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Thread: Were the National Socialists a Völkisch Party? Paganism, Christianity and the Nazi Christmas

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Were the National Socialists a Völkisch Party? Paganism, Christianity and the Nazi Christmas

    What was the relationship of the NSDAP to Christianity?

    https://www.academia.edu/11258567/We...er_2014_760_90

    A trend in studies about National Socialism and religion in recent yearsargues for a deliberate distinction between the Nazi Party (NSDAP)and the antisemitic völkisch movement of nineteenth-century Germany.This article challenges that contention. Several researchers have published comprehensive studies on the heterogeneous nature of Christian responses to the Nazis, but a comparable approach looking at how the Nazis viewed religion has not yet been undertaken. A study of the latter type is certainly necessary,given that one of the consistent features of the völkisch movement was its diver-sity. As Roger Griffin has argued, a “striking featureof the sub-culture.. .was just how prolific and variegated it was . . . [T]he only denominator common to all wasthe myth of national rebirth.” In short, the völkisch movement contained a colorful, varied, and often bewildering range of religious beliefs.

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    The Nazis brought together a bunch of diverse and new ideas and sort of put them in a pot and made a stew of them. Ingredients were added and subtracted but the final formula was never really perfected. I am not even sure the word Voelkisch exists in English translation but I think it was a strong element in Nazism.

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    The Nazis brought together a bunch of diverse and new ideas and sort of put them in a pot and made a stew of them. Ingredients were added and subtracted but the final formula was never really perfected. I am not even sure the word Voelkisch exists in English translation but I think it was a strong element in Nazism.
    Volk or voelk just means folk.

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    Senior Member Englisc's Avatar
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    As Catterick says, Voelkisch can be directly translated as folkish ; but in German history you will often find historians prefer to use the German term, for example, Reich instead of empire.

    Nazis and Christianity is something argued over endlessly on internet forums and among academics. From what I've read, I don't think the relationship was black and white. Some NSists were estranged (mainly) Catholics, Hitler himself was an example of this ; some rejected Christianity and brought back Germanic pagan practises.

    The Roman Catholic church was openly hostile to the NS - Protestants had a better relationship with the regime, though some Protestants did notably join the resistance during the war, called the "Confessing church".

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Englisc View Post
    As Catterick says, Voelkisch can be directly translated as folkish ; but in German history you will often find historians prefer to use the German term, for example, Reich instead of empire.

    Nazis and Christianity is something argued over endlessly on internet forums and among academics. From what I've read, I don't think the relationship was black and white. Some NSists were estranged (mainly) Catholics, Hitler himself was an example of this ; some rejected Christianity and brought back Germanic pagan practises.

    The Roman Catholic church was openly hostile to the NS - Protestants had a better relationship with the regime, though some Protestants did notably join the resistance during the war, called the "Confessing church".
    The Nazis were initially Catholics in a secular sense, that is what we now call cultural Christianity that draws on heritage for identity but is not at all fundamentalist. Nazi anti-Christianity is exaggerated because neo-pagan Nazis, who were really Orientalists, usually regarded Jesus as Aryan and identified him with Freyr (Frauja and Froh). As such the common sense of Nazism/volkischness became civic religion in Germany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    Volk or voelk just means folk.
    When you see this word with an umlaut it can take on National Socialist meanings and implications. To this word, if any suffixes are added, they take on other meanings which are almost certainly NS. Honestly, I stay away from using this word because of all the shades of meaning in German history and culture and negative connotations.

    Maybe a native German speaker can clarify this?

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    Senior Member Englisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    When you see this word with an umlaut it can take on National Socialist meanings and implications. To this word, if any suffixes are added, they take on other meanings which are almost certainly NS. Honestly,
    Not necessarily - you can also have Völker (plural), Bevölkerung (population), it's a plural form. The words Volk and especially Völkisch do have negative connoations these days, though Volk is still used on the Reichstag


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    Quote Originally Posted by Englisc View Post
    Not necessarily - you can also have Völker (plural), Bevölkerung (population), it's a plural form. The words Volk and especially Völkisch do have negative connoations these days, though Volk is still used on the Reichstag

    Dem Deutsche Volke is To The German People and should be used today. Volk is not the issue, it is Voelk and the many meanings and shades of meanings this word can generate in combination with other words and by itself in the National Socialist context. When you look up some words in German there is a "NS" designation among the definitions. Some words go so far as to be called National Socialist words. For instance the word "Gau" was sort of a county for the Germans but came into prominence during the NS era. Now, in reading German, I would hardly run into it. I became suspicious and asked a German native if Gau was a NS word. He admitted it was. Kriegsentschiedene was a word the Nazis bantered about during the war. It means war decisive such as for instance the atomic bomb was war decisive in the defeat of Japan. But this word Kriegsentschiedene became a buzz word and became applied to everything---everything needing funding from the government until its meaning meant nothing. Like the words "shovel ready" to an Obama economic stimulus plan. Kriegsentschiedene will forever be a NS word as will shovel-ready an Obama term. Likewise, the word and derivations of Voelk meant super-German and sometimes anti-Jewish or perhaps hyper-Aryan in connotation. As such, this word can be politically incorrect.

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