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By The Daily Telegraph | May 17, 2007
The circle derived its name from having met several times at the country estate of Helmuth Count Moltke. Yet though Moltke was the Kreisauers’ driving force, they owed their harmony to the more measured temperament of Peter Count Yorck von Wartenburg, Marion Yorck’s husband, and it was at their Berlin apartment that the group usually gathered in the later years of the war.
Its members constituted a wide array of anti-Nazis, not merely aristocrats and soldiers, but also trade unionists and teachers. Many had firm Christian convictions, most were influenced by the maltreatment of the Jews, and not a few had rather utopian ideals. Indeed, the circle’s original purpose was to plan for the renewal of Germany after the fall of Hitler, and only gradually did it move to plotting to bring about that end itself.
The assassination was entrusted to Peter Yorck’s cousin, Claus Count Stauffenberg. Yorck kept very little from his wife, who attended the circle’s meetings, often cooked for them, and delivered messages.
On July 18, 1944, the couple traveled to Weimar together for a wedding and the following day parted for the last time when Peter Yorck left for Berlin, in preparation for the coup that was to follow Stauffenberg’s attempt on the Führer’s life two days later at his headquarters, deep in present-day Poland.
Marion Yorck afterward wrote that her husband felt that the plot was likely to fail, but that it was worth the sacrifice to show the world that not all Germans were under Hitler’s sway. The latter’s survival of the blast triggered by Stauffenberg led to a fatal delay by those officers who had promised to back the coup, and Peter Yorck and many of the other conspirators were quickly arrested and tried. He was executed on August 7.
Very few people were bothered by the fact that the Nazification of Church took place…
It would be misleading to give the impression that the persecution of Protestants and Catholics by the Nazi State tore the German people asunder or even greatly aroused the vast majority of them. It did not. A people who had so lightly given up their political and cultural and economic freedoms were not, except for a relatively few, going to die or even risk imprisonment to preserve freedom of worship. What really aroused the Germans in the Thirties were the glittering successes of Hitler in providing jobs, creating prosperity, restoring Germany’s military might, and moving from one triumph to another in his foreign policy (William L Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 1960 ed., 331-332).
I am currently reading William L Shirer’s classic book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960 ed.). Adolf Hitler and the Nazis put incredible pressure on Protestant pastors to submit to the Nazi ideology…
In the spring of 1938 Bishop Marahrens took the final step of ordering all pastors to in his diocese to swear a personal oath of allegiance to the Fuehrer. In a short time the vast majority of Protestant clergymen took the oath, thus binding themselves legally and morally to obey the commands of the dictator (331).
Of course, there were a few like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who were appalled at those who caved in to Hitler.
I have been a pastor for 30 years! I pray that I will always to be true to Jesus!
ABOUT THE FILM
With the art hidden behind enemy lines, how could these guys hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements.
From director George Clooney, the film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. The screenplay is by George Clooney & Grant Heslov, based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter. Produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney
Hundreds of Christians resisted the Nazification of the Church in Germany…
“Some 807…pastors and leading laymen were arrested of the ‘Confessional Church’ were arrested in 1937, and hundreds more in the next couple of years. If the resistance of the (Martin) Niemoeller wing of the church was not completely broken, it was certainly bent. As for the majority of the Protestant pastors, they like almost everyone else in Germany, submitted in the face of Nazi terror.”
A newspaper in Germany published a collection of personal letters from one of the most notorious Nazi leaders.
The German paper “Welt am Sonntag” featured seven full pages of Heinrich Himmler’s letters, along with pictures of a smiling family shot during the war.
Himmler, who was one of the most powerful Nazi leaders that organized the ruthless killing of millions, reportedly wrote several love letters to his wife during the war. He signs one, “I’m off to Auschwitz. Kisses! Yours, Hiney,” never mentioning the horrific events that he was in charge of overseeing.
The Mirror explains the letters reveal Himmler “…as an insecure romantic fantasist who kept his mass murder program from those closest to him. He was happy to have millions killed, but did not want to upset wife…”
The pictures and letters are part of an eight-part series that re-examines the life of Himmler.
I am currently reading William L Shirer’s classic book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960 ed.). Shirer makes it clear that Adolf Hitler wanted the churches in Germany to submit to his authority…
So far as the Protestants were concerned, Hitler was insistent that if the Nazi “German Christians” could not bring the evangelical churches into line under Reich Bishop Mueller then the government itself would have to take over the direction of the churches. He had a certain contempt for the Protestants (328-329).