The Mormons and the Third Reich, 1933-1946 / by Steven E. Carter.
When Hitler came to power in 1933, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as with all other denominations in the Reich, sought to formulate policy toward Nazi regime. The Mormon response was based in part on the Church's Twelfth Article of Faith, a doctrine that stresses subordination to secular government and obedience to existing laws. The Latter-day Saints also adhered to an official policy of accommodation, adopted by the American Church in 1890. According to this policy, Mormons would behave as loyal citizens while the Church would remain aloof from the internal political affairs of their host countries.Although there was initial concern about the future of the LDS Church in the Third Reich, by 1935 Mormon policy seemed to have achieved its desired results. At a time when Nazi officials and activists had banned many small denominations and occasionally attacked individual Mormons, the LDS Church generally avoided harassment.By 1939, however, Nazi suspicions of the Utah-based church resurfaced. This prompted one high-level Church leader to publish an article in the Völkisher Beobachter in which he favorably compared Mormonism to National Socialism. Still, it was World War II that brought the most suffering to the German Mormons. Bombings, deaths and the dislocation of people took a heavy toll on the LDS community. The security of the Church was also jeopardized when three Mormon youths organized a resistance group. The suffering of German Mormons was alleviated after the war with the arrival of relief supplies from the Church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
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