Britain Essay

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Nazi control of Germany, 1933–1939 How did the Nazis deal with the Churches? The Nazis saw the church as a threat. They wanted total power over the people, and the church was a potential challenge to them being in complete control. People who believed in God might well put their faith before the Nazi Party. The ideas of the Nazis and the Church were also the complete opposite. In 1933 nearly all Germans were Christians. Approximately one-third were Roman Catholics and two-thirds were Protestant. This made the church bigger than any Nazi organisation. To some extent the Nazis needed the support of the church and those who went to church. Therefore it made sense for the Nazis to try and work with the church in Germany. They should try and use it and this is what they did to start with. Early relationship with the Catholic Church The relationship between the Churches and the Nazis was complicated. In the early stages of the Nazis coming to power, there was some cooperation between the Nazis and the Churches. Hitler signed a Concordat (an agreement) with the Catholic Church in 1933. This meant that Hitler agreed to leave the Catholic Church alone and allowed it to keep control of its schools. In return, the Pope agreed to stay out of politics. Early relationship with the Protestant Church Hitler tried to get all of the Protestant Churches to come together in one official Nazi Reich Church. The Reich Church was headed by the Protestant Bishop Muller. However, many Germans still felt that their true loyalties lay with their original Churches in their local areas rather than with this state-approved Church. Hitler even encouraged an alternative religion to the Churches, the pagan German Faith Movement, but this group never became that important. Replacing God was Hitler, replacing the Bible was Mein Kampf, replacing the cross was the swastika and

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