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Did the Nazis succeed in controlling the churches?

Callum Carr NJW The churches were a key problem facing the Nazis during their reign, with views to destroy or use the churches for the Nazis own ends. Regardless, however, one of their key aims was, either way, to control the churches. The Nazis initially struggled to control the churches because they themselves were divided on the issue. Many thought that they should destroy the churches, as 2/3 of Germans were Protestants, a bigger organisation than the Nazis. Moreover, the Church had clear rules on behaviour and attitudes, which could conflict with Nazi ideals. On the other hand, the Nazis needed the Church for several reasons. Firstly, many Protestants had voted for Hitler and the Nazis, and Protestant pastors were popular and successful Nazi election speakers. Furthermore, they also supported Nazi policies, such as family life, while also being a local power base for the Nazis, which could be built upon. Hitler himself was contradictory, saying in 1933, Neither Catholic nor Protestant has any future left, yet, in 1933, Hitler used Christian vocabulary. He talked about the blessing of the Almighty. These conflicting views show how the Nazis were divided on the issue of the church The Nazis used several methods to control the churches. One of these was the Concordat with the Catholic Church. Hitler promised that the Catholics could continue with their religious work, and that Catholic schools and work would be left alone, while the Vatican would stay out of politics. This was extremely useful for Hitler, as it went the Catholic Church could not harm him, and also helped repair the strained relations between church and state in the 1870s. Expanding on that, the Catholic Church is to protect the freedom to worship, and, due to the Concordat, they could not stop the Nazis as they took away the freedom to worship. The Concordat was extremely successful for the Nazis, as it was not until 1937 that the Pope Pius XI his "Mit brennender Sorge" statement ("With burning anxiety") over what was going on in Germany. In addition, there was never a complete condemnation of Hitler by the Catholic Church, clearly displaying how effective the Concordat was in controlling the Catholic Church. The Nazis dealt with the Protestants by uniting the Protestant churches into German Christians, under the pro-Nazi bishop, Ludwig Mller, who believed that any member of the church who had Jewish ancestry should be sacked. The appointment of Mller shows how the Nazis used their pawns to convey their own racist views, and how effectively they could control the churches. This was further exacerbated by the creation of the Reich Church in 1936, which was thoroughly under the control of the Nazis. For example, the swastika replaced the Christian cross as its symbol, while the Bible was replaced by Mein Kampf, and only Nazis were allowed to give sermons at a Reich Church. These changes allowed the Nazis to utterly control the Protestant Church, while also quashing any dissent. Overall I feel the Nazis were extremely useful in controlling the churches for their own ends. They managed to marginalise the Catholic Church due to the Concordat without interference, while using the Reich Church to present their own views to a large amount of the German population showing, without doubt, that they controlled the churches.