John L. Nuelsen (1867-1946), a German American who moved to Germany in 1912, was the leader of the Methodist Church until 1936, and during that time collaborated extensively with the Nazi regime. Nuelsen frequently wrote articles praising the National Socialist policies toward religion, and even toured the United States in support of Hitler's regime. He saw it as his duty to defend his country in the international arena.
Although Nuelsen spoke positively of Hitler's Government, he did not agree with many of its policies, and seems to have stopped short of endorsing an alliance between the Church and the Nazi State. In 1936, at the first meeting of the German Methodist Episcopal Church, Nuelsen took the opportunity to warn of the dangers of collaboration with Hitler: "And should it happen," he said, "that the state should act in ways that are manifestly anti-Christian, then a free church is more at liberty to raise its voice in obedience to God's word. We shall not rush into martyrdom, but neither must we seek to escape it by entering weakly into compromises born in cowardice. The calling of a free church includes a special calling to witness, and thus also to be a church of martyrs when that is necessary."
Thursday, May 07, 2009
A Quote by John L. Nuelsen