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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Sixth Sunday of the Year A 13th February 2011
Back in September Pope Benedict spoke explained to the British people that our great traditions and values were being seriously undermined by increasingly powerful anti-God and anti-life ideas and values. This means we all need to take some particular actions to step away from this “post-Christian” flow. In considering this the below two stories from an even more anti-God and anti-life culture, namely Nazi Germany in the 1930s, might help.

ANTI-GOD: An excerpt from an email from the Dominican religious sister, Hildegard Weinrich, a parishioner of ours who was a child in Nazi Germany.

“When I was primary school age, we had to stand with outstretched arm and shout: "Adolf Hitler, battle hail, victory hail!", and then sing the German national anthem: "Germany, germany above all other nations...." and then the Horst Wessel Lied: "SA is marching..." If our arms got slack and fell down, a teacher would come up and shout that we should show proper respect to our Fuehrer. The younger children in Kindergarten were told in the morning: "Fold you hands and bow you head, and always think of the Fuehrer who gives us our daily bread." There was, of course, no crucifix in the room, but a large photo of Hitler.”

ANTI-LIFE: Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen became Bishop of Muenster in 1933, the same year Hitler came to power. He opposed Nazi policies, for instan-ce in education & religious freedom. His most important challenge was to the Act-ion T4 program—the Reich’s effort to eliminate the physically & mentally disabled.
So, in July and August of 1941, he delivered a series of sermons which argued that if the disabled could be killed with impunity, “then the way is open for the murder of all of us, when we become old and weak and thus unproductive.” If a regime could disregard the commandment against murder, it could do away with the other nine commandments as well.
The sermons caused an international sensation: Copies were sent to fighting German soldiers; the BBC read excerpts on the air. Von Galen expected to be martyred. But something extraordinary happened: The Nazis backed down. The sermons had galvanized the public: nurses and orderlies began to obstruct the program. So Hitler issued an order suspending the gassing of disabled adults.
While the Nazis did continue to kill the disabled, especially children, they killed fewer and they took pains to hide it. As Evans has written, but for von Galen’s actions, the Nazis would have continued unhindered in their quest to rid German society of “those they continued to be a burden to it.” from

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:41 am