Opposition to Nazi Sexual Morals

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In the fall of 1933, Paul Schneider, pastor in Hochelheim, started protesting against the National Socialists and German Christians’ claims to power and ideological agitation, which threatened the church’s freedom. He opposed bell-ringing for political purposes, the incorporation of the Protestant Youth in the Hitler Youth (HJ) and the theories of Alfred Rosenberg, reputed to be the “Nazis’ chief ideologue”.

He joined the Pastors’ Emergency League and was actively involved in the nascent Confessing Church. A confrontation ensued when Schneider publicly harshly criticized a newspaper article by Joseph Goebbels and Ernst Röhm, which opposed traditional sexual morals and scoffed at cranky moral indignation.

Schneider on the other hand clung to strict conservative views of morality, which generally met with less and less approval, and thus criticized certain modern traits of National Socialism. The Nazis’ ostensibly liberal sexual morals’ potential to assume disturbingly inhumane forms was revealed later, for instance in the SS “Lebensborn homes” intended to “breed” the most flawless “racially pure Aryans” possible. Schneider was eventually put on leave from his parish and forcibly transferred to Hunsrück.

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