The Church

churchThe history of anti-semitism in Europe stretches back far before the Holocaust . Early Christian writings charge Jews with the crime of deicide, or the murder of Jesus.  Germany was a Protestant, largely Lutheran country and the Protestant approach to the Jews was no more enlightened. Martin Luther, an avid anti-Semite, transmitted Catholic anti-Semitism into Lutheranism. His racial thinking was basically in lockstep with those of the Catholics: If the Jews suffered, it was because God was punishing them for despising Christ.

Given that dark background, it is not surprising that the Catholic hierarchy’s reaction to Jewish sufferings under the Nazis was at best ambivalent—at worse unsympathetic. Of course the situation was somewhat different in each country and one should be wary of blanket generalizations. There were many brave and courageous members of the Catholic clergy who risked their lives in helping local Jews or speaking out against the Nazis.

It would be wrong-headed and simplistic to assert that Nazi racial policies were grounded solely on Catholic/Protestant anti-Semitism. But it is also true that , Nazi racism would have not been able to thrive in Germany without the prevailing religious zeitgeist in Germany and many other countries across Europe. In the end, the Church’s history of anti-Semitism morally compromised it, rendering it unable—even unwilling—to take a stand against the ever-worsening persecution Jews were undergoing at the hand of the German government.

Hitler recognized this and actually exploited Church-sanctioned anti-Semitism, feeling no need at all to cloak his own racismand using the Church’s traditional anti-Semitism to justify his actions.

Churches in Nazi Germany
The German Churches and the Nazi State
Teaching Resources for Faculty
Churches and the Holocaust
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Great Scandal: Christianity’s Role in the Rise of the Nazis
Council for Secular Humanism

Audio Podcast
Historical Antisemitism & the Church
by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Itunes
Teaching Resources for Faculty
Churches and the Holocaust
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Deicide Charge and Its Relevance to the Holocaust
Teaching Resources for Faculty
Churches and the Holocaust
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Jewish Holocaust
United Human Rights Council

Church Statements on the Holocaust and Antisemitism
Teaching Resources for Faculty
Churches and the Holocaust
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Christianity and anti-Semitism

Christianity and anti Semitism

The Catholic Hierarchy in France during the War and the Persecution of the Jews Yad Vashem

THE GERMAN CHURCHES AND THE NAZI STATE
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Church in Nazi Germany
History Learning Site

The Holocaust and the Catholic Church
The Atlantic

Anti-semitism in the Roman Catholic Church
The Church’s role in the Nazi Holocaust
Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

Under His Very Windows
Wikipedia
Article about the book, Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy (2000, Yale University Press) is a book by Susan Zuccotti which examines the role of the Catholic Church in providing aid to Jews in Italy during the Holocaust

Right under his nose
Catholic Herald UK
Book Review: Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy by Susan Zuccotti

Book Review:
Under His Very Windows – The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy
By SUSAN ZUCCOTTI
The New York Times

The Nazis and the German churches
Concordat Watch

THE RESPONSE OF THE GERMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH TO NATIONAL SOCIALISM
Yad Vashem

German churches profited from slave labour during Nazi era
Concordat Watch

The Role of the Churches:
Compliance and Confrontation
Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies
Vol 12 No 2
Anti-Defamation League

The German principle of “church autonomy”
Concordat Watch

The Nazis and the German Churches
Concordat Watch

The German Churches Before and After 1945
Concordat Watch

The German Churches in the Third Reich Yad Vashem

The Churches and the Deportation and Persecution of Jews in Slovakia
Yad Vashem

Nazi Policy and the Catholic Church
Catholic Education Resource Center

Churches and the Holocaust: Teaching Resources for Faculty
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Christian Churches of Hungary and the Holocaust
Yad Vashem

The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia’s Holocaust
Fantom Powa

The Persecution of Jews in Hungary and the Catholic Church
During the German Occupation
19 March 1944 – 4 April 1945
The Church in History Information Centre

The German Church and the Holocaust

The Catholic Church in Poland and the Holocaust,
Yad Vashem

Anti-semitism in the Roman Catholic Church
The Church’s role in the Nazi Holocaust
Religious Tolerance

Op-Ed: The Holocaust was Caused by the Church, not Just Hitler
Arutz Sheva

Book Review:
The Church of England and the Holocaust: Christianity, Memory and Nazism
Reviews in History

German Church admits aiding Nazis
BBC News

The German churches before and after 1945
Concordat Watch

Links to two picture collections on the Nazis and the churches
Concordat Watch

Pre-Nazi and Nazi Anti-Jewish Measures
Table 1-2: Pre-Nazi and Nazi Anti-Jewish Measures
From The Destruction of the European Jews, Vol. I (3rd revised edition: 2003) by Raul Hilberg with the permission of Yale University Press
Teaching Resources for Faculty
Churches and the Holocaust
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Link to book web site:
The Holocaust, The Church and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Conversion of Jews to Catholicism during the Holocaust
Wikipedia

Vatican Gives Formal Apology for Inaction During Holocaust
The Tech

Chilling study blames Catholic Church for the Holocaust
Book Review:
A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair
By Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
SF Gate

 

 

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