Nazi and Church Ideology
Nazi Ideology – based on strength, violence and war.
Church Ideology – based on love, respect and forgiveness.
Basically when the Church joined the Nazi Regime their ideology of what life should be like was contradicted by what the Nazi ideology was based on.
“One was either a Christian or a German” – Adolf Hitler
- Children went to Hitler Youth rather than church
- Teachers become pressured to find children and send them to Hitler Youth
- Catholic newspapers were forbidden to describe themselves as Catholic.
- “No longer be a Catholic press, but only a German Press”
Basically saying that it was not just The Catholic Church but also the German Church. The German Church extended on the Nazi Church. Catholics also became German.
To Begin With...
- Hitler didn’t want to take on the churches
- There were some common ground between the Nazis and The Church
- Both hated the Weimar Republic and the Treaty of Versailles.
- Both shared and amount of Anti-Semitism
- Fear of Communism
- Hitler publicly supported churches.
- The SA was actively encouraged to attend Church services
- Day of Potsdam (21st March 1933) – using churches for Nazi Ceremonies.
- Churches co-operated with Nazis to try and keep their importance.
Concordat of June 1933
- The church agreed to not upset the Nazis.
- Nazis promised to not reduce the influence of the Catholic Church.
- 44 catholic priests were harassed and arrested.
- Catholic schools were interfered with and organisations were undermined.
The Protestant Church
- 1933 – German Christians (Nazi supporters) gained control of the church.
- Germany’s first Bishop – Ludwig Mueller.
- Resistance grew 1933 – 1932
- 35 departments of states for the church were set up and headed by the Reich Minister Kerrl.
The Catholic Church
- Despite Concordat, the Nazis began to persecute the Catholics.
- Hitler Youth were encouraged to ignore priest
- Hitler Youth membership compulsory undermining Catholic Youth Groups.
- Monasteries and Convents were persecuted.
- By 1933, the Nazis had established complete control over the Churches.
- Many Clergy were disgraced and arrested.
- Religious School abolished.
- Many people especially in the countryside remained loyal to the church.