The Religious Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous
and the Twelve Steps

Chapter 8:
Partying with the Nazi Party

The devil gets more help from fanatics than fools.
— Sam Chadwick

Frank Buchman's Oxford Groupers, Marching As To War
"Buchman's Oxford Groupers, Marching As To War"
Life magazine, 1938
Note that those smug sanctimonious self-satisfied young protofascists are definitely not marching off to war, to defend their country. Soon, many of them will try to dodge the draft. Marching around singing
"Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching As To War"
is a whole lot of fun, just as long as nobody is shooting back.

      Undeterred by criticism, Buchman continued to tour Europe, enjoying the first-class lifestyle, and always tried to connect with the upper-class "key people", the royalty and nobility, the leaders, the rich, the famous, and the powerful, in every country that he visited. In Germany, it was the Nazis.

Frank Buchman and his followers were not bothered by Nazism or Fascism. They insisted that politics didn't really matter, because they planned to "change" everyone in the world, regardless of their politics:

"Systems," they say, "don't matter, whether of Capitalism, Fascism, Communism. The best system will not work if the people are lost in selfishness and sin. The worst system will work if God guides it."
      Similarly, by a process of "bridge-building" they hope to bring the nations to a mutual sympathy which will make wars forever impossible.
        "Bridges from man to man,
        The whole round earth to span,"
as their song goes. This process, they claim, has already begun, abating race prejudice in South Africa, improving Franco-German relations in the Alsace-Lorraine, and patching up old quarrels along the German-Danish frontier. It is not apparent, however, that "changed" Nazis have done much for the oppressed Jews.
Buchman — Surgeon of Souls, B.W. Smith, Jr., American Magazine, 122:26-7+, November 1936, page 147.

To hear the Buchmanites tell it, they had already established world peace and universal love. Buchman had erased racism and racial hatred in South Africa, and "started a major and continuing influence for racial reconciliation throughout the whole country, white and black, Dutch and British."8 The Groups' archivist Arthur James Russell bragged about the success of the Oxford Groups this way:

      In the pressing problem of black and white antagonism it was significant that one of the best negro minds in South Africa, Max Yergan, once told Frank that South Africa had sufficient personal religion, and needed no more. Two years later he spoke enthusiastically to Sam Shoemaker of the astonishing racial results.
      Still more striking is the fact that fast-living ranch-owners are being turned into life-changers working among their own native employees. No professional missionary appeal has so convincingly staggered the heathen black man as the simple about-face of their once-careless "big boss."
      Not only a new spirit between black and white, but a new fellowship between English and Dutch is apparent. Because of the Groups many Dutch are learning English and many English learning Dutch voluntarily.
For Sinners Only, A. J. Russell, page 282.

Curiously, the South Africans themselves could not see any improvement in their country. They were rather surprised to read in the London newspapers that the Buchmanites had saved their country and solved the race problem, when they still saw it every time they looked out the window.9

The Church Times, a South African religious newspaper, wrote (Oct. 12, 1934):

      The English newspapers continually bring us news of the wonders which the Group Movement is effecting in South Africa. To it they ascribe the formation of the coalition Government, and the melting away of the barriers between Dutch and English, European and native, Indian and Bantu; and we are told that these things are attracting the attention of India. It is curious that in South Africa we should know so little of these wonders. It seemed clear to us that the coalition Government came into being through sheer weariness of strife; certainly it was never attributed here to the influence of the Groups. And the Groups have long since ceased to attract any attention to speak of. Their meetings are doubtless held, but little is heard of them, or their converts. The passage through the principal towns of a fervent itinerating evangelist has made much more stir, and in the heat of a new excitement the former is forgotten. Groupism, in fact, seems to be rapidly fading out.
Quoted in The Groups Movement, by the Most Rev. John A. Richardson, Milwaukee: Morehouse Publishing Co., 1935, pages 23-24.

And unfortunately, the wonderful friendly relations between the French and Germans, or Danes and Germans, that Buchman had supposedly created didn't last very long, either...

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
"The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated."
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 2, Chapter 10

And while Buchman declared that systems don't matter, no matter whether Fascism or Communism, Buchman showed a decided bias towards Fascism. In a parade at an international MRA gathering in Stockholm, Sweden, the flags of 18 nations were on display. The Swastika was among them, but the Hammer and Sickle was not.40

A grouper has said that Fascism is preferable to Communism because it appeals to ideals, to self-sacrifice rather than self-interest. This is a warning.
"THE GROUP MOVEMENT AND THE MIDDLE CLASSES", W. H. Auden, page 101, writing in
Oxford and the Groups; The Influence of the Groups considered by Rev. Geoffrey F. Allen, John Maud, Miss B. E. Gwyer, C. R. Morris, W. H. Auden, R. H. S. Crossman, Dr. L. P. Jacks, Rev. E. R. Micklem, Rev. J. W. C. Wand, Rev. M. C. D'Arcy, S.J., Professor L. W. Grensted.     Edited by R. H. S. Crossman.     Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1934.

TIME reported on an Oxford Group convention in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, that included a big parade on Memorial Day:

Groupers in Stockbridge

Marchers in the parade carried the flags of 48 States and 18 nations, including Germany's swastika, adverse comment on which was parried with the statement that thus does the Oxford Group bring nations together.
TIME magazine, June 15, 1936

And it seems that Buchman changed his opinion of Communism within days of that interview — suddenly it did matter, a lot. That article quoting Buchman's remarks about systems was published in the November 1936 issue of American Magazine, but undoubtedly, the interview was given and the article was written some months earlier, due to the lead time in magazine publishing. Then, in late August, Buchman declared that he was strongly opposed to Communism.

In an interview published August 26, 1936 in the New York World Telegram newspaper, Frank Buchman said, "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism..."

The day after Buchman got off of an ocean-liner from Europe, returning from the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he had been the personal guest of the Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler, he sat in his study at Sam Shoemaker's church in New York, surrounded by eight or nine of his followers, some of whom sat on the floor, and gave the following interview:


By William A. H. Birnie,
World-Telegram Staff Writer

      To Dr Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman, vigorous, outspoken, 58-year-old leader of the revivalist Oxford Group, the Fascist dictatorships of Europe suggest infinite possibilities for remaking the world and putting it under "God Control".
      "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism, " he said today in his book-lined office in the annexe of Calvary Church, Fourth Ave and 21st St.
      "My barber in London told me Hitler saved Europe from Communism. That's how he felt. Of course, I don't condone everything the Nazis do. Anti-Semitism? Bad, naturally. I suppose Hitler sees a Karl Marx in every Jew.
      "But think what it would mean to the world if Hitler surrendered to the control of God. Or Mussolini. Or any dictator. Through such a man God could control a nation overnight and solve every last, bewildering problem...
      "The world needs the dictatorship of the living spirit of God. I like to put it this way. God is a perpetual broadcasting station and all you need to do is tune in. What we need is a supernatural network of live wires across the world to every last man, in every last place, in every last situation...
      "The world won't listen to God but God has a plan for every person, for every nation. Human ingenuity is not enough. That is why the isms are pitted against each other and blood falls.
      "... Human problems aren't economic. They're moral and they can't be solved by immoral measures. They could be solved within a God-controlled democracy, or perhaps I should say a theocracy, and they could be solved through a God-controlled Fascist dictatorship."
The New York World Telegram, August 26, 1936, quoted in
Hitler and Buchman, Reinhold Niebuhr, The Christian Century, 53:1315-6, Oct. 7, 1936, page 1315.
Also see:
A God-Guided Dictator, The Christian Century, 53:1182-3, Sept. 9, 1936, page 1182.
Also see:
The Mystery of Moral Re-Armament; A Study of Frank Buchman and His Movement, Tom Driberg, 1965, pages 68-69.
Also see:
Garth Lean, On the Tail of a Comet: The Life of Frank Buchman, page 239.

(Full text available here.)

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler

Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler
Benito Mussolini
and Adolf Hitler

Ribbentrop and Hitler
Ribbentrop and Hitler

Note how casually Buchman dismissed Hitler's pogrom against the Jews. "Anti-Semitism? Bad, naturally. I suppose Hitler sees a Karl Marx in every Jew. But think what it would mean to the world if Hitler surrendered to the control of God."

When Frank Buchman gave that World Telegram interview, August 26, 1936, Adolf Hitler had already been in power for three and a half years, and his vicious campaign against the Jews had been in full force for years by then, using discriminatory laws, jack-booted thugs, and Gestapo agents to get rid of the Jews, one way or another. Frank Buchman indicated that he knew about all of that, but he didn't consider it very important. Frank Buchman dismissed it all with a flippant "Anti-Semitism? Bad, naturally.   ...   But think what it would mean to the world if Hitler surrendered to the control of God..."

Reinhold Niebuhr, the eminent theologian who was the author of the Serenity Prayer, was outraged. He wrote:

      In this interview the social philosophy of the Oxford group, long implicit in its strategy, is made explicit, and revealed in all its childishness and viciousness. This philosophy has been implicit in Buchmanite strategy from the beginning.   ...
      In other words, a Nazi social philosophy has been a covert presumption of the whole Oxford group enterprise from the very beginning. We may be grateful to the leader for revealing so clearly what has been slightly hidden. Now we can see how unbelievably naïve this movement is in its efforts to save the world. If it would content itself with preaching repentance to drunkards and adulterers one might be willing to respect it as a religious revival method which knows how to confront the sinner with God. But when it runs to Geneva, the seat of the League of Nations, or to Prince Starhemberg or Hitler, or to any seat of power, always with the idea that it is on the verge of saving the world by bringing the people who control the world under God-control, it is difficult to restrain the contempt which one feels for this dangerous childishness.
Christianity and Power Politics, Reinhold Niebuhr, in the chapter "Hitler and Buchman".
boycott of Jewish doctors, April 1933
The boycott of Jewish doctors, April 1933.
The stickers read: "Attention Jew! Visit Forbidden!"
That was an order to the public not to visit the offices of Jewish doctors.

An elderly Jew being taken into custody by police in Berlin, 1934
An elderly Jew being taken into custody by police in Berlin, 1934.

TIME magazine, Monday, Sep. 07, 1936

"God-Controlled Dictatorship"

When the followers of Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman wish to emphasize the fact that the Oxford Groups include all sorts of people, they often speak of their "former Communist" colleague, Scotsman James Watt. The Oxford Groups lay no claim to having a "former Fascist" in their midst, and German Buchmanite baronesses hedge when asked how the movement works in the case of German Jews. Last week, to a stray interviewer from the New York World-Telegram, brisk Dr. Buchman readily declared himself on Fascism, now No. 1 bugaboo to practically all U. S. churchmen.

"I thank heaven," exclaimed Grouper Buchman, "for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front-line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism. My barber in London told me Hitler saved all Europe from Communism. That's how he felt. Of course, I don't condone everything the Nazis do. Anti-Semitism? Bad, naturally. I suppose Hitler sees a Karl Marx in every Jew.

"But think what it would mean to the world if Hitler surrendered to God. Or Mussolini. Or any dictator. Through such a man God could control a nation overnight and solve every last, bewildering problem. . . . Spain has taught us what godless Communism will bring. Human problems aren't economic. They're moral, and they can't be solved by immoral measures. They could be solved within a God-controlled democracy, or perhaps I should say a theocracy, and they could be solved through a God-controlled Fascist dictatorship."

First religious journal to plumb the implications of Dr. Buchman's plea was Zion's Herald, influential New England Methodist weekly which editorialized: "Just what would happen if Adolf Hitler, shorn of all his pagan power, were suddenly to become a St. Francis of Assisi? Would not such a conversion immediately mark the end of all bluster, swashbuckling, regimentation, coercion, intolerance, and persecution? Dictatorship would instantly fade away at the touch of Christ, whose whole method was teaching and persuasion.

"God-controlled Fascism! The terms are mutually exclusive. As well talk of a God-controlled hell! When God controls, Fascism is thereby ruled out."
TIME magazine, Monday, Sep. 07, 1936

Note that all three of the cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous, William Griffith Wilson, Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, and Clarence Snyder, were enthusiastic members of the Oxford Group at this time. None of them quit the Oxford Group in protest when Frank Buchman thanked Heaven for giving us Adolf Hitler, and none of them had a problem with Frank Buchman's raving about the joys of a world controlled by "Christian Fascist dictators" — a "dictatorship of the living spirit". And none of them objected to Frank Buchman's praise of the Nazis. While Frank Buchman was attending Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies and saluting Adolf Hitler with straight-armed Sieg Heil! salutes, Dr. Robert Smith in Akron and William Wilson in New York and Clarence Snyder in Cleveland were enthusiastically recruiting more members for Dr. Frank Buchman's "Oxford Group" organization, and insisting that Dr. Buchman's style of religion was the cure for alcoholism.

In fact, Bill Wilson even praised dictatorships himself, and later bragged that Alcoholics Anonymous had "all of the advantages of the modern dictatorship".

"Then, too we have a dictatorship — and how! God constantly says to us, 'I trust you will find and do my will.' John Barleycorn, always at our elbow, says, 'If you don't conform, I'll kill you or drive you mad.' So we have all the advantages and more, of the modern dictatorship."
Bill Wilson, quoted by his secretary in Grateful To Have Been There, Nell Wing, page 22.

Therefore we [AA] have the full benefits of the murderous political dictatorships of today but none of their liabilities.
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, pages 105—106.
The full benefits of murderous dictatorships? What benefits? Benefits for whom? And what liabilities of murderous dictatorships does Alcoholics Anonymous not have?

William G. Wilson and Dr. Robert H. Smith began recruiting alcoholics for Dr. Frank Buchman's religious cult in Spring 1935 in Akron. They were not recruiting for a new "Alcoholics Anonymous" organization as was portrayed in the Hallmark made-for-TV movie "My Name is Bill W.", because no such organization existed in 1935 (or in 1936, or in 1937). Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob were recruiting for the pro-fascist Oxford Group, and they did not object to Dr. Frank Buchman's attendance at Nuremberg Nazi party rallies and praise of Adolf Hitler. They just kept right on recruiting, and insisted that Frank Buchman's radical religion was the answer to alcoholism.

After Frank Buchman's "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler" interview, Bill Wilson remained in the Oxford Group in New York for another year and a half. He stayed in the Oxford Group until he was kicked out for refusing to follow orders to stop recruiting alcoholics.

Dr. Robert Smith remained in the Oxford Group for another three years before starting an independent unnamed Oxford Group meeting for alcoholics in Akron, Ohio — still the same religion, just minus the leader Frank Buchman, and then, finally, minus the name "Oxford Group".

Likewise, Clarence Snyder was another Oxford Group true believer who was not deterred by Frank Buchman's praise of Hitler. For years, Snyder brought a group of alcoholics from Cleveland to attend weekly Akron Oxford Group meetings. Then he too finally broke away from the Akron Oxford Group (in May 1939), and then he held independent Buchmanite group meetings just for alcoholics in Cleveland.

All three of them continued to sell the Oxford Group philosophy and cult practices. They simply relabeled everything, and claimed that Dr. Frank Buchman's "principles" for curing sin were now "principles" for curing alcohol abuse.

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg"

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg"
Earlier, in September 1934, the aristocratic lady Moni von Cramon, one of the leading German Buchmanites, was personally invited to the Nuremberg Nazi Party rally by Heinrich Himmler. Moni, in turn, invited Frank Buchman. Moni and Frank sat beside Heinrich Himmler at an informal luncheon, where they discussed religion and politics.62 (Remember that Frank Buchman spoke German fluently — he grew up speaking it — it was his parents' native language, and it was also the language of his home town of Allentown, Pennsylvania, which was populated with "Pennsylvania Dutch" — really "Deutsch" — German and Swiss emigrants.)

Nazi Party Day, Nuremberg, 1934
Nazi Party Day, Nuremberg, 1934
Adolf Hitler is the central figure of the three men in the foreground who are facing us and giving the straight-armed salute. To Hitler's right is Heinrich Himmler.

(click on image for larger version)

"Nuremberg 1935;
German Unity, German Might"

"The City of the Reichs Party Day, Nuremberg 1935"

In August 1935, Frank Buchman and Moni von Cramon were again invited to the Nuremberg Nazi Party rally by Heinrich Himmler, and again they discussed religion and politics with Himmler.63

At that 1935 Nazi Party Rally in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler officially proclaimed the antisemitic "Nuremberg Laws." Those repressive laws were designed to isolate the Jewish people legally, politically, socially and biologically.

  1. One law, the "Law on Reich Citizenship", restricted German citizenship to those of "German or related blood," thus stripping the Jews of their few remaining rights as German citizens.
  2. Another law, the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour", prohibited both marriage and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Germans, making it a crime punishable by imprisonment.

In a biography of the ardent fascist Unity Mitford (the sister of Lady Diana Mosley), we find this information: The newspaper reporter Michael Burn, who wrote for The Times (of London) and the Gloucester Citizen, went to the 1935 Nurember Nazi Party Day rally for a story, and met Unity Mitford there, and...

Two other English Ehrengäste [honored guests] travelling together with facilities from the Ministry of Propaganda to this Parteitag [party day] were Henry Williamson, the nature writer, and Mosleyite, and John Heygate, who had married Evelyn Waugh's first wife and was then working at UFA Films in Berlin. Both published accounts, the former in Goodbye West Country (1937), the later in These Germans (1940). The SA ranks struck Williamson as having 'the spirit of English gentlemen who had transcended class-consciousness', which brought him to the exclamation, 'Heil Hitler! God Save the King!' Unity could not have summed up her world-outlook more neatly. John Heygate did not empty out his mind. 'At last we are in our places! Right gangway, top tier on the right, rather high up, but with a clear view in front of us, and almost immediately behind the platform on which the Führer will appear and speak   ...   guests arriving among whom I note the leader of another kind of party, a religious party, Dr Buchman. I note blonde Nordic prototype, Unity Mitford, admirer of the Führer, with her sister Diana, looking to my mind even more beautiful and Nordic   ...   to see Hitler and his show as it might be the Lord Mayor's.' In a letter to me, Sir John Heygate, as he now is, adds, 'Unity, Diana and Dr Buchman were seated on a bench immediately in front of Williamson and myself. I put my hat on their bench when we stood up for Hitler, and Buchman sat down on it.' These seating arrangements were all quite unplanned.
Unity Mitford: A Quest, David Pryce-Jones, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1976, pages 120-121,
Unity Mitford: An Enquiry into Her Life and the Frivolity of Evil, David Pryce-Jones, Dial Press, New York, 1977, page 110.

So, Unity Mitford, her sister Lady Diana Mosley, and Dr. Frank Buchman sat together on the same bench at the 1935 Nuremberg Nazi Party Day rally? That certainly answers the question of whether they ever met, or knew each other. What a small fascist world it is, after all.

The Mitford Sisters, Unity and Diana
The Mitford Sisters, Unity and Diana: "So Very Nice, and So Very Nazi"
Unity Mitford (left) and Lady Diana Mosley (nee Mitford, right),
with SS troops at the September 1937 Nuremberg Nazi Party rally.
Adolf Hitler called the tall beautiful enthusiastic fascist blond Diana "the perfect Aryan woman".

John Heygate, one of those journalists present at that 1935 Nuremberg Nazi Party Day rally, wrote in his book:

      Ah, now at last we are at our places. Right gangway, top tier on the right, rather high up, but with a clear view in front of us, and almost immediately behind the platform on which the Führer will appear and speak. At present there is nothing much doing on the platform. A number of brown- and black-shirts moving about, rearranging things, readjusting microphones. Of more interest at present are the guests arriving, among whom I note the leader of another kind of party, a religious party, Dr. Buchman. I note blonde Nordic prototype, Unity Mitford, admirer of the Führer, with her sister Diana, looking to my mind even more beautiful and Nordic, who will outdo her younger sister by actually marrying a führer, our English Leader, Oswald Mosley. There they come. One by one they take their places. So amused are we to see the English guests arriving to see Hitler and his show, as if it might be the Lord Mayor's, or the Richmond Horse, or the Chelsea Flower Show, instead of a display of armed might designed primarily to rehabilitate Germany in despite of England, that for the first few moments we do not take in the significance of the further spectacle beyond.
These Germans, John Heygate, pub. 1940, pages 179-180.

The Navy marching at the Reich's Party Day, Nuremberg, 1935
The Navy marching at the Reich's Party Day, Nuremberg, 1935.
Adolf Hitler is the guy on the platform who is giving the straight-arm Sieg Heil! salute to the troops.
(And, if I'm not mistaken, the woman in the white dress on the first tier, immediately above Hitler, is Leni Reifenstahl.)

John Heygate wrote that they were seated "Right gangway, top tier on the right, rather high up, but with a clear view in front of us, and almost immediately behind the platform on which the Führer will appear and speak." That probably would have put them underneath or near the left-handed wing of the eagle (left-handed from our viewpoint).

(Can anyone get his hands on a copy of the original photograph, so that we can zoom in with a microscope and identify the faces?)

Henry Williamson gave the most amusing and revealing account of that 1935 rally. On another of the four days of that rally, Williamson reported:

We had a good place at the end of a gangway. People arrived all of the time. I sat at the edge, sleeves rolled up, sun-bathing. I'd been there about 1/2-hour when a tall young man with vaguely good-natured face came up and stood beside me, anxiously looking towards our entrance. I wondered why he didn't find himself a seat. I didn't wonder a few minutes later when a grey-faced, sharp-nosed, bespectacled man approached him, and the young man deferentially moved aside without hesitation. A bulky rump thrust itself against my lean one, and I was squeezed up, out of my end-seat. I turned and looked at this fleshy cuckoo. He looked straight ahead; I had a feeling he could see with his entire left side, through his grey suit, with its (I noticed) meticulously hand-stitched label. I looked at John [Heygate]. "Of all the blasted nerve," I muttered. The stranger consolidated his weight on the seat; I was going to be squeezed right out. Turning to regard him, with rising fury, I saw he had, in his pale podgy hands, a large envelope, the address of which was OXFORD UNIVERSITY. These words had been obliterated by a scrawl of blue pencil, an angry sort of squiggle, as though done with irritability. One hand covered the surname; the words The Rev. Frank alone were visible. As my fury changed to amazed curiosity, the hand, as though sensitive to my change of mood, uncovered the surname, and with a mild triumph (for I had guessed the identity of this thruster) I read The Rev. Frank Buchman. Resisting a temptation to ask him if he thought his movement would last as long as Hitler's, I gave a glance at John. He too had seen.
      A stir ran round the miles of tiered seats. Faces lit up. The grey-clad, grey-faced gentleman on my right did not appear to share the mass animation. I felt that if he had not been holding the big envelope, with its connection with Oxford University so violently disclaimed, he would have twirled his thumbs. I had the feeling that he was aware of everything I was thinking; and quite indifferent to it. A flutter of cries and a stir moving, like a tide, round the oval: down below a minute black car gliding, followed by another, another, another, a whole string of them. People on their feet, a roar of HEIL HITLER! no, not a roar, an eager gladness, everyone happy and welcoming that tiny figure on the dais down there, with outstretched right arms. The Rev. Buchman, I noticed, held out his left arm, somewhat limply. People sat down, like hundreds of thousands of friends, knowing each other, equal with the same trust. I can only describe it this way, picking each word deliberately as I write. For myself, I hoped to get a few inches of my lost territory back in the readjustment of sitting down; but no, God had provided otherwise. The Rev. Frank Buchman spread his knees and leaned comfortably forward. Anyway, I'd get a photograph. Flicking open the camera top, with its screened glass focusing plate, I stood up and moved back the shutter. Immediately an index finger was pushed into my ribs, and a voice said with a nasal intonation, spoken as though to the air before those unmoving gold-rimmed glasses, "Can't see through you." Muttering an apology, I sat down hastily, furious, yet amused, for now it was plain to me how that world-row of jerry-built ribbon-strip religion had been built up; and in the same way would fall down again.
Goodbye West Country, Henry Williamson, pub. 1938, pages 235-236.

They [narcissists] often usurp special privileges and extra resources that they believe they deserve because they are so special.
[A narcissist] lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others...
DSM-IV == Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition; Published by the American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC. 1994; page 659.

"Narcissists know the difference between right and wrong. They just don't give a damn."
== Dr. George Wong, the forensic psychiatrist on the NBC TV show Law And Order, analyzing the mind of a criminal.

Henry Williamson noted that, a few days later,

...even the Rev. Frank Buchman, after the first hour, was heiling Hitler, and shooting out right hand.
Goodbye West Country, Henry Williamson, pub. 1938, page 247.

Here is a funny connection: Henry Williamson was good friends with T. E. Lawrence, who was famous as "Lawrence of Arabia". Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident in England, years after he returned from Arabia, when he zoomed into town on his motorcycle to send a telegram to his friend Henry Williamson, to express his latest opinion in an on-going conversation that they were having, and then crashed on his way back home.

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg"

"In Rememberance of Nuremberg: City of the Reichs Party Days"

      While Dr. Frank Buchman, the Mitford sisters, and their friends were having a fine time as Ehrengäste ("honored guests", i.e., V.I.P.s) at the Nuremberg Nazi Party Day rallies, some other people were not having so much fun.
      Beverly Nichols, who had become disillusioned with the Buchmanites and quit the Oxford Group by then, also attended a Nuremberg rally as a curious sight-seer, but without any special privileges or favors from Heinrich Himmler or the Ministry of Propaganda. In fact, he couldn't even get tickets until a German friend of his managed to get three tickets from a scalper on the street. Nichols kept one ticket for himself and gave the other two tickets to another of his German friends, Hans, a young ex-Communist who was recovering from six months in the Dachau concentration camp.
      The next morning, at the arena, Beverly Nichols turned his ticket over and saw "EHRENGAST" printed in large gold letters on the back. Nichols learned that his ticket was a very special ticket that would seat him close to Adolf Hitler, someplace that he had no permission to be. Then Nichols realized that, worse yet, those special V.I.P. tickets were probably stolen. Nichols immediately tried to find Hans and warn him about the Ehrengäste tickets before he showed them to the guards. Too late. His friend Hans was arrested at the gate when he presented the tickets. Hans was in big trouble because he already had a criminal record for left-wing politics and opposition to Hitler. The Gestapo needed nothing more to convict the unfortunate fellow of anything they wished. Beverly Nichols' worse fears were confirmed when he read in the newspaper the next morning that his friend Hans had been executed for being "a Communist who was in possession of stolen Ehrengast tickets."132

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg 1936"

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg 1936"

In August 1936, Frank Buchman was Heinrich Himmler's guest at the Berlin Olympics,61 where Buchman offered to introduce British Member of Parliament Kenneth Lindsay to Himmler, whom Buchman referred to as "a great lad."2

One of the British visitors to Berlin was Mr Kenneth Lindsay, MP for Kilmarnock Burghs and, as Civil Lord of the Admiralty, a member of the British Government. He had seen something of the Oxford Groupers in their early days, and in the Hotel Adlon Buchman recognised him and greeted him cordially — asking if there were anyone he wanted to meet: did he know all the people there he ought to know? Lindsay said he thought so.
      Buchman persisted. 'D'you know Heinrich Himmler?' he said. 'No? Say, you ought to know Heinrich. He's a great lad.'
      Lindsay was aware, as Buchman also must have been, that Himmler was head of the Gestapo — a secret police force already notorious for exceptional brutality. He asked to be excused from meeting this 'great lad'.
      Buchman added that Hitler himself was being most helpful to the Group: 'He lets us have house-parties whenever we like.' He did not seem to think much of England or of Canada: England was in a terrible state — 'seething with Communism'; and so was Canada. Lindsay disagreed: he thought that such an assessment showed that Buchman really knew very little about England or Canada.
The Mystery of Moral Re-Armament; A Study of Frank Buchman and His Movement, Tom Driberg, 1965, pages 64-65.

That "great lad" Heinrich Himmler was the head of the SS and the Gestapo, and he was a thoroughly nasty fellow who got his jollies by terrorizing and killing people.

Heinrich Himmler with an SS entourage at Mauthausen in 1941
Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer-SS, chief of the German Police and head of the Gestapo, shown with an SS entourage at Mauthausen in 1941, including Oswald Pohl (left), SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt (SS-WVHA, "SS main bureau for economic administration"), which administered the concentration camps, and Karl Wolff (center).

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg 1937"

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg 1938"

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg 1938"

"Reichs Party Day Nuremberg 1938"

In his biography of Heinrich Himmler, Peter Padfield wrote this about Himmler, Unity Mitford ("Bobo" — Lady Diana Mosley's sister), and the Oxford Group:

      The sense of massed power and participation in great events heralding a heroic future was particularly tangible after the Anschluss at the September 1938 rally. Only a few foreign observers formed a different impression. One was the travel-writer and journalist Robert Byron, who had persuaded Hitler's English admirer Unity (Bobo) Mitford, to include him in her party. He himself was strongly anti-Nazi. He kept a diary: 'I expected to get the impression of a vigorous evil which must be destroyed at all costs — and perhaps I do. But that is subordinated to the negativeness and vacuity of it all. It is not so much intellectual poison as intellectual and spiritual death — a greater death than physical death....'64 Two days later he attended the Party congress, sitting (thanks to Bobo's influence) in the front row immediately facing the party leaders on the dais so that every time he raised his eyes he met those of Goebbels or Himmler or Hitler. That evening he recorded his impression of the leaders who had been so close to him: 'Himmler is terrifying, he sucks his teeth and keeps them bared. The Führer is peculiar for the pink and white podginess of his face.... eyes like peas, but a good-humoured face obviously very moved by music.'65
      Later in the week Byron attended the SS bivouac which Himmler hosted every year. Himmler himself received the guests — who undoubtedly included many of the Freundeskreis ["circle of friends" of the Nazi leaders]. Byron noted 'his very small hand, a sort of doll's hand'. Later that evening Bobo's father, Lord Redesdale, also in Munich, was telephoned by an Oxford Group spokesman, saying the Group wanted to 'change' the Führer. Bobo said she did not want the Führer changed. 'No, damn it,' Redesdale agreed, 'I like the feller as he is.' Byron entered in his diary: 'Himmler apparently dotes on the Oxford Group and writes to its English members discussing their troubles with them.'66

64. Robert Byron's diary, 6.9.1938; Spectator, 22.8.1987, pp. 22-3
65. Ibid., 8.19.1938; in ibid., 29.8.1987, p. 22
66. Ibid., 11.9.1938; ibid.

Himmler, Reichsführer, Peter Padfield, pages 233 and 620.

So Heinrich Himmler played "Dear Abby", and wrote letters of advice to English Oxford Group members? Those are some letters that I would love to see.

Many of these stories have tragic endings, and the story of Robert Byron does. The 1938 Nuremberg rally was Byron's last visit to Germany, because war broke out between Germany and Great Britain the following year. Robert Byron got a comfortable job working for the BBC (the British Broadcasting Corporation), but Byron wanted more excitement and danger and a larger part in the war. Finally, he got a position as a Special Correspondent for a group of English newspapers in Cairo, Egypt (where he might double as an intelligence agent). Unfortunately, he never got there. He took passage from Britain to Egypt on a banana boat which the German navy torpedoed in mid-Atlantic, and all hands were lost.138

The most stunning connection between Frank Buchman and Heinrich Himmler was this: A transcript of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials described the character of Heinrich Himmler this way:

He had just married Marge Conzersowo, a nurse in a fashionable Berlin clinic who had seen through the science of medicine as practiced by the orthodox faculty.9 She interested Himmler in mesmerism, homœopathy, and herbal remedies. Himmler with his agricultural diploma particulary liked herbs.

9. Evidence of Karl Gebhardt, in Bayle, Croix gammée ou caducée, p. 222. It was widely reported towards the year 1935 that she had converted Himmler to the Buchmanite movement.
"the SS, alibi of a nation, 1922-1945", by Gerald Reitlinger (1957, Viking Press), page 21n.

Heinrich Himmler joined Dr. Frank Buchman's cult religion?

There is more on that here: INTERESTING HISTORICAL NOTE: (2013.11.13).

In 1936, the same year as Frank Buchman was praising Heinrich Himmler as a great lad, Himmler delivered this speech:
"I know there are many people in Germany who feel sick at the very sight of this black (SS) uniform," said Himmler in 1936. "We understand this and we do not expect to be loved... All those who have Germany at heart, will and should respect us. All those who in some way or at some time have a bad conscience in respect to the Führer and the nation should fear us. For these people we have constructed an organization called the SD (SS security service) and in the same way ... the Gestapo (secret state police)..."

Later, Himmler would personally oversee and direct the holocaust, establishing death camps like Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Treblinka where millions of Jews died in the gas chambers.

"The Führer has ordered the final solution of the Jewish question," Himmler told Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolf Höss in the summer of 1941. "We, the SS, have to carry out this order... I have therefore chosen Auschwitz for this purpose."
Heinrich Himmler, Reichsf├╝hrer-SS, at the podium
Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer-SS, at the podium

Jews rounded up in Warsaw
Jews are rounded up by the Nazis in Warsaw, Poland during
the German invasion in World War II, 1943. (Credit: AP)

In October of 1943, in a speech to SS Group Leaders, Heinrich Himmler declared:

"I shall speak to you here with an frankness of a very serious subject. We shall now discuss it absolutely openly among ourselves, nevertheless we shall never speak of it in public. I mean the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people. It is one of those things which is easy to say. 'The Jewish race is to be exterminated,' says every party member. 'That's clear, it's part of our program, elimination of the Jews, extermination, right, we'll do it.'

And then they all come along, the eighty million good Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are swine, but this one is a first-class Jew. Of all those who talk like this, not one has watched, not one has stood up to it.

Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand. To have gone through this and yet — apart from a few exceptions, examples of human weakness — to have remained decent fellows, this is what has made us hard. This is a glorious page in our history that has never been written and never shall be written.

We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us.   ...   Altogether, however, we can say that we have fulfilled this most difficult duty for the love of our people. And our spirit, our soul, our character has not suffered injury from it."

Heinrich Himmler inspecting the Dachau concentration camp, 1936

Heinrich Himmler inspecting the Dachau concentration camp, 1936.

Heinrich Himmler inspecting the Dachau concentration camp, 1936

Heinrich Himmler inspecting Mauthausen
Himmler inspecting Mauthausen

"It is the curse of greatness that it must step over dead bodies to create new life."
      == Heinrich Himmler

Erik Larson described discipine in the Dachau concentration camp in 1934:

On February 12, 1934, a representative of the Quakers, Gilbert L. MacMasters, set out to visit the camp [Dachau], after having been granted permission to see an inmate, a sixty-two-year-old former deputy of the Reichstag named George Simon, who had been arrested because he was a socialist. ...

      He was suprised by what he found. "More atrocity reports have come from this camp than from any other one in Germany," he wrote. "The outward appearance is better than any other that I have seen." ...

      But in so many situations in the new Germany, the outward appearance of Dachau was misleading. The cleanliness and efficiency of the camp had little to do with a desire to treat the inmates in a humane fashion. The preceding June an SS officer named Theodor Eicke had taken command of Dachau and composed a set of regulations that later became the model for all camps. Issued on October 1, 1933, the new rules codified the relationship between guards and prisoners and in so doing removed the act of punishment from the realm of impulse and caprice to a plane where discipline became systematic, dispassionate and predictable. Now everyone at least knew the rules, but the rules were harsh and explicitly left no room for pity.

      "Tolerance means weakness," Eicke wrote in the introduction to his rules. "In light of this conception, punishment will be mercilessly handed out whenever the interests of the fatherland warrant it." Minor offenses drew beatings with a cane and stints in solitary confinement. Even irony was costly. Eight days' solitary and "twenty-five strokes" were meted out to "anyone making deprecatory or ironic remarks to a member of the SS, deliberately omitting the prescribed marks of respect, or in any other way demonstrating unwillingness to submit himself to disciplinary measures." A catch-all clause, Article 19, dealt with "incidental punishments," which were to include reprimands, beatings, and "tying to stakes." Another section laid out the rules for hangings. Death was the penalty anyone who, "for the purpose of agitating," discussed politics or was caught meeting with others. Even collecting "true or false information about the concentration camp" or receiving such information or talking about it with others could get an inmate hanged. "If an inmate attempts to escape", Eicke wrote, "he is to be shot without warning." Gunfire also was the required response to prisoner uprisings. "Warning shots," Eicke wrote, "are forbidden on principle."

      Eicke made sure all new guards were fully indoctrinated, as one of their trainees, Rudolf Höss, would later attest. Höss became a guard at Dachau in 1934 and recalled how Eicke repeatedly drummed home the same message. "Any pity whatsoever for 'enemies of the State' was unworthy of an SS-man. There was no place in the ranks of the SS for men with soft hearts and any such would do well to retire quickly to a monastery. He could use only hard, determined men who ruthlessly obeyed every order." An adept pupil, Höss went on to become the commandant of Auschwitz.
In The Garden Of Beasts; Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, by Erik Larson, pp. 210—212. (Broadway Books, New York, 2011.)

Jews behind barbed wire
SS man shooting a wounded woman who is trying to get up.
SS man shooting a wounded woman
who is trying to get up

"I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work."
      == Adolf Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936

Jewish woman trying to shield her child from gunshot
Woman trying to shield her child

In 1944, Himmler would show off a special set of furniture that he had — a table and chairs made from human (Jewish) skin and bones:

Martin Bormann's fourteen-year-old son was a passionate young Nazi going into that day in 1944. He was staying up at the Nazi leaders' compound on Obersalzberg, whilst on holiday from his boarding school in Bavaria, when he saw something that brought the horrors of the National Socialist regime shockingly home to him. He, with his mother and younger sister, were invited by Himmler's mistress, Hedwig Potthast, to see the Reichsführer's special collection in the attic of his new house there. Martin Bormann Jr told this horrific story to a therapy group of the children of former high-ranking Nazis in 1990:

"When she opened the door and we flocked in, we didn't understand what the objects in the room were — until she explained ... It was tables and chairs made out of parts of human bodies. There was a chair ... the seat was a human pelvis, the legs human legs — on human feet. Then she picked up a copy of Mein Kampf ... she showed us the cover — made of human skin, she said — and explained that the Dachau prisoners who made it used the ... skin of the back to make it." [Sereny]
This, then, was the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler's collection of mementos from the concentration camps and extermination centres that killed and tortured millions of innocent people — crimes for which he was directly responsible.

Sereny, Gitta, Albert Speer: His battle with truth, Macmillan, 1995

THE NAZI NECROMANCER? The Magical World of Heinrich Himmler, by Liam Rogers

Yes, that Heinrich Himmler was quite a "great lad", a real "decent fellow", just the kind of nice man you would want to carry out the Will of God in your neighborhood — just the kind of loving spirit with whom you would like to sit and watch the Olympics.

While we are talking about the bad company that Frank Buchman sometimes kept, we mustn't leave out Adolf Hitler himself. Some Buchmanites, like Peter Howard, denied that Buchman ever met Hitler. They tried to explain Buchman's failure to change Adolf Hitler into a nice guy by lack of opportunity; they say that the other Nazis around Hitler prevented Buchman from ever meeting Hitler because they knew of Buchman's power, and didn't want Adolf ruined by Frank.17 Presumably, Mr. Howard would have us believe that Frank Buchman was just dropping names, again, when he mentioned Hitler.

Likewise, Theophil Spoerri echoed the Buchmanite party line in his dishonest fawning biography of Frank Buchman:

In 1932 some of Buchman's German friends tried to arrange a meeting with Hitler. One of the Kaiser's sons, who was working with Joseph Goebbels to build up a position of power for himself, was afraid, however, that Buchman's influence might turn the Nazi movement away from its objectives: 'On no account is Buchman to see the Führer.'
Dynamic Out Of Silence: Frank Buchman's Relevance Today, Theophil Spoerri, 1971, page 112.

Certainly, some people did not like the pushyness of the Oxford Groupers, and their attempts to "change" Adolf Hitler into a Buchmanite. Robert Byron and Unity Mitford both wrote that the Oxford Group members telephoned both Diana Mosley and Unity Mitford, dunning them for an invitation and introduction to Adolf Hitler, with the goal of "changing" him, and Diana and Unity refused to help the Oxford Group.112 But it's a bit much to claim that Frank Buchman and Adolf Hitler never met or talked, because...

... in the archives of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York, there is a letter to President Roosevelt from Mr Harry W. Blair, then Assistant Attorney General, telling him of Buchman's forthcoming visit to Germany and asking him to see Buchman before his departure — with the following remarkable explanation:
Herr Hitler has requested a meeting with Dr Buchman. It is a matter of embarrassment to Dr Buchman when speaking to the leaders in these foreign countries not to have been received by his own President.
The Mystery of Moral Re-Armament; A Study of Frank Buchman and His Movement, Tom Driberg, 1965, page 66.

In any case, it is likely that Hitler was just checking out Frank Buchman, to see what kind of a nut he was, and to see whether Buchman could be of any use to him. Buchman's influence on Hitler seems to have been nil.

It is also possible that Frank Buchman met Adolf Hitler through the Hanfstaengl family. Buchman knew Frau Katherine von Hanfstaengl, who was actually born an American citizen in the prominent Sedgwick-Heine family (two of her ancestors were generals in George Washington's Revolutionary War army). She was the niece of the General John Sedgwick who fell at Spotsylvania Court House in the Civil War and whose statue stands at West Point. Her father was another Civil War general, William Heine. In the funeral cortege of Abraham Lincoln he was one of the Generals who carried the coffin. She said that she could remember Lincoln's funeral clearly.147

Gen. John Sedgwick
A funny side note here is that the death of General John Sedgwick was like a scene out of the movie Forrest Gump:

During a lull in the battle, Brigadier General John Sedgwick insisted on standing at a high point, looking out at the Confederate lines. His assistant, Brevet Major-General Martin T. McMahon, begged him not to stand there, because of Confederate sharpshooters.

"...General, I beg of you not to go to that angle; every officer who has shown himself there has been hit, both yesterday and to-day."

Sedgwick answered, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."


And that was the end of General Sedgwick.

Katherine Heine married the German aristocrat Edgar von Hanfstaengl, who was an international art dealer. Katherine von Hanfstaengl had been attending Frank Buchman's "house parties" for years. Her son Ernst Franz Sedgwick Hanfstaengl, a.k.a. "Putzi", was one of Adolf Hitler's best friends and supporters back in the earliest days of the Nazi Party in the nineteen-twenties, and Hitler was a regular houseguest at the Hanfstaengl household.120 And Paul Diener reports that Frank Buchman was also a regular houseguest of the Hanfstaengls in the 'twenties, too. Frank Buchman and Adolf Hitler could have met there.

Putzi Hanfstaengl and Adolf Hitler at the Cafe Heck in Munich in the 1920s
Putzi Hanfstaengl and Adolf Hitler at the Cafe Heck in Munich in the 1920s.

Frank Buchman had no luck in "changing" any of the high-ranking Nazis.20 Why didn't Buchman "change" that "great lad" Heinrich Himmler into a moral Christian?

And speaking of the world leaders and "key people" whom Frank Buchman did not change for the better, Buchman never went to Moscow and tried to "change" Stalin or Khrushchev or any of their Communist followers, either.94 Buchman routinely called Communists and Communism the enemy, the Beast, the anti-Christ, and such things, and yet Buchman never felt "Guided by God" to visit Russia and change the Communists into pious Christians.

Peter Howard
Peter Howard
Frank Buchman was not the only Oxford Grouper with pro-Nazi sympathies. The organization was full of them. Peter Howard, who took over the leadership of Frank Buchman's Moral Re-Armament after Buchman's death, was a fascist. Before he joined the Oxford Group, Peter Howard held a leadership position in Sir Oswald Mosley's New Party, which morphed into the British Union of Fascists — the B.U.F. — during the nineteen-thirties, and Peter Howard was the leader of the New Youth Movement, Mosley's copy of the Nazi Hitlerjugend.

Sir Oswald Mosley was such an enthusiastic fascist that he and his second wife, the famous beauty Diana Mitford, were married in Berlin under the approving eyes of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.107 Diana and Oswald Mosley were actually married in Joseph Goebbels' house, which was directly across the street from the Chancellory in Berlin. When it was time for the wedding, Hitler walked across the street from the Chancellory, followed by an aide who carried a bundle of roses and a gold-framed portrait of Hitler, Adolf's wedding gift to the couple.

In 1963, Howard put on airs of being against fascists like Adolf Hitler, lumping Hitler in with Joseph Stalin, but in the 1930's, Peter Howard and Frank Buchman had absolutely nothing negative to say about Adolf Hitler, the Nazis, or fascism. The black uniforms of the B.U.F. goon squad — "the Black-Shirts" — were even styled after the black German S.S. uniforms and the black uniforms of Mussolini's thugs, and the whole idea of the Black-Shirts was copied from Hitler's Brown Shirts. See the autobiography My Life, by Sir Oswald Mosley. He also mentions his loyal fascist follower Peter Howard there. Also see Peter Howard's book of praise of Buchman, Innocent Men, where Howard claimed that he was a follower of Mosley for only a short while, and that he was always opposed to fascism. 66 History says otherwise.

Sir Oswald Mosley inspects his troops
Sir Oswald Mosley inspects his troops
Sir Oswald Mosley's troops lived together in a barracks and their lives were extremely regimented and disciplined. Mosley's organization, the British Union of Fascists (the BUF), totally dominated their lives and they lived to serve the organization. The individual was completely subjugated to the group, and Sir Oswald Mosley was the unquestioned dictator. The BUF showed many of the signs of being a cult.
Lady Diana Mosley and Adolf Hitler
Lady Diana Mosley and Adolf Hitler
Lady Diana Mosley and her brother Tom Mitford at a Nuremberg Nazi Party rally
Lady Diana Mosley and her brother Tom Mitford at a Nuremberg Nazi Party rally

(Note that the Mitford family was not entirely Nazi sympathizers. Another sister, Unity, was even more ardently pro-Nazi than Diana, but Tom Mitford, on the other hand, in spite of his extreme right-wing politics, joined the British army when war broke out between England and Germany, and served bravely, and died in Southeast Asia just before the end of the war. The two other Mitford sisters were strongly anti-Fascist, and one of them — Jessica Mitford — even became a Communist. And sadly, when war broke out between Great Britain and Germany, Unity Mitford put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. She survived the bullet wound and brain damage, but was, as Diana described it, "never beautiful again" (or quite all there), and she died 9 years later when the old wound became re-infected. And Diana spent half of World War II in English prisons for being a security risk. The Mitfords were a fascinating, mixed-up family.)

Robert Skidelsky described how Peter Howard was recruited for Mosley's organization, and how Peter Howard then organized a goon squad to protect Mosley:

      Of the recruits Mosley was able to secure, the most prestigious was the Hon. Harold Nicolson.... The third son of the diplomat Sir Arthur Nicolson (later Lord Carnock) Harold Nicolson was then forty-five.   ...
      Nicolson was a homosexual who was attracted to virile and manly youths of the better classes. His young Oxford friends comprised not just intellectuals like Christopher Hobhouse, but also undergraduates of a quite different type, like Peter Howard, 'charming and forceful but terribly immature', captain of the Oxford, and soon to be captain of the England, Rugby team. It was Nicolson who introduced Howard and, through Howard, many of the heartier type of undergraduate into the New Party. It is not least of the ironies of the Party's development that it should have been this fastidious, well-connected habitué of London's intellectual, literary world, with his dreams of youth and glory, who brought Mosley into contact with precisely that 'fascistic' element that was soon to alarm John Strachley and Allan Young, and to give Mosley the reputation of commandeering thugs to support his political programme.
Oswald Mosley, Robert Skidelsky, 1975, pages 249-250.

There is also something terribly ironic about Peter Howard being such a brutal thug that the more moderate, intellectual, fascists feared that Peter Howard would give them a bad name. (And it's also strange that Howard should have close homosexual friends in college, and then turn into such a rabid, hateful, homophobe later on.)

      Another leading figure in the New Party was Peter Howard, captain of the England Rugby Football team.   ...   Harold Nicolson wrote to Cimmie [Sir Mosley's first wife] 'Peter Howard I have a feeling is bowled over by your charms — but so are we all'. Peter Howard had organised a group of young men from Oxford to protect New Party meetings: these were referred to in the press as 'Mosley's Biff Boys' or 'strapping young men in plus fours'. The emphasis of the New Party was on youth....
Rules of the Game; Beyond the Pale; Memoirs of Sir Oswald Mosley and Family, Nicholas Mosley, 1982, page 186.

In bragging about his street fighting for Sir Oswald Mosley and the New Party, Peter Howard wrote:

I was mobbed at Reading, knocked down and kicked in South Wales, had my head cut wide open with a blow from a chair in the Birmingham rag market, and was slashed with a razor in Glasgow.
Innocent Men, Peter Howard, page 12.

(Peter Howard didn't say what he did to the other guys.)
Radical politics in Britain wasn't really much different from what was going on in Germany at the same time, with Hitler's Brown Shirts engaging in vicious, occasionally deadly, street battles with the leftists.

Sir Oswald Mosley chose Peter Howard to lead the New Youth Movement:

From this moment [September 1931] onwards the New Party started to have the dual character associated with its successor, the British Union of Fascists. On the one hand it was a political party organised to seek power in elections; on the other hand it was a para-military force organised to fight communism in a revolutionary situation.
      In the New Party the split was more marked than in the B.U.F. because it retained the considerable high-brow element which its successor lacked. While Nicolson went round recruiting leading young intellectuals to write for Action, 'Kid' Lewis was training the 'active force' in fisticuffs, and Glyn Williams was busily introducing the whole Boy Scout paraphernalia of uniforms, badges, saluting, flags, etc., into the youth movement. Mosley was characteristically complacent about the possibilites of combining these elements into a marvellous new political synthesis:
[Mosley to Nicolson, 4 September 1931]
      It should not be impossible to hold the balance now that we are rid of the pathological element [Mosley's description of Strachey, Young, and Joad] ...
      On the whole, however, I think that Peter Howard is just the right man to hold the balance.
Oswald Mosley, Robert Skidelsky, 1975, page 270.


Athletes on Mosley Ticket.

by Charles A. Seldon,
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

      LONDON, Oct. 9 (AP). — Sir Oswald Mosley, who announced recently that Kid Lewis, former middleweight champion of England, would be a New party candidate in the general election for the House of Commons, has gathered other noted athletes on his ticket.
      R. O. Harding, who was captain of the Cambridge University rugby team and who heretofore has been a Liberal in politics, will run in Swansea, and Peter Howard, former captain of the English rugby team, is a candidate in Yardley. Sir Oswald is an amateur boxer of note.

New York Times, October 10, 1931, page 8.

The election was a disaster for the New Party. They failed to win a single seat, and even lost their deposit in most of the races.

Following its electoral débâcle the New Party virtually ceased to exist as a political party. The central office in Great George Street was closed down; the regional organisations were disbanded and their officers retired. Of the paid staff Mosley kept only Box, Forgan, and Peter Howard. All that was left of the Party was the embryonic NUPA (Nu-Party), or Youth Club, organisation which had been started in September.
Oswald Mosley, Robert Skidelsky, 1975, page 280.

Peter Howard did later (by 1940) denounce Sir Oswald Mosley and his organization. Mosley's response was funny. His in-house newpaper declared:

Unwhipped youths at Oxford are left languidly picking their noses over Russian novels... It is not suprising that these sensation hunters, after trying every novelty from Communism to cocaine, will ultimately switch back to religion, if it is served up to their taste.
Innocent Men, Peter Howard, page 127.

Peter Howard was basically just a true believer in search of an extreme cause to believe in, any cause, no matter whether it was radical fascist politics or radical cult religion. Peter Howard started investigating the Oxford Groups while working as a Fleet Street newspaper reporter who intended to write an exposé of Buchmanism, but he was soon converted into an enthusiastic true believer who wrote a whole book of praise of Frank Buchman and his followers — "Innocent Men" — while attempting to defend Buchman from his critics. What happened was, the Groupers asked Howard to try "listening to God" in a Quiet Time. He did, and thought he heard the voice of God, and immediately became a convinced true believer. Peter Howard was so eager to believe in something that he actually wrote a book that emphatically declared that Frank Buchman was not a fraud or a charlatan, before Howard had ever met Frank Buchman:

      I have never met Frank Buchman. So I start equal with the scores and hundreds of people who have abused the man to me.
Innocent Men, Peter Howard, page 78.

      Do I believe Dr. Frank Buchman is a fraud, a knave and a charlatan? Though I have never yet met him, I answer with absolute confidence: "No. I do not."
      My reason is this. I believe in the New Testament.
      There I read "By their fruits ye shall know them." I know the fruits of Dr. Buchman's works. I have lived among the Oxford Group, which is the result of his work, for many months.
      In my time I have have mixed with tens of thousands of people, poor and rich, well-born and lowly, the up-and-coming middle-class, the down-and-going upper class. I have never yet met a more active, kindly, effective, loyal and self-sacrificing crowd of people than the Oxford Group. Hate it as you may, detest it as you will, that is the position. Frank Buchman was the instrument by which the Oxford Group began. I do not believe a crooked instrument could fashion so shining a mechanism.
Innocent Men, Peter Howard, pages 91-92.

That's a real non sequitur. Peter Howard had enjoyed socializing with the Oxford Group for a few months, and that, in his mind, was proof enough that the enterprise was good and that Frank Buchman was a genuine prophet. But earlier, Peter Howard had enjoyed street fighting for Sir Oswald Mosley — a lot of it. Did that prove that Mosley and his fascists were likewise a bunch of "active, kindly, effective, loyal, and self-sacrificing" fellows?

On the other hand, when Geoffrey Williamson pondered the question, he asked:

Was he a charlatan? I did not think so. Peter Howard had posed precisely the same question in one of his books and had answered with an emphatic "No!" though at that time he and Dr Buchman had never met. I had studied Dr Buchman fairly closely, and I did not find it so easy to make up my mind.
Inside Buchmanism: an independent inquiry into the Oxford Group Movement and Moral Re-Armament, Geoffrey Williamson, page 120.

Note that Geoffrey Williamson was speaking in the past tense. By the time he finished investigating Frank Buchman and writing his book, Williamson did believe that Buchman was a fraud.

Upton Sinclair wrote a series of very well researched, very realistic, historical novels about the Nazi takeover of Europe. Frank Buchman and the Oxford Groups didn't escape his notice. In Wide is the Gate, which was published in 1943, Sinclair described British aristocrats gathering for Oxford Group meetings in the mid 1930s:

It happened that one of the leaders of the so-called Oxford group came for a house-party — so they called their sessions — and it was natural that he should give special attention to a playboy whose heart was presumed to be in a vulnerable condition; everybody hoped that Lanny might be "changed," and do what the group called "sharing" — that is, reveal what it was that he had done to drive his wife away. But the provoking fellow only listened and then told the story about the sinner who came home from one of these house-parties so changed that his dog bit him.

      This new wave of religion had been started by an American named Buchman, and was now having some vogue in England. It had held sessions in Oxford and so had taken to calling itself the Oxford group, to the speechless indignation of academic circles in a staid university. But Buchman and his followers went blandly ahead to appropriate a historic name which carried great prestige. They followed a practice called God-guidance, listening to the inner voice and doing what it told them; as a rule the instructions appeared to be that they should go after the richest and most socially prominent persons in every country, and, having won their adherence, exploit their names for publicity purposes.

      The voice had recently sent their founder to enroll prominent Germans, and he had come home exclaiming: "Thank God for Adolf Hitler!" So now the Oxford and the Munich movements were rapidly assimilating, and noble ladies and gentlemen who met in one another's drawing rooms and told publicly about their sexual errors and how God had rearmed them morally — these same titled persons opened their arms to Herr Ribbentrop, the Nazi champagne salesman, and heard him tell how a God-guided Führer had come to bring peace to Europe and a new order to all mankind.


      Lanny was interested to observe that Pasifal Dingle, his step-father, manifested little enthusiasm for these new spiritual exercises. Apparently God did not say the same things to a retired real-estate operator from Iowa as to the darlings of the smart world of London. Parsifal, like Lanny, listened politely, but when he was alone with his stepson he brought to memory an ancient injunction, that when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.

Wide is the Gate, Upton Sinclair, pages 513-514.

Upton Sinclair went on to describe how a psychic medium called Madame Zyszynski was another favorite entertainment of those same Oxford Group members. Madame Zyszynski regularly channeled both an Indian chieftain named Tecumseh and a long-deceased Buddhist monk:

      Madame Zyszynski was at Bluegrass, and some of the guests had become interested in experiments with her; she, too, had acquired prestige, having been lent around to Zaharoff, Lady Caillard, and other wealthy persons. She remained quite unspoiled, having been brought up a servant and desiring nothing beyond that. She had been deeply touched by Parsifal's kindness, and was always happy to sit with him. Now he told Lanny about a series of revelations which he had been getting from the past month, supposed to come from a long-deceased inmate of the Buddhist monastery of Dodanduwa in Ceylon. Parsifal had never read or heard anything about Ceylon that he could recall, and had no idea why the Bhikkhu Sinanayeke should have put the finger upon him from the other world. Parsifal was taking steps to find out if there had ever been such a monastery, and if it was still in operation he meant to write and inquire as to the correctness of the details.

      Very curious, Lanny said.   ...   He listened to elaborate notes concerning the ritual and daily life of very dark-skinned Aryans who wore cotton robes of saffron color and bore long Tamil names; also to details of various Buddhist hells, in which sinners were burned in roaring fires, dashed about by fierce winds, pierced by javelins, and otherwise bothered according to the gravity of their offenses.   ...

      Every evening during Lanny's visit one of these séances was held and this strange fantasy continued; if the "Island Heritage" at Dodanduwa was not real it was certainly well-invented. The communications became direct; that is to say, Tecumseh was suppressed and the voice was that of the Bhikkhu, or mendicant monk. Lanny ventured to come in, and this caused no difficulty; the man of God talked with either of the Americans freely. When Lanny wanted to know if the monastery was still in existence, he said Yes, but now there were Germans, recent converts to Buddhism, who found it a pleasant place to live in but neglected their spiritual exercises.

      Lanny, ever suspicious, inquired: "Might it not be that they are working at something else?"

      The Bikkhu replied, "That might be; they do not tell me."

Wide is the Gate, Upton Sinclair, pages 514-516.

Frank Buchman never denied having made those Hitler-praising statements in his famous World Telegram newspaper interview. Thirty years later, the newspaper reporter for the Telegram, William Birnie (who went on to become an editor for Reader's Digest), said that he was always "proud of his interviewee" for not haggling over the interview as printed, which he expected him to do. 56

(Sometimes, though, Buchman dodged the issue without exactly denying it. He was quoted in India as saying that the newspaper reporter who circulated the pro-Hitler story was "the cleverest rascal in the world."105)

But plenty of other Buchmanites since have haggled, quibbled, and minimized and denied the whole thing. They are split between:
1) stating that the quotes were almost correct but were completely misunderstood and misinterpreted, and
2) denying that Buchman ever said anything like that.

For example, Hans Stroh, a German Oxford Group follower, recalled,

In the summer of 1934, at the Oxford house-party, Buchman gathered all the Germans present together and told us that the greatest danger to the world was that materialism was undermining society. National Socialism had built a temporary wall against Communism, but that was not enough. The real problem was that people were not guided by God. People in Germany needed to change if they were to give inspiration to the world.
Garth Lean, On the Tail of a Comet: The Life of Frank Buchman, page 240.

(Ah, so Buchman's approval of the Nazis was only temporary! That explains everything.... NOT!)

And then Garth Lean used the Straw Man propaganda technique to attack a misquote that may have never happened:

      The legend of this interview which survives — and has been quoted again and again — is that Buchman said, 'I thank God for Hitler.' This phrase was not Buchman's nor printed in the article, nor, according to those present, did it represent the tenor of the interview.
Garth Lean, On the Tail of a Comet: The Life of Frank Buchman, page 240.

Actually, I have read every book, magazine article, and newspaper article about the Oxford Group that I've been able to get my hands on, and none of them misquoted Frank Buchman like that. They usually printed, "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism." Besides the remark in Upton Sinclair's novel, the closest things I've seen are The Christian Century magazine, and Marcus Bach, both quoting other people as saying things like, "Thank Heaven for Hitler", or "I thank God for a man like Hitler":

Any dream of a "God-guided dictator" involves the reality of waking to the cry, "Thank heaven for Hitler!"
A God-Guided Dictator, The Christian Century, 53:1182-3, Sept. 9, 1936, page 1183.

Out of the failure of the tragicomic Munich appeasement, Buchman's words bounced back. What did he mean when he said, "I thank God for a man like Hitler"? Secessions from the group reached landslide proportions. Was he a Nazi sympathizer?
They Have Found A Faith, by Marcus Bach, pages 154-155.

What's the big difference between "I thank God for a man like Hitler", "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler", and "I thank Heaven for Adolf Hitler"? Talk about quibbling and nit-picking...

Besides, it doesn't matter how much other people may have misquoted Frank Buchman later on. That doesn't change what Buchman actually did say, now does it? So Garth Lean was also trying to use the propaganda technique of Divert Attention Away from the Point by complaining about how other people had misquoted Frank Buchman later on... (As Marjorie Harrison said, "Groupers become extraordinarily evasive people.")

But the funniest minimization and denial has to be this one in Garth Lean's biography of Frank Buchman, On the Tail of a Comet:

      Also, on 7 March 1940, Buchman's secretary noted in his diary that Buchman said to a group of friends, 'Hitler fooled me. I thought it would be a bulwark against Communism.'
Garth Lean, On the Tail of a Comet: The Life of Frank Buchman, pages 240-241.

But Frank, how could Hitler fool you? Weren't you talking to God all day long, getting His Guidance on everything from what to spend on postage, to how much to pay for hotel rooms, to which ship to sail on? Didn't God bother to warn you about Adolf Hitler? What good is God's Guidance if all He talks about is postage stamps?

That is one of the problems with claiming that you are talking to God and getting infallible Guidance — it leaves you no room to ever be wrong.

Even 30 years later, Peter Howard was still lying about Frank Buchman's New York World Telegram newspaper interview, while accusing others of lying. In 1964, Peter Howard was interviewed during a speaking tour, and asked:

Q. Sometimes even now you hear that Dr. Buchman was soft on Nazism. Is it true?

A. It is a lie. One sentence quoted out of context which he allegedly uttered nearly 30 years ago is used against us all: "I thank God for a man like Adolf Hitler who has raised a front-line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism." I was not there in 1936. I have no idea whether Dr. Buchman spoke as reported. He never met Hitler. And certainly I find it strange that on a day when he was interviewed by 50 reporters, only one so reported him.
Moral Re-Armament: What Is It?, Basil Entwistle and John McCook Roots, pub. 1967, page 89.

Peter Howard managed to slip several lies into just that one short paragraph:

  1. First off, Peter Howard emphatically declared that "it is a lie", while he also admitted that he wasn't there and he had no idea of what was actually said.

  2. The pro-Nazi accusations against Frank Buchman were not based on just one sentence, or just one newspaper interview. They were based on many things which went on for many years, everything from:
    • that interview,
    • to his faithful attendance at Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies year after year,
    • to his refusal to criticize Hitler for breaking treaties and invading Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland,
    • to Buchman's claims that the difficulties with Hitler were really all the fault of the British and the American people for being so selfish and materialistic,
    • to his praise of the Gestapo leader Heinrich Himmler as a "wonderful lad",
    • to his hobnobbing around Berlin and Nuremberg with Heinrich Himmler, year after year,
    • to his praise of dictatorships and his often-repeated declarations that he wanted to get everybody in the world under the control of a "Spiritual dictatorship" and "the true dictatorship of the living God" and a Christian fascist dictatorship,
    • to Frank Buchman's inherently fascistic attitudes, which were clearly recognized by contemporaries like George Orwell and Reinhold Niebuhr (the author of the Serenity Prayer).

    Peter Howard must have known about all of those things by 1964 — he couldn't very well not have known about them — but he apparently assumed that other people did not know all of the facts, and that he could fool them with lies. (— While Peter Howard was also hiding his own fascist background...)

  3. Secondly, there were not any 50 reporters present at that interview. The author William Birnie clearly described the setting of that exclusive interview: It was in Frank Buchman's office in Samuel Shoemaker's church — "his book-lined office in the annexe of Calvary Church, Fourth Ave and 21st St." — where Frank Buchman, William Birnie, and 8 or 9 of Buchman's followers were present, lounging around in chairs or sitting on the floor. That was it. No other reporters were present. That is why 49 other reporters didn't report what Frank Buchman said there. Peter Howard must have read that interview at least a few times over the years, so he had to know that too, so he was lying again.

  4. That famous quote, "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism," was not taken out of context, like Peter Howard said it was. It means exactly the same thing, no matter whether that sentence is read alone or as part of the whole interview.

    And curiously enough, when this issue came up on another occasion, when the writer Geoffrey Williamson was investigating Frank Buchman and Moral Re-Armament, the official response of the Buchmanites was to declare that Frank Buchman was not fully quoted, and then they simply reproduced part of Frank Buchman's remarks just as they were quoted and printed in the newspaper, and declared, "This is what Frank Buchman really said":

          "I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism. My barber in London told me Hitler saved all of Europe from Communism. That's how he felt. Of course, I don't condone everything the Nazis do. Anti-Semitism? Bad, naturally. I suppose Hitler sees a Karl Marx in every Jew.
          "But think what it would mean to the world if Hitler surrendered to the control of God. Or Mussolini. Or any dictator. Through such a man God could control a nation overnight and solve every bewildering problem."
    "Inside Buchmanism; An Independent Inquiry Into The Oxford Group Movement and Moral Re-Armament", Geoffrey Williamson, 1954, page 156.

    Geoffrey Williamson published his book in 1954, so, by 1964, Peter Howard had had plenty of time to review both it and the official Moral Re-Armament party line.

  5. Peter Howard claimed that Frank Buchman never met Adolf Hitler, but other Buchmanites declared that Frank Buchman had an invitation to meet with Adolf Hitler (so he should also get an invitation to meet with President Roosevelt). And then of course there is the question of them meeting at Putzi Hanfstaengl's house.

Then, continuing in that interview, Peter Howard tried another propaganda trick: He quoted Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George saying flattering things about Adolf Hitler in 1935. Then Howard asked, "Does anyone dare suggest that Churchill or Lloyd George were soft on Nazism?"

      Now let me read you what other people said about Hitler 30 years ago: "Hitler may go down in history as the man who restored honor to the great Germanic nation and led it back, serene and strong, to the European family circle." That was Winston Churchill in 1935.
      Here is Lloyd George: "Hitler is the George Washington of his country."
      Does anyone dare suggest that Churchill or Lloyd George were soft on Nazism?
Moral Re-Armament: What Is It?, Basil Entwistle and John McCook Roots, pub. 1967, pages 89-90.

Life magazine cover of Winston Churchill

Ah, but there were several big problems with Peter Howard's argument there:

  1. Peter Howard was lying again. He quoted Winston Churchill out of context and butchered the quote and reassembled the pieces of the sentences to deceive the listeners. What Winston Churchill actually said was:

    One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.
    We cannot tell whether Hitler will be the man who will once again let loose upon the world another war in which civilisation will irretrievably succumb, or whether he will go down in history as the man who restored honour and peace of mind to the Great Germanic nation.
    Winston Churchill, "Hitler and His Choice", The Strand Magazine (November 1935)

    Winston Churchill was not endorsing Adolf Hitler. Churchill was saying that, at that time, he didn't know how Hitler would be written into the history books.

  2. Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George were politicians, the kind of people whose job routinely requires them to make flattering remarks about other people whom they may actually disdain, while carrying out duties like negotiating with foreign leaders for peace. That's politics, and that's diplomacy.

          Frank Buchman was a clergyman who was a little more obligated to always speak the truth. (He was supposed to be practicing "Absolute Honesty".)

  3. Winston Churchill was not the British Prime Minister in 1935, Neville Chamberlain was. Churchill was a fierce critic of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler, leading the wing of the Conservative Party that opposed the Munich Agreement which Chamberlain famously declared to mean "peace in our time".

    Chamberlain would eventually be totally discredited for his policy of attempting to get peace by appeasing Hitler. He was replaced by Winston Churchill on May 10, 1940. (Incidentally, Neville Chamberlain was a member of Frank Buchman's Oxford Group. Frank Buchman was telling Chamberlain that Hitler was okay, and could be trusted.) )

    Frank Buchman had to bow to no political boss but God when he praised Hitler.

  4. Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Adolf Hitler
    Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Adolf Hitler pose for a photograph on the Obersalzburg during George's second visit with the German Chancellor. German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop is visible in the rear between the two leaders. (June 7, 1936)
    In September 1936, the former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George visited Adolf Hitler in an attempt to persuade him to stop taking military action in Europe. Although David Lloyd George agreed that Germany had been badly treated after the First World War, he was opposed to the British government's policy of appeasement.

    David Lloyd George was one of the British diplomats who created the terrible conditions of the Versailles Treaty. The staggering reparations that Germany had to pay, and the redistribution of territory — that was the vindictive work of David Lloyd George.

    David Lloyd George certainly was effusive in his praise of Hitler during and after that September 1936 visit to Germany:

    Hitler is the George Washington of Germany, the man who made his country independent of all its oppressors ... He is a born leader, a magnetic, dynamic personality with a common aim, a resolute will and a fearless heart ... Regarding his popularity, especially among the youth, there cannot be the slightest doubt.
    Look to Germany — The Heart of Europe, Stanley McClatchie, 1937.

    But David Lloyd George also said,

    Wars are precipitated by motives which the statesmen responsible for them dare not publicly avow. A public discussion would drag these motives in their nudity into the open, where they would die of exposure to the withering contempt of humanity.

  5. Winston Churchill made his remark — a hopeful suggestion, actually a question, not a statement of fact — "...whether he [Hitler] will go down in history as the man who..." — in 1935, and Frank Buchman made his remark in late 1936, after everybody had had another whole year to watch Hitler in action, and see what he was really doing.

    By late 1936, Hitler had banned all opposition political parties, really viciously cracked down hard on the Jews, repudiated treaties, and seized the Rhineland. By the end of 1936, there was little doubt of the direction in which Hitler was going:

  • January 30, 1933 — Hitler becomes Chancellor
  • March 20, 1933 — The Nazis establish their first concentration camp: Dachau.
  • April 7, 1933 — The Nazis' first anti-Semitic decree removes all Jews from the civil service.

  • January, 1934 — Hitler forced all Jewish newspaper editors out of their jobs.
  • June 30, 1934 — The Night of the Long Knives. Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Reinhardt Heydrich carried out a two-day campaign of mass murder that eliminated all opposition to Hitler in Germany, and even eliminated all potential opposition to Hitler from within the Nazi Party. Even Hitler's former allies, like Ernst Roehm, were killed because they might have been popular enough to compete with Hitler for leadership of the Nazi party. Approximately 1000 people were murdered — some of them for nothing more than simply knowing sordid details of Hitler's past (like Hitler's former landlord in Vienna in the 1920's, and the landlord's daughter, who knew what Hitler had done to survive in those days, like perhaps homosexual prostitution). That purge left Hitler the undisputed dictator of Germany.

  • March 16, 1935 — Hitler repudiates the disarmament clauses of the Versailles Treaty and Germany begins to rearm openly.
  • May 21, 1935 — Nazis ban Jews from serving in the military.
  • June 18, 1935 — Britain signs Naval Agreement with Germany, a sign that the Western powers will try to tame Hitler by accommodation ("appeasement").
  • June 26, 1935 — Nazis pass law allowing forced abortions on women to prevent them from passing on hereditary diseases.
  • Aug 6, 1935 — Nazis force Jewish performers/artists to join Jewish Cultural Unions.
  • September 6, 1935 — Street sales of Jewish newspapers is prohibited in Germany. Jewish owners of newspapers were forced to sell their businesses to non-Jews.
  • September 15, 1935 — Frank Buchman attends the Nazi Party Rally in Nuremberg, where Hitler officially proclaims the antisemitic "Nuremberg Laws." These repressive laws are designed to isolate the Jewish people legally, politically, socially and biologically. One law restricts German citizenship to those of "German or related blood," thus stripping the Jews of their few remaining rights as German citizens. Another prohibits marriage and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Germans, making it a crime punishable by imprisonment.
  • September 15, 1935 — Law on Reich Citizenship
  • September 15, 1935 — Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour
  • September 27, 1935 — Waldemar Gurian, a German Catholic writer in exile, writes that the Nuremberg ordinances are "only a stage on the way toward the complete physical destruction of the Jews."
  • November 14, 1935 — First Supplementary Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law.
    Jews denied voting rights and forbidden to hold public office. Discharge of all Jewish civil-service employees, including World War I front-line veterans. Definition of "Jew" written. First decree pertaining to the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor" issued: Prohibition against the marriage of Jews to non-Jews. Sexual relations between Jews and Aryans becomes a crime. Work possibilities for Jews narrowed to just a few professions. Jewish children prohibited from using the same playgrounds and locker rooms as other children.
  • November 20, 1935 — The Church of England unanimously condemns Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany.
  • November 26, 1935 — The Nazi racial office rules that the prohibition of racially mixed marriages incorporated in the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor," applies equally to Gypsies.
  • 1935 — Between 1935 and 1937, 75 Polish Jews are killed and more than 500 injured in widespread attacks. Many are attacked in the streets and their homes and schools broken up and looted.

  • January 1936 — The German government begins a series of trials of members of the religious orders accused of violating the foreign currency laws. Press coverage is hostile to the accused in almost all cases.
  • January 4, 1936 — Ambassador Bergen in Rome writes to German foreign minister von Neurath that the Pope is protesting the violations of the Concordat by the Hitler government, and has several times threatened to bring his complaints into the open. It has taken the moderation of Secretary of State Pacelli to prevent a rupture of relations.
  • January 11, 1936 — An attempt is made on the life of Romanian Chief Rabbi Jacob Isaac Niemirower.
  • January 25, 1936 — The Catholic Agency of Poland officially condemns antisemitic acts.
  • February 10, 1936 — The German Gestapo is placed above the law.
  • March 7, 1936 — Hitler repudiates the demilitarization clauses of the Versailles Treaty and the Locarno Treaties (1925), and German troops march into the demilitarized Rhineland, and reclaim the Saar region.
  • March 9, 1936 — Three Jews are murdered at Przytyk in Poland, and a few days later, five more are killed in the village of Stawy.
  • March 22, 1936 — Sir Oswald Mosley makes an antisemitic speech that almost causes a riot in London's Albert Hall.
  • March 1936 — SS Deathshead division is established.
    The SS — Shutzstaffeln, or "Protection Squad,", originally set up in 1925 to provide personal protection to Nazi leadership — creates the Deaths Head division to guard concentration camps.
  • May 1936 — The German government steps up its drive against the religious orders, instituting a number of trials for sexual perversity. The proceedings are given detailed and lurid coverage by the German press. Catholic monasteries are described as breeding places of filth and vice.
  • May 23, 1936 — Catholic bishops in Holland demand a ban on the Dutch Nazi party.
  • June 2, 1936 — One hundred nineteen Nazis are indicted in Warsaw for conspiring to overthrow the Polish government.
  • June 17, 1936 — Heinrich Himmler is appointed chief of the German Police, both uniformed and civilian.
  • June 21 1936 — The Bavarian government publicly reads the order dismissing all Catholic nuns teaching in the public schools.
  • July 9, 1936 — Goebbels orders a halt to anti-Jewish propaganda until after the Berlin Olympics.
  • July 12, 1936 — Sachsenhausen concentration camp is opened.
  • July 26, 1936 — Father Charles Coughlin, the fascist American "Father of hate radio", in an address to 5,000 American farmers, claims that the Roosevelt administration is a tool of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
  • August 1, 1936 — The Olympic Games begin in Berlin. Frank Buchman attends as a personal guest of Heinrich Himmler.
    1.       Hitler and the top Nazis sought to gain legitimacy through favorable public opinion from foreign visitors and thus temporarily refrained from actions against Jews. Signs barring Jews were removed until the event was over.
    2.       During the 1933 Olympic Session in Vienna that approved the choice of Berlin for the 1936 Olympics, the Germans had promised not to exclude German Jews from the national team. Hitler didn't bother to keep that promise.
    3.       The great American athlete, Jesse Owens (who happened to be black), won four gold medals (100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay). During the Games, he broke 11 Olympic records and defeated the German Lutz Lang in a very close long jump final. Lang was Germany's athletic superstar of the time — a brilliant long jumper, and a tall blond-haired, blue-eyed man who fitted easily into the Nazi image of Aryan racial superiority. Lutz Lang was the first to congratulate Jesse Owens when the long jump final was over. Adolf Hitler, on the other hand, refused to put the gold medal around Owens' neck. Hitler complained that it was unfair to allow Blacks to compete in the Olympics — "They aren't human. It is like making a man race against a horse." Hitler stomped out of the Olympics in anger.
  • August 1936 — Nazis set up an Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortions (by healthy women).
  • August 24, 1936 — Adolf Hitler introduces a compulsory two-year period of military conscription.
  • August 26, 1936 — Frank Buchman happily declares, "I thank Heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler..."

  • Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George did not claim to have a hot-line straight to God, through which they received infallible Guidance every morning. Frank Buchman did. They could later admit that they were wrong if they had once spoken well of Adolf Hitler, and had once had hopes for him. Frank Buchman couldn't, and didn't.

  • Later, Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George changed their minds about Hitler, and publicly declared that Adolf Hitler was a criminal, a murderer, a madman, and a monster. Frank Buchman did not — not ever — because he couldn't admit that "God" had given him bad advice or bad Guidance.

  • Later, Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George fought a grim and determined war against Adolf Hitler. Frank Buchman and his followers did not. In fact, they tried their best to dodge the draft and avoid the war entirely. Many of Buchman's highest-ranking British followers fled to the USA to avoid fighting against Hitler and the Nazis, and Frank Buchman helped them to hide from the British government in the backwoods of Maine. And Peter Howard, the former captain of the Oxford and British National rugby teams, avoided military service by claiming to be crippled by a congenitally-deformed foot. Hitler really would have had a very "soft" time of it if it were all left up to people like Frank Buchman and his followers.

    And lastly, I really have to wonder about this quote from Churchill,

    "When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite."
    — Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  • Next: The Oxford Group Morphs Into MRA

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