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Barth and the Nazi Revolution

Chapter in book
Authors Arne Rasmusson
Published in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Karl Barth / edited by George Hunsinger and Keith L. Johnson
Pages 965-977
ISBN 9781119156567
Publisher Wiley Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Pages 965-977
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1002/97811191565...
Keywords Karl Barth, Nazi revolution, Nazi government, Barmen declaration, German Christians, Confessing church
Subject categories Systematic theology, Church history

Abstract

When Adolf Hitler became chancellor on 30 January 1933, Karl Barth had lived in Germany for more than 11years. As a personal response to the developments, Barth publicly became member of the Social Democratic Party in 1932. During the spring of 1933 the National Socialist Revolution, hailed as die Wende, was greeted with broad enthusiasm and celebration in German society and also in the churches. It is in this context that Barth publishes a pamphlet on 1 July that will be of crucial importance for the resistance inside the Protestant church. The most important response to the German‐Christian and Nazi‐controlled church was the declaration adopted in late May 1934 by the Confessing Church in its initial synod at Barmen. Many professors were dismissed during the first years of the Nazi government for political reasons or for being Jews. The great majority of professors, however, were neutral or supportive of the Nazi revolution.

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