With the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, National Socialist Germany aimed to destroy the Polish nation and Polish national consciousness. The Nazi regime attempted to accomplish this in a variety of ways, including the destruction of Polish cultural institutions, forced resettlement, forced labor, incarceration in prisons and camps, random and systematic roundups of prisoners, and mass murder. To the German authorities in occupied Poland and to many Poles, it was obvious that the occupation would target the Polish Catholic Church with vigor and brutality. Catholicism was the religion of approximately 65 percent of interwar Poland's population: it dominated religious life, held tremendous wealth and political power, and its clergy were widely respected as members of the intelligentsia. More importantly for the Germans, the Catholic Church was a locus and symbol of Polish national identity.