In another thread, RfM poster “ad42” requested information regarding Mormon Church sympathies and cooperation with the Nazis before and during World War II, saying that such information would be “very interesting”
(“Re: Never Heard of It,” posted by “ad42,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” bulletin board, 30 July 2012, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,584741,584747#msg-584747
The ugly reality is that German Mormon leaders and their loyal, in-country Saints were sympathetic to and cooperative with the Nazis.
Purposely hidden from view by the Mormon Church for decades is the chilling and abhorrent fact that the Mormon Church actively encouraged German Latter-day Saints to stand by der Fuhrer.
Not only did many German Mormons do so, they did so enthusiastically. The evidence for this is clear, overwhelming, undeniable and unbelievable.
**Below are damning excerpts about pro-Nazi sympathies among World War II-era German Mormons, from Alan F. Keele and Douglas F. Tobler, “The Fuhrer’s New Clothes: Helmuth Huebner and the Mormons in the Third Reich,” in "Sunstone" magazine, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 20-29:
--"Hitler enjoyed at least as much popularity among German Saints as he did among the population in general. His apparent dynamism and self-confidence seemed to show a way out of the chaos and weakness of the Weimar years. Moreover, as ‘good Germans,' the Mormons were acutely aware that Hitler had risen to power through legal channels . . .
"Some Church members even saw Hitler as God’s instrument, preparing the world for the millennium. Superficial parallels were drawn between the Church and the Nazi party with its emphasis on active involvement by every member . . .
"The vital importance of ‘Aryan’ ancestry gave new significance to genealogical research. And the Fuhrer himself, the non-smoking, non-drinking vegetarian who yielded to no one in his desire for absolute law and order, seemed to embody many of the most basic LDS virtues."
--"Some Church members even saw Hitler as God's instrument, preparing the world for the millennium."
--"Superficial parallels were drawn between the Church and the Nazi Party, with its emphasis on active involvement by every member. The women's auxiliary of the Party and the Hitler Youth were regarded by some as secular equivalents to the Church's Relief Society, MIA, and the Scouting programs."
--". . . [S]ympathy [for some of the Nazi goals] was apparently shared by some members of the [Mormon] Church leadership. The Church's German magazine, 'Der Stern,' reminded its readers in 1935 that Senator Reed Smoot had long been a friend of Germany, and this attitude seemed to receive official sanction during President Grant's 1937 visit. The message to the German Saints was clear: Stay here. Keep the Commandments. Try to get along the best you can, even under some limitations. We want to keep the Church intact and the missionaries working.”
--"The German Saints were not eager for a confrontation with their national government and they were happy to follow President Grant's advice. By and large, the Mormons and the Nazis coexisted comfortably."
--"In their eagerness to coexist with the [Nazi] government, American officials of the German [Mormon] Church resorted to public relation efforts . . . Probably the clearest example of this tendency is an article by West German Mission President Alfred C. Rees entitled 'In the Land of the Mormons.' The article appeared in a special issue of the Nazi Party organ Der 'Volkische Beobachter' dated April 14, 1937.
"In the Editor's Preface to the article, President Rees is called 'the representative of the Church in Germany,' who 'paints for our readers a portrait of Mormonism today, a church which views the New Germany with sympathy and friendship.'
"Whether President Rees originally wrote the article in German or not, the language of the piece abounds in such loaded terms as Volk and Rasse (race), and a picture of Brigham Young bears the caption, 'Fuhrer der historischen Mormonenpioniere.' But the significance of these linguistic gaffes is magnified by hindsight. More disturbing is the way President Rees blatantly parallels Mormonism with Nazism.
"As Rees warms to his topic, Mormonism begins to sound like a fulfillment of Nazi teachings, providing 'the practical realization of the German ideal: "the common good takes precedence over the individual good."' Rees concluded by assuring his readers that 'Mormons are people who put this healthy doctrine into action.' Reading articles such as this, it would have been easy for a German Saint to mistakenly conclude that the seal of official Church approval had been placed on the Nazi regime."
--"[The Mormon] policy of appeasing the Nazis worked well until the war broke out. Despite the classification of Mormonism as a sect 'dangerous to the state . . .' according to Gestapo reports, the Church was not summarily dissolved as many others were. The missionaries remained; the Church continued. Even during the war, Mormon life was disrupted more by bombing raids, supply shortages, and travel restrictions than by official harassment. By and large, the German Saints lived through the Thousand-Year Reich much like the rest of their countrymen."
**Next, a warning from a then-LDS writer and historian about the Mormon Church-owned "Deseret News" being regarded as a likely appeaser of Nazi Germany:
“If the 'Deseret News' is careful not to offend [Nazi] Germany, and I gather … that it is falling backwards on the attempt, it is my guess that first of all the Church is afraid of complete banishment.”
(Fawn M. Brodie to Dean Brimhall, 14 June 1939, Brimhall Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library; the above citations are available at "Mormon Quotes: A Resources for All Those Investigating, Questioning and Abandoning the Doctrines and Leadership of the LDS Church," under the subhead "Nazi Germany," at: http://www.ils.unc.edu/~unsworth/mormon/nazi.html
**Further on Mormons and der Fuhrer, an excerpted synposis of the Nazi-era Mormon Church in Germany's attempts at cooperation and co-existence with the Jew-killing Third Reich, from (of all places) a pro-Mormon website:
"I just posted something on the Recovery board about the LDS Church in Nazi Germany. I found this information on a Swiss website dedicated to the Church in Switzerland mainly, but also the other German-speaking countries. It is a pro-LDS site, not anti.
"If you read German, you can read it yourself:http://www.hlt.ch
[*EDITOR'S NOTE: If this does not take you to the specified information, go to: http://www.hlt-zh.ch/chronik_1931-1940.htm
and scroll down to "ab 1934"]
"Click on the title page
"Click on Kirchengeschichte
"Click on Geschichte der Kirche in der Schweiz
"Click on 1900-2000
"Click on 1931-1940
"scroll down to 1934. I can´t get a link to work directly to that page.
"If you don´t read German, I have translated it for you.
"REMEMBER, THIS IS A PRO-LDS WEBSITE - NOT AN ANTI SITE!
"The dark shadows of the Nazi regime in Germany began to grow larger and eventually settled on the [Mormon] Church with its organizations. On January 9, 1934 the Reich leadership forbid any further distribution of the brochure 'Divine Authority' within Reich borders. On May 1, 1934 the Reich youth leadership forbid all scouting organizations, including the Boy Scouts of the Church. In various areas of Germany the dissemination of religious materials was forbidden. On July 11,1935 in the city of Elbing the book 'Articles of Faith' by James E. Talmage was banned – all copies of the book in the city had to be burned.
"Brown Shirts were increasingly attending meetings of the Church in order to find out what doctrines were being preached there. Hymns in which 'Israel' is mentioned were forbidden and could no longer be sung. Church activities were in part seriously hindered or curtailed, and persecution of missionaries increased.
"The Church considers itself an adoptive part of the covenant people of the Lord, a branch grafted to the family tree of the House of Israel. This made it very difficult for the German members to deal with the new situation, resulting in a continual conflict of loyalty between religious conviction on the one hand, and loyalty to the State, as stated in the 12th Article of Faith, on the other.
"Mission president Philemon M. Kelly expressed it in his report for the year 1935 as follows: 'The adjustment to the Jewish Problem is cause for serious concern. The people are cautious in what they say, in order to avoid irritating the authorities.'
"The leaders of the Church tried to maintain good relations with the Reich government. The president of the East German Mission, Alfred C. Rees, accomplished a lot in this respect. On April 14, 1939 an article written by President Rees appeared in the 'Völkischen Beobachter' ('Nationalistic Observer'), the official Nazi newspaper. The article was without a doubt advantageous for the Church at the time, but when considered today, it contains passages which are both shocking and shameful.
"The degree to which the Church was identifying itself more and more with the Nazis went too far even for the Party. When the previously mentioned article by Rees was published as a brochure, with a swastika prominently displayed along with the name of the Church, the brochures had to be recalled, because the Party was against having the Church´s printed materials appear with a swastika. The Party took offense, because someone could have thought that the Party was approving of some American religious sect.
"This at times almost over-eager approach to adjust to the Nazi regime caused the Church in Germany to be criticized by some, certainly not without justification. . . .
"Most of the members tried to adjust to the situation somehow. However, there were LDS members who were ardent members of the National Socialist Party (and not just in Germany and Austria).
"The following comes from a letter from Max Zimmer, which appeared in the the Deseret News on November 24, 1945:
"'Paul Kayser proved to be a true father of the Saints in Alsace. In the first two years of the German occupation he had a difficult time as the branch president in Strassburg, because many of the presiding brethren were 100% Nazis who tried, during their visits to the branch, to preach National Socialism instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Saints were admonished, both at home and in church meetings, to pray for the Fuhrer, and to consider him called of God. They said Hitler would prepare the world for the United Order.'
"'These brethren must have said some very stupid things, and the members did not always know what the Church´s actual stand was. Many had the impression, that we as a Church were in favor of National Socialism.
"They tried to reconcile the Nazi salute with the teachings of the Church, and to prove that the Nazi Party was organized according to the way the Church was organized.
"They said that the Fuhrer was like the president of the Church, and we should obey him. The SS was compared with the Melchisedek priesthood, and the SA (brownshirts) with the Aaronic priesthood.
"The Gau leaders were compared with stake presidents, district and neighborhood leaders with home teachers, etc. It was good that Brother Kayser was there. He did not let himself get converted to National Socialism, but rather held to the iron rod and finally was able to get the brethren to leave him alone and let him lead his branch in the right way.'
"Some members were in open opposition to Hitler and his followers. During the year 1941, four young members of the Church were arrested in Hamburg for high treason. They had decided to print and distribute to the public pamphlets with information that they had heard from British radio broadcasts.
"Helmuth Huebner designed pamphlets with titles like 'What happened to General Schoemer, the army commander in Serbia?.' 'Hitler, the Murderer,' and 'The Hitler Youth which we must join.' He and his friends put them in mailboxes, in telephone booths and even posted them on the offical Party bulletin boards. The four of them were tried at the federal court in Berlin. Helmuth Huebner, also known as Helmuth Gudat, was sentenced to death and beheaded by guillotine in the Berlin-Ploetzensee prison. Rudolf Wobbe was sentenced to 10 years, Karl-Heinz Schnibbe to 5 years, and Gerhard Duwer to 4 years in prison. Brother Huebner demonstrasted in these fateful days remarkable courage and wrote in a very moving letter to his family: 'I only have 2 hours left. Then I must appear before my God.'
"Under pressure from the Party, Brother Huebner was excommunicated from the Church (the Huebner case cased the Church in Hamburg serious distress, because Brother Huebner had used the Church-owned office equipment to create and print his pamphlets.) Huebner´s excommunication was rescinded by the First Presidency on January 24, 1948 - he was restored to full fellowship in the Church."
"-----------------End of Translation -----------
"I thought you guys might find this interesting. I will just leave it with no comment at the moment."
("The Church in Nazi Germany," posted by "Jiggs Casey," on "New Order Mormon," 15 August 2001, 11:54 a.m., original emphasis, at: http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?p=187&sid=92b83b81d095b0d0de
**More, from a website examining the special ties between "Fundamentalist Mormonism" and the doctrines of the Nazis' Third Reich:
"While other Christian sects such as the Jehovah's Witnesses were being exterminated along with Jews, the Mormon Church (with its Aryan theology) enjoyed full participation with the Nazi Third Reich. . . .
"Hitler was 'baptized' by Mormons on September 30, 1993, and 'endowed' on April 27, 1994, in the Jordan River Temple, Utah.
"Eva Anna Paula Braun, born in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, on February 7, 1912, was 'baptized' by Mormons on October 16, 1964, and 'endowed' on February 5, 1965, in the Los Angeles Temple. She had been 'sealed' to her parents some time prior to 1970.
("The Strange Relationship Between [Fundamentalist] Mormonism and the Third Reich," 22 October 2009)
**Here, a detailed and critical article by Gerlinde Kenkel, entitled "Mormons in Nazi-Germany," contains many examples of Mormon sympathy toward and cooperation with the Nazis. Those provided in the following selections from this internet summation are corrected for spelling and grammar, given that the author does not appear to utilize English as a native tongue:
"Hitler comes to power
". . . [O]n the 31st of January, 1933 when [Germany's new parliament was elected, [something] happened that what nobody had counted on: The NSDAP became the strongest party, and had gained the absolute majority.
"Immediately churches and institutions sent their letters to Hitler, and insured him their devotion. . . .
"And the Mormons?
"They were completely excited, because many Mormons saw Hitler as a pioneer for Jesus Christ, a preparer of the millenium, and the united order, and some of them entered into the party, and went even to the SS. . . .
"Quickly the Mormons got used to the new rulers. In contrast to Jehovah witnesses and many other sects which were soon pursued after the assumption of power of Hitler, Mormons experienced a relative rest. Their boy scout's organizations continued to exist, and were one of the last youth organizations who were forbidden in March, 134.
"Missionaries of the Mormons were able, like their mission presidents, unhindered [in their] travel, and many expressed themselves more than positively about the NSDAP and Hitler.
"According to rumors, [the Mormon Church] became the church of the NSDAP and the imperial security main office (leader was Adolf Eichmann) in two cases protected [it] against verbal attacks of priests. These and similar rumors c[a]me from simple members; who] were surprised about the privileged position of the church. . . .
"Some Mormons from this time told me [with] full pride when I was still an active church member (before my excommunication in 1992); that the Nazis 'stew Sunday' . . . came from the Mormons (as a weakened form of Fast Sunday); and also from the co-operation of the [Mormon] Church with the construction of genealogical places [for] the Nazi party.
"Missionaries were used to train the German national team in basketball, so that the German team had with it better chances with the Olympic Games in 1936. In addition [according to] one of my sources, Roy Welker’s [German mission president] legion of young missionaries also practiced basketball diplomacy in Hitler’s Germany. . . .
"When [LDS] missionaries played a series of exhibitions against several German army teams in the mid-1930s, Reich sports officials asked the Mormons to help prepare the German team. Not only did they eagerly undertake that assignment, but records of the German-Austrian mission indicate that four missionaries 'officiated' the games (Scharff s 1970, 86).
"A subsequent conversation with one of those missionaries reveals that the young Mormons served as official scorers for the Olympic basketball games (Merrill 2001, 1).
"In early 1936, only one month after American Jewish groups led a well-publicized but unsuccessful drive for an American boycott of the Hitler Olympics, the Mormon church-owned 'Salt Lake City' daily newspaper, the 'Deseret News,' ran a six-column picture of the German team giving the Hitler salute.
"When the Welkers returned home in 1937, one of Roy’s first official duties was [to give] an address to the semi-annual LDS General Conference, a two-day faith-promoting convocation in Salt Lake City. The recently-replaced mission president said: 'Nazi dislike of Jews and hatred of communism are at the root of most propaganda against that nation.'
"In Germany, Herr Hitler . . . sought the services of the [Mormon] Elders to teach basketball to the team he hoped would achieve a Nordic victory at the Olympic Games to be held this year in Berlin. (Bennon 1936, 1, 6). . . .
"In 1937 the leading editor of the (Völkische Beobachter" ('National Observer') asked the mission president of the West German mission, Alfred C. Rees, at that time, if he would like to write an article about the history of the Mormons. This article appeared in the mentioned newspaper on the 14th of April, 1937, and was reprinted later than as pamphlet, and was distributed by missionaris (till the Word War II was started in September 1939).
"Two years before, the German . . . magazine, “DER STERN” reported about the travelings of US-Senator Reed Smoot (also a member of the LDS [Church]), and described him as a 'good friend of the German people.' . . .
"Most Mormons behaved like most Germans: See nothing that happened around me. There were Mormons who converted from the Judaism. There were cases where these members were betrayed by their fanatic brothers and sisters to the Gestapo or the SS. . . .
"Some Nazi emigrates to Utah
"Germany had lost the World War II. Four victorious powers determined . . . the destiny of Germany which had been to blame for Germany itself. Germany lay like a helpless patient on the ground. The victorious powers made German residents look at the concentration camps in their nearness, and they saw many crimes which were committed in the name of the German nation.
"Now many [who] had believed in the ideology of the Nazis had the choice: to admit to having been wrong, or to deny everything [in being] involved in any form in it.
"The Germans who were valid as unloaded received a "Persilschein" (a de-Nazification certificate. 'Persil' was the name of a detergent, . . . thus [making it] clear that the owner of the passport was 'whitewashed').
"Many Mormons in the Nazi party . . . received such a document . . . . This happened everywhere in Germany, in all churches and political organizations.
"[Those] who had such a 'Persilschein,' could open a business, had no occupational ban, and could even leave or emigrate from Germany.
"Some . . . Mormons . . . every now and then even [those who had been] in the SS . . . emigrated thus [to] the USA. . . . The following case is an example of many [German] Mormons . . . [who] found in Utah a new native country. Nevertheless, . . . in this case . . . the man [involved] was excommunicated because he wanted to stick to the polygamy, and died a violent death.
"I found this [on] a internet page about the history of Utah:
“'. . . [John] Singer was born to German immigrants. Singer's father, Hans, was part of the Nazi movement, and as Hitler and the Nazi movement rose in power, he moved his family back to Dresden in 1932. '
"Singer's mother's religious preference was Mormon; therefore, his childhood was filled with conflict because his father forbade his mother to practice or teach her religious beliefs. . . .
"'Singer and his brother Harold were part of the Hitler Youth. Singer's father was drafted in 1940 and, before leaving, enrolled his sons in a school run by the Schutz Staffeln (SS).. . . .
"'His parents divorced in 1945 and Singer emigrated to the United States. . . .
"'John Singer was buried in the Marion cemetery on 22 January 1979.' [see "John Singer," by Kelsey Weinriter, "Utah History Encyclopedia," at: http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/s/SINGER,JOHN.html
"Singer was a member of the SS. What did the SS [do] in Hitler's Germany?
"Here [is] a quote from 'Wikipedia':
"The Schutzstaffel('Protection Squadron'), abbreviated SS--or Runic "SS" (Runic)--was a major Nazi organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. The SS grew from a small paramilitary unit to a powerful force that served as the Führer's 'Praetorian Guard,' the Nazi Party's 'Shield Squadron' and a force that, fielding almost a million men (both on the front lines and as political police), managed to exert as much political influence in the Third Reich as the Wehrmacht,Germany's regular armed forces.
"Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS, under Heinrich Himmler's command, was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II, and most of the particularly egregious ones.
" . . . According to the Nuremberg Trials, as well as countless war crimes investigations and trials conducted over the past sixty years, the SS was responsible for the vast majority of war crimes perpetrated under the Nazi regime; in particular, it was the primary organization which carried out the Holocaust.
"'As part of its race-centric functions, the SS oversaw the isolation and displacement of Jews from the populations of the conquered territories, seizing their assets and transporting them to concentration camps and ghettos where they would be used as slave labor (pending extermination) or immediately killed.'
"The SS was a criminal organization [whose members] were sentenced in the Nüremberg trials . . . rightly because of genocide and other war crimes.
"And thus could settled in Utah as a Mormon.
"Neither the state government controlled by Mormons, nor the Mormon church [was] concerned . . . that Singer was a member of the SS. Only when he wanted to live polygamy and had other problems with state and church power, did they intervene: [Singer was] excommunicated and an attempted arrest was made on [him]. Because he opposed, he was shot.
"By the way, even Helmuth Zander, the branch president of Helmuth Hübener, emigrated to Utah (1952), and he was scared that the B´nai B´rith [would find] him, kidnap him [and take him] to Israel. He worked 19 years of his . . . life in Salt Lake City for the [Mormon] church . . .
"These are only two of several cases where Mormons which were also in the NSDAP, yes, even in the SS, found a new native country in Utah under the wings of the Mormon church."
("About Mormons in Nazi Germany," posted by "Witch of Hope," on "The Ex-Mormon Forums: Think, Question, Research, Discuss, Recover," 6 April 2010, at: http://www.exmormonforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3078&sid=25ea132e1791f86214c45dbe9f309228
The paper cited above concludes with this summation by its author (also corrected for spelling and grammar):
"My investigations have proved [that there was] no opposition [to the Nazis from the] Mormon side, [with the] exceptions [that] took place place in the time of 1933-1945, like the Hubener group.
"Mormons in Germany . . . held, like most other churches [silent], rather . . . than oppose [the Nazis]. [Mormons were] quiet instead of saying something. [Mormons] often cheered . . . Hitler and . . . his party, and saw him [as] the 'fulfillment' of (Mormon) prophecies.
"And when the war came to an end, German Nazis who were also Mormons found in the USA--above all, in Utah--a new native country; whether with or without the knowledge and cooperation of the official church [still] isn't clear.
"And Hitler was baptized several times in the [Mormon[ temple.
". . . [M]any Mormons were and [are] rather anti-communist and rather fascistic, [in] my subjective opinion . . . .
"The [Mormon] church today tries to be quiet about this dark chapter of their German church history. In addition . . . they excommunicated Helmuth Hubener then, because of the bad publicity, took this back . . . .
"I have a many problems [with how] the [Mormon] church writes about this time: play down, edge out and cover up facts instead of naming [its] own failures and pulling consequences for the future from it.
"But I think this will be [an] impossibility for the LDS leaders . . . . They are only one of many churches and NOT the 'true church'!"
(For the entire paper in read-only pdf format, see: http://files.homepagemodules.de/b25663/f13t3031p3133469n1.pdf
**Additionally, Professor Christine E. King of Staffordshire University wrote of German LDS support of the Third Reich, both before and during World War II:
“'German Mormons were encouraged to bear arms for their country and to pray for her victory.' The [Mormon] church said they were fighting, not British and American Mormon brethren, but government representatives. 'Such a distinction, although transparent, served to salve the moral and religious doubts of German Mormons.'
"When Hitler seized power, the Mormon policy of wholehearted support continued. 'The Nazis met no resistance or evidence of criticism from the Mormon church,' wrote Dr. King. Mormon stress on racial purity and patriotism served the church well, and to many Mormons, 'The links between their faith and the politics of the Third Reich were clear.'
"When several Mormons dared to defy Hitler, they received no backing from Mormon officials. 'The church was patriotic and loyal and decried any attack on the Nazi government.' The church even excommunicated one dissident posthumously after the Nazis had executed him."
("Why Didn't The Mormons Resist the Nazis?," posted by "Greek Olive," at: http://malaysia.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100702002401AActX5S
**Finally, one observer's description of the Mormon Church's sorry track record on Nazism in Germany:
"Faced with reports of violence toward Jews in Nazi Germany, 'the Mormon Church did almost nothing,' says 'The Salt Lake Tribune.' Some Mormons, along with members of other churches, 'were entranced by Hitler and his message of racial purity, and there were those who thought they were obeying their church’s teaching to honor state leaders.'
"During the Holocaust the German sector of the Mormons 'did what most of the churches did; the leaders went along,' said Professor Franklin Littell of Temple University, Philadelphia.
"Douglas Tobler, professor of history at Brigham Young University, wants to examine 'the church’s failure to take an institutional stand against Nazism,' the paper said.
"Interestingly, the 'Tribune' observed that historian John S. Conway, of the University of British Columbia, Canada, said that the only religious organization that absolutely refused to follow the Nazis was Jehovah’s Witnesses. He added that for this more than half were sent to concentration camps.
"It is true that Mormons in the United States and Britain fought against Nazism. But not so in Germany itself. The book 'The Nazi State and the New Religions,' by historian Christine King, vice-chancellor of Staffordshire University in England, reports:
“'Mormons joined the armed services and there were six hundred Mormons in the German army by 1940. . . . Mormons continued to stress the "parallel goals" of Mormonism and National Socialism. Some Mormon leaders began to instruct their congregations in elements of National Socialism, conducting prayers for the Führer, speaking of him as "divinely called." There are only two reported cases of Mormons offering resistance to the Nazis.'"
("Resolved Question: Why Did the Mormons and Nazis Get On So Well?," at: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080602215955AAMElPH
There you have it, from the annals of its own history.
Welcome, brothers and sisters, to Mormonism: The One and Only True Nazi Church on the Face of the Earth (otherwise known as the Restored Goebbels of Jesus Christ).
But wait! Leave it to Latter-day Liars for the Lord to attempt a soft-sell spin of history in a frantic effort to downplay, rationalize and deny the historical reality of overt, Church-backed German Mormon sympathy and support for the Nazis during the rise and reign of the Third Reich.
To add insult the injury, they sickeningly claim that the alleged righteous behavior of German Mormons during the Hitler era has actually led to advancing the work of the Lord on Hitler's turf.
Reading this is hard to stomach but here we go:
"In the 1930s the Nazis rose to power in Germany, and for a time, the Mormons in Germany remained cautious, but still participated in the civic life of Germany.
"Mormon missionaries were even asked to help coach German basketball players in preparation for the 1936 Olympics to be held in Germany. More unfortunately, the Nazis seized Mormon genealogical records to help them determine who had Jewish ancestry.
"Mormonism teaches that God deserves our highest loyalty, but also encourages its members to be active in their communities and to seek to do good in them. A few Mormons joined the Nazi party, though the vast majority did not, and the few Mormons who did join were only low ranking officers.
"A few rumors have circulated that Mormons colluded with the Nazis or that the Nazis based their youth programs on the Mormon youth programs. None of these is true, but because Mormons tried to be good citizens, the Mormon Church was the only 'foreign' church allowed to continue meeting regularly and publicly during the Third Reich. With 12,000 Mormons living under Nazi rule, it was inevitable that there should be problems, but over all the Mormons’ reactions to the Nazis paralleled that of most other groups.
"By the mid 1930s more and more freedoms were taken away, and the Mormons and the Church leadership in America became more alarmed. The Church’s youth programs and children’s programs were suspended by the Government, and Mormon youth were required to join the Hitler Youth. All references to Zion and Israel, which occur frequently in Mormon scriptures and hymns, were banned. Most Mormons had their homes searched, and any book that mentioned Israel was confiscated.
"In 1937 President Heber J. Grant, the Prophet and President of the Mormon Church, visited Germany. He reassured the Mormons that they should remain in Germany and build up the Church there. He promised them safety if they lived righteously.
"Because of missionary success, Germany was divided into two missions during this visit, West Germany and East Germany, headquartered in Frankfurt and Berlin respectively. He also told the members that they would have to learn to be independent, and that they would have to bear much of the responsibility for the missionary work.
"In August of 1939, only one week before Hitler invaded Poland, all 150 foreign missionaries were withdrawn from Germany, and the members took over all the work. Joseph Fielding Smith, an Apostle and future President of the Church, prophesied that all Mormon missionaries would escape Poland and Czechoslovakia without injury and that the war would not start until they were all out. The last Mormon missionaries left Eastern Europe on August 31, 1939. Hitler’s army invaded Poland the very next day.
"There are many stories of miraculous escapes and rescues as the Mormon missionaries fled from the oncoming Nazi Army.
"During World War II, only the Lutheran, Catholic, and Mormon Churches were allowed to remain open, although meetings of the Mormon Church were watched by SS officers, and the Gestapo routinely interrogated all Mormon leaders.
"In desperation, the Mormons in Germany quoted the Twelfth Article of Faith, which says that Mormons seek to be loyal citizens. Tens of thousands of Mormons were drawn into this conflict on every side of the war. The Church was affected worldwide, but the Prophet, Heber J. Grant, counseled the members to help one another in enduring the conflict and to stick together. Mormons in Germany for the most part remained safe, though some died as soldiers in the war.
"One incident in Munich (München), however, caused a great stir.
"Helmuth Hübener was born on January 8, 1925, in Hamburg. His grandparents and parents had been members of the Mormon Church. He was raised in the Church and was a Boy Scout, until the Nazis disbanded it and forced every young person to join the Hitler Youth. He hated the Hitler Youth, but was forced to attend.
"In the late 1930s, he was appalled by the treatment of the Jews, even among members of the Church who, for fear of their lives, barred people of Jewish descent from attending Church services. This appalled him, and he openly opposed such behavior.
"Hübener finished middle school in 1941 and started his apprenticeship at the Hamburg Sozialbehörde. While there, some friends introduced him to radio, and he began listening to the BBC. An incredibly bright and capable boy, Hübener and two friends from Church, Rudolf Wobbe and Karl-Heinz Schnibbe, listened to the BBC and began translating the broadcasts and composing anti-Nazi leaflets. The leaflets specifically attacked Hitler, Goebbel, and other high ranking officials. They attacked the war and pointed out the brainwashing effects of the Hitler Youth. They went through Hamburg at night delivering the pamphlets into mail boxes, pinning them on walls or leaving them in public places. Altogether they printed 60 different pamphlets attacking the Nazis.
"In February 1942, while only 17 years old, he was arrested by the Gestapo while translating his pamphlets into French to give to prisoners of war. On August 11, 1942, he was tried before the Volksgerichtshof in Berlin. He was beheaded on October 27 at Ploetzensee prison, the youngest person ever tried and executed by the Nazis. Schnibbe and Wobbe were arrested and imprisoned.
"Hübener’s family and even the arresting officer had begged for mercy, but the court ruled that Hübener had proven himself to be as intelligent as an adult and capable of much harm.
"Today in Hamburg a youth center and street are named after him. Wobbe and Schnibbe were eventually freed from the prison camps by the Allied soldiers. Schnibbe is still alive and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, though he spent many difficult years as a prisoner in Russia.
"The members of Hübener’s congregation in Hamburg feared for their own lives, as the Gestapo investigated them all.
"In an effort to save their lives, the local Bishop excommunicated Hübener and disavowed his actions. This spared the lives of the members; however, since Church policy says that no member can be excommunicated without being present, the ruling was overturned after Hübener’s death.
"While it might be easy to criticize the actions of the members of his congregation for lacking bravery in standing up with the brave Hübener, it is important to remember that they had families and children to protect. It would have been noble to stand up to the atrocities occurring, but they can hardly be blamed for seeking to save their families.
"Today, Hübener is honored as one of the greatest Mormons in Germany history, honored by Mormons and non-Mormons alike. Books and documentaries have been made about his life and numerous things have been named in his honor.
"Other Mormons in Germany faced difficulties, too. One Mormon officer, Walter Krause, refused to execute prisoners of war, an act he viewed as murder. Faced with military discipline, a friendly senior officer who respected Krause helped him get reassigned to be the company chef, a demotion. He accepted.
"45 Million peopled died in World War II worldwide, but miraculously, only 600 of the more than 12,000 German Mormons died, and virtually all of those casualties came during the bombing of Hamburg by Allied planes in 1943.
"However, more than 600 joined the Church during the war and so the Mormon Church actually grew in Germany during World War II. Heber J. Grant’s prophesy had come true."
("Mormonism in Germany," filed under "European Saints, Special Topics," by "admin," 8 July 2008, at: http://historyofmormonism.com/40/mormonism-in-germany
Welcome, once more, to the concentration camp of Mormonism--what excommunicated Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn called "The Auschwitz of the Mind"--where its loyal guards specialize in mass extermination of the truth.
(D. Micahel Quinn, “On Being a Mormon Historian (And Its Aftermath),” in George D. Smith, ed., "Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History" [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1992], pp. 91-95).
To lay to rest the rationalizing. revisionist LDS myth that German Mormons in the World War II era were strongly opposed to the Nazi regime, review the following (kindly provided/cited by RfM poster "atheist&happy" in a previous thread):
"In November, 1938, the Nazis unleashed their most brutal attack on the Jews up to that time. In response to American criticism in the aftermath of Kristallnacht, the 'Völkischer Beobachter' published an article entitled, 'The State within a State: An American Parallel to the Jewish Question in Germany.'
"The column, addressed to 'fair–minded Americans,' compared Nazi treatment of the Jews to the official handling of the “Mormon question' in Missouri and Illinois during thenineteenth century. Both Mormons and the Jews, the writer claimed, were enemies of mankind.
"The article outraged Alfred Rees who was the president of the newly formed East German mission. Rees, who believed that his purpose was to work with government officials, had been making contacts with influential Nazi organizations since he arrived in Berlin.
"As early as November, 1937, he had established a relationship with 'a certain influential agency,' most likely the Propaganda Ministry. At the time, Rees believed that he had struck a 'secret deal' with the Ministry in which the press would refrain from publishing unfavorable articles about the Latter–day Saints.
"In return, Rees agreed to write 'positive' articles about Germany for the American press. Although Rees believed that he had bested the Propaganda Ministry, he did not realize that Goebbel’s Ministry had been making quid pro quo agreements with other denominations in exchange for favorable public relations abroad. Furthermore, on 19 April 1939 Rees published an article on Mormonism inthe 'Völkischer Beobachter.'
"Rees, in his article entitled, 'In the Land of the Mormons,' favorably compared Mormonism and Nazism and emphasized doctrinal similarities. He also suggested that common experience gave Mormonism a unique understanding of the 'new Germany,' especially its grievancesresulting from World War I. Rees asserted 'to a student of Mormonism, recent developments in Germany present a most impressive study.' He mentioned J. Reuben Clark, no doubt, reminding the Nazis of Clark’s Efforts to relieve the financial situation in Germany as president of the Foreign Bondholders’ Association.
"Rees concluded that Mormons exhibited the 'application of the German ideal: Community welfare before personal welfare,' an allusion to Point 24 of the Nazi Party program of putting 'common interests before self–interest.'
"Rees believed that the article would help the Mormon cause in Germany and even had it published in pamphlet form for missionaryuse. Douglas Wood of the West German mission, however, opposedthe article and objected to Rees’ 'friendly relationship' with the Nazis. Wood refused to distribute the tract in the West German mission arguing that it linked Mormonism too closely to National Socialism. Ultimately, it was Nazis who restricted distribution of the tract becausethe swastika on the front cover implied Party sanction of an American denomination.
"While Rees intended to spread the Mormon message and to provide safety for the 8,000–9,000 Mormons living in the East German mission, he underestimated the ruthlessness of the Nazis and overestimated his ability to deal with them. Rees, rather than help the
Mormon cause with the publication of his article in the 'Völkischer Beobachter,' unwittingly tied his religion to the pagan cult of National Socialism."
According to an article by Newell G. Bringhusrt, "Fawn Brodie and Her Quest for Independence," similar letters may have been written all over Germany:
"His [Rees'] article, 'In the Land of the Mormons,' was published in the NaziParty's propaganda sheet, the 'Volkischer Beobachter.' Brodie, made aware of this controversial development by family members close to the scene, was further distressed to learn that 'Rees has encouraged all of the missionaries to write [similar] articles for the local [German] newspapers. "and her comment on LD$ anti-Semitism:
"She also attributed Latter-day Saint evasiveness to 'the latent anti-Semitism which exists in every area as provincial as Utah and which is not Dispelled by the Church doctrine that we are all of the 'blood of Israel.'"
“Latter-day Saint activity in Nazi Germany during the late 1930s further alienated her. Brodie's reaction had a familial aspect, due in part to her immediate family's 'quasi-German heritage.' Thomas E. McKay had served two Church missions in Germany: the first during the 1890s and the second just before World War I, when still unmarried and in his mid-thirties, he was called as president of the Swiss-German mission. Indeed, it was during his second mission in Germany that he met his future wife, Fawn Brimhall. She had been vacationing in Europe and had stopped off in Germany to visit her missionary brother Dean, who then introduced his sister to Thomas McKay. In the late 1930s, Brodie's younger brother, Thomas B. McKay, was also called as a missionary to Germany, and shortly thereafter the Church dispatched her father to Switzerland to serve first as president of the Swiss-German mission and then as president of the Swiss-Austrian mission. The elder McKay's jurisdiction eventually came to include Church affairs not only in Germany but elsewhere on the continent.
"Fawn Brodie, therefore, had more than a passing interest in pre-war Nazi Germany. The Church's position there had become increasingly precarious as Nazi officials placed more and more restrictions on Church activities. Alfred C. Rees, mission president for eastern Germany, attempted to ease the situation by currying favor with Nazi officials. In early 1939 he wrote an article describing those features within Mormonism he thought would appeal to Germans. His article, 'In the Land of the Mormons,' was published in the Nazi Party's propaganda sheet, the 'Volkischer Beobachter.' Brodie, made aware of this controversial development by family members close to the scene, was further distressed to learn that 'Rees has encouraged all of the missionaries to write [similar] articles for the local [German] newspapers.' In a 14 June 1939 letter to Dean Brimhall, Fawn commented on the semi-official Church position vis-a-vis the general German situation: 'If the Deseret News is careful not to offend Germany, and I gather from your statements that it is falling over backwards on the attempt, it is my guess that first of all the Church is afraid of complete banishment.'
"Brodie continued in this same letter to comment on the critical situation of German-Jewish refugees as Nazi persecution intensified during the late 1930s. The Church, she complained, did not confront this issue editorially in the Deseret News and thus appeared oblivious to its moral dimensions. Although Brodie was also sensitive to the difficulty of the Mormon position, noting that 'the Church [in Germany] can ill afford persecution at this moment.' she also attributed Latter-day Saint evasiveness to the latent anti-Semitism which exists in every area as provincial as Utah and which is not dispelled by the Church doctrine that we are all of the "blood of Israel.'" She ended the letter with a touch of ironic sarcasm: 'I can just hear the good brethren . . . at home saying —"'of course the persecution of the Jews is terrible but God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform."'
"On this issue Brodie once again reflected her own ambivalence. On the one hand, she was very aware of the Church's quandary in Nazi Germany--difficulties that directly involved her immediate family. But, at the same time, she was indignant at what she perceived as Latter-day Saint indifference to the German persecution of the Jews--an issue that assumed particular relevance by virtue of her marriage to Bernard."
(Steve Carter, "The Rise of the Nazi Dictatorship and Its Relationship with the Mormon Church in Germany, 1933-1939," in "International Journal of Mormon Studies," Volume 3, Spring 2010, at: http://www.ijmsonline.org/index.php/IJMS/article/viewFile/50/120
; Alfred C. Rees, “In The Land of the Mormons,” translation of illustrated article originally published in "Völkischer Beobachter," Berlin, Germany, 14 April 1939, also at Carter: http://www.ijmsonline.org/index.php/IJMS/article/viewFile/50/120
; and Newell G. Bringhurst, "Fawn Brodie and Her Quest for Independence," at: http://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V22N02_81.pdf
(Part 2 follows in this thread)
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2012 09:54PM by steve benson.