Presentation Title

Religious Resistance and the Rise of Fascism

Faculty Mentor

David G. Nelson

Start Date

23-11-2019 11:15 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

Markstein 210

Session

oral 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

Religious bigotry in Nazi Germany made life untenable for many clergymen both Catholic and Protestant. Because of this, many members of the clergy resisted in various ways, however they were not able to present a united front against the Nazis. The Protestants were much more easily silenced by the state as they were paid agents of the state, as a result only a few individuals in the German Evangelical Church were ever able to effectively resist. The Catholics, on the other hand, had much more success in resisting the Nazis because the state had no official control over priestly appointments, the popularity of many local priests also made it difficult to remove them or have them killed. The Protestant church in Germany was unable to effectively organize against the Nazis due to doctrinal and ideological differences, while the centralization of the Catholic Church allowed for more formal and organized civil resistance, until the beginning of the Second World War.

The sources for this research are pulled from important religious documents that defined both the Confessing Synod of the German Evangelical Church and the Catholic Church in Germany. These include the declarations of both of these churches in reference to Nazism as well as some of the personal testimony of the pastors who were most grievously affected by the policies of National Socialism including, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Niemoller, and several Catholic clergymen such as Bernhard Lichtenberg and Bishops von Galen and von Preysing of Munster and Berlin respectively. This study is in dialogue with the historiographical works of Dr. Doris Bergen on the Kirchenkampf, and Dr. Ernst Helmreich’s comprehensive study of all religious confessions present in Nazi Germany. The Catholic perspective will be studied through in reference to Guillaume Zeller’s work on Dachau’s priest Barracks.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 23rd, 11:15 AM Nov 23rd, 11:30 AM

Religious Resistance and the Rise of Fascism

Markstein 210

Religious bigotry in Nazi Germany made life untenable for many clergymen both Catholic and Protestant. Because of this, many members of the clergy resisted in various ways, however they were not able to present a united front against the Nazis. The Protestants were much more easily silenced by the state as they were paid agents of the state, as a result only a few individuals in the German Evangelical Church were ever able to effectively resist. The Catholics, on the other hand, had much more success in resisting the Nazis because the state had no official control over priestly appointments, the popularity of many local priests also made it difficult to remove them or have them killed. The Protestant church in Germany was unable to effectively organize against the Nazis due to doctrinal and ideological differences, while the centralization of the Catholic Church allowed for more formal and organized civil resistance, until the beginning of the Second World War.

The sources for this research are pulled from important religious documents that defined both the Confessing Synod of the German Evangelical Church and the Catholic Church in Germany. These include the declarations of both of these churches in reference to Nazism as well as some of the personal testimony of the pastors who were most grievously affected by the policies of National Socialism including, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Niemoller, and several Catholic clergymen such as Bernhard Lichtenberg and Bishops von Galen and von Preysing of Munster and Berlin respectively. This study is in dialogue with the historiographical works of Dr. Doris Bergen on the Kirchenkampf, and Dr. Ernst Helmreich’s comprehensive study of all religious confessions present in Nazi Germany. The Catholic perspective will be studied through in reference to Guillaume Zeller’s work on Dachau’s priest Barracks.