Against the “Aryan Paragraph” in the Church

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Lohmeyer continued resisting National Socialism even after Cohn had fled to England. As he started a class on the “Christology of the New Testament” in the summer semester of 1933, Lohmeyer’s students heard him remark that National Socialism is a pernicious ideology crippling every academic freedom.

When some 10,000 “anti-German” books went up in flames on Breslau’s Palace Square to a “fire speech” by Bornhausen in early May, Lohmeyer confronted the onrushing students in the Protestant theology department’s library.

In disputes over the “Aryan paragraph”, Lohmeyer took part in the petition “The New Testament and the Racial Question” to the National Synods in late summer of 1933 and sent two letters to Martin Buber, philosopher of religion at the University of Frankfurt, in which he not only fiercely assailed Gerhard Kittel’s book “The Jewish Question” but, filled with shame, also distanced himself from German Protestant theology altogether.

The Nazi Gustav Adolf Walz assumed the office of university president in November.

Source / title

  • Junge Kirche 1 (1933), 201–204 (©Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte, München)

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