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G.7, Christ the King Black radio station: Object, Method and Effect

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This Political Warfare Executive report is an appraisal of the object, method and effect of the Catholic clandestine radio station known as Christ the King.


To widen the breach between the German Catholics (numbering roughly 40 million) and their Nazi rulers by making clear to them the profound antithesis between Christian principles and National-Socialist practices; to plant firmly in the minds of German Catholics the idea of German war guilt as the responsibility of the Nazi regime; to stimulate the desire for peace; and to encourage separatists aspirations among South German and especially Austrian Catholics.

One of the Priest's main lines is to play up "Christ the King" as against "Hitler the Führer", and to stress the contrast between the idea of Christian charity and the narrow and selfish conception of the Nazi "people's community". Another line is to show how the harsh and unimaginative methods of the Party have worked to the detriment of the people in such matters as the relief of air raid distress and the organisation of evacuation from the bombed areas. He also gives considerable emphasis to the efforts of the Pope to secure peace, and to the movement for peace on the part of Germany's allies, particularly Hungary. Latterly he has been planting alarm and despair in the minds of devout Catholics regarding the Nazi occupation of the Holy City of Rome.

His audience comprises all Catholics in the German Armed Forces and on the German Home Front, including war workers, women in the factories, evacuees, peasants, clergy and school teachers.


The Priest is on the air five or six days a week, with two transmissions, at 0015 and 0615, each day on the 49 metre band, and two at 2215 and 2315 on the 31 metre band.

Broadcasts are recorded and the method of presentation conforms to a regular pattern. Each broadcast opens with organ music or a Gregorian plain chant lasting one and a half minutes (this acting, among other things, as a station identification signal), followed by a short quotation from the Bible and a sermon of six to nine minutes. The prayer with which the broadcast then ends is made to serve as a summary of the main points of the sermon, as well as an invocation.

Only one voice is used and the Priest makes his own announcements. The writing of the scripts and the actual speaking are done by the same person, which allows the tone of the broadcasts to remain even and the attitude consistent. The Priest has a South German voice and he claims to be speaking from inside Germany. To strengthen this pretence he takes care to keep his views and observations very closely in line with the pronouncements of the German Catholic bishops.

The Priest's sermons for peace, as well as his attacks on the chaos of Party-organised evacuation and his exposure of Nazi attempts to "proletarise" the German middle class, have all been closely coordinated with the broadcasts of the other German stations. He has at the same time come in on the peace campaigns of the Italian and Hungarian stations. Several of the Priest's scripts have been issued as leaflets, and he has also prepared a number of Catholic prayer cards and "stickers".


The Swedish paper "Trots Allt" of February 9th [1943] gave a full schedule of the Priest's transmissions, and stated that the broadcasts could be clearly heard in Sweden. It spoke of them as coming from a secret transmitter belonging to the fighting German Catholics.

Possible evidence of the reaction of the German Propaganda Ministry to the Priest is contained in an article in the "Westfälische Neueste Nachrichten" of June 22nd attempting to answer rumours that the spiritual welfare of Catholic children, as well as their physical and mental well-being, was suffering in the official evacuee camps.

On May 26th the Priest solemnly condemned a talk just given over Radio Paris by Dr. Friedrich, in which the Pope was attacked as having caused the war. On the following Sunday Dr. Friedrich, who was at that time the leading German propagandist in Paris, but who has since receded considerably from the picture, reacted by repudiating his talk, saying that it had not been delivered by him personally but by one of his French colleagues using his name without his authority.

[Source British National Archives file: FO 898/51]



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