An Unknown Hero Has Been Beatified

December 2007

When the Nazis brought on World War II, Americans knew the Nazis' war was unjust and immoral. But Catholic bishops in Germany and Austria failed to condemn the Nazis' unjust and immoral war. As far as we know, the Holy See also failed to explicitly condemn the Nazis' unjust and immoral war. They were afraid that if they did, the Nazis would increase their persecution of Christians. (See Charles J. Gangi's article in this issue for the details of Pope Pius XII's wartime Christmas addresses.)

Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian, refused to serve in Hitler's army. He knew that Hitler's war was unjust and immoral. He was beheaded by the guillotine in Berlin's Brandenburg Prison on August 9, 1943. He was a devout Catholic, not a pacifist or a political man. An unknown hero, he stood completely alone.

Pope Benedict declared Franz Jagerstatter a martyr on June 1, 2007. Jagerstatter's beatification ceremony took place on October 26, 2007.

Für Gott und Vaterland -- "for God and Fatherland" -- the Nazis attacked foreign countries.


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New Oxford Notes: December 2007

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If you look around the Pax Christi website there
is a link to the movie (B&W) about Blessed Franz. It costs $5 is well worth it. We viewed it and passed it on.

Posted by: andiamo
January 02, 2008 12:13 PM EST
Hitler's "unjust war"? After the Armistice which ended WWI, the allies reneged on the terms which were supposed to have been based on WIlson's "14 Points", and began a literal starvation blockade of Germany which lasted for about 18 months. A starving Germany was thus forced to sign the oppressive and unjust Versailles Treaty in the spring of 1920, to avoid further civilian starvation deaths. In the meantime, the Soviet Union was murdering priests and nuns, burning churches and outlawing Christ. Shortly thereafter the Soviet Union invaded Poland (a little war never talked about)and starved seven million Ukrainians. This was the EVIL against which Hitler railed in Mein Kampf. He never wanted war with the West. The West chose war essentially to uphild the terms of the unjust Versailles Treaty (which Hitler's so called aggression was simply undoing). Ratzinger the heretic ("in the Resurrection our bodies don't actually rise / we have to reconsider Limbo") isn't even a Catholic. Many Catholic's however in the 1930s and 40s, and not just German ones, but Spanish and Italian and French, understood the pure evil of Communism and fought with the German Army, understanding that it was by far the lessor evil at the time. Do you think Pius XIIth was an idiot and a moral coward? Read Buchanan's book. Try to understand what really happened in WWII, what it was really about, and who really benefited. Then figure out what Catholicism really is. I isn't the Vatican II counter church whcih is wicked and degenerate to its core. Posted by: mulligan
September 19, 2008 08:28 AM EDT
It is hard to believe that anyone would seriously compare serving in Hitler's army with serving in the U.S. military during the Iraq war. It is even harder to believe that these comments could be associated with New Oxford Review? The difference is that Saddam Hussein was a mass killer practically on a level with Hitler himself. Whatever the overall merits of Iraq, Hussein was stopped, and that was good. There is something particulary pernicious about the way a connection is drawn with Iraq and Hitler in this article. It is not only legitimate, but necessary, to use force to protect innocent life. That has been an accepted and fundamental priciple of Judeo-Christian tradition for several thousand years. Posted by: jmkonieczny
September 19, 2008 08:08 PM EDT
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