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November 16, 2017
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7 p.m.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024

What Did Faith Communities Stand For? Doctrine and Deed in Nazi Europe
Public Program
Roman Catholic clerics give the Nazi salute at the fifth Catholic youth rally <i>(Jugendtreffen)</i> in Berlin, 1933. <i>US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of bpk-Bildagentur</i>
Roman Catholic clerics give the Nazi salute at the fifth Catholic youth rally (Jugendtreffen) in Berlin, 1933. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of bpk-Bildagentur

The rise of National Socialism in Germany and the ensuing terror raised profound theological and ethical questions for people of all faiths. While some religious leaders openly supported the Nazi regime, others refused allegiance to the Party or defied the laws and sheltered victims of state-sanctioned hate, even if it meant risking arrest and ultimately, their lives.

Join us for a program to examine how different faith communities, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Protestants, and Catholics, reacted in the face of the challenges then—and the questions the history poses today.

Dr. Rebecca Carter-Chand, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University
Dr. Matthew D. Hockenos, Associate Professor of History and Harriet Johnson Toadvine ’56 Chair in 20th-Century History, Skidmore College
Dr. Kevin Spicer, C.S.C., James J. Kenneally Professor of History, Stonehill College

Dr. Victoria Barnett, Director, Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust
The Committee on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust offers programs and resources on the history of churches’ responses to the Holocaust and the ways in which religious institutions, leaders, and theologians have addressed this history and its legacy since 1945.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: German Resistance to Hitler
The government of Adolf Hitler was popular with most Germans. Although the Gestapo (secret state police) and the Security Service (SD) suppressed open criticism of the regime, there was some German opposition to the Nazi state.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: The German Churches and the Nazi State
The population of Germany in 1933 was around 60 million. Almost all Germans were Christian, belonging either to the Roman Catholic (ca. 20 million members) or the Protestant (ca. 40 million members) churches.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany
The Nazi regime targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses for persecution because they refused, out of religious conviction, to swear loyalty to a worldly government or to serve in its armed forces. Jehovah’s Witnesses also engaged in missionary activity to win adherents for the faith.
Learn More