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1933: The Nazi State Begins
 pg. 64 
Ludwig Müller

Calling themselves the "Storm Troopers of Jesus Christ," and believing Hitler was an instrument of God, a group of Nazi Protestant theologians spearheaded a drive in 1933 to align the Protestant churches of Germany with pagan Nordic ritual and the goals of the Nazis. Their goal, one Reich church under centralized leadership, produced the coerced election of Ludwig Müller, Hitler's advisor on church matters, to the new post of Reich bishop of the Protestant Church.

Müller was an antisemitic nationalist, a military chaplain who believed racial "mongrelization was immoral and should be prohibited by law." Protestant pastors opposed to Müller's "positive Christianity" created a rival organization, the Confessing Church. Müller persecuted dissenting pastors, having many of them arrested. The resulting public furor, however, forced Hitler to tone down his assault on the Confessing Church.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

Jewish ritual slaughter was a frequent target of Nazi propaganda. Seen as barbaric and demonstrative of Jewish cruelty, ritual slaughter was prohibited by the German government in April 1933. This page from the antisemitic children's book Der Giftpilz (The Poisonous Mushroom) contained the following text: "Again the animal falls to the ground. It is slowly dying. The Jews, however, are standing around and laughing about it." The message to impressionable German youth was clear: Jews took pleasure in and were entertained by killing innocent animals.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Nazi Storm Troopers prepare to launch the boycott against Jewish-owned stores and professional establishments in Berlin in April 1933. Party members stationed themselves in the doorways of Jewish businesses, discouraging patrons from entering. The move to divide German society into gentile and Jewish sectors was a major initiative of the Nazi regime.
Photo: UPI/Corbis-Bettmann
 April 27, 1933: The German government prohibits the practice of ritual Jewish slaughter of animals for meat.
 May 6, 1933: The Institute of Sexual Studies in Berlin is destroyed by pro-Nazi students, likely because of its academic interest in homosexuality.
1933: The Nazi State Begins
 pg. 64 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.