Nazi Religious Policies and Attitudes to the Churches - Germany

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  • Nazi Religious Policies and Attitudes to the Churches
    • Christianity and Nazism
      • Christianity's teaching of love and peace contradicted the Nazi's of war and violence
      • Jesus was Jewish - contradicting the Aryan superiority beliefs. Most Germans were Christian so were unlikely to support Hitler
    • The Protestant Church
      • Coordination with the Church
        • Hitler wanted to make a united Reich Church, but this was opposed by the Protestants
        • Otto Muller was appointed Reich Bishop. He was a fanatical Nazi
      • Opposition with the Protestant Church
        • 1934 - two Protestant Bishops were arrested for opposing the Reich Church
        • Pastors set up the Confessional Church, which was separate from the state. Pastor Niemoller led it and had the support of 7,000/17,000 pastors
    • The Catholic Church
      • The Catholic Church signed the Concordat in 1933, which guaranteed religious freedom as the Church could run itself and appoint clergy
      • The Nazis agreed not to interfere with the legal property rights of the Church; they Church agreed to keep out of politics
      • The Nazis later tried to coordinate the Catholic Youth
    • The German Faith Movement
      • The Nazis established a Teutonic Paganism as an alternative to Christianity
      • TP upheld a racial belief based on blood and soil
      • Introduced pagan ceremonies, replacing them with Christian ones
      • Rejected Christian ethics
      • Upheld Hitler's Cult of Personality
    • Church and State relations
      • By 1935 Nazis had failed to coordinate Churches and there was growing opposition. Persecution was risky because many Germans were Christian
      • The Ministry of Church Affairs adopted policies to undermine the Church. Some campaigns harassed bishops and in some areas Church schools were removed and religious symbols banned

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