Alongside the Nazi Party, »patriotic« associations such as the Stahlhelm (offically the »Steel Helmet League of Front Soldiers«) were the main bearers of nationalist opposition
to the Weimar Republic. Wieland Vogel’s book, based largely on previously unknown and unused sources, explores the relationship of German Catholicism to these paramilitary organizations. Using a
striking case study, Wieland portrays the political influence of bishops, the pastoral clergy, and church associations on the domestic politics in the first German republic. His main focus is on the
Fulda Bishops Conference, which under the chairmanship of Breslau’s archbishop Cardinal Bertram declared its stance vis-á-vis
right-wing as well as left-wing organizations in a series of 11 resolutions. Wieland reaches surprising conclusions, which open new perspectives in the passionate debates over the Catholic Church’s attitude toward right-wing extremism, particularly National Socialism.