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Sermons in defiance of the Nazis

The sermons of Clemens August Graf von Galen

In July and August 1941, the bishop of Münster, Clemens August Graf von Galen, took a firm stand in three notably dramatic sermons against Nazi insolence of almightiness and terror, against injustice and euthanasia. The sermons were reproduced all over Germany and distributed secretly. The four Lübeck Martyrs did so, too, knowing how dangerous it was.

„Justice is the only solid foundation of any state“

Juli 13th, 1941 bishop Graf von Galen preached in St. Lambert's, Münster, about arbitrary arrests, the expropriation of religious orders and the banishment of parochial personnel and he called for justice.


„We are the anvil, not the hammer“

July 20th, 1941 Bishop Graf von Galen spoke in the Church of Our Lady (Liebfrauen-Überwasser) in Münster. He gave numerous examples for acts of terror by the Secret State Police and implied with the metaphore of anvil and hammer, that he did not believed in the Nazi's permanent success.


„The way is open for the murder of all of us“

In St. Lambert's bishop Graf von Galen spoke his third sermon of these days on August 3rd, 1941. He spoke out against the Nazi euthanasia program targeting to kill disabled persons.


Galen memorial next to the Münster Cathedral © Fiebig

Learn more

You can find a detailed documentation in German language about the beatified cardinal von Galen on the diocesan website of Münster.