View Full Version : Hitler and Religion: The Relationships Between the Vatican and the Third Reich

Thursday, August 19th, 2004, 01:40 AM
Vatican thinks that it was the 'neopagan ideology of the Nazis that led to the atrocities committed by them'. It seems that they are ignorant of their (and Protestant) very close ties with Adolf:

"National Socialism has always affirmed that it is determined to take the Christian Churches under the protection of the State. The decisive factor which can justify the existence alike of Church and State is the maintenance of men's spiritual and bodily health, for if that health were destroyed it would mean the end of the State and also the end of the Church. It is my sincere hope that thereby for Germany, too, through free agreement there has been produced a final clarification of spheres in the functions of the State and of one Church."
-Hitler on radio, the evening before the Evangelical Church Election

"Providence has caused me to be Catholic, and I know therefore how to handle this Church."
-Adolf Hitler, Berlin 1936

"While we destroyed the Centre Party, we have not only brought thousands of priests back into the Church, but to millions of respectable people we have restored their faith in their religion and in their priests. The union of the Evangelical Church in a single Church for the whole Reich, the Concordat with the Catholic Church, these are but milestones on the road which leads to the establishment of a useful relation and a useful cooperation between the Reich and the two Confessions."
-Adolf Hitler, in his New Year Message 1934

"The National Socialist State professes its allegiance to positive Christianity. It will be its honest endeavour to protect both the great Christian Confessions in their rights, to secure them from interference with their doctrines (Lehren), and in their duties to constitute a harmony with the views and the exigencies of the State of today."
-Adolf Hitler, on 26 June 1934, to Catholic bishops to assure them that he would take action against the new pagan propaganda

"This Winter Help Work is also in the deepest sense a Christian work. When I see, as I so often do, poorly clad girls collecting with such infinite patience in order to care for those who are suffering from the cold while they themselves are shivering with cold, then I have the feeling that they are all apostles of a Christianity, and in truth of a Christianity which can say with greater right than any other: This is the Christianity of an honest confession, for behind it stand not words but deeds."
-Adolf Hitler, speaking of the Winter Help Campaign on 5 Oct. 1937

"The fact that the Vatican is concluding a treaty with the new Germany means the acknowledgement of the National Socialist state by the Catholic Church. This treaty shows the whole world clearly and unequivocally that the assertion that National Socialism is hostile to religion is a lie."
-Adolf Hitler, 22 July 1933, writing to the Nazi Party

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognised these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognise more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people is plundered and exploited."
-Adolf Hitler, in his speech on 12 April 1922

friedrich braun
Thursday, October 21st, 2004, 03:28 PM
The Religion Report: 17 September 2003 - The Holy Reich

[This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/relrpt/stories/s946813.htm]

Stephen Crittenden: Welcome to the program.


Who said that Jesus was “the true God”, that the goal of his own movement was to “translate the ideals of Christ into deeds”; who said “we are the first to exhume these teachings through us alone, and not until now do these teachings celebrate their resurrection. Mary and Magdalene stood at the empty tomb, for they were seeking the dead man, but we intend to raise the treasures of the living Christ”.

Well, you may be surprised to learn that those are the words of Adolf Hitler, quoted in an important new book that challenges the conventional wisdom that Nazism was a neo-pagan movement, and that it was hostile not just to the Christian churches, but to Christianity itself.

Richard Steigmann-Gall is Assistant Professor of History at Kent State University in Ohio, and his new book The Holy Reich has just been published by Cambridge University Press.

He argues that far from being anti-Christian, Nazism saw itself as the embodiment of practical Christianity. Indeed, Point 24 of the Nazi Party Program of 1920 says the Party represents the standpoint of “positive Christianity”, without tying itself to a particular confession. Many Nazi Party elite had a serious interest in religious questions that went well beyond the pragmatic or cynical manipulation of conservative mainstream German public opinion. Some leading Nazis even saw the movement as a completion of the Reformation begun by Martin Luther.

Richard Steigmann-Gall is speaking to me from the studios of Radio WKSU-FM in Ohio.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: What we’ve learned a great deal about in the last several decades is that churchmen in Germany – and churchwomen for that matter – oftentimes held a very favourable view of Nazism, but that has always been assumed to be part of a larger picture where the Nazis never reciprocated the affections. Hitler’s Pope is a book that’s just come out, as well as others, that suggests that even as far up as the Papacy, the Vatican, you had either an ambivalent attitude towards Nazism or outright affection for Nazism – but again, the flipside of the coin, what the Nazis had to say about Christians has until now, not really been systematically analysed.

Stephen Crittenden: Well, let’s come to the Catholics in a moment, but let’s start with the idea that Nazism was a neo-pagan movement. That’s a very widely held popular view, isn’t it, that Nazism grew out of the secularisation of German culture in the 19th century, and that it’s particularly associated with the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and his idea of the death of God? Now, having read your book, you come away with the sense that it was anything but.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: In a word: yes. There is a branch of the Nazi movement, which I label paganist, and they are people who supposed that they were trying to propagate a new faith which was actually based on an old faith, that Nazis supposed that the Teutonic forefathers of Germany back in the misty Middle Ages, had been worshipping more Germanic religions, Wotan, this sort of thing.

Stephen Crittenden: Blood and soil.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Exactly. And Himmler and his cohorts profess an interest in resurrecting these older religions.

Stephen Crittenden: Right. And what about Rosenberg, who is the ideologue of this kind of view?

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Absolutely. He’s front and centre, he writes prolifically about the new religion that he wants to shape for the “New Germany”, as the Nazis call it, and so he is very much squarely in the middle of this movement to put in a new religion, if you will.

Stephen Crittenden: There’s a key book by Rosenberg, isn’t there, called The Myth of the 20th Century?

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes, absolutely, a very thick book, seven-hundred-plus pages, which – as he discovered after 1945 during the Nuremberg trials – few of his colleagues ever actually read, it was just so ponderous. The point I would make, Stephen, about that cohort – again, I call them the paganists – is that they were not as hegemonic in their religious views as historians have conventionally assumed. In other words, because Rosenberg called himself the Party ideologue, and because he wrote so prolifically on this new religion he was trying to set up – which was actually in his view an old religion being restored – there’s a tendency in certainly the popular culture, there’s a presumption that somehow every Nazi was to some degree a paganist or a mystic – and in fact it is limited to a small cohort, I would say. I don’t mean to diminish the importance of the individual players, but to presume that these people had religious ideas that all Nazis had to subscribe to, is completely false. If you look at Hitler’s own ideas, and his reactions to Himmler’s and Rosenberg’s writings, he (if anything) ridiculed the paganism of these sort of second-tier Nazi henchmen.

Stephen Crittenden: Yes that’s very interesting, isn’t it, that Hitler could love Wagner’s music, and love Wotan when he was on the stage, but he very definitely differentiated between that and any idea that you would import those kind of 19th century Wagnerian – or indeed pre-Christian – ideas into contemporary politics in Germany.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: That’s absolutely right. And actually, when it comes to Wagner himself, you will actually find in his operas certain pagan appropriations of sort of a misty German religious past. But in Wagner’s operas you also find very strong Christian metaphors, and this is especially notable in Hitler’s favourite opera Parsifal, which many commentators of the day have noted as a sort of metaphor for Christ. The Parsifal opera is in many ways a metaphor of Christ’s life, and this was Hitler’s favourite opera of all of Wagner’s. And furthermore, if you go into Wagner’s own writings, you’ll see that Wagner himself did feel himself to be a Christian. Now, when you say “what does that mean?” – or, for that matter, what does the idea that Hitler thought of himself as a Christian mean – then you have to obviously acknowledge that Wagner’s and Hitler’s religious views were not exactly orthodox. But insofar as Wagner wrote a lot with his wife about Jesus – about how he loved Jesus, how Jesus was important for him and for his art – then you see that in fact Wagner is not so clearly a pagan as some people might suppose. He in fact himself thought of himself as a Christian, I would suggest.


Stephen Crittenden: Music from Wagner’s Parsifal.

Richard, if you think of Hitler or Goebbels, both baptised Catholics, or Goering, a pretty active Protestant, none of them is an orthodox Christian, they’ve all got some pretty peculiar ideas.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Right. And it should be noted right off the bat that when I discuss Hitler’s conceptions of Christianity in the book, and contend that in some way or other Hitler regarded himself to be a Christian, that’s not to say that Hitler went by the benchmarks of typical Christian practice, and his religious views were unorthodox, as were those of his immediate associates. As you say, Goering was notable for being a Protestant. He wasn’t particularly an active churchgoer either, but what’s interesting is that the leadership of the Nazi party embraced the idea – at least those who weren’t the Pagans like Himmler and Rosenberg – embraced the idea of what got called “positive Christianity” within the Nazi party. And among other things, positive Christianity attempted to bridge the sectarian divide that had fractured German society between Catholic and Protestant. Hitler talks – in private as well as in public, but more especially in private – about the meanings of positive Christianity for him, and one of the things that became clear to me as I was analysing what the Nazis meant when they kept using this expression “positive Christianity” was that it would be a faith which no-one was ever baptised into, but rather would be a set of ideas and ethics, according to the Nazis, that would among other things emphasise commonalities – and including, in Hitler’s mind of course, anti-Semitism, which he I think (rather successfully, when you look at how people reacted to it), tied in with Christianity.

Stephen Crittenden: Richard, can we turn to the I think very ambiguous and ambivalent connection between Nazism and Catholicism. A lot of the Nazi leaders, Hitler and Himmler originally, Goebbels, are baptised Catholics, but there’s a lot of ambivalence from the word go about the Catholic Church, even to the point of some of these Catholics being quite pro-Protestant. So, quite open to Luther, for example.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes, absolutely. You hear a lot about the fact that the Nazi leadership seemed to be disproportionately Catholic. Again, through the device of positive Christianity, when I looked at this concept and tried to explore it a little more deeply, what I discovered was that these Nazis, even the Catholic Nazis – especially, as odd as it may sound, Hitler himself – suggested that while everybody, Protestant and Catholic alike, could be embraced under the banner of positive Christianity, when you look at the actual discussions that they have of Protestantism and Catholicism, they keep privileging Protestantism over Catholicism. They believe that if Catholicism is an international religion, with a leader who is not part of Germany – obviously in Rome – that by contrast, Protestantism is more innately amenable to nationalist politics. They cast Luther as not just the first Protestant, but also the first German. Hitler’s saying this, but it’s certainly not new. What is notable about it, is that even nominal Catholics – as you point out, like Hitler – seem to have a greater appreciation for at least the political and social dimensions of Protestantism than they do their own nominal faith Catholicism. And so again, it’s no surprise when you look at it that way, that Hitler obviously had long before 1933, when he comes to power, stopped attending Catholic church; for him, Protestantism was more valued. Now, because he was a politician, and he wanted to get Catholics on board his movement, he wasn’t about to convert to Protestantism, but when you look at his private conversations behind closed doors – when the curtain of Nazi performance, if you will, comes down – what you hear Hitler saying over and over again, is among other thing, a much higher estimation of Protestantism as what he calls “the natural religion of the German”.

Stephen Crittenden: Richard, I think because of a lot of recent attacks on Pope Pius XII and his failure to do enough in support of European Jewry, we also have a somewhat distorted picture of the relationship between Nazism and the Catholic Church. You make it clear that was mutually hostile from the word go, and that the Catholic Church actively opposed Nazi racial policies, even though there was a lot of Catholic anti-Semitism in this period as well.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Well, I would say that it’s right that the Nazis had an antagonistic view to Catholicism, certainly when certain scholars today seek out the roots of Nazi anti-Semitism and claim to find the roots in Catholic anti-Semitism, I think they’re not getting as close to the matter as had they not gone to an alternative, and namely, that is Protestant sources. Because within certain Protestant religions, you find a much closer theological accommodation of racialism or racism. Now you talked, Stephen, a while ago about active Catholic resistance to Nazi racism. In Germany itself, of course, it’s hard to gauge just how active it was. You do have a couple of outspoken clergymen in Germany, like the famous Bishop von Galen, who from the pulpit decries the euthanasia campaign. But he was much more of an exception than the rule.

Stephen Crittenden: But the German bishops, as a group, do come out and officially express their opposition to Nazism fairly early on, don’t they?

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Before 1933, correct, yes. Things change after the Nazis come to power in ways that I think you had an interview some months ago with Michael Marrus at the University of Toronto, in which you talked with him about this so-called hidden encyclical which never came to light.

Stephen Crittenden: This is Pope Pius XI’s hidden encyclical for 1938.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Right. I would agree with Michael’s estimation that there’s ambiguity, yes: the Catholic Church is, from a doctrinal point of view, taking a clear stance against racism, but in ways that paradoxically leave open the idea that had been long current in Catholic thinking: that the Jews were still somehow responsible, for instance, for the death of Christ, and they still had to atone for that. But, Stephen, your larger point – that the Catholic Church took a doctrinal stand against racism, and contrast that to the Protestant churches, many of which actually embraced racialism from the theological point of view – that is absolutely correct.

Stephen Crittenden: Let’s stick to the Protestant churches now. There’s wide public awareness, these days, of Christian anti-Semitism, and that Christian anti-Semitism was almost a necessary precondition for Nazi anti-Semitism. What I don’t think many people will be aware of, is the extent to which Nazi persecution of the Jews was underwritten by German Protestant theology in particular, and that it wasn’t just sort of contemporary 1920s theology, it pre-existed Nazism.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: That’s absolutely right, and one can start with Luther’s infamous tract called On the Jews and their Lies, in which Luther says, among other things – and this quote is to this day almost unbelievable when it’s heard – but Luther is known to say “we are at fault in not slaying them”. So Luther himself, certainly, was unfortunately rather a virulent anti-Semite. Now, that’s not to say that every single Lutheran after Luther had to be as intensely anti-Semitic as he was. I would put it this way though, and that is that within Lutheranism rested certain traditions of anti-Semitism which Nazis could and did draw upon.

Stephen Crittenden: Apart from the fact of Luther being a nationalist figure, if you like, one of the key ideas is the idea that Jesus was not a Jew – an idea that I think came from Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the idea that the Galileans weren’t Jews, that Jesus was is fact an archetypal – even the original – anti-Semite. And at one point you even quote Martin Bormann’s father-in-law, Walter Buch, who believes that Jesus’ entire character and learning betray the fact that he was German.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes, there are the most notable aspects of – if it could be called this – Nazi theology. Almost to a man, the Nazis insisted (a) that Jesus was in fact not Jewish but an Aryan; and (b) that the Old Testament should be dispensed with as a Jewish tract, and that it should be removed from the Christian canon. Now, Christians these days, at least in mainstream culture, would claim either of these things. And yet these were ideas that were not invented by the Nazis, no-one would ever suggest that Hitler had any ingenuity as a thinker, he was no bona fide intellectual in his own right, his ideas were borrowed – and in the same way, the idea of Christ being an Aryan was also borrowed. Now, as you indicated, Stephen, it sort of begins with Houston Stewart Chamberlain; I would suggest it goes back even a little further than that, within the theological tradition in the 19th century known as biblical criticism. One of the leaders of the biblical criticism movement, if it could be called that, is a Frenchman actually, Ernest Renan, and Renan anticipates later Nazi thinking, he refers to Jesus as someone who almost is entirely Aryan, and uses a great deal of racialist discourse, which the Nazis will later adapt. So it’s about Houston Stewart Chamberlain, you’re quite right, this notable philosopher of the Wilhelmine German period, but it’s also about this larger movement of biblical criticism – which was pan-European, in fact.

Stephen Crittenden: Hitler really has this expectation that the Protestant churches – in Germany, at least – will unify themselves and bring themselves into some kind of co-ordination under Nazism. There’s this key figure, the Reich Bishop Müller, who turns out I think to be pretty incompetent as a politician, doesn’t he, and in the end it appears that Hitler moves away from this idea – and really, what starts to happen as the 1930s wear on, is that he distances himself from the Protestant churches slowly, doesn’t he?

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes, he does. There is a movement within Protestantism – it’s not an imposition by the Nazis upon Protestantism, but rather begins within Protestantism – to unite all the different state churches within Germany into one big national church, what the Germans call a Reichskirche, to be headed by a Reich Bishop, as you said. And the advocates of this are known as the “German Christians”, they call themselves the German Christians.

Stephen Crittenden: And it’s important to say, too, isn’t it, that Hitler’s idea is that this will happen more or less at arm’s length from the Nazi party.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Right. But having said that, it is the case that you have very revealing overlaps in personnel. In other words, some of the most important players in the German Christians are also rather high up in the Nazi party hierarchy, and that’s a revealing overlap. But they do remain institutionally distinct. And when, as you say Stephen, that the idea of unifying all of these separate Protestant churches ultimately comes undone, then it becomes clear that these are two distinct bodies. Because the Nazis begin to give up on the idea; after four years of trying, finally in 1937 they decide “well, let’s forget about this, it’s not ever going to happen”, and then you see the German Christians more and more being ignored by the Nazi party – much to the disappointment of the German Christians, obviously.

Stephen Crittenden: You get this slow increase in sort of antipathy towards the institutional churches at first, but perhaps then even later, towards Christianity in general.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: I would say that certainly before 1937, the Nazis always had displayed some sort of anti-clericalism, but it was always when you looked at the specific targets of anti-clericalism, it would always be the Catholic Church, that the Protestant Church would always be somehow left untouched in anti-clerical attacks.

Stephen Crittenden: But what about during the war years?

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes, I was going to say after 1937 you do see a big change. Because now it seemed that the Protestant national church just is never going to come into reality, and Hitler, being the sort of megalomaniac that he was, when he became sufficiently frustrated with a particular institution – or even an ally, a particular individual who had been a friend of his – he would sort of cast the whole thing off, and reject it entirely. So in the same way, Hitler seems after 1937 to become increasingly anti-clerical vis-à-vis both churches, not just the Catholic Church but the Protestant churches as well. Now, to the point of how anti-Christian he then became, there’s more ambivalence there. I analysed very carefully the various sources that historians use, namely Hitler’s so called “table talk”, conversations Hitler had with his confidants during the war years, where it is alleged, or where it is professed, that Hitler’s true feelings about Christianity – in other words, his anti-Christian feelings – really come out. And having explored those, Stephen, I came to the conclusion that in fact Hitler’s table talk, this one particular source, shows in fact ambivalence and ambiguity about Hitler. On the one hand he claims yes, Christianity should be rejected as Jewish; on the other hand he still is saving Jesus, the person of Jesus is never touched in his tirades. Jesus is always elevated as the Aryan; Jesus’ ideas were different.

Stephen Crittenden: The first Socialist, a muscular “doer”.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Exactly.


Stephen Crittenden: Richard, I want to turn if I could to the active support for Nazi eugenics – forced sterilisation and so forth – that comes from the Protestant church, particularly a group within the Protestant church called the Inner Mission, which I guess is essentially a Protestant welfare organisation. This is perhaps one of the most shocking parts of your book. It’s not just active support; you actually have this group, the Inner Mission, voluntarily sterilising people in its asylums, handing thousands of people over to be killed at one point, but also providing a kind of theological underpinning.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes, and I think that’s really the crux. The question is, how could good Christians – good Protestants, running a group like the Inner Mission, devoted to Protestantisation of social policy in Germany – how could such a group advocate sterilisation, and even end up being drawn into the Nazi euthanasia program? And I think it’s very important to keep in mind that these are not people who didn’t realise what they were doing. The theological underpinnings of this, to borrow your expression, also in a broader sense explains why those Protestants who went to Hitler, did go to Hitler. And it’s an expression which is used in Germany – I won’t give you the German word, Stephen, but it translates roughly into “the theology of the orders of creation”. And what you start getting in Protestant circles is the idea – certainly by the turn of the century, this idea is getting currency – that the Volk, or the race, is one of God’s orders of creation. Now, Lutheran theology had always maintained that God had created certain orders in society, like the family, and the law and the state. And what you see increasingly among Luther scholars is the idea being suggested that the Volk as well – and again, Volk is a word which doesn’t translate easily into English, it’s translated as “people” or “race” – but the Volk is a divine order of creation. And here again I have to draw a parallel, Stephen, at least in my context in the United States, with the idea among people like Strom Thurmond in the United States, that miscegenation was something that God was opposed to.

Stephen Crittenden: And so what you get in Germany is the Inner Mission puts out a public statement saying that the thirty thousand inmates of its asylums are victims of guilt and sin, you get a formulation: “life that is unworthy of life”.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes, I don’t claim in the book that that expression “life unworthy of life” is an invention of a Protestant pastor or a Protestant theologian, but the key ingredient here is that if you believe that God created the races as distinct, and that God is opposed to any intermixing of the races, what you also are implying is that God believes that the body of the Volk needs to be preserved, and that the Volk as an organic whole needs to be protected as much as the individual does. So you get this idea that the strength and purity of the race is willed by God, and then it becomes possible, as perverse as it sounds, for Protestant theologians in the Inner Mission to suggest that we need to sterilise these people as being the issue of sin, the guilt and sin –

Stephen Crittenden: People with physical disabilities or who were mad, or whatever.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Right. And if you believe that God created races, then you will also believe that it was pleasing to God that these imperfections be removed from his holy creation of the Volk.

Stephen Crittenden: You’ve got the Lutheran Neuendetteslau Asylum in Franconia, in 1937 handing over 1900 of its 2100 patients to be killed.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: That’s right. Euthanasia is something that the Protestant – and, for that matter, Catholic – welfare organisations find themselves drawn into. And you find actually a lot of Protestants do begin to object not to sterilisation – again, many of these people within the Inner Mission actually had advocated laws for the sterilisation of certain types of people in Germany – when it comes to euthanasia, the actual killing of these people, a lot of Protestants begin to trip, they begin to ask themselves “oh, wait a minute, is this how far we really wanted this to go?” And because they have been so implicated in the logic of racial thinking, they find they’ve already entered into the euthanasia program with one hand tied behind their back, in a way, unable to defend their own charges when the Nazis come to basically round them up and mass murder them. The Inner Mission oftentimes will simply turn a blind eye, they’ll tell the Nazis “well, we’re not going to help you with getting our inmates out of our institutions, but here’s a list of people who are the really worst off”, and of course this is to give sort of sanction and at least acquiescence to Nazi euthanasia in ways that show that if they’re not completely approving of euthanasia, they’re certainly far from being condemning of it.

Stephen Crittenden: Indeed, you say that not one public protest against euthanasia was ever launched by a German Protestant churchman.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Correct.

Stephen Crittenden: Let me take you beyond the scope of your book, right up to 1945 to the fall of Berlin and beyond. Given this kind of theological underpinning was provided by German Protestantism, given this level of active assistance of all of the worst aspects of the Nazi program had occurred, what was the reaction of the Lutheran church in 1945? I mean, why didn’t it just close down, wind itself up out of shame? What happened in 1945? It must have been an incredible story in itself.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes, and there’s growing literature that addresses this question. One of the interesting things about German Protestantism is its institutionally fractured nature. So you had twenty-eight separate state churches – again, the Nazi ambition of uniting all the churches falls apart, so you get institutional fracturing – not only that, you get this internal war within Protestantism between the so-called German Christians and the so-called Confessing Church. And that has the effect, Stephen, of after the war, basically allowing Germans to believe a half-truth: that all Protestants in Germany belonged – or were at least ideologically allied – with the so-called Confessing Church, and the main figureheads of the Confessing Church were people who are well-known today.

Stephen Crittenden: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and people like that.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Yes.

Stephen Crittenden: So in other words, Bonhoeffer enables German Protestants to tell themselves a much sanitised story.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Exactly. And of course the German Christians, those who had been very pro-Hitler and pro-Nazi – even when the Nazis began to tire and increasingly reject the German Christians, these were people who had always been essentially pro-Nazi, certainly virulently anti-Semitic – after 1945, you get from them an embarrassed silence.

Stephen Crittenden: Richard Steigmann-Gall, thank you very much for joining us on The Religion Report. It’s been a most interesting conversation.

Richard Steigmann-Gall: Thank you very much, Stephen.

Stephen Crittenden: ”Our religion is Christ, our politics is Fatherland”. Richard Steigmann-Gall, Assistant Professor of History at Kent State University in Ohio, and his book The Holy Reich is published by Cambridge University Press.

That’s all this week, thanks to David Rutledge and John Diamond.

Guests on this program:
Richard Steigmann-Gall
Author and Professor of History, Kent State University, Ohio

The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945
Author: Richard Steigmann-Gall
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (2003)
ISBN: 0521823714

Download a sample chapter here.

Friday, March 25th, 2005, 02:48 AM

I think the man who contemplates the universe with his eyes wide open is the man with the greatest amount of natural piety: not in the religious sense, but in the sense of an intimate harmony with things.

At the end of the last century the progress of science and technics led liberalism astray into proclaiming man's mastery of nature, and announcing that he would soon have dominion over space. But a simple storm is enough — and everything collapses like a pack of cards!

In any case, we shall learn to become familiar with the laws by which life is governed, and acquaintance with the laws of nature will guide us on the path of progress. As for the 'why' of these laws, we shall never know anything about it. A thing is so, and our understanding cannot conceive of other schemes.

Man has discovered in nature the wonderful notion of that almighty being whose law he worships.

Fundamentally in everyone there is the feeling for this almighty, which we call 'God' (that is to say, the dominion of natural laws throughout the whole universe). The priests, who have always succeeded in exploiting this feeling, threaten punishments for the man who refuses to accept the creed they impose.

When one provokes in a child a fear of the dark, one awakens in him a feeling of atavistic dread. Thus this child will be ruled all his life by this dread, whereas another child, who has been intelligently brought up, will be free of it.

It is said that every man needs a refuge where he can find consolation and help in unhappiness. I do not believe it! If humanity follows that path, it is solely a matter of tradition and habit. That is a lesson, by the way, that can be drawn from the Bolshevik front. The Russians have no God, and that does not prevent them from being able to face death.

We do not want to educate anyone in atheism.

The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. Bolshevism practices a lie of the same nature, when it claims to bring liberty to men, whereas in reality it seeks only to enslave them. In the ancient world, the relations between men and gods were founded on an instinctive respect. It was a world enlightened by the idea of tolerance. Christianity was the first creed in the world to exterminate its adversaries in the name of love. Its keynote is intolerance.

Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of human failure.

The Earth continues to go around, whether it's the man who kills the tiger or the tiger who eats the man. The stronger asserts his will, it's the law of nature. The world doesn't change; its laws are eternal.

There are some who say the world is evil, and that they wish to depart from this life. For my part, I like the world! Unless the desire to die is due to a lover's quarrel, I advise the desperate man to have patience for a year. The consolations will come. But if a human being has any other reason to wish to die than this, then let him die, I'm not stopping him. I merely call attention to the fact that one cannot escape this world entirely. The elements of which our body is made belong to the cycle of nature; and as for our soul, it's possible that it might return to limbo, until it gets an opportunity to reincarnate itself. But it would vex me if everybody wanted to have done with life.

To make death easier for people, the Church holds out to them the bait of a better world. We, for our part, confine ourselves to asking man to fashion his life worthily. For this, it is sufficient for him to conform to the laws of nature. Let's seek inspiration in these principles, and in the long run we'll triumph over religion.

But there will never be any possibility of National Socialism's setting out to ape religion by establishing a form of worship. Its one ambition must be scientifically to construct a doctrine that is nothing more than a homage to reason.

Our duty is to teach men to see whatever is lovely and truly wonderful in life, and not to become prematurely ill tempered and spiteful. We wish fully to enjoy what is beautiful, to cling to it — and to avoid, as far as possible, anything that might do harm to people like ourselves.

If today you do harm to the Russians, it is so as to avoid giving them the opportunity of doing harm to us.

God does not act differently. He suddenly hurls the masses of humanity on to the Earth, and he leaves it to each one to work out his own salvation. Men dispossess one another, and one perceives that, at the end of it all, it is always the stronger who triumphs. Is that not the most reasonable order of things?

If it were otherwise, nothing good would ever have existed. If we did not respect the laws of nature, imposing our will by the right of the stronger, a day would come when the wild animals would once again devour us — then the insects would eat the wild animals, and finally nothing would exist on Earth but the microbes.

Trying to take a long view of things, is it conceivable that one could found anything durable on falsehood? When I think of our Folk's future, I must look further than immediate advantages, even if these advantages were to last three hundred, five hundred years or more. I'm convinced that any pact with the Church can offer only a provisional benefit, for sooner or later the scientific spirit will disclose the harmful character of such a compromise. Thus the State will have based its existence on a foundation that one day will collapse.

An educated man retains the sense of the mysteries of nature and bows before the unknowable. An uneducated man, on the other hand, runs the risk of going over to atheism (which is a return to the state of the animal) as soon as he perceives that the State, in sheer opportunism, is making use of false ideas in the matter of religion, whilst in other fields it bases everything on pure science.

That's why I've always kept the Party aloof from religious questions. I've thus prevented my Catholic and Protestant supporters from forming groups against one another, and inadvertently knocking each other out with the bible and the sprinkler. So we never became involved with these churches' forms of worship. And if that has momentarily made my task a little more difficult, at least I've never run the risk of carrying grist to my opponents' mill. The help we would have provisionally obtained from a concordat [with the churches] would have quickly become a burden on us. In any case, the main thing is to be clever in this matter and not to look for a struggle where it can be avoided.

Being weighed down by a superstitious past, men are afraid of things that can't, or can't yet, be explained — that is to say, of the unknown. If anyone has needs of a metaphysical nature, I can't satisfy them with the Party's Program. Time will go by until the moment when science can answer all the questions.

So it's not opportune to hurl ourselves now into a struggle with the churches. The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death. A slow death has something comforting about it. The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that's left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic. When understanding of the universe has become widespread, when the majority of men know that the stars are not sources of light but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.

Originally, religion was merely a prop for human communities. It was a means, not an end in itself. It's only gradually that it became transformed in this direction, with the object of maintaining the rule of the priests, who can live only to the detriment of society collectively.

The instructions of a hygienic nature that most religions gave, contributed to the foundation of organized communities. The precepts ordering people to wash, to avoid certain drinks, to fast at appointed dates, to take exercise, to rise with the sun, to climb to the top of the minaret — all these were obligations invented by intelligent people. The exhortation to fight courageously is also self-explanatory. Observe, by the way, that, as a corollary, the Moslem was promised a paradise peopled with sensual girls, where wine flowed in streams — a real earthly paradise. The Christians, on the other hand, declare themselves satisfied if after their death they are allowed to sing hallelujahs! All these elements contributed to form human communities. It is to these private customs that Folks owe their present characters.

Christianity, of course, has reached the peak of absurdity in this respect. And that's why one day its structure will collapse. Science has already impregnated humanity. Consequently, the more Christianity clings to its dogmas, the quicker it will decline.

But one must continue to pay attention to another aspect of the problem. It's possible to satisfy the needs of the inner life by an intimate communion with nature, or by knowledge of the past. Only a minority, however, at the present stage of the mind's development, can feel the respect inspired by the unknown, and thus satisfy the metaphysical needs of the soul. The average human being has the same needs, but can satisfy them only by elementary means. That's particularly true of women, as also of peasants who impotently watch the destruction of their crops. The person whose life tends to simplification is thirsty for belief, and he dimly clings to it with all his strength.

Nobody has the right to deprive simple people of their childish certainties until they've acquired others that are more reasonable. Indeed, it's most important that the higher belief should be well established in them before the lower belief has been removed. We must finally achieve this. But it would serve no purpose to replace an old belief by a new one that would merely fill the place left vacant by its predecessor.

It seems to me that nothing would be more foolish than to reestablish the worship of Wotan. Our old mythology had ceased to be viable when Christianity implanted itself. Nothing dies unless it is moribund. At that period the ancient world was divided between the systems of philosophy and the worship of idols. It's not desirable that the whole of humanity should be stultified — and the only way of getting rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.

A Movement like ours mustn't let itself be drawn into metaphysical digressions. It must stick to the spirit of exact science. It's not the Party's function to be a counterfeit for religion.

If, in the course of a thousand or two thousand years, science arrives at the necessity of renewing its points of view, that will not mean that science is a liar. Science cannot lie, for it's always striving, according to the momentary state of knowledge, to deduce what is true. When it makes a mistake, it does so in good faith. It's Christianity that's the liar. It's in perpetual conflict with itself.

One may ask whether the disappearance of Christianity would entail the disappearance of belief in God. That's not to be desired. The notion of divinity gives most men the opportunity to concretize the feeling they have of supernatural realities. Why should we destroy this wonderful power they have of incarnating the feeling for the divine that is within them?

The man who lives in communion with nature necessarily finds himself in opposition to the Churches. And that's why they're heading for ruin — for science is bound to win.

I especially wouldn't want our Movement to acquire a religious character and institute a form of worship. It would be appalling for me, and I would wish I'd never lived, if I were to end up in the skin of a Buddha!

If at this moment we were to eliminate the religions by force, the people would unanimously beseech us for a new form of worship. You can imagine our District Leaders giving up their pranks to play at being saints! As for our Minister For Religion, according to his own co-religionists, God himself would turn away from his family!

I envisage the future, therefore, as follows: First of all, to each man his private creed. Superstition shall not lose its rights. The Party is sheltered from the danger of competing with the religions. These latter must simply be forbidden from interfering in future with temporal matters. From the tenderest age, education will be imparted in such a way that each child will know all that is important to the maintenance of the State. As for the men close to me, who, like me, have escaped from the clutches of dogma, I've no reason to fear that the Church will get its hooks on them.

We'll see to it that the churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. We shall continue to preach the doctrine of National Socialism, and the young will no longer be taught anything but the truth.

On the whole Earth there's no being, no substance, and probably no human institution that doesn't end by growing old. But it's in the logic of things that every human institution should be convinced of its everlastingness — unless it already carries the seed of its downfall. The hardest steel grows weary. Just as it is certain that one day the Earth will disappear, so it is certain that the works of men will be overthrown.

All these manifestations are cyclical. Religion is in perpetual conflict with the spirit of free research. The Church's opposition to science was sometimes so violent that it struck off sparks. The Church, with a clear awareness of her interests, has made a strategic retreat, with the result that science has lost some of its aggressiveness.

The present system of teaching in schools permits the following absurdity: at 10 a.m. the pupils attend a lesson on the catechism, at which the creation of the world is presented to them in accordance with the teachings of the Bible; and at 11 a.m. they attend a lesson in natural science, at which they are taught the theory of evolution. Yet the two doctrines are in complete contradiction! As a child, I suffered from this contradiction, and ran my head against a wall. Often I complained to one or another of my teachers against what I had been taught an hour before — and I remember that I drove them to despair.

The Christian religion tries to get out of it by explaining that one must attach a symbolic value to the images of Holy Writ. Any man who made the same claim four hundred years ago would have ended his career at the stake, with an accompaniment of Hosannas. By joining in the game of tolerance, religion has won back ground by comparison with bygone centuries.

Religion draws all the profit that can be drawn from the fact that science postulates the search for, and not the certain knowledge of, the truth. Let's compare science to a ladder. On every rung, one beholds a wider landscape. But science does not claim to know the essence of things. When science finds that it has to revise one or another notion that it had believed to be definitive, at once religion gloats and declares: We told you so! To say that is to forget that it's in the nature of science to behave itself thus. For if it decided to assume a dogmatic air, it would itself become a church.

When one says that God provokes the lightning, that's true in a sense; but what is certain is that God does not direct the thunderbolt, as the Church claims. The Church's explanation of natural phenomena is an abuse, for the Church has ulterior interests. True piety is the characteristic of the being who is aware of his weakness and ignorance. Whoever sees God only in an oak or in a tabernacle, instead of seeing Him everywhere, is not truly pious. He remains attached to appearances — and when the sky thunders and the lightning strikes, he trembles simply from fear of being struck as a punishment for the sin he's just committed.

I know nothing of the Other World, and I have the honesty to admit it. Other people know more about it than I do, and I'm incapable of proving that they're mistaken. I don't dream of imposing my philosophy on a village girl. Although religion does not aim at seeking for the truth, it is a kind of philosophy which can satisfy simple minds, and that does no harm to anyone. Everything is finally a matter of the feeling man has of his own impotence. In itself, this philosophy has nothing pernicious about it. The essential thing, really, is that man should know that salvation consists in the effort that each person makes to understand Providence and accept the laws of nature.

Since all violent upheavals are a calamity, I would prefer the adaptation to be made without shocks. What could be longest left undisturbed are women's convents. The sense of the inner life brings people great enrichment. What we must do, then, is to extract from religions the poison they contain. In this respect, great progress has been made during recent centuries.

When I was younger, I thought it was necessary to set about matters with dynamite. I've since realized that there's room for a little subtlety. The rotten branch falls of itself. The final state must be: in St. Peter's Chair, a senile officiant; facing him, a few sinister old women, as gaga and as poor in spirit as anyone could wish. The young and healthy are on our side. Against a Church that identifies itself with the State, as in England, I have nothing to say. But, even so, it's impossible eternally to hold humanity in bondage with lies. After all, it was only between the sixth and eighth centuries that Christianity was imposed on our Folks by princes who had an alliance of interests with the shavelings. Our Folks had previously succeeded in living all right without this religion. I have six Divisions of SS composed of men absolutely indifferent in matters of religion. It doesn't prevent them from going to their deaths with serenity in their souls.

What is this God who takes pleasure only in seeing men grovel before him? Try to picture to yourselves the meaning of the following, quite simple story: God creates the conditions for sin. Later on he succeeds, with the help of the Devil, in causing man to sin. Then he employs a virgin to bring into the world a son who, by his death, will redeem humanity!

I can imagine people being enthusiastic about the paradise of Mohammed, but as for the insipid paradise of the Christians! In your lifetime, you used to hear the music of Richard Wagner. After your death, it will be nothing but hallelujahs, the waving of palms, children of an age for the feeding bottle, and hoary old men. The man of the isles pays homage to the forces of nature. But Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery. A nigger with his taboos is crushingly superior to the human being who seriously believes in transubstantiation.

I begin to lose all respect for humanity when I think that some people on our side, ministers or generals, are capable of believing that we cannot triumph without the blessing of the Church. Such a notion is excusable in little children who have learned nothing else.

For thirty years [i.e. 1618-1648] the Germans tore each other to pieces simply in order to know whether or not they should take communion in both kinds. There's nothing lower than religious notions like that. From that point of view, one can envy the Japanese. They have a religion which is very simple and brings them into contact with nature. They've succeeded even in taking Christianity and turning it into a religion that's less shocking to the intellect.

By what would you have me replace the Christians' picture of the Beyond? What comes naturally to mankind is the sense of eternity, and that sense is at the bottom of every man. The soul and the mind migrate, just as the body returns to nature. Thus life is eternally reborn from life. As for the 'why' of all that, I feel no need to rack my brains on the subject. The soul is unplumbable.

If there is a God, at the same time as he gives man life he gives him intelligence. By regulating my life according to the understanding that is granted me, I may be mistaken, but I act in good faith.

Man judges everything in relation to himself. What is bigger than himself is big, what is smaller is small. Only one thing is certain, that one is part of the spectacle. Everyone finds his own role. Joy exists for everybody. I dream of a state of affairs in which every man would know that he lives and dies for the preservation of the species. It's our duty to encourage that idea: let the man who distinguishes himself in the service of the species be thought worthy of the highest honors.

What a happy inspiration, to have kept the clergy out of the Party! On the 21st March, 1933, at Potsdam, the question was raised: with the Church, or without the Church? I conquered the State despite the malediction pronounced on us by both creeds. On that day, we went directly to the tomb of the kings whilst the others were visiting religious services. Supposing that at that period I'd made a pact with the Churches, I'd today be sharing the lot of The Duce. By nature The Duce is a freethinker, but he decided to choose the path of concessions. For my part, in his place I'd have taken the path of revolution. I'd have entered the Vatican and thrown everybody out — reserving the right to apologize later: 'Excuse me, it was a mistake!' But the result would have been, they'd have been outside!

When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only Folk who are immunized against the disease.

Kerrl, with the noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.

I think I could have come to an understanding with the popes of the Renaissance. Obviously, their Christianity was a danger on the practical level — and, on the propaganda level, it continued to be a lie.

But a pope, even a criminal one, who protects great artists and spreads beauty around him, is nevertheless more sympathetic to me than the protestant minister who drinks from the poisoned spring.

Pure Christianity — the Christianity of the catacombs — is concerned with translating the Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics.

Man has been given his brain to think with. But if he has the misfortune to make use of it, he finds a swarm of black bugs [i.e. priests] on his heels. The mind is doomed to the auto-da-fé.

The observatory I'll have built at Linz, on the Pöstlingberg, I can see it in my mind ... In future, thousands of excursionists will make a pilgrimage there every Sunday. They'll thus have access to the greatness of our universe. The pediment will bear this motto: 'The heavens proclaim the glory of the everlasting.' It will be our way of giving men a religious spirit, of teaching them humility — but without the priests.

Man seizes hold, here and there, of a few scraps of truth, but he couldn't rule nature. He must know that, on the contrary, he is dependent on Creation. And this attitude leads further than the superstitions maintained by the Church. Christianity is the worst of the regressions that mankind can ever have undergone, and it's the Jew who, thanks to this diabolic invention, has thrown him back 15 centuries. The only thing that would be still worse would be victory for the Jew through Bolshevism. If Bolshevism triumphed, mankind would lose the gift of laughter and joy. It would become merely a shapeless mass, doomed to grayness and despair.

The priests of antiquity were closer to nature, and they sought modestly for the meaning of things. Instead of that, Christianity promulgates its inconsistent dogmas and imposes them by force. Such a religion carries within it intolerance and persecution. It's the bloodiest conceivable ...

For Ptolemy, the Earth was the center of the world. That changed with Copernicus. Today we know that our solar system is merely a solar system amongst many others. What could we do better than allow the greatest possible number of people like us to become aware of these marvels?

In any case, we can be grateful to Providence, which causes us to live today rather than 300 years ago. At every street corner, in those days, there was a blazing stake. What a debt we owe to the men who had the courage — the first to do so — to rebel against lies and intolerance. The admirable thing is that amongst them were Jesuit Fathers.

In their fight against the Church, the Russians are purely negative. We, on the other hand, should practise the cult of the heroes who enabled humanity to pull itself out of the rut of error. Kepler lived at Linz, and that's why I chose Linz as the place for our observatory. His mother was accused of witchcraft and was tortured several times by the Inquisition.

To open the eyes of simple people, there's no better method of instruction than the picture. Put a small telescope in a village, and you destroy a world of superstitions. One must destroy the priest's argument that science is changeable because faith does not change, since, when presented in this form, the statement is dishonest.

The book that contains the reflections of the Emporer Julian (http://library.flawlesslogic.com/julian_1.htm) should be circulated in millions. What wonderful intelligence! What discernment, all the wisdom of antiquity! It's extraordinary!

It is a great pity that this tendency towards religious thought can find no better outlet than the Jewish pettifoggery of the Old Testament, for a religious Folk who, in the solitude of winter, continually seek ultimate light on their religious problems with the assistance of the Bible, must eventually become spiritually deformed. The wretched Folk strive to extract truths from these Jewish chicaneries, where in fact no truths exist. As a result they become embedded in some rut of thought or other and, unless they possess an exceptionally commonsense mind, degenerate into religious maniacs.

It is deplorable that the Bible should have been translated into German, and that the whole of the German Folk should have thus become exposed to the whole of this Jewish mumbo jumbo. So long as the wisdom, particularly of the Old Testament, remained exclusively in the Latin of the Church, there was little danger that sensible people would become the victims of illusions as the result of studying the Bible. But since the Bible became common property, a whole heap of people have found opened to them lines of religious thought which — particularly in conjunction with the German characteristic of persistent and somewhat melancholy meditation — as often as not turned them into religious maniacs. When one recollects further that the Catholic Church has elevated to the status of Saints a whole number of madmen, one realizes why movements such as that of the Flagellants came inevitably into existence in the Middle Ages in Germany.

Is there a single religion that can exist without a dogma? No, for in that case it would belong to the order of science. Science cannot explain why natural objects are what they are. And that's where religion comes in, with its comforting certainties. When incarnated in the Churches, religion always finds itself in opposition to life. So the Churches would be heading for disaster, and they know it, if they didn't cling to a rigid truth.

What is contrary to the visible truth must change or disappear — that's the law of life.

Research must remain free and unfettered by any State restriction. The facts which it establishes represent Truth, and Truth is never evil.

I shall never believe that what is founded on lies can endure for ever. I believe in Truth. I'm sure that, in the long run, Truth must be victorious.

Hitler's Table Talk is a series of informal, private conversations among Hitler and his closest associates, as recorded by Martin Bormann. The ex tempore remarks excerpted above are from July 1941 to June 1942, most late at night or in early morning.


Friday, March 25th, 2005, 11:06 AM
"In Christ, the embodiment of all manliness, we find all we need. And if we occasionally speak of Baldur, our words always contain some joy, some satisfaction, that our pagan anecestors were already so Christian so as to have indications of Christ in this ideal figure."
--Dietrich Eckart "Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin: a conversation between Hitler and myself" 1924

“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”
–Adolf Hitler, 12 April 1922

"The National Government ... regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life"
--Adolf Hitler, Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933

"The struggle we face is, at its core, a struggle between Marx and Christ"
--Joseph Goebbels

"Naturally there are always people at work who represent a type of provacateur, who have come to use because they imagine National Socialism to be something other than it is, who have all kinds of fantastic and confused plans, who misunderatand National Socialist racial thought and overstate their declaration to blood and soil, who in their romantic dreams are surronded by Wotan and Thor and the like. Such exaggerations can harm our movement, since they make the movement look ridiculas."
--Herman Goering "Positive Christianity", November 3, 1935

"We have not fought to build a paganistic temple, but to unite the German volk for all eternity. We do not build temples against the Christian church, we do not want Valhalla as a substitute for a Christian heaven."
--Bernhard Rust, Prussian Minister of Education and culture; July 1, 1934

"We are no theologians, no representives of the teaching profession in this sense, put forth no theology. But we claim one thing for ourselves: that we place the great fundelmental idea of Christianity in the center of out ideology- the hero and sufferer Christ himself stands in the center."
--Hans Schemn, Head of the NS Teacher's League, 1931

"Christ is the genius of love, as such the most diametrical opposite of judaism, which is the incarnation of hate. ...Christ is the first great enemy of the Jews..That is why judaism had to get rid of him. For he was shaking the very foundations of its future international power. The Jew is the lie personified. When he crucified Christ, he crucified everlasting truth for the first time in history."
--Joseph Goebbels

"We are a people of different faiths, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question, rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls...We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideals of Christianity.....in fact out movement is Christian."
--Adolf Hitler, 27 October 1928

"[We] relentlessly fight the shaddy mixing of religion and Jewish party politics, and fight to keep religion pure, as did the lord when he threw the hagglers and usurers out of the temple."
--Julius Streicher "Kulturkampf", March 10 1924

"When point 24 of our program says the party stands for a postive Christianity, here above all is the cornerstone of our thinking. Christ preach struggle as did no other. His life was a struggle for his beliefs, for which he went to his death. From everyone he demanded a decision between yes and no...That is the necessity; that man find the power to decide between yes and no."
--Walter Buch, "Geist and Kampf", Chairman of the NS party courts

Taras Bulba
Monday, March 28th, 2005, 06:13 PM
Interesting is that only in the Table Talks does Hitler ever make anti-Christian remarks. Many historians now believe those remarks are forgeries.

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 02:19 AM
HAMBURG, Germany, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Although he hated organized religion, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler rewrote the Christian bible and added two commandments.

In 1941, some 100,000 Third Reich bibles called "Germans with God" were distributed to Germany's churches, and while most were destroyed by devout Christians during the war, a copy was recently found in a Hamburg church, the Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.

The most notable additions to the 10 Commandments were: "Honor your Fuhrer and master" and "Keep the blood pure and your honor holy," the newspaper said.

Variations on the remaining 10 were as follows:

"Honor God and believe in him wholeheartedly, Seek out the peace of God, Avoid all hypocrisy, Holy is your health and life, Holy is your well-being and honor, Holy is your truth and fidelity, Honor your father and mother -- your children are your aid and your example, Maintain and multiply the heritage of your forefathers, Be ready to help and forgive and Joyously serve the people with work and sacrifice."


Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 11:57 AM
[...] Nazi leader Adolf Hitler rewrote the Christian bible and added two commandments.

In 1941, some 100,000 Third Reich bibles called "Germans with God" were distributed to Germany's churches [...].

This "substantiated" information they took from the notorious tablois Bild which came up with these "news" (since it is well-known for a long time that during the summer slup Hitler sells better than Nessie or Bigfoot).

"Deutsche mit Gott. Ein neues Glaubensbuch" ("Germans with God. A German Spiritual Book") is, however, not a "rewritten Bible", as the sensation-hungry press tells, but was thought to be a new national catechism; even Church websites where it is mentioned just call it so. Thus A colourful bouqet of old words and modern interpretation and thoughts, in this case from a decidedly National Socialist view. If this is a "rewritten Bible", then every catechism the Churches give out is also one ... The page with the commandments has the headline "Tat" ("Action"). And nobody could say the following explanations could be engrafted that directly into the Bible text, as they are indeed clearly a commentary on Bible and spirit from today's perspective:

»Jesus aus Nazareth in Galiläa erweist in seiner Botschaft und Haltung einen Geist, der dem Judentum entgegengesetzt ist. Der Kampf zwischen ihm und den Juden wurde so unerbittlich, daß er zu seinem Kreuzestod führte. So kann Jesus nicht Jude gewesen sein. Bis auf den heutigen Tag verfolgt das Judentum Jesu und alle, die ihm folgen, mit unversöhnlichem Hass. Hingegen fanden bei Jesus Christus besonders arische Menschen Antwort auf ihre letzten und tiefsten Fragen. So wurde er auch Heiland der Deutschen.«

http://www.bild.t-online.de/BTO/news/aktuell/2006/08/07/hitler-bibel-umschreiben/mfb__5226098-hitler-12gebote-neu__MBHF,templateId=renderScaled,proper ty=Bild,width=263.jpg

(No doubt, of course, that the two new commandments make sense. :D)

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006, 05:21 PM
I'm sure we're all very aware of that, as it was the liberal media who reported that the bibles were "re-discovered."