Self-conception and Motives
The Protestant pastors considered their actions to be a vicarious temporary office in times of emergency and special situations and felt justified by the Bible verses Ezekiel 3:17-19: Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I shall require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have save your life.
The Protestant and Catholic clergy’s decision to work for the NKFD was based on their experience with soldiers’ external and internal collapse at Stalingrad, the revelation of Nazi mass crimes and the opportunity to minister in prisoner of war camps.
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- © Christiane Godt-Schröder