Speech of Cardinal von Galen Bishop of
Muenster, Germany in 1941 against the NSDAP
(Nazi Party in Germany)
'We are the anvil not the hammer'
Be hard, remain firm! We are in this instant not
the hammer, but the anvil. Others, usually
enemies and those who have turned their back
on the faith, hammer on us, want to re-form our
people, us, our youth, with use of force to bend
us away from the direct relationship with God.
We are the anvil, not the hammer. But see also,
the smithy! Ask the master smith and he will say
to you: What is forged on the anvil, receives its
form not only from the hammer, but also from
The anvil cannot and does not need to also
strike back, it must only be firm, only be hard! If
it is sufficiently firm, tough, hard, then as usual
the anvil outlasts the hammer. The anvil stands
in calm firmness and will stand for a long time to
form what lies against it no matter how violently
the hammer strikes.