Monday, June 15, 2009

James White says that a large number of guards in WWII German concentration camps were practicing Catholics! Really??(Updated)

Updates are posted at the bottom of the article.

James White at Alpha and Omega has once again proven why he is an anti-Catholic bigot. He is now saying that large portions of the guards in German concentration camps were “practicing Catholics.” White says in his video (posted below for easy reference) at minute marker 3:20 “It has been rightly said that a large portion of the guards at Buchenwald and Auschewitz were practicing Catholics.” It is apparent that this video was taken from a Sunday school class of his. I guess he is teaching children at his church this garbage? Correct me if I am wrong about this. Above the video it says, 'Taken from PRBC Sunday School, June 14, 2009. The PRBC is linked to here, which appears to be his. (It has been brought to my attention that the Sunday School is for adults)

First of all I would love to know where James White got his information that tells us large amounts of the guards were “practicing” Catholics. White makes it seem as if this is a proven fact. Secondly, what does he consider the definition of “practicing Catholics” to be? Were they daily communicants in good standing with the Catholic Church? Were the guards that murdered Catholic priests and religious “practicing” their faith? White is a disgrace, and he frankly makes me sick in stating something like this. White has chosen to use this example in his latest video to once again take a cheap shot at Catholics in general. I guess he thinks that by saying something like this will make people think that killing innocent people is part of Catholic religious practice. I am curious, was James White in these camps watching these guards go to mass each day, witnessing them spend time in prayer and devotion, and then witnessing them go out and burn and gas Jewish men, women and children?

I guess White doesn’t know that German guards killed thousands of Catholic priests and monks in many of the death camps. I am sure all of these “practicing Catholics” just loved killing off the priests that they went to daily communion for.

It is well known from my source, (White never gives us a source for his “well-known” "rightly said" factoid) the Jewish Virtual Library, that death camps often had special houses for Catholic clergy, which were incarcerated in the camps and singled out for special punishments.

“June 3, 1942 - Polish Priests Deported to Dachau - Almost 60 Polish priests and monks arrive at Dachau from the Auschwitz camp in occupied Poland. More than 2,700 clergy, mostly Catholic clergy from occupied Poland, are incarcerated in Dachau during the camp's existence. The Germans attempt to undermine the leadership of the Catholic Church in Poland as part of their plan to Germanize occupied Poland. The SS holds Catholic clergy together in Barrack 26, the so-called "Priest Barracks" in Dachau.

We know that the treatment of Catholic priests at Auschwitz was not much different. Saint Maximilian Kolbe was murdered in 1941 at the camp.

A survivor of the holocaust tells in her own survival story, "Lengyel wrote about a Roman Catholic nun who was forced to stand, nude, while SS guards stomped on her rosary beads and performed obscene dances while wearing her habit" (Lace 61).” I guess those guards were practicing Catholics as well. I guess these practicing Catholic guards prayed their rosary beads while at the same time stomping the nuns beads into the ground.

History tells us that White's factoid, that he freely tossed out in his video, is complete garbage. It is known (By credible sources) that in Germany the general attitude towards the Catholic faith was one of growing intolerance. Gita Sereny's book called 'Into That Darkness' tells us, “Imposing restrictive measures on Church organizations (both Protestant and Catholic), and constantly attempting to recondition the minds of the young by abolishing Catholic schools and publications, they moved carefully and gradually, but they moved." Historians tell us that nationalism was the motivating factor of the German's attitudes, and not any religion be it Protestant or Catholic. To make a bold claim like White does in assuming that a “large” number of guards in these prison camps were practicing Catholics is an absurd and foolish accusation to make. Does White know that just before the war the majority of the religious population in Germany were Protestant and not Catholic?

According to one article (, “prior to World War II, about two-thirds of the German population was Protestant and the remainder Roman Catholic. I guess the guards were hand picked from Catholic parts of Germany only? Maybe from this data we can conclude that a great number of the guards were practicing Protestants? This is also absurd. In 1941 the Nazi authorities decreed the dissolution of all Catholic monasteries and abbeys in the German Reich. A recent news article also tells us, “more than 300 monasteries and Catholic institutions were seized by the Nazis without compensation between 1940 and 1942. More than 10,000 clerics were evicted from their homes and a total of 2,720 clerics -- 1,780 from Poland and 447 from Germany -- were interned in Dachau concentration camp until the end of the war.”,1518,546146,00.html

Finally we know that before the War started, secularism became widespread in Germany. Christianity had declined in Germany at the time the Nazis came to power. In his book, The Dictators, Richard Overy states that before WWI Germany was already becoming secular, and that after that war, 1918-1931, 2.4 million evangelicals renounced their faith. In Prussia only 21% took communion, and in Hamburg only 5%. Professor Lichtenberger in his 1937 book, The Third Reich, describes the religious life of the Weimar Republic as a place in which the large cities were "spiritual cemeteries." A Tribune Herald writer states, “The plan to take Christ out of Christmas was part of an overall program to re-paganize the German people during the rise of the Third Reich, in keeping with notions of Nazi "racial purity." The religion of Hitler's state was a "kind of murky pantheism," a thinly veiled attempt to overlay paganized, nationalistic fervor over Christianity. Traditional Christianity was seen as "foreign" and suspect to the sovereignty of the Third Reich.”

An article written by Karol Jozef Gajewski sheds more light on the attitude towards practicing Catholics in Germany during the Nazi regime. "It was clear from Mueller’s documentation that clergy were being singled out for ridicule, humiliation and punishment. The famous ‘Currency’ and ‘Immorality’ trials which peaked in 1935 and 1936, resulted in the imprisonment and fining of hundreds of clergy.

The ‘Immorality’ trials sought to destroy the reputation of Catholic religious, aimed in particular at those working in primary and secondary schools. Priests, monks, lay-brothers and nuns were accused of “perverted and immoral” lifestyles — euphemisms for homosexuality and paedophilia. The Gestapo set numerous traps in order to furnish bogus evidence."

He continues further in telling how even Catholic schools in Bavaria, which was the Catholic heartland of Germany had been under severe oppression. "Thus, on October 27, 1938, Adolf Wagner, Bavarian Minister of the Interior stated with pride: “The denominational schools throughout the whole of Bavaria have now been transformed into Community schools.” By January 1939 it was estimated that more than 10,000 Catholic schools had been suppressed and by the end of April that year the London Catholic Herald reported that a further 3,300 schools had been abolished by decree in what was described as “A black day for the Catholic Rhineland.”

You can go to this resource (DIOCESAN REPORTS ON THE DESECRATION OF CRUCIFIXES, ETC) and see official reports made by several Catholic churches just before the war that were vandalized by the Nazis.

Hitler himself said, ""Christianity is an invention of sick brains"
-- Adolf Hitler, 13 December 1941

This sounds to me like a less than perfect garden to harvest practicing Catholic guards out of. It is plain to see that the prison guards who were raised Catholic, were obviously not practicing their faith, nor were ones who were raised in Protestantism. There are many examples like Rudolf Höss an SS officer in Auschwitz, that were raised Catholic, yet rejected their Catholic upbringing before joining the SS. White once again proves why he will only be remembered by many, as an anti-catholic bigot who will take any cheap shot he can to attack the Catholic faith. I ask James White to produce the "rightly said" evidence that a "large" portion of German guards in these prison camps were "practicing Catholics." I want numbers as to how many guards in relation to the total amount of prison guards at these camps were proven to be practicing the Catholic faith, and I want it from documented credible sources.

You can go to this resource for more information on Catholicism in Nazi Germany.

Source update: Edward Bartlett-Jones has an article on Hitler's view of Christianity as well as the SS's attitudes towards Christianity. It seems that James White's unsubstantiated claim is refuted at every turn when we actually refer real historical sources. The article says, "The SS were particularly anti-Christian, and officers and men were encouraged to leave the Church, although those that refused to renounce their Christian faith were not visibly punished, perhaps because their otherwise faithful adherence to SS codes of behaviour gave the lie to any claim of true Christian affiliation. The SS also brought in its own neo-pagan rituals for marriage ceremonies and baptisms."

A comment such as the one stated by White in his video can only come from a twisted mind. If the SS were particularly anti- christian, it is apparent that a "large portion" of them were not "practicing Catholics."

Another article by Patrick J. Gallo writes about Dachau and the treatment of priests in the camp, "Priests were not immune to beatings, starvation or medical experimentation. From the very moment they entered the camp, prisoners were beaten by the SS guards who tried to break their spirit by physical violence. Father Andreas Rieser, who seemed unbroken, was singled out by one guard and beaten repeatedly. The guard then forced the priest to fashion a crown from a piece of barbed wire, a sick representation of Christ's crown of thorns. Beatings were frequent and took place without rhyme or reason. In one portion of the camp stood a crematorium that was used to dispose of those who died in the camp."

Update: The guy who calls himself Turretin Fan has posted some nonsense on his blog stating, "Dr. White simply mentioned an historical fact in passing during a Sunday-school lesson on Matthew 23:37." How is this historical fact? I don't care if its mentioned in passing or not. Sources please! Turretin has conveniently forgot to include them like his buddy James White. I'll give everyone a clue. There is no proof that a large portion of the guards were practicing Catholics. It is mere speculation promulgated by anti-Catholic propaganda. I realized that soon after posting, White's side-monkey would have to post on it. No surprise. Sources please. Evidence is needed before passing off garbage like this as historical fact. Turretin then uses statistics that go against White's moronic theory to try and justify the foolish statement. History tells us only 1/3 of the German population were baptized Catholic. It is most assuredly that even a smaller portion were "practicing Catholics", and even a smaller amount were actual guards in the camps. Turretin is as bad at math as he is with theology.

Turretin asks, "Amazing! Does Bellisario even know the definition of a bigot?"

Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition, defines it this way:

1. a person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed, opinion, etc.
2. a narrow-minded, prejudiced person

Yes, he is the perfect definition Turretin.
End Update 6-16-09 2:05PM

Update 2.

It seems that Turretin has finally realized that White's statement was a foolish one. He recently commented on his blog the following. "I looked around real quick but there doesn't seem to be much data on the religious affiliation of Nazi Prison Guards."

I await the apologies of James White for making such a foolish claim, and trying to pass it off as a fact without first quoting a source to back it up.
End Update: 6-1-6-09 5:30PM

Update 3. Turretin Fan says, "Honestly, who besides you cares if he slipped up and should have said "Lutherans" rather than "Catholics"? It makes no difference to the discussion he was providing."

So now White slipped up? White makes a statement telling his entire Sunday School class that large portions of the guards were practicing Catholics by accident? He slipped up? No one cares that someone makes a comment like this because it is a passing comment not really relevant to the discussion he was providing? Then why make the comment at all if it is not relevant? The answer is that White took a cheap, twisted shot at Catholics in general. Now that he is called out on it, Turretin is now trying to turn the argument the other direction asking me to prove that his statement was in error. I guess Turretin does not realize that it is the accusing party's job to substantiate their argument, no the other way around. Be that as it may, this whole post provides plenty of evidence to the contrary. Guards were known not to be religious at all, and in fact religion was frowned upon in the SS. Turretin, you as well are delusional. You will defend your buddy White no matter what sick, foolish, outrageous and unsubstantiated argument he brings forth. Catholics await White's apology.


Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong Bellisario,I think your papist beliefs are not in accordance with the scriptures.

With that said, I would like to address James White's comments. Quite frankly what he said is idiotic. Those guards who are complicit in the torture and murder of millions of Jews, Papists and men of good will were nothing more than haters of God. While Papists do not know God as well as we who are informed by the Scriptures, those barbaric men were not religious. They were a far cry from practicing papists. Only a fool whose eyes have been glossed over by their own agenda would ignorantly make such a claim.

Now as far as the comments from whom you call his side monkey are concerned, he is just as juvenile and idiotic. Maybe he has repressed communist anti German sentiments. Either way he is overtly ingorant of the history of the inner workings of the National Socialist German Workers Party. The SS was a volunteer force with solid anti-papist sentiments. It appears that the Russian anti-German Turretin Fan needs to do some further research.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow reformed believer, I beg Turretin Fan to either provide proof to his propoganda, or simply shut up!

Stop giving refomed believers a bad name.

Anonymous said...

White is absurd. First, his claim, in a sense, is in itself contradictory: if the Catholics guarding the camps were in truth Catholics, they certainty were not practicing Catholics—at least in the sense implied. For associating or condoning "concentration camps" has never been, nor never will be, part of the "eternal" theology of Catholicism. It's not a Catholic practice.

Anonymous said...

Turretinfan, how is it that your reaction to Bellisario exhibits anything less than what you excuse Bellisario of? Why is it that Bellisario is considered bigot for rejecting your opinion yet you fail to consider yourself one for doing just the same thing. After all, the facts do stand against you. There is little in this world, frankly nothing in the world, remotely close important as is truth. What White said is simply not supported. At the end of the day that's what matters. Quit "avoiding the issue." PS Why is it that you moderate your comments?

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Matt, I listened to Professor White's statements. Turretinfan, acting as Professor White's Obama-esque press secretary over on his own blog, has to 'spin' White's comments to try to make them into something that they were not. He would have been better off pretending to be a surgeon and performed a remove-a foot-from-White's mouth-ectomy. White's comment may not stem from bigotry as Turretinfan represents in his defense, but it certainly demonstrates that White has no problem intentionally using association-type, inductive formal fallacies to try to make points rather than relying on the verity of his religious views which is just as bad. The use of such tactics by White and the defense of such by Turretinfan are a sad commentary about how low some people will go to try to prove that Calvinism is the only correct expression of Christian doctrine.

The simple fact is that there were Nazis who claimed to be Catholic and there were Nazis who claimed to belong to various flavors of Protestantism, Calvinists included. Even if one were to believe that each and every Nazi concentration camp guard professed to be Catholic, such a fact would not contradict the verity of teachings of the Catholic Church in anyway. We have never denied that the Church on earth is peopled with both saints and sinners. (Witness: Dante's Divine Comedy.)

No, what White needed to prove was that the Catholic Church itself actively endorsed the Nazi agenda and state. Given the fact that thousands of Catholic priests and religious (Ss. Maximilian Kolbe, Edith Stein and Bl. Titus Brandsma to name a few) as well as Protestant ministers (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) joined the Jews in the concentrations camps and were murdered alongside them, it would suggest something far different than what White or his would-be press secretary would have one believe.

Moreover, if one were to use White's fallacious reasoning, I could argue that Calvinism was the religion that most reflected the official outlook of Nazism. Hitler's ideologues hated Catholicism with a passion for the same reason that many Calvinists in this country hate Catholicism--because the Catholic Church is governed on this earth by the Pope who also holds himself out as the head of a foreign state called Vatican City. The state church that the Nazis tried to fashion during the war was a Calvinistic one. If one were to examine the religious mutterings of many of the Aryan Neo-Nazi factions in this country and in Europe, their religious views are heavily Calvinistic in principle.

Should such facts prove anything about Calvinism as a whole? Not at all and I would correct any Catholic who made such claims. It's too bad that Turretinfan is so dependent on the paycheck or whatever else he gets from AOMin. He could have really scored some points if he chosen to correct White as opposed to kissing up to him.

God bless!

R. E. Aguirre. said...

Just another example of White's poorly researched anti-Catholic polemic.

R. E. Aguirre
(Journal)Paradoseis Journal

Matthew Bellisario said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Maybe you could add some thoughts on the new post concerning textual criticism? Thanks again.

Alex said...

Turretinfan, I find that excusing James White’s comment as being a remark made in passing is really a poor excuse. I could make the passing comment that the majority of abortionists are practicing Reformed Lutherans as part of a discussion on the culture of death. If someone were to challenge that passing comment, would you come to my defense by stating that my passing comment was above scrutiny? Would you characterize those who challenged my comments as radicals? Are all remarks made in passing above scrutiny in your opinion?

Are you of the opinion that it is incumbent upon us who challenge White’s assertion to demonstrate its untruthfulness prior to White first demonstrating its truthfulness? If you do not believe that White has to demonstrate the truthfulness of his claim, are you proposing that we make this a universal rule, or just a specific rule to be applied to White alone?

Secondly, would you characterize Dr. Tiller as a practicing Reformed Lutheran?

Alex said...

"Turretinfan, acting as Professor White's Obama-esque press secretary"

So true!

Paul Hoffer said...

hi Matt, I would be happy to comment on your textual criticism article as soon as I find a moment to confirm some of the things I have thought of.

Ben M said...

Paul Hoffer wrote:

"Moreover, if one were to use White's fallacious reasoning, I could argue that Calvinism was the religion that most reflected the official outlook of Nazism."

William Thomas Walsh, writing in the mid-1930's, makes an interesting comment about Calvinism and totalitarianism.

"There was something more in most Calvinist teaching than the desire for religious freedom and the reform of abuses. It was more like the ancient hatred which had followed the Catholic Church from her cradle, seeking not her reform but her utter destruction. Calvin himself was as ruthless in this regard as Mohammed. One of his letters to English Protestants declares that those who refuse to give up the Roman Catholic faith must be put to the sword. Calvinism quickly became an international movement, with a world capital at Geneva and with Calvin as a Pope ruling over a city with a regimentation uncomfortably suggestive of some totalitarian state of the future."

Philip II, Ch. 13. The Spanish Inquisition Is Revived [1559]. p. 249.

Also, I wonder if any of these (well-documented) historical tidbits will ever find their way into Sunday school class?

Perhaps there is justification for Walsh's comment that, "The first Protestants, as a rule, were bad Catholics." Philip II, p.252.,+as+a+rule,+were+bad+catholics%22&dq=%22first+protestants,+as+a+rule,+were+bad+catholics%22&lr=&pgis=1

Anonymous said...

Guilt by association. So what if the guards WERE Catholic (not that they were) Hitler was a dog lover and a vegan does that mean that all dog lovers and vegans are somehow complicit with Nazi attrocities? This is furthermore an invocation of Godwin's law which states "the longer a debate on the web lasts the higher the changes are that someone will be equated to Hitler.