Has Persecution Gone Too Far ?
From Our German Correspondent
There are indications that the German • people are becoming resistant to the Nazi Government policy and religious persecution.
Father Rupert Mayer, the well-known Jesuit has been released after receiving a sentence of six months' imprisonment and his release followed a strong protest from the pulpit by Cardinal Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich.
Father Mayer had been arrested for criticising in his sermons the Nazi educational policy and the Nazi press reports of the trials of Catholics for alleged indecency, and there were some strong incidents in connection with his trial.
For one thing the greatest effort was made to -hold the trial in secrecy—despite the law demanding open trial and representatives of the foreign press were excluded by trickery.
Most important, however, were the admissions made by the Public Prosecutor in the course of his speech.
With startling frankness the Public Prosecutor admitted that " the Government deliberately want to train the people in the principles and have therefore departed from the practice of the free utterance of opinion."
He even went to the length of admitring that "Certainly mistakes have been made and incorrect and unpleasant things have been said. The young German State does not claim infallibility."
In view of the fact that Fr. Mayer has been outspoken in his denunciation of the distortion and falsification in the Nazi press of the facts of the indecency trials it is now being taken that the Public Prosecutor's reference to " incorrect and unpleasant things " is practically an admission of falseness in regard to those trials.
Pastor Niemolier's Release On the occasion of the arrest of Pastor Wilhelm Niemoller for preaching a sermon in which he protested against the charge that his brother, Dr. Martin Niemoller, was a traitor, the crowded congregation protested to the police and shouted remarks uncomplimentary to the authorities. Pastor Niemoller was later released.
Police Order Defied
Another incident of strong resistance to the Nazi police authorities has occurred at Dotzheirn where a Protestant church was closed by official order. This aroused the population of the village, who found a locksmith to open the gates so that a service might be held, at which all attended.
So great was the congregation that it overflowed into the street and Nazi police who came to disperse the villagers and to arrest the pastor were forced to retire.
Among the Catholic priests who have suffered recently are Fr. Sebastian Pitzl, who was sentenced to two months' imprisonment or a fine of 600 Reichsmarks by the " Lanshut" tribunal for commenting in a sermon on a pastoral letter, and Fr. Franz BaIles, who was sentenced to two months for a similar "offence."