7 Jan. 46

1935, published in 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 1370. This prohibited "Organs of Church Leadership" in the Evangelical churches from filling pastorates, engaging clerical assistants, examining and ordaining candidates of the state churches, visitation, publishing of the banns, and collection and administration of church dues and assessments.

This series of laws culminated on June 26, 1937, in Document Number 3439-PS, the "Fifteenth Decree for the Execution of the Law for Security of the German Evangelical Church," dated June 25, 1937, published in 1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 697. By this, the Reich Minister for Church Affairs, Kerrl, established a finance department for the churches to supervise the administration of all church property, the budget, and the use of budget funds and to regulate salaries and allowances of officials, clergy, and employees. Thus, before the outbreak of the war, the Nazi conspirators had the Evangelical churches tied hand and foot physically and administratively, if not spiritually.

Against the Catholic Church with its international organization the Nazi conspirators launched a most vigorous and drastic attack — again at first, however, cloaked under a mantle of co-operation and legality. A concordat signed by the Defendant Von Papen, one of the foremost Catholic laymen in, Germany, was concluded between the Reich Government and the Vatican on July 20, 1933. It is printed in the 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II, Page 679 to Page 690, and contained in Document Number 3280 (a)-PS. I ask the Court to take judicial notice of it. I quote Article 1:
"The German Reich guarantees freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion.

"It acknowledges the right of the Catholic Church, within the limit of those laws which are applicable to all, to manage and regulate its own affairs independently and, within the framework of its own competence, to publish laws and ordinances binding on its members."
Other articles which, being matters of common knowledge, I assume need not be read into the record, formulated basic principles such as freedom of the Catholic press, of Catholic education, and of Catholic charitable, professional, and other organizations.

The proposal for the concordat came from the Reich, and not from the Vatican. I refer to Document Number 3268-PS, Exhibit Number USA-356, excerpts from the Allocution of Pope Pius XII to the Sacred College on June 2, 1945, already read into evidence. I quote from Page I of the English mimeographed excerpts, Page 1 of the German translation, third paragraph, which has not previously been read, "In the spring of 1933 the German Government asked the Holy See to conclude a concordat with the Reich."