History: Why Didn't the Nazis Destroy the Churches?

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Why would the Nazis want to destroy churches?
Because they saw them as a threat. They wanted total control of German life and churches stood in the way of this.
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What four reasons did the Nazis have for destroying churches?
Church meetings could be used to spread anti-nazi ideas, people were less likely to worship Hitler because of God, the church were clear on their beliefs which may conflict with the Nazis and the protestant church was the largest organisation.
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What four reasons did the Nazis have for using the church?
Many Church members had voted for Hitler, Protestant church pastors were among the most popular and successful Nazi speakers, they had common ground on several issues and the church was a powerful base for the Nazis
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What was the faith movement? Explain.
The Nazis' alternative to Christianity. It involved pagan-style worship of nature centred on the sun. The movement's flag was a golden sun on a blue background, often with a Nazi swastika attached.
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When Hitler came to power in 1933, why didn't he chose to provoke a conflict with the churches?
Because he wasn't sure he could win. In a speech he said that Christianity was 'the unshakeable foundation of the moral life of our people'
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Talk about the Concordat that was signed between the Catholic Church and Hitler in June 1993. What was promised?
Hitler promised that catholics could carry on their religious work, and catholic schools and youth groups would be left alone.
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What did Hitler do to the Protestant churches?
United them together under a pro-nazi Reich Bishop, Müller.
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Talk about the German Christians.
They adopted Nazi-style uniforms, salutes and marches. Their slogan was 'The swastika on our breasts and the cross in our hearts'
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Talk about Martin Niemöller.
During the 1930's he became the Nazis' most prominent critic among Church leaders. He disliked the German Christians and the Nazis. With other Protestant ministers he formed alternative 'Confessional Church'. Niemöller was put in2 concentration camps
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Who did Paul Schneider critisize?
The Nazis - especially josef goebbels
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What happened to Paul Schneider in 1934?
He was arrested and warned not to make speeches hostile to the Nazis - he ignored this warning.
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What happened to Paul Schneider in 1937?
He was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp
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What did Paul Schneider whilst in the concentration camp?
He smuggled out letters saying the church mustn't compromise with the Nazis, he was stretched on a rack, whipped, tortured, strung up by the arms .
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Talk about the Jehovah Witnesses.
They believed they should live according to their religious beliefs and not by what the government said they should do. Most Jehovah's Witnesses ended up in concentration camps and one-third of them died.
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Talk about Josef Fath.
In many rural areas the local priests clashed with Nazi schoolteachers and leaders of the Hitler youth movements who were tryinf to lure young people away from Catholic beliefs. The village of Leidersbach was looked after by Josef Fath.
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Talk about what Cardinal Galen say about the Nazis between 1934 and 1941.
He publicly attacked the Nazi policies and in 1941 he revealed that the Nazis were secretly killing mentally and physically handicapped people. Galen led a campaign which made Hitler call a halt to this euthanasia programme.
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Why didn't the Nazis take any action towards Galen? What happened instead?
They didn't want to make him into a martyr but they executed three other Catholic priests for distributing copies of Galen's sermons to soldiers.
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Talk about the Nazi attempt to control the churches in 1935
Hitler set up a new Department for Church affairs to control the churches. The Gestapo arrested 700 Protestant ministers who were opposed to the Nazis
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Talk about the Nazi attempt to control the churches in 1936
They ran campaigns pressuring children not to attend Church schools/youth movements. 100s of Catholic priests and nuns who opposed the Nazis were taken to court and charged with offences ranging from illegal currency dealings to homosexuality
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Talk about the Nazi attempt to control the churches in 1937
Christmas carols and nativity plays were banned from schools
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Talk about the Nazi attempt to control the churches in 1938
Priests were stopped from teaching religious classes in schools
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Talk about the Nazi attempt to control the churches in 1939
All remaining Church schools were abolished
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Why did the Nazis feel they could start taking control of the churches in 1935?
Because they felt more secure in their overall control of Germany.
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Talk about the period (1935-1939) where the Nazis tried to control churches.
It was chaotic. The Nazis improvised, changed their minds, and bowed to public pressure.
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What did some local Nazi leaders send their SA men to do to church leaders?
He sent them to beat up and murder priests.
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What did some local Nazi leaders and their SA men do?
Went to church every Sunday and sang in choir.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What four reasons did the Nazis have for destroying churches?

Back

Church meetings could be used to spread anti-nazi ideas, people were less likely to worship Hitler because of God, the church were clear on their beliefs which may conflict with the Nazis and the protestant church was the largest organisation.

Card 3

Front

What four reasons did the Nazis have for using the church?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What was the faith movement? Explain.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

When Hitler came to power in 1933, why didn't he chose to provoke a conflict with the churches?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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