The decision to rearm constituted a defining domestic and foreign policy event in the early phase of the Federal Republic. The young state became an ally of the western democracies and established its own
army – potentially another »state within the state?«
German Catholicism, following intense and heated debates, supported the policy of rearmament and, with special emphasis, promoted the new idea of the »citizen in uniform« to prevent the revival of
anti-democratic military traditions.
This book is the first comprehensive account of the internal Catholic debates over the military question, which the author analyzes against a background of church teachings and
the political and intellectual front lines of the Cold War. He thereby explains two different phenomena: the widespread approval of rearmament by the Catholic Church and its efforts on behalf
of integrating the army into the democratic state. At the same, the author corrects the common misconception that the Catholics were mere accomplices to Adenauer.