Gotto, Klaus: Die Wochenzeitung Junge Front/Michael
Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Research Center, Bonn

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Gotto, Klaus: Die Wochenzeitung Junge Front/Michael.
Eine Studie zum Selbstverständnis und zum Verhalten der jungen Kirche
gegenüber dem Nationalsozialismus, Mainz 1970

(Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Zeitgeschichte, Reihe B: Forschungen, Bd. 8)

Klaus Gotto: Die Wochenzeitung Junge Front/Michael. Eine Studie zum Selbstverständnis und zum Verhalten der jungen Kirche gegenüber dem Nationalsozialismus.

Klaus Gotto: Die Wochenzeitung Junge Front/Michael. Eine Studie zum Selbstverständnis und zum Verhalten der jungen Kirche gegenüber dem Nationalsozialismus.

The weekly newspaper »Junge Front« was founded in 1932, on the initiative of the Catholic League of Young Men (Jungmännerverband). Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Johannes Maaßen and a circle of committed Catholics, the paper became an organ of the younger generation within German Catholicism, which endeavored to achieve cooperation and reform both within the church as well as in the political sphere.

The Junge Front, which was later forced to adopt the title Michael, grew in stature and importance during the conflict between National Socialism and Catholicism. Until outlawed in 1936, it increased its circulation to over 300,000. The paper became the mouthpiece of a group within Catholicism that called itself the »young church.« For historians, the Junge Front offers a »bottom up« perspective on these young people’s conduct in regard to the challenge posed by National Socialism.

Starting from a clear-headed analysis of the new phenomenon of totalitarianism, the Junge Front demonstrated the fundamental incompatibility between National Socialism and the Christian faith. It offered its readers concrete orientation for how to act and live under Nazi rule. In the process, the paper tried to activate a convinced core of the faithful who would be prepared to engage in active resistance.

On the other hand, the Junge Front served as a sort of conscience to the Church, warning against any tendency to get lost in tactical maneuvering, while insisting on unimpaired promulgation and realization of the Christian faith.

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