And the witnesses were silent: the Confessing Church and the by Wolfgang Gerlach PDF

By Wolfgang Gerlach

ISBN-10: 0803221657

ISBN-13: 9780803221659

An perpetually complicated query of the 20 th century is how “decent” humans got here to permit, and occasionally even perform, the ultimate answer. worry evidently had its position, as did apathy. yet how does one clarify the silence of these those who have been dedicated, lively, and infrequently fearless competitors of the Nazi regime on different grounds—those who spoke out opposed to Nazi actions in lots of parts but whose reaction to genocide ranged from tepid disquiet to avoidance? One such workforce used to be the Confessing Church, Protestants who usually risked their very own protection to help Christian sufferers of Nazi oppression yet whose reaction to pogroms opposed to Jews was once ambivalent.

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Extra info for And the witnesses were silent: the Confessing Church and the persecution of the Jews

Example text

For it goes without saying that the Protestant Christian stands by those who are treated unjustly and violated. ∞∏ Dibelius’s candor reflected both the nationalist anti-Semitism of his age and his ‘‘Christian ethics’’ concerning the persecuted. He exemplified the many Christians who did not lack the courage to stand up for the Jews but lacked insight into the consequences of anti-Jewish sentiment. The language of ideology spoke of ‘‘Jewry’’; the language of ethics focused on the individual Jew. However he later justified it, Dibelius’s attitude toward the Jews can be considered representative of German Christianity at the beginning of 1933.

Representing a wide theological spectrum, they included the German Christian pastor Girkon; the Westphalian Pastors’ Emergency League (pel) pastors Ludwig Steil, Karl Lücking, and Hans Ehrenberg; Siegfried Knak, director of the Berlin Mission; and New Testament scholars Wilhelm Brandt, Ernst Lohmeyer, and theologian Rudolf Bultmann. In the discussion, Brandt and Bultmann cited the Aryan paragraph’s contempt for baptism and its denial of salvation history (although Bultmann still conceded the state’s right to do ‘‘what it considers proper for the sake of the Volk’’).

This is confirmed by the exclusionary provisions of the law. This state of affairs also justifies fears that interpretation and application of the law will be politically motivated, and its vague wording strengthens this anxiety. The church certainly has the right to demand of its pastors their declaration of loyalty to the state in which it lives. We hereby give it. But, bound in conscience to God’s word, which in the church of the Gospel allows only evangelical standards for evaluating the holders of church offices, we must reject the present law.

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And the witnesses were silent: the Confessing Church and the persecution of the Jews by Wolfgang Gerlach


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