Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira


The War Ends










Legionário, February 11, 1945

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Fortunately, the crumbling of Nazi power is an increasingly indisputable fact. Anglo-American efforts in Italy and on the western front are successful, and on the eastern front, the outlook for Mr. Adolf Hitler could hardly get any worse. One can expect a general debacle in German resistance at any time. If that does not happen, the inevitable course of events will soon transform this victorious end of the war into simple ‘cleaning up’ operations.

For us, all this is naturally a cause of great rejoicing. First, because the Church and our country greatly benefit from it. For a long time, Legionário had to fight against all sorts of misunderstandings to demonstrate that the most fundamental interests of Brazil and the Church led us to fight resolutely against Nazism. Today, this point is no longer in doubt. We only have to gain from the Nazi crumbling. We have freed ourselves from enemy No. 1. The second reason for our joy is that Brazilian troops are effectively contributing to this victory. We will be victors because of our diplomatic intervention in the conflict, our economic potential, and for having contributed Brazilian blood. As this war draws closer to an end, we remember with heartfelt gratitude our brave FEB [Brazilian Expeditionary Force] troops, their selfless chaplains, the brave Marian Sodalities members in their ranks, and especially our dear editor Clovis Garcia, to whom we augur complete success in his rugged “Jeep,” which he named Legionário.

* * *

We need to keep our eyes open to the present. For the moment, the war effort must consume all our energies. However, there is no harm in foreseeing something we primarily consider the Church’s main problems in the post-war period.

Making this prediction is a necessity. Until not so long ago, Brazilian Catholics followed the Church’s action worldwide with the eyes of loving children interested in everything that concerns their Mother but who unfortunately know how little they can do for her. This will not happen tomorrow. Brazil emerges from this war as a dynamic power crowned by the prestige of its strength and above all by its future, which is becoming ever closer and brighter. Isolationism is dead. It is indisputable that we have a great role to play in the Americas and around the world. The distances that separate us from Europe and the USA no longer constitute an impediment for us to play that role. Therefore, we can do a lot to expand the Holy Church in the sphere of international problems. Let us not lose sight of this great truth.

* * *

Victory must be our primary concern until the complete extermination of Nazism. We are two steps away from victory. With our prayers, we must, above all, employ our best energies to ensure it is complete and effective. We must not lose sight of the cost of victory.

We must understand and support all plans for complete extermination not only of Nazi power but of everything that represents or constitutes the root of Nazism in German territory. One must destroy Nazism not just within its walls. It must be exterminated so entirely as to not remain in a larval state in German minds. To this end, it is absolutely necessary not to take Nazism for granted as something of the past. One must make detailed reports of all Nazi atrocities, prepare well-documented and authoritative reports explaining to the whole world what the antechambers of hell were like (which Third Reich bureaucrats called “concentration camps”).

One must expose all processes by which Nazism came to power, such as bribery, espionage, intimidation, precise and brutal violence. It is necessary to study and explain to people, for the perpetual horror of future generations, the processes that Nazis employed to remain in power: mendacious and abusive official propaganda, satanic oppression of all-natural human rights, insecurity and espionage seeping even into homes, and the spread of terror throughout social life. People need to know how far charlatan Hitler’s idolatry has gone and what absurdities Mr. Rosenberg’s Neopaganism has indulged in. In every detail, it is necessary to expose the most painful and capital chapter—that of religious persecutions—and highlight the policy of anesthetizing, depleting, and dividing Catholic forces that preceded persecution to perpetuate the memory of this great crime. One must make the waste of public money known down to its last details. Only then will Nazism be indeed exterminated. Either its history is written soon, bringing alive its whole reality, or in a while, the victims, evidence, and documents will disappear, and everything will be enveloped by a veil of imprecision and doubt, which will leave the way open for a Nazi restoration.

* * *

Undoubtedly, it is imperative to punish the main culprits. But it will be of little use if these men appear to ever-changeable public opinion as unarmed victims. Punishment must be meted out in an atmosphere saturated with the conviction of what Nazism was like.

* * *

All this must be done coupled with a well-organized anticommunist campaign proving that the West is not obliged to choose between Nazism and Communism but can navigate between these rocks without shipwrecking against either.

Legionário has long struggled against the cliché that every anti-Nazi person could and should be branded a Communist. Today we assert a truth symmetrical with that: Claiming that every anticommunist is a Fascist is a miserable lie. There is no better proof of that than Legionário itself.

When they labeled us Communists, we responded with a laugh. Today, if some faker labeled us Fascists, we would respond with a laugh as well.

At this moment, Soviet influence tends to become more active than ever. We do not believe in a “softening” of Communism nor the extinction of the Third International. We do not believe in the “policy of the outstretched hand.” One must fight Communism with relentless energy. Its expansion across Europe will be a catastrophe that will reverberate in America. We must anticipate this danger and entrench ourselves against it at once.

* * *

For this very reason, we desire the urgent fall of Nazism with utmost enthusiasm. The more the Nazis let the Russians invade their soil, the greater the Soviet influence after the war. The faster Germany falls, the faster the Russian advance will be halted. How good it would be for that to happen immediately! We would be free from Nazism—the first, paramount, and stupendous advantage. Communism would be held back on the banks of the Oder and the Danube without having conquered Austria and Hungary. In Austria and Hungary, Horty and his henchmen would fall immediately. Austria and Hungary would become powerful fulcrums for the policy of the anticommunist Allies – England and the US – in central Europe.

Who knows if Providence will lead events in this way?

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