History

Study Notes

Religious Opposition

Level:
GCSE
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Religion was tightly controlled in Germany. The Nazis had made agreements with the Catholic Church to stop interfering and set up the National Reich Church to ensure that protestantism had a Nazi message. However despite this there were pockets of opposition among them.

The first was the Pastors’ Emergency League. This was set up in 1933, early in the Nazi regime by leading Protestant pastors at the time. The League argued against the creation of a National Reich Church and attempted to stop smaller churches signing up to the Reich Church. They also fought to keep the Old Testament being used in Church services as the Nazis saw it as a link to Judaism.

To put a stop to the Nazi efforts, the League set up the Confessing Church as a rival to the National Reich Church. In all it had 6000 pastors involved in it. In services they would speak out against the Nazis, but this was a risky business. It resulted in arrest of around 800 pastors who were then sent to concentration camps.

Despite an agreement with the Catholic Church that their independence would not be touched, Catholic priests did speak out against the Nazi ideas. Catholic priests were imprisoned in concentration camps.

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