Catholicism to be among the Nazis' chief enemies. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. In addition to Hitler's stated purpose of acquiring Lebensraum, this large-scale offensivecodenamed Operation Barbarossa was intended to destroy the Soviet Union and seize its natural resources for subsequent aggression against the Western powers. The regime enacted the Reich Nature Protection Act in 1935 to protect the natural landscape from excessive economic development. These measures culminated in the establishment of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which stripped them of their basic rights. In the areas of Poland annexed in 1939, the Nazis instigated a brutal suppression and systematic dismantling of the Catholic Church. Retrieved 25 September 2016.