Why were the Catholics fiercest anti-nazis in pre-war Germany?

Oct 2016
1,174
Merryland
Nazism is based on the State, and all loyalty to the State (i.e., the Reich), with a large racial component.

Catholicism teaches loyalty to God first (usually through the Catholic church).

Catholics understood that Nazism would influence people to be less religious and more nationalist.
in the words of the Old Testament; 'Choose you whom you will serve'.

IIRC the Nazi state ordered that copies of Mein Kampf be placed on the altars/platforms alongside the Bible, which many found greatly offensive.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,512
South of the barcodes

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,688
Southern Germany was mostly Catholic and the people there are generally darker and less Germanic ethnically, so it is natural they would be less attracted to a racial ideology.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,981
I agree with nemowork, the communists were the fiercest anti Nazi's. The Catholic centre party did a deal (which of course Hitler broke) to pass the enabling act. Which only the SPD (socialists ) voted against (the Communist were already banned and not allowed to sit)

The Catholic church also did a deal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichskonkordat
 
Sep 2012
1,218
Tarkington, Texas
I thought the Christian Democrats were the biggest threat to the Nazis?

I believe several Church leaders in Germany were preaching their flock to follow Adolph Hitler? In Italy the Germans watched the Pope like a Hawk and had contingency plans to take him into custody "for his own protection". The Pope made sure he never gave the Nazis an excuse to take him. After the war ended, ODESSA used Catholic Churches to help smuggle out Nazis so they could travel on to South America.

Beware when people make claims that one bunch or another were fiercely anti-Nazi. If they were all that, they would have ended up in a Concentration Camp with other Political Prisoners. The people in the Concentration Camps were not all Jews, 7th Day Adventists, Homosexuals and Gypsies.

Pruitt
 
Jun 2017
3,027
Connecticut
Catholics under the German Empire were actually seen as much of a disruptive force as the Socialists for a time in politics as the Centre Party received the overwhelming majority of the Catholic vote most years. The Catholic German states were the most unlike Prussia and would have been much better fits in a Austria ruled, Catholic dominated Germany. They hadn't been conquered but rather agreed to join Germany. Bismarck had persecuted the Catholics in the 80s as well and you can see the Catholic population not really being receptive to religious persecution/scapegoating as a result because while the Centre Party and Catholics had become more mainstream in the Weimar days(the old radicals were turned into the establishment over night both them and the Socialists) there was no doubt this memory was burned into their subconscious. Ironically the Centre Party was the last major German Party (other than the Nazi's of course) that Hitler did away with.
 
Jun 2017
3,027
Connecticut
I thought the Christian Democrats were the biggest threat to the Nazis?

I believe several Church leaders in Germany were preaching their flock to follow Adolph Hitler? In Italy the Germans watched the Pope like a Hawk and had contingency plans to take him into custody "for his own protection". The Pope made sure he never gave the Nazis an excuse to take him. After the war ended, ODESSA used Catholic Churches to help smuggle out Nazis so they could travel on to South America.

Beware when people make claims that one bunch or another were fiercely anti-Nazi. If they were all that, they would have ended up in a Concentration Camp with other Political Prisoners. The people in the Concentration Camps were not all Jews, 7th Day Adventists, Homosexuals and Gypsies.

Pruitt
Christian Democrats came along in the West German period, in the second reich and Weimar Republic, the Catholic population's party was the Centre Party.

I do agree it's important to point out that while a majority of the Holocaust's victims were Jewish, that a large percentage weren't and that the Germans were trying to exterminate many different populations. Growing up most people simply see the Holocaust as "Hitler trying to kill the Jews", with the occasional "I heard he tried to kill Gypsies too".