As soon as Hitler came to power in 1933 he realised how big religion was in Germany. For example, 1/3 of Germany’s population were Catholic and 2/3rds of Germany’s population was Protestant. Hitler tried to replace these religion with his own religions but to do this he knew that he would first have to eliminate the other religions. This essay will analyse the ways in which Hitler aimed to do this.
The first action that Hitler took was only six months after her became Chancellor in July 1933. This was when he signed a concordat with Pope Pius XI which meant Hitler promised that he would leave catholic schools and the Catholic Church alone and in ...view middle of the document...
From this point onwards Hitler continued to try and get rid of the Catholic religion. In 1937, Hitler banned the Catholic Youth League, insisting that the only group a child should attend was the Hitler Youth Organisation. In the same year, Hitler also began to confiscate Catholic Church funds and accuse priests and monks of sexual malpractices. By doing this Hitler tried to turn the Catholic congregation against the Church and towards his organisations. Some people tried to stand up towards Hitler. One example of this was in 1937 when Pope Pius XI wrote ‘With burning anxiety’. This expressed his concerns about the attacks on the Catholic faith in Germany. It spoke about persecution of the Catholic Church from the Nazis but advised other priests not to stand up to Hitler because they would most likely be killed. However, this did not stop every priest or monk standing up to Hitler. As a result, by 1939, 400 Catholic priests and monks had been sent to the Dachau concentration camp.
It was not only the Catholic faith that Hitler saw as a threat but the Protestant faith as well. In 1934, a number of Protestant pastors broke away from Hitler’s Reich Church and set up the Confessional Church which was led by Martin Nimoller. Despite Hitler’s efforts, 6,000 protestant pastors joined.
In spite of Hitler’s actions he failed to reduce the amount of religion in Germany. Despite the fact that most people did not speak openly about religion they continued to attend catholic and Protestant Churches.