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By Wolfgang Gerlach

An eternally confusing query of the 20th 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 sometimes fearless rivals of the Nazi regime on different grounds—those who spoke out opposed to Nazi actions in lots of components but whose reaction to genocide ranged from tepid disquiet to avoidance? One such workforce was once the Confessing Church, Protestants who frequently risked their very own defense to assist Christian sufferers of Nazi oppression yet whose reaction to pogroms opposed to Jews used to be ambivalent.

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

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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. Dibelius was not the only church leader to respond to foreign protests against the 1 April boycott.

We practice spiritual resistance (the nonviolent resistance of the Word and of love) (a) through the protest of collective, public confessions from the pulpit; (b) through public advocacy on behalf of those affected; (c) through charitable aid . . ≤≠ Another protest came from the Sydow Brotherhood. Led by its speaker, Barmen pastor Georg Schultz, it announced: The civil service law and the Aryan paragraph did not stem from an ecclesiastical but from a political spirit. This is confirmed by the exclusionary provisions of the law.

Third Decree on the Implementation of the Law (6 May 1933), Section 3: 1. The stipulations for descent in section 3 also apply to the descendants of extramarital relationships. The adoption of a child does not constitute a parent-child relationship as defined by section 3. Law against the Overcrowding of German Schools and Universities (25 April 1933), Section 4: 1. During the enrollment of new students, it must be observed strictly that, among the total number attending each school and department, the number of Reich Germans who are not of Aryan descent, as established by the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service of 7 April 1933, does not exceed the percentage of non-Aryans in the population of the German Reich.

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