Renewed Appeal for a Public Word
As the threat of war loomed in September of 1938, Elisabeth Schmitz wrote to the Reformed pastor Wilhelm Niesel. Helmut Gollwitzer advised her to address her appeal to this leading member of the Confessing Church.
Schmitz pleaded with Niesel insistently that the Confessing Church ought to make a statement to its congregations about the persecution of the Jews. It was no longer tolerable that the Church still remains silent. Filled with dark foreboding, she wrote: The Confessing Church must summon believers back from the path of sin, before it is too late. For what a war would mean for the treatment of the Jews in Germany is unforeseeable.
If need be, such a statement would also have to be endorsed with signatures. She herself was willing to sign – knowing full well that, at the least, this would be tantamount to her dismissal from the teaching profession. She also called upon the Christian community to provide practical assistance to Christian and Jewish victims of persecution.
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- © MPG-Archiv, III. Abt., Rep. 2, Nr. 18/3