An Interview with Maximilian Krah
By Robert J. Siscoe POSTED: 10/27/12
(www.RemnantNewspaper.com) Several years ago, internet rumors began to circulate about a scandal brewing inside the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). According to these rumors, in early 2009, a Jewish Freemason named Maximilian Krah was appointed to the board of a newly founded corporation. This corporation was to serve as the financial vehicle for the investments of the SSPX. The board included the Superior General of the SSPX, Bishop Fellay, his first assistant, Fr. Nicholas Pfluger, the SSPX Bursar General, Fr. Emeric Baudot, and the purported Jewish Freemason, Maximilian Krah, who had a general power of attorney and hence access to the funds.
As coincidence would have it, the founding of this corporation coincided with the airing of the now famous interview with Bishop Williamson, in which he provided his personal opinion regarding certain aspects of the Holocaust. The interview was subsequently aired on television in Germany, a country that requires an absolute unthinking adherence to the purported facts associated with the Holocaust, the questioning or denial of which constitutes “holocaust denial” – a crime punishable by fines and up to five years in prison. When Bishop Williamson dared to question several of the purported facts, during a television interview, quite literally all hell broke loose. Dr. Krah, himself a lawyer, was entrusted with the task of locating a criminal attorney to defend Bishop Williamson. Additional rumors began to circulate over Dr. Krah’s choice of an attorney to represent Bishop Williamson, and increased when Bishop Williamson decided to hire a different lawyer to defend himself.
More rumors concerning Dr. Krah have continued to spread across the internet ever since. Message forums are filled with speculation, and websites and blogs have been set up in multiple languages to cover the latest events in what has come to be known as “Krahgate”. But interestingly, as I performed an internet search of the rumors in order to prepare this opening commentary, I realized that the rumors, while heavy on speculation and insinuation, are light on specifics, and even lighter on evidence. There is a lot of name-calling, but very little in the way of substantive accusations. One recent rumor, which seems to be based on a picture that has surfaced, is that Dr. Krah is a Zionist and might even be a secret Mossad agent. Although I did not follow the events of “Krahgate” very closely myself, I am aware that Dr. Krah’s reputation is less than revered among many SSPX faithful, and within certain circles ranks somewhere between that of Lucifer and Beelzebub.
With this brief background in mind, let us fast forward to The Angelus Press Conference, which was held at the Marriot Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, during the weekend of October 19th through the 21st – a conference that I happened to attend.
On the first evening of the event, while on my way to cocktail hour, I struck up a conversation with a man in the elevator. We continued our conversation as we made our way to the Pavilion, which was set up on the water behind the hotel, for the Conference attendees. The gentleman and I continued our discussion as we proceeded to the bar for a glass of wine. At some point, we realized that we had not formally introduced ourselves. It was then that I learned the identity of the man I was speaking with, and it was none other than Maximilian Krah himself! As he stated his now famous, or should we say infamous name, one could almost hear the screeching noise from the Psycho shower scene sounding in the background.
I spent the remainder of the evening, and indeed the entire weekend, getting to know Dr. Krah. We discussed the Faith, the situation in the Church, the current events within the Society, and even our personal opinions on the best way of dealing with the present crisis of Faith that we are living through. Of course, we also discussed the many rumors circulating on the internet about him. Needless to say, he was well aware of them. He was more than happy to discuss them, and even seemed somewhat relieved to be able to finally give his side of the story.
Dr Krah, was baptized Catholic as a baby and raised in the Faith, and his parents were married by his uncle, who was a Catholic Priest. Dr. Krah, who is now 35 years old, found his way to Tradition in his early to mid- 20’s; and, after a brief pass through the Indult, has been a regular attendee of a Society chapel ever since.
Over the weekend I got to know Dr. Krah fairly well. We ate together, spent the evenings socializing, and he rode with me to the Pontifical High Mass at St. Vincent’s Church, which was celebrated by Bishop Fellay. During the course of the weekend, as he would meet new people, I would observe their reaction as he told them his name, and then the conversation would usually turn to the rumors.
Seeing how interested people were to hear his side of the story, which, I must say, differs dramatically from the internet rumors, I asked if he would allow me to interview him. I then asked Michael Matt (also at the conference) if he would be interested in running the interview of Dr. Krah in The Remnant, and he said yes. I purchased a tape recorder from the local Wal-Mart, did a quick internet search to familiarize myself with the rumors and get the latest news, and we made our way to the hotel’s “Nebraska Room” for the interview. The following is a transcript of the interview.
Siscoe: First off Dr. Krah, I would like to thank you for agreeing to this interview. There is a lot of internet controversy surrounding you and your affiliation with the SSPX. Since some of the controversy deals with your faith and ethnicity, would you begin by telling us about your personal background?
Krah: Yes, of course, thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions. I am German by nationality. I was born and raised Catholic in the then-East Germany. My parents were married by my uncle who was a priest. East Germany had a Communist government until 1989, so we had the experience of living our Faith under an atheist regime. This may explain the reason for my positions on some points we will talk about later, because I know what it means to have an atheist government, an atheist state. I would not say that the East German government in the late 1980’s made a strong persecution of Christians but it was officially atheist. Sometimes I smile a little bit when I hear from other faithful that they feel persecuted by the government, because they have never experienced it. I think we should always see things in a very rational way, and we should not exaggerate our own feelings. This is why I am always an advocate of being moderate and very focused and detailed, even if we think things are worse. We should just be balanced. Later on in 1990, Germany was re-unificated, and it was the Catholics who came into charge because they were completely trustworthy since they were not linked to the Communist government. So my father, who was an engineer by training, became a senior servant of the state government and then my mother, who is a teacher by training, became a vice-principal of her school. I have 2 siblings. The oldest is my sister who is a dentist. My brother is a doctor. I later studied law in Germany and made my MBA in London and New York. I did some research and received a doctorate in law. My wife and I married with the Latin Mass on the High Altar, in Dresden Cathedral, shortly before we went to the SSPX. We have four children who we are raising Catholic, and we attend the chapel of the SSPX. There is absolutely nothing that should be considered suspicious to other people. We try to live a clean and successful life.
Siscoe: So you’re not Jewish? No Jewish background? You were baptized a Catholic as a child?
Krah: Of course, I am a Catholic. That’s it. About these accusations of being Jewish, I´d like to tell a story about when Charles Chaplin came to Germany in the early 1930’s. A lot of people from Berlin came to see him, and Hitler was jealous. The Nazi newspapers wrote an article criticizing and shaming so many Germans for applauding a Jew. When Chaplin came back to Hollywood, he was asked why he had not declared that he is not Jewish. His answer was: if I would have denied it officially, I would have felt as if I was agreeing that there was something bad about being Jewish. Given the mentality of the people at the time, he said it would have only contributed to the work of the Nazi’s, and this is why he didn’t say “I am not Jewish”. I had a quite similar reaction when I first read these accusations about myself. I sent an email to a US priest of the SSPX and asked him what I should do, and he advised me to keep silent because there is definitely nothing bad about being of the same people as Jesus and Mary. Moreover, in the early times of Christianity, the front rows in churches were reserved to the Christians with Jewish roots. That said, I do not think there is anything bad about people having Jewish roots. I simply do not have it.
Siscoe: Are you a Freemason?
Krah: No I am not a Freemason, and never have been.
Siscoe: How did you find tradition?
Krah: I think part of it has to do with my personal background. Remember, I came from a country that was only 5% Catholic. We were a minority. It was considered brave to go to Mass every Sunday, and it was clear that Catholics had to stick together in opposition to the Communist government. When the re-unification came, I very quickly joined the Young Christian Democrats, and the first action I took part in was in printing posters against a Communist radio channel. And I was very proud of being a part of this; I was fourteen at the time. We took part in this action, and then I came to Mass one Sunday, I noticed the chairman of the parish youth organization, who was the son of the pastoral assistant, and he was wearing a button in favor of this Communist channel. And he wore it on his Yasser Arafat scarf. This was at Mass. [Chuckle] When I saw this, I realized we live on different planets. And for me I always asked myself, “is it possible, that with the things they teach and they do in the local parish, we could have built up Christendom, with its major impressive cathedrals?” The answer was definitely “NO”!
During my military time I began to think about and to read more about my own faith. I eventually came across the website of the SSPX and I found the Catechism of Fr. Gaudron. I then sought out a traditional Mass in my area, and found there was one 120 kilometers away. It was an Indult but all the ministers were trained by the SSPX.
Siscoe: What year was this?
Krah: It was about 2003….
Siscoe: Okay, so after a brief pass through the Indult, you came to be affiliated with the Society. Can you tell us how that came about?
Krah: Even when I attended the Indult, I considered myself an SSPX man. I had found the SSPX homepage. I knew about Archbishop Lefebvre. It was a very short next step to contact the SSPX directly, and I met the then District Superior Fr. Heggenberger. At this time I was becoming more zealous in my faith, and because of my political activities and the status of my family, who was quite well linked to the diocese, I had considered trying to arrange a new Motu Proprio Chapel. Or, I could go the harder way and try to organize an SSPX Chapel. After a talk I had with Fr. Heggenberger, I decided doing it the hard way was the right way. It was clear that if you are interested in traditional Catholicism, the Latin Mass, etc. then there is one big player and it is the SSPX.
I have realized that not everyone who agrees with the SSPX attends the SSPX chapels. I attended the Indult primarily because it was closer to where I live. It wasn’t until later than I found out about the disagreements within the Traditional movement; between the different camps. I think the agreement between the various camps is very great; and the disagreements are… I think … there is a Latin phrase “viribus unitis”, we are all Catholics and we have to try to fight together, as far as possible. Of course, the SSPX is the anchor of the whole Traditional movement. And the intellectual influence goes far, even into the Novus Ordo… even within the Novus Ordo people look at what the SSPX is doing. They have them in their periphery. So for me it was clear, if I go this step out of the diocese, there is only one place.
Siscoe: Do you have a favorite saint or a patron saint?
Krah: Yes, I have… Maybe it is because I am thought of as quite an intellectual that I like the saints who are gifted intellectually; those who combine Faith and reason. I very much like St. Robert Bellarmine who is quite close to the ideal of a balanced intellectual, combined with a strong faith. What I am fascinated by is the historical meeting of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine. I guess there are some such handshakes in history which change the world. I consider this meeting of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine to be such an encounter. It might be a little too simplistic to say but they met and they opened a new perspective for religion, for the whole world. For me, this is a very impressive moment in history. I guess you get an idea of what types of Saints impress me. My 2nd son is named Pius because of Pius XII. I consider Pius XII in some ways comparable to St. Robert Bellarmine … there is a balance. I am very attracted to the intellectual side of the Faith. This is something I very much appreciate about my Catholic Faith.
Siscoe: Let’s discuss some of the internet rumors. Can you tell us about the company, Dello Sarto AG? What was your affiliation with that company, and the status of that company today?
Krah: Yes, the first thing to realize is that a corporation prevents liability. This is something that is widely known and is a common practice for the SSPX, especially in the US. Dello Sarto was established to receive a large inheritance, which was expected to come but never did. So now we have a completely empty corporation that we will shut down. The rumors were complete nonsense. But maybe what are important to address are the rumors concerning my power of attorney. They say I have too much power but lawyers always have a very wide power of attorney. He can only use it if the client accepts it, but formally there is always a wide power of attorney. This is absolutely business as usual, so all the rumors concerning Dello Sarto show that those who are spreading this campaign on the internet have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
Siscoe: And what was your affiliation with the company. You were on the board? …
Krah: With Dello Sarto, I handled the incorporation, and I was the representative… you could say my position would be similar to a COO [Chief Operations Officer].
Siscoe: So the company was set up in anticipation of receiving a large inheritance?…
Krah: Exactly, which didn’t come. The heritage didn’t come.
Siscoe: There is another company that is mentioned as well, Laetitia AG. Can you tell us about…
Krah: This company has nothing to do with the SSPX or Dello Sarto. It is just part of my own… it is part of my attorney work, my judicial work. I have more clients than the SSPX. This is a completely unrelated client.
Siscoe: Another company name that is mentioned is Jaidhofer Foundation. Can you discuss this company?
Krah: Yes, this is linked with the SSPX, and it is absolutely no secret. There is a family in Austria which wanted to donate to the SSPX, but did not want to donate directly. They wanted to establish a foundation that would support the SSPX. And in every foundation you need some trustees. It’s a kind of trust, and I am one of the trustees. I was chosen by the family who established the foundation, firstly because I am a Traditional Catholic attorney with links to the SSPX, and secondly because of my professional record. This foundation is supporting the SSPX and using the money which was donated by this family. As an example, it is supporting the new Seminary project in Virginia. It has nothing to do with individual donations people give to the SSPX. Everything we do is completely transparent. We are supervised both by the General House of the SSPX, and by the Austrian tax authority, because we are philanthropic, and that means we are tax free. We must always open our books to the public authorities. So we have two supervisors, so to say, and everything we do is completely transparent and clean.
Siscoe: So, the inheritance was received into the trust, to be distributed, and no other funds go into it…
Krah: …Except, if someone would like to do it. For example, if they were to request that money be placed into the foundation. And if someone did request that, the SSPX would have to agree. That means, the donor would have to agree, and the SSPX would have to agree. But we have had no case yet in which this has happened.
Siscoe: So Sunday donations don’t go into it…
Krah: …The Sunday donations are not our business, and I don’t want to make it our business. It is completely foreign to anything we are interested in.
Siscoe: Alright, moving on to another rumor, are you connected in any way with the Society’s School St. Theresa…
Krah: The German district started a foundation to support this boarding school in Germany, and I am on the board of the supporting foundation. But the only task we have is to collect money for the school, and that’s about it. It is important to mention that the school is now constructing a new building.
Siscoe: You say collecting funds…
Krah: …Only from the outside. Not the Sunday donations.
Siscoe: It is said that you are ‘a prominent political activist and officer in Dresden, Germany, and member of the ‘liberal, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, Christian Democratic Union, led by Angela Merkel’. How would you respond to this accusation?
Krah: [chuckle] Yes, of course. I even ran for office this past summer. I ran in the primary for the national parliament. And I was quite successful too, although I lost at the end, 45 to 55 [chuckle], but this was quite okay for a newcomer challenging an incumbent. But I disagree with the characterization. Like in every country, in Germany you have two big parties. In the US, you have the Democrats and the Republicans. In Germany, you have the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats. The CDU [Christian Democrats], you could say is the party of the Republicans, which is center right.
Siscoe: So, the party you ran under, they would be considered the right in Germany?
Krah: Yes, they would be considered the right. And indeed, during my law studies I was employed by the then-member of parliament, Christa Reichard, who, for instance, is very strongly pro-life. And she would be very angry if she heard a rumor that she is a member of a leftist party. To make it understandable, when the unification came, the Catholics, and even the conservative Protestants, and anti-communists, joined the Christian Democrats. And even now, all positions in the State of Saxony and in the City are held by Christian Democrats, so that the mayor of the city, and the governor and all local congressman on the State and national level, are from the Christian Democrats. It is just the ruling party, and it is the party of the center right people. And as a citizen of my city, since I am not a left-winger and have never been, it is clear that the Christian Democrat is my political home.
Siscoe: So, the Christian Democrats would be comparable to the Republicans in America?
Krah: Yes generally, but in Europe the political scene is a little more left wing than in America. The left-wing Democrats in America are comparable to the Social Democrats in Germany, while the right wing Democrats and the moderate Republicans in America are comparable to the Christian Democrats in Germany.
Siscoe: So everything is a little farther to the left. The left is farther to the left, and the right is closer to the center?
Krah: Yes, exactly. And it is especially where I live and in my group, in my suburb. It is comparable to, I would say, East Coast Republicans.
Siscoe: It is said that you were charged with the responsibility of finding an attorney for Bishop Williamson in his holocaust trial, and you chose Matthias Lossmann, a member of the extreme left wing Die Grünen party [Green Party], a radical leftist party that favors everything from abortion to homosexuality. Can you comment on this?
Krah: First, regarding the Williamson case. It is obvious to me that the statement he made concerning the Holocaust is historically wrong, and he is not open to arguments of historical facts. But, as a lawyer, it was clear to me that he did not violate the German law because, in the moment he made his statement, his wrong statement, he had no idea that the interview would be broadcasted in Germany. This is the whole reason why I believe he is not guilty of having violated the German law. I am not a criminal lawyer, so I had to find one for him. And in such a case I would always highly recommend to take a criminal lawyer, who was under no circumstances linked with, in any way, pro-Nazi movements. To explain, the neo-Nazi movement in Germany is extremely small. It is maybe 1% of the population. It is absolutely small, and you usually don’t want to be linked with those persons, because they are exactly the persons you don’t want your kids to play with. And so, to make his defense as successful as possible, I highly recommended him to choose an attorney which was more to the left side so that he can focus on the legal aspects, and was completely free of any political implications in his case. I explained it to him and I introduced Lossmann to him. Lossmann is a widely accepted criminal lawyer, who publishes in research journals on criminal law. He is not as left as the rumors have presented him, because even the Greens [the Green Party], has two wings. And he is definitely not from the left wing of the party. He is, I would say, comparable to an East Coast Liberal. That means he is definitely not a Communist or anything like that. He is just a liberal citizen, interested in the fine arts, and maybe in the fine wine. I introduced both to each other. I explained the reason why I think we needed a more liberal person, than I am myself, and most of my colleagues, with whom I usually cooperate. The Bishop absolutely was fine. Lossmann was doing a great job, and then Bishop Williamson decided, without any explanation, to choose a different attorney…
Siscoe: …So when you initially presented Bishop Williamson with your recommendation, and the reasoning for your recommendation, he agreed?
Krah: I explained everything and made it transparent. And he understood and agreed.
Siscoe: And then he at some point changed attorneys?
Krah: Yes, and he changed to a completely unacceptable person, and he got a warning from the General House [of the SSPX] and changed lawyers once again. Now he has chosen, once again, a completely un-political lawyer, who by the way is the president of the Association for Pop Music. He is doing a brilliant job, just as Lossmann did. They argue exactly the same way. They don’t argue in any way politically or historically. They say “look this is the law. This is what he has done. He had no idea at the time he gave the interview that it could be broadcasted in Germany, so the case will not have a successful prosecution”. And it is the same argumentation, and the same style of defending. It is a deduction to the legal problems, and does not involve bringing the historical and political matters into the court room. And this is the only chance he has. This is what Lossmann did, and this is what Edgar Weiler is now doing. And in the middle, he had, for I guess one week, another approach, and I’m sure this other approach would have led to a catastrophe.
Siscoe: Can you explain your involvement with the Society when “the Williamson affair” first broke? What was the Society facing in Germany, and what did you do to assist the SSPX in this matter?
Krah: The interview was broadcast at the same time that the Pope lifted the so-called excommunications against the Bishops of the SSPX, including Bishop Williamson. So the headlines in Germany were “Pope rehabilitates holocaust-denier”, and the SSPX became seen as a neo-Nazi-group in the masquerade of religion. The Chancellor herself expressed her misunderstanding about the Papal decision in favor of Bishop Williamson. The German District made plenty of public declarations, expressing that Bishop Williamson is in no way speaking for the SSPX and pointing out that the SSPX has absolutely no acceptance for anti-Semitism and such wrong ideas on history. But no one believed it, because no one trusted them. Many of the Faithful, and even some priests, began to get nervous, and demanded clear action against Bishop Williamson. Some even began attending the Fraternity of Saint Peter or Motu Proprio masses.
In this serious situation, I was asked if I could help quiet things down by using my network of associates, and especially my connection into the media. Like in all countries, only a few media outlets have national impact. The Church’s correspondent scene is very small, about 10 journalists for the whole of Germany. Most of them are aligned with the Novus Ordo, which means they are incurably hostile against the SSPX. One of the rare exceptions is Peter Wensierski of Der Spiegel – The Mirror – who is really independent, which also means he is equally distant, some say equally hostile, to everybody. But as he is equal toward everyone, he was honest enough to state that the SSPX might be ultra-conservative, old-fashioned, etc., but they are certainly not Nazis. He is tough, but he is fair. Whatever one thinks of the SSPX, they are not even close to fascism or the Nazis. And since Der Spiegel is the “must-read” of the whole German elite, within two weeks the other media accepted the distinction of: the position of the SSPX, and the opinion of the one bishop. It could be seen in the wording of the headlines: Whilst before there was written about “these holocaust-deniers”, then it was distinguished between the “conservative group SSPX” and “the Holocaust-denying Bishop Williamson”. We had just one shot, and it hit. Clearly a sign of grace. I sometimes wonder myself how we succeeded.
Siscoe: But this wasn´t the end of it.
Krah: No, it was just a step. But it brought us back on track. It gave us credibility. We then communicated that the Superior General has given Bishop Williamson one year to study the facts and ordered him to read a book on the issue, written by Jean-Claude Pressac, who himself had doubts about the existence of gas chambers in Auschwitz and later changed his mind after he started to look into the facts. This gave us a one year respite, and the media stopped it´s attacks, waiting for the year to pass by. Bishop Williamson did not read the book. So when the year was over, we had to explain it. We just chose to be honest and transparent. We showed the efforts taken by the SSPX, but we also conceded that there was no influence on the Bishop, who has started to go his own way, unfortunately. In the end, we were able to successfully communicate that the SSPX in no way shared these views of Bishop Williamson.
Siscoe: How were you able to influence the media?
Krah: By plenty of behind-the-scene talks. I went to many distinguished journalists and explained to them the SSPX, its mission, its history. Most of them were completely unaware. Look, for us all of these issues are very present; we live them, and are familiar with them. But for outsiders, the SSPX is something unknown; at least it was so in 2009. For a liberal journalist, who is not practicing religion at all, the idea of saying Mass in an ancient language like Latin is somehow curious. You have to explain it to him in a way he can understand. You have to convince, instead of judge. This is what I did and what I still do. And as I am far away from every kind of political extremism, and always have been, they considered me to be trustworthy, which allowed me to influence them in favor of the SSPX. This is something I would like to point out in general; we should always take in consideration the background and the thinking of our counterparts. Most people are not hostile. They are just uninformed. Instead of judging them, we should explain our views. In most cases we will see an acceptance, and in some cases, even support.
Siscoe: If you don’t mind my asking, what impact did “the Williamson affair” have on the current developments concerning Bishop Williamson?
Krah: I am not involved in these current events. As far as I know, the 2009 affair is unrelated to the current threat of expulsion. Look, the affair of 2009 was settled with the final article in “Der Spiegel” early in 2010. Since that time, the public has distinguished between the official position of the SSPX and the private opinion of Bishop Williamson. What has happened since then is that Bishop Williamson has openly undermined authority and hierarchy, which has caused division within the SSPX. This is an internal affair, for which my advice is neither required nor requested. This is the core business of the superiors. I am used to mediate between the SSPX and different sorts of secular players: judges, journalists, politicians, state officials, bankers. But I have no share in internal affairs. Here I am an ordinary faithful like all others. And I´m happy with that.
Siscoe: There is another rumor claiming that you were fundraising for Tel Aviv University. Can you fill us in on that?
Krah: Yes, of course. I have a lot of friends, including many who are not Catholic. And I have Jewish friends, which I appreciate very much. They are wonderful people, and there is absolutely no reason for me to hide them, or to take their friendship into question. So, with that said, I have no understanding for these accusations or insinuations. They are my friends, and they can trust me as I trust them. I was in New York one evening when I received a phone call asking if I had plans for the night, which I hadn’t. But my friend had one, and we went to a reception in a gallery in Chelsea, and there were plenty of people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, from different countries, and it was hosted by the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, and of course they took pictures [chuckle], and they posted them on the internet, and this gave those people reason enough to attack me without asking me what happened. It was just a nice evening, a gathering, in New York City. I´d attend it again, even if I knew about the rumors it caused.
Siscoe: To clarify, you are not a member of The American Friends of Tel Aviv University, and you did not organize this event?
Krah: No, to both questions.
Siscoe: There is another picture online as well that has caused some controversy. It shows you attending an IDF military camp recruitment event. Can you explain?
Krah: Yes, it was not a recruitment event. One of my friends got married in the Negev Desert, and he invited friends from all over the world, including my wife and me. He generously arranged a tour, which included both the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem and a visit into a military camp, so we could have a personal impression of what the Israeli army is doing. It was, you could say, a tourist tour, on the way from Jerusalem to the Negev Desert, and included a luncheon. We were able to visit them and talk to them, in order to get a personal impression of the military. And as far as I know, it is widely common for groups that visit the State of Israel to arrange these kinds of tours. I received an e-mail from a member of the city council in Dresden, who told me that he himself had taken part in similar events. So, for me it was an interesting invitation. And as I was a German soldier for one year after High School, I enjoyed the opportunity to see how things are done in the IDF.
Maybe a word about… it is common to read things on the internet about the State of Israel. Let’s bring it back to history. In the middle ages, Christianity made several Crusades to the Holy Land for one reason: to get the holy places open so we would have access to them for Pilgrimages. We have, currently, more Pilgrimages to the Holy Land than ever in the past. We had more in 2012 than in 2011, and more in 2011 than in 2010, and in 2010 we had more than ever since. That means, the holy places are open; they get protected. They are safe, and there is money invested. And the Catholic Church gets tax benefits by the Israeli government in that country. I don’t know anybody who believes that, if this country was under Islamic rule, we would have nearly as many Pilgrims there, and free access. And even the Pilgrim groups from the SSPX Germany, that go from Jerusalem and Nazareth to Bethlehem, always stay in a hotel on the other side of the wall – the Israeli side. If you just see facts and reality, than we have to say it is hard to attack those authorities that provide open access to those holy places. This is what I say: just calm down and judge by facts. We have to see the facts as they are, and we have to see that there are plenty of people living there. They have police, everything is organized, and they do not harm the Christians there. And there is also a rising group of so-called Hebrew Catholics, who are converted Israeli Citizens. We have none of those in the Islamic countries. I only can warn all those Christians who are so opposite, or hostile against the Israeli State, what would happen if that State would disappear. We would have a lot of problems with our holy places. And what would happen to the Christians in that country if we had a change on the political landscape? And so I have absolutely no problem to say that I have a positive attitude towards the state of Israel. The world is not perfect. It never has been. There are wars always. There is a state of imperfection. And if we see this, if we see the reality, we can say it could be much worse. And this should lead us to a more distinguished position towards the political situation in the Holy Land.
Siscoe: Another rumor is that the Society paid for your MBA program. Is there any truth to that?
Krah: Absolutely not! I paid on my own.
Krah: …I paid the fees on my own, the flights on my own and the hotel on my own. The problem that lawyers usually have is that they are too nationally trained. And especially in Europe, we see the world changing and a changing economic landscape, and only national training brings us very quickly to limits, and that is why I invested into further education, and spent my savings including some help from my parents for this MBA, and enjoyed it and benefited from it very much.
Siscoe: So the Society didn’t pay for any of your education.
Siscoe: Has it been difficult to deal with the rumors and accusations made against you?
Krah: It is never a pleasure to be the victim of a stalking campaign. But these attacks on me were used as an indirect attack against the Superior General and other Superiors like Fr. Rostand. In 2010, when the attacks against me began, the stalkers were still too scrupulous to attack Bishop Fellay directly. Since then, they have lost all inhibitions. And the more open they attacked the hierarchy itself, the less they focused on me – which reveals their true intention. When I see all the hate and malice against such a noble and decent prelate as Bishop Fellay, I can hardly think that those attacks against me are very serious. I try not to take myself as being too important, and so I don´t care too much about these attacks. Most people don´t take this nonsense seriously, and once people meet me and hear my side of the story they realize that the rumors are nonsense. This gives me an inner peace. And, not to forget: Faith helps, especially in such situations of unjust attacks. We shall not fear the evil, as we can be sure to win at the end.
Siscoe: Is there something you have learned thru these attacks?
Krah: I learned a lot about how people act, but also about myself. What seems to me worth mentioning is that the most serious attacks against the SSPX are coming from inside. The self-declared “truest Catholics” slander, slur, and defame in a way which is intolerable and beyond everything we see even in the secular world. Without any respect for dignity and sacrality… even the Superior General is the victim of odious attacks. The forces of darkness are no longer restricted to external weapons, but have found their instruments in some weak and unbalanced persons within. It seems to me that we are not yet fully aware of this new danger.
Siscoe: Is there anything else you would like to add before we conclude?
Krah: Yes, I´d like very much to advocate a more optimistic world view. If you read those internet sites that attack me, usually they expect the Armageddon within the next two years, if not sooner. Even if I expected the Armageddon tomorrow, I´d still plant my apple tree today. If we look at how things are happening, we can see that the Conciliar epoch will come to an end. The Conciliarists don’t have young people. Young priests today tend to classical Traditional Catholicism, and those young people who still go to Mass, are usually not the left wingers. It is just a matter of time before the Traditional liturgy and theology will get back its place. And the same for society; of course we have a lot of developments in the wrong direction, but we also have developments in the right direction. We have both at the same time, but 10 years ago, 20 years ago, things were only moving in the wrong direction. We did not have these newly conservative and Traditional movements. Today we have a new fresh conservative spirit and conservative thinking which is growing, which is becoming strong and stronger. And I just recommend to be optimistic, and to look for allies under those newly conservative movements; because together we are strong, and we can stop this left-wing chaos, and against it we might set a positive attitude and a positive development towards a rebirth of Western civilization and Christianity. So stay optimistic! What can happen to a movement that knows the Almighty is on its side? Doesn´t it shows a lack of trust in God to be always that pessimistic and depressed? And don’t believe in such rumors and stalking campaigns. There is no reason for it, and you can be sure that the Society would not trust me if just one of those accusations were even half true. Sure, I sometime err. But I am completely supervised.
Siscoe: Thank you very much for your time, and for answering these questions.
Krah: Thank you… and maybe… We both know what is likely to happen next. The Maximilian Krah stalking community will take every word I said in this interview and try to turn it in it´s opposite. Just to remember: I am not an English native speaker. English is a second language for me. But I think everyone who has a sense of fairness will be able to understand what I have tried to express. I am simply a Catholic husband and father who is trying live his Faith and to do the best he can.