The Reichskonkordat (Reich Concordat) was a treaty between the Holy See and the German Reich, during its transition into Nazi Germany. It was signed on 20 July 1933 by Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (who later became Pope Pius XII) and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen on behalf of Pope Pius XI and President Paul von Hindenburg respectively. The treaty guaranteed the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, but Nazi breaches of the agreement began almost as soon as it had been signed, leading to protest from the Church, including in the 1937 Mit brennender Sorge encyclical of Pope Pius XI.
The Reichskonkordat is the most controversial of several concordats between various states in Germany and other nations the Vatican negotiated during the reign of Pope Pius XI. It is frequently discussed in works that deal with the rise of Hitler in the early 1930s and the Holocaust. The concordat has been described by some as giving moral legitimacy to the Nazi regime soon after Hitler had acquired quasi-dictatorial powers through the Enabling Act of 1933, though Hitler himself was not a signatory to the treaty and the treaty does not make mention of Hitler, or the Nazi Party. The document was addressed to President Paul von Hindenburg.
The treaty placed constraints on the political activity of the clergy of the Catholic Church in Germany. This contributed to a decrease in the previously vocal criticism of Nazism by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Germany, after September of 1933 when the treaty was ratified. From a Roman Catholic church perspective it has been argued that the concordat prevented even greater evils being unleashed against the Church. Though some German bishops were unenthusiastic, and the Allies at the end of World War II felt it was inappropriate, Pope Pius XII successfully argued to keep the concordat and the treaty is still in force.
The Reichskonkordat between Germany and the Holy See was signed on July 20, 1933 and ratified in September of that year. The treaty was an extension of existing concordats already signed with Prussia and Bavaria A "concordat" is the equivalent of a treaty when the agreement is between the Catholic Church and a state. "Treaty" is a general term applied to any agreement between subjects of international law. Concordats have been used to create binding agreements to safeguard church interests and its freedom to act, particularly in countries that do not have strong jurisprudence guaranteeing government non-interference in religious matters or in countries where the church seeks a privileged position under government patronage.
Accounts of 20th century diplomatic relations between Germany and the Vatican commonly take as their starting point the political scene in the late 19th century. German Chancellor Bismark's Kulturkampf ("Battle for Culture") of 1871–78 saw an attempt to assert a Protestant vision of nationalism over the new German Empire, and fused anticlericalism and suspicion of the Catholic population, whose loyalty was presumed to lie with Austria and France. The Catholic Centre Party had formed in 1870, initially to represent the religious interests of Catholics and Protestants, but was transformed by the Kulturkampf into the "political voice of Catholics". Bismarck's Culture Struggle was largely a failure.
Bismarck sought to restrict the power of the Catholic Church in Germany. He regarded the Roman Church as “the enemy within”. His Kulturkampf included the disbanding of Catholic organizations, confiscation of church property, banishment or imprisonment of clergy and an ongoing feud with the Vatican. According to novelist James Carroll, the end of Kulturkampf signaled “that the Church had successfully resisted to his face the man [Bismarck] who, according to an admiring Henry Kissinger, was 'outmaneuvered' by nobody.” The Catholic Church's firm resistance to Bismarck and Kulturkampf, including passive resistance by the Church in general and the excommunication of collaborating priests, has been used as benchmark for assessing the Church's response to the Nazis from the early 1930s through World War II.
- End of World War One
A formal realignment of Church and state relationships was considered desirable in the aftermath of the political instability of 1918 and the adoption of the Weimar constitution for the Reich along with the new constitutions in the German states in 1919. Key issues that the Church hoped to resolve related to state subsidies to the Church, support for Catholic schools, the appointment of bishops and the legal position of the clergy. The Reich government, in turn, wished for reasons of foreign policy to have friendly relations with the Holy See. Also, Germany wanted to prevent new diocesan boundaries being established which would dilute Germany's ties to ceded German territories in the east such as Danzig and Upper Silesia.
Negotiations relating to specific points, rather than a general concordat, took place between 1919 and 1922. But even after subsequent feelers were put out between the two parties the negotiations failed, primarily because both the Reichstag and Reichsrat were dominated by non-Catholic majorities who, for a variety of reasons, did not want a formal pact with the Vatican. In the absence of an agreement relating to particular areas of concern with the Reich, the Holy See concluded more wide-ranging concordats with three German states where Catholics were concentrated: Bavaria (1924), Prussia (1929) and Baden (1932).
- Pope Pius XI
Pius XI was elected Pope in 1922. His pontificate coincided with the early aftermath of the First World War. The old European monarchies had been largely swept away and a new and precarious order formed across the continent. In the East, the Soviet Union arose. In Italy, the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini took power, while in Germany, the fragile Weimar Republic collapsed with the Nazi seizure of power. Pope Pius's major diplomatic approach was to make concordats. However, wrote Hebblethwaite, these concordats did not prove "durable or creditable" and "wholly failed in their aim of safeguarding the institutional rights of the Church" for "Europe was entering a period in which such agreements were regarded as mere scraps of paper".
In 1929, Pius signed the Lateran Treaty and a concordat with Italy, confirming the existence of an independent Vatican City state, in return for recognition of the Kingdom of Italy and an undertaking for the papacy to be neutral in world conflicts. In Article 24 of the Concordat, the papacy undertook "to remain outside temporal conflicts unless the parties concerned jointly appealed for the pacifying mission of the Holy See". Other ajor concordats included those signed with Germany (1933), Austria (1935), Yugoslavia (1935) and Latvia (1938). The concordats were generally observed by the countries involved, with the exception of Germany.
In October 1929, General Groener pushed the German Foreign Ministry to resolve an issue with the Vatican regarding military chaplains who lacked the ability to administer the sacraments of baptism or matrimony without first obtaining the permission of the local priest or bishop. Groener wanted the military to have their own bishop rather than rely on local ordinaries and it was this particular issue that was to mark an important step in the discussions that would ultimately be realized in the concordat with the Vatican. In March 1930, the new Papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Pacelli, gave indications that the Vatican would be interested in a concordat with the Reich in the event of any reforms of the Reich's constitution having an adverse effect on the validity of the concordats already agreed between the German states and the Vatican.
Discussions between the two parties took place between 1931 and 1932 and at one point representatives of the Reich pointed out that Italy had an army Archbishop with Cardinal Pacelli indicating that was because Italy had signed a comprehensive concordat with the Vatican. The German negotiators continued to discuss solely on the basis of particular points rather than a general concordat during 1931 but even these were felt to be unlikely to be passed by the Reichstag or the Reichsrat, no matter their political or theological leanings.
- Nazis take power
In January 1933, Hitler became Chancellor and it was the passing of the Enabling Act on 23 March, giving Hitler dictatorial powers, that removed the Reichstag as an obstacle to concluding a concordat with the Vatican. Hitler offered the possibility of friendly co-operation, promising not to threaten the Reichstag, the President, the States or the Churches if granted the emergency powers. With Nazi paramilitary encircling the building, he said: "It is for you, gentlemen of the Reichstag to decide between war and peace". The Act, allowed Hitler and his Cabinet to rule by emergency decree for four years, though Hindenberg remained President. German Catholics were wary of the new government:
The Catholic Church... had generally viewed the Nazi Party with fear and suspicion. It had felt threatened by a radical ultranationalist ideology that regarded the papacy as a sinister, alien institution, that opposed denominational separatism in education and culture, and that at times appeared to promote a return to Nordic paganism. The establishment of the Third Reich seemed to portend the coming of a bitter conflict between church and state
— Extract from Theodore S. Hamerow's On the Road to the Wolf's Lair - German Resistance to Hitler
In early 1933, Hitler told Herman Rauschning that Bismarck had been stupid in starting a Kulturkampf and outlined his own strategy for dealing with the clergy which would be based initially on a policy of toleration:
- We should trap the priests by their notorious greed and self-indulgence. We shall thus be able to settle everything with them in perfect peace and harmony. I shall give them a few years reprieve. Why should we quarrel ? They will swallow anything in order to keep their material advantages. Matters will never come to a head. They will recognise a firm will, and we need only show them once or twice who is the master. They will know which way the wind blows.
An initially mainly sporadic persecution of the Catholic Church in Germany followed the Nazi takeover. Hitler was hostile to the Catholic Church, but for political reasons, was prepared to restrain his anticlericalism and did not allow himself to be drawn into attacking the Church publicly as other Nazis would have liked him to do. Kershaw wrote that, following the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor by President von Hindenberg, the Vatican was anxious to reach agreement with the new government, despite "continuing molestation of Catholic clergy, and other outrages committed by Nazi radicals against the Church and its organisations". Robert Ventresca wrote that because of increasing harassment of Catholics and Catholic clergy, Cardinal Pacelli sought a quick ratification of a treaty with the government, seeking in this way to protect the German Church. When Vice-Chancellor Papen and Ambassador Diego von Bergen met Pacelli in late June 1933 they found him "visibly influenced" by reports of actions being taken against German Catholic interests.
There were some thoughts that the Church was keen on coming to terms with Hitler as he represented a strong resistance against Communism: the Papal Nuncio in Berlin (Cesare Osenigo) is reported to have been “jubilant” about Hitler's rise to power and that the new government would soon be offering the same concessions to the Church that Mussolini thought necessary to do previously in Italy. Historian, Michael Phayer, balances Lewy and author journalist, John Cormwell stating: 
John Cornwell in Hitler's Pope argues that the Concordat was the result of a deal that delivered the parliamentary votes to Hitler, thereby giving him dictatorial power (Enabling Act of 1933). This is historically inaccurate. But there is no question about Pius XII's tenacious insistence on the Concordat retention before, during and after the Second World War.
— Michael Phayer
The Catholic bishops in Germany had generally shown opposition to Hitler from the beginning of his rise to power. When the Nazi Party polled six million votes during the 14 September 1930 election campaign, the Catholic hierarchy called on its people to examine their consciences. During the next two years, though there had been softening by some, the bishops continued to pronounce against unacceptable policies of the Nazi Party. When Hitler was called by Hindenberg to assume power on 30 January 1933, the bishops maintained support for the Catholic Centre Party who in turn refused to assent to a proposal that would allow Hitler to assume full power. On 12 March 1933, the German Cardinal Faulhaber was received by Pope Pius XI in Rome. On his return he reported:
- After my recent experience in Rome in the highest circles, which I cannot reveal here, I must say that I found, despite everything, a greater tolerance with regard to the new government... Let us meditate on the words of the Holy Father, who in a consistory, without mentioning his name, indicated before the whole world in Adolf Hitler the statesmen who first, after the Pope himself, has raised his voice against Bolshevism.
At a cabinet meeting on 20 March 1933, Hitler "confidently reported" that the Centre Party had now seen the necessity of the Enabling Act and that "the acceptance of the Enabling Act also by the Zentrum would signify a strengthening prestige with regard to foreign countries." Early in March 1933 the bishops recommended that Catholics vote for the Centre Party in the elections scheduled for 5 March 1933. However, two weeks later there was a reversal of previous policy and the bishops now allowed the Centre Party and the Bavarian Catholic Party to vote for the Enabling Act which gave Hitler dictatorial powers on 23 March. German Catholic theologian Robert Grosche described the Enabling Act in terms of the 1870 decree on the infallibility of the Pope, and that the Church had "anticipated on a higher level, that historical decision which is made today on the political level: for the Pope and against the sovereignty of the Council; for the Fuhrer and against the Parliament." On 29 March 1933 Cardinal Pacelli sent word to the German bishops to the effect that they must now change their position with regard to National Socialism. On 28 March 1933, the bishops themselves now took up a position favourable to Hitler. According to Falconi (1966) the about-turn came through the influence and instructions of the Vatican. Pope Pius XI indicated in Mit brennender Sorge (1937) that it was the Germans who asked for the Concordat and Pope Pius XII affirmed this in 1945. Falconi viewed the Church's realignment as motivated by the desire to avoid being left alone in opposition and to avert reprisals. After the leader of the Centre Party, Monsignor Kass, had persuaded the party members to vote for Hitler and the Enabling Act, he left immediately for Rome and on his return on 31 March he was received by Hitler. He returned to Rome accompanied by the Catholic Vice-chancellor von Papen on 7 April with a mandate from Hitler to sound out a concordat with the Vatican. On the day they set out for Rome to prepare the way for the Concordat the first two anti-Semitic laws (excluding non-Aryans from public office and the legal profession) were issued in Germany, but this did not impede the discussions. Papen recorded in his memoirs that on his arrival in Rome, the Pope "greeted me with paternal affection, expressing his pleasure that at the head of the German State was a man like Hitler, on whose banner the uncompromising struggle against Communism and Nihilism was inscribed." In Falconi's opinion the Concordat was the price paid by Hitler in order to obtain the support of the German episcopate and the Catholic parties. Ian Kershaw viewed the loss of political Catholicism as the sacrifice needed to protect the position of the Catholic Church in Germany. Historian, Michael Phayer, points out,"That the Concordat was the result of a deal that delivered the parliamentary vote of the Catholic Center Party to Hitler, thereby giving him dictatorial power (the Enabling Act of March 1933). This is historically inaccurate." 
Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber wrote to Cardinal Pacelli on 10 April 1933 advising that defending the Jews would be wrong “because that would transform the attack on the Jews into an attack on the Church; and because the Jews are able to look after themselves” — the latter on the impression of the April boycott outcome which was seen as a Nazi defeat.
On 22 April 1933 the British Minister to the Vatican recounted what the Vatican Under-Secretary of State had told him, "The Holy See is not interested in the Centre Party. We are more concerned with the mass of Catholic voters in Germany than in the Catholic deputies who represent them in the Reichstag." Previously, as part of the agreement surrounding the 1929 Lateran Treaty with the fascist's in Italy, the Vatican had consented to the dissolution of the Catholic political Parito Popolare party.
At a 26 April meeting with Bishop Wilhelm Berning of Osnabrück, representative of the German Bishops’ Conference, Hitler declared:
|“||I have been attacked because of my handling of the Jewish question. The Catholic Church considered the Jews pestilent for fifteen hundred years, put them in ghettos, etc., because it recognized the Jews for what they were. In the epoch of liberalism the danger was no longer recognized. I am moving back toward the time in which a fifteen-hundred-year-long tradition was implemented. I do not set race over religion, but I recognize the representatives of this race as pestilent for the state and for the Church, and perhaps I am thereby doing Christianity a great service by pushing them out of schools and public functions.||”|
The notes of the meeting do not record any response by Bishop Berning. In the opinion of Martin Rhonheimer, who cites the above transcript, "This is hardly surprising: for a Catholic Bishop in 1933 there was really nothing terribly objectionable in this historically correct reminder. And on this occasion, as always, Hitler was concealing his true intentions." Saul Friedländer interpreted Hitler's comments as an attempt to "blunt possible Catholic criticism of his anti-Jewish policies and to shift the burden of the arguments onto the Church itself.
Edith Stein wrote to Pius XI in April 1933 asking if he would issue an anti-anti-Semitism encyclical in view of "the indifference of Catholics to the growing vexations against the Jews." Pinchas Lapide thought that this wasn't actioned as the letter arrived when the Concordat negotiations were taking place. Edith Stein was later gassed in Auschwitz.
The issue of the concordat prolonged Kaas's stay in Rome, leaving the party without a chairman, and on 5 May Kaas finally resigned from his post. The party now elected Heinrich Brüning as chairman. At that time, the Centre party was subject to increasing pressure in the wake of the process of Gleichschaltung and after all the other parties had dissolved (or were banned, like the SPD). The Centre Party dissolved itself on 5 July 1933 as the Concordat between the Vatican and the Nazis had dealt it a decisive blow by exchanging a ban on the political activities of priests for the continuation of Catholic education. The Concordat was initialled in Rome three days later by Cardinal Pacelli and von Papen, with signing taking place on 20 July. On 2 July the Vatican daily newspaper L'Osservatore Romano insisted that the concordat wasn't an endorsement of Nazi teachings.
On 13 July a British Minister had an interview with Cardinal Pacelli and reported, "His Eminence said that the Vatican really viewed with indifference the dissolution of the Centre Party."
At the 14 July cabinet meeting Hitler brushed aside any debate on the details of the Concordat, expressing the view “that one should only consider it as a great achievement. The concordat gave Germany an opportunity and created an area of trust which was particularly significant in the developing struggle against international Jewry”. Saul Friedländer speculates that Hitler may have countenanced in this “area of trust” what he perceived as the Christian Church's traditional theological antipathy towards Jews, (see Hitler's comments above to Berning on 26 April), converging with Nazi aims. Hitler "underlined the triumph" that the Concordat meant for the Nazi regime. Only a short time earlier he had expressed doubts that "the church would be ready to commit the Bishops to this state. That this has happened, was without doubt an unreserved recognition of the present regime."
On 22 July 1933 von Papen attended a meeting of the Catholic Academic Union during which he first made the connection between the dissolution of the Centre Party and the concordat. He said the Pope was particularly pleased at the promised destruction of Bolshevism and that Pius XI had agreed to the treaty "in the recognition that the new Germany had fought a decisive battle against Bolshevism and the atheist movement." Papen noted that there was “an undeniable inner connection between the dissolution of the German Center party that has just taken place and the conclusion of the Concordat” and ended his speech with a call for German Catholicism to put away former resentments and to help build the Third Reich. Abbot Herwegen told the meeting:
- What the liturgical movement is to the religious realm, fascism is to the political realm. The German stands and acts under authority, under leadership - whoever does not follow endangers society. Let us say 'yes' wholeheartedly to the new form of the total State, which is analogous throughout to the incarnation of the Church. The Church stands in the world as Germany stands in politics today."."
On 23 July a British Minister met Cardinal Pacelli who appeared "very satisfied" with the signing of the Concordat. The cardinal expressed the view that with the guarantees given relating to catholic education that this Concordat was an improvement over the 1929 agreement with Prussia. Cardinal Pacelli did sound a note of caution in that his satisfaction was based on the assumption that the German Government "remained true to its undertaking." but noted also that Hitler "was becoming increasingly moderate."
On 24 July Cardinal Faulhaber sent a handwritten letter to Hitler, noting that "For Germany's prestige in the East and the West and before the whole world, this handshake with the papacy, the greatest moral power in the history of the world, is a feat of immeasurable importance."
On 4 August 1933 the British Minister reported "in conversations I have had with Cardinal Pacelli and Monsignor Pizzardo, neither gave me the feeling of the slightest regret at the eclipse of the Centre [Party], and its consequent loss of influence in German politics." On 19 August Kirkpatrick had a further discussion with Cardinal Pacelli in which he expressed his "disgust and abhorrence" at Hitler's reign of terror to the diplomat. Pacelli said "I had to choose between an agreement on their lines and the virtual elimination of the Catholic Church in the Reich". Pacelli also told Kirkpatrick that he deplored the persecution of the Jews, but a pistol had been held to his head and that he had no alternative, being given only one week to decide. Pinchas Lapide notes that whilst negotiations for Concordat were taking place, pressure had been put on the Vatican by the arrest of ninety-two priests, the searching of Catholic youth club premises, and the closing down of nine Catholic publications. The Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter wrote "By her signature the Catholic Church has recognised National Socialism in the most solemn manner... This fact constitutes an enormous moral strengthening of our government and its prestige."
The Concordat was ratified on 10 September 1933 and Cardinal Pacelli took the opportunity to send a note to the Germans raising the social and economic condition of Jews who had converted to Catholicism but not Jews in general.
Meanwhile, although the Protestant Churches, being local congregations, remained unaffected by restriction on foreign support, Hitler's government negotiated other agreements with them which in essence put Nazi officials, most of whom were Catholics, into positions of influence or outright authority over Protestant Churches. Foreseeing the potential for outright State control of their churches these agreements portended, many Protestant church leaders simply reorganized their congregations out of the agreements, causing a schism within the Protestant Churches. These Protestant resisters attempted to rally Catholic prelates to the dangers portended by these agreements but were simply rebuffed when the Reichskonkordat was ratified. Many of the Protestant clergy who opposed the Nazi religious program (Bekennende Kirche), were later imprisoned or executed.
Church leaders were realistic about the Concordat’s supposed protections. Cardinal Faulhaber is reported to have said "With the concordat we are hanged, without the concordat we are hanged, drawn and quartered." After the signing of the Concordat the Papal nuncio exhorted the German bishops to support Hitler's regime. The bishops told their flocks to try and get along with the Nazi regime. According to Michael Phayer it was the Concordat which prevented Pius XI from speaking out against the Nazi Nuremberg Laws in 1935, and though he did intend to speak out after the national pogrom of 1938 he was dissuaded by Cardinal Pacelli.
On 20 August 1935 the Catholic Bishops conference at Fulda reminded Hitler that Pius XI had:
- exchanged the handshake of trust with you through the concordat - the first foreign sovereign to do so..Pope Pius spoke high praise of you...Millions in foreign countries, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, have overcome their original mistrust because of this expression of papal trust, and have placed their trust in your regime."
In a sermon given in Munich during 1937 Cardinal Faulhaber declared:
- At a time when the heads of the major nations in the world faced the new Germany with reserve and considerable suspicion, the Catholic Church, the greatest moral power on earth, through the Concordat, expressed its confidence in the new German government. This was a deed of immeasurable significance for the reputation of the new government abroad.
Terms of the concordat
On 22 July 1933 the text of the Concordat was released and began with a preamble that set out the common desire of both parties for friendly relations set-out in a solemn agreement.
- Article 1 guaranteed “freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion” along with the right of the Church “to regulate and manage her own affairs independently within the limits of law applicable to all and to issue – within the framework of her own competence – laws and ordinances binding on her members.” The vagueness of the article would later lead to contradictory interpretations.
- Article 2 affirms that the state concordats, Länderkonkordate, with Bavaria (1924), Prussia (1929), and Baden (1932) remain valid.
- Article 3 confirms the arrangement of the Vatican having a Papal Nuncio in Berlin and the German government having an ambassador in Rome.
- Article 4 assures the Holy See of full freedom to communicate with the German clergy and for the German bishops to communicate with the laity “in all matters of their pastoral office.” The words of qualification in this clause would later be interpreted by the Nazis in its most narrow meaning to limit the Church communications to worship and ritual only.
- Articles 5-10 dealt with the status of the clergy under German law. Priests were given protection against any interference in their spiritual activities as well as protection against malicious slander or misuse of clerical dress. Exemption from jury service, and like obligations, was guaranteed and the secrecy of the confessional guaranteed. Members of the clergy could only accept a state appointment so long as the bishop approved and that this permission could be withdrawn at any time for important reasons.
- Articles 11-12 specified that diocesan boundaries had to be made subject to government approval and that ecclesiastical offices could be established if no state funding was involved.
- Article 13 gave to parishes, Episcopal sees, religious orders etc. juridical personality and granted the same rights as any other publicly recognised body “in accordance with the general law as applicable to all” which subjected the church’s prerogatives’ to legal regulation under civil law. Guenter Lewy viewed this qualification as establishing “a pandora’s box of troubles” when the law was effectively in the hands of a regime who wanted to control the church.
- Article 14 specified that the appointment of a bishop by the Pope was subject to the regime's confirmation that no political impediment existed.
- Article 15 guaranteed religious orders freedom for pastoral, charitable and educational work.
- Article 16 specified that Bishops must take an oath of loyalty and respect the government whilst ensuring their clergy did the same.
- Article 17 guaranteed, according to the common law, the properties of the church.
- Article 18 assured the Church that it would be consulted should the Nazi regime try to discontinue its subsidies to the German Catholic church.
- Articles 19-25 gave protection to the Catholic educational system (Hitler in due course would disregard them).
- Article 26 allowed that a church wedding could precede a civil marriage ceremony.
- Article 27 regulated the appointment of military chaplains.
- Article 28 assured the Church the right to pastoral care in hospitals, prisons and like institutions, which would be violated later by the Nazi regime when it refused the Church’s request to carry out services in concentration camps.
- Article 29 granted the same rights to national minorities, with respect to the use of the mother tongue in divine services, as were enjoyed by the German population in the corresponding foreign state.
- Articles 31-32 relate to the issue of Catholic organizations “devoted exclusively to religious, cultural and charitable purposes” and allowed for the Reich government and German episcopate to “determine, by mutual agreement , the organizations and associations which fall within the provisions of this article.” Organizations that had any political aims no longer had any place in the new Germany so are not even mentioned in these clauses. Article 32 gave to Hitler one of his principal objectives: the exclusion of the clergy from politics such that “the Holy See will issue ordinances by which the clergy and the religious will be forbidden to be members of political parties or to be active on their behalf.” 
- Article 33 makes provision for settling any difficulties in interpretation of the concordat through "amicable solution by mutual agreement."
- Article 34 calls for the speedy ratification of the concordat.
A secret annexe to the concordat was finalised some months later, but not published, that granted Catholic clergy certain exemptions from any future universal army conscription call-ups. As the Treaty of Versailles had forbidden Germany from raising a large army this provision may have been seen by Hitler as the Vatican giving its tacit approval to German rearmament. Papen wrote to Hitler regarding this secret provision and concluded his brief with "I hope this agreement will therefore be pleasing to you". The provisions of the annexe were inserted at the request of the German Bishops Fulda Conference and the contents were kept so secret that Ernst von Weizsacker, State Secretary in the Foreign Ministry from 1938, did not know of it until informed by the Papal Nuncio Orsenigo in 1939.
Criticism of the Concordat was initially from those countries who viewed Germany as a potential threat. Le Temps wrote "This is a triumph for the National Socialist government. It took Mussolini five years to achieve this; Germany has done it in a week." L'Ere Nouvelle wrote "The contradiction of a system preaching universalism making an agreement with a highly nationalistic state has been repeated throughout Vatican history. The Church never attacks existing institutions, even if they are bad. It prefers to wait for their collapse, hoping for the emergence of a higher morality. The Polish newspaper Kurjer Poranny wrote on 19 July 1933 "Once again we see the methods of the Vatican - intransigent with the passive and amenable, but accommodating with the high-handed and ruthless. In the last century it rewarded its persecutor, Bismarck, with the highest Papal decoration, the Order of Christ... The Centre Party, which most courageously resisted the Nazis, has been disowned by the Vatican. Ex-Chancellor Bruning reported that 300 Protestant pastors who had been on the verge of joining the Catholic Church on account of the stand it had taken against the Nazis abandoned the plan after the signing of the Concordat. On 24 July, the Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter commented:
- The provocative agitation which for years was conducted against the NSDAP because of its alleged hostility to religion has now been refuted by the Church itself. This fact signifies a tremendous moral strengthening of the National Socialist government of the Reich and its reputation.
On 26 and 27 July 1933, the Vatican daily newspaper L'Osservatore Romano stressed the advantages gained by the Church through the Concordat but also insisted that the Church had not given up her traditional neutrality towards different forms of political government nor did it endorse a “specific trend of political doctrines or ideas.” The Nazis replied through the German press on 30 July by correcting perceived false interpretations of the Concordat and “reminding the Vatican” that the Concordat had been signed with the German Reich which “as Rome should know, is completely dominated by the National Socialist trend” and therefore “the de facto and de jure recognition of the National Socialist government” was signaled by the Concordat. The Vatican demanded that the German government dissociate itself from these remarks but agreed eventually to forget its complaints so long as the German press refrained from any further “harping on the great victory” achieved by Nazi Germany.
Nazi violations of the Concordat commenced almost immediately after it was signed. The Nazis claimed jurisdiction over all collective and social activity, interfering with Catholic schooling, youth groups, workers' clubs and cultural societies. Hitler had a "blatant disregard" for the Concordat, wrote Paul O'Shea, and its signing was to him merely a first step in the "gradual suppression of the Catholic Church in Germany". Anton Gill wrote that "with his usual irresistible, bullying technique, Hitler then proceeded to take a mile where he had been given an inch" and closed all Catholic institutions whose functions weren't strictly religious:
It quickly became clear that [Hitler] intended to imprison the Catholics, as it were, in their own churches. They could celebrate mass and retain their rituals as much as they liked, but they could have nothing at all to do with German society otherwise. Catholic schools and newspapers were closed, and a propaganda campaign against the Catholics was launched.
— Extract from An Honourable Defeat by Anton Gill
According to Paul O'Shea, Hitler had a "blatant disregard" for the Concordat, and its signing was to him merely a first step in the "gradual suppression of the Catholic Church in Germany". Almost immediately after signing the Concordat, the Nazis promulgated their sterilization law - the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring - an offensive policy in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Days later, moves began to dissolve the Catholic Youth League. Clergy, nuns and lay leaders began to be targeted, leading to thousands of arrests over the ensuing years, often on trumped up charges of currency smuggling or "immorality". Priests were watched closely and frequently denounced, arrested and sent to concentration camps. From 1940, a dedicated Clergy Barracks had been established at Dachau concentration camp. Intimidation of clergy was widespread. Cardinal Faulhaber was shot at. Cardinal Innitzer had his Vienna residence ransacked in October 1938 and Bishop Sproll of Rottenburg was jostled and his home vandalised.
William Shirer wrote that the German people were not greatly aroused by the persecution of the churches by the Nazi Government. The great majority were not moved to face death or imprisonment for the sake of freedom of worship, being too impressed by Hitler's early foreign policy successes and the restoration of the German economy. Few, he said, paused to reflect that the Nazi regime intended to destroy Christianity in Germany, if it could, and substitute the old paganism of the early tribal Germanic gods and the new paganism of the Nazi extremists."
Anti-Nazi sentiment grew in Catholic circles as the Nazi government increased its repressive measures against their activities. In his history of the German Resistance, Hoffmann writes that, from the beginning:
"[The Catholic Church] could not silently accept the general persecution, regimentation or oppression, nor in particular the sterilization law of summer 1933. Over the years until the outbreak of war Catholic resistance stiffened until finally its most eminent spokesman was the Pope himself with his encyclial Mit brennender Sorge ... of 14 March 1937, read from all German Catholic pulpits...
— Extract from The History of the German Resistance 1933–1945 by Peter Hoffmann
After constant confrontations, by late 1935, Bishop August von Galen of Munich was urging a joint pastoral letter protesting an "underground war" against the church. By early 1937, the church hierarchy in Germany, which had initially attempted to co-operate with the new government, had become highly disillusioned. In March, Pope Pius XI issued the Mit brennender Sorge encyclical - accusing the Nazi Government of violations of the 1933 Concordat, and further that it was sowing the "tares of suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and His Church". The Nazis responded with, an intensification of the Church Struggle, beginning around April.
When the Nazi government violated the concordat (in particular Article 31), the bishops and the Papacy protested against these violations. Pius XI considered terminating the concordat, but his secretary of state and members of the curia, who feared the impact upon German Catholics, dissuaded him, as they believed it would result in the loss of a protective shield. Cardinal Pacelli acknowledged his role in its retention after the war.
The flourishing Catholic press of Germany faced censorship and closure. Finally in March 1941, Goebbels banned all Church press, on the pretext of a "paper shortage". Catholic schools were a major battleground in the kirchenkampf campaign against the Church. When in 1933, the Nazi school superintendent of Munster issued a decree that religious instruction be combined with discussion of the "demoralising power" of the "people of Israel", Bishop August von Galen of Munich refused, writing that such interference in curriculum was a breach of the Concordat and that he feared children would be confused as to their "obligation to act with charity to all men" and as to the historical mission of the people of Israel. Often Galen directly protested to Hitler over violations of the Concordat. When in 1936, Nazis removed crucifixes in school, protest by Galen led to public demonstration. Church kindergartens were closed, crucifixes were removed from schools and Catholic welfare programs were restricted on the basis they assisted the "racially unfit". Parents were coerced into removing their children from Catholic schools. In Bavaria, teaching positions formerly allotted to nuns were awarded to secular teachers and denominational schools transformed into "Community schools". When in 1937 the authorities in Upper Bavaria attempted to replace Catholic schools with "common schools", Cardinal Faulhaber offered fierce resistance. By 1939 all Catholic denominational schools had been disbanded or converted to public facilities.
- World War Two
From 1940, the Gestapo launched an intense persecution of the monasteries; invading, searching and appropriating them. The Provincial of the Dominican Province of Teutonia, Laurentius Siemer, a spiritual leader of the German Resistance was influential in the Committee for Matters Relating to the Orders, which formed in response to Nazi attacks against Catholic monasteries and aimed to encourage the bishops to intercede on behalf of the Orders and oppose the Nazi state more emphatically.
With the expansion of the war in the East from 1941, there came also an expansion of the regime's attack on the churches. Monasteries and convents were targeted and expropriation of Church properties surged. The Nazi authorities claimed that the properties were needed for wartime necessities such as hospitals, or accommodation for refugees or children, but in fact used them for their own purposes. "Hostility to the state" was another common cause give for the confiscations, and the action of a single member of a monastery could result in seizure of the whole. The Jesuits were especially targeted. The Papal Nuncio Cesare Orsenigo and Cardinal Bertram complained constantly to the authorities but were told to expect more requisitions owing to war-time needs.
Figures like Bishops August von Galen and Konrad von Preysing attempted to protect German priests from arrest. In Galen's famous 1941 anti-euthanasia sermons, he denounced the confiscations of church properties. He attacked the Gestapo for converting church properties to their own purposes - including use as cinemas and brothels. He protested the mistreatment of Catholics in Germany: the arrests and imprisonment without legal process, the suppression of the monasteries and the expulsion of religious orders.
On 22 March 1942, the German Bishops issued a pastoral letter on "The Struggle against Christianity and the Church". The letter launched a defence of human rights and the rule of law and accused the Reich Government of "unjust oppression and hated struggle against Christianity and the Church", despite the loyalty of German Catholics to the Fatherland, and brave service of Catholics soldiers:
For years a war has raged in our Fatherland against Christianity and the Church, and has never been conducted with such bitterness. Repeatedly the German bishops have asked the Reich Government to discontinue this fatal struggle; but unfortunately our appeals and our endeavours were without success.
— 22 March 1942 Pastoral Letter of the German Bishops
In July 1942, Hitler said he viewed the Concordat as obsolete, and intended to abolish it after the war, and only hesitated to withdraw Germany's representative from the Vatican out of "military reasons connected with the war":
Once the war is over, we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close co-operation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.
— Adolf Hitler, from a transcript in Hitler's Table Talk, dated 4 July 1942
After World War II
Pius XII put a high priority on preserving the Concordat from the Nazi era, although the bishops were unenthusiastic about it and the Allies considered the request inappropriate. After the war, the Concordat remained in place and the Church was restored to its previous position.
When Lower Saxony adopted a new school law, the Holy See complained that it violated the terms of the concordat. The federal government called upon the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht) for clarification. In its ruling on 26 March 1957, the court decided that the circumstances surrounding the conclusion of the concordat did not invalidate it.
Declaring itself incompetent in matters of public international law and considering the fact that the Basic Law grants authority in school matters to the States of Germany, it ruled that the federal government had no authority to intervene. So while the federal government was obligated by the concordat, it could not enforce its application in all areas as it lacks legal authority to do so.
Critics also allege that the concordat undermined the separation of church and state. The Weimar constitution (some of whose regulations, namely articles 136-139 and 141 have been included into today's Basic Law by article 140) does not speak of a "separation", but rather rules out any state religion while protecting religious freedom, religious holidays and leaving open the possibility of cooperation. However, there is an ongoing conflict between article 18 of the concordat and article 138 of the Weimar constitution.
Anthony Rhodes regarded Hitler's desire for a Concordat with the Vatican as being driven principally by the prestige and respectability it brought to his regime abroad whilst at the same time eliminating the opposition of the Centre Party. Rhodes took the view that if the survival of Catholic education and youth organisations was taken to be the principal aim of Papal diplomacy during this period then the signing of the Concordat to prevent greater evils was justified. Many of the Centre Party deputies were priests who had not been afraid to raise their voices in the past and would almost certainly have voted against Hitler's assumption of dictatorial powers. The voluntary dissolution of the Centre Party removed that obstacle and Hitler now had absolute power and brought respectability to the state: "within six months of its birth, the Third Reich had been given full approval by the highest spiritual power on earth". Ian Kershaw considered the role of the Centre Party in Hitler's removal of almost all constitutional restraints as "particularly ignominious." John Cornwell views Cardinal Pacelli as being an example of a "fellow traveller" of the Nazis who, through the Concordat, was willing to accept the generosity of Hitler in the educational sphere (more schools, teachers and pupil places), so long as the Church withdrew from the social and political sphere, at the same time as Jews were being dismissed from universities and Jewish pupil places were being reduced. He argues that the Catholic Centre Party vote was decisive in the adoption of dictatorial powers by Hitler and that the party's subsequent dissolution was at Pacelli's prompting. Michael Phayer is of the opinion that the Concordat conditioned German bishops to avoid speaking out against anything that was not strictly related to church matters, leading to a muted response to the attacks on Mosaic Jews. Carlo Falconi described the Concordat as "The Devil's Pact with Hitler". Albert Einstein in private conversation relating to the Concordat said "Since when can one make a pact with Christ and Satan at the same time?" Daniel Goldhagen recalled how Hitler had said “To attain our aim we should stop at nothing even if we must join forces with the devil...” and that, in Goldhagen's view, is what Hitler did in agreeing the Concordat with the Church. Gordon Zahn felt that though the signing of the Concordat was distasteful for Cardinal Pacelli it had spared the Church in Germany from greater hardship and persecution.
- Lapide, Pinchas. Three Popes and the Jews 1967, Hawthorn Books
- Lewy, Guenter. The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany 1964, Weidenfield and Nicholson
- Phayer, Michael. The Catholic Church and the Holocaust: 1930-1965 2000, Indiana University Press, ISBN 978-0-253-21471-3
- Rhodes, Anthony. The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators 1973, Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 978-0-340-02394-5
- Carroll, James. Constantine's Sword, 2001, Mariner Books, ISBN 0618219080
- Peter Hebblethwaite; Paul VI, the First Modern Pope; Harper Collins Religious; 1993; p.118
- e.g Lewy, 1964, p. 15-16; Carroll, 2002, p. 490; Falconi, 1967, p. 76; “A History of Christianity”, Paul Johnson, 1976, p. 481; Coppa, 1999, p. 121; see also Lapide 1967, p. 99, 104, for clergy making comparisons between Nazi actions and Kulturkampf
- Shelley Baranowski; Nazi Empire - German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismark to Hitler; Cambridge University Press; 2011; pp. 18–19
- Yad Vashem - The German Churches in the Third Reich by Franklin F. Littell
- Carroll, 2002, p. 485- 488
- Carroll, 2002, p. 494
- Carroll, 2002, p. 487, 490
- Lewy, 1964, p. 57
- Lewy, 1964, p. 58
- Encyclopædia Britannica Online: Pius XI; web Apr. 2013
- Peter Hebblethwaite; Paul VI, the First Modern Pope; Harper Collins Religious; 1993; p.124
- Lapide, p. 91; who also notes that these concordats appear to have strengthened the anti-Zionist faction with the Roman curia (p. 91); example given of the curia pressurizing the Italian authorities to stop an official who was suspected of Zionist sympathies from being appointed the Jerusalem Consul
- Lewy, 1964, p. 59
- Lewy, 1964, p. 60-61
- Lewy, 1964, p. 62
- Alan Bullock; Hitler: a Study in Tyranny; Harper Perennial Edition 1991, pp. 147–48
- Ventresca, Robert, L. "Soldier of Christ The Life of Pius XII" pp. 78–81 ISBN 978-0-674-04961-1
- Theodore S. Hamerow; On the Road to the Wolf's Lair - German Resistance to Hitler; Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 1997; ISBN 0-674-63680-5; p. 132
- Lewy, 1964, p. 26
- Alan Bullock; Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives; Fontana Press; 1993; pp.412-413
- Ian Kershaw; Hitler a Biography; 2008 Edn; W.W. Norton & Co; London; p. 295
- Robert A. Ventresca, Soldier of Christ, p. 84
- Lewy, 1964, p. 27
- Phayer, Michael, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, (1930-1965), 2000, Indiana Univ. Press, p. 18
- Falconi, 1966, p. 193; Ian Kershaw notes "the high level of relative immunity to Nazism which prevailed before 1933 in Catholic circles." Kershaw, The Hitler Myth, Oxford, reissued 2001, p. 36)
- Falconi, 1966, p. 194; Falconi notes that this "papal eulogy" would be remembered by the German bishops in a joint memorandum to Hitler on 20 August 1935 when it stated "In the face of this proclamation of the Pope's confidence, millions of men abroad, both Catholics and non-Catholics, have overcome their initial mistrust and accorded credit to your Government." p. 194
- Kershaw, "Hitler", 2009, p. 281
- Falconi, 1966, p. 193; the Catholic Zentrum Party share of the vote (11.2%) was only slightly down on the previous November poll result. (Kershaw, "Hitler", 2009, p. 277)
- Carroll, James. Constantine's Sword p. 512, 2002, Houghton Mifflin (Mariner books ed), ISBN 978-0-618-21908-7
- Biesinger, Joseph A. essay in Controversial concordats (Coppa Frank J. ed.). p. 128, fn 26, CUA Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0-8132-0920-3
- Lapide, p. 101
- Rhodes, p. 176
- Falconi, p. 207; Lapide (p. 99) notes that on 30 April the leader of an interfaith group asked Cardinal Bertram to help against the boycott of Jewish businesses but was refused because it was purely an economic matter and that Jews had not spoken out when the Church was persecuted.
- Falconi, 1966, p. 195
- Kershaw, Hitler, 2009, p. 290
- Phayer, Michael, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust (1930-1965), 2000, p. 18
- Martin Rhonheimer, "The Holocaust: What Was Not Said" First Things Magazine, November 2003. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- Carroll, 2002, p. 499
- Friedländer, p. 46-47
- Lapide, p. 101-102
- "Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives", Alan Bullock, p. 355, Harper Collins, 1991, ISBN 0-00-215494-3; Lapide, p. 101
- Carroll, p. 505.
- Friedländer, Saul. Nazi Germany and the Jews Vol 1, p. 49
- Kershaw, Ian. Hitler p. 295, Penguin, 2009, ISBN 978-0-14-103588-8
- Carroll, p. 520
- Lewy, 1964, p. 86
- Rhodes, p. 177
- Lapide, p. 102
- Rhodes, p. 176; On 23 June 1939 von Bergen wrote "Cardinal Pacelli told me that the fate of the Concordat depends upon the handling of the Germans' wish for diminution of the political work by priests." (Rhodes, p. 176)
- Lapide, p. 102-103
- Lapide, p. 103
- Friedländer, p. 47, see also Lapide (p. 104) who also gives a date of 9 September for ratification
- Hughes, John Jay (2007-05-18). "An Antidotal History". National Review Online. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "The Record of Pius XII's Opposition to Hitler" Catholic Culture
- Phayer, 2000, p. 45
- Phayer, 2000, p. 114
- Phayer, 2000, p. 18
- Lewy, 1964, p. 79
- Lewy, 1964, p. 80-85
- Rhodes p. 178
- Rhodes, p. 178
- Lewy, 1964, p. 87
- Theodore S. Hamerow; On the Road to the Wolf's Lair - German Resistance to Hitler; Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 1997; ISBN 0-674-63680-5; p. 136
- Paul O'Shea; A Cross Too Heavy; Rosenberg Publishing; p. 234–5
- Gill, 1994, p.57
- Paul O'Shea; A Cross Too Heavy; Rosenberg Publishing; pp. 234–35 ISBN 978-1-877058-71-4
- William L. Shirer; The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich; Secker & Warburg; London; 1960; pp. 234–35
- Paul Berben; Dachau: The Official History 1933–1945; Norfolk Press; London; 1975; ISBN 085211009; p. 142
- Paul Berben; Dachau: The Official History 1933–1945; Norfolk Press; London; 1975; ISBN 085211009; p. 145
- "Nazi Policy and the Catholic Church". Catholiceducation.org. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- William L. Shirer; The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich; Secker & Warburg; London; 1960; p. 240
- "The German Churches and the Nazi State". Ushmm.org. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- Peter Hoffmann; The History of the German Resistance 1933–1945; 3rd Edn (First English Edn); McDonald & Jane's; London; 1977; p.14
- Theodore S. Hamerow; On the Road to the Wolf's Lair - German Resistance to Hitler; Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 1997; ISBN 0-674-63680-5; p. 139
- Ian Kershaw; Hitler a Biography; 2008 Edn; W.W. Norton & Co; London; pp. 381–82
- ”Between morality and diplomacy: the Vatican's "silence" during the Holocaust”, Coppa, Frank J., Journal of Church and State, 22 June 2008
- Fred Taylor; The Goebbells Diaries 1939–1941; Hamish Hamilton Ltd; London; 1982 p.278 & 294
- Gill, 1994, p.59
- "Karol Josef Gajewski; ''Nazi Policy and the Catholic Church''; Catholic Education Resource Centre; web May 2013". Catholiceducation.org. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- Theodore S. Hamerow; On the Road to the Wolf's Lair - German Resistance to Hitler; Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 1997; ISBN 0-674-63680-5; pp. 200–202
- Evans, Richard J. (2005). The Third Reich in Power. New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-303790-3; pp. 245–246
- Laurentius Siemer; German Resistance Memorial Centre, Index of Persons; retrieved at 4 September 2013
- Memory of Spiritual Leader in German Resistance Lives On; Deutsche Welle online; 21 October 2006
- John S. Conway; The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933–1945; Regent College Publishing; p. 255
- John S. Conway; The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933–1945; Regent College Publishing; p. 257
- Encyclopedia Britannica Online: Blessed Clemens August, Graf von Galen; web Apr 2013.
- Gill, 1994, p.60
- Theodore S. Hamerow; On the Road to the Wolf's Lair - German Resistance to Hitler; Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 1997; ISBN 0-674-63680-5; p. 289–90
- Joachim Fest; Plotting Hitler's Death: The German Resistance to Hitler 1933–1945; Weidenfield & Nicolson; London; p. 377
- The Nazi War Against the Catholic Church; National Catholic Welfare Conference; Washington D.C.; 1942; pp. 74–80.
- Hitler's Table Talk 1941–1944: ch A Hungarian Request; Cameron & Stevens; Enigma Books pp. 551–56
- Phayer, 2000, p. 218
- Ehler, Sidney Z.; Morrall, John B. Church and state through the centuries p. 518-519, org pub 1954, reissued 1988, Biblo & Tannen, 1988, ISBN 978-0-8196-0189-6
- "BVerfGE 6, 309 - Reichskonkordat" (in German). servat.unibe.ch. 1957-03-26. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- "The German principle of “church autonomy”" (in English). concordatwatch.eu. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- Rhodes, p. 173
- Rhodes, p. 182; Rhodes quotes from an allocution given by Pius XII on 2 June 1945 which lends weight to this interpretation.
- Rhodes, p. 174
- Kershaw, Ian. Hitler p. 282. Penguin, 2008, ISBN 978-0-14-103588-8
- Cornwell, John. Review of Hitler's Priests: Catholic Clergy and National Socialism by Kevin P. Spicer in Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, Volume 78, Issue March 2009, pp 235-237. Published online by Cambridge University Press, 20 February 2009.
- "The Catholic church and the Holocaust", 2000, p. 74; this book has for its cover a painting “The Concordat” by Fritz Hirschberger, a Holocaust survivor, which depicts a priest and Nazi soldier standing on the body of a Jew (p. x, see also “The End of the Pius Wars”, Joseph Bottum, First Things Magazine, April 2004
- Falconi, 1966, p. 192
- When Einstein was told how Pius XII directed a Polish priest to keep silent about the murder of Jews, because of the Concordat the Holy See had signed with Nazi Germany "obliged the Church to tread softly”, he replied "There are cosmic laws, Dr. Hermanns. They cannot be bribed by prayers or incense. What an insult to the principles of creation. But remember, that for God a thousand years is a day. This power maneuver of the Church, these Concordats through the centuries with worldly powers... the Church has to pay for it." Hermanns, William. Einstein and the poet: in search of the cosmic man p. 65-66, Branden Books, 1983, ISBN 978-0-8283-1873-0; see also Albert Einstein's religious views
- Goldhagen, Daniel. A Moral Reckoning p. 115-116. 2002, ISBN 978-0-349-11693-8
- Text of the Reichskonkordat (German)
- Text of the "Reichskonkordat" and Secret Supplement (English)
- German Historic Museum: Das Reichskonkordat (German)
- Mit brennender Sorge Pope Pius XI's encyclical Mit brennender Sorge, 1937 (English translation).
- The Vatican Concordat With Hitler's Reich by Robert.E. Krieg