Adolf Hitler declared war on Christianity when he silenced the Catholic Church with a diplomatic treaty and arranged for a Nazi Army chaplain to become supreme bishop over the Protestants of Germany. The Confessing Church resisted. Pastors were muzzled, put under house arrest, jailed, and held for years in concentration camps. Thousands were drafted and sent to the war to die, while others were murdered outright. The result was a lack of man-power. Women stepped in. Pastors' wives replaced their absent husbands in the pulpits, and Theologinnen--theologically trained women--preached and assumed administration of the orphaned parishes. Women fought to save their civil rights, and freedoms of speech, assembly, press, and religion. Some went to jail. Some died. A social and theological revolution thus erupted when women stood by the side of men in leadership positions in the church.
About the Author:
THEODORE N. THOMAS is is Associate Professor of Humanities, History, and German at Milligan College.