Berlin (Sep. 20)
Reichsbishop Ludwig Mueller, who last night delivered a speech attacking the Jews and the Catholics, has declared war “against Martin Luther,” the Pastors’ Emergency League, which is fighting Nazi domination in the church, declared in a circular issued today. The league also charged that Bishop Mueller is “betraying the principles enunciated by Luther.”
In his speech at Hanover last night the Nazi bishop declared open war against the Jews and Catholics, shouting, “We want a church that is free of Rome! Christ was not a Jew and Christianity never grew out of Judaism, but out of a perpetual conflict with it,” the Nazi church leader said. He also declared “that now for the first time in the Christian era, a man has dared to war against the Jews and we must unite behind him, even if we are forced to go hungry for six months.”
Hope of the Protestant groups in Germany of retaining some measure of freedom from supervision by the Nazi appointed church head vanished when Reichsfuehrer Adolf Hitler, the court of last appeal in the Third Reich, declared that Bishop Mueller’s seizure of the Wuerttemberg Protestant church was legal.
At the same time Bishop Dr. Theophil Wurm, head of the Wuerttemberg church, was arrested and confined to his own home under “protective custody” for
Lutheran communities in South Germany are in a state of turmoil over the action of the Nazified church administration in deposing opponents of regimentation and forbidding pastors belonging to the Emergency League from preaching in their churches.
Reich Bishop Mueller made it clear in recent speeches that he expects to head a state church which will include all Protestants and even the Catholics.
Bishop Mueller will be officially consecrated next Sunday.
According to reports received here from Munich, Reichsfuchrer Hitler may intervene personally and arbitrate between the Nazi and anti-Nazi factions within the Protestant Church. Hitler, it was said, may summon a conference of leading churchmen.