Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in
The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
An early indicator of Adolf Hitler's dictatorial leanings came in 1935 when his regime cracked down on a Catholic priest. Hitler's foray into the confessional was reported on the same day it was announced that his will was the supreme law in Germany. An excerpt from The Post of Aug. 22, 1935:
By the Associated Press.
Berlin, Aug. 21. --
The secrets of the Catholic confessional were placed in jeopardy in Germany today when a Roman Catholic priest, Father Horoba, was fined 500 marks (about $200) for "abuse of the confessional chair."
The state attorney at Gleiwitz prosecuted the priest for allegedly attempting to dissuade a woman during a confession from sending her son into the Nazi labor service.
She afterward told her husband and he denounced the priest.
Pleading that the confessional is secret, Father Horoba -- a war veteran with medals -- declared himself a supporter of the present regime, but said he had orders from his bishop to see that the religious training of young men in the labor service was not neglected.
The state attorney, acting on special instructions from Franz Guertner, minister of justice, said this was a clear case of "political Catholicism."
(High German Catholic clericals are meeting now at Fulda to consider the Nazi drive against "political Catholicism." A dispatch today indicated a compromise might be sought.)
Every Catholic, the attorney asserted, should be urged to report such "gross abuse of the confessional chair, constituting a perfidious attack on the state."
The court held that "the belief of the Catholic mother in government labor measures must have been rudely shaken" by what Father Horoba told her and the latter "has gone far beyond his duties as a spiritual adviser."
Roland Freisler, state secretary in the ministry of justice, in an address before the International Penal Congress said Adolf Hitler's will is the supreme law in Germany. He took sharp issue with the liberal viewpoint in penal procedure.
An ultimatum from Hans Kerrl, minister of religious affairs, led many ministers of the Protestant confessional (opposition) synod to fear its dissolution. Kerrl told them they must state by August 23 whether they are prepared to accept state financial control.
A reliable report said the ministers have decided they "will not worship the golden calf."