totally absolved.
For instance, "the Holy See had
propaganda effort to acquit partial-
ly Nazism "of its horrible crime" no intrinsic objection to a policy
and to make the Catholic Church of subjecting the Jews to discrimi-
natory legislation when in June
He made the statement in reply 1941 Marshal Petain's Vichy gov-
to questions from extreme leftist ernment introduced a series of
`Jewish statutes.' " Also: "the ele-
deputies which followed a recent vation of Cardinal Pacelli to the
Foreign Ministry statement de- Papacy in the spring of 1939
ploring the "slanderous campaign" brought to the chair of St. Peter
against the memory of the late a man noted for his pro-German
Pontiff. Debate over the Pontiff's sentiments . . . Whether Pius XI
role was touched off by the pub- would: have reacted to the massacre
lication of "The Deputy," by Rolf of the Jews differently . . . is a
H•chhuth. The Foreign Minister question on which no definite
did not refer to the play.
answer is possible."
Saraget said that the Ministry's
Was there resistance? Indeed,
statement followed expressions of Lewy refers to a number of Cath-
regret by the Vatican that the olic bishops who protested the
campaign against the Pontiff was outrages. Lewy states:
spreading in Italy. He added that,
"The concentration camp Da-
in issuing the condemnatory mes- chau, when reached by Ameri-
can troops on April 26, 1945, had
sage, his Ministry acted in con-
326 German Catholic priests. A
formity with the "special rela-
tions" existing between the Vat- still larger number had passed
through the camp, had died in it
ican and Italy. He said the
of starvation or disease, or had
condemnation had not been de-
been murdered there. Soon
cided on by the entire Cabinet,
thereafter Pope Pius XII invok-
which he said was unnecessary.
ed these and other acts of per-
He stressed, however, that it in-
secution to show that the Cath-
volved the collective responsibility
olic Church in Germany had
of the Cabinet.
strongly resisted the Nazi re-
Declaring that freedom of the
gime . . ."
press and freedom of conscience
Those who resisted are listed.
must be protected by the state, he There were some brave souls, but
added that he did not hesitate to that does not account for the
say that "the campaign against the church and most of its leaders
memory of Pope Pius was origin- who became accessories to the
ated and directed toward aims crimes by their silence. These are
having nothing in common with not the words of Prof. Lewy but
justice or humanitarian feeling." one must come to such a decision
He referred to the Italian con- after reading the data gathered
stitution which establishes the in his book.
Catholic religion to be the religion
Bishop Galen's personal courage
of the state and to the concordat is commended by Lewy and there
on that relationship. He then are others who are listed among
quoted from a letter that the gov- the resisters. But the author of
ernment had pledged itself to bar "The Catholic Church and Nazi
in Rome everything that might Germany shows that "for these
conflict with the holy character of few the church was free as long as
the "Eternal City." Moreover, he she fearlessly adhered to her gos-
added,. Pope Pius was one of the pel of human dignity and love;
most important figures of the per- and she became enslaved, no mat-
iod "in which we still live and this ter how many millions continued
lends to the campaign against him to attend services, when the church
chose a course of compromise with
a particular chcaracter."
He adds: .
"We see in the attacks against
"Had G e r man Catholicism
Pius XII a cold propagandist pur- from the start adhered to a pol-
pose of which the most serious icy of resolute opposition to the
aspect, at least for many of us,
Nazi regime, world history might
consists in an attempt to partially
well have taken a different
acquit Nazism of its horrible
course . . ."
crimes, making the Church respon-
The German Catholics are not
sible," he told Parliament.
absolved. They had their martyrs,
but they were few. Overwhelming-
45,000 Jews in Turkey
ly, they yielded to Nazi pressure
The Jewish community of Tur- and Catholicism merged with
key, which dates back to the early totalitarianism to overlook the
centuries of the Common Era, to- crimes and to become party to
day numbers about 45,000 persons, a crime against Jewry and the
the large majroity of whom live in world. Lewy's book throws that
Istanbul, with smaller communities much light on the church-state is-
sue in Germany that developed
in Izmir, Ankara and Edirne.
entirely to the benefit of the state
that was Nazism.
Want ads get quick results !

party. But these orders were sel-
dom effective and the soon-to-be
adopted Concordat between Naz-
ism and the Catholic Church gave
sanction to such memberships.
"The coming to terms," Lewy
explains, was facilitated by the
ambivalence which had characteriz-
ed the hierarchy's opposition to
National Socialism." He points out
that many Catholic politicians and
bishops "had expressed apprecia-
tion for the patriotic motives of
the Nazis; they had welcomed the
anti-Marxism of the National So-
cialists; they had called for more
authority in the state."
It is no wonder, then, that the
result was capitulation. At first
Hitler was quoted as having said,
"I have always told Rosenberg
(Alfred Rosenberg, his authority
on religious issues and anti-Jewish
matters) one doesn't attack petti-

Italian Minister
Defends Stand on
Jews by Pius XII

Blaustein's Gift Is Memorial to Dag

(JTA) — A 21-foot high sculpt-
ure, placed in front of the Secret-
ariat Building as a memorial to
the late Secretary - General Dag
Iiammarskjold, was presented to
the United Nationas at a ceremony
here by Jacob Blaustein, Jewish
leader and per-
sonal friend o f
the late Secret-
ary-General, as a
gift from Blau-
stein who is a
former U. S. del-
egate to the
United Nations.
A free form
abstraction in
bronze, entitled,
"Single Form,"
it was executed
by Barbara Hep-
worth of Britain,
a friend whose
work the late
Secretary - General admired. The
five-and-a-half ton sculpture was
accepted by Secretary-General U
Thant. Other speakers were Miss
Hepworth, Ambassador Sverker of
Sweden, and Rene d'Harnoncourt,

director of the New York Museum
of Modern Art.
Blaustein told the gathered audi-
ence that the late Secretary-Gen-
eral had often expressed privately
a wish that the circle in front of
the Secretarial Building would be
adorned with an appropriate sculp-
ture and that such a work of art
might be most suitably done by
Miss Hepworth. T h e Baltimore
Jewish leader decided to fulfill
that wish.


There Is
Still Time
to Pay



On Father's Day
Sunday, June 21, by


Siegel Named Director
of JTA's Development

NEW YORK (JTA) — Appoint-
ment of Jack Siegel as director of
development of the Jewish Tele-
graphic Agency was announced
by Eleazar Lipsky, JTA president,
who said Siegel would head a new-
ly etsablished department of com-
munity relations and would also
conduct programs to secure wider
disseminatnon of JTA news in the
Siegel has had responsible posi-
tions with major Jewish organiza-
tions since his discharge from the
U.S. Army after World War II.
Earlier, he was an information
specialist with the Office of War
Information. He served as a con-
sultant for the JTA during the
past year and Director of Develop-
ment for the American Associa-
tion of Jewish Education. Prior to
that, he was national campaign
director for the American Zionist
Council and associate director of
special projects for the Jewish
Theological Seminary of America.


A Growing Tree is a Living
Tribute to Your Father.
Let Trees in Israel Honor,
or Memorialize Him.

The Jewish
National Fund

UN 4-2767




Why not stop and pick up a
certificate on Sunday, June
21? The office will be
open from 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m.


Aug. 16 to 22, Boys & Girls
13 to 16

All Expense Trip

Sam and Anne Rogolsky,
For Information
CALL 864-8917






Foster home for 3 children from
one family. Ages 11, 9 and 7.

Please Contact:

David B. Goldberg

Jewish Family and Children's Service
Diamond 1 5959



extends a cordial invitation to the friends of



at the Shut, Dexter corner Buena Vista

Before Their Departure to Israel on June 30, 1964


Rabbi Eugene Greenfield, Chairman, Samuel Barak,
Morris Schubiner

Films on the last trip of Rabbi Eugene Greenfield will be shown

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