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Resisting the Third Reich
The Catholic Clergy in Hitler's Berlin
Kevin P. Spicer
"A valuable contribution to scholarship on the role and responsibility of the Catholic Church in Nazi Germany. Spicer provides a fascinating insight into the perceptions, performance, and impact of the clergy in mediating between the demands of their faith and the totalitarian claims of the Nazi state."—Raymond C. Sun, Washington State University
"Compelling reading.... Catholic priests, Spicer demonstrates, played a significant and courageous role in resisting Nazi anti-religious aims."—Michael P. Phayer, Marquette University
"[An]important exploration of Berlin Catholicism."—The American Historical Review
When Nazism swept Germany, how did religious leaders respond to attacks not only on their fellow citizens and their government but on their faith as well? Despite charges of complacency, most of the Catholic clergy of the Berlin diocese in fact maintained a quiet resistance to the Nazi regime by offering their parishioners an alternative to National Socialism. In thus broadening the definition of resistance, Kevin Spicer shows why Nazism was so powerfully alluring in the first place. It provided—indeed demanded—a total way of life, encompassing rituals and social belonging, personal identity and charismatic leadership, moral values and a sense of purpose. In a word, it was a religion.
(2004) 263 pp.
Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C., is Assistant Professor of History at Stonehill College in Massachusetts.
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