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BOOK REVIEWS139 Höhle provides brief sketches of Berlin Catholicism and its most notable figures , but his primary focus is the creation of the diocese. The city's leading Catholics marshaled their forces for this task, as the Weimar RepubUc entered its last and most traumatic phase. Papal Nuncio Eugenio PaceUi negotiated the concordat with Prussia adjusting church boundaries to fit the realities of the VersaiUes Treaty, estabUshing the diplomatic rapport essential for a future concordat with the German Reich, and creating the Berlin Diocese.As PaceUi managed negotiations between Rome, Berlin, and Breslau, the Berlin clergy and Center Party poUticians worked to persuade the government and Landtag (state assembly). Opposition came primarily from the Lutheran church. More conservative Lutherans decried the papist incursion, while moderate church leaders argued that any agreement should involve all major denominations in a uniform restructuring of church-state relations.Yet despite fears of bureaucratic obstruction or an anti-CathoUc groundsweU in the Landtag, ratification of the concordat proceeded smoothly. Höhle notes correctly that the peaceable victory in the Prussian Landtag was due Ln large part to the efforts of the Social Democratic Minister President Otto Braun. This study is weU researched, making use ofcontemporary journals and news articles, the diplomatic archives in Germany and the Vatican, and diocesan records.The author also provides helpful biographical footnotes.What the study lacks however, is analysis of religious, political, or diplomatic history and historiography . The reader will find no sustained examination of German CathoUcism in theWeimar era, though the author references some standard works and articulates weU the unique nature of Berlin's CathoUc community. Nor is there any analysis ofWeimar coaUtion politics orVatican diplomacy. Much is left to the reader's imagination or assumed knowledge, such as why SPD Minister President Braun should work to promote a concordat with the Catiiolic Church.WhUe leaving much room for further criticism and study, this work provides a useful overview of church-state relations and Berlin Catholicism in the Weimar era. Eric Yonke University ofWisconsin-Stevens Point Die Bistumspresse in Hessen und der Nationalsozialismus 1930-1941. By Gottfried Beck. [Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Reihe B: Forschungen, Band 72.] (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. 1996. Pp. 478. DM 98,-.) The German Catholic Commission for Contemporary History is continuing its weU-estabUshed custom of publishing dissertations by young CathoUc scholars , whose work is thereby given the extra prestige of appearing in this excellently edited and finely produced series of research studies. But, as before, readers should be aware that the overall theme is to provide an apologetic defense of Catholic policies during the Nazi era. 140BOOK REVIEWS Gottfried Beck has examined in depth the weekly CathoUc press published in the region of Hesse, covering the three dioceses of Limburg, Fulda, and Mainz. He thereby supplements the various studies of a simUar character for other areas of Germany and provides another mosaic stone to the picture already buUt up. His stance is basicaUy to reject both the hagiographical approach adopted in the immediate postwar years and the highly critical attacks of foreigners who saw the CathoUc press as no more than a willing instrument for the propagation of pro-Nazi ideas. Instead he begins his account in 1930 in order to show the ambivalence of the CathoUc editors during the downfaU of theWeimar Republic. Despite a clear repudiation of Nazi ideological and poUtical radicaUsm—most firmly expressed by the Bishop of Mainz, Ludwig Hugo— nevertheless there was an awareness that democratic republicanism was unable to provide strong government, and hence a certain sympathy for the Nazi goal of authoritarian leadership. In 1933 these editors shared most of the Ulusions about the nature of the new regime and about the concordat signed m July.The bishops' reversal in late March on the question of CathoUcs joining the Nazi Party only added to the confusion. Previous reservations about the Nazis' extreme nationaUsm and totaUtarian ambitions were abandoned in view of the general euphoria. The shock and dismay at the rapidly implemented regulations issued by Goebbels' new Ministry of Propaganda were therefore all the more devastating. The CathoUc press now found itsetfgleichgeschaltet and subject to arbitrary interventions or prohibitions. Beck rightly notes...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 139-141
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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