Here is the part 1 of Rev. Richard Wirmbrand’s testimony in the US Senate hearing in 1956.
SUBCOMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE INTERNAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERNAL SECURITY LAWS
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
UNITED STATES SENATE
TESTIMONY OF REV. RICHARD WURMBRAND
COMMUNIST EXPLOITATION OF RELIGION
Friday, May 6, 1966
Senate, Subcommittee to Invesigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, of the Committee on the Judiciary,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:20 a.m., in room 318, Old Senate Office Building, Senator Thomas J. Dodd presiding. Also present: Jay G. Sourwine, chief counsel; Benjamin Mandel, director of research; Frank W. Schroeder, chief investigator; and Robert C. McManus, investigations analyst.
Senator Dodd: I will call this hearing to order. We have as our witness today Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who is a refugee from Rumania. Mr. Sourwine will introduce and read a copy of Dr. Wurmbrand’s credentials.
I must say, before you do so, that we are grateful for your appearing here. I am familiar with the nature of your testimony. -I think I am to an extent. I feel that you are rendering a real service to the cause of the free world.
Go ahead, Mr. Sourwine.
Mr. Sourwine: Mr. Chairman, this letter of credentials, which I shall read pursuant to your instructions, was given to Dr. Wurmbrand by Dr. Hedenquist, who is the mission director of the Svenska Israels-missionen. The reason is explained the text. It reads:
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand is a refugee from Rumania, a country which he had to leave because of the anti religious persecution. Fleeing from there, he has not the usual credentials, which have been taken from him at his arrest by the secret police of the Communists. Our mission, knowing him since 26 years, certify hereby that he is an Evangelical Minister who has had until now the following functions:
From April 1939, to January 1940, he was secretary of the church’s mission to the Jews which had to retire from Rumania at the last date because of the war.
During the whole war he has been pastor of our mission in Rumania. Since our mission retired from Rumania in 1945, from that year to 1948 he has been a pastor of the Norwegian mission to the Jews.
In the same time he has worked also in the representation of the World Council of Churches for Rumania.
He was also a professor of the Old Testament in the Seminary of Bucharest. From 1948 to 1956, he was in prison for religious motives. Released in 1956, he was no more authorized by the Communist authorities to fulfill his duties. From 1956 to 1959 he preached and exercised his other pastoral functions illegally.
Re-arrested for this in 1959, he was again in prison until July 1964, when he was released on the basis of a general amnesty.
Since 1964, he was pastor of the Evangelical Church in Orshova, a Rumanian town.
Continuing to be the object of persecution and being in great danger, our Scandinavian mission to the Jews succeeded to make him escape from three.
We recommend him as a most reliable person, a fine Christian who has published several books against atheism and communism and who has got a burning heart for Christ and for all people in need.
This is signed by Dr. Hedenquist, doctor of theology, mission director in Sweden for Svenska Israelsmissionen.
Rev. Wurmbrand: He is the former secretary of the World Council of Missions.
Senator Dodd: Without objection, this letter will be included in the record. Since it has been read, it will not be reprinted.
Mr. Sourwine, you may proceed. I have some questions which I might as well ask to begin with, rather than wait until later.
Pastor, how many languages do you speak?
Rev. Wurmbrand: There are legends about me that I speak very many languages. Something like 14.
Senator Dodd: Forty?
Rev. Wurmbrand: Fourteen.
Senator Dodd: Obviously, you speak English.
Rev. Wurmbrand: Yes; English, French, German Hungarian, and so on.
Senator Dodd: Did you come directly from Rumania?
Rev. Wurmbrand: No, no; from Rumania I went to Italy; from Italy to Oslo, and then from Europe I came to the States.
Senator Dodd: From where?
Rev. Wurmbrand: From Paris.
Senator Dodd: When was that?
Rev. Wurmbrand: I came to the States 3 weeks ago.
Senator Dodd: Were you required by the secret police to make any commitments before you could leave Rumania?
Rev. Wurmbrand: Before I left Rumania I was called twice to the secret police. The first time they said that they don’t know yet if they will allow me to leave the country with my family. They said: “Dollars have been received for you. You will have to leave the country, but perhaps we will let some time to pass, because your remembrances of prison are too fresh and you have too good a pen.”
Senator Dodd: What?
Rev. Wurmbrand: A pen. “You can too well write. Perhaps we will keep somebody here of your family as hostage.” The second time they called me again and they said: “Now you will leave the country, but be very cautious when you come out. You may preach Christ as much as you like. We know that you are a preacher, but don’t touch us. Don’t speak against Communists. I f you will speak against communism, for $1,000 we can find a gangster who will liquidate you. We play with you with open cards. You come from prison You have met in prison men whom we have brought back from the West.”
And that is the truth. I have been in prison with a Rumanian Orthodox priest, Vasile Leul, who has been kidnaped from Austria. I have seen his nail torn out and broken, and so they reminded me of that. “You know how our prisons are and that you can come back in prison.”
And the third thing which they said: “We have also another possibility with you. We can destroy you morally outside. We will find story with a girl or a money story or something else and people will be stupid enough to believe it. We will destroy you if you touch us.”
And under these conditions I was allowed to come out. And very sorrowfully in the West I found people in the West, even religious leaders, who told me the same thing: “Preach Christ as much as you like but don’t touch Communists.”
Senator Dodd: As I understand it, you said you came to this country 3 weeks ago.
Rev. Wurmbrand: Yes, sir; just today it is 1 month.
Senator Dodd: Three weeks?
Rev. Wurmbrand: One month today.
Senator Dodd: Were you in prison from 1948 to 1956?
Rev. Wurmbrand: Yes, and then imprisoned again in January 1959 to 1964.
Senator Dodd: Were you in the same prison all of that time?
Rev. Wurmbrand: No, no; we were transferred from one prison to the others.
Senator Dodd: From 1956 to 1959 as I understand it, you exercised your religious function in spite of the law against such activity, did you not?
Rev. Wurmbrand: Yes, yes.
Senator Dodd: How did you do this?
Rev. Wurmbrand: When I cam out from prison in 1956, I was licensed to preach – of course, nobody can preach in our country accept he has a license from the Government – and in the beginning I got a license, but which was withdrawn from me after the first week of preaching.
The motives are so comical you would say. In a sermon I said that Christians must keep hope, because of the wheel of history turns, and the wheel of life.
“You meant us, that communism will change, that communism will fall. Never will it fall.” It has been reproached to me that in a sermon I have said Christians must practice patience, patience, and again patience. “Ah, you meant that the Americans will come and we must be patient until they come.”
Everything was misinterpreted, and so the license has been withdrawn from me. And then generally in the Soviet countries there exists the underground church which works as the first Christians worked. Only now we understand texts of the bible which we had not understood before. I did not know why it is written in the Bible that a man named Simon was called Peter. Simeon was called Niger and so on. Everyone is called otherwise than his mother called him. So it is with us now. In every village I was called by another name. I was called Valentin, Georgescu, Ruben, In every village I had another name, and so I could preach.
I did not understand in earlier times why Jesus, when He wishes to have the last supper said: “Go in town and you will see a man with a pitcher and go after him and where he enters prepare the supper.”
Why does he not give an address, a number, and a street? Now we know it when we make secret prayer meetings. We never give the address. We don’t know if that man is not the informer of the secret police. We tell to the main to wait in a public garden or somewhere, and when one with a flower here, or with a necktie passes, go after him. We don’t introduce ourselves to each other, and if somebody asks the name of the other one, we know that he is the informer of the secret police. And so we have developed a technique of secret church work and so I could work.
Senator Dodd: How did you keep alive.? How did you sustain yourself?
Rev. Wurmbrand: The Christians sustained me everywhere. I had no salary, I had no regular salary but the Christians everywhere sustained me. In Rumania the first question asked of a pastor or a priest of any denomination, is: Has he been in prison? If he has been in prison he is all right. All the Christians sustain him.
Senator Dodd: You were re-arrested in 1959, as I understand it.
Rev. Wurmbrand: Yes.
Senator Dodd: Were you kept in the same prison until your release in 1964?
Rev. Wurmbrand: No. Then, also, I was in several prisons.
Senator Dodd: Could you describe for us the cell in which you were kept in solitary confinement?
Rev. Wurmbrand: There were different cells. In solitary confinement I was the first 2 , nearly 3 years. It was in the most beautiful building of Bucharest in the building of the Secretariat of State for Internal Affairs. It is a building before which all foreigners stand and admire it. I can tell you that your White House is a very little building in comparison with ours. And there beneath the earth 10 meters beneath the earth are the cells. There are no windows in the cells. Air enters through a tube. And there were a few desks with a mattress, with a straw mattress. You had but three steps for to walk. Never were we taken out from these cells except for interrogations when prisoners were beaten and tortured.
For years I have never seen sun, moon, flowers, snow, stars, no man except the interrogator who beat, but I can say I have seen heaven open, I have seen Jesus Christ, I have seen the angles and we were very happy there.
But the treatment was very bad. The purpose was to make us mad. You didn’t hear a noise. A whisper you didn’t hear in this cell. The guard had felt shoes. For years, not to hear anything. In all these years of prison we never had a book, we never had a but of paper, we never had a newspaper, nothing to distract our mind except that from time to time tape recorders were put on the corridor. I didn’t know what a tape recorder is. I had not seen such a thing. But at once we heard beautiful Rumanian music, and then we enjoyed it. We didn’t know what has happened with the Communists that they make us enjoy, and after 10 or 15 minutes at once you heard, “Ha, ha, ha don’t beat,” the torturing of a woman. This lasted for half an hour the torturing of a woman. And of 100 prisoners who had been in that cell, in that corridor, everybody recognized that it is his wife or that it is his girl. I myself thought also that it is my wife.
Never will a Westerner understand, if I would not have the mark on my body, which are my credentials.
Senator Dodd: Excuse me, never will who understand?
Rev. Wurmbrand: A Westerner can’t understand.
Senator Dodd: A Westerner?
Rev. Wurmbrand: A Westerner can’t understand God is here and knows that I will not tell you the whole truth because if I will tell you the whole truth, you will faint and rush out of this room, not bearing to hear what things have happened. But I will tell you that in a prison they crucified a cat before ourselves. They beat nails in the feet of the cat and the cat was hanging with the head down, and can you imagine how this cat screamed and the prisoners, mad, bead on the door, “Free the cat, free the cat, free the cat,” and the Communists very polite, “Oh, surely we will free the cat, but give the statements which we ask from you and then the cat will be freed,” and I have known men who have given statements against their wives, against their children, against their parents to free the cat. They did it out of madness, and then the parents and the wives have been tortured like the cat. Such things have happened with us.
Senator Dodd: Did you have any fellow Christians like you imprisoned?
Rev. Wurmbrand: We had hundreds of bishops, priests, monks in prisons; my wife who is near me, she has been with Catholic nuns. My wife tells that they were angels; such have been put in prisons. Nearly all Catholic bishops died in prison. Innumerable Orthodox and Protestants have been in prison, too.
Senator Dodd: The point I was getting at and I guess I did not make it clear where the Christians treated any differently or mistreated any differently?
Rev. Wurmbrand: Everybody in prison was very badly treated. And I cannot be contradicted on this question, because I have been with physicians, I have much more broken bones than anybody, so either I broke my bones or somebody else broke them. And if I would not have been a clergyman but a murderer – it is a crime to torture a murderer, too. The Christian prisoners were tortured in a form which should mock their religion. I tell you again in the prison of Pitesti one scene I will describe you about torturing and mocking Christians, and believe me I would renounce to eternal life to paradise after which I long, if I tell you one word of exaggeration. God is here and knows that I do not say everything. It cannot be said. There are ladies here. There are other people hearing it.
One Sunday morning in the prison of Pitesti a young Christian was already the fourth day, day and night, tied to the cross. Twice a day the cross was put on the floor and 100 other cell inmates by beating, by tortures, were obliged to fulfill their necessities upon his face and upon his body. Then the cross was erected again and the Communists swearing and mocking “Look your Christ, look your Christ, how beautiful he is, adore him, kneel before him, how fine he smells, your Christ.” And then the Sunday morning came and a Catholic priest, an acquaintance of mine, has been put to the belt, in the dirt of a cell with 100 prisoners, a plate with excrements, and one with urine was given to him and he was obliged to say the holy mass upon these elements, and he did it. And I asked him afterward, “Father, but how could you make this?” He was half mad. He answered to me: “Brother, I have suffered more than Christ. Don’t reproach to me what I have done.” And the other prisoners beaten to take holy communion in this form, and the Communists around, “Look, your sacraments, look, your church, what a holy church you have, what fine is your church, what holy ordinance God has given you.”
I am very insignificant and a very little man. I have been in prison among the weak ones and the little ones, but I speak for a suffering country and for a suffering church and for the heroes and the saints of the 20th century; we have had such saints in our prison to which I did not dare to lift my eyes.
I am a Protestant, but we have had near us Catholic bishops and monks and nuns about whom we felt that the touching of their garments heals. We were not worthy to untie their shoelaces. Such men have been mocked and tortured in our country. And even if it would mean to go back to a Rumanian prison, to be kidnaped by the Communists and going back and tortured again, I cannot be quiet. I owe it to those who have suffered there.
Senator Dodd: Now, did the Rumanian secret police employ brainwashing techniques?
Rev. Wurmbrand: The worst thing has been the brainwashing. All the tortures of times before were nothing in comparison with brainwashing.
To describe very shortly brainwashing: First of all we were doped. The dope was put in our food. I did not know about this dope. But we saw only the results, a dope which gave two results. First of all, what the physician calls alleluia which means lack of power of will. The power of will was completely broken. If we were told, “Lift your hand,” I lifted it. If I was not told to let the hand down, I would never have left it down. We were at the same time very much undernourished. We had times when we received 100 grams, one slice of bread, a week. It was told to us, “We give you as many calories as you need to be able to breathe only,” and so our power of will has been broken.
Second, this drug or perhaps it is another drug, produces the delirium of self accusation. I have seen prisoners knocking during the night on the door and saying, “Take me to the interrogator, I have new things to say against me.” Prisoners quarreled with their interrogators to say against themselves more than the interrogators asked from them. And then we have had in prisons the curious phenomenon that we as priests received confessions from other prisoners. Now everybody is a sinner, but not everybody is a criminal. Men who have never murdered confessed that they have murdered, that they have committed adultery, that they have stolen. They felt they had to accuse themselves. This has also been the result of doping. And after we were doped like that – that is the secret of all the Soviet show trials, in which the prisoners accuse themselves – then the time of brainwashing came. For 17 hours a day from 5 in the morning to 10 in the evening we had to sit like this. We were not allowed to lean. We were not allowed to rest a little bit our weary heads upon our hands. To close your eyes was a crime. Seventeen hours a day we had to sit like that and hear from the morning to the evening: “Communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good,” until you heard one who was already 20 years in prison under the Communists shouting, “Communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, I give my life for communism.”
It was after the technique of Professor Pavlov, a scientific suggestion.
In prison there were not only priests and pastors. We have had hundreds of peasants and young boys and girls who were put in prison for their Christian faith. These were separated and for them there was a special brainwashing, not only that “communism is good,” but “Christianity is dead, Christianity is dead, Christianity is dead. Nobody more believes in Christ, nobody more believes in Christ, you are the only fools.”
And so on. And I must tell you that you may know how far this brainwashing went. I do not like to pose here like a hero. I believed that Christianity is dead under this influence. I believed –
Senator Dodd I did not hear that.
Rev. Wurmbrand: I believed that Christianity is dead under this suggestion. Nobody goes more to church. They gave us post cards. I have not seen my wife for 10 years. They gave me post cards, they gave to all of us post cards: “Write to your children and wife; they may come and on that day see you and bring your parcels,” so on that day we were shaved; we expected and expected until the evening and nobody came. They had not sent the post cards, but we did not know. Then came the brain washings. “Your wives are laying in bed with men,” obscene words, “Your children hate you. You have nobody to love in the world. You are the only fools. Give up faith. Nobody is more Christians. Christianity is dead.”
I believed also that nobody is more a Christian. I had read in the Bible that there will be in the last time the great apostasy, that people will leave the faith and I believed that I lived now this time. But I said to myself if Christianity is dead, I will sit at its tomb and will weep until it arises again, just as Mary Magdalene sat at the tomb of Jesus and wept until Jesus showed Himself. Then when I came out of prison I saw Christianity is not dead. The number of practicing Christians in Rumania according to the figures given by the Communists themselves in 20 years of Communist dictatorship has grown 300 percent.
Senator Dodd: How do the Communists use religion for their own purposes if they do?
Rev. Wurmbrand: That is a very tragic side. The worse thing in Rumania has not been the persecution of Christians. The persecution has make the Christians to be of steel. The worst thing has been the corruption of religion. They have put as religious leaders their man. A bishop, a pastor, a preacher, just a man like other man and can commit sins. Now if they found a preacher or somebody else in adultery or in some money irregularity or I do not know what sin, they called him and blackmailed him and said, “Now you must become our man. Otherwise we publish what we have found.” Or they found others who were weak ones, whom they promised I do not know what. They never keep their promises. And these men, they put at the leadership of religion everywhere.
They have their bishops, their bishop vicar, their professors of theology, their presidents of the Baptists and Pentecostals and so on. I could give names. I know this from firsthand. Because many of these, when we came out of prison, out of remorse confessed to us what they have done. And now they use these men. With us in Rumania religion is a very great thing. You do not find much religious difference in Rumania. By these weak Christians, the Communists used religion for their propaganda. When the Communists came to power in Rumania, they convoked in the building of our parliament a congress of all the cults. There were 4,000 priests; pastors, rabbis of all religions were there. Our Prime Minister Gorza, said the same things which you hear now in the West. This was in 1945 when they came to power with us. “You know Rumanian communism will not be like Russian communism. We are a democratic communism. We will not persecute the church. We are on the side of monarchy. We will never collectivate agriculture. We are something entirely else and you should be on our side and then we will protect religion and we will give salaries to the priests.”
And the priests, good men, simply believed him and cheered him. Priests and bishops one after the other stood up and said, “Well, if your communism is otherwise than the Russian communism, if it will be a good communism, we do not object against communism in principle.” And one after the other stood up and praised this form of communism. There was only one in that congress who protested and said that communism can never change, that terror is an essential part of communism, because communism is contrary to human nature.
What would you say if I would take the purse out of your pocket? Everyone wishes to have something. A dog wishes to have a bone, and communism is against human nature because it does not allow you to have anything of yours and so communism must use terror. At that congress there was only one who said these things. This one is now before you.
But what has happened? I went to prison, this was one of the charges against me. I met in prison all those who had praised communism, all those who have collaborated with communism, and they were treated just like me. They had been the fools. There was only one difference that I was in prison with a good conscience and they were with a bad conscience. In prison they had remorse. Religion was used for Communist propaganda in our country.
Just to give you one example: To the Orthodox Church of Rumania foreigners come and see the liturgy and see everything so beautiful. The church is open. They do not understand the language, they do not know what is preached. I will give you the test of the sermon. It was a sermon about an epistle of St. Paul where it was written that Chris is our peace , and so the priest explained, “Christ is our peace. Who is against peace? American imperialists. And who is on the side of the peace? We, the Socialist countries.”
So you see that Christ identifies Himself with socialism and so on. Such sermons they have. They have used the religion for their own purposes in the country. Then they have used the religion for getting political positions in the West. They are not fools to send in the West representatives of the Communist Party. They send bishops with great beards and beards are always very impressive here in the West, and through these beards they influence the West.
Senator Dodd: I have many more questions, but would you show your wounds and scars, if you have some?
Rev. Wurmbrand: I apologize here before the ladies.
Senator Dodd: Take your time. If ever a man was entitled to time, I think you are.
Rev. Wurmbrand: Look here, look here, look here. Look here, look here. And so the whole body.
Senator Dodd: What is the scar behind your ear?
Rev. Wurmbrand: Here they put the knife and said, “Give accusatory statement against your bishops and against the other pastors. Do you give or not? And they cut. It is true that they did not cut very deeply.
Senator Dodd: These are all knife wounds?
Rev. Wurmbrand: They tortured by all means. They beat until they broke the bones. They used red-hot irons, they used knives, they used everything. And what was the first thing is not that they beat, not what they did, but how they did it. They interrogated you very politely, and if you did not wish to say what they asked they said, “Well, we have the first. On the 15th you will be beaten and tortured at 10 o’clock in the evening.”
Imagine what 14 days were after this. We have had prisoners who during this time, which has been given to them, knocked at the door, “I can’t bear it. I will say everything,” before they have been tortured.
Senator Dodd: I wish you would turn around before you put your shirt on.
Rev. Wurmbrand: And that it may be very clear, it is not that I boast with these marks. I show to you the tortured body of my country, of my fatherland, and of my church, and they appeal to the American Christians and to all freemen of America to think about our tortured body, and we do not ask you to help us. We ask you only one thing. Do not help our oppressors and do not praise them. You cannot be a Christian and praise the inquisitors of Christians. That is what I have to say.
Senator Dodd: All right. You may put on your clothes. That scar on your right breast, do you remember how that was inflicted?
Rev. Wurmbrand: Yes; by knife.
Senator Dodd: By knife?
Rev. Wurmbrand: By knife. I have been in Oslo. I went to a hospital. There were several physicians. I can give their names. I spoke with them about religion. In the beginning they said, “We are atheists,” and then they saw my body and I asked them what treatment do I need. They said: “About treatment, do not ask us. Ask only the one in whom we don’t believe, but who has kept you alive, because according to our medical books, you are dead. A man who has what you have, with four vertebras broken, cannot live. According to our medical books, you are dead. If you are alive, then the one in whom we don’t believe has kept you alive.”
Senator Dodd: I think it is important for our purposes to understand this completely. As I take it, they cut you, but they must have been asking you questions.
Rev. Wurmbrand: Surely, surely. I had worked in the representation of the World Council of Churches in Rumania, and after the war this World Council of Churches made a great relief work and I myself had relationship with the Rumanian patriarchs and with the bishops and with the Baptists and with the Pentecostals and Lutherans and so on, and we worked with all these. And now they wish to make with us in Rumania a great show process, a great show trial as they have made in Hungary with Cardinal Mindszenty and so on, and they wished from me accusatory statements against all these with whom I have had connections, and because I did not wish to give these accusatory statements, I and others have been tortured. This has been the usual thing. Nobody enters in the Rumanian secret police without being beaten, without being tortured. I have been not the worst tortured. The proof is that I am alive. So many died. Nearly all our Catholic bishops have been so handled that they have died, and in that time the Russians were in our country, they decided that the Catholic bishops should be killed. One of the members of the Government has been Gromyko, one of the murderers of Christians. Perhaps you will understand why I call his name.
Senator Dodd: Yes; I do.
Rev. Wurmbrand: I have seen Catholic priests, heroes, dying not only for Christ and confessing Christ to the end, but dying for the Pope.
I have heard the word of a Catholic priest, I will not tell his name. He was asked, “Do you still believe in the Pope?” and he said, “Since St. Peter there has always been a Pope, and until Christ will come again there will always be a Pope. And the actual Pope, Pius the 12th has not made peace with you and never will a Pope shake hands with you.” He was trampled under the feet and tortured to death. Under our eyes he was killed. At that time a member of the government who killed this Catholic priest has been Gromyko, and the priest died with the hope that never will a Pope shake hands with his murderers.
Senator Dodd: You saw and heard this yourself.
Rev. Wurmbrand: Yes, surely; and it is not only one case. I could never finish if I would tell you what I have seen. I must just pour out before you my heart. I speak for a country and I speak for a church. We are very, very sad there about all these compromises. I must tell you I have been in England before I came to the States, and I have spoken with high Christian officials from England. The Archbishop of Canterbury and many canons and so on have been in our country recently, last year. So I asked Christian leaders – I will not tell names – “Why have you sat at banquets with our inquisitors? I am a little pastor, I cannot interrogate you, but I speak for the others who cannot speak for themselves. “Why have you sat at banquets with our inquisitors?”
I was answered, “We are Christians and must have friendship and fellowship with everybody, with the Communists, too. Don’t you agree?”
I said, “I can’t polemicize with you. I have not read the Bible for 14 years. You must know Christianity better than I. Faintly I remember in the Bible it is written that friendship with the world is hatred toward God. But supposing you must have friendship and fellowship with everybody. How is it that you have had friendship and fellowship only with our inquisitors, and with us never?”
Never have these great men of the West been in the houses of Christian martyrs. I have an only son and I love him. I cannot look to him. He looks like a skeleton. He has hungered. He will never be healthy. And so many of our children died. All these great relates from the West are great men. I am very little in comparison with them. But I always asked myself, “Well, all right, make friendship with the Communists. But only with the Communists?” They never inquired about us.
I asked them, “Why did you go to see the Pope, who is all right, who does not need your visit?” “When you have been in Rumania why have you not visited the tombs of the Catholic bishops killed in tortures? Why have you not shed there a tear? Why have you not put there a flower? That is what we expected. Why have you not left 10 pounds? Ten pounds would have been the salvation of a Catholic family there. You go to see the Pope. The Pope is all right. He has to eat and to drink.” But I must say we are very sad there about these compromises with communism. We do not understand. I am a man who does not understand politics. I have not read newspapers for 14 years.
It may be right for a state to have peaceful existence with communism. I do not know. That is a question for Johnson and Goldwater to decide. But the church can never have peaceful coexistence with atheism. Everybody would laugh if I would say that health can peacefully exist with the microbe of tuberculosis, that the FBI can coexist peacefully with gangsters, that the church can peacefully exist with drunkenness, but communism and atheism is much worse than drug addiction and drunkenness. You drink a little wine and the next day it passes, but communism poisons youth and our children since 50 years. How can there be peaceful existence with this on the side of churchmen and the church leadership I cannot understand.
I must say I have been very sad. I have read in your periodicals that, I do not know why, church bodies here ask the admission of Red China in the organization of allied nations. It may be right. I do not know politics. I do not know what this organization of allied nations is, but I ask myself, “You, a church periodical, why don’t you write about the tortures inflicted to Chinese Christians by the communists? That is your business and leave the business of politics to the Senate and like this.”
I express here the grief and the great pain of a suffering country and of a suffering church, and I apologize if I am a little unpolite.
Senator Dodd: You were the representative of the World Council of Christian Churches?
Rev. Wurmbrand: I was one of the workers of the office of the World Council of Churches. This man who give me a certificate, this Pastor Hedenquist, was at that time one of the leaders of the Council of Churches who came to Rumania.
Mr. Sourwine: You were responding to the chairman’s question about what had been asked of you under interrogation. Did you complete that answer?
Rev. Wurmbrand: Well, it is a very interesting thing. Jesus says that the children of this world are wiser than the children of light. You are a political body. You interrogate me about what I have been asked about the World Council of Churches. The World Council of Churches never put to me this question.