Hitler Denies that Germany is Oppressing Christian Churches

Hitler Denies that Germany is Oppressing Christian Churches

Adolf Hitler, 1938

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Adolf Hitler gives a speech to the German Reichstag in Berlin in which he denies foreign press reports that the Nazi government is oppressing or persecuting Christian churches. On the contrary, the government is providing substantial and increasing financial aid to churches all over Germany.

According to Hitler:

"1. To date, no one has been persecuted because of his religious affinity in Germany, nor will anyone be persecuted for this reason in the future either.

2. Since January 30, 1933, the official institutions within the National Socialist State have transferred the following tax earnings to the two Churches: 130 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1933; 170 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1934; 250 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1935; 320 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1936; 400 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1937; 500 million Reichsmarks for the fiscal year 1938.

In addition to this, the Church receives approximately 85 million Reichs-marks annually in the form of L nder [state] subsidies, and approximately another seven million Reichsmarks in the form of subsidies by the local communities and associations.

Next to the State, the Church constitutes the greatest proprietor of land. It possesses holdings in real estate and forestry in excess of ten billion Reichsmarks. From these, it derives annual earnings of about 300 million.

Moreover, the Church benefits from countless gifts, bequests, and, above all, from donations collected. Further, the National Socialist State accords the Church concessions in a variety of realms: donations and inheritance are tax exempt for instance.

To make an understatement, therefore, it is with insolent impertinence that foreign politicians accuse the Third Reich of hostility to religion. Should the churches within Germany regard the situation as unbearable, then please bear in mind that the National Socialist State is willing, and prepared at any time, to undertake a clear separation of church and state, as is the case in France, America, and other countries. In this context, I permit myself to pose the following question: Within this period, how much did official state appropriations to the church amount to in France, England, and the USA?

3. The National Socialist State has not closed even one single church, neither prevented church services nor infringed on the conduct of Mass. It has not imposed its views on any confession's church doctrine and faith. In the National Socialist State, man is free to seek absolution in the fashion desired.

However, the National Socialist State will relentlessly deal with those priests who, instead of serving the Lord, see their mission in propagating derisive comments on our present Reich, its institutions, or its leading men. It will bring to their attention the fact that the destruction of this State will not be tolerated.

The law will prosecute a priest who implicates himself in illegal activities and he will be held accountable for these in the same manner as any other, ordinary German citizen. It must, however, be stated at this point that there are thousands upon thousands of priests of all Christian beliefs who attend to their clerical duties in a manner infinitely superior to these clerical warmongers and without entering into conflict with the established law and order. To protect these is the mission of the State. To destroy the enemies of the State is the duty of the State. ...

Therefore, it cannot be sympathy or pity for persecuted servants of God that has mobilized the interest of the democratic citizens in some priests in Germany who have come into conflict with the law. Rather these interest them as German enemies of the state. May they note the following on this topic: we shall protect the German priest as a servant of the Lord, but we shall destroy the priest who is a political foe of the German Reich. ...

Insofar as we embrace this great Reich in grateful reverence, the wealth of German history reveals itself to us in all its splendor. Let us thank the Lord Almighty for bestowing on our generation the great blessing to be alive at this time and this hour."
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