1943

A Catholic America Would Be Worth ‘Conserving’

History is a funny thing in that it takes no prisoners. One thing American Conservatives have wrestled with since the foundation of the republic is just what it is they are supposed to be conserving. Europeans and Latin Americans were fairly clear on the point, with a rejection of the principles of the French Revolution [...]

Life Worthy of Living

This is the last of Fr. Rutler's columns on World War II. In future weeks, look forward to excerpts from his classic A Crisis of Saints, and short pastor's reflections from his weekly bulletin at Our Saviour's Church in the Holy City.   JuneĀ  of 1943 marked a new high point in the war between [...]

1943: The Diplomats’ Battle

As Foreign Minister, and Viceroy of India before that, Lord Edward Halifax was the preferred choice of the Conservative Party and the King to succeed Chamberlain as Prime Minister, but he knew he was no match for Churchill and did not press his case. In this he showed an altruism which was commonly admired, notwithstanding [...]

1943: The Health and Happiness of Baby

In the Teutonic gloom spreading from Tunisia to Stalingrad, the Luftwaffe engineered a glimmer of fresh resiliency with the inaugural test flight of a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet that reached 520 mph on May 22. In those same hours, Stalin was dissolving the Third international, or Comintern, on the first anniversary of the formal Soviet [...]

1943: A Time For Spies

May was flush with the most colorfully camouflaged spy networks in every government, and the Allied bombing of Sicily and Sardinia on May 19 and 20, as prelude to the invasion of Italy, punctuated one of the most celebrated espionage tricks of the war: Operation Mincemeat. As the brainchild of Admiral John Godfrey, director of [...]

1943: The Soul Means Nothing

Benedetto Croce died in 1952, the same year in which Albert Einstein had to protest to his friend Maurice Solovine, "lest you think that weakened by age I have fallen into the hands of priests." In 1943, Croce had to do something similar, as his essays on philosophic idealism increasingly gave the impression that he [...]

1943: A Flight from Reality

In mid-April, the Polish government in exile requested that the International Red Cross investigate the failure of the Soviet government to explain the fate of 8,300 Polish officers "taken prisoner" by the Red Army in the autumn of 1939. The Germans had just announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk. [...]

1943: Night Falls over Europe

German success in the Third Battle of Kharkov exasperated the Russians, although no one could foretell that it would be the last significant local German victory of the war. That was March 16, 1943, and the next day Stalin virtually demanded that the United States and Britain form a second European front to relieve the [...]

1943: The Ides of March

The radical social commentaries of the United States' vice-president, Henry Wallace, would lead to a tense exchange with Winston Churchill in May, but Wallace had already stirred controversy with his leftist reduction of international relations, and war itself, to an economic dialectic. As chairman of the Board of Economic Warfare in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's [...]

1943: Grievances against the Holy See

During February, the Eighth Army realized that local German advances in Tunisia signaled that no jejeune horoscope could be trusted. Rommel's progress and the shock of the Battle of the Kasserine Pass were sobering to Allied forces, especially the newly minted American troops. The Nazis had a new dose of adrenalin, and Joseph Goebbels declared [...]

1943: Progressive Evil

The Judgment of the Nations was a work published in 1942 by the Catholic historian Christopher Dawson, but it started to get significant attention only in the early months of 1943. "The old landmarks of good and evil and truth and falsehood have been swept away and civilization is driving before the storm of destruction [...]

1943: Light the Candles

In the House of Commons in the last week, of January, a Labour member for North-West Camberwell, Charles Ammon, spoke in favor of bombing Rome. He was a lifelong Socialist and Methodist lay preacher who would be raised to the peerage the following year as 1st Baron Ammon of Camberwell and then serve as chief [...]

1943: Lamentations

On the first day of the new year, in anticipation of his declaration of "Total War" twelve days later, Adolf Hitler had decided to make better use of manpower, weapons, and armor-plating by scrapping the High Seas Fleet. On January 3, Canadian troops landed in North Africa, one week before the Soviet Red Army entered [...]

1943: No Peace at Any Price

Germany had tried to suborn neutral countries with a dramatization of the war on the Russian front as a crusade against godless Communism. A new ambassador to Madrid was appointed with the intent of persuading Spain that the Nazis were the last defense of Catholic Europe. The former minister to Spain, Eberhard von Stohrer, had [...]

1942: Cloud of Witnesses

The series I have been writing on the Church in the Second World War has taught me the power of the maxim, "The best way to learn a thing is to teach it." What I have learned from writing about events in 1942, reported in diaries and journals on crumbling war-rationed paper, has opened my [...]

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