Explain why the Nazi government made a concordat with the Catholic Church in July 1933. (12 Marks)
In July 1933, just six months after Hitler was appointed Chancellor, the Catholic Church signed the Concordat with Hitler. The Nazi government made this concordant for 3 main reasons. The first reason was so that the Catholic Church agreed not to oppose the political and social aims of the Nazi Party, the second was so that the Nazi’s could gain more political power in Germany and internationally and finally so that the Church could not influence their beliefs on the German people.
Firstly, the Pope Pius XI hoped that the Concordat would allow the Catholic Church in Germany to operate free from any interference. This therefore meant that the church had to conform to the Nazis in order to protect and restrict the Nazification of Catholicism in Germany. However as Hitler had just became Chancellor it meant he had to power to control certain aspects, which the Church once controlled. For example schools and youth organisations. Catholic schools were not subjected to the level of propaganda that state schools were, therefore Nazis believed that this would lead people to oppose them. Consequently, schools were taken out of control of the church, despite the pope’s protests to Hitler. As the church had signed the concordat there was nothing they could do and their influence began to diminish. This links to my next point as the church’s influence weakened the political power for the Nazis increased.