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In the sixteenth century, Christian racism developed in the rest of Europe. The Catholic priest and humanist Erasmus maintained that Christians must be careful about allowing Jews into the fellowship of the Church, for a fully converted Jew could not exist; he was always pernicious. Erasmus wrote40 that the Jewish apostate Johannes Pfefferkorn "appears quite typical of his race. His ancestors attacked Christ only, whereas he has [betrayed] Christendom, hypocritically claiming to have become a Christian. . . . This half-Jew has done more harm to Christendom than all the Jews together." One of the authors of Letters of Obscure Men, Ulrich von Hutten, described Pfefferkorn in a similar manner. "Germany could not have produced such a monster. His parents are Jews, and he remains such, even if he has plunged his unworthy body into the baptism of Christ."41 The apostate Jew and Pfefferkorn's friend, Victor von Karben, testified that many Christians mocked Pfefferkorn as a baptized Jew, saying that "anything that is done for you is a waste. [Jews] will never become good Christians. . . . Though you act like a Christian, you are still a Jew at heart."42 Luther wrote of the Jews as if they were a race that could not truly convert to Christianity. Indeed, like so many Christian writers before him, Luther, by making the Jews the devil's people, put them beyond conversion. Trying to convert the Jews, he argued, was like "trying to cast out the devil . . .."43 "They have failed to learn any lesson from the terrible distress that has been theirs for over fourteen hundred years in exile. . . . If these blows do not help, it is reasonable to assume that our talking and explaining will help even less. . . . Much less do I propose to convert the Jews, for that is impossible."44 In a sermon of 25 September 1539, Luther tried to demonstrate through several examples that individual Jews could not convert permanently,45 and in several passages of The Jews and Their Lies, Luther appeared to reject the possibility that the Jews would or could convert. "Speaking to them about [the Law, aside from the Ten Commandments] is much the same as preaching the gospel to a sow." "From their youth they have imbibed such venomous hatred against the Goyim from their parents and their rabbis, and they still continuously drink it. . . . It has penetrated flesh and blood, marrow and bone, and has become part and parcel of their nature and their life." "Dear Christian, be advised and so not doubt that next to the devil, you have no more bitter, venomous, and vehement foe than a real Jew who earnestly seeks to be a Jew. . . . Their lineage and circumcision infect them all." "It is impossible to convert the devil and his own, nor are we commanded to attempt this."46 In 1609 French King Henry IV commissioned Pierre de l'Ancre, a royal counsellor of the Parlement of Bordeaux, as grand inquisitor of witches to clean the Pays de Labourd of witchcraft. This "bigoted Catholic" was a "gleeful executioner" who, writes Trevor- Roper, "gloried in his Jesuit education."47 Hundreds of witches were burned, including several priests. Writing later of his "achievements," de l'Ancre denounced the Jews as "blasphemers . . . just another kind of witch. . . . "48 De l'Ancre specifically attacked the irrationality and indecency of Judaism; the Jews' ability to turn into wolves at night; their cruelty and rapaciousness; their murder of Christians by poisoning of the wells; and their forced circumcision and ritual murder of Christian children.49 He argued that the Jews "by their filth and stink, by their sabbaths and synagogues" disgust God so much that they can never be converted to good Christians.50 As an observer of the "Final Solution" in Hungary has recently written, "The Holocaust is no theological accident . . .. The anti-Judaism of the Middle Ages is shockingly close to Hitlerian racism."51 The period of the Holocaust, 1933-1945, was filled with racial attacks against the Jews by important Church officials, on both the Catholic and the Protestant side.52 In 1935, Cardinal Bertram declared that the Church had always recognized the importance of race, blood, and soil. Munich's Cardinal Michael Faulhaber and Wurzburg Vicar-General Miltenberger stated similar ideas. Faulhaber defended "racial research and race culture" and argued that the Church had always recognized the importance of race, blood, and soil--though he warned against hatred of other races and "hostility to Christianity."53 The same perspective had been expressed by Monsignor Groeber, Archbishop of Freiburg, who had joined the Nazi SS in 1933 and argued for "the national right to maintain unpolluted the nation's racial origin and to do whatever is necessary to guarantee this end." In 1938, Der Stuermer published a special picture album for children that headlined "The father of the Jews is the devil." This was followed by eleven quotations along the same line from the Church Fathers and Martin Luther.54 Der Stuermer's Christmas message of 1941 was "To put an end to the proliferation of the curse of God in this Jewish blood, there is only one way: the extermination of this people, whose father is the devil."55 During the Holocaust, Pope Pius XII's attitude was that the Jews were an annoying and dangerous race and religion. His control of the chief Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica, which published antisemitic articles during the "Final Solution of the Jewish Problem," made his religious antisemitism obvious. His support of Germany and Hitler's anti-Jewish policies in Europe strongly suggests both a theological and racist antisemitism. In 1941 and 1942, the journal attacked the Jews for mythic sins, "malice . . . injustice, impiety, infidelity, sacrilege." In December 1941, a month before the Wannsee Conference in which many of the top bureaucrats of the Nazi regime met to finalize details of the deportation of Jews to torture and death in concentration camps, Civiltą reminded its readers that the Jews were the most visible actors in the drama of deicide and that they repeated their involvement in this crime by means of ritual murder "in every generation."56 In March 1942, another article cited the Acts of the Apostles in condemning Jewish "perversity [and] furious hatred" against Christ. Contemporary Jews, in the eyes of Civiltą Cattolica, carried an unexpungeable "stigma"; it was they who condemned Christ to crucifixion, "the crime of the sons of the Synagogue."57 Pius' predecessor, Pius XI, in 1938 had allowed Civiltą Cattolica to portray Judaism as sinister, and Jews, through money and secularism, as out to seize the world. With the Devil as their master, Jews first corrupted, then conquered; and so they continued to threaten everyone. "Judaism is a deeply malevolent religion, inasmuch as it pertains to a nation which presumes itself elect, and . . . it is the religion of corrupt mes- sianism [which] renders Jewry a tinderbox of disorders and a standing menace to the world."58 Recently, John Weiss has demonstrated the widespread acceptance of anti-Jewish ideology among Germans that led to the Holocaust. He challenges the dictum, "No Hitler, no Holocaust." Less abrasive and more historically oriented than Daniel Goldhagen,59 Weiss notes that a large minority of Germans opposed Hitler. Yet he agrees with Goldhagen that Germany was willing to act to rid their nation of Jews. I agree with this conclusion, with two provisos. First, it must be remembered that the Holocaust was an international event stemming from Germany, but assented to by most Europeans and many among the Allied nations. Without the rest of the world acquiescing in the Holocaust, it could never have happened as it did. The Holocaust was not carried out by Hitler alone, and it was not carried out by Germany alone. The Holocaust was centered in Germany, and the German leader was Hitler--one of several necessary causes of the event. Second, it must be recognized that the Christian Churches provided and institutionalized the basic anti-Jewish ideology--both theological and racist--that made the Holocaust possible and, given the historical context of the 1930s and 40s, likely. Collegially, Robert Michael firstname.lastname@example.org