I would have bet that Hitler would have turned on the RCC when he ran out of Jews, Gypsies, Muslims and Slavs to kill.
You are correct. While Hitler viewed the antisemitic teachings of Luther with reverence, he viewed the Pope and the RCC as his enemies and planned to destroy them.
As soon as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was ousted from power on July 25, 1943, Adolf Hitler began hatching a plan to kidnap Pope Pius XII and plunder the Vatican. Clearly, the Fuehrer thought, the “Jew-loving” pope had encouraged King Victor Emanuel II and some rival fascist leaders to overthrow his Italian puppet.
The following day Hitler called for an urgent meeting of his military leaders. They must liberate Mussolini and return him to power, he cried. And “we must occupy Rome” and “destroy the Vatican’s power, capture the pope, and say that we are protecting him.” The pope might even have to be killed.
About six weeks later, on September 13, SS General Karl Wolff, the SS commander in Italy, received a phone call from his boss, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, orchestrator of the Holocaust. Himmler, Wolff told me, bellowed that the Fuehrer wanted to see him urgently.
The general, who had previously served as Himmler’s chief of staff, suspected why. Three days earlier, on September 10, German troops had marched into Rome, and German intelligence soon snatched Mussolini from captivity. The Duce was now to regain power in Nazi-occupied northern Italy, and Wolff would be sent to the capital in Fasano, near Salo, primarily to make sure that Mussolini followed the Nazi line. But Himmler had revealed to Wolff that Hitler had an additional secret mission in mind for him.
According to notes that Wolff told me he had taken during and after the meeting, Hitler barked: “I want you and your troops to occupy Vatican City as soon as possible, secure its files and art treasures, and take the pope and the curia to the north,” probably Liechtenstein.
Referring to the threat of an Allied invasion of Italy, he added: “I do not want the pope to fall into the hands of the Allies or to be under their political pressure and influence.”
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