CELLTEXTS

LETT.POLI.1944.6".METZ

Max Joseph Metzger: Max Josef Metzger. Priest and Martyr 1887-1944.

Published by S. P. C. K., London, 1952

* 1887, Schopfheim, Germany, † 1944, Brandenburg, Germany

Charge: High Treason
Prison: Berlin- Plötzensee Prison, Germany (Map)

"[...] he avoided direct political action and gave his enemies no opportunity to intervene. Ever on the look-out for evidence which might compromise him, they tried to involve him in the notorious Devisen und Unsittlichkeits Prozesse (trials concerning charges of immorality and of infringement of foreign exchange laws) and instituted house-searches without result. In 1934 he was arrested, ostensibly on account of a pamphlet, the 'Church and the New Germany', which he had sent to church authorities over a wide area. In 1938, after the Journals and Circular Letters of his Order had been suppressed he was again arrested and detained on suspicion of belonging to the Royalist Party, but set free, as no ground could be found for this charge. Once more, in 1939, he was arrested on suspicion of complicity in the Munich 'Braukeller' Plot and kept for four weeks in solitary confinement without trial. It was while there that he wrote to Pope Pius XII the letter on the unity of Confessions which appears on page 44. He had already promoted a conference at Meitingen of those looking towards an ecumenical movement, and he held another in 1940, all this under the strict surveillance of the Gestapo.[...] With an extraordinary naivete he believed that the Fuehrer could be urged to stand back and give place to another government more likely to be able to conclude an honorable peace. He was dissuaded from sending a letter to this effect to Hitler, but he did eventually write a memorandum about the future state of Germany ... [...] The memorandum, falling into Gestapo hands brought about the final catastrophe. Here was the occasion they had long sought. On 29 June 1943, the Feast of Sant Peter and Paul, Metzger was arrested....[...] At first Metzger was imprisoned in the Prinz Albrecht Strasse Prison; in September he was transferred to Ploetzensee, where conditions were less favorable. At each chnge of prison, he had to petition again for the use of his Bible and Breviary, and their resotration was often long delayed. ... [...] On 22 October he was transferred to Brandenburg, the prison reserved for those condemned to death.", quoted from pp. 13-15

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