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Catholic Citizens in the Third Reich: Psycho-Social Principles and Moral Reasoning

Dietrich, Donald J.

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ISBN 10: 0887381316 / ISBN 13: 9780887381317
Published by Transaction Books New Brunswick, NJ nd (1988), 1988
Used Hardcover
From Bear Bookshop, John Greenberg (Brattleboro, VT, U.S.A.)

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356pp. 8vo Gray cloth Ex-library, pencil marks in margins else clean tight copy: VG/no dj 0-88738-131-6. Bookseller Inventory # 3122714

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Catholic Citizens in the Third Reich: ...

Publisher: Transaction Books New Brunswick, NJ nd (1988)

Publication Date: 1988

Binding: Hardcover

About this title


Why did some German Catholics support and others oppose the police state that was the Third Reich? In this insightful analysis, Donald Dietrich explores the social-psychological dynamics behind the religious reactions of German Catholics to political and moral issues during the late Weimar and Third Reich eras.

Along with many other Germans, Catholics were enmeshed in a cruel dilemma. Assenting to Nazi ideals would mean a loss of moral credibility; opposing them would result in persecution. Dietrich shows how Catholics accommodated and sometimes resisted totalitarianism and the Final Solution. Three groups of Catholics are examined: the hierarchy, the theologians, and the laity.

The literature on Nazi Germany is enormous. But this is the first analysis of the dynamics shaping individual motivations and group response to Nazi ideals. This comprehensive work fuses results derived from social science research with the massive amount of historical data available. It is an interdisciplinary study relating religious values to patterns of behavior, an issue that retains its significance today.

About the Author:

Donald J. Dietrich was a professor of theology at Boston College. He is the author of God and Humanity in Auschwitz: Jewish-Christian Relations; Sanctioned Murder and Catholic Citizens in the Third Reich: Psycho-Social Principles and Moral Reasoning; and has edited Christian Responses to the Holocaust: Moral and Ethical Issues. He was a member of the Church Relations Committee at the United States Holocaust Museum.

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