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Melanie McClure

Professor Long
Christians Response to Nazism
19 January 2016

Protestant and Catholic Church Influence on Nazi regime


I believe if the protestant and Catholic churches took a strong opposition against the Nazi
regime, a lot of lives couldve been saved. Both churches were very weak as a unit, they had a
couple of people in the church that boldly spoke out, but all in all they only opposed what was
directly affecting them. A lot of these people saw the hope for the renewal of Germany that the
Nazi party promised, therefore they had rose colored glasses on. This partly blinded them to the
evilness the Nazis were going to partake in. They were also persuaded by the Nazi party
statement on Positive Christianity with the goal of mixing Nazi ideologies with elements of
Christianity. The German people were tricked and ignorant to what the National Socialist Party
was doing, and the amount of control they had over everything.
Hitler youth couldve been a lot weaker if their parents realized what the Nazis were
brainwashing their kids to believe. There needed to be a strong leader in either one of the
churches with a lot of supporters that spoke the truth of what was going on. They needed this and
a lot of back up from the church, that wouldve stopped parents from sending their children to
Hitler youth. The Christians and Protestants needed someone to look up to and sadly Hitler was
their guy, however if the church wouldve strongly opposed the anti-sematic laws and these false
racial ideologies from the beginning, Hitler and the Nazi support wouldve dropped
tremendously.

Had both churches not fallen for the false propaganda of the Nazi party, the holocaust
probably wouldve never happened. The Nazi propaganda was very persuasive and what they
were offering was hard to compete with, however something that wouldve competed with it was
religion. Religion teaches people their morals and shapes how they act and behave. In
Christianity a Christians goal is to spread Christianity through all nations, not just one. Which
the Nazis tried to argue against saying the Aryan German people are superior and others dont
deserve Christianity. The Church has a lot of influence in peoples lives, and if they had taken a
strong approach against the Nazi regime people wouldnt have bought into it. Had they said from
the beginning that its completely wrong to take out the Old Testament and all of the Jewish
influence, people wouldve seen that the Nazi party was trying to change Christianity to fit with
their political agenda. So more people should have spoken out about the Nazi party using
religion for their benefit and not what the Bible commands us to do, and how our loyalty is to
god, not Hitler or any worldly leader. Hitler and the Nazis would not have had nearly as much
support. The church shouldve reminded them who their loyalty belongs to.
After the depression Germany was in after WW1 and the treaty of Versailles being signed
the German people were in a very vulnerable place. The church was worried about themselves
and nationalism was built in to the Protestant Churches, making them easy to exploit. The
German Evangelical Church was mostly all for the Nazis and they had deep pride and loyalty to
the state, now there was an opposition to them the Confessing Church. They werent really
concerned about the injustices against the Jews they cared more about having the true church of
Christ in Germany. Had the confessing church fought against the anti-sematic laws right from the
beginning the Nazis wouldnt have been able to oppress the Jews as much. The Confessing
Church should have also tried to stop the persecution of Jehovahs witnesses, since they have a

lot of the same beliefs and morals. Not protecting the people who have a lot of the same beliefs
as your own only made it more hopeless that they would protect the Jews. The church has now
indirectly helped create this illusion that the Jews are different. It also prompted the Germans to
not seeing the Jews as equals and people. Which backs up the point that the church shouldve
fought the persecution of Jehovahs Witness, so the Germans stopped seeing themselves as
superior and different.
The Euthanasia program exterminated all people who were deemed unfit for society and
unworthy of living, those who were mentally ill or in any way disabled/handicapped. This
cruelty shouldve deeply outraged the church, and once two pastors made what was happening
public, these did get shut down. There shouldve been more motivation from the church to stop
the murdering that the Nazi party was doing. The church shouldve been able to motivate their
followers to be outraged against the Nazis since they were breaking a major commandment of
not murdering. The churches shouldve inspired an uproar against the Nazi Regime and if the
numbers were high enough they couldve stopped the Nazis.
Politically, from the beginning there was a lot of compromise between the churches and
the Nazi Party. Both the protestant and even more so the catholic church was hesitant with this
new national socialist party, but they didnt fight them. The church shouldnt have gone along
with the racial laws that were put in place. There was silence through out the churches leadership
and thats where they went really wrong. The leaders of the church needed to come together and
make an organized outright opposition to the Nazi party.