Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion


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In response to the growing power of the German Christians, another Protestant faction was formed called the Confessing Church. For instance, the Confessing Church considered that anyone baptized in the faith was a Christian, regardless of his or her racial descent. Despite their opposition to the German Christian movement, the Confessing Church did not object to most elements of Nazism, and some people within the movement were Nazi Party members.

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The disagreement between the two groups was focused on how much influence the Nazi government should have over how they practiced their faith. One member of the Confessing Church, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, did resist the actions of the Nazis more broadly.


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In April , he professed sympathy for Jewish victims of Nazism and argued that National Socialism and Christianity were incompatible. He later became an important symbol of resistance to Nazi Germany and was executed for his role in a plot to assassinate Hitler in In general, Protestants in Germany found a way to be both believers in Christianity and supporters of Nazism.

Initially, some leaders of this small religious group which numbered about 20, in Germany in the s tried to make peace with the Reich. The Nazis destroyed their national headquarters, outlawed their church, and sent many thousands to concentration camps or prisons, where more than 1, were killed. University of North Carolina Press, , 4. A Documentary History , ed.

University of North Carolina Press, , What does this suggest about the complexity of the groups that resisted the Nazis?

A Review of Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion

He became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler. In he was arrested and eventually confined in Sachsenhausen and Dachau. He was released in by the Allies. He continued his career in Germany as a clergyman and as a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people after World War II.

A Review of Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion

His statement, sometimes presented as a poem, is well-known, frequently quoted, and is a popular model for describing the dangers of political apathy. The statement was published in a book by Milton Mayer , They Thought They Were Free , based on interviews he had conducted in Germany several years earlier.

The quotation was circulated by civil rights activists and educators in the United States in the late s. Nonetheless, the wording remains controversial, both in terms of its provenance, and the substance and order of the groups that are mentioned in its many versions.

The story of Pastor Martin Niemöller

The Holocaust Museum website has a discussion of the history of the quotation. A version of the poem is on display at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. University of California at Santa Barbara. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 25 July Archived from the original on 23 July This is a different and older article which contains more complete photographs than the new version.

Catholic schools and youth organisations were supressed, with German children being educated in state schools and taught a Nazi curriculum, as well as being expected to join the various branches of the Hitler Youth.

Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion

Catholic newspapers were banned and Bishop August von Galen of Munich became a leading voice against Nazis policies. In , Hitler was forced to return control of the Church to the old Protestant leadership, in return for a promise that the Church would stay out of politics.


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Both Protestant and Catholic clergy played a large role in opposing Hitler and the Nazis, for which they often paid a high price.

Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion
Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion
Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion
Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion
Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion
Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion
Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion
Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion Hitler Came for Niemoeller: The Nazi War Against Religion

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