Hitler's Bavarian Antagonist

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This book examines an important but previously relatively unknown chapter in the Roman Catholic opposition to the rise of the Nazi Party between 1923 and 1933. In 1929, Dr. Georg Moenius (1890-1953), a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Bamberg, became editor of the highly-respected Munich weekly journal, the Allgemeine Rundschau, which had been published in Munich since 1904. The journal had been a relatively conservative Catholic journal noted for its support of the Catholic Centre Party and Bavarian Catholic culture. Under Moenius’ editorship, the Allgemeine Rundschau attained great notoriety in Central Europe for its fearless and bitter critique of the rise of the German right wing extremist groups, especially the ascendant National Socialist Party of Adolf Hitler, whom Moenius denounced as the ‘anti-Christ.’ Indeed, Moenius’ constant warnings of the peril of Nazism and Hitler were so shrill and persistent that he was accused (even by many who were otherwise sympathetic to him) of being afflicted by a ‘Moenomania.’

The Allegemeine Rundschau was banned in 1933, and Moenius fled Germany to escape arrest. The headstrong priest had to emigrate from one country to another as the Nazi Reich expanded between 1938 and 940, until finally he found refuge in the small colony of German emigrants in Los Angeles. Of those associates who remained in Germany after the Nazi seizure of power, many were banned from journalism. Others were placed in concentration camps.

This book is based on an extensive array of archival material from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and relevant primary sources from those countries. Given the important developments in German historiography in the twentieth century, which saw the breakdown of German statist tradition and that Germany is now of the most important members of the European Union, the significance and importance of the prescient critique of the Allgemeine Rundschau cannot be overstated.


“ ... Dr. Gregory Munro has had the vision and perception to embark on an investigation of an aspect of German religious-intellectual history that has hitherto remained largely under-researched. Through his extraordinarily diligent research and refined perception, he has now made accessible to English-speaking readers a previously veiled dimension of Modern German religious-intellectual history. He has painstakingly uncovered a layer of the recent German past, thereby illustrating that not all Germans, especially sections of the South German Roman Catholic population, were reconciled with the ‘Prussian Solution to the German Question.’ Indeed, it is this so-called Borussismus, standing as it did for unbridled militarism and anti–Catholicism, that caused grave disquiet to a significant number of German Catholic intellectuals. Dr. Munro, by focusing on the Munich journal Allgemeine Rundschau and its tradition of opposition to Prussianism, especially when it was edited by Georg Moenius, has made a major contribution to a previously neglected aspect of modern German history.” – (from the Preface) Professor John Moses, University of New England

“This well-researched study of the leading German Catholic publicist, Georg Moenius, gives English-speaking readers a valuable insight into the troubled years of the 1920s and 1930s. As editor of the prominent journal Allgemeine Rundschau, Moenius sought to uphold the integrity of the Christian church through an intact Catholic culture, avoiding any accommodation with contemporary secular ideologies ... Dr. Munro provides an insightful and path-breaking analysis of Moenius’ career, which came to an abrupt halt when he was forced into exile by the Nazis in early 1933.” – John Conway, Professor Emeritus, The University of British Columbia

“This book has been written with commendable scholarly acuity and thoroughness, which has allowed Dr. Munro to effectively present the importance and significance of the Allgemeine Rundschau’s contribution to the debate on Reichsideologie during the crisis years of the Weimar Republic ... This work represents an important scholarly contribution to the study of German intellectual and church history. It opens up a previously neglected aspect of German Catholic opposition to the rise of national socialism.” – Prof. Dr. Georg Denzler, Otto-Friedrich Universität Bamberg

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface by John Moses
I. The Inner Circle of the Allgemeine Rundschau
II. The Reichsideologie of the Allgemeine Rundschau
III. The Allgemeine Rundschau and the Debate on German Federalism and the Social Question
IV. The Allgemeine Rundschau’s Critique of National Socialism
V. The Allgemeine Rundschau and the Debate on German War Guilt with reference to the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914
Epilogue; Conclusion
Appendices I – V

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