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May 16, 2011

What does it take to become a saint in Germany?

Deutsche Welle ran this story today, 16 May 2011:

Catholic Church beatifies Nazi-resisting priest

A priest who defied the Nazis by continuing to practice Roman Catholicism despite a ban has been beatified by the Catholic church. Georg Häfner died in a concentration camp for his resistance to the Nazi regime.

Beatification is the first step toward sainthood.  But first, the person has to be declared a martyr. I found out from this website why Georg Häfner qualifies as a martyr:

Sixty-eight years after he died of starvation and disease at Dachau, early on this “Good Shepherd Sunday” brought the beatification of the German priest Georg Haefner, whose death at the hands of the Nazis was judged to be “in odium fidei” — out of “hatred for the faith” — and, thus, has seen his designation as a martyr.

Häfner wasn’t killed at Dachau, but he did die “at the hands of the Nazis” because of the Nazi “hatred for the faith.”

According to the book entitled What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau? by Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, who was also a prisoner at Dachau, there was a total of 2,720 clergymen at Dachau, including 2,579 Catholic Priests. According to Dr. Neuhäusler, there were 447 German priests at Dachau. Of the 1,034 priests who died in the camp, 94 were German.  So Häfner was one of only 447 priests, out of a total of 20,000 German priests, who was sent to Dachau and one out of 94 that died. What did he do to be singled out for persecution by the Nazis?

According to Deutsche Welle, “Häfner was honored by the church for his resistance to Nazi rule. Despite a ban on continuing to practice his religious duties as a priest in Oberschwarzach, which is near Würzburg, Häfner carried on and was arrested by the Nazis in 1941.”

This sounds like there was a ban on all priests in Nazi Germany, which prevented them from practicing the Catholic religion, but that is not the case. According to this website, “Häfner’s reported offense was to preach against the rise of the Third Reich.” So, the truth is that he was banned from “practicing the Catholic religion” because he was preaching against the government.  The priests who didn’t preach against the government were free to practice the Catholic religion with the blessing of Hitler, who was a Catholic.

Of course, Germany is now a free country, a democracy, where everyone has the right of free speech and Catholic clergymen can say anything they want, right?  If you believe that, do a search on “Bishop Richard Williamson.”  He is due to go on trial in July for “Holocaust denial.”  He will automatically be convicted because there is no defense against a charge of “Holocaust denial.”  He will go to prison and if he dies there, he will be a martyr.  He could be the first person to become a Catholic saint for saying what he believes, in defiance of the German government.

11 Comments

  1. Dear FurtherGlory:

    I do have you work here in high estimate. I love this blog. I keep coming back here everyday to read everything, even the comments (all of them).

    I learn a lot from you and through your blog. Heaping thanks.

    But on this particular text on Georg Häfner my Catholic faith has detected a few problems, to wit:

    You write:

    ” The priests who didn’t preach against the government were free to practice the Catholic religion with the blessing of Hitler, who was a Catholic. ”

    Well, I think we need some more information here. What does it mean not to preach against the government? A Catholic priest answers to God first. What if obedience to God´s commandments conflicts with obedience to the government Gleichschaltung?

    For instance, in Brazil (I am Brazilian and write from Brazil) the good priests (those who answer to God first) run very often against government policies when they post articles in their personal blogs, or when they teach their lay on the web (not to mention the seminaries), that is, they go against the Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores), which is a communist party and a beehive of Gramscian types. (Abortion being the main point around which the struggle revolves.)

    Fortunately, none of them have been sent by the Workers Party to anything like a Lager.

    My point is, a State (a government) that sends people like Georg Häfner to a prison is no good. Of course, there have been and there are worse ones (granted: the USSR, Freemasonic Mexico and Republican Spain were much much much worse).

    Now as for Hitler, yes, he was baptized. But so is Abraham Foxman.

    Comment by Al Fontaine — November 17, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    • You wrote: “…a State (a government) that sends people like Georg Häfner to a prison is no good.”

      A government, that wants to stay in power, puts people who preach against the government in prison. The present government of Germany puts people in prison for going against the official history of Germany.

      There is no freedom of speech in present day Germany, which is still an occupied country, with 50,000 American soldiers waiting to kill, or imprison, any German who goes against the enforced Allied version of World War II.

      George Häfner was not put into prison because he was a Catholic priest. He was put into prison because he preached against the German government. America is one of the few countries where you can preach against the government.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 17, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

  2. Thanks. Maybe you should write a note on Kafka – it looks to me as thought thre word ‘trial’ doesn’t render ‘Prozess’ very accurately in English.

    Comment by Ethelred — May 17, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  3. I thought Williamson had already been convicted and fined 12,000 Euros.

    Comment by Ethelred — May 16, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

    • Williamson was sent an automatic notice about his crime (like getting a parking ticket) and ordered to send in money to pay for his crime. He refused to accept this automatic conviction, without a trial, and he also refused to send the money. He demanded a trial. What a fool! He will get a trial and will be automatically convicted because German judges do the equivalent of American judges “taking judicial notice.” The legal term, called “taking judicial notice” means that something is common knowledge and does not have to be proved. The Holocaust is “common knowledge” and does not have to be proved in Germany. His sentence could be 5 years if the judge doesn’t like the way Williamson acts in court. If his lawyer tries to defend him in court, the lawyer will be charged with a crime and automatically convicted also.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 16, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    • I have added a link to a source which says that his trial is set to start in July. Note that his crime is that he denies “the extent of the Holocaust” not that he denies that the Holocaust happened. He denies the sacred six million figure. Maybe he is planning to bring in some Red Cross records. If he does something stupid like that, he will get more than 5 years in prison.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 16, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

      • Thanks for the link. The fine came first, then as far as I can see there was a trial at which he was convicted http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36595788, so this is an appeal.

        Comment by Ethelred — May 16, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

        • The news article says: “The Roman Catholic bishop was barred by his order from attending Friday’s proceedings.” So this means that he didn’t show up for his trial. Note the word “proceedings.” This word was used for the war crimes “trials” which weren’t called trials because the accused person was regarded as guilty before the proceedings began. A “Holocaust denier” is considered guilty before the “proceedings” begin and there is no defense. Since there is no defense, how can there be an appeal? Under German law, the Holocaust is “manifestly obvious” which means that the story of the Holocaust is true and no amount of evidence can prove what a “Holocaust denier” says. If court “proceedings” took place and he was automatically found guilty, as always happens, then there is no appeal process. I don’t understand what is going on now in his case.

          Comment by furtherglory — May 17, 2011 @ 7:18 am

          • I found this website which says that his trial never took place. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/372993,holocaust-denying-bishop-set-july%C2%A0.html

            Apparently, his trial was postponed. There is no such thing as an “Appeal” in a Holocaust denial conviction. It appears that Bishop Williamson is planning to offer a defense in his case. That is a foolish thing to do; he will be sentenced to extra prison time if he tries to defend himself.

            Comment by furtherglory — May 17, 2011 @ 8:32 am

          • ‘Proceedings’ may be a translation of German ‘Prozess’ meaning ‘Trial’ (as in Kafka)

            Comment by Ethelred — May 17, 2011 @ 9:17 am

            • Yes, I know about the German word Prozess. This word, in its English translation, was used by Americans when writing about the Nuremberg IMT. Because the Nuremberg IMT was based on ex-post-facto laws, the word proceedings has now come to be used in America in reference to a trial that does not use the existing rules of a trial. The trial of Demjanjuk did not follow German law. The judge’s ruling was based on a law that didn’t exist when Demjanjuk allegedly committed a crime.

              Comment by furtherglory — May 17, 2011 @ 11:39 am


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