Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fittkau

“It’s the Same Game”

An Interview with Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fittkau

By John Mallon

Professor Doktor Gerhard Fittkau was ordained a priest in the early 1930s by the heroic Bishop Maximilian Kaller, in the Cathedral of Frauenberg for the Diocese of Ermland, which once sat as an island of Catholicism in a sea of Prussian Protestantism. The Ermland is a section of what was then East Prussia, a part of Germany on the Baltic Sea surrounded by Poland. At the end of the Second World War and after Pottsdam the maps were redrawn and East Prussia with it the Ermland was ceded to Poland, and thus to the Communists. The Diocese of Ermland went out of existence. But not before it was plundered and savaged by the advancing Russian army on its way to take Berlin. The simple, sweet people of the Ermland were raped, robbed and brutalized in the atrocities that accompany the bloodlust of war.

Dr. Fittkau studied theology in Austria, Rome and  Switzerland, and when hindered by ill health was taken into the house of Bishop Kaller to be the bishop’s personal Secretary. After some skirmishes between the Gestapo and Bishop Kaller, the bishop sent Father Fittkau to do post-graduate work at the University of Breslau. 

On the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, 1944, Dr. Fittkau was installed as pastor of his home parish of Suessenberg. In 1945 Bishop Kaller was arrested by the Gestapo and taken to Berlin. He offered himself in exchange for the release of his priests held in the prison of Theresienstadt, but was refused. When the Russians stormed through the Ermland the 33-year-old Father Fittkau was taken prisoner and sent with many of his people to Siberia to a gulag. Father Fittkau’s account of that harrowing experience is told in his book, My Thirty-Third Year, available from Fidelity Press. 

On his release he rejoined Bishop Kaller who had been appointed by his old friend Pope Pius XII to be Bishop to the “Walking Church,” —the refugee people scattered throughout Germany. The story of Bishop Kaller will be told in a future issue of Inside the Vatican. 

To this day the former Diocese of Ermland has a loyal, if scattered diaspora. I had been approached by Mrs. Eva Rogers, the niece of Bishop Kaller, about doing a story on her Uncle and his heroism. The idea interested me greatly. So when the opportunity came to go to The Hague for the UN conference on Population and Development, I convinced my editor to allow me to take an extra few days in Germany doing some research on Bishop Kaller. 

After the very disturbing things I saw, heard and felt at The Hague Forum, with its anti-Catholic, anti-religion, anti-life, totalitarian atmosphere, this was a welcome break. Mrs. Rogers arranged for me to stay at the Ermlandhaus, the headquarters of this diaspora, in Münster, after an overnight stay in Essen to interview Dr. Fittkau. This was a delightful stay thanks to the hospitality of three very sweet people, Norbert and Gisela Marcinek, who care for the house, and Prelate Johannes Schwalke, Apostolic Visitator for the Ermland, now entering retirement. They spoke nary a word of English but with “miene kleine bischen Deutsch” we had a wonderful visit.

After interviewing Dr. Fittkau about Bishop Kaller, (which will appear in a future issue) I decided to ask this priest, by then 87, who had known so much suffering, under both the Nazis and the Communists, to discuss what I had just seen at The Hague. Let the reader beware. When you are 87 and have lived through what Dr. Fittkau has lived through, you have earned the right to put things very bluntly in unvarnished truth. Dr. Fittkau is quite laconic and not very concerned with being politically correct. The interview follows:

John Mallon: Father Fittkau, You’ve been through the ordeal of surviving both the Nazis and the Communists, even surviving a year in a Russian Gulag. I’m roughly half your age. My generation needs to hear of what we need to be aware of. Now it seems we have a new holocaust, a new genocide now. The way I like to put is “The devil has refined his methods...”


“... Instead of filthy camps and gulags we have sterile abortion ‘clinics.’ ” 

That’s the most horrifying holocaust—today.

You say more horrifying than what you lived through?

Of course. I mean all the horrible sufferings of the mothers, the women. I mean the complete sexual corruption. And the big devilish work is the refusal of Humanae Vitae. It was from that time that bishops, even, revolted. I’m still trying to clean up all my papers, and I always come across these things. I have a big bag of that stuff. 

This was the main point of our Inside the Vatican Special Supplement last year, to say that because Pope Paul VI was ignored we have this mess now. (See Inside the Vatican Special Supplement: A Prophecy for Our Time: Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae on the 30th Anniversary of its Publication)

Yes. Absolutely. And not only was it ignored, it was opposed. All the great lay organizations kind of intimidated the bishops. The bishops pretty much kept silent and did not support the teaching. Hardly anyone ever preached on it—nothing, you know. Father (Paul) Marx, of course, has always opened his mouth on this.

And been persecuted for it, mistreated...

Of course. We were completely ignored you know, we just over-lived!

Now at this conference on population and development...

Yes, Cairo, and stuff like that... it’s criminal. And it’s Masonic. Masonry has always had a principle to destroy mankind, in a way that they want not more people but that the population should come down to one billion people, so they would have enough of the world’s goods. They have this big legend that the population should not go beyond six billion.

Yes, they had a big cartoonish display at The Hague Forum of six billion in numerals and they estimate that in October 1999 the six billionth person will be born; and to them this is a terrible milestone.

Yes, it’s ridiculous, and within a few years it will be eight billion and all this nonsense. But the whole world’s population is diminished. Even in Africa they’ve got American aid to send them condoms and all this nonsense. And that new pill, “emergency contraception” and then RU-486, that’s being propagated all over. The first victims are the Africans. And the Chinese kill themselves anyway.

That brings up something my colleagues and I were discussing. We were a group of pro-life Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons and Moslems working together and we all felt the presence of evil at this conference.

Yes. And the Moslems may well soon outnumber us of the Christian world. They’ll outnumber us completely. Here in Germany they say “We are going to out bear you!”

At these UN conferences it’s all in the words they use, they are always changing the words, manipulating the language.

Yes, it’s cheating you know, Mao, or some old Chinese saying said, “If you want to corrupt and destroy the people you have to destroy the language.” 

They were saying that they don’t want to use the term “population control” anymore—they want to change it because it sounds bad. 


Yes! Liberation unto death! My colleagues were saying they sensed an inherent racism ...

Yeah. Sure.

Because the First World, or the Developed World, which is largely Caucasian, has largely done away with itself, and is getting below replacement level, and so as a result the darker skinned peoples are taking over...

Yes, yeah.

... and so now the contraceptives are being exported to them. And for many of these people it’s against their traditions and beliefs.

Of course, yeah, and hatred will be nourished there, you know.

I spoke to a doctor there from The Sudan who said abortion is always wrong, and yet he had an International Planned Parenthood Federation button on his lapel, and I felt he had been deceived.

Yes, of course, but this is also complete nonsense, this is also the language business, the lie. They are not urging for the family, but for no family.

Yes, there was no mention of the family, it was all “sexual and reproductive rights” and they were talking about sexual “rights” for children as young as ten years old.

Yes, the abuse of children today...

Yes, brought on by sexual addiction. So it’s important for my generation to hear from you who have suffered through this terrible period in the twentieth century.

Yes, but that was just an expiation for the horrible Soviet destruction of their own country, because even today the former Soviet Union is dying out. And Germany is a dying country.

And Italy has the lowest birthrate in the world.

Italy, yes, and Spain too. The opposition to Humanae Vitae, and so on, is the greatest crime to their own countries.

So what I want to ask you: at my age I’ve never been through a war or tyranny. I’m an American, I’ve lived a safe comfortable life, but on the horizon I can smell something...

Oh, yes, it’s coming.

I can smell something evil coming, and I want to compare notes with you who have suffered through what we fear, and I want to ask you if you smell the same thing.

Oh, of course!

Can you imagine what form it might take or what kind of darkness may be coming?

Yes, first of all death is the very word for the corruption. 

The rejection of God?

Yes, of course. The rejection of the law of God, and rejecting the Commandments.

So we are reaping what we’ve sown? 

Yes, of course. The Church has always warned that the fruit of sin is death. 

The Holy See was mocked and made fun of at this conference.

Yes, of course.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Yes, for instance I’d like to mention the complete corruption of our television, which is evident every morning, at any time. Even among our journalists there is complete corruption. And fallen away Catholics, they are the worst of them, particularly women.

It seems almost as if they are trying to expiate their own guilt. 

No, that’s not all of it. It’s the remorse burning in them and leaving them no peace, that’s driving them ahead.

A troubled conscience?

Yes, they’ve destroyed their conscience...

And to keep that suppressed...?

Yes. That is so obvious, particularly in the television people. For 30 years I was on the council for the German foreign radio station. At that time I had a certain authority because I was a founding member of the group having survived all the others. But I was simply dropped by Bishop Lehmann, the Chairman of the Bishop’s conference who make nothing but nonsense! Particularly now, they still keep disobeying the Pope, in what has to do with withdrawing this paper that has to do with paving the way for abortion. It’s a cooperation with the devil.

Well, Cardinal Meisner just compared RU-486 with Zyklon-B.

Yeah, I know. He has a gift to give big speeches. But acting he does not do! His Vicar general says exactly the contrary! 

Just the contrary?

Yeah! Feltoff is his name. And that is what I object against. He should act! But they all kind of fear the press and publicity.

Well, we have a similar problem in the United States. It seems to me, now, watching the bishops today, who are as you described, it seems like our generation will be guilty of precisely what the world now falsely blames the German bishops for doing in the war. 

Oh, well, that! There was of course, This crazy Zahn, do you remember this guy? He was a sociology professor of Loyola University.

Gordon Zahn?

Yes, Gordon Zahn, he’s a criminal! Of course I fought him at that time and finally I got Cardinal Prizing and his Vicar General wrote. I protested and tried to see Cardinal Stritch but the Chancellor didn’t allow me to meet him, so I got through Cardinal Prizing to force him to see me and I got him to answer this accusation in the Chicago paper. They had sold this horrible story about the German bishops—and it was a stinking lie—that they had promoted the goals of the war, of the Nazis, and it was absolutely ridiculous.

And now of course they attack Pius XII, with that play (The Deputy).

Yes, it’s just the same. It was a Nazi boy of the Hitler Youth who wrote that play.  The reason I know this is that I was shown a picture of him in uniform. He had gone through one of those Protestant instructions, where in Germany the Protestant so-called bishops, had all been made by Göring, they were formerly only superintendents, that was their title, just superintendent, and they were all named bishops by Göring. He liked the picture and so forth. They were fake bishops!

All the Protestant bishops?

Of course, there was never a Lutheran bishop in Germany. They were all thanks to Hermann Göring. I still see the ceremony. These people had no history, they have no umbilical cord.

You’ve lived through the Nazi era, you’ve suffered under the Communists, what advice can you my generation who sees new evils on the horizon?

It’s the same game!  I can only say stick to your faith. And in particular not propaganda. Pray, of course, pray! But in particular, know your faith, so you know you are not being fooled! But the people, they are so ignorant, so lazy! They should know their Catechism! Besides praying I mean. And the prayer becomes sort of anonymous if you don’t know your faith. 

Anything else you would like to say?

Stick to your gun! (Laughter)

Danke Schön!

Author’s note: Father Fittkau’s book, My Thirty-Third Year, is one of the best books on the priesthood I’ve ever read. I strongly recommend it to everybody but especially priests and bishops. I’m not sure if it’s still in print but there are copies available on Amazon. —JM