Primate Hlond’s Stance on the Nazi and Soviet Totalitarian Regimes

  • Stanisław Zimniak Salesian Historical Institute in Rome
Keywords: Primate of Poland Cardinal August Hlond; conception of the state; promoter of friendship with the German nation; Nazi National Socialism; Soviet Communist totalitarianism


The main theme of the present article is the stance taken by Primate Hlond on the Nazi and the Soviet totalitarian regimes, as inferable from selected writings and public addresses he made in the period just before the outbreak of World War II. His assessment of the regimes is negative, and he definitively condemned both of them. In his addresses, he focused more on Communism, which he considered the greatest threat to humankind for its ideological background. The Primate concentrated on analysing the ideological grounds of the two totalitarian systems, without delving into their structural make-up. He expounded the philosophical, anthropological and cultural premises of the two aggressive ideologies of the 20th century. He accused them of a falsified vision of man and state. In this vision, the main ambition of man is to be in power and to dominate others. Undeniably, Hlond’s ideas coincide directly with the views of Pope Pius XI. In view of the fact of their frequent encounters, it is not irrational to assume that they exchanged their views on that matter. Hlond’s texts reveal a genuine sense of anxiety with the endangerment of the world’s peace, brought about by the two ideologies in question. Hence, on his visits to Germany and other countries, he did his best to mobilize the Church there - as well as the cultural milieus - to oppose the growing German National Socialism and the Soviet Bolshevism, pointing out a global cataclysm that these ideologies had power to evoke.


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