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Mothering the FatherlandA Protestant Sisterhood Repents for the Holocaust$

George Faithful

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199363469

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199363469.001.0001

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(p.221) Appendix 3 The Darmstadt Statement

(p.221) Appendix 3 The Darmstadt Statement

Mothering the Fatherland
Oxford University Press

A word about the political path of our people (Volk)

  1. 1. To us the word of the world’s reconciliation with God in Christ has been spoken. We should hear, accept, do, and spread this word. This word is not heard, accepted, done, or spread if we do not allow ourselves to be absolved of our entire guilt, of the guilt of our fathers as well as our own guilt, and if we do not also let ourselves be called back through Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, from all of the wrong and evil ways in which we as Germans in our political desire and action have gone astray.

  2. 2. We went astray when we began to dream of a special German mission, as if the world could restore the essence of Germany. To that end we made limitless use of political power and put our nation on God’s throne.—It was disastrous that we began to establish our state internally solely via strong government and externally solely via displays of military might. With this we rejected our calling to use the gifts loaned to us Germans in service of the common purposes of the peoples (Völker) [of the world].

  3. 3. We went astray when we began to put up a “Christian front” against reforms that had become necessary in the life of society. The union of the Church with old and conservative [political] powers has had dire consequences for us. We betrayed Christian freedom, which permits and demands us to change our ways of life when the coexistence of humanity demands such a transformation. We rejected our right to revolution, but endured and approved of the development of absolute dictatorship.

  4. 4. We went astray when we maintained that we needed to establish a front of good against evil, light against darkness, right against wrong in political life and through political means. Thereby we distorted the free offer of God’s grace to all through the formation of political, social, and ideological fronts and surrendered the world to their self-justification.

  5. (p.222) 5. We went astray when we overlooked the fact that the economic materialism of Marxist teaching admonished the Church in its mission and in its promise of fellowship for the life and coexistence of humanity in this life. We refrained from making the cause of the poor and oppressed into the cause of Christianity in accordance with the Gospel of God’s coming Kingdom.

  6. 6. In what we acknowledge and confess, we know ourselves to be absolved as the Church of Jesus Christ for a new, better service to the glory of God and for the eternal and temporal salvation of humanity. Not the slogan “Christendom and Western culture,” but rather “return to God and turn to your neighbor in the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” that is what our people (Volk) needs and above all what we Christians ourselves need in the midst of our people (Volk).

  7. 7. We have testified to it and we testify to it today anew: “Through Jesus Christ we receive a blessed liberation from the godless bonds of this world to embrace the free, thankful service of his creatures.” Therefore we implore you: Let doubt not become Lord over you all, for Christ is the Lord. Part with all of your faithless indifference, let yourselves not be misled through dreams of a better past or through speculations of a coming war, but become, in this freedom and in great clarity of mind, conscious of the responsibility which each and every one of us bears for the rebuilding of a better German state, which will serve the rights, welfare, and inner peace and reconciliation of the peoples.1


(1) . In J. Jürgen Seidel, “Neubeginnin der Kirche?: Die evangelischen Landes- und Provinzialkirchen in der SBZ/DDR im gesellschaftspolitischen Kontext der Nachkriegszeit (1945–1953) (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989), 316–17. Translation mine.