by Joseph McCabe

                     GIRARD  -- : --  KANSAS

                          ****     ****

     I    The Church Sells Austria to the Hunmen ............... 1

    II    The Approach to Munich ............................... 7

   III    The Murder of Czecho-Slovakia ........................ 13

    IV    Why France Betrayed the Czechs ....................... 19

     V    On the Eve of the World-Tragedy ...................... 23

                          ****     ****

                            Chapter I


     H.G. Wells, who confessed to me a year ago that he had become
convinced that I was right about the danger of Rome -- he had more
than once amiably ridiculed my preoccupation with it -- said one of
his superbly audacious things about it recently (September 27); and
he said this to the most distinguished body the British Association
for the Advancement of Science ever got together. This generation,
he thought, might have to endure a series of wars waged "in the
name of those dead religions that cumber the world today." And he
went on to make a parenthetic remark which must have made learned
eyes open wide behind their horn-rimmed spectacles:

     "A dead religion is like a dead cat -- the stiffer and more
rotten it is, the better it is as a missile weapon."

     It is obvious what religion he had in mind: the religion of
Petain, Weygand, and Laval, of Leopold of Belgium, of De Valera,
Vargas, and Salazar, of the Quislings of Austria, Czecho-Slovakia,
and Croatia, the religion of that Black International which has for

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ten years helped the arch-criminals of history to dupe and enfeeble
the democracies and to smirch our civilization with their foulness
and brutality. In the day of reckoning it must stand in the dock
with the other murderers.

     In these little books I prepare the indictment and furnish the
evidence. In the early stage's of this corruption of civilization
the four masters of crime -- Italy, Germany, Japan, and the Black
International, which we may justly personify in the present Pope,
Pacelli-Pius -- were isolated, like crooks working in different
quarters of a large city. Japan was brooding over an old plan to
exploit Asia which had been drawn up when Mussolini was a ragged
little country lad sweeping the floor of his father's saloon, and
Hitler was begging nickels of his drunken and disreputable father
in the sticks. The delicate Japanese nostrils would have quivered
at sight of them. Even in 1922, when the industrialists and
royalists of Italy raised Mussolini, for their own purposes and to
his astonishment, to the position of a prince, Japan turned down
the overtures of the Vatican. Seven years later the sharp-eyed
Japanese statesmen saw the Papacy make Mussolini's tottering throne
safe and win world-recognition of it for him by a formal alliance,
and they now turned to the Vatican and asked it to -- for a
consideration -- render the same service to themselves, which it
did. Then Hitler, impressed by the value of this holy alliance,
sought the same spiritual assistance of the Black International and
got it.

     So the plot, using the international organization of the Roman
Church to lull suspicion in other countries, was unified and took
on cosmic proportions. Germany, Italy, and Japan were to rule and
exploit the earth. The Pope -- he thought -- would be the universal
chaplain, with the plan in reserve, of a League of Catholic power's
strong enough to cheek any trickery of Hitler. That will be cold
history -- or an epitaph -- in a few years. I differ from Wells
about those "wars of religion" in the future. If this generation
which he and I will soon quit does not emasculate the Black
International when this war is over it will deserve all it gets,
but I have faith in it.

     In earlier books I described the insidious preparatory moves
in this collegial plot. Under the noses of the democracies, which
actually applauded year by year except, for a time, in the case of
Manchuria and Abyssinia, 200,000,000 folk were brought under what
is politely called the authoritarian regime and added to the
200,000,000 of Germany, Italy, and Japan . . . Wait a bit, you
protest. Where do you get these figures? Nobody in 1936 drew our
attention to this remarkable development. I need say only: add up
the populations of the stolen provinces of China, of Fascist South
America, of Austria, Abyssinia, etc., and then find out why your
oracles did not warn you in 1936 or 1937.

     I have shown that the Black International played a very active
and important part in this preparation for the launching of the
plot in 1939. Can anybody even profess to doubt the value of the
assistance it gave in destroying democracy in Austria, Spain, and
Spanish America and supporting the annexation of China and
Abyssinia? To this you must add its help in keeping Hungary, Eire, 

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and Poland Fascist, in recommending Fascism (politely called the
corporative state) in a solemn Papal Encyclical (Quadragesimo Anno
1931) to the entire Catholic world, in working on Catholic
sentiment in France, Belgium, Britain, Holland, and America, and in
sustaining the hatred of Russia. We return later to these points.

     By 1938 the Axis on which Europe was to run was firmly
constructed and ready to operate. Italy was to have Europe south of
the Danube, and an African empire. Germany to have all north of
that river. Mussolini, the Napoleon of the South, little dreaming
that by 1941 he would be an old soldier on crutches begging coppers
from Hitler, was blind to the emphatic statement in Mein Kampf that
there is no room in Europe for two great powers. The rest of the
world was still dreaming its dream of the benevolent and beneficent
destruction of Socialism everywhere by these apostles of order and
discipline. So Hitler made a bolder move: one that might provoke,
and ought to have provoked, war.

     He needed Austria and Czecho-Slovakia, Hungary was in the plot
and very loyal to the Vatican; and in any case Pacelli was to visit
it in 1938. With the control of Austria, Czecho-Slovakia and
Hungary the conquest of the Balkans was assured, the broad road to
Turkey and the East was open, and the blockade by the British
fleet, on which small-minded British-statesmen relied, was deprived
of its sting. The first step was to get Austria and the Danube, and
in this the Black International was very useful.

     In the summer of 1938 I discussed this annexation of Austria
with an important German Nazi. He pleaded first that there was no
annexation. It was an "adherence" (Anschluss) of the German people
of Austria to their natural national unit. The facility with which
America accepted this plea is dangerous. Germans will raise it
strongly at the settlement -- quite recently a German Socialist
refugee insisted on it in conversation with me -- and it is ominous
that British statesmen never name the Austrians amongst the peoples
they are going to liberate. However, the chief interest here is an
incidental remark that my Nazi friend made. "If," he said, "you had
gone to war over Austria, you would have found that we Germans had
not enough petrol at the time to last more than ten days." He was
an important industrialist, intimate with some of the leaders, and
it was very clear to me that he was convinced of this.

     How much the Vatican had to do with the criminal failure of
France and Britain to begin arming at once -- allowing that they
were not in a position to fight in the spring of 1938 -- and
drawing nearer to Russia we cannot say, but do not for a moment
imagine that here I raise a wild and groundless suspicion. In 1937,
as we shall see later, Pacelli had visited Paris -- the first Papal
Legate to do so since the fall of Napoleon -- and on New Years'
Day, 1938, Paris had the piquant spectacle of a representative of
the Pope decorating and kissing its freethinking Premier and other
Ministers. There was much besides this, but we will deal with the
whole question of the corruption of France in a later book.

     We are here not simply dealing with the overt action of the
Vatican, which as in the case of Abyssinia and the Italian Church,
often finds it convenient to act through the local hierarchy and 

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itself remain silent. We are studying the share of the Black
International in the world-debasement and tragedy. As far as
Pacelli-Plus is concerned it is enough that he persisted in his
attempts to conciliate Hitler and never said a word of the mildest
censure of Germany's action in Austria. He knew that Mussolini had
agreed to it as part of the general plan. But that the Church in
Austria enthusiastically supported Hitler is not disputed, and no
section of the Church was more docile to the Vatican. We shall see
in a moment the trickery by which it was represented in America
that the Austrian Church acted independently of the Vatican.

     The way had been prepared, we saw, by the Church poisoning
what the Annual Register calls "the Socialist watch-dog." Hitler
would certainly not have had a walk-over in Austria if the Social
Democrats, who firmly held Vienna and Linz and had hundreds of
thousands of followers in the country, had still been strong in
1988. The Catholic Chancellor, Schusdhnigg, was himself vigorously
opposed to annexation, and it is interesting to speculate what
would have been the effect of an appeal to Czecho-Slovakia, with
its magnificent Skoda arsenal close at hand, Russia, and the
Socialists and Radicals of France were there. The Church, by
destroying them, destroyed this early chance of defeating the
world-plot. It had killed the Socialist leaders, had put tens of
thousands of the more spirited Socialists in jail, and had drilled
the country into docility to itself.

     For Austria was, as we saw, a theocracy, a priest-ruled state
as not even Poland or Eire was. Dollfuss, who assassinated the
Socialists in 1934 after consultation with Pacelli, was promptly
assassinated by the Nazis. His successor, Schuschnigg, hated the
Nazis and was opposed to annexation, but the last word was with
Cardinal Innitzer, bead of the Austrian Church; and he had the
support in the Catholic government of Seyss-Inquart, who was a
Catholic and a Nazi and was prepared at any time to stab his leader
in the back. The main fact is, however, that since the suppression
of the Socialists in Vienna in 1934, the whole country was
prostrate at the feet of the cardinal. Socialists were whipped into
silence and the whole scheme of education, in school and press,
imposed absolute docility to the Church.

     That there was an understanding between Cardinal Innitzer and
Hitler, who made his usual glib promises to respect and protect the
Church, nobody denies. When Hitler marched into Vienna on March 13,
1938, all the church-bells in Austria rang, and a Swastika flag
waved over the ancient Cathedral. Two days later Innitzer had a
cordial interview with Hitler, and the cardinal and four of his
leading bishops issued a manifesto summoning all Austrians to vote
for Hitler in the coming plebiscite. The cardinal wrote "Heil
Hitler" after his signature. It is a sufficient refutation of the
plea that the Austrian's wanted to join Germany that Hitler angrily
refused to ask them this by a plebiscite as Schuschnigg proposed.
Hitler turned the idea into a farce by making it a plebiscite of
the whole German nation. In this farce Innitzer and his bishops
concurred and ordered all Austrians -- they were now all Catholics
in Church law -- to support Hitler, calling him the man "whose
struggle against Bolshevism and for the power, honor, and unity of
Germany corresponds to the voice of Divine Providence."

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     Was a supreme Church authority with a large clerical staff
really ignorant of Hitler's true plan and motive? They spoke a
common language, remember, and were near neighbors, and there was
not the least secrecy about Hitler's plan to exploit Europe, If
Innitzer understood the Nazi aim -- and it is incredible that he
did not -- his association of it with "the voice of Divine
Providence" was blasphemous from the religious viewpoint and
loathsome from any angle.

     But did Innitzer take this line upon instruction from or
without consulting the Papal Secretary of State? It is not material
for my purpose to settle this, as we are studying the share of the
Black International as a whole. It happens, however, that the
question was referred to the Vatican by Catholics of other
countries, probably America, who were outraged by this gross
interference in politics, and in favor of a corrupt and very
dangerous schemer. And I quote the facts about the Jesuitical
action of the Vatican from a Catholic writer, C. Rankin, in his
flattering biography of Pacelli-Plus (The Pope Speaks, 1940).

     On April 1st, apparently in reply to Catholic complaints of
Inititzer's conduct -- for so public a rebuke of a cardinal would
otherwise be unprecedented -- a Jesuit speaker on the Vatican Radio
censored the Austrian cardinal and regretted that he had not
recognized "the wolf in sheep's clothing." It is clear that this
brought German protests, for the Vatican organ then declared that
the radio talk was not official. Even the pious and rather obtuse
Ransom adds that "it was characteristic of the extreme delicacy of
the situation" that this denial was not published but was
"telephoned direct to foreign correspondents by persons instructed
by the Vatican to do so." He seems to be unaware of the irony of
his words. The Osservatore said that Innitzer's action was not
authorized: Radio said that it was opposed to Vatican policy and
anonymous officials in the Vatican press bureau then said that the
criticisms of Innitzer were not authorized. The cream of the joke
is that all three -- radio, printing press, and press bureau -- are
in the Pope's back yard, so to say, and would not dare to say a
word on a matter of importance without consulting the Secretariat
of State. About this time some American film company put into
circulation a very impressive film, with most edifying and largely
untruthful commentary on work in the Vatican City. It did not point
out the convenience of the above arrangement.

     Innitzer was invited to Rome to explain his action, and the
Vatican was careful not to declare that he had been censured.
Instead of this, the Osservatore on April 6 gave a long and
sympathetic account of the cardinal's reasons for his action.
Keesing's Contemporary Archives gives the gist of Innitzer's
arguments, as published in the Swiss press at the time, but there
is no need to consider them here. The Black International had
rendered a new and most important service to the crooks, and the
Vatican had neatly dodged the censure of Catholics in democratic

     Pacelli knew that, as we have seen several times, local
Catholic hierarchies will, in their own interest, finally submit to
anything that the Papacy does. For a year or two Mundelein had 

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roused American Catholic's to a white-hot indignation against the
Nazis for persecuting the Church and besmirching the fragrant lives
of the communities of lay brothers. You would expect apoplexy when
the news came that the Church had sold Austria to the Nazis, and
given them control of the Danube, and smoothed the path of their
bloody ambition, yet there was only a momentary flutter. Catholics
bowed to the "unauthorized" assurance that Innitzer had not
consulted the Vatican, and, as the world at large soon forgot
Austria and resumed its admiration of Nazi efficiency, the matter
was dismissed.

     One needs no documentary evidence that this conspiracy between
the Austrian Church and the Nazis was directed from Rome. National
branches of the Church of Rome are bound to consult the Papacy
before taking action on any issue of grave importance. That is what
the Secretariat of State is for. And when the issue is one that
affects other countries and the international policy of the Vatican
the obligation to consult headquarters is so strong that an evasion
of it is unthinkable. The question of joining Austria to Germany
was clearly of this character. Such union would not only strengthen
Hitler's position to a very important extent, so that it was a most
valuable opportunity for one of those bargains for which the
Vatican is always alert, but to put an additional 7,000.000
Catholics under Nazi rule after what had happened to the Church in
Germany this was so serious a matter that the suggestion that
Innitzer acted on his own initiative may be dismissed as frankly

     But, while the concurrence and lead of the Vatican is certain,
the ground of its policy is not clear. The key to it seems to be
the extraordinary persistence of Pacelli in trusting the promises
of Hitler. He had in 1932 made, in return for valuable service, a
promise of a very favorable agreement with the Vatican. He had
immediately dishonored the agreement, yet Pacelli and the German
bishops had continued to appeal to him. In 1936 he had opened the
series of vice-trials of priests and monks which had dealt the
Church a heavier and more ignominious blow than ever, yet the
Vatican had, with occasional mild complaints about persecution and
paganism -- never about crime and brutality until Catholic Poland
was threatened with extermination -- remained friendly. We shall
see that at the opening of the great war he had made new promises
to the Church, and we shall find the German bishops in 1941
complaining, while they still supported him, that he had not
fulfilled his promises! This persistence in looking to the man who
had plainly said years before in his book that he made his own
moral law -- "What is Necessary is Right" is the title of a chapter
of Mein Kampf -- is the key to this strange development. I say
strange because, even if we admit that the annexation of Austria
was inevitable, we should expect the Austrian Church to have met it
with quiet dignity instead of waving Swastika flag's and chanting
"Hell Hitler" like the treacherous scum of every country that
Hitler invaded.

     Whatever Hitler promised Cardinal Innitzer in their very
cordial interview he cheated with his usual fluency. At the moment
of writing this it is confidently reported -- and as confidently
denied, of course -- that Myron Taylor has taken to Washington 

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certain terms of peace, or certain new promises, which the Pope is
transmitting on behalf of the arch-liar of modern history. One
would have thought that by 1941, when the Pope had seen Hitler lie
and cheat so brazenly for eight years, he would have been ashamed
to produce any proposals from such a source. For within three
months of his pleasant and confiding talk with Hitler the cardinal
was a prisoner in his palace, and hundreds of his priests and monks
were in the hands of the police, generally on the usual disgraceful
charge. Swiss papers said that "50,000 Austrians have left the
church this quarter, and a further 50,000 are expected to quit in
the next quarter." The Church in Austria was, as a result of its
trust in Hitler, disestablished and reduced to the same pitiful
condition as the Church in Germany. It had helped Hitler to secure
one of his bloodless victories. It now bled.

                           Chapter II

                     THE APPROACH TO MUNICH

     Yet the Vatican had already begun to smooth the path of
Hitler's sordid ambition in another area of Europe: to undermine
the loyalty of a large part of Czecho-Slovakia. In a lecture which
I delivered in London in 1936 I predicted that when the conquest of
Spain was completed the Nazis would turn to Czecho-Slovakia. Many
of my audience in those day's of inglorious inactivity and
childlike trust smiled, but although the country was not marked out
for attack in Mein Kampf its fate, could easily be foreseen.
Hitler's original ambition to make one empire of all German-
speaking peoples, with the Ukraine for an additional granary, had
grown mightily when he saw the cowardice and folly of the
democracies, and Czecho-Slovakia stood like a second Gibraltar, a
natural and formidable land-fortress across the route to Russia,
the Balkans, and the East. It commanded the Danube, and it had
within its own frontiers a very virile people with considerable

     But while Hitler made bravery the supreme Nordic quality and
boasted in every speech of the irresistible might of the Reich, he
preferred to proceed wherever possible by deceit. Not Thor, but
Tocri, the cunning, is the head of the modern German pantheon. The
world to be dominated and exploited must be taken over piecemeal
and by ruse, guile, and corruption. Hitler had men, and especially
women, steadily corrupting France for him, and he imagined that the
tactless Ribbentrop, who had a stupid idea of the influence of the
aristocracy in England, was winning or duping that country for him.
In Austria he used the Church, as he had used it for what it was
Worth in Spain, and he used it in Czecho-Slovakia.

     The cutting-up of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire at
Versailles had been crude and cruel, but it is a lie originating in
Germany and quite generally accepted in Britain and America, that
the Sudeten provinces of Czecho-Slovakia had then been detached
from Austria and tacked on to Bohemia. Any map that was published
before 1919 will show that these provinces are part of ancient 

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Bohemia, which before the Catholic troops so mercilessly trampled
on it in the Thirty Years War was the most promising of the smaller
civilizations of Europe. Its sturdy people were instinctively anti-
Papal and had raised the banner of Hus before Luther was born. In
its exhausted condition it had been taken over by Austria and had
been made compulsorily Catholic in the customary way.

     It was still under Austria when the industrial development of
the nineteenth century began and its splendid natural resources now
gave promise of wealth. The mineral resources were in the
mountainous fringe, nearest to Austria, which became familiar to us
as the Sudeten province -- taking their name from the mountains --
and Austria, the dominant power, followed the policy which England
had once followed in Ireland. Austrian and German capital and
enterprise, using Czech labor, were to reap the profit. The Czechs
were to remain the hewers of wood and drawers of water for the
Viennese capitalist. It was in this way that the border provinces
had been filled with a German-speaking Catholic population.

     Until Nazism began its insidious propaganda in the countries
which it meant to annex these Catholics of Austrian (and partly
German) descent had lived quite amiably with the Czechs. The
country as a whole was Catholic. I have pointed out how the
reckless propaganda of recent years has in this respect run to a
most absurd extreme. For several years our annuals and other
reference-books have -- see the World Almanac, for instance -- said
that the population of Czecho-Slovakia is 10,500,000 and then that
it contains 16,831,636 Roman Catholics (besides 1,129,758
Protestants, 1,173,479 members of other religions, and 854,636 of
no religion)! Catholic statistics exhibit many miracles but this is
the choicest. If the last figure is changed into something more
than 2,000,000 -- for 854,636 is the number of those who boldly
wrote on the census-paper that they had no religion -- it will be
seen that Catholics really numbered about 8,000,000 in a total
population of about 14,000,000, and half these Catholics were
illiterate peasants and woodcutters.

     Here you will begin to understand the action of the Black
International in working for the destruction of Czecho-Slovakia.
The creation of that republic -- or the establishment of it, for it
had already declared itself an independent republic -- by
Versailles was followed by internal developments which, year after
year, caused consternation at the Vatican. Bordering on Russia the
country was bound to feel in a high degree the wave of Communist
and anti-religious propaganda which disturbed the Church
everywhere, but there was an even worse danger, from the Roman
point of view, in Czecho-Slovakia.

     The reaction against Austria, which in spite of its fame for
the amiability of its character had a grim record of tyranny, on
the part of both Church and state, in Bohemia, there was a
remarkable revolt against the Vatican. Almost at once (1920) a very
large body of the priests and their people cut their connection
with Rome and founded a national (Catholic) Czechoslovak Church.
The very orthodox Irish Independent (August 13, 1938) said that
"nearly a million people and 200 priests left the Church" in 1919
and 1920, that at the date of writing there was a painful shortage 

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of priests in Bohemia and Moravia, and that a large part of the
acting priests were of peasant extraction and of a low cultural and
intellectual quality. The leading British Catholic weekly the
Tablet (organ of the richer and better-educated Catholics) went
further. In its issue of October 31, 1936 it had an article on
religion in Czecho-Slovakia by a Catholic who had recently
travelled in it. He had asked a priest about the report of
secessions, and the priest had said:

     "It is true, up to 1930 nearly 1,900,000 left the Church and,
while about 150,000 joined the Protestant and Orthodox communities,
the rest are without religion."

     The Roman priests so hated their brethren who remained
Catholic but threw off the yoke of the Vatican that this man lies
in the latter part of his statement. At the census of 1930 the
National Church of anti-Papal Catholics still had 793,385 members,
though even more declared that they had no religion. In fact, there
is no other country in the world in which nearly a million folk
made this formal declaration in the census-paper.

     This situation is the key to Papal policy in Czecho-Slovakia
and, as Catholic writers try to defend the Vatican by asking what
interest the Church had in helping Hitler in that country, it has
to be thoroughly understood. There were nearly a million Catholics
who refused to recognize the Pope; and the Vatican considers these
"ichismaties" as dangerous and damned as atheists. There were more
than 3,000,000 Socialists and Communists, since they had polled
1,700,000 votes at the last election, and there was the most
powerful Rationalist body in the world. Catholic writers boast that
in 1934 a great Catholic Congress was held at Prague and attended
by 50,000 Catholics. They do not mention that in 1935 the
Freethinkers held a Congress there and it was attended by 40,000
members. President Masaryk, the idol of the country and the most
respected statesman in Europe, and several of the political and
most of the cultural leaders, including the internationally famous
novelist Karl Capek, were Freethinkers. In no other country in the
world had the Church of Rome lost in ten years so high a proportion
of its members; and the loss continued yearly. Bohemia, the care of
the Republic, the center of culture and prosperity, was lost to
Rome. A Thirlmere travelling in the country after 1930 would have
said, "The Church knows that she is doomed."

     As the government was deservedly popular and secured for the
people a high and increasing prosperity there was no opportunity
here of repeating the Spanish tragedy. The only feasible plan from
the Vatican angle was to save the Sudeten Catholics at one end of
the Republic and the very backward Slovak Catholics at the other
from what Rome called the corrupting influence of Prague. This
coincided with Hitler's policy, though we may admit that the
Vatican did not foresee -- very few people foresaw -- that when
Hitler got these detached on the plea of the self-determination of
peoples and found the French and British so cowardly he would grab
the lot and have a magnificent starting-point for his further
advance. But we shall see that the Church was more active than ever
in the second and greater grab.

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     This general coincidence of the interests of the Vatican with
those of the Nazis is supported by undisputed evidence of
cooperation. The Catholic writer in the Irish Independent whom I
have quoted admitted that the priests interfered in polities,
though in the Sudeten provinces the work was left to the laity. The
priests were less ready than those of Austria to be drawn into the
Nazi spider's web, especially when the Austrian Church began to
suffer like the German, but Nazism spread amongst the laity in
virtue of skilful German propaganda, and a local leader was found
in the Catholic Henlein: the kind of puppet that the Germans liked
to find -- a man of poor intelligence and greatly flattered by
being recognized in Berlin and promised's high position in the
Sudeten provinces when they were "liberated," Henlein and his
colleagues assured their fellow-Catholics that the Church had
nothing to fear from Nazi rule. He had that promise from Hitler. In
Germany, they said (quite falsely), Cardinal Faulhaber had provoked
the Nazi government by his attacks on it. They would not do that in
Sudetenland and would not be molested.

     To the general public in America, to whom the word Slovak
meant little more than the name of a tribe in Abyssinia, the whole
question turned on the Sudeten provinces. To Hitler these were only
the pretext of intervention, and a pretext in regard to which, by
promoting a little friction and getting Goebbels to represent this
as resentment of a bloody tyranny of the Czechs, he could make out
something of a case. But shearing off this narrow fringe of German-
speaking towns, which lay outside the Czech "Maginot Line," would
not give him Czecho-Slovakia, so the anti-Czech agitation at the
other end of the Republic, in Slovakia, was far more important.
This was overwhelmingly the work of the Black International.

     The core of the Republic was, as I said, Bolemia or Bohemia
and Moravia, which worked together and reached a high degree of
culture and prosperity. The Czechs who inhabited them were as able
and vigorous as the urban populations of Germany, and, fearing that
the Nazi wolf would sooner or later quarrel with them, they had a
fine army and at Skoda one of the greatest armament-making works in
Europe. But beyond Moravia, to the east, the country ran on to the
Carpathian Mountains, and from its geographical conditions this
large province remained very backward. This was the land of the
Slovaks, and beyond it the country terminated in a still more
backward mountainous area with a Ruthenian or Ukrainian population.
The Czechs might have done well to hand the latter to the
Ukrainians and let Soviet Russia civilize it as it had done with so
many border provinces.

     Czechs, Slovaks, and Ruthenians had declared themselves an
independent republic in 1918, when Austria collapsed, and
Versailles had confirmed their position. It was a lively team to
drive, including 6,000,000 Czechs, 3,000,000 Slovaks, 3,000,000
Germans, and more than a million Magyars and Ruthenians, but as
long as President Masaryk held the rein's and pre-nazi Germany was
friendly the republic made remarkable progress. Its social and
cultural achievements must be read elsewhere. In a land of powerful
minorities there are always men who thrust themselves into the
limelight by shrieking that the ancient culture of a particular
minority is in danger of perishing and they must demand autonomy. 

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They are blind to the changed conditions of a world in which small
national units only excite the cupidity of more powerful neighbors.
The clash, however, only found expression in the melodramatic
fights of politicians until the, Nazis took up the grievances of
the Sudeten Germans and the disintegration of the Church alarmed
the Vatican.

     The priests in Slovakia had long been associated with the
patriotic movement in that province. The parallel with the
situation in Ireland before it was granted Home Rule is close
enough to enable anybody to understand. In Slovakia, however, the
patriotic party was actually led by a priest, Father Hlinka, and
was directly associated with Pacelli's policy. It is quite useless
to talk about patriotic priests and the carefulness of the Vatican
to avoid politic's, when the most sensational event of the year
1933 in Czecho-Slovakia was that the Papal Nuncio was expelled for
just such interference. He had supported the Slovak claims in a
letter which was published on August 13, 1933. We shall see later
how the French in their own interest -- disguised, of course, as a
noble effort to secure peace -- replied to the summons of the
Vatican to help it against the government of Czecho-Slovakia, but
the months of agitation over the expulsion of the Nuncio for
political reasons and the great Catholic demonstration that
followed in 1934 plainly identified the Vatican with the priest-
controlled Slovak movement. In any case we are studying the action
of the Black International and need not trouble always to detect
the Roman strings that work the clerical puppets.

     This clerical Slovak movement led in the end to the utter ruin
of Czecho-Slovakia. This was after Munich, and we need not go fully
into the events which led up to that ignoble surrender. The year
1938 opened with a fair degree of tranquillity in the Republic.
There had been scandals and a serious split in the Sudeten body,
and the coalition government was willing to make reasonable
concessions to the Slovaks. They were represented by two parties in
Prague, the Slovak Catholic party and the Slovak Centralists. The
capital of the province, Bratislava, was a solid city sharing the
culture of Prague, and large numbers of its citizens were opposed
to the political priests and their hordes of ignorant peasants, and
wild-eyed mountaineers. An amiable settlement seemed possible, but
this Suited neither the ghouls of Berlin nor those of the Vatican.
Hitler in February began the series of violent attacks on the
Czecho-Slovak government, then headed by Benes, which were to
prepare the German people for the opening of his aggressive

     He was still within the framework of Mein Kampf, concerned
only, he said, about the condition of German's outside as well as
inside the Reich. There were 10,000,000 of them he said, living
under oppression in Austria and the Sudeten provinces. We saw how
he went on to annex Austria, and Benes easily proved that there was
no persecution of Germans in Czecho-Slovakia. But Hitler's
extraordinary success, thanks to the Church and the cowardice of
the democracies in taking Austria without striking a blow most
gravely confirmed him in his plan to take Czecho-Slovakia and
broaden his base for a European war.

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     The Slovak Clerical withdrew their support of Benes and began
to press for autonomy, and the Sudeten Catholics again raised their
clamor. It was at this stage (March 14) that France and Russia gave
an assurance of assistance to the Czechs in case they were
attacked. Great Britain gave no pledge. The French later said that
they relied on the cooperation of Britain in virtue of their treaty
of mutual defence but this did not contemplate the eventuality of
France provoking an German attack by going to the aid of a third
power. The sound criticism of Britain at this stage is that its
statesmen could not shake themselves free of their blind anti-
Socialist zeal and see that the Axis had opened a career of
aggression. A combination in 1938 of the British and French fleets
and the armies of France, Russia, and Czecho-Slovakia might have
spared the world the horrors of the great war. At all events the
leading French paper, Le Temps, announced that the government had
given the Czechs an assurance of help, and the Russian press told
of a similar assurance from their side; an assurance that, unlike
the French, they have always acknowledged and were ready to honor.

     Germany at the same date, the middle of May, made one of its
solemn and nauseously hypocritical announcements to the world to
the effect that it had no designs on Czecho-Slovakia and only
wanted justice for the 3,000,000 Germans who lived in it. A month
later Henlein went to see Hitler in Germany, and at Carlsbad, on
German soil, he formulated the demands of the Sudetens. They had,
of course, grown remarkably larger since his interview with Hitler,
but this is not the place to repeat in detail the course of events
up to Munich. The darkest tragedy was that occupation of the whole
country which was never contemplated at Munich, and this is the
tragedy for which the Black International was plainly responsible.

     Throughout the summer of 1938 the demands of the Sudeten
Catholics grew. The Czech government made concession after
concession, but Hitler did not want concessions. He wanted refusal
and an excuse to invade. When his troops began in the late summer
to concentrate in the direction of Czecho-Slovakia Britain sent
Lord Runciman to find the bases of a compromise. Runciman was one
of those who held that any development was better than an advance
of Socialism and all that he did was to persuade the Czechs to talk
nicely to the Nazi wolf and not think of provoking him. Mussolini
helped out his gangster-friend by publishing in his own paper in
Italy an open letter to Runciman which that apostle of peace
probably took seriously. He assured Runciman that he knew from
conversation with Hitler that he had no intention whatever of doing
more than liberate the Sudeten fringe with 3,000,000 Germans. It
was all part of the sordid plan, but there was still in England, or
in the ruling class, a belief that Mussolini was not as
unscrupulous as Hitler.

     So Chamberlain went to Berchtesgaden and to Munich and dragged
England into that policy of appeasement which will cost the world
an incalculable number of billions of dollars and millions of
lives, waste of precious wealth, and a load of suffering under
which the planet reels. Had I been capable of weeping I would have
wept at one picture of that ignoble time: Chamberlain stepping out
of his plane at Croydon on his return from Munich. His face naively
lit with a smile like that of a school-girl who has won an 

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unexpected prize, he flourished a scrap of paper before the crowd
and explained that he had Hitler's signature to a promise to keep
the agreement and not further menace the peace of Europe! The
interests of the Conservative Party had required that the fate of
an Empire Should be entrusted to such a man, and he had had
plenipotentiary power at Munich. He had at least the grace to die
when he saw the sequel. The pious Halifax still represents the
British Empire.

     Another picture comes to hand. A journalist who was present at
Munich, William L. Shirer, has just published his impressions
(Berlin Diary). He describes Hitler walking past him on that
fateful day:

     "It was a very curious walk indeed. In the first place it was
very ladylike. Dainty little steps. In the second place every few
steps he cocked his right shoulder nervously, his left leg snapping
up a he did so. I watched him closely as he came back past us. The
same nervous tic. He had ugly black patches under his eyes. He was
in a blue funk. If Britain and France had called his bluff there
might have been no world-war. At least it would have been fought
under very different conditions. And amongst the shower of
congratulations to Chamberlain on his miserable surrender was a
telegram from Cardinal Hinsley in the name of "the Catholic
archbishops and bishops of England."

                           Chapter III


     The Munich agreement was that Germany was to have those towns
and districts on the fringe of Czecho-Slovakia in which there was
a German majority. The self-determination of peoples is an
admirable principle, but in application it needs to be watched
carefully. If either priests or statesmen or, as in the case of
Italy and Germany, both demand a full birth rate of their people so
that the over-crowded population will ooze over the frontiers into
neighboring countries and multiply there until they become the
majority, as Mexicans might in parts of the southern States and
Japanese in parts of the eastern, they have no right whatever to
either autonomy or special privileges. A member of Wilson's staff
at Versailles told me how that statesman, baited and exhausted by
the French, clinging to his ideal of self-determination and dazed
by, names of Hungarian, Bulgarian, Polish, etc., towns about which
he knew nothing, was dragged into the blunders of that fateful
treaty. Over-population, deliberately encouraged, was one of the
chief pretexts -- it was in this case not true -- used by the arch-
criminals to reconcile their own people to the idea of aggressive
war and to secure the sympathy of muddle-headed humanitarians of
the George Lansbury type abroad. Lebensraum ("space to live in")
for the noble German people was the cry -- until the time came when
the mask could be abandoned and it was changed to Grossraum, which
practically means Empire.

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                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
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     Since this encouragement of the birth rate was the second
chief point -- the first was the suppression of freedom or
glorification of authority -- on which the policy of the Vatican
coincided with that of the Axis we shall have to consider it later.
At this stage it thrusts itself upon our notice because it explains
why about one-fifth of the total population of Czech-Slovakia was
found in the relatively small area of the Sudeten provinces and
another fifth in the very backward conditions of Slovakia. The
Czechs of the large and progressive central region were fully in
line with modern civilization and controlled their birth rate. It
was this prosperous central region that Hitler coveted, for he had
now, ind seeing the inertia of the western democracies, gone far
beyond his original idea of uniting all peoples of Germanic blood
in a powerful empire and securing the Ukraine as their granary. He
and Mussolini, who had lied to Runciman with all the glibness of
his type, proved this immediately by cynically ignoring the Munich
agreement and Chamberlain and robbing Czecho-Slovakia of its vital
defensive resources so that he could take it over when the time was

     The essential evil of the surrender at Munich was that in
practice it left to Hitler and Mussolini to settle what parts of
Czecho-Slovakia were to be handed over on the sacred principle of
self-determination. In theory this, and all questions arising from
the settlement, were to be decided by representatives of the four
powers. Russia was, of course, ignored as a low-caste nation which
could not expect to sit at table with pure-blooded Nordics" and the
descendants of the Caesars; and Britain and France further
stultified themselves by agreeing to this. They very quickly found
that they had betrayed Czecho-Slovakia and, as it proved before
long, the cause of civilization. Hitler's military draftsmen
included in the territory to be ceded the powerful fortifications
and big guns and, as they saw Chamberlain still playing with his
"Scrap of paper", robbed the country of its equipment, air-force,
military resources, and chief industrial enterprises. Catholic
Poland and Hungary seized their opportunity and, like dogs
attacking a mortally wounded deer, tore pieces out of the flanks of
the distressed country, with the cordial approval of their priests.
One of the most sturdy democracies in Europe, with a large and
splendidly equipped army, a great arsenal, and an eagerness to
cooperate with Russia, was disarmed.

     But Hitler hesitated for months to take over the helpless
country. One of the foulest features of this modern imperialism as
compared with its historical predecessors is that, while it mouthed
about the tonic of war and its invincible legions, it
hypocritically denied until the last moment that it had any
imperialist ambitions and covered every move it made with a ragged
mantle of respectable pretensions and mendacious pretexts of law
and order. In this (in Austria, Abyssinia, and Spain) it had had
the close cooperation of the Black International; the 'moral' force
which professed to have the task of exposing all such immoral
conduct in every part of the world. Hitler now found a still more
useful ally in the Black International.

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                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
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     Pacelli was crowned Pope on March 12, 1939. This was, as I
said, the day on which the Jews were, with terrible loss and 
suffering (which he never condemned), expelled from Italy. It was
also the day on which Hitler sent a German plane to Slovakia to
bring to Berlin the Slovak priest who was to sell Czecho-Slovakia
to him for thirty pieces of silver.

     One reads in the biography of the new Pope by Ransom that
during the week after his coronation Pacelli was so beset with
problems that he gave only three hours to sleep every night. What
the problems were we do not know, but the problem that was then
agitating the whole civilized world, the problem on the solution of
which the peace of the world depended in the opinion of all
thoughtful men, was not one of them. Ransom devotes 100 pages of
his little book to the work of the overburdened Pope that year, but
he never mentions Czecho-Slovakia, though it was upon the conduct
of a priest, a prelate (or monsignore) of the Church, a man in a
position of particular interest to the Vatican, that the world-
crisis mainly depended. It, indeed, depended so vitally that three
days after the Pope's coronation statesmen concluded that a
European war was inevitable. Stalin began that intensive armament
of his people for which the world is now profoundly grateful.
Britain -- it has since transpired -- began its organization to
meet a German attack, drafted the scheme of several costly war-
ministers, ordered hundreds of thousands of card-board coffins for
the victims of air-raids and vast hospital spice, and even began in
a quite gentlemanly way to create a war-industry.

     Slovakia, with its almost illiterate priest-ridden population
was, as I said, the weakness of the Czecho-Slovak combination, and
now that Bohemia had lost a third of its industries and two-thirds
of its coal-mines, this poorer province had risen in importance.
Since Benes had had to fly for his life before the fury of Hitler
a blight - in large part a clerical blight -- had fallen upon the
unfortunate land. Hacha had been appointed President and he
surrounded himself with priests and Catholic politicians. Democracy
was already dead. On February 10, 1941, the New York Times quoted
this passage from the leading Czech Catholic paper.

     "There is no Catholic in Europe who would shed a tear to see
the collapse of democratic political disorder and who would not
sincerely welcome the fall of economic Liberalism, which has been
denounced by the Pope's Leading ideologist because it misuses the
working people in favor of a few capitalistic exploiters."

     The Pope's leading ideologist in America had been engaged for
twenty years in assuring the public that the democratic
institutions and economic forms at which the writer jeers are not
merely in accord with the teaching of the Church but had actually
been inspired by the great moral theologians centuries ago. We will
consider some time the encyclical of Pius XI, one of the first
fruits of Pacelli's guidance, on which this Catholic Fascism was
based. It is enough here that, though the above passage was written
two years after the disaster of 1939, the change from the fine old
Cultural order inspired by Masaryk began in 1939.

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     Hacha and his colleagues at least realized that it was vital
to keep the three national elements of the State -- Bohemia-Moravia
Slovakia, and Ruthenia -- together, and the priest, Father Hlinka
who was the oracle and leader of the Catholic Slovaks, agreed. They
wanted, in order to protect their faith from the decay which it
suffered amongst the Czechs, some sort of autonomy or Home Rule
while remaining within the national unity. But Hlinka, the mediocre
kind of political priest which such a country would produce, though
an honest man, died in August (1938), urging his followers and his
successor with his last breath to cling to the union. This
successor, Msgr. Tiszo, who became well-known in the world-press in
1939 and 1940, was the second Quisling -- the Catholic Seyss-
Inquart of Austria being the first -- in the long line of Papalist
traitors who have served the Axis during the last three years; and
he was a priest, in fact a monsignore -- a rank between a priest
and a bishop in the Roman Church -- not a Catholic layman whose
action might be repudiated, when this was desirable,"by the Black

     Tiszo was the son of a Slovak peasant who had been taken up by
the Magyar bishop of the district and educated for the priest-hood
in Hungarian colleges. At that time, tinder the old Austro-
Hungarian Empire, Slovakia was under the control of the Magyars.
Whatever may be the truth about his morals -- Catholic parents made
serious charges against him in connection with a girls' college in
which he taught for a time -- he identified himself very zealously
with the interests of the Hungarians until their yoke was rejected
by the Slovaks in 1918. He then became a patriotic Slovak and in
time attached himself to Hlinka. The Czechs accused the clerical
epicure -- at least he was far from ascetic -- of chronic political
duplicity, and he certainly duped Hlinka. He succeeded to the
Slovak leadership and became Premier of the autonomous province,
and he proceeded to stir up a dangerous demand for separation and
independence. Hitler wanted disorder in Czecho-Slovakia, the usual
hypocritical pretext for taking it over. Tiszo provided it.

     Hitler knew that he was at last regarded with suspicion and
that Russia, if not the western democracies, was very industriously
arming, but he still had faith in their dread of war and their
willingness to accept any sort of plausible excuse for his actions.
His agents got into touch with Tiszo and the plot was concocted.
Since the establishment of a virtually Catholic government at
Prague Slovak grievances had relented. Tiszo raised the cry of
independence and assured his followers that Hitler would prevent
Prague from interfering with them. The news reached Prague, and
Hacha deposed Tiszo from the Premiership and dissolved his cabinet.
Tiszo, as Premier, had taken an oath to observe the Constitution,
but such oaths were always open to interpretation by a skilful
theologian. It was rumored that March 15 (1939) was fixed as the
date of the declaration of Independence.

     Prague sternly resisted, and in the intense agitation of the
country there was certainly some disorder. Tiszo appealed to Hitler
and, as I said, a plane was sent to bring him to Germany. There is
an impartial summary of the events in Keesing's Contemporary
Archives (March 18) in which these details may be read. Seyss-
Inquart, the Catholic model of the Quislings, is said to have been 

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sent in the plane to fetch Tiszo to Berlin, where he saw Hitler and
Ribbentrop, while the controlled German press groaned with stories
of outrages by the Czechs, as it would presently groan with charges
against the Poles. Tiszo telephoned from Berlin to his friends that
Hitler promised to support them in a declaration of independence,
and the sordid story entered upon its last chapter. The wolf began
his complaints that the Czech lamb was muddying the water for him.

     Hitler, with that air of a Persian monarch which he had now
developed, summoned Hacha to Berlin; and, with their usual felicity
of coincidence, the Catholic Hungarian government, which was
equally docile to Hitler and to the Pope, demanded that the Czechs
should give up Ruthenia. Hacha was received with military horrors
at Berlin at one in the morning, and four hours later (March 15)
Hitler ordered his troops to take over Bohemia and Moravia if Hacha
did not sign away the independence of his country. He would, he
said, if Hacha refused, order 700 bombing planes to raze the noble
city of Prague to the ground. The story of greed and treachery was
over. With pathetic gloom the New York Times announced "the
twilight of liberty in Central Europe." The world-press except the
Italian, which exulted, expressed the gravest anxiety about the
future and had no illusion about the Protectorates which Hitler
made of the three sections of the old Republic.

     What did the Vatican think of it? The murder of Czecho-
Slovakia was a worse crime than the conquest of Spain or the
annexation of Austria. It was not a question of taking sides in a
civil war or of extending the German flag to a German-speaking
people. It was worse than greed, the seizure of the wealth and
resources of Czecho-Slovakia. Careful observers saw it as the first
step in the enslavement of alien peoples in the service of Germany,
the first move in a European war. But the Pope said nothing . . .
Yes, to be sure, he continued to tell the world that peace is a
very beautiful, desirable thing and war is hideous. How any
Catholic of normal mentality can imagine that these utterances of
the Pope taught the world something which it did not know or did
not vividly appreciate one cannot understand; still less how this
message of peace every Easter and Christmas was consistent with the
summons to the world during the rest of the year to make a bloody
end of Socialism in Russia and Mexico. Was it necessary for the
Pope to use the word "bloody"? No one even suggests any other
meaning of his words.

     To Roman Catholics I am a pariah, a man beyond redemption, a
writer whose corrupt gospel must not be mentioned in the press, yet
I have seen and denounced the drift of the world for the last six
or seven years. The only moralist who has any place in modern life
is the man who does not merely tell it that there is a law of
justice and that peace is precious, but points out which actions
are unjust or effectively threaten the peace of nations. That is
just what Pacelli-Pius has never done. Here was an appalling crime,
the shadow of worse things to come, perpetrated in the very first
year of his pontificate and he was dumb. A body of Catholics
muttering "the Pope of Peace" is on exactly the same psychological
level as a crowd of Nazis in the Sports-palast chanting "Heil
Hitler" or of Fascists chanting "Mussolini Solo": the psychological
level of the performing dog.

                         Bank of Wisdon
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     Ought we to go further and say that the Pope did not condemn
what happened in Czecho-Slovakia because he cooperated in it by
instructions to the Black International of the Sudeten, provinces,
Prague, and Slovakia? It is one of those points which I leave open,
and the reader must please himself. But in the name of common-sense
let no Catholic suggest that the Pope was so busy, or happenings in
Czecho-Slovakia were so remote and obscure, that little attention
was paid to them at the Vatican.

     There was during the few years before the war a persistent
rumor in London that the government defied the warnings of its own
Foreign Office. However that may be, there was no such friction
after Munich. After the outbreak of war the Times had indication's
every week of plans that had begun to take shape immediately after
Hitler and Mussolini had cynically violated their Munich agreement.
There were plans of new and vast aviation-works; rich mansions and
hotels, colleges in the country were put under contract to take
government departments when war broke out; a body of leading
journalists had a secret consultation with the government. But
these things are now well known. Any statesman who did not see
spurts of blue flame and jets of sulphurous smoke issuing from the
pit after the gross violation of the Munich agreement . . . But
there was no such statesman. Did those things escape the notice of
that wonderful intelligence-service of the Vatican City and the
eagle eye of the new Pope?

     To say so would, in view of the terrible specter that rose on
the horizon, be ludicrous even if Czech-Slovakia were at the other
side of the world. But the question's that arose in Czecho-Slovakia
were just of the kind that calls for ecclesiastical intervention.
The Vatican has, besides its Secretariat of State, a number of
"congregations", with large staffs, which correspond to the
departments (trade, education, etc.) of ordinary countries. To
these congregation's questions from all parts of the Catholic world
are not only permitted. They are encouraged, for the business helps
to maintain the Pope's vast revenue and the swarm of Italian
clerical parasites who fatten in Rome. Some of them must have had
a busy correspondence with Czecho-Slovakia since 1918, when the
reaction against Austrian tyranny and the scrularization of the new
state started the disintegration of the Church. As I have said, it
lost at least a fourth of its members in ten years. But the
paramount questions were political, especially the question whether
the solid Catholicism of the Sudetens and the Slovaks should be
saved from the influence of the anti-Papal government at Prague by
securing autonomy or, in the last stage, separation. I will tell
presently how the Pope's Nuncio (ambassador) at Prague was expelled
-- an extra-ordinary occurrence in a Catholic country -- for
publicly supporting the political demands of the Slovaks. Was
Pacelli, a thorough student of German affairs, likely to take
little notice of these affairs which in any case supremely
concerned the Secretariat of State?

     Beyond question the Vatican was following the course of events
with the closest attention, and it would be ridiculous to suppose
such priests as Hlinka and Tiszo were not in complete accord with
their higher ecclesiastical authorities and through these with the
Vatican. The action of the Nuncio sufficiently proves this. Some 

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day, when the great-hearted Czechs are restored by the civilization
which betrayed them the full truth will be known. Meantime I
venture upon this suggestion of Vatican policy. It was uncertain on
the question of the Sudeten Catholics and as in the early days of
Sinn Fein in Ireland, left the business to laymen. It was far from
clear whether it would be a gain or a loss to transfer a couple of
million Catholics, who were entirely free to have their Catholic
institutions and schools under the Czechs, to Nazi control. It
would please Hitler, but what was the worth of his promises? In
regard to Slovakia the policy was clear. The dense mass of ignorant
or illiterate or semi-literate Catholicism must be protected from
Czech culture and progress by autonomy or, when this coincided with
Hitler's policy, separation. But whatever one may think of this
speculation the main fact does not share its uncertainty. The Black
International vitally helped Hitler in taking the final preparatory
step for his crime against civilization.

                           Chapter IV


     In one of his most important and most carefully prepared
speeches, a vast American as well as British and French public
listening on the radio or reading the printed word next day (August
25, 1941), Churchill deliberately described in these words the
relation of the French to the Czechs in 1938:

     "A French government deserted their faithful ally and broke a
plighted word in that ally's hour of need.

     Note carefully that this was not an attack on the miserable
group of Catholic weaklings which was called the Vichy government.
If it were, we might allow for strong feeling and over-emphasis.
But it was a cold and responsible Statement of what had happened in
the tragic days of Munich. At that time Britain and America were
cordial friends of France, and the betrayal was softened with vague
phrases or even, since the whole world was still steeped in calumny
against the great Soviet civilization, excused on the ground that
Russia could not be trusted. In war, as in wine, the truth comes
out. France basely deserted its ally. Why?

     Military considerations lie outside my many fields of interest
but it can safely be said that they afford no justification of the
action of France. Indeed now that we see the supreme French
commanders in their true light as priest-ridden mediocrities who
put the interest of their Church above the interests of their
nation and the dictates of honor we wonder if they did not strain
these military considerations in 1938 in order to avoid an
effective alliance with Russia which the Vatican, which sought an
alliance with Germany against Russia, would bitterly resent. There
is a fallacy in the plea that events have proved that and war at
that time against Germany would have been disastrous. Neither
France (always too selfish to tax itself sufficiently for adequate
defense) nor Russia had the forces they would later develop, but 

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Germany also was far short of the power it would deploy in 1941
after being in a position for a year or two to enslave half of
Europe. The Maginot Line was complete. and the Czechs had, to the
great profit of the French Steel Trust -- a similar line, an army
limited in numbers, but of superb quality, and a stanch ally in
Russia. If Germany had turned the Maginot Line by invading Belgium
the British Fleet would be added to the coalition. The prospect was
more hopeful than in 1939 and 1940 or at any time until Russia was
drawn in.

     But can we suppose that France at any time before 1940 was
sensitive to the wishes and counsels of the Vatican? It was one of
the most irreligious countries in the world, or at least it ran
Britain close for that title. I have repeatedly quoted Catholic
admissions that only about six or seven million of its 42,000,000
people were in any real sense Catholics. All its statesmen were,
and had been for more than half a century, Freethinkers (except one
Protestant) and apart from artists and literary men, whose
convictions are not conviction's in an intellectual sense, nearly
all its cultural leaders were skeptics,

     We shall study France more closely in a later book when we
have to try to understand the monumental treachery of the Catholic
military leaders, but a few points must be discussed here in order
to complete the record of the action of the Black International in
preparing the world, whether it realized what it was doing or not,
for the historic crime of the war. In an earlier chapter I
mentioned, incidentally, how in 1937 Pacelli went -- we will not
say was sent for he made his own policy -- to Paris as the Pope's
legate. This was the first time the Papacy had sent a Legate to
France since 1814. All reference-books had continued to describe it
as a Catholic country, as they do today, and few thought of
explaining this very singular attitude of the Vatican to it. But we
will return to that latter. Pacelli, who hated democracy in general
and France in particular, was so very amiable and successful that
on the following New Year's Day the gifts received by the Premier
and the Minister of Finance, both Freethinkers, included Papal

     Naturally this was not the beginning of pleasant relations,
but I must give a very summary account of events at this stage. The
Thirty Years' War (say 1884 to 1914) of France and the Vatican
ended in the truce of 1914-1918, when the close union of all
parties in France was demanded, and this led on to such amiable
relations after the war that the very powerful French Freethought
Party was never reconstructed.

     The new element was Alsace-Loran, two solidly Catholic
provinces which they had taken over from Germany. At first the
French tried to weaken the Church in them by applying their laws
(secularization of schools, marriage, etc.) to them but the Vatican
inspired a resentment that alarmed the government. The true state
of Alsace-Loran for years after 1918 was not described in the
American and British press. It seethed with rebellions feeling,
carefully fostered by its (in Alsace at least) German-speaking and
German-hearted priests. France, expecting a German war of revenge
sooner or later, was scared and had to call in the aid of the 

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Vatican; and from the richly organized Catholic communities of
Alsace-Loran, the clerical zeal spread to north-eastern France.
There was, French Catholics admitted, no flood of conversions, but
the mere fact of the annexation had raised the Church in France
from a body of 5,000,000 to a body of about 7,000,000, and it was
of the highest political importance to be on good terms with the

     So the frivolous folk of Paris saw strange things which had,
they thought, been relegated to ancient history; exchange of
representatives at Paris and Rome, the canonization of Joan of Arc,
a Papal Legate embracing their very skeptical leaders, and so on.
In 1904 I had attended a huge International Congress of
Freethinkers at Paris and had on Sunday walked in a procession of
200,000 while the whole city seemed to cheer us. Twenty years later
I attended another Freethought Congress in Paris. No more than 200
attended the largest meetings, and the city did not take the
slightest interest. An aged ex-Minister who had been in the van of
the anti-clerical struggle form 1890 to 1910 told me that for
political reasons Freethought was dead and the Church very much
alive. I was not altogether surprised. Two years earlier I had been
in Athens, in fact in the British Legation there, when the Greek
foreign minister had come with the news of the terrible defeat of
the Greeks by the Turks. The French had been guilty of an act of
treachery of which the older France would have been incapable. It
had Supplied the Turks, the minister said, with guns, tanks, and
officers against the Greeks.

     Here I need consider only how the new policy affected the
relations of France with Czecho-Slovakia. The government had with
the support of the deputies from Alsace-Loran and in face of the
violent protests of the Radicals sent an ambassador to Rome and
received a Nuncio at Paris. When the Radicals were put in power in
1924 they tried to abolish this arrangement, but the clergy
defeated them again through the Catholic deputies of Alsace-Loran.
From that time the Pope's representative in Paris had considerable
influence and there were frequent deals with the Vatican. The
royalist movement, which was gaining ground and was mainly
Catholic, was repeatedly checked by the Church at the request of
the government. For the first time since Napoleon French Catholic
writers (royalists) made drastic attacks on Rome, accusing it of
traffic with the "blasphemous laicism" of the French government.
The government had to pay for the Church's services.

     One of the return services of the government concerned Czecho-
Slovakia. In 1933 the Papal Nuncio at Prague was, as I said,
expelled by the Czechs for political interference in publicly
supporting the Slovak movement. The Vatican retorted by organizing
a gorgeous festival at Prague in honor of the eleventh centenary of
some medieval saint who was supposed to have introduced
Christianity into the country, and the French were used to persuade
their allies, the Czechs, to take part and adjust the quarrel over
the Nuncio. The French Cardinal Verdier was one of the most
conspicuous figures in the ceremonies.

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     In 1936 the French signed their pact with Soviet Russia. What
Pacelli, who began this year to call repeatedly for war on 
Bolshevism, thought about it one can imagine, but we may defer that
question. The Pact drew France, Russia, and Czecho-Slovakia into an
alliance which seemed to be of such importance for the security of
France and the peace of Europe that the feelings of the Church had
to be disregarded. But in creating all the bitterness that it could
against Russia by a false representation that it persecuted
religion the Church added considerably to the confusion which
distracted French attention from the urgent need to increase its
armament. French Communists reacted as one would expect, and the
royalists and Fascists derived new strength from the disorder.

     If we recall that the Church also had representatives of the
most fanatical loyalty in the highest military councils we begin to
understand that element of the perfidy of 1938 which concerns us
here. France was morbid and demoralized during several years before
the way, but we did not then imagine that its great soldiers were
convinced that lack of religion was the root of all its troubles
and that the authority of the Church must be reestablished at any
cost to the nation, even the sacrifice of that honor of which it
was so proud. The final word in 1938 when the Czechs called upon
the French to redeem their pledge, was with the Catholic heads of
the army and navy: Petain, Weygand, and Darlan. Is it a mere
coincidence that they refused to fight for Czecho-Slovakia, which
the Vatican was not interested in protecting, yet, without any
further large addition to their forces in the intervening year,
decided to fight for Poland, in which the Vatican was passionately
interested? Had Pacelli already the idea that a France so
humiliated and weakened that two priest-ridden old men could make
it fall upon its knees once more might be linked with Italy, Spain,
and Portugal in a bloc or League of Catholic powers? We do not

     So the Czechs were sacrificed to the butchers under whom they
suffer so appallingly today. The French complain that Britain did
not support them.

     Britain was under no pledge to do so in a contingency of that
nature and had no army to speak of. But it would certainly have
been forced in by public opinion, and its fleet would have been a
powerful support. A British author who had exceptional sources of
information told me that the ships were stripped ready for war, as
they had also been during the German and Italian insolence in
Spain, and groans and curses followed the news of appeasement from
London. We were, relatively to Germany's resources, hardly better
prepared in 1939 than in 1938, and the cause in 1938 would have
been far more inspiring, while the aid of Russia was certain.

     Msgr. Tiszo returned from his treachery in Germany and took
over the petty Protectorate of Slovakia. He now showed his complete
dependence on Rome and Berchtesgaden. In the summer of 1929 he
drenched Bratislava, where many still cherished in secret the
culture of the Czechs, with Pacelli's anti-Bolshevism and vilified
the great memory of Masarvk. When Hitler hypocritically entered
upon a peace-compact with Russia Tiszo again changed his tune. He
sent his cousin as representative of Slovakia in Moscow and sent a 

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telegram of congratulation to Stalin on his sixtieth birthday. Was
he fully aware (as Stalin was) that the whole pretence of German
friendship was one of those tricks by which the invincible legions;
tried to weaken their opponents in advance?

     He at all events strangled democracy and freedom on the lines
of the "great encyclical" of Pius XI. The Catholic Tablet (July 27,
1940) said that the Vatican Radio, announcing that the blear-eyed
Petain was going to "reconstruct France on a Christian basis" by
suppressing liberty and sacrificing prosperity, added with joy that
Tiszo had already done this in Czecho-Slovakia. Another section of
the earth won for Pacelli's grand plan of a league of theocratic-
Fascist states sworn to extinguish Socialism. But in all these
matters man proposes and Hitler disposes. Already it is announced
that Tiszo is under the frown of the Fuhrer, and it looks as if he
will join the disillusioned band of Quislings (Henlein, Seyss-
Inquart, etc.) who were to be lifted to power by the German giant.

                            Chapter V


     In the summer of 1938, between the tragedy of Munich and that
of Prague. Pacelli went to preside at the Eucharistic Congress at
Buda-Pesth. He was housed royally in the royal castle, and the
fleet-less Admiral Horthy had long and very cordial conversations
with him. Hungary is counted a Catholic country because 64.9 of its
population is described as Catholic. It is Fascist, but as the star
of Mussolini paled before that of Hitler, Horthy had linked the
fortune of the state he despotically controlled with that of
Germany. German armies could march through Hungary or use its
stretch of the Danube whenever they needed. It had been unjustly
treated at Versailles, and it looked to Hitler as it had earlier
looked to Mussolini, to recover for it a large and rich slice of
Yugo-Slavia. It was another of Hitler's bloodless victories and, as
he had the sense not to interfere with Hungary's Church or
institution's, the Papacy was content. It was one more Catholic
Fascist state for the grand alliance, and Czecho-Slovakia was
already doomed in the eyes of thoughtful observers.

     The year 1939 then opened with very grave anxiety in all
democratic lands. What would be the feeling of the Black
International outside those countries?

     You have only to turn back a few years and compare its feeling
at the time when, at the beginning of 1930, Pacelli virtually took
over the rule of the Church. Then the Church of Rome was
disintegrating more rapidly than ever before. The steady loss by
leakage until 1914 had been succeeded, as I showed, by a
catastrophic loss of between 50,000,000 and 100,000,000 in about
ten years. Russia, the principal source of the new corroding force,
had made good and was preparing to offer to the world something
which Rome had always declared impossible: a great civilization
built without the least religious inspiration, for no one questions

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that the constructive class in Russia was entirely atheistic.
Without anything that could justly be called persecution of
religion this class had communicated its atheism to something like
100,000,000 people within its own frontiers, won tens of millions
in China and even French Indo-China and Siam, and crossed the
Pacific and devastated the Church from Mexico to Patagonia. The
same influence had pervaded Europe and had in Germany and the
southern half of the continent detached tens of millions of
Catholic's from the Church. I have given the figures and the

     Such had been the situation and the outlook of the Church in
1929. In the ten years of Pacelli's tenure of office as Secretary
of State there had been a dramatic change. The triumphant spread of
Russian irreligion had been completely arrested, and that country
was isolated by a great wall of international hatred and slander.
Italy and Spain were again prostrate at the feet of the priests. We
will not say that it did not matter two pins to the Vatican whether
the men who went to church and sent their children to Catholic
schools once more were blessing or cursing the Church in their
hearts as long as they obeyed, but we may certainly say that it was
regarded by the Black International as a magnificent triumph that
the tens of millions of apostates dare not open their lips and that
their children were all handed over to the priest. Italy and Spain
were once more Catholic countries. Portugal and Hungary were in
line, and, while Germany, resisting both threats and blandishments,
was still a very unsatisfactory ally, it had at least destroyed the
Socialist-Communist force that had made havoc in the Church. The
proud anti-Papalism of Czecho-Slovakia was in the dust, and France
was on cordial terms with the Vatican. The rot (liberation?) had
been stopped in South America, which presented an almost unbroken
compulsory-Catholic front, and in the Far East the alliance with
Japan opened up a golden prospect of a Catholic monopoly of
missions in the one-fourth of the earth over which the flag of the
Rising Sun was expected to wave.

     That -- again I am just summarizing facts of which I have
given full evidence -- was the situation in the Spring of 1939 when
Pacelli reaped his reward and became Pope; and American Catholic
literature assures you that he piously hated limelight and desired
only to be an obscure parish priest moving amongst the obscure
poor! Our newspapers have today "experts on religion" as "Church
editors" just as they have political, financial, or international
experts. These men never enlarge on this most spectacular religious
development since the Reformation. In a single generation the
Church of Rome lost and regained at least one-third of its members.
These "experts on religion" would probably be startled and
incredulous if you told them that, though I have proved it line by
line. They are too busy talking nonsense about the Church in Russia
or describing parochial triumphs and quarrels.

     But why does not the Catholic journalist or orator dilate on
this dramatic development? In the first place because he does not
wish to call attention to or acknowledge the Stupendous losses of
the Church from 1919 to 1929, which he has always denied. He
prefers the miracle of the tail wagging the dog; the theory that
small minorities of wicked men somehow get power in spite of rich 

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and formidable bodies of priests, all the conservative elements,
and the overwhelming majority of the nation! That explains Mexico
and South America, Vienna and Spain. Exact -- that is to say
truthful -- analysis is as rare in this field as decency is amongst
Nazis or Fascists.

     In the second place, and chiefly, he very certainly does not
want to draw attention to the fact that whatever losses the Church
sustained from 1919 to 1929 occurred in an atmosphere of free
discussion while the gains were won entirely by coercion and
violence. That sounds like one of those generalizations which
suppress exceptions and reserves for the sake of strength. It is
not. It is an accurate generalization of facts which we have now
seen and it requires no qualification whatever. The only apparent
exception is Russia, but the Church of Rome was always small in
that country so that its losses are a slender element in the total;
and it was more Polish than Russian and entirely pledged, as we
shall see, to the war against the Soviets, so that it suffered on
political grounds. In Mexico the losses preceded the application of
the laws (passed long before) which punished political activity on
the part of the clergy and do not make an exception to my general
statement. But the great losses, the losses in ten's of millions,
in Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Czecho-Slovakia, and South
America were the result of free discussion and the enlightenment of
the people.

     From 1929, when Mussolini made his infamous compact with the
Vatican, onward the area of free discussion has been steadily
reduced, and in each country in which freedom and democracy have
been replaced by the tyranny of Fascism the Church has recovered
ground. The only exception to this is Germany, and it is not an
exception in principle because, though the Church was not here in
alliance with violence this was only because its offer of alliance
was spurned. Let us understand clearly what happened. We are not
asked to believe that the 30,000,000 apostates of Spain and Italy,
for instance, have become once more Catholics in their conviction
and affections, any more than the 10,000,000 apostates under the
Vichy government have. They probably in their own minds curse the
Church more bitterly than ever. But all organizations and
literature which criticized the Church and told people the truth
about its history and its real aims were suppressed, and all
children were compelled to receive religious lessons and breathe a
Catholic atmosphere. The spread of the revolt was thus drastically
checked and the people were treated as Catholics and subjects of
Canon Law. The Church considered that it had recovered its ground.

     This recovery by coercion had to be affected in every case by
an alliance with the secular powers. The Church had never known any
other means of regaining lost masses except by alliance, for mutual
profit, with tyranny and violence, and it now found that, by an
extraordinary piece of good fortune for itself, the secular powers
which had formerly bludgeoned its rebels for it and seemed to have
lost forever the power to do so, recovered the use of the whip and
the firing squad. The Church's recovery in the last ten years does
not imply any genius in the person of its guide, Pacelli-Pius. The
reaction against Communism began long before he became Secretary of
State. He had only to link the Church with the powers of darkness 

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which gathered strength in his time, and this was no new discovery
of ecclesiastical statesmanship. That is why in the preceding books
I have given a good deal of historical information. Without it you
cannot fully understand the contemporary situation.

     So the Black International pledged the Church to a policy of
violence and tyranny, since this was the only possible way in which
it could recover the ground it had lost. If there is one real
miracle about the Church of Rome it is the loyalty of the normal
educated Catholic layman to his clergy. Very large numbers of the
faithful are of the type that tells you that it "never reads the
paper's" but I am thinking of the men who read their daily and
discuss its contents just as you do. They read one year of Italy
passing under the combined rule of Fascism and the Church and the
violent suppression of all Socialist, Communist, Rationalist, and
any other literature that caters to non-Catholics. A few years
later it is South America, then Spain, then Austria, then Czecho-
Slovakia. During all these years they are reading books or articles
by Catholic writers who assure America that their Church is the
ideal champion of freedom and democracy, and they know that in
these countries where Church and Fascist authorities have combined
millions -- they could easily find that it is tens of millions --
of men and women have been robbed of the kind of freedom they
treasure most and bullied into conformity with what they regard as
false. They know this much at least, however much the press and
their priests conspire to conceal the imprisonment of tens of
thousands and the groans of tortured men in the jails. Does your
Catholic friend really agree with his priest that this complete
suppression of free discussion is necessary to guard the faith, and
that million's of sullen, reluctant, bitter-hearted folk driven
into submission by violence are a gain to it or to the World?

     There is another feature of this on which I have as yet made
no comment. The last ten years have witnessed not only the
appearance of a vast amount of tyranny, torture, and bloodshed, but
also a general degradation of character in which all sense of
honor, truthfulness, and manliness seems to have been lost.
Agreements between nations have become as cynical as they were in
the days of Caesar Borgia and Pope Leo X. More than fifty such
international agreements, treaties, pacts, etc., have been solemnly
signed and sealed in the last twenty years, and tossed aside like
broken toy's a few years later. Statesmen must now sign such pacts
in the spirit in which Roman augurs once winked at each other over
the altars. To deceive another state is a diplomatic ideal. No
means to gain the end of a state -- from castor-oil to opium, from
prostitution to castration -- is too foul to be used. Fluency in
lying is almost the first qualification for office; and the men who
talk most about honor are completely destitute of any sense of it.

     I would ask the reader to reflect here very carefully.
Certainly not the whole of civilization is thus degraded. Your
nation and mine -- America and Great Britain -- have many faults,
but we should justly resent the application of this description to
them. Today we may add Russia; and there are Sweden, Denmark,
Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and many countries. In fact, is it not
the literal truth that it is only the allies of the Black 

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International that have thus degraded and debauched the standard of
personal and collective life? Let the Catholic who finds a triumph
of his Church in the last ten years reflect on that. It is part of
the price that the Church has had to pay.

     And the greater price was still to come. Pacelli had, through
the local hierarchies at least, blessed war, in Spain, Abyssinia,
and Czecho-Slovakia. He was still in 1939 alternating between
beautiful praise of peace and demands of war upon Russia and
Mexico. We need not linger to wonder how far he realized what he
had done with his alliances, but all the world now knows it. He had
helped to set the stage for the vilest and bloodiest war in
history. He had helped and courted the three powers which were
pledged to launch this war, and for the most sordid greed that ever
moved an army. What did Pius XII and his Black International do
when the hellish bugles sounded and the black flag was unfurled?

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