Signing of the Reich Concordat (July 20, 1933)
The Reich Concordat of July 20, 1933, was supposed to regulate the relationship between the German Reich and the Catholic Church. The Vatican agreed to withdraw representatives of Catholic interests from the political realm. In return, the Nazi leadership promised to preserve the religious freedom and institutional integrity of the churches in Germany. Hitler did not intend to keep this promise. For him, the Reich Concordat was a way to temporarily mollify the churches and to gain international prestige. The photo shows (from left to right) prelate Ludwig Kaas, German Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, Papal Undersecretary of State Guiseppe Pizzardo, Papal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII), Papal Deputy Ottaviani, Ministerial Director Rudolf Buttman, Papal Deputy Montini (Paul VI) and Couselor Klee at the signing of the Concordat.