Page 2 - Moravian Messenger November 2019
P. 2

On a recent holiday to Germany and Austria, Chris and I had the opportunity to visit the last remaining piece of real estate connected with Adolf Hitler. We went to the Eagles Nest, the Kehlsteinhaus on a mountain above the German border town of Berchtesgaden. This is now a mountaintop restaurant and viewing point but was built for Hitler by Martin Bormann. Ironically Hitler was reputed to hate it because of his fear of heights and dislike of the tunnel and lift needed to access it, so he only visited it on 14 recorded occasions.
However, below the Kehlsteinhaus, nestling into the hillside is a whole area steeped in Nazi history. It is a plateau known as the Obersalzberg. It was here that Hitler rented in the 1920s and then purchased his country retreat known as the Berghof. You may well have seen stills and scenes from Eva Braun's home cine film replayed on documentaries. It was here that he welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1937.
Around the Berghof a whole compound was built with houses for Hermann Göring and Martin Bormann, a sports hall, tea house, bunkers and of course an SS barracks, guard houses and communication centre. This place became the second seat of Government for Hitler during the Second World War. Yet the whole compound has been completely obliterated and no clue is left for the casual visitor. It was bombed by the Allies at the end of the war and all traces were finally demolished in 1952 by the Bavarian Government. Only the Kehlsteinhaus was spared.
I am sure that in 1952 it seemed like the right decision to flatten everything to avoid any sense of creating a shrine to
Nazism. But now it is all too easy to pass by and not know the banal evil that lived there. The area is now covered with trees and the Tea House is under the 13th hole of a golf course. Only the zealous reading of a guidebook pointed to its history. Nature has reclaimed it and now just the mountains stand as witness.
We are now 80 years since the beginning of the Second World War and many of us will soon gather at war memorials to remember not just the dead from the First World War but the dead from every war since. These memorials in our towns, villages and churches stand as a permanent witness in our own landscapes to the cost of human conflict here and across the world. Now many of the first-hand personal memories of the Second World War are gone it becomes more important to have places that hold our collective memories.
Our war memorials should not be places to glorify war and victory but a civic space to honour the dead and victims of every conflict and to commit to peace by all possible means. The historic sites of war, like Hitler's compound at Obersalzberg may vanish but the ultimate cost of war should be marked in all our communities. We will remember!
Sr Sarah Groves
Editorial Team
Meeting with Catherine West MP
As part of the efforts to fulfil the demands of Resolution 8 of the British Provincial Synod of 2018, a group of Moravians were selected by the PEC in order to take the first Parliamentary steps to eliminate UK Child Poverty. With this in mind Sr Jackie Pennington, Sr Zoe Taylor, Br Alan Holdsworth, Br Paul Holdsworth and Br Joachim Kreusel met in September with Catherine West MP at Church House in order to discuss what can be done at Parliamentary level to tackle this blight on our society.
Catherine West is the local Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green, which is the area around Church House and a meeting with the local representative was specified by the Synod Resolution. Different approaches to dealing with UK Child Poverty were discussed and it was agreed that the group would pursue appropriate channels to progress this matter. Catherine West promised that she would support the endeavour and promote it amongst her Parliamentary colleagues.
Overall the meeting was very productive, and it is hoped that we have taken the first steps to making effective changes to this issue.
Br Paul M Holdsworth
Letter to the Editorial Team
Dear Moravian Brothers and Sisters,
By the time you are reading this our Board, our Bishops and proponents will have met the Quaker MP Catherine West to take the first democratic step, as required by a conference and two synods, plus my campaigning since 2011, to eliminate UK child poverty. You will in due course learn how the British Province with Catherine's help go about that campaign.
In our nine years of procrastination tens of millions of UK children have and still are suffering according to the C.P.A.G. (Child Poverty Action Group).
Christ said, suffer the little children to come unto me. As children of God ourselves, we have to act on his behalf.
I chose one clause of our five British mission statements to act on, which of you are going to act on the others? Let us make Moravian missions meaningful in our Province.
Christian love from a tenacious Moravian. Br Alan Holdsworth
Provincial Board
© Sr Zoe Taylor
© Sr Sarah Groves

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