The partition of Poland between the two invaders, the destruction of its national structure, the replacement of its own administration by one imposed by the occupying powers did not in any way alter the fact that the Catholic Church, with almost 1000 years of history, continued to exist. In Poland Catholicism was the religion of the majority of the people; 65 per cent of the whole population professed it and it was thus considered to be the state religion. The Church’s organisation was ubiquitous and well-disciplined; the clergy enjoyed universal respect. Moreover, the Church was an organisation allied to Rome and the Papacy which gave it a strong international position and a certain influence on the country’s fortunes. Both the occupying powers knew this and had to take it into account, but each responded to the situation in a different way.
KeywordsConcentration Camp Religious Freedom Resistance Movement Religious Toleration German Authority
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