church in Le Chambon, France
The village church in Le Chambon, France

Christian Resistance Project Main Page

by: Justin, Rachel, Holly, and Alex

Dec. 5, 2005

Web project for

UCSB Hist 33d, Fall 2005:
"Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Holocaust"

(course homepage; web projects index page)


Power-Action Grid
Le Chambon
Catholic Lay Resistance: Zegota
Bishop von Galen
Pope Pius XII

Introduction (back to top)

Resistance and Inaction: The Church’s Response to the Nazi Holocaust

The Catholic Church's response to the Nazi Holocaust certainly stands as one of the most salient dilemmas in the 20th century. Following the Christian values that are rooted in compassion and loving one' s neighbor, the reaction of the Christian world, both Catholic and Protestant, to the Holocaust was, unexpectedly, alarmingly silent and apathetic. Within Germany it bore overtones of racism and extreme nationalism. Exacerbating this silence and passiveness was the ability of the Holy See as both a religious and a political entity to pose as a formidable opposition to the Nazi "Final Solution." This juxtaposed against its failure to take a concrete stand against the Holocaust.

With these dilemmas in mind, this project attempts to make sense of the Catholic Church's response to Nazi policies and action. We examine the forms of resistance--and lack thereof--that existed within the Christian communities by critically analyzing key figures within Christianity at the time. We also look critically at the response of European Christians in different areas to establish whether they filled the role of perpetrator, victim, or rescuer in the Holocaust.

For our discussion we drew on the "power-action grid" that Prof. Marcuse presented in lecture:

This project consists of four papers:

Holocaust Course Homepage

Web Projects Index Page
Le Chambon
Catholic Lay Resistance: Zegota
Bishop von Galen
Pope Pius XII

prepared for web on12/5/05; last updated: 12/15/05
back to top, to Hist 33d projects page; Hist 33d homepage
; Prof. Marcuse's Courses page; H. Marcuse homepage