Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Recent Events Have Sensationally Confirmed this Journal’s Predictions
Legionário, No. 363, August 27, 1939
On August 23, 1939, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop signed the famous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (above). Stalin, second from right to left, with his thick mustache and sinister smile, leans against the wall.
“This journal’s entire political orientation has always revolved around the central and fundamental conviction that the seeming opposition between Nazism and Communism has ultimately devolved into barely disguised solidarity.
For this reason, Legionário has often had the displeasure of disagreeing with Catholics who (although illustrious and worthy of consideration) saw international events through another prism. They claim the world split into two antagonistic camps: the right and the left. On the one right is the entire group of signatory powers of the anti-Komintern pact and the political currents in democratic countries that advocate an alliance with this bloc. In other words, in one camp are supposedly found Nazism, Fascism, Spanish Phalanxes, the French “Croix de Feu,” “Sir” R. Owen’s English Fascists, etc. In the opposite camp are liberals, democrats, socialists, and communists.
Now, faced on the one hand with Communism, so rightly compared to the Antichrist, and on the other hand with a group of Communism’s enemies, in which camp should Catholics place themselves? The answer seemed easy: those who did not stand with the enemies of the Antichrist would automatically put themselves in the Antichrist’s camp. Now then, Legionário is not in the right-wing camp; thus...
As one can easily imagine, this ironclad but simplistic logic put Legionário on a bad spot, and this journal thus sustained several attacks and insults. We jealously keep in our files letters from Fascists and Nazis vehemently claiming that Moscow was subsidizing Legionário. If only this accusation had come from Fascist and Nazi circles, we would still be happy.
However, Legionário has consistently justified its position in this matter. Indeed, if the world were divided between right and left, Catholics could not fail to stand with the right. However, the so-called right-wing movements ultimately were nothing but pseudo-right-wing and concealed a profoundly left-wing doctrinal content. Communism and Nazism were Siamese twins that clashed “pour épater les bourgeois” [to deceive the naive].
How often skeptics laughed at us as if looking at a bunch of daydreamers devoid of common sense!
This journal has received continuing blessings from Ecclesiastical Authorities, including Pope Pius XII himself, particularly expressive for his absolute spontaneity; the support of the illustrious Father Garrigou Lagrange, considered the greatest theologian of our time, who strongly praised it. Despite all this and the evidence of unfolding events, certain minds never decided to muster the courage to see things through a prism other than those of more or less manipulated news agencies.
Finally, the facts are there. To prove to its readers how right it was, Legionário is publishing here a review of news and comments it made in the current year predicting the monstrous complicity the whole world, bewildered and terrified, has watched happen.
Yet, we are moved not by vainglory but by a desire to make the greatest possible number of readers aware of the objective truth.
At the same time, we pay a heartfelt tribute to the great and regretted Pius XI, whose policy toward both right and left is now frankly vindicated. Our thoughts also turn with unutterable affection and respect to the Holy Father Pius XII, Father of Christendom and continuator of the great political work of Pius XI. Finally, having thought of our spiritual Father, let us think of our brothers with a moving and affectionate prayer for the tried and suffering Germans, Russians, French, Italians, English, and Poles spread throughout the world; may God protect them. This journal, always antifascist and antinazi to better serve the interests of Christendom, of which these peoples are an integral and most glorious part, at this moment expresses its solidarity with them.”
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August 14, 1938 - The Mexican government has exported to Germany two ships loaded with oil. In this regard, Legionário notes the ever-closer cooperation between Communist Mexico and Nazi Germany, belying Hitler’s claims that he is the world champion of anticommunism.
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August 28, 1938 – News from Greece indicates that the armaments Russian ships have carried to Spain to supply the Spanish Reds are from Germany.
“Simultaneously, with the turmoil caused by the German-Czech question, diplomatic relations between Russia and Germany have resumed. That is happening exactly when the famous Treaty of Rapallo between the two countries, signed in 1922 for five years and renewed in 1927, is ending. Mr. Hitler has received the Russian ambassador Tchinchuk . . . and again renewed that treaty. Its text includes this declaration: “The mutual interests (of the German and Russian governments) require a trusting relationship, and both are determined to consolidate their friendly relations.” Once again, Legionário points out the contrast between Hitler’s anticommunist statements and his friendly policy with Russia, recalling that after the rise of Nazism, Germany made several offers to Russia such as a credit of 200 million marks payable in five years. Astonishingly, the same man who claimed that “the growth of the Russian army is a grave danger to peace” offers them large sums that he knows they will largely apply to strengthen their army!”
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September 11, 1938 – Excerpts from an editorial in the “Commentary” section, titled “Nazism and Communism.”
“For a long time, Legionário has pointed out the ideological closeness of the two political doctrines. In short, the very essence of these doctrines is the same. Both have the same central thought: the State is the source of all rights, and man has no inherent rights. That is equivalent to saying that man has no substantial content specific to him. He has no reality in himself but is a mere accident of the collectivity and, consequently, the State. This is the central and dominant idea of Nazism and Communism, a favorite idea of all ideologues . . . from Marx to Durkheim. Any noticeable differences are accidental and incidental, dealing only with details.
However, an event has taken place here in South America just a few days ago, which definitively unmasks the lie that Hitler and Stalin are enemies. Nazism and Communism, already doctrinal allies, are now allies in revolution.
In fact, from Chile, we hear the encouraging news that they failed in their attempt to establish a Nazi-Communist regime in that republic.
As you can see, supporters of the swastika and those of the clenched fist are beginning to get along very well. They are colleagues.”
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October 2, 1938 – Excerpt from the cover story:
“If we reduce the terms ‘Nazism’ and ‘Communism’ to their proper value, the difference between the two is insignificant. A Communist is an atheist and materialist supporter of State omnipotence. A Nazi is no less atheistic, no less materialistic, no less Statolatric. Communist immorality is satanic, and so is the pagan work of Nazism. In our day, erecting altars to decrepit and illusory idols, tearing down crosses, and persecuting the Holy Church is not just the work of man’s evil inclinations as it may have been at times before Constantine. Just like Julian the Apostate, Hitler is a historical phenomenon that one cannot explain without the devil’s action.
Therefore, to choose between Communism and Nazism is to choose between Lucifer and Belzebuth, devil and devil.
It is understandable, therefore, that Catholics most closely imbibed with the spirit of the Holy Church of God, including the glorious and extraordinary Kurt von Schuschnigg—who is a martyr for this sublime ‘crime’—would refuse to choose between Hitler and Stalin. . .holding fast to Jesus Christ and His Vicar the Pope.”
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October 23, 1938 – Regarding a sensational report by Voelkischer Beobachter on the riches of the Churches in Austria, insinuating their properties should be ‘socialized,’ Legionário stresses that, “while Fascist-Nazi solidarity is increasingly patent, the analogy between Nazism and Communism is also becoming increasingly evident.”
December 4, 1938 – The Vaterland Catholic daily of Lucerne, Switzerland, reports that the Jesuit college “Stella Matutina” of Feldkirch, Austria, has been confiscated by the Nazi State without any compensation. Like the Bolsheviks, the Nazis do not respect property rights.
Here is an excerpt from that same feature article:
“What is reckless in asserting that in Nazi Wotan, there is only the same Satan dressed up as a pagan god? What prevents us from predicting that, in a not-so-distant catastrophe, the same Satan who presents himself masked in Berlin and unashamedly openly in Moscow will gang up on the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Communist-Nazi pincer?”
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January 1, 1939 - In an overview of the international political situation in 1938, the Legionário’s cover story starts by saying that, as the year began humanity comprised four major ideological positions: Catholicism, Liberalism, Communism, and Nazism. Over the year, while liberalism disappears, other positions have become sharper. People understand that true Catholicism is incompatible with vaguely Christian or pan-Christian movements. They know that the Communists’ “policy of the extended hand” to Catholics is untenably contradictory. Nazism has become more and more radical, encompassing Fascism in its doctrinal tendency.
The article asks,
“What has happened to liberalism as socialism has drifted left, Fascism right, ‘pan-Christianism’ has rolled downhill, and only a few souls have taken flight?
Liberalism has melted like ice cream . . . An increasingly clear movement is taking place as all camps are defined. It is the doctrinal fusion of Nazism and Communism. In our view, 1939 will see the consummation of this merger. This monstrous union will give rise to a current that will be ‘nec plus ultra’ for Satan’s plans.
Are we mistaken? It is possible. At any rate, the Osservatore Romano itself has signaled this leftward drift of Nazism.
That means that all errors are falling into the same abyss and that all secular forces are coming together. Against who?
The Mystical Bark of Saint Peter sails in this stormy sea. Mysterious wave movements form against it, which will quickly degenerate into an immense storm.
However, we are not afraid. While keeping a watchful eye on the choppy waves swarming with mysterious monsters, we look at the stars for our bearings.”
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January 29, 1939 – Legionário transcribes this excerpt from a commentary in the Danzig daily Der Deutsche in Polen on Hermann Rauschning’s book, The Deadly Weakness of the Reich:
“The consequences Dr. Rauschning draws from the deadly weakness of the Reich confirm our opinion that the German people do not have to fear the coming of Bolshevism because they already have it in Nazism. What was once a real danger—the proletarian revolution of German Bolshevism—is now a reality. We are entirely in it. Hitler is not what characterizes Nazism, nor Stalin Bolshevism. The fact that Moscow and Berlin arrogate the right to define truth, enforce their ideology with violence, and regulate people’s lives, is what shows that their orientation is identical.”
The “7 Days in Review” section comments on the Nazi government’s desecration of the corpses of Mgr. Ignaz Seipel and Engelbert Dollfuss employing the same process that the Soviets applied to political enemies.
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February 5, 1939 – Legionário’s “National and Foreign Letters” section publishes a review of J. Bauer Reis’s book O Nazismo sem máscara [Nazism Unmasked], which shows a series of points common to Communism and Hitler’s regime. “Nazism is a brother to Communism because of its principles, goals, and acts” (sic). The same book transcribes this letter from Goebbels to a Communist leader in Moscow long before Hitler’s rise to power, published by the Hitler-directed paper Voelkischer Beobachter in its issue of November 14, 1925:
“You and I fight each other without actually being enemies. Consequently, we waste our forces and will never attain the desired goal. Perhaps dire need will unite us. Perhaps we, young people, you and I, are bearers of the destiny of generations; let us never forget it. I greet you.
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February 12, 1939 – Legionário recalls how energetically Pius XI condemned totalitarianism, as he had done to Communism. When condemning the excesses of pagan Germany, that Pontiff denounced the Nazis’ inconsistent and illusory anticommunism while also attacking recent Nazi infiltrations in Italy.
News reports say that Italy has concluded a trade agreement with Russia. According to the Manchester Guardian, Germany is ready to provide the Communists with a credit of 200 to 300 million marks in military materiel. In return, Russia would provide it with raw materials.
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March 12, 1939 - Commenting about Nazi attacks on the Church:
“Suspicions about the new Germany’s political framework are increasingly clarified, and the two most dangerous regimes of the contemporary world increasingly identified: Communism and Nazism.”
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April 16, 1939 - La Journée Industrielle reports that in a recent Bolshevik congress, comrade Manonilsky expounded on the need to intensify agitation in democratic countries to weaken them as pressure from totalitarian countries increases. The same happened at the time of Austria’s annexation to the Reich, when French Communists launched a general strike to weaken France just as [Kurt] Schuschnigg was trying to resist.
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April 23, 1939 - In response to a Parliamentary consultation on the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Soviets, the Swiss Federal Council shows that these relations, once resumed, always serve to boost Bolshevik Russia’s political propaganda. Despite this, Mr. Hitler maintains diplomatic relations with the Soviets.
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May 14, 1939 - From “7 Days in Review”:
“Germany is National Socialist. Russia is becoming nationalist without ceasing to be Communist.
Weigh the words well: what difference is there between ‘socialist nationalism’ and ‘communist nationalism’?”
On the same day, the paper’s “International Note” notes that news of a German-Russian pact has not been denied, and the Nazi press has ceased is diatribes against the Soviets.
“7 Days in Review” also comments on the surprise this piece of news has caused in some circles. However, given the ideological affinity between Nazism and Communism, a less superficial observer cannot be surprised, also because Hitler is on a campaign to ensure the proletarianization of social life in his homeland.
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June 25, 1939 - As the conviction grows in democratic states that an alliance with Russia is necessary, the latter is increasingly demanding and creating an atmosphere of distrust “with its selfish endgame between London and Berlin, perhaps much closer to Berlin than London” (“International Note”).
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August 20, 1939 – Legionário comments on some considerations by La Croix about the Nazi-Bolshevik rapprochement, noting that their doctrines have more points of agreement than disagreement. It also reports that [Franz] von Papen is eyeing Soviet horizons.
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August 6, 1939 - Excerpt from the “International Note”:
The Anglo-French-Russian negotiations remain at an impasse. If the French and British military missions on their way to Moscow should fail—which is very likely—it is certain that the Soviets will be neutral with the Reich, if not allied.