Protestant churches of the Third Reich

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
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witness
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Protestant churches of the Third Reich

Post by witness » 22 Sep 2002 22:21

There was an agreement between Catholic church and the Nazi goverment in 1933.Nazis were bound by this agreement (Concordat) not to interfere with the Catholic affairs and the Catholics in their turn not to speak out critizising persecutions of Jews.
Were there any other similar agreements between Nazis and other
Cristian denominations ?
What was the position of the Protestant churches ?
I know that there was ''Deutshce Christian''( German Christian) church,
which was in favour of the persecutions.What was their religious doctrine about ? What is the position of this church now ?How much influence does the church have ?

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 23 Sep 2002 02:30

Here is some information from "The Nazi Germany Sourcebook".

The Church Struggle

The Protestant Evangelical Church, the dominant church in Prussia, lacked the unity of the Catholic Church, as each German state had its own church organisation. The Nazis sought to gain control of the Evangelical Church by putting it under a unified Church government. They seemed to have succeeded in this goal when Ludwig Mueller (1883-1945), Hitler's plenipotentiary for Evangelical Church affairs, was elected reich Bishop by a national synod in July 1933. He was strongly supported by the nationalist faction in the Evangelical Church, the "German Christians", who sought to create a specifically German national religion. Mueller's rule was short-lived, however, as a majority of Evangelical clergy rallied to the so-called Confessing Church, a movement to defend the integrity of traditional Lutheran doctrine and to oppose the intervention of the state. Under the leadership of Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984), who was imprisoned in 1937 and throughout the war, and Otto Dibelius (1880-1967), Bishop of Berlin-Brandenburg after the war, the Confessing Church issued a declaration in May 1934 rejecting the doctrines of the "German Christians" and denouncing state control. The famous Barmen Declaration......was not intended as a political protest, however. The Confessing Church was a religious movement to uphold traditional Lutheran doctrine, not a political movement of resistance to the Nazi state. The "Church Struggle" was primarily an internal contest between nationalists, who rejected the Old Testament and sought to introduce the "Aryan Paragraph" into the Church, and traditionalists, who wished to preserve the separation of religion and politics. While the Confessing Church succeeded in warding off the challenge of the "German Christians", the vast majority of its membership remainded loyal to the Nazi regime.

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witness
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Post by witness » 23 Sep 2002 02:39

Thank you Michael.
So the German Chuch was supposed to be based on the racial basis..
Do you know what happened with this church after the war ?

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 23 Sep 2002 03:37

The "German Christians" were not a church, but a faction within the Evangelical Church. They did propose to introduce racial doctrine into the teaching of the Evangelical Church, but were not successful, since the faction known as the Confessing Church retained control.

I guess that after the war the "German Christians" simply dissolved as a faction. Perhaps some of them fell victim to denazification.

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witness
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Post by witness » 23 Sep 2002 04:00

I guess some of them joined the Confessing Church after all.
Strange that Hitler was not able to overpower the traditional Protestants then.Maybe he was not too interested.. He was a Catholic .

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Post by Karl da Kraut » 23 Sep 2002 11:17

The official name of the "German Christians" was Church movement German Christians (Kirchenbewegung Deutsche Christen)

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Re:

Post by Cantankerous » 11 Feb 2021 20:54

witness wrote:
23 Sep 2002 04:00
I guess some of them joined the Confessing Church after all.
Strange that Hitler was not able to overpower the traditional Protestants then.Maybe he was not too interested.. He was a Catholic .
It seems quite an irony that Hitler was baptized in a Catholic Church, yet his "Positive Christianity" doctrine called for eliminating Catholicism, and uniting Protestant Christianity into a single unitary positive Christian church just for the sake of reinforcing German nationalism. Is it possible that Hitler went after Protestant charities that had intimate relations with Jews or were dedicated to helping the rural poor, because he saw progressive Protestants as pro-Communist and pro-Jewish? If so, then he probably encouraged Protestant churches to foster strong bonds with KKK members who called Catholicism a threat to the fabric of US society.

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