Fortress Press

Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust


German Churches and the Holocaust

Robert P. Ericksen (Editor), Susannah Heschel (Editor)


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Leading scholars in the field of Holocaust studies place the Nazi era in full historical perspective. This book is a broad overview of the Protestant and Catholic responses, including institutional churches, the theological faculties, and theologians, such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Joseph Lortz. Included are assessments of the German Christian movement, the Confessing Church, the German Catholic church, the Vatican, and the free churches. Various responses and individuals—villains, heroes, equivocators—are highlighted.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800629311
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 230
  • Publication Date July 14, 1999


"The contention of this volume—that the German churches played a far more important role in the Nazi atrocities than has been hitherto realized—is convincingly documented here in a readable and provocative way."
— Marc H. Ellis


"The evidence amassed in this volume, not only of Christian accommodation to Nazism and of Christians' sometimes shared values with Nazism, but indeed of Christians' fervent affirmation of Nazism, should put to rest once and for all the idea that Christian conviction or affiliation was primarily a source of resistance to the National Socialist regime.... Betrayal is an outstanding and a deeply troubling book. Its power is cumulative and relentless, and it is richly deserving of a popular readership."
— Dagmar Herzog, in Tikkun, vol. 16, no. 3

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
    Robert P. Ericksen and Susannah Heschel

  2. Assessing the Heritage: German Protestant Theologians, Nazis, and the "Jewish Question"
    Robert P. Ericksen

  3. Storm Troopers of Christ: The German Christian Movement and the Ecclesiastical Final Solution
    Doris L. Bergen

  4. When Jesus Was an Aryan: The Protestant Church and Antisemitic Propaganda
    Susannah Heschel

  5. The Confessing Church and Antisemitism: Protestant Identity, German Nationhood, and the Exclusion of Jews
    Shelley Baranowski

  6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hitler's Persecution of the Jews
    Kenneth C. Barnes

  7. Pius XII, the Jews, and the German Catholic Church
    Guenter Lewy

  8. Joseph Lortz and a Catholic Accommodation with National Socialism
    Michael B. Lukens

  9. Post-Holocaust Theology: German Theological Responses since 1945
    Micha Brumlik