Vitriolic Article in Der Völkische Beobachter
The article “The Old and the New Testament in the Greetings from the Thuringian Home for Girls” was Werner Sylten’s undoing. He had not written this article himself. Rather, he had taken it from another church newspaper, which had passed through the obligatory review by the Nazi Reich Chamber of the Press without objection. The article merely contained statements that were naturally part of Christian religious thought. Der Völkische Beobachter of November 20, 1935 took a passage out of context however and used it as an opportunity for a vitriolic article against Werner Sylten and his work at the Thuringian Home for Girls.
The passage read: The God of whom we read there (in the Old Testament), Yahweh, the God of the people of Israel – that is in fact the true God, who reveals himself to this people in order to become known to the other peoples and races through this people’s witness. Der Völkische Beobachter defamed the article as a declaration of belief in the Talmud, which had allegedly been mailed to German girls in the month of the Party Rally of Freedom of all months. While the Party Rally had placed any association between Germans and Jews under harsh penalties with its adoption of the Nuremberg laws, a Protestant newsletter dared to promise German girls salvation from Yahweh, God of the Jews!
Der Völkische Beobachter also attacked Sylten personally and published his name. The key passage read: It is really difficult to unite Yahweh and National Socialism in one breast. … One ought therefore also make life in the Köstritz Home for Girls easy and cast off one of the two burdens. We will certainly be informed of the decision. Der Völkische Beobachter’s vitriolic article had the desired effect: Instead of defending him, the Thuringian church government, together with the regional director of the Inner Mission Gerhard Phieler and the Thuringian Ministry of the Interior, began to intrigue against Sylten in order to force him out of office.
Source / title
- © Evangelisches Zentralarchiv in Berlin, Best. 50, Nr. 199, Bl. 142ff.