Herr Adolf Hitl.'r has good reasons to be satisfied with his achievements in the year 1938.
The conquest of Austria and Sudetenland added large and densely populated territories to the Third Reich and made the Fiihrcr head of a nation of eighty millions. The Austrian and Sudeten provinces have a total population which is almost equal to that of Denmark, Sweden and Norway together.
Germany's military power is the strongest in the world. Geographically and economically she can dominate the whole of Central and South-Eastern Europe.
The Rome-Berlin " axis " and the " triangle," Berlin RomeTokyo, seem to work with more efficiency than one might have expected.
The policy of "appeasement " conducted by the Western powers is interpreted by almost every German as a sign of weakness, and as an indication that the Nazis have become already the most decisive and influential factor in world polities.
The Lord of the World
A State which works in the era of race corruption for the cultivation of its best racial elements is bound to become one day the lord. of the world."
These proud words, written by Adolf Hitler on the last page of Mein Kampf, are considered by many Nazis as a Irtith which has been confirmed by 1 Iii 'rend of events.
In the last issue of 1ht Notimuitsoriatistische Monatslo fit , alii�'li is the official ideological maga iva of the Nazi Party, an article entitled
The Roman Church turns away from Europe " shows us the ideological Imperialism of National Socialism in full swing.
We learn that the Munich agreement has initiated a 110W era for Europe., an era which will be " dominated by thc Nordic race."
National Socialism h (IN am mission to prolcut thdt new Europe against thc 1i ff_drifying and destructive ideas of Freemasonry, Judaism, Marximu and the Roman Church."
National Socialism has 1(1 do that not in Germany alone, Ind in the whole of Europe!
Main Political Events
In January, 1938, the Nazis celebrated the fifth anniversary of their " Revolution." One expected the Reichstag to be called together, and Hitler to pronounce an important speech. Nothing of the kind happened.
On February 4 the resignation of the German Minister of War, FieldMarshal von Blomberg, and of over twenty generals of the Army and Air Force and admirals of the Navy was announced. The Press described that as " the most important date in the history of the Third Reich since January 30, 1933." Nobody knew why. To-day everybody knows : Those military people had advised Hitler not to risk a new world war and to moderate his demands.
.A week later radio listeners were surprised by the ilt.\1s that the Austrian Chancellor Sehitsehnigg had been received in Burchtesgaden by the leader of the movement which had assassinated his predecessor, Chancellor Dollfuss. The subsequent agreement was hailed in the German Press as " the Berman, Peace of Berchtesgaden.Three weeks later Herr Schuselinigg and the NVIi01(1 world learned what Herr Hitler's " German Peace " meant.
Germany occupied Austria in order to prevent Herr Schuschnigg's plebiscite from taking place. The next victim was to be CzechoSlovakia. But before "settling" the Sudeten German question, Herr Hitler made a triumphant visit to Italy.
The Nuremberg Congress of the Nazi Party was the " Congress of Greater Germany." Already Herr Conrad Henlein was sitting on Hitler's side on the platform. In Czecho-Slovakia Lord Runciman was busy trying to find a peaceful solution of the Sudeten problem. In the last week of September Czecho-Slovakia was threatened with German invasion and Europe with another world war. Fortunately the worst could he avoided at Munich-at the expense of a country which was not even allowed to send a delegate to that conference.
Both in Austria and in Sudetenland Hitler organised " plebiscites " of course without any freedom of propaganda and vote. In Germany as well such a plebiscite combined with Reichstag elections was held on April 10.
On the morning after the Munich Conference an Anglo-German statement was signed by Mr Neville Chamberlain and Herr Hitler. Seven weeks later Germany's foreign minister, Herr von Ribbentrop, went to Paris to sign a similar statement with France.
Meanwhile the German Army, Navy, and Air Force were reinforced, and enormous frontier fortifications were built along Germany's western frontier.
Anti-Jewish legislation has been steadily aggravated in 1938. All Jewish property had to be declared, and that was obviously meant to be the basis for an eventual confiscation. In November the Third Secretary of the German Embassy in Paris, Herr von Rath, was fatally injured by a young Polish Jew. Organised anti-Jewish riots with looting and burning of Jewish property and the arrestation of ten thousand Jews followed. About 190 synagogues were burnt down, and the tire brigades were forbidden to intervene.
The persecution against both the Catholic and the Protestant Church has been going on all through the last year. Pastor Niemoller, the leader of the Protestant Confessional Church, is still in a concentration camp. The 89 years old Field-Marshal von Mackensen, one of the most popular German army leaders in the Great War, sent a letter to Herr Hitler, asking for the release of Pastor Niemoller. The wish was rejected. Almost all publications of the Confessional Church have been forbidden by the secret police. Many pastors have been arrested or banned from their parishes. A special decree threatens all those who do not accept Nazi leadership in the Protestant Church with loss of their salary. As private collections are forbidden, all oppositional pastors are threatened with starvation. The oath of loyalty to Hitler has been accepted by the Confessional Church, with the reservation, "saving the law of God."
The persecution of Catholics has become worse and worse. In Austria it is now more vehement than in most ether parts of Germany, in spite of the efforts of Cardinal Innitzer and the Austrian hierarchy to obtain peace by substantial concessions to the Nazis and by an appeal to vote for them. In 1938 several thousand Catholic schools, both elementary and secondary -and the Catholic University of Salzburg-have been suppressed by the Nazis or transformed into Nazi common schools. The remaining diocesan federations of the Catholic Young Men's Association were dissolved, and their property confiscated.
Persecution of Bishops
The Bishop of Rottenburg was banned from his diocese. His palace had been invaded several times by Nazi mobs who tried to set it on fire and demolished and stole furniture and other objects.
In Vienna, Cardinal Innitzer's palace was invaded " spontaneously " by Nazi mobs. Documents and pictures were burnt, valuable objects stolen, windows, furniture and office material demolished several priests attacked and one of them thrown through the window so that he broke both legs.
The residences of Cardinal Faulhaber in Munich, of Archbishop Groeber in Freiburs and of Archbishop Waltz in Salzburg were the objects of similar, although not quite as violent, " demonstrations."
A considerable number of priests and religious were arrested, most of them under false pretexts; many others had to flee abroad or were expelled from their parishes or dioceses.
Anti-Christian propaganda is more violent than ever.
Germany and the Pope
The persecuted German Catholics found their greatest consolation in those solemn and paternal words which the Pope addressed to them again and again. Since his Christmas allocution of 1937, in which Pius XI said plainly: ' We want to call things by their name: What is happening to-day in Germany is a religious persecution." His Holiness has condemned the pagan race ideology several times. Catholic univ ;reales and seminaries the world over were instructed on April 13, 1938, to fight that race ideology by all scientific means, and eight sentences were expressly condemned as antiChristian.
When Hitler went to Rome the Holy See ordered the Vatican museums to be kent closed. and the Pope referred in an allocution to the swastika as "a cross which is not the Cross of Christ.' German and Austrian Catholics were forbidden to attend the Eucharistic Congress in Budapest.
The Fulda Episcopal Conference issued a very grave pastoral letter warning the faithful against the nonChristian and anti-Christian teachings of National Socialism.
The Austrian Bishops protested against the new marriage and divorce laws based on the race ideology and against the suppression of Catholic schools None of those protests had any effect whatsoever.
The situotion of the Catholic Church in Germany and Austria is to-day graver than ever before.