Church Opposition

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  • Church opposition
    • Pastor Martin Niemoller
      • One of the main church opponents of Hitler, but didn't always oppose the Nazis
      • Pro-Nazi
        • Niemoller voted for them in the 1924 & 1933 elections - felt the W.Republic needed a strong leader
        • Didn't oppose Nazi restrictions on Jews
        • Wanted to be let out of prison to fight on the side of the Nazis in WW2
      • Against Nazis
        • Opposed Nazi restrictions on Jews becoming Christians
        • Set up the Confessional Church in 1934
        • Didn't like Nazi interference in the Protestant Church
      • Very against Nazis
        • Sent to concentration camp in 1938 - until 1945
        • Niemoller was arrested  many times for speaking out against the Nazis and Hitler between 1934 and 1937
    • How pastors and priests opposed the Nazis
      • About 800 pastors were arrested and sent to concentration camps
      • 400 Catholic priests spoke out and were arrested and imprisoned in the Priest's Block at Dachau concentration camp
      • 6000 Protestant pastors joined Niemoller's Confessional Church as a protest against Nazi policy
        • Only 2000 remained in the German Christian Church
    • How much opposition was there
      • Opposition to the Nazis by church leaders was difficult because it was so dangerous to speak out openly
        • Attendance at Christian churches remained high throughout the period, in spite of the Nazis' attempt to curtail the Churches


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