You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘nazification of the German church’ tag.

Very few people were bothered by the fact that the Nazification of Church took place…

It would be misleading to give the impression that the persecution of Protestants and Catholics by the Nazi State tore the German people asunder or even greatly aroused the vast majority of them. It did not. A people who had so lightly given up their political and cultural and economic freedoms were not, except for a relatively few, going to die or even risk imprisonment to preserve freedom of worship. What really aroused the Germans in the Thirties were the glittering successes of Hitler in providing jobs, creating prosperity, restoring Germany’s military might, and moving from one triumph to another in his foreign policy (William L ShirerThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich1960 ed., 331-332).

 

I am currently reading William L Shirer’s classic book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960 ed.). Adolf Hitler and the Nazis put incredible pressure on Protestant pastors to submit to the Nazi ideology…

In the spring of 1938 Bishop Marahrens took the final step of ordering all pastors to in his diocese to swear a personal oath of allegiance to the Fuehrer. In a short time the vast majority of Protestant clergymen took the oath, thus binding themselves legally and morally to obey the commands of the dictator (331).

Of course, there were a few like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who were appalled at those who caved in to Hitler.

I have been a pastor for 30 years! I pray that I will always to be true to Jesus!

Hundreds of Christians resisted the Nazification of the Church in Germany…

“Some 807…pastors and leading laymen were arrested of the ‘Confessional Church’ were arrested in 1937, and hundreds more in the next couple of years. If the resistance of the (Martin) Niemoeller wing of the church was not completely broken, it was certainly bent. As for the majority of the Protestant pastors, they like almost everyone else in Germany, submitted in the face of Nazi terror.”  

(William L ShirerThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 1960 ed., 331).

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