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No Coalition Government with Hitlerists if It Means Depriving Jews of Rights: Statement by President

The Centre (Catholic) Party will never join a Coalition Government with the Nazis, if the Nazis demand that Jewish citizens should be deprived of their rights, Professor Ludwig Kaas, Dean of the Cathedral of Trier, the President of the Centre Party, whose Parliamentary leader is the Prime Minister, Dr. Bruening, has declared today in a statement made in his official capacity to the “Israelitische Familienblatt”.

In the course of its 60 years of existence, the Centre Party, he said, has always stood for the equality of rights of our Jewish fellow citizens, who have contributed so much to German culture and economic life. Today Christians and Jews stand together in the common fight against the Godless propaganda, and we of the Centre Party, today and in the future, will firmly and with the utmost determination beat back all attempts to menace the position of our Jewish fellow citizens.

In November, before the last elections, when there were persistent rumours about the Bruening Government admitting the Hitlerists into a Coalition Government, Dean Kaas declared at a meeting of the Executive of the Centre Party that there was no foundation whatever in the reports that Chancellor Bruening or anyone representing him was conducting negotiations with Hitler or his representatives, with a view to forming a Coalition Government. The Centre Party fights against race-hatred, he said, and there is no likelihood of the Party ever changing its views on this matter. A formal resolution presented by Dean Kaas was adopted by the Executive of the Party at the time, declaring that there could be no coalition between the Centre Party and the Hitlerists.

The Centre Party has repeatedly condemned antisemitism, through its various leaders, the ex-Premier Dr. Marx, at the time he was Prime Minister, the late Minister of the Interior, Dr. Wirth, as well as Dean Kaas, and Dr. Bruening, who is the head of the Government as the representative of the Centre Party in the present Coalition. All the Catholic Bishops and Archbishops in Germany have is sued pastoral letters declaring that no Hitlerist can be a member of the Catholic Church, which is tantamount to excommunication, and some Catholic Bishops have refused burial to members of the Hitlerist Party. The Hitlerists retaliate by coupling the Catholic Church with their anti-Jewish agitation, making their slogan “Down with Rome and Judea!”.

At the last Reichstag elections Herr Georg Kareski, a former President of the Berlin Jewish Community, stood as a candidate of the Centre Party, explaining that it was mainly but not exclusively Catholic.

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