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Catholic Clergy and National Socialism
Kevin P. Spicer
Published in Association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
“Spicer keeps his rhetorical balance very well, managing to convey the thinking of his protagonists fairly yet also to be judgmental where appropriate. His research is impeccably thorough and unparalleled in the existing literature.”—Peter Hayes, Northwestern University
“Hitler’s Priests will contribute to the much debated argument of the level of Catholic Church resistance, conformity, and accommodation to the Nazi regime. Spicer’s use of archival materials is almost superhuman. Perhaps the most important element ... is the information that he has managed to unearth on these fairly unknown individual priests.”—Beth A. Griech-Polelle, Bowling Green State University
"Deeply researched and deeply disturbing. Spicer's treatment of "Hitler's priests" is absolutely convincing."—The Washington Post
Shaken by military defeat and economic depression after War World I, Germans sought to restore their nation’s dignity and power. In this context the National Socialist Party, with its promise of a revivified Germany, drew supporters. Among the most zealous were a number of Catholic clergymen known as “brown priests” who volunteered as Nazi propagandists. In this insightful study, Spicer unearths a dark subchapter in Roman Catholic history, introduces the principal clergymen who participated in the Nazi movement, examines their motives, details their advocacy of National Socialism, and explores the consequences of their political activism.
(2008) 385 pp., illus.
Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C., is Associate Professor of History at Stonehill College and is Visiting Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.
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