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Germany’s Catholic Fraternities and the Weimar Republic


Jeremy Stephen Roethler

Through the last century, Catholic fraternity alumni have served as German chancellors, presidents, federal ministers, state executives, and leading voices in Germany’s parliament. They have played leading roles in the Catholic press, in Catholic youth groups, in Catholic civic associations, and in the German Catholic hierarchy. After World War II, Catholic fraternity alumni played founding roles in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU), the two parties that led West Germany’s transition from its catastrophic defeat («zero hour») to the economic miracle (1949–1969). This book considers the ideas that many of these Catholic leaders encountered as college students or as active alumni in their fraternities in the fifteen years before Adolf Hitler came to power.
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Chapter Five: The Ethos of Catholic Community


← 86 | 87 →CHAPTER FIVE

The Ethos of Catholic Community

For the Catholic, his religion is like the air that he breathes and the eyes through which he sees. In this time of individualism and liberalism, one has become accustomed to seeing religion as a category of human life and human culture, next to art, science and politics. And Catholicism would be seen as just a kind of genus or species of religion. On the contrary, if religion is not an absolute world value, then it is no longer a religion. He who thinks otherwise is not thinking Catholic!


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