Courtesy Reuters

The German Church Conflict

THE struggle within the German Evangelical Church was rightly interpreted abroad as the first stand against all-engulfing National Socialism. Parliament, Federal States, political parties, trades unions: all had surrendered without resistance.

But subsequent events have shown that the resistant strength of traditionally powerful forces in Germany have deeper roots. The executions of Storm Troop leaders in June 1934 were the fruit of resistance by the Reichswehr to the claim of ambitious Brown Shirt commanders to control or coöperate in the remili-tarization of Germany. The successful resistance of the powerful industrialists and capitalists to those National Socialists who wanted to introduce socialism is shown by the facts that the economic dictatorship was entrusted first to a representative of big business and next to a representative of big banking; by the brusque dismissal of the leading Nazi economic theorist of pre-office days (Dr. Gottfried Feder); by the disciplining of Dr. Robert Ley, old-guard National Socialist and Leader of the Labor Front, in his attempts to reform the factories; and by the progressive disciplining of the local Nazi despots. The awakening resistance of scientists to restrictions on the freedom of research is shown by their homage to Fritz Haber, the exiled Jewish chemist whose synthetic nitrate process saved Germany from early collapse in the war. The Jews have survived: coming years are likely to bring proofs of this which seemed inconceivable in 1933. The arts are raising their heads: General Göring outbids Vienna in order to attract Austrian artists to the opera which he wishes to make the foremost in the world, and Pola Negri is brought from America, to the exasperation of German film players, to help in the rehabilitation of the German film.

The tumult is clearly subsiding. Little remains of National Socialism save Herr Hitler and the one scarlet thread that has run through all the tangled events since 1933: militarization in all its forms -- the teaching of nationalism in the schools, the mobilization of manpower, the cementing of national unity,

Loading, please wait...

Browse Related Articles on {{search_model.selectedTerm.name}}

{{indexVM.results.hits.total | number}} Articles Found

  • {{bucket.key_as_string}}

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue