And the Witnesses Were Silent: The Confessing Church and the by Wolfgang Gerlach

By Wolfgang Gerlach

An ceaselessly puzzling query of the 20th century is how “decent” humans got here to permit, and occasionally even perform, the ultimate resolution. worry evidently had its position, as did apathy. yet how does one clarify the silence of these those who have been dedicated, lively, and infrequently fearless competitors of the Nazi regime on different grounds—those who spoke out opposed to Nazi actions in lots of parts but whose reaction to genocide ranged from tepid disquiet to avoidance? One such team was once the Confessing Church, Protestants who frequently risked their very own safeguard to assist Christian sufferers of Nazi oppression yet whose reaction to pogroms opposed to Jews used to be ambivalent.

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Nonetheless, the multitude of groups, associations, brotherhoods, and assemblies paralyzed the willingness of many individual Christians to make a decisive commitment. In the end, the different movements neutralized one another. Of the various statements published on the question of the non-Aryan Christians in 1933, some were clear and unmistakable. Old Testament scholar Wilhelm Vischer delivered an important lecture before the Conference of Brethren in Lippe on 30 April 1933. ’’ Protesting the very notion of separating the New Testament from the Old, Vischer replied: ‘‘The tribe of the Jews from which Jesus comes .

In August 1933 Bonhoeffer worked in ‘‘happy collaboration’’∞≤ with 27 The Defamation of the Jews Hermann Sasse in Bethel, drafting a confession intended to serve as a theological foundation for the confessional groups at the National Synod at the end of September. ’’ Although it concerned only non-Aryan Christians (referring to Jews only insofar as they were ‘‘to be called to conversion, and those who believe baptized in the name of Jesus Christ’’), the document emphatically rejected the formation of non-Aryan Christian congregations.

In August 1933 Bonhoeffer worked in ‘‘happy collaboration’’∞≤ with 27 The Defamation of the Jews Hermann Sasse in Bethel, drafting a confession intended to serve as a theological foundation for the confessional groups at the National Synod at the end of September. ’’ Although it concerned only non-Aryan Christians (referring to Jews only insofar as they were ‘‘to be called to conversion, and those who believe baptized in the name of Jesus Christ’’), the document emphatically rejected the formation of non-Aryan Christian congregations.

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