Nazi Germany

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Remembering Polish Catholic Heroes of WWII

Although even secularist historians admit that Pope St. John Paul II inspired the rise of Solidarity and dealt a death blow to the Soviet Empire, the pivotal role Polish Catholicism played in anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resistance is less well-known. The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II this year is a fitting time to [...]

Dietrich von Hildebrand’s War Against Hitler

What does one do when faced with obvious and widespread wickedness? Are there protocols to consult that enable one precisely to know what ethical course of action to take? And how do these protocols work when so many of one’s own countrymen seem not to have noticed, or particularly to care, that awful things are [...]

The Flowers in Cell 21

I was in Kraków, and I knew I would go to Auschwitz sometime, but I didn't know when. It was inevitable but unplanned—you can’t plan to visit Auschwitz like you plan to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Then I was wandering around the streets of Kraków one morning and suddenly I hailed a cab. After [...]

If It Looks Like a Duck: The Islamist-Nazi Connection

One of the great advantages we have over our ancestors is hindsight. With a clearer picture of the past, we can avoid making the same mistakes they made. But what if we’re not allowed to use our hindsight? What if we’re forced to pretend that what happened in the past bears no relation to what [...]

Timely Film Rome, Open City is Re-released

London just witnessed the release of a newly restored version of Rome, Open City (Roma città aperta). Roberto Rossellini's Italian Neo-Realist classic emerged from the smashed debris of what was left of the Eternal City as the German armies retreated and the Allies slowly crept towards it. Watching the movie today it lacks none of [...]

Recalling Euthanasia’s Legacy of Death

During a debate on the Senate floor in 1996, at the time of President Clinton’s veto of a bill to ban partial-birth abortion, there was an incident reported in an article in the Washington Post: Not five feet away, Republican Senator, Rick Santorum turned to face the opposition and in a high, pleading voice cried [...]

Pope Benedict: ‘The world needs priests…until the end of time’

Pope Benedict released a letter to seminarians today, encouraging them in their vocation. It starts with an incredible story from his youth in Nazi Germany, explaining why priests are so desperately needed -- "today, tomorrow, and always": When in December 1944 I was drafted for military service, the company commander asked each of us what [...]

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