(Special Correspondence, N.C.W.C. News Service).
Amsterdam, April 8, 1935. Serious apprehension has arisen among Catholic parents by the instructions just issued by the Federal Department of Education with reference to the newly-established country training homes where every German boy and girl must from now on spend nine months once in his life, prior to assuming a professional calling. Forty thousand young people are affected by the new regulations this year, two thirds of them boys. For nine months they will be away from home, in unaccustomed surroundings and exposed to influences which while in part wholesome, as far as mental relaxation, physical training and familiarization with country life are concerned, are devoid of all religious considerations.
The new rules provide that Catholic and Protestant children must not be assembled in separate homes, but must mingle as far as possible to become better acquainted. The superintendents in one and the same home must belong to different denominations. Attendance at church services is permitted on Sundays and feast days, but free hours during the week may not be used for any religious activities.
Services in Homes Banned.
Divine services may not be held in the homes themselves "as they might cause disturbance of the confessional peace." Public funds are not made available to provide for the ministration to the children by their churches. In most instances the homes are located in the Protestant diaspora where no Catholic churches are available at all or they are at great distance.
Inside of the homes the clergy may visit the children only when they are seriously ill. All religious practices, such as saying grace, are to be avoided inside of the homes, " i f they disturb the religious peace."
The Catholic diocesan organ of Berlin, in pointing out these new dangers arising to Catholic education, says that soon Catholics may have to face a "Youth Diaspora" with the inescapable serious consequences involved in such a development.
Baldur von Schirach, the Hitler Youth chief, has again declared, in a speech, which was broadcast all over the country, that he does not recognise the right of the Catholic groups to exist.
Opposes Catholic Groups.
In a recent book, von Schirach presented the same argument and insisted the Catholic groups must cease to exist and their members join the Hitler Youth.
Hans Schmidt, Nazi deputy Governor of the State of Wuerttemberg, accused the Christian churches of fomenting unrest. It is dangerous for national unity, he said in a speech, for the churches to insist on the continued existence of Catholic and Protestant youth groups. They might also ask for a Catholic and a Protestant army, he said. Schmidt condemned the position taken by the Christian churches against the pagan racialism preached by Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi cultural dictator, and by his lieutenants. "The racial laws," he said, "were not invented by Hitler, but were reposed into creation by God Himself."
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, May 25th, 1935 (1935.pdf pp212)