Letter of Protest against the Holocaust to Hitler
Probably also inspired by the Letter from Munich Laity, Wurm wrote a letter of principles to the Führer and Reich Chancellor in July of 1943.Even though presentations of letters and personal talks had been unsuccessful, he was unable to keep silent since every Christian bore a share of the responsibility, even in the present form of government.
Exercising the office of a guardian, Wurm urgently appealed to Hitler in the name of God and for the sake of the German nation to put a stop to the persecution and annihilation of human beings without sentencing by a court in the German sphere of influence. According to Wurm, the actions taken to exterminate non-Aryans stood in sharpest contradiction to God’s commandment.
Wurm asserted that no one was asking for anything for Protestant Christians themselves, since they would also bear every sacrifice, but no one could stop them from being Christians and, as Christians, from championing what was right before God. His protest became most emphatically clear in this letter to Hitler, which named the atrocities of Nazi policy – and especially also actions to eradicate Judaism – with unvarnished clarity.
Wurm’s appeal went unanswered – and without consequences; the extermination actions proceeded unabated. Nevertheless, Wurm did not go public with his protest. He considered his task as bishop to be to speak seriously with the authorities, to confront them with God’s commandments and to call upon them to change their conduct.
In his eyes, a public attack would have been a breach of loyalty, played into the hands of Germany’s enemies and further worsened the position of the already hard-pressed church. This letter became known to the general public because Radio London, among others, broadcast it in Norwegian.
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- © Landeskirchliches Archiv Stuttgart, D1/109