The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedGordon Zahn
Title QuotedIn Solitary Witness. The Life and Death of Franz Jägerstätter
Date (Year/Month/Day)1964/11/12
Imprint[S.l.] : Henry Holt & Co. 1964
QuotationReading proofs of Zahn's book on the Austrian peasant Jägerstätter, executed by Hitler for conscientious objection. It is an excellent job. Moving above all are the notes of Jägerstätter himself, his "commentaries" on the war. Their lucidity and accuracy are astounding, and so much greater than that of so many bishops and scholars, and commentators at the time. Here was a simple, barely educated man who saw things clearly and stated them as he saw them! One thing strikes me above all. The Catholic Church in Germany and Austria, having condemned Nazism before it came to power, and having afterwards collaborated with it when in power, was surely aware that Nazism was irreconcilably opposed to the Church-just as much as Communism. Why did the Church support Nazism and never compromise with Communism? Perhaps because the Nazis were more pragmatic in offering a means to compromise. But also, basically, because of property.
JournalDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 165
Link to Merton's Copy