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Did The Nazis Succeed In Controlling The Churches In Nazi Germany?

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Introduction

Katherine Horwood 11C Did The Nazis Succeed In Controlling The Churches In Nazi Germany? Should the Nazis destroy the Churches? There are two sides to this argument: the Nazis could either destroy the churches or they could decide to use them. The reason the Nazis would want to abolish them is because they saw the churches as a threat as they stood in the way of them taking over German life. The Protestant Church had more members than any other organization in Germany; this is including the Nazi Party. Also, religious beliefs were powerful ones and so people who believed in God might be less likely to worship Hitler as the leader of Germany. On the other hand though, the Nazis needed the churches as many Church members voted for Hitler, Protestants in particular. Protestant church pastors were among the most successful and popular Nazi election speakers. In addition to that, some Nazis argued to use the churches because they had the same view on several issues, such as the importance of family life. ...read more.

Middle

The Faith Movement. The German Faith Movement was 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. Did the Churches oppose the Nazis? Many Christians did side with the Nazis; however a small minority chose to not do so. One man was Paul Schneider, a pastor in a small town; he criticised the Nazis and in 1934 he was arrested and warned not to make speeches hostile to the Nazis. He ignored this warning. In 1937 he was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp where he smuggled out letters warning that the Church must not compromise with the Nazis. Schneider refused to take his cap off when the Nazi swastika flag was raised and so he was stretched on a rack and whipped. Despite being put through unimaginable pain, he still refused sign a promise not to preach. Schneider was kept in the concentration camp for 2 years and was very consistent with being loyal to the Church. ...read more.

Conclusion

uniforms, and not many people opposed this idea. The Catholic Churches also made an understanding with Hitler which showed they were willing to join together and accept each other?s teachings and promote the same things, as they had pretty much done anyway. However, some people still did oppose the Nazis and were reluctant to let them control the churches; if not, their own minds. A small minority chose not to side with the Nazis and they did this through refusing to agree to things Nazis told them to do; they were very determined to not give in- Paul Schneider is a great example of this determination and courage. To sum up, the Nazis did manage to take control of some churches and come together with organisations which were seen as threats too i.e. the Catholic Church. Conversely, the Nazis failed to win over everyone and make them all worship Hitler as the leader of Germany. A small amount of people still stood against the Nazi Party though and it was very hard for the Nazis to make them change their mind. So in conclusion, no- the Nazis failed to control all the churches in Germany. ...read more.

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