‘Nazi attempts to control the German Churches had limited success in the years 1933 to 1945.’ Explain why you agree or disagree with this view. (24 marks)
During the years 1933 to 1945 Hitler tended to avoid direct attacks on the Churches. Moreover number 24 of his 25-point plan spoke in favour of 'positive Christianity’, which was closely linked to racial and national views. However there can be little doubt that Nazism was based on fundamentally anti-Christian philosophy. Despite this the Church was willing to neither condone nor condemn Hitler so long as he did not interfere with religious policy. Therefore the Nazi’s were able to control the churches with a certain amount of success.
Firstly, I disagree that the Nazis had limited success as many clergymen welcomed Nazism and found much common ground on issues such as race, politics, women’s rights and homosexuality, pro-family, anti-abortion and anti-contraception. This therefore meant that the clergymen could influence the views of the people in the clergy therefore controlling the people of the German Churches. To add to this, Hitler avoided conflict by speaking highly and promoting the church earlier in his reign. In his very first speech as Chancellor, Hitler paid tribute to the Catholic Church as being integral to the well being of the nation. Often, members of the SA were even encouraged to attend services of the Catholic churches but also Protestant. This therefore pleased that Churches thus meaning they did not advise to go against the Nazis.