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Thread: 'Germany's New Religion', by Jakob Wilhelm Hauer

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    'Germany's New Religion', by Jakob Wilhelm Hauer

    Anyone know where I might acquire a copy of this English book on the German Faith Movement? It is reportedly a translation from some of the writings of J.W. Hauer and was printed in editions from both New York and London in the 30s. It is fairly common in library catalogues (WorldCat listing something like 167 holdings in the US) but the only used copy I found on bookfinder was for over $100, and I suspect it should turn up for something more like $25.

    I welcome any English information on/translations of Hauer, for that matter.

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    never heard of it. If i find it at a garage sale/antique store, i'll pick it up for you, if you'd like.
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    The German Faith Movement sounds interesting. I did a search but didn't find much aside from this article. Does anyone know if there are websites that go into more detail about this religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The German Faith Movement (Deutsche Glaubensbewegung) was closely associated with Jakob Wilhelm Hauer during the Third Reich (1933-45) and sought to move Germany away from Christianity towards a religion based on "immediate experience" of God. Hauer was a professor at Tuebingen.

    Instead of the Bible, a combination of Indian (Hindu) and German literature was used as scripture. Hauer had worked as a missionary in India and was influenced in particular by the Bhagavad Gita. Ceremonies of the movement involved sermons, German classical music and political hymns.

    Hauer was considered by contemporary observers as a genuinely religious man, though his political sentiments were also commented on.

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    Found a couple of transcripts of interviews with the author
    of a book on the subject (establishment conclusions of course) which
    make a nice introduction and make me want to learn more. When the pages
    open, click on the "show transcript" icon.

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    It may be too late for White Iceland since he hasn't been around for a couple of years, but I borrowed the book from the library and scanned and uploaded it in the files section.

    The book consists of three essays by the founder of the German Faith movement Wilhelm Hauer:

    "The origin of the German faith movement."
    "An alien or a German faith?"
    "The Semitic character of Christianity."

    and two replies to Hauer's movement from a Christian view:

    "Responsibility and destiny; the difference between Hauer's view and the message of the Bible and the reformers" by Karl Heim (from an Evangelical perspective).

    "Jesus Christ and the spirit of the age" by Karl Adam (from a Catholic perspective).

    Both also Tübingen professors.

    It's well worth reading.


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    Germany’s new religion: The german faith movement

    I found a copy of it online:

    I'll paste it here in case it disappears. First a couple of well formatted excerpts and then the entire thing roughly pasted (I don't have time to add all the appropriate spacing):


    Wewelsburg Archives publication-2018

    INTRODUCTION BY THE TRANSLATORS............................. .....................1
    TUBINGEN -THE HOME OF THE NEO-PAGAN MOVEMENT.........................1
    THE ANTECEDENTS OF THE GERMAN FAITH MOVEMENT...........................2
    THE PLAN OF THE BOOK.................................... ........................................ ...6
    THE WORSHIP OF THE GERMAN FAITH MOVEMENT................................ ...7
    PROSPECTS OF THE MOVEMENT................................ ..................................7
    THE ORIGIN OF THE GERMAN FAITH MOVEMENT...............................1 0
    AN ALIEN OR A GERMAN FAITH?.................................. ........................16
    THE SEMITIC CHARACTER OF CHRISTIANITY............................ ............38

    The eccentricities of foreigners are a notorious source of delight to all English-speaking people, and the newspapers have never been slow to take advantage of the fact.The lurid colors in which they have painted the activities of the new German cults must have left the public the impression that the Germans, who are so practical, if a little lacking in humor in other matters, especially foreign politics and the organization of defense, have in the matter of religion an exaggerated taste for the bizarre, and have indulged in it to such an extent that they have relapsed into the excesses of prehistoric tribal fetishism.

    is hoped that a reading of this book will prove this not to be the case; but it is necessary to clear away a few preliminary misconceptions.

    There has been no reintroduction of the worship of Nordic deities such as Thor, Wotan, and the rest of the Scandinavian pantheon. Hauer makes the point as strongly as possible, in one of the articles that follow. Nor, on the other hand, is the German Faith Movement an atheistic movement. It claims to be a counter-religion to Christianity, and to worship a more than human God.

    Wewelsburg Archives
    - 2018 -
    INTRODUCTION BY THE TRANSLATORS ........................................ .......... 1
    TUBINGEN - THE HOME OF THE NEO-PAGAN MOVEMENT ......................... 1
    THE ANTECEDENTS OF THE GERMAN FAITH MOVEMENT ........................... 2
    THE PLAN OF THE BOOK ........................................ ....................................... 6
    THE WORSHIP OF THE GERMAN FAITH MOVEMENT ................................... 7
    PROSPECTS OF THE MOVEMENT ........................................ .......................... 7
    THE ORIGIN OF THE GERMAN FAITH MOVEMENT ............................... 10
    AN ALIEN OR A GERMAN FAITH? ........................................ .................. 16
    THE SEMITIC CHARACTER OF CHRISTIANITY ........................................ 38
    The "University Village" of Tubingen, as the students affectionately call
    it, still preserves a good deal of its early nineteenth century
    atmosphere. The "alte aula", the old main building of the university, still
    looks down on the gracious splendor of the famous avenue of plane
    trees and the quiet waters of the Neckar, just as in the days of Holderlin
    and Uhland, Strauss and Bauer. The smells, too, of the peasant quarter,
    which are reminiscent of nothing so much as a Jerusalem Bazaar,
    remains unchanged. But it bears the stamp of the new Germany as well.
    A magnificent new university building has been erected in the postwar
    period, new barracks have been rushed up to house the new army, and
    the main street resounds daily with the tramp and song of eager Storm
    Troopers. And it is also now the center of the main types of German
    theology. The confessional Lutheran Church is represented by its most
    prominent theologian, Karl Heim, the Catholic Church its eloquent
    apologete, Karl Adam; and the neo-pagan religion by its prophet and
    leader, Wilhelm Hauer. Professor Hauer has become the center of a
    controversy which is raging all over Germany, and he is everywhere
    regarded as a serious menace to all types of Christianity.
    This volume gives the English reader a statement from his own pen
    - both of his positive aims and views and of his objections to Christianity.
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    The eccentricities of foreigners are a notorious source of delight to all
    English-speaking people, and the newspapers have never been slow to
    take advantage of the fact. The lurid colors in which they have painted
    the activities of the new German cults must have left the public the
    impression that the Germans, who are so practical, if a little lacking in
    humor in other matters, especially foreign politics and the organization
    of defense, have in the matter of religion an exaggerated taste for the
    bizarre, and have indulged in it to such an extent that they have
    relapsed into the excesses of prehistoric tribal fetishism. It is hoped that
    a reading of this book will prove this not to be the case; but it is
    necessary to clear away a few preliminary misconceptions. There has
    been no reintroduction of the worship of Nordic deities such as Thor,
    Wotan, and the rest of the Scandinavian pantheon. Hauer makes the
    point as strongly as possible, in one of the articles that follow.
    Nor, on the other hand, is the German Faith Movement an atheistic
    movement. It claims to be a counter-religion to Christianity, and to
    worship a more than human God.
    Again, however great the impetus given to it by the National
    Socialist revolution - an impetus which Hauer does not attempt to deny
    - it is not just a political movement, nor has it been fostered by the state
    for political ends. Moreover, no one who has had the advantage of
    hearing Hauer lecture or of holding a private conversation with him
    would want to deny that he is a sincerely religious man. And his genuine
    followers are as sincere and religious as he is. There has been acrimony
    on both sides, though this book only records the charges brought by
    Hauer against his opponents, but in both cases it has been the acrimony
    of fanaticism and not of petty warfare or ambition.
    Introduction by The Translators
    We must see the movement in its historical connections and its
    modern context. The history of all religious philosophies is necessarily
    dominated by two main trends of thought. The one regards God as
    immanent in the world, that is, as discoverable only in nature and the
    human genius, and leads logically to one or other of the many forms of
    pantheism; the other school puts God completely outside the world and
    regards him as operative in it only through occasional interventions
    such as, in Christian thought, the creation, or the redemption achieved
    by Christ. The one school regards the knowledge of God as accessible
    to all without the help of sacrament or priest; the other finds approach
    to god impossible without a mediator of some sort, whether it be priest
    or church or bible. But whereas we are accustomed to find attempts,
    more or less successful, to discover a compromise between the two
    points of view, the German mind finds such solutions difficult to
    entertain and seems to regard itself as forced to one or other of the two
    lines of thought to the bitter end. Meister Eckhart, of whom a great deal
    will be heard in these pages, the mystic of the fourteenth century,
    condemned by the Catholic Church as a heretic and later reinstated, is
    the first prominent member of the immanentist school in Germany.
    Until the Reformation, and to a more limited extent after it, many
    members of this school were inside the fold of the church, either
    Catholic or Protestant, for example Tauler and the German mystics of
    the fifteenth and the pietists of the seventeenth century; and after the
    Reformation we find Goethe, Holderlin, Fichte, and Nietzsche outside
    the church. Hauer definitely takes his place as the latest in this
    On the other side we have the whole spirit of Luther's Reformation
    and the emphasis of his successors, magnifying the distance between
    God and the world. The philosophy of Kant belongs to that succession,
    however little he may resemble Luther in his method of expression, and
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    its ablest, and at the same time most extreme, modern exponent is Karl
    Barth, according to many the most influential Christian thinker in
    Germany today.
    The other main historical consideration to be borne in mind is that
    the German mentality has been, from time immemorial - and is, of
    course, not least at the present moment - incredibly race conscious. No
    reader of the following articles can fail to be stuck by the continual
    reference to the "depths of German nature", a phrase which apparently
    means something to the ordinary German. What it seems to mean is
    something like this: German blood and German soil and German race
    possess a mysterious quality of indwelling power for the possessor of
    them, and it is this quality which makes the German the heir to a richer
    inheritance than the other Europeans; this indwelling power is located
    in the depths of the German nature. It is the mingling of this inherited
    feeling with the operation of political forces which makes the German
    Revolution of 1933 an event very different from others which seem to
    resemble it, and which gives to the enthusiasts of the new regime their
    semireligious idealism. The "mission of Germany to the world" and the
    "Pan-Germanic ideal" are no mere cloaks for political ambition and
    acquisitive imperialism, though there are those who use them as such.
    They are genuine, if sometimes misguided and often dangerous,
    expressions of something which is native to the German character and
    can only be suppressed at terrific cost to those who carry out the
    suppression. The Treaty of Versailles and its present consequences
    furnish a melancholy testimony to the truth of the last statement.
    The particular form which this race-consciousness has recently
    taken is, as all the world knows, the determined exclusion of all that is
    biologically or culturally Jewish, or even faintly Semitic, from the
    German nation-state and the life of its people.
    Introduction by The Translators
    This temper, argues Lutheran theologian Karl Heim, has resulted in
    the emergence of two types of race-religion, the crude "German
    religion" of Ernst Bergmann, who professes faith in a God who is
    nothing more than the overflowing vitality of the German people, and
    the much more defined and highly developed religion of Hauer. There
    is no reason to dispute the substantial accuracy of this account, which
    makes abundantly clear why the soil has proved so favorable to the crop
    which Hauer has sown in it.
    Two other reasons for this are equally important. The first is the
    political situation created by the National Socialist revolution, and its
    effect in making things easy for Hauer does not need any more
    emphasis, as it is adequately stressed by Hauer himself in the articles
    which follow. The second is the present position of Protestant religion
    and theology in Germany today. It is scarcely possible to deny that both
    Lutheran and Calvinist theology have assumed a reactionary form and
    made a conscious return to the forms and expressions of the
    Reformation period. Although the typical Lutheran theologian is still
    compelled to work with scientific methods in Biblical investigation, he
    seems to have turned his back on the more general conclusions of
    criticism. Lutheran theology is determined at all costs to be biblical and
    to raise the Protestant Fathers to a position only a little lower than that
    occupied by Saint Thomas in Roman Catholic theology.
    To English minds, some of the criticisms made of Christianity by
    Hauer seem to be dealing merely with ghosts of the past. But it is
    precisely there, to us dead forms, that German Protestantism is seeking
    to revivify. The churches of North Germany are empty, perhaps because
    their worship and theology seem barren; in South Germany they are
    often full, but the crowds which sometimes throng them are made up
    only to a very small extent by representatives of educated youth. Hauer
    has not too difficult a task in persuading this section of the community
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    that it may safely leave the essentially alien thought of the church on
    one side; in very many cases it has already done so, long ago, and the
    heroic stand which the Confessional Churches have made against the
    encroachments of the state has not brought many of the young people
    over to its side; for the youth of Germany is, in the first place, National
    Socialist, and in the second or a much later place, Christian - if it really
    is Christian at all.
    Before the Great War, German Christianity was predominantly
    liberal; that is, it tried to combine the spirit of the Renaissance and the
    Enlightenment with the legacy of the past. But liberalism in every form,
    whether political or religious, is dead in Germany today, and the
    reaction against it in religion, as in everything else, has been as violent
    as only reactions in Germany can be. It is not too much to say that if a
    new and vital form of liberal Christianity had arisen to capture the
    allegiance of postwar youth, Neo-Paganism in Germany would have had
    small chance of success.
    So short a book as this does not, of course, make it possible to see all
    sides and aspects of the conflict which is raging at present in Germany
    between Christianity and the new religion. In the first article, written by
    Hauer especially for foreign readers, he describes the origin and
    sketches the aims of his movement. In his second, which is in form of a
    lecture delivered to an audience of ten thousand at the Berlin Sport
    Palace in April of 1935, he sets forth in outline his criticisms of
    Christianity and his positive contribution to religious thought, together
    with various suggestions for the reform of education in Germany, etc.
    In his third article, which is an extract from his recent book A German
    Introduction by The Translators
    View of God, he defines his attitude to Christianity in general and to
    Jesus Christ in particular.
    For permission to translate material we are greatly indebted to the
    German publishers, Karl Gutbrod of Stuttgart, J. C. B. Mohr of Tubingen,
    and P. Haas & Co., of Augsburg.
    A good test of a religious movement is its worship, and it is worth while
    giving a personal impression of the service which in the Faith Movement
    fills the place of Confirmation in the Christian Churches.
    It was held on a summer morning, in the beautiful garden of
    Professor Hauer, with its magnificent view over the valley of the Neckar,
    in the midst of sprouting fruit trees and vines - an ideal background for
    the rites of a movement of German Faith. The ceremony was definitely
    a religious and spiritual experience. An odd note might be struck by an
    occasional phrase in a hymn, such as the expression of undying loyalty
    to Hitler. Prayer might be conspicuous by its absence. But the music,
    German Classical music played by an invisible quartet, and the sermon
    to the catechumens by Professor Hauer, were very impressive.
    Hauer's whole position rests on the assumption, which he takes to be
    proved, that an individual's religion is determined for him by his race
    and stock, and that so long as he follows the peculiar religious instincts
    of his own race, he achieves as much knowledge of God as is possible
    for him.
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    In the end, a religion must stand or fall by two things: its doctrine
    of the nature and character of God, and its treatment of the problem of
    evil. It is not unfair to Hauer to say that he definitely avoids the former
    issue; for he openly refuses to state any doctrine of God, and professes
    agnosticism on all ultimate questions. "We worship the God who is
    revealed to us by our native genius, and other nations do the same", he
    says; "It is impossible to know what God is really like, or to say anything
    about his ultimate nature and character at all!" It is difficult to resist the
    conclusion the he evades the problem of evil as well; for evil, in his
    description of it, ceases to be evil in any sense which corresponds to the
    moral consciousness of civilized man, for the conception of duty has
    vanished, and we are left only with the vague feeling that we are
    controlled by the forces of destiny and yet called upon to live a heroic
    life. And if we fall short of the heroic ideal, we are not promised any
    assistance in the recovery of our self-respect, except an exhortation to
    strengthen that catspaw of destiny which, for the sake of convenience,
    we call our will.
    Wilhelm Hauer was born in a village in Wurttemberg, South
    Germany, and was attracted in early life to the more pietistic section of
    the Protestant Church. He went as a young man to the missionary
    college in Basel, and later to India as a missionary. There he was noted
    for his mastery of Indian ideas and his skill in getting into contact with
    educated Indians; and, in order that he might become in due course the
    head of a Christian college, he was sent to Oxford to undergo a further
    period of training. He became a member of Mansfield College, and a
    year later won an open exhibition in Jesus College. He took a first in
    "Greats" in 1914, and was still in England when the Great War broke
    out. Later he was a pastor of congregations in Frankfurt and Strassburg,
    but was gradually moving away from the Christian position. He
    eventually formed a sect of "free" Christians, and after he had to all
    Introduction by The Translators
    intents and purposes forsaken Christianity altogether, he became a
    professor in the University of Tubingen, where he still is. His lectures on
    "Race and Religion" and kindred subjects have drawn very large crowds
    and create a good deal of controversy.
    The German Faith Movement is as old as German history. What today
    is styled the German Faith Movement is only a phase of the conflict
    between native faith and a Christianity which has come down to us from
    an alien source. And the range of this conflict extends beyond the
    boundaries of Germany. For the whole conflict of the German spirit with
    Christianity, since the latter's invasion of the Teutonic area, is in turn
    merely a phase of the conflict of the Indo-Germanic spirit with the spirit
    of the Near-Eastern Semitic world, which in the form of the Christianity
    of the first centuries and of the middle ages allied itself with Rome. The
    struggle of these two worlds with one another extends over thousands
    of years, and all the West Indo-Germanic countries have been in a
    special sense drawn into it. In every single one of these countries the
    revolt of the Indo-Germanic spirit against Christianity, which is Near
    Eastern and Semitic, has made itself felt. The "Secularist" movement in
    France falls undoubtedly in this category.
    The German Faith Movement, which was founded in Eisenach in
    July 1933, did not receive its name because we thought that there was
    a German God in contradistinction to the God of other nations; the
    name was intended to express the fact that we felt the constraining
    power of a faith movement springing out of the specific German nature,
    and the urge to set it over against Christianity, whose founded and
    standard documents have reached us from a different racial and
    cultural area. The word "German" was not intended to mark off this
    movement from the other West Indo-Germanic nations. The
    The Origin of The German Faith Movement
    distinguishing feature of this Faith Movement was, rather, to be the
    normative function assigned to moral forces which spring immediately
    from the nature of the German soul. We could have just as easily called
    it the "Nordic-Teutonic" Faith Movement. As I am convinced that the
    same fundamental forces in religion and morals are operative in the
    other West Indo-Germanic nations as well, I chose at first the title
    "Indo-Germanic". But this sounded too academic, and did not fit the
    spiritual situation; so it was changed to "German". For this word evoked
    a far more immediate response from the hearts of those who had been
    gripped by the National Socialist revolution.
    The French or English translation of the name should, therefore,
    never be "Mouvement allemand de foi", or "German Faith Movement".
    The adjectives which come nearest to what is meant are "germanique",
    and "Germanic", so long as it is borne in mind that what is in view is a
    particular expression of the Indo-Germanic spirit, with its storm-center
    in Germany. Thus the German Faith Movement can never be a
    hindrance to international understanding - quite the reverse. It
    represents, among other things, a thoroughgoing attempt to bring out
    more and more clearly, and to render effective, the close connection
    that exists between all the West Indo-Germanic nations in their
    innermost nature.
    The new phase of the German Faith Movement, which began with
    the meeting in Eisenach in July 1933, must be understood in close
    relation with the national movement which led to the formation of the
    Third Reich. Like the latter, the German Faith Movement is an eruption
    from the biological and spiritual depths of the German nation. National
    movements are among the things which are subject to the rhythm of all
    organic life, in which the ebb and flow of creative powers alternate. The
    laws of this rhythm, which are fulfilled by vast age-long swings of the
    pendulum, are unknown to us. According to our view they are the will
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    of eternal formative forces, which mold ever and again the whole life of
    a nation. This will is all-embracing, and dwells in the deeps, and from
    age to age it takes a fresh hold of a nation in all that it is and is about to
    be. It was therefore inevitable that the political movement in the
    German nation should be closely bound up with a philosophical attitude
    that should, in fact, arise from it. For a philosophy is, in the end, a vision
    of new purposes and the knowledge of the laws and forces out of which
    these spring and through which they can be realized. Thus a new
    religious movement as well as a political one was bound to be born at
    this time (that is to say, it had been born long before, but the revolution
    brought it into the clear light of day). Throughout the nineteenth
    century, and during the first third of the twentieth, essays at a native
    religion were constantly appearing, and men like Arndt, Lagarde, and in
    a certain sense Nietzsche, put forward the demand that religion and
    morals should be molded according to the essential German nature.
    But, the formation of small societies was all that resulted, and a real
    national movement did not arise. The novel thing about the German
    Faith Movement is that it is sweeping through the entire nation -
    although its numbers, in proportion to the sixty million Germans, are
    still very small.
    It was a particular turn of events that drove all those who were
    fighting for a native German religion to unite themselves under my
    leadership for a common defense. Point 24 of the program of the
    National Socialist Party states that the party as such stands for positive
    Christianity. When National Socialism came into power, the
    representatives of the Christian Churches attempted to make use of this
    item in the party program, and adopted every device to force non-
    Christian Germans back into the Churches. Tens of thousands of
    Germans who were non-Christians by religious conviction, were in this
    way dragooned into entering the churches once again and into acting
    The Origin of The German Faith Movement
    against their conscience. Those of us who could no longer profess
    Christianity, because its doctrines had ceased to be an inner reality, had
    to protect ourselves against the use of force. Just like the Christians, we
    based our case on Point 24, the first paragraph of which runs: "We
    demand freedom for all religious confessions within the state, so long
    as they do not imperil its existence or offend against the moral feelings
    of the race". We were convinced that, despite its profession of positive
    Christianity, it was not the intention of the National Socialist state that
    anyone should be forced into a philosophy against his personal
    conviction, and that the Fuhrer would repudiate such conduct as soon
    as he heard of it. Count Reventlow and I put our case before the Fuhrer's
    Deputy, Reichsminister Hess. As we had expected, he knew nothing of
    these violent proceedings, and prohibited them at once by a decree of
    October 19th 1933, as follows: "No National Socialist may suffer any
    detriment on the ground that he does not profess any particular faith
    or confession, or on the ground that he does not make any religious
    profession at all. Each man's faith is his own affair, for which he answers
    to his own conscience alone. Compulsion may not be brought to bear in
    matters of conscience". This decree is the Magna Carta of religious
    freedom in the Third Reich, and guarantees it to everyone whose
    conduct does not endanger the state. The representatives of
    Christianity wished to follow anew, even in the Third Reich, in the
    misguided footsteps of Charlemagne. But that path has now been
    blocked once and for all.
    We must look upon it as a great achievement on the part of the
    leader of a totalitarian state, that he has combined complete liberty in
    questions of religion and conscience with the totalitarian claims of the
    State. The German Faith Movement was the occasion for the
    promulgation of this charter of freedom in the Third Reich. It claims,
    therefore, that it is the champion of this inalienable right of all IndoGermany’s
    New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    Germanic peoples, and that it has taken up its stand at a moment which
    is decisive for German and European history. But the struggle which the
    German Faith Movement entered upon in self-defense has other and
    deeply rooted, positive grounds. Therefore the defensive struggle very
    soon became an offensive struggle for a philosophy and a religion which
    was German, in contrast to Christian credalism, which is alien,
    ecclesiastical, and dogmatic.
    Let me now guard against an error which is particularly prevalent
    abroad. It is commonly supposed that we are anxious to restore the
    ancient Paganism of the Teutonic tribes. A fantastic story about a
    marriage ceremony which I am supposed to have conducted has
    become current in the press all over the world. According to this story,
    I took the service, to the accompaniment of old Pagan proverbs and
    hymns, clad in a bearskin or deerskin, and wearing a boar's heal helmet!
    This story is pure imagination; the only foundation for it is the fact that
    I held a very simple marriage service for a young couple, with music,
    folk-songs, German poems and proverbs, instead of the usual church
    wedding. The whole thing had nothing whatsoever to do with the
    worship of Wotan or Freya. The reason for the mistaken view that we
    are attempting to reintroduce the worship of the ancient deities, in so
    far as it is not simply the desire to discredit us, is just this: several of the
    earlier societies attempted to restore to a place of honor the heritage
    of ancient Teutonic and Nordic religion, and they often did it in a very
    romantic, even fantastic, manner. But such attempts are merely the
    accompanying phenomena which arise in the case of all great
    movements; they are mere caricatures of the real thing, and one is not
    entitled to judge the whole movement by them.
    We have no interest in awakening the old Gods to life; we know
    perfectly well that they will never emerge from their twilight, and that
    each new age must mold its own religious forms. If we mention here
    The Origin of The German Faith Movement
    and there old Teutonic deities, they serve only as symbols, just as
    classical deities have been used as symbols in art and poetry since the
    Renaissance; and the reason is the same in both cases: they express
    ideals in which we feel to be essentially akin to us. The figures of the
    Edda we feel to be spirit of our spirit, nature of our nature. Therefore
    we gladly absorb ourselves in these ancient poems, the creations of the
    Nordic spirit, for we feel that they have been born from the same racial
    soul from which sprung our own deepest moral and religious impulses.
    The figures in these poems are truly nearer to us than the figures of the
    Old Testament, the offspring of so different a racial character. But we
    should have to regard prayers to Wotan, or hymns and sacrifices to
    Thor, as a parody of German Faith. What we mean by German Faith is
    something very near to the present; it is an offspring of today, and
    adapted to today. At the same time we are convinced that this faith in
    its fundamental nature is as old as the Nordic soul, just as much as we
    are convinced that its fundamental nature is diametrically opposed to
    Christian credalism with its Oriental bondage to dogma.
    We are all convinced that the German Revolution is an eruption from
    the productive deeps of the nation, a creative movement of the whole
    people, which is gradually taking possession of one sphere of life after
    another. The German Faith Movement can be understood only in
    connection with that eruption, which has stirred into life, within the
    nation, those primal forces whose nature is symbolized by the words
    Blood, Soil, Reich. We are not a little band of crazed sectaries clamoring
    for existence; we are a national movement. We, who have united
    ourselves as comrades in arms, know that we are only the shock troops,
    and that behind us is advancing a broad front drawn from every section
    of the nation. We are a beginning, an eruption; and many of the charges
    which are brought against the German Faith Movement arise from that
    very fact. But we march forward unflinching, in the knowledge that
    behind us that broad front is pressing on, the multitude of those who
    wish to cast their life in a religious mold, and are seeking a German faith.
    But the German Faith Movement has other connections also, which
    lead us back into the spiritual history of the Teutonic peoples. The
    modern German Faith Movement is only one phase of that conflict
    between German and alien faith, which has been waged through more
    than a thousand years of German history. I will mention merely two or
    three focal points in this conflict, separated by centuries. Resistance to
    an alien faith raised its head for the first time at the attempt to
    evangelize the Teutonic tribes, and just in those regions where Teutonic
    customs and Teutonic faith were still alive; that is, among the Saxons,
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    the Northmen, the Swabians, the Bavarians, and the Thuringians - for in
    those areas native genius had not yet been crushed by an alien world.
    Those Teutons clearly grasped the fact that something was invading
    them which was dangerous to their genius, and they offered a brave
    and strenuous opposition to the alien faith - despite the number of
    those who deserted to it under compulsion or of their own free will.
    A second focal point is the life and teaching of Eckhart. Eckhart is
    one of the greatest of the essentially German masters of life and
    thought. Soon after Christianity had achieved external success, he won
    an inward victory over the alien, through the strength of his German
    nature - however much he still moved within the sphere of Christian
    imagery and thought-forms, and however little he was conscious of the
    fact that he really was not a Christian at all.
    The third of the focal points is the German Reformation, for in one
    of its aspects it was the struggle of the German nature against Rome.
    The way in which the German nature found its true expression at
    the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, from the period of
    the Enlightenment to that of the great dramatists, demonstrated for the
    first time to the nation and the whole world that an alien faith and
    German genius stand in fundamental opposition to one another.
    Frederick the Great, Goethe and Schiller, Fichte, Kleist, and Hebbel were
    the outstanding figures until the revolt of the German from Christianity
    reached its culmination in Nietzsche.
    Anyone who wishes to understand the innermost meaning of the
    modern German Faith Movement must see it in the context of the agelong
    struggle of the German genius for self-expression. We are a
    movement which is rooted in the centuries of the past, and which
    points forward to the centuries of the future. The vitality of the German
    genius has persisted without intermission till the present day, and will
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    persist without intermission so long as German blood pulses in German
    I must first of all defend myself against the reproach often made
    against us, that we are disturbing the unity of Germany. We belong to
    the number of those Germans to whom nothing is more sacred than the
    unity of Germany, and we are ready to sacrifice everything for it. But
    one thing we will not do: we will not betray the German genius, for we
    know that thereby we should betray the nation and Reich. That is why
    we had to take the field, in a decisive moment of German history, to do
    battle for the German genius. If we had not obeyed this imperative call,
    we should have offended against the vital energy of the German nation.
    I myself after the success of the German revolution made the attempt
    to guarantee the future unity of the Church . . . at that time I addressed
    an open letter to the nation administration of the German Christian
    Movement, and to the administration of the Evangelical Church, in
    which I put forward the suggestion that all non-Catholic Germans
    should form one national religious worship. I was forced to assume
    from the start that the Catholic Church would not and could not
    participate. But I cherished the hope that it would be possible to gather
    at least the Protestant section of the nation, if they were real Germans,
    into one great fellowship, in which there would be room both for those
    whose faith still finds expression in the Christian creeds, and for those
    who profess a German faith. I looked forward, in fact, to one great
    national religious fellowship, based on Protestant principles.
    But, this hope was shattered by Christians. We were expelled as
    unbelievers from the fellowship of the faithful. I am not ashamed of
    having made this last attempt, of having put my faith in one Church, to
    be a home to all German believers who would not bow to Rome. But
    the way in which my call was answered made it clear to me that there
    is an unbridgeable gulf between Christian credalism, of whatever
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    variety, and the German genius. The Church has left the nation, not the
    nation the Church. It was only when this bitter realization came home
    to me that drew the conclusion which I could no longer escape, and
    severed myself finally from the Church. I had long before been forced
    to emancipate myself from the Christian religion.
    This involved adoption of the watchword: To battle for a German
    Faith! Would those who shared my faith have found a home at all, if we
    had not made the attempt to band ourselves together? And we could
    only band ourselves together by declaring war on a religion which
    claimed to possess the one and only way to God and repudiated other
    people as unbelievers.
    We have no complaint to make against the Christians, when they
    declare that it is their task to preach the gospel to the whole nation, so
    long as they confine themselves to preaching the gospel and do not
    meddle in other matters. But these preachers of the gospel have no
    right to inform us that we must hold our tongues because we have no
    faith. We put forward the claim likewise that we have received from
    God a message to preach. We will allow no one to deprive us of our
    commission, least of all a Christian. Our faith is not disposed of as soon
    as someone defames it or pronounces us an infidel. We speak, live, and
    work because we are called. It has certainly not been easy for us at a
    time when all the national forces must be coordinated to spread among
    the German nation this battle cry for a German faith. But for the sake
    of the nation we had no choice. The way to the true unity of the nation
    will not be found by cowardly silence or by treading softly, but by a
    courageous struggle for the things that matter. It is our conviction that
    the unity of Germany is not a fragile vessel over which we must keep
    anxious watch and ward, but a reality which must be fought for and won
    over with our life's blood.
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    It has been the fate of the German nation, in all the great epochs
    of its history, to live through a struggle for its faith and its outlook on
    the world. That is its commission in the world. That commission it must
    fulfill. We are of the opinion that by taking the field we have shown the
    German nation the way to true unity, through an honorable and fair
    contest, carried out by the best elements in the German nation, on
    behalf of truth and of that inner reality which should bear us on and
    guide our steps. Good men and true will recognize one another if we
    fight on these terms. This is the way in which a lasting fellowship will be
    built up. The fight must be carried on fairly, as befits the German nature
    and as is worthy of that which is at stake - the holy of holies, faith, God
    himself, if I may utter that word here.
    As soon as we lay down the conditions for such a fight we see at
    once the antithesis between an alien faith and the German genius. We
    of the German Faith stand in respect before every man of genuine
    religious convictions, and so before the sincere Christian. We do not
    deny the fact of his "salvation". I know from personal experience that
    sincere Christians do exist, and I am grateful that my life has been so
    guided that I have known men who, because of their Christianity and in
    spite of it, were characters to whom I could look up, men with generous
    hearts that burned with love of the German nation. I repeat, I am
    grateful that I have known such Christians, and that my knowledge of
    Christianity is not derived only from an experience of conflict with those
    of other faiths; for in that conflict it reveals itself in such a light that one
    is driven to despair of it.
    But what is the attitude of Christianity towards those of other
    faiths? We have only to think of the way in which the Christians are
    carrying on the fight against the German Faith Movement, and
    especially against me personally. I should never have believed that
    Germans who asserted that they were fighting for their faith could have
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    been so full of ill will and heartlessness, so ready and willing to distort
    and calumniate, as these have shown themselves to be in the course of
    this conflict. But even if we overlook the darker side of the Christians
    defense of their faith, and fix our attention solely on those who are
    ready to fight honorably according to German tradition, we come up
    against a spirit which cannot lead to freedom and generosity in religion.
    In the end, for these Christians too, those of other faiths are heretics,
    or worse, reprobate and damned, if they do not get converted to Christ.
    That is the genius of Christianity, which is incapable of letting go one
    iota of its credalism. For that spirit is rooted in the very nature of
    Christianity. It claims to possess the absolute truth, and with that claim
    is bound up the idea that men can only achieve salvation in one way,
    through Christ, and that it must send to the stake those whose faith and
    life do not conform, or pray for them till they quit the error of their ways
    for the Kingdom of God. Of course there is a difference between
    sending men to the stake and praying for them. But the attitude which
    lies behind both is much the same. In both cases the whole stress is laid
    on forcibly rescuing the man of another faith from the peril of hellfire,
    into which the pursuit of his own path would inevitably plunge him. It is
    the attitude which in some form or other must necessarily grow out of
    religious intolerance. If this attitude and the conviction on which it is
    based, that there is only one road to truth and one way to God, form an
    inalienable characteristic of Christianity, then Christianity is
    fundamentally opposed to the German genius.
    For this attitude and this conviction have never been and can never
    be part of the German genius. We are faced with a choice between an
    alien and a German faith. The German nature itself will decide the issue.
    It alone will declare the fundamental will of the German nation; and we
    can well afford to leave the decision to that court.
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    I will not dilate on all the miseries which have been brought to
    Germany through the control exerted by the various credal
    organizations - conversions at the point of the sword, the Inquisition,
    the trials of the witches, the perpetual heresy-hunts which have lasted
    till the present day. But one thing must not be left unsaid. The chaos of
    spirit and confusion of judgment produced by this alien faith made it
    possible for representatives of Christianity, even in the Third Reich, to
    venture on the attempt, under the cry of "Positive Christianity", to drive
    men by every sort of pressure back into the fold of the Church. And this
    process went on till the declaration of Rudolf Hess put an end to it. And
    much of what happens here and there under a genteel surface in the
    struggle for a native German faith can be traced back to the confusion
    of spirit foisted on the German nation by an alien faith with its false
    attitude to those of other faiths. We of the German Faith Movement
    see a great task before us, to assist in education the German nation to
    an attitude which corresponds with its genius. But it will require several
    decades to get rid of all the effects of this Christian credalism, and for
    the German spirit to completely find its feet again. Then and only then
    will it be possible to do battle for one's faith and outlook on the world
    in a way worthy of the German genius. Meanwhile, inspired by our
    German Faith, we can do no more than give a practical example of fair
    play in such a fight, in the hope that an example will be more effective
    than mere exhortations. We can and must add, however, that it is not
    the Christians who have shown the German people how to carry on a
    worthy contest in matters of faith, but we, who are anathemized as
    The reason for our attitude of freedom and generosity to those of
    other faiths is no superficial one. It is bound up with our sense of
    personal religious certainty, with our experience that the religious life
    of the believer has its source in the eternal deeps of his own personality.
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    And we who hold the German Faith are convinced that men, and
    especially the Germans, have the capacity for religious independence,
    since it is true that everyone has an immediate relation to God, is, in
    fact, in the depths of his heart one with the eternal Ground of the world.
    That is why we reject the whole concept of mediation, whether
    through a sacred person, a sacred book, or a sacred rite. We do not in
    any way desire to deprive those who still need that sort of thing, of any
    of their aids to faith. They must live their own religious life. But we are
    compelled to reject such things, not indeed because we deny the
    existence of God or of the eternal powers that govern life, but because
    we have found from experience that it is possible to have immediate
    contact with those powers. In taking up this position, we in no sense
    deny significance to religious leaders. Germany has been richly
    endowed with them throughout the course of its history. But the office
    of the leader is to help Man come to himself, to reach that inner core
    of his being in which the eternal reveals itself.
    We are able to approach men of other faiths with the generous
    freedom which has always signalized the Teutonic and German genius,
    just because we base the idea of religious independence - which we
    oppose to that of mediation - on the immediate relation of men to God;
    that is, on the conviction that there is a divine spark in man which can
    be extinguished neither by sin nor death. Out of this religious
    experience arises the recognition that the religious destiny of
    individuals is as varied as their personal yearning. It is a true saying
    which an ancient sage puts into the mouth of the Deity: "According as
    a man seek refuge in me, so shall I also give myself to him". Such was
    German, Teutonic, Indo-Germanic teaching and experience for
    hundreds of years.
    This faith in the immediacy of human access to God, and in the
    divine spark of man, must not be confused with a superficial belief in
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    the moral perfection of humanity. Our opponents are very fond of
    reproaching us with plainly ignoring the sin and tragedy of life. One of
    them goes so far as to write that I must have had a very easy life, to hold
    a belief like mine. Does he not realize that it is just through sin and
    tragedy that a man fights his way to an affirmation of life? For it is sin
    and tragedy that assist us to become in the truest sense what we are.
    We know a great deal about sin and tragedy, only we do not, like
    Christianity, ascribe them to original sin; on the contrary, we believe
    that tragedy is one of the laws of the world. We are here to become
    heroes along the path of adversity, and along the path too of our
    mistakes, for which we are responsible and with which we must come
    to terms. We are thereby lifted above the levels of sin and tragedy, and
    in the silence of our hearts can make the great affirmation.
    I think I have made it clear that our concern is with religion. What
    we have said is not the result of prolonged excogitation or of wide
    reading; it is wholly a matter of personal experience. Do our opponents
    imagine that there is no inward momentum, no spiritual power, needed
    to maintain opposition to a religious world that claims thousands of
    years for its own? It will surely not again be necessary for me to refute
    the charge that we are an atheistic movement. Anyone who does not
    grasp that we are not an atheistic movement, but a movement of
    believers, must have a heart of stone. I ask our opponents to see us as
    we are - and not in the light in which they would like to see us, in order
    to dispose of us more easily. A man who defames his opponent must
    have a bad conscience and a poor confidence in his own cause. We are
    assured of the success of our movement, because its strength lies in the
    essential being of the German nation.
    I should like in passing to deal with a reproach often made against
    us, that we are a purely academic movement - just because, by some
    dispensation of providence, a professor stands at its head. Firstly in that
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    regard: is it not just feasible that even a professor could have a brain
    wave, and find the right road for once? And, secondly, most of those
    who reproach us with being a movement of professors are professors
    themselves. One of them has recently written against me in the
    "Reichsbote", maintaining that there is no real power to be seen in the
    German Faith Movement. All I can say to him is that he is too blind to
    see realities. Another of them has read my book, A German View of
    God, and can find nothing in it but a dozen "isms". If this is not
    professorial pedantry and academic religiosity, I have no idea where to
    look for it! Does he think he has disposed of a living man when he has
    shut him up in a cage of "isms", and that he has rendered him as
    harmless as a lion behind bars of iron? The lion can still growl and even
    roar from time to time, they admit, but he can be inspected in perfect
    safety, of course through the use of professorial spectacles - for my
    noble critics were wearing out their eyes with study, while I was earning
    my daily bread with the sweat of my brow, and drawing my strength
    from my mother-earth. We have not got our faith from books, or from
    sacred scriptures (which in the case of many of my critics have to make
    up for the lack of a living faith), but from personal experience. This is
    shown by the fact that it is not the mass of intellectuals which is
    streaming over to us, but multitudes of ordinary people, who are not
    looking for the theological pedantries of professors, but for Life. I should
    like to compare my critics with soldiers shooting at a dummy, while the
    real enemy continues his advance unnoticed. He may be well on the
    way to his objective while they are still fighting their mock-battle. I
    should like to give these people the serious advice to take us seriously.
    They will discover that they have to deal with a spiritual force and not a
    mere flight of fancy. Those who reproach us with devising a religion out
    of our study chairs do nothing themselves but spend the whole day over
    their books.
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    Our concern is with religion. And in the end the question comes to
    this: Where does God meet us? Or, as Count Reventlow says: where is
    Where is the reality in and through which we can have experience
    of God? The answer of Christianity is simple: in Jesus Christ, in the Bible,
    in Church and sacrament. But it has not been our experience that we
    there came into our closest contact with the eternal powers. We have
    been permitted to meet them in the realities of life, in history, in our
    own destiny, that is, in the things of immediate experience and in the
    deeps of our own soul. We regard the attempt to limit our meeting with
    God to a particular area, indeed, to a particular point in time and space,
    as the expression of a religion alien to us. God meets us in the
    unmediated reality, in the moment in which we stand, in the spot where
    destiny has placed us in order that we may master life there. We believe
    in God's immanence in the world and therefore in his presence in
    history. God has not revealed himself only in the past, certainly not only
    in a "chosen people" in the far-off land of Palestine; he reveals himself
    everywhere in every great event, and especially when nations and races
    are molded by the achievements of great leaders. We believe that God
    has laid a great task on our race, and that he has therefore revealed
    himself specifically in its history and will continue to do so. In that
    history we trace the will of the eternal. God meets us in the realities of
    the world, of our Aryan world, in such fashion that we cannot escape
    him unless we live a superficial life. We do not want to fasten our gaze
    on the past, but on the reality of the present moment. Our piety is a
    faith in the realities of natural law, in contrast to the other-worldly piety
    of Christianity.
    We must consider for a moment an important characteristic of the
    religious history of Germany. Every great epoch in the religious history
    of the world has a particular focus point where God reveals himself to
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    men, the point (as it were) at which the divine spark is kindled afresh.
    Today, the spark has been kindled in the German people. This fact is
    indicative of a turning point, perhaps the end of a millennium, in the
    religion of the German zone. That the nation and history should have
    come to occupy the center of the stage, as they have done today, is a
    new thing and for us a divine event. It leads us to believe that eternal
    reality purposes to meet us afresh, and to do so in the being and life of
    the nation to which we belong.
    Out of this knowledge arises our religious attitude to the German
    nation and to the Third Reich. Here is the religious foundation of our
    positive acceptance of them. Why should any other history be holier to
    us and speak to us more of God than German history? The victory of
    Arminius over the Romans is to us a divine event, a revelation of the
    Eternal, and it stirs in our heart more powerfully than the swallowing
    up of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. Why should the disaster which
    overtook them be sacred history, and the victory of Arminius merely a
    secular event? We want the German people to regard its history and
    territory with religious devotion. Every man should have the sort of
    sacred history that suits his genius, and we desire to injure no man's
    sanctities; but we have the right to call our own history sacred. Thus the
    German Revolution is for us an event born of the nation's primal will,
    an event in which eternal powers are revealing themselves by the
    accomplishment of newer and greater things. It is once again our
    experience that an urge, which is deep in the blood of the German
    people, is mounting to the surface and driving us on the pursuit of new
    ideals. We know of nothing which so challenges our devotion as this
    divine movement. We can see God advancing over German soil, seeking
    his instruments and, in spite of all opposition, molding events according
    to his purpose.
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    That is why German history is our sacred history, why Germany is
    our holy land; that is why our holy mountains are within the sound of
    German streams and German forests. That is why, when the beacons
    flare on these, our hills, our hearts are drawn up to the eternal spaces
    whence the light descended on the great figures of our nation's history.
    But let no one tell us that this is an apotheosis of the earthly. We are
    aware of the dubiousness of the earthly, but we may nevertheless
    experience in it the presence of God, and that inspires our devotion and
    awakens our faith.
    Our sacraments too must arise out of this reality. For us, national
    festivals are not only a ceremonial accompaniment of political events,
    requiring to receive the blessing of the Church before they obtain their
    religious content; they are in themselves the religious consecration of
    politics. Thus our sacraments grow up out of the reality in which we live.
    When we take a newborn child into our arms, as the bearer of our
    ancient racial heritage, we come face to face with the struggles, defeats,
    and victories of our forefathers, all their aims and purposes; and when
    we receive the child into the fellowship of the family and the tribe, with
    a form of words which is part of the nation's heritage, we are not aping
    a Christian custom, but molding a sacrament out of the reality in which
    we live. In the same way our marriage rite is bound up with the reality
    of the love of man and woman, which is sacred to us, and with the task
    which is given them on earth of being creative members of the national
    community. Such rites existed in German lands, long before the Church
    came to replenish these earthly realities with a "divine" grace infused
    from without. Such rites were born from the essence of our nation,
    molded by its primal religious will. And here lies their obligatory
    character, which, from a national point of view, the Christian
    sacraments do not possess.
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    When people tell us that we are looking at history and reality
    simply as filled by God, as an exhibition of the divine, and closing our
    eyes to the dark side of the world and of our nation, to the treachery(for
    instance) which has been committed in it in the past - our answer is that
    we have been misunderstood. We are quite conscious of the dark and
    tragic side of the world. Nor do we belong to those who take an easy
    view of life. But it is the peculiarity of our faith that it is awakened by
    the very experience of tragedy, and that it discovers in and through it
    the presence of God in the world. When we quote the saying of
    Boehme, "You will find no book where there is more of the divine
    wisdom to read and ponder over than the green grass and the flowers
    of a meadow", one of our critics asks us whether we are unaware of the
    fact that stark cruelty reigns over the flowering meadow. What sort of
    a faith and philosophy is it, that sees nothing in the world but cruelty,
    because it contains strife, and does not realize that it is the strife and
    the tragedy of the world that drive a man to those deep places where
    God meets him? It is because our experience of the world is what I have
    described, and no mere superficial optimism, that we are so unselfconsciously
    at home in this world, not because we have had an easy life
    and have seen only the brighter side of things, but because we know
    that even the darkest and bitterest experiences can be transfigured, if
    we see them through with dauntless courage. Nor do we look at our
    nation through the rosy spectacles of an unworldly idealism. Our eyes
    are open. We do not imagine that everything is as it should be. On the
    contrary, we realize that there is only too much which requires to be set
    in order by the primal creative will of the nation. But we also know that
    there exists in the German nation a living fellowship of believers, in
    whose hearts what I have called "the Ideal Will of the nation" declares
    itself. By "the Ideal Will of the nation" I mean that constructive will, that
    high national ideal which must be transformed into reality, and which,
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    according to our conviction, has a divine origin and goes on calling and
    urging us until we obey it. That is what the presence of God in the nation
    means to us. With deep strings of heart we listen to that inner call in
    the great moments of our life, and let ourselves be made ready to
    respond to the challenge. It is not the individual, empirical self with its
    pitiful limitations, that has the right to obey the Ideal Will of the nation,
    but the sovereign will which springs from the primal depths in us. Thus
    it is in living fellowship and in response to the demands of each day,
    that we seek and find the divine will. That is German genius.
    The Ideal Will of the nation cannot be simply read off from a sacred
    book. When we were told that we had no laws which could be put
    alongside the Ten Commandments, we did not quite know what was
    expected of us. Let our answer take the form of an example. We are all
    convinced that the primal will of our nation demands a healthy people;
    but how is it to be decided what promotes the health of the people? It
    is to be from a sacred book, or through the attempt to discover in a
    living German fellowship, what is the demand, the eternal demand, of
    the nation? Take, for example, the sterilization law and the task of
    preventing the propagation of hereditary disease. Have the Christians,
    with the Bible, which should yield infallible guidance, in their hands,
    been able to find a unanimous solution? Some of them proclaim
    themselves in favor of this law, because they have been gripped by the
    reality, "nation", and its demands. Others find themselves constrained
    to conform, but have an uncomfortable feeling that it is perhaps against
    the will of God. And a third section, the whole Catholic Church, declares
    that the law is quite contrary to the divine will. It seems then, after all,
    that, despite the Ten Commandments and the lines of moral conduct so
    clearly laid down in the Bible, the Christians are in this instance groping
    in the dark. We of the German Faith have chosen another and a more
    certain path- the path of unconditional surrender to the highest good
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    of the nation. With this end in view, it is out of the question that we
    should allow the great mass of hereditary disease to increase. The will
    of the nation is here the will of God, and we obey it.
    The Ten Commandments and the moral principles laid down in
    "holy scripture" do not suffice for the building up of society. It is not
    that we are aiming at a morality on a lower level, in order to suit our
    comfort, but that before us lies the goal of a Teutonic, a German
    morality which will rank higher than that of Christianity. This morality is
    grounded in the nature of men and in their very blood. The great
    fundamental laws - reverence for life, for property, for what is real;
    courageous and unhesitating affirmation of life; the duty of sincerity;
    the sacredness of parenthood - these four commandments are the
    universal foundations of a true morality. But we have something in
    addition, which is promoted by the German genius, in the same way as
    German law so plainly is. For what is the origin of our legal system?
    Undoubtedly the German genius, the creative German nature. We are
    convinced that German law is a living reality, which varies in detail
    according to the phases of national development. But we are also
    convinced that in it the same genius, the same creative urge to
    righteousness, is everywhere operative. Specific circumstances call for
    specific attitudes on the part of the nation. Thus German law arises
    from the nation's primal will, which is personified in our outstanding
    figures. Could a legal system for the German nation possibly have been
    deduced from the "sacred scriptures'' of the Old and New Testaments?
    Such an attempt would have led nowhere.
    Is it not the same with religion? In this matter too there is a
    fundamental factor which is universally present wherever there is
    religion. The believer is laid hold of by that ultimate reality of which we
    have spoken. But the way in which he experiences it, and especially the
    way in which he speaks of it and expresses it in words and symbols, his
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    reaction to it, depends on the disposition which he inherits in his blood.
    And the nation whose religion does not find or refind its native
    expression becomes confused and diseased in spirit, and is doomed to
    I am quite aware of the difficulties which are bound up with the
    question of race and religion. I have studies this question carefully for
    years, and I am not one of those who talk glibly about it. But the
    conviction has driven its led home to me with more and more clearness,
    that race and religion, blood and faith, are as intimately connected as
    race and law, blood and morality. That is why the German Faith
    Movement is fighting for the recognition of this fact, for only such a
    recognition can create the possibility of a successful resistance to the
    I should like to illustrate by a few examples how the different
    dispositions of men cause them to have entirely different religious
    experiences. One man experiences God as One who directs affairs from
    another world and intervenes in human life, who is throned as Judge
    above history and who executes vengeance till he is appeased by a
    blood offering; another experiences God as reigning in the laws of the
    universe and in his own conscience. The God of the one who
    precipitates into hell the sinner who has not obtained grace through the
    blood of Jesus; the God of the other receives the sinner into a
    redemptive and creative fellowship, if he bravely faces his own guilt.
    Such differences in religious experience are grounded in the different
    dispositions of men. One man regards death as a punishment from God,
    charged with the divine wrath and leading him to hell unless he finds a
    mediator; to the other death is the primal law of life. One man holds
    that death has plunged life and the world into tragic confusion; the
    other that life would be a poor thing were it not for the majesty of
    death, that death is the supreme moment of life, a law ordained by the
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    creative will of the Eternal to insure that life should have no end - such
    differences are not accidental, but the inevitable consequence of a
    man's disposition, the necessity of his blood. And when people inquire
    of us, what we, with our conception of death, have to say to a man on
    his death bed, our answer is; what words can man utter in that moment
    when the eternal is speaking in majesty? The absence of words and a
    silent hand-clasp is the most sacred symbol possible in such an event.
    And there are really not so many Germans, as is generally supposed,
    who are unable to die without being comforted with a text. We know
    from the history of the Teutonic tribes, long before the coming of
    Christianity, that the Teuton knew how to face death unoppressed with
    the fear of what might come afterward. For what can come afterward
    but that which is already here, the presence of the divine in all that is
    Such is the Teutonic, the German genius, contrasted with an alien
    faith. When this way of faith and life has once found and consummated
    for itself a living fellowship within the German nation, a German
    morality will grow out of it which will call out the best in the German
    people, as no Christian morality has ever been able to do, because of its
    incompatibility with the nation's primal will. If this fellowship is not
    achieved, the German nation will have failed to respond to the call
    which has come to it once again in the German Revolution and the
    appearance of a Great Leader at a great moment of its history. This vital
    faith expresses our deepest longing, for we desire to act and not only to
    talk. If we do nothing but talk, we shall sin against the German nation.
    Of that we are aware, and our words are uttered with a sense of
    responsibility toward the nation; it shall judge us according to our
    These few examples have made sufficiently clear where the great
    antitheses between an alien faith and the German genius are to be
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    found. This is not the time to multiply such contrasts. The contrast is
    thoroughgoing, and will become more and more obvious as the German
    Faith finds the depths of its true self. The future will prove what the past
    has made clear enough - that Christianity, of whatever stamp, cannot
    free itself from the form which is native to it, and which makes us
    recognize it as an alien faith.
    The position which we take up leads us to make certain concrete
    demands. The moral and religious heritage of the German genius, which
    has been incarnated in our great sages and men of action, must express
    itself much more effectively in the life of the nation. And we must devise
    ways and means to achieve this result. Here we come up against the
    Protestant and Catholic schools. We are compelled by our moral and
    religious convictions to make certain definite demands. These schools
    are the clearest expression of the Christian credalism which we have
    characterized as anti-German. For in them each communion comes
    forward with the claim to possess the one and only truth and the only
    way to salvation. In this way our children are introduced to the conflict
    of faiths on their first day at school, and a yawning chasm begins to
    divide German hearts in the earliest days of youth. Therefore the
    German nation of today feels the Protestant and Catholic schools to be
    an unbearable yoke and the most deadly peril to the German will to
    unity. We want our children to experience together first and foremost
    that they are Germans, that they are nourished by German genius, that
    they are being introduced to the heritage of their forefathers and are
    to mold their lives unansweringly according to that model. We want to
    render unnecessary any further discussion of the nature of the German
    genius; we want it to issue from the coming generations like forked
    lightning and destroy all the forces of division. We demand national
    school. This demand has been greeted with thunderous applause not
    only in this great meeting, but everywhere I have spoken on this subject
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    throughout the land. The German nation has clearly proclaimed its will.
    Let no one tell us that violence is thus being done to others.
    If there are people in the nation who hold it to be their duty to bring
    up their children in a creed which makes the claim to possess the sole
    truth about God, they shall have the right to do so - but they must bear
    the responsibility for it themselves. And they shall teach and practice
    their credalism in the place where it belongs, that is, in their creedbased
    convents. There they can instruct the children who want to come
    to them or are brought by their parents - and not in the state
    institutions which are for the services of the nation and are paid for by
    it. We decisively reject and relentlessly combat the claim of the Church
    to control education as the appointed guardian of German youth. The
    will of the German nation, rather than an antiquated tradition of the
    past, should determine who are to be in control of religious education.
    The Church has forfeited its rights over the younger generation in
    Germany by the way in which it has used (or, rather, misused) the two
    years since the consummation of the German Revolution, and by its
    general attitude to that consummation. What we have said of schools
    applies also to universities. We want our universities to be German, and
    if the Christian communions have anything special to teach, let them do
    it in the institutions which they support and control. Let me give one
    example of how Christian credalism affects our universities. The
    beginning of term is a solemn moment for teachers and students alike.
    Why is it that sectarian services are held at such a time in German
    universities, for the Protestant to go to one, and the Catholic to
    another, and for the majority to go to neither because they are equally
    untouched by both? Why do we not hold a service of consecration in
    which we can gather as Germans, so that we may enter on the work of
    the term together? How else can we feel that we are one nation, with
    a common German genius? Who would choose to be absent from that
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    service, where the words of Fichte, Holderlin, and other great Germans
    were to be heard, instead of the texts and sermons of the sects? We
    will not rest in our fight for the German genius against an alien faith till
    every sphere of German life is emancipated from credal division, and
    from the domination that prevents German men and woman from
    following their conscience and their religious convictions. It is a scandal
    that Germans are still being forced to attend religious rites in which they
    are not interested. If I had charge of a parish, my Christianity would not
    allow me to preach to people who had been forced to come and hear
    me, especially when among them were those who lived by another
    faith. This compulsion, and the prejudices still operative against
    Germans who do not profess ecclesiastical Christianity, does not
    correspond with German genius, and cannot be brought into harmony
    with the order issued by the Fuhrer's deputy - an order which we are
    fighting to see carried out.
    The consequences which I have drawn from our German Faith, for
    internal reconstruction in the State, are a slight indication of the
    necessary practical effects of following the German genius. This much
    is clear: we are not putting forward our demands as sectaries who want
    their share in certain rights, but out of our sense of responsibility for
    the whole; that is, for the nation, and not only for the couple of hundred
    thousand who already belong to us. Therefore, setting aside all
    differences, we offer our hand to every real German, and call on him to
    join with us in the common struggle for unity. But we can never give up
    the struggle for the German genius and a German faith. And we live in
    the hope that a nucleus of those who have been gripped by this faith
    will form a fellowship which will penetrate the whole nation by the
    inner power which it has shown in contest, without any compulsion
    being brought to bear on any man's conviction or conscience. Only
    under conditions of freedom can real faith flourish and true religion be
    And Alien or A German Faith?
    preserved. We do not call in the secular arm to help us, as the Christians
    have often done against us, despite their multiplied assurances that
    they put their whole trust into the power of God. We are satisfied with
    the fact that the Fuhrer has given us the freedom to proclaim our faith
    to the German nation, and we are grateful to him for it. We believe that
    the German nature, which is at work in the best elements of our nation,
    is itself on our side, and that in it the divine powers are active which
    endowed our nation with its character - a character which it will realize
    only if it returns to its own genius from the far country of an unnatural
    Therefore we call to the German nation: awake to the freedom of
    the German religious genius! Therein lies the only way to the realization
    of your true nature and the fulfillment of your God-given destiny!
    We are now finally obliged to ask the question, whether Christianity or
    German Faith can (or ought to) be the decisive factor in the religious life
    of the German nation. It has surely become clear from all that has been
    said that we at least are of the opinion that only German Faith can fulfill
    the religious destiny of the nation. We hold, of course, that in Germany
    as elsewhere a community of believers in Jesus will continue to exist.
    Nor will that community fail to make a special contribution to the area
    in which it is housed. But we are convinced that only German Faith can
    be the standard, normative religious force; for the era is practically over
    when Christianity could claim to be the norm of religion. There are
    millions of Germans today in whom this claim has ceased to awaken any
    This conviction is the result of another, that the nature of
    Christianity, its form of spirituality, does not fit the creative genius of
    the German nation. We have called Christianity "Near-Eastern" and
    "Semitic" because it arose in that area, and because, however different
    it is in many respects from other semitic faiths, it bears, unmistakably
    and unalterably, the same fundamental character. We shall mention
    only a few traits of the Semitic and Near-Eastern race, in order to show
    that they are, although in a spiritualized form, at work in the very heart
    of the Christian religion.
    One thing we must not forget, is that when we are investigating the
    Near-Eastern and Semitic religious area as a whole, we must not simply
    seek for superficial resemblances between the various religions, but
    The Semitic Character of Christianity
    penetrate into their depths, so that we may get a grasp of their
    fundamental nature. It is only when such an investigation has been
    completed that we discover that those religions are phases and
    evolutionary stages in the development of one religious spirit. How
    different, for instance, is the person of Jesus and his way of experiencing
    God from that of Moses! And yet the inmost character of their faith is
    one and the same, as Jesus himself felt. For his conviction, that he was
    the continuator and deepener of Old-Testament religion, is as surely
    ascertained as the conviction of all the New Testament writers that the
    "new covenant" was but a renewal of the old one, and that Christianity
    and Hebrew religion were essentially the same. The Epistle to the
    Hebrews is the classic illustration of this, in its presentation of the
    events which centered in Jesus as the continuation and final fulfillment
    of the cult-events of the Old Testament. The author has a most delicate
    insight into the relation between the two. Christianity is, of course, not
    identical with Hebrew religion; but in their fundamental content and
    spiritual structure they are alike. It is therefore utterly untrue to say, as
    is often said, that Jesus fought against Jewish religion. Jesus, rather,
    fought for Jewish religion, against degenerations which had set in. This
    is the meaning of the sayings: "I am not come to destroy the Law and
    the Prophets, but to fulfill them", and "Salvation is of the Jews".
    We shall therefore attempt to sketch once more the Near-Eastern
    and Semitic character of the Jewish religion and its continuator,
    Christianity. It is typical of the Semitic race that they are markedly
    bound to this earth. This was the cause of the nonappearance of a belief
    in immorality among the chief Semitic peoples, the Babylonians and the
    Hebrews, and perhaps also among the ancient Arabs, even at a time
    when other peoples had long held the belief in a highly developed form.
    Belief in a resurrection does not come to the fore till the post-exilic
    period. Such a belief appears on the surface to contradict the "earthGermany’s
    New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    bound" character of which we were speaking. But on closer
    examination, the Jewish and Christian belief in resurrection really
    demonstrates it quite clearly. For late Judaism, and at bottom
    Christianity, is unable to conceive a true life after death or life from
    death, except by the miraculous reconstitution of the body, which has
    crumbled to dust, or its recreation by the lord out of the remains. This
    attachment to the "dust and ashes" shows an unmistakably "earthbound"
    character. And it appears, in what for us is a most striking form,
    in the resurrection of Jesus himself.
    Paul and the rest of the Christians grounded their conviction that
    Jesus was the redeemer and victor on the fact that he had truly risen
    from the dead. But according to the documents, "truly risen" means
    that the body of Jesus was literally resuscitated and ascended into the
    sky. And the resurrection of the faithful to eternal life is in the long run
    not a whit different. The clause, "I believe in the resurrection of the
    flesh", still stands in the Apostles' Creed, and holds good for all who
    believe the whole of the Christian religion and not merely an
    abridgement of it. Thus the fundamental "earth-boundness" of the
    Semite comes to light in every phase of his religious development. Its
    significance becomes clear when we think how Paul said that the whole
    of his faith would be shattered if it were found out that the body of
    Jesus had not risen. How different in a man from the Indo-Germanic
    religious area, is the attitude toward the body! For him it is but a
    moment in the total development of his self. It is returned to the
    elements and goes the way of all elements, while his life germ takes on
    a new form.
    Another facet of the mental and spiritual attitude of the Semite is
    his idea of keeping accounts with God, and, intimately bound up with
    that, his belief in sacrifice and particularly in vicarious sacrifice.
    The Semitic Character of Christianity
    Sacrifice, especially the magical and sacramental form involved in
    substitutionary rites, is a phenomenon which belongs to the general
    religious history. But nowhere in the whole expanse of religious history
    is vicarious sacrifice so prominent as in the Near-Eastern and Semitic
    area. Take Hebrew religion, for example, where an animal (and
    originally, one may assume, a human being) was delivered over to the
    avenging powers as a substitute for the sin-stained people. A just God
    could only be gracious after accounts had been settled, and a vicarious
    sacrifice was necessary to achieve this end. There is no literal parallel in
    Christianity to such a vicarious sacrifice. But we can see how deep the
    ideas of "keeping an account with God", and of a vicarious sacrifice,
    have sunk into the Christian religion, when we reflect on the fact that
    the suffering and death of Jesus were inevitably looked at from this
    point of view. He vicariously atoned for the crimes of men, which they
    were incapable of making good by any atonement of their own. God
    had laid down a law and men had broken it. But by satisfying the claims
    of the law, Jesus made it possible for God to pardon the lawbreakers.
    That is and remains the central Christian dogma. It is the same spirit, if
    in a new guise, which in the Old-Testament period created the sacrifice
    on the Day of Atonement.
    Another fundamental characteristic of the Semite is his tendency
    to uniformity, to one-sidedness in matters of faith. This tendency is
    bound up with his intellectualism, and also with that will to power
    which built up mighty kingdoms in the political realm, which later in the
    form of the Messianic hope led the Jews to dream of the religious
    domination of the world, and which finally showed itself in religious life
    and preaching in the claim (supported on a strong rational basis) to
    possess the absolute truth. This is a claim common to all the great
    Semitic religions - Hebrew, Christian, and Mohammedan. In close
    connection with this claim we always find the monstrous attempt to
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    combine it with the claim to political power. Nowhere in the Indo-
    Germanic or Oriental religious area do we discover this pronounced
    religious characteristic.
    Then, in the same connection, fails to be mentioned what we feel
    to be the stiff, unbending monotheism characteristic of Hebrew and
    Moslem religion. Of course a certain softening has occurred in the area
    of transition between the Near East and the Mediterranean world, in
    the doctrine of the Trinity and the belief in the God-bearing Queen of
    Semitic and Near-Eastern traits are united in the concept of a final
    irrevocable Judgment and an eternal damnation. Even in the Indo-
    Germanic area we find a so-called dualism, that is, the struggle between
    Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, and a knowledge of the tension
    which exists between life in the world and the mysterious immanence
    or transcendence of the ultimate Reality. But the Indo-Germanic world
    always tends to resolve this dualism into a tremendous
    incomprehensible unity, while the Semitic world stresses that the
    opposition of Good and Evil, of redeemed and damned, is eternal. The
    terrific cleavages in the Near-Eastern type of man come here to the
    surface. On the one hand he sucks in the things of earth and gives
    himself over to them in sensual enjoyment. On the other hand he
    strives and strains to free himself from the earth altogether, as in the
    Attis cult, where the worshiper got rid of sense and did a service to his
    goddess by self-emasculation, or in the monastic system, in which he
    tried by ascetic torments to quench physical impulse and to achieve
    redemption and saintliness. This type of man cannot succeed in
    harmonizing both worlds, and has to choose between them. There is no
    doubt at all that the yearning for redemption and the insistence on the
    Beyond which meet us in Christianity, are traceable to the same source,
    however they may vary from the original Near-East pattern. Research
    The Semitic Character of Christianity
    has brought to light. Not only did the Near-Eastern type of man in past
    ages inhibit the whole of the Near-East and penetrate almost into the
    heart of Persia; even today he is not merely a considerable but a
    dominating racial influence in many parts of the country. The rules of
    method fully entitle us, when employing race as a scientific criterion in
    the study of comparative religion, to ask whether many traits in the
    Persian religion - such as the accentuated dualism expressed in the
    Persian belief in a Last Judgment and a resurrection - are not to be
    accounted for by the subterranean influence of Near-Eastern blood.
    Moreover, the sharp contrasts in the geography and climate of the area
    undoubtedly affected the development of Persian religion. For we may
    not underestimate the influence of physical environment on the
    formation of racial characteristics, and so on the course which religion
    takes within a people.
    It is not here our task to raise and answer all the questions which
    result from our contention that there is a definite Near-East and Semitic
    type of religion which characterizes all the faiths which have been born
    in that area. It was our intention simply to throw light on the scientific
    method we employ in treating problems of comparative religion, and to
    show that we are striving to perfect our method. It is by no means
    faultless as yet, nor are all its conclusions proved up to the hilt. But
    though many of the details still await verification, the fundamental
    principles of the method are already beyond criticism.
    From the above considerations it is clear enough that we, because
    of our German Faith, must protest against the claim of the Christian
    religion to be the religion of the German nation, or the religion of any
    Aryan nation at all. For its essence is determined by factors which are
    quite foreign to us, and which we feel to be repugnant and cramping.
    Precisely those points which we have declared to be typically foreign in
    that religion are the foundation stones of Christian dogma. We are not
    Germany’s New Religion: The German Faith Movement
    dealing with trivialities which lie out on the circumference, but with
    convictions which are absolutely central.
    We have recognized that the spiritual plight of our people is due to
    the alien influence of Near-Eastern and Semitic elements. We are
    therefore carrying on a pitiless battle against them. We are convinced
    that there is no power capable of exorcising the evil except German
    Faith. It will show Germany the way of salvation.
    We need a reservation system for our people and our own ethnic-nationalist faith, where we'll have sermons about our people and nations, real history, science, philosophy, etc., in addition to our older religions. Throw in some open bar nights, comedy club hours, music and dance, etc., and it'll be a cracker barrel of good times lol.

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    Hauer, William et al. (1937); Germany's New Religion: The German Faith Movement; London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Written with Karl Heim & Karl Adam; trans. from German by T.S.K. Scott-Craig & R.E. Davies.
    It's funny, Hauer wrote that book in 1936, published in early 1937, and later that year Hitler essentially ended his hopes by prohibiting NS Party members from joining. This was an extension of the Hitler Youth and SS member prohibition they implemented in late 1935. There were droves of SS and NS party members joining, but of course, Hitler didn't want to aggravate the Church, hence the ban.

    Deutsche Glaubensbewegung – German Wikipedia

    The aim of the German Faith Movement [Deutsche Glaubensbewegung (DG)] was to establish an official non-Christian community of faith with the same rights as existing Churches. [11] It was only permissible to be a member of the DG if one was not a member of another religious community (for taxation purposes).

    On April 26, 1935, the DG held an event in the Sportpalast in Berlin. According to Fritz Gericke, head of the regional community of Berlin and co-organizer, 18,000 participated; one of the main speakers was Hauer. [12] On the fringe of the rally there were arguments with groups of Christians present, during which, among other things, the future clergyman Siegbert Stehmann was beaten and hospitalized.

    After the event, tensions between the leadership of the DG, Hauer and Gericke on the one hand and their national socialist counterparts on the other, intensified (to note: Hauer and Gericke were not members of the NSDAP at this point).
    Volkslexicon Drittes Reich, by Ludwig Peters and published by Grabert-Verlag, Tübingen, 1998
    Deutsche Glaubensbewegung - Axis History Forum

    The German Faith movement was an attempt to bring together various religious groups and associations into an organization that would exercise religiosity in a purely German sense. The movement was founded on May 23, 1934 in Eisenach by J.W. Hauer, who was elected chairman.

    The movement rejected the Christian religion completely and began having manifold difficulties with the Nazi government one year later. As of 1935, the NS party prohibited members of the Hitler Youth and the SS from joining, and from 1937 onward, prohibited NSDAP members from joining. For these reasons, Hauer withdrew from the organization. The movement sank into insignificance thereafter.
    The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, By Richard Steigmann-Gall, 2003, pp 151-152.
    The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity

    The DG's insistence that it was the religious expression of Nazism was not taken kindly in the NSDAP.


    Finally, in August 1935, Heydrich forbade all rallies and other public meetings of the DG across the Reich.
    Deutsche Glaubensbewegung – German Wikipedia

    In February 1937 the lawyer Bernhard Wiedenhöft became
    "leader" of the German Faith Movement, which on 6 May 1938, upon being pressured by the NS, changed their name to "Kampfring Deutscher Glaube" (Struggle Ring of German Faith), so as not to sound as though they were attempting to compete with the NS "movement". In November 1938, Hauer rejected a leadership offer once again (to note: by this point, Hauer had become a member of the NSDAP).
    Herbert_Grabert - German Wikipedia

    After the suppression and subsequent collapse of the German Faith Movement, Grabert underwent an abrupt change. He became fully in service of the "Third Reich" and argued that no independent pagan religious communities were necessary outside of national socialism. Outside of the Nazi Party, there was no need for any independent religious community at all, since in his mind "national socialism sufficed in every respect." At the end of 1937, he was quoted by the Christian World and the Young Church as follows:

    "For us, as for countless Germans, National Socialism is the new faith that makes super confessional and ideological groups superfluous." [14]

    In 1939 Grabert joined the NSDAP (membership number 7,291,699). Grabert was occasionally financed and supported by the Alfred-Rosenberg-Foundation. [15]
    Hitler was terrible for us. He suppressed the Pagans around the same time, and banned them after the Hess flight.

    Goebbels once addressed the religious question as follows (you can see his frustration with Christianity):

    Is it Pagan? By Joseph Goebbels:

    Hitler addressed the religious question as well at the 1938 Culture Convention:


    National Socialism is not a cult-movement- a movement for worship; it is exclusively a 'volkic' political doctrine based upon the German peoplehood. In its purpose there is no mystic cult, only the care and leadership of a people defined by a common blood-relationship. Therefore we have no rooms for worship, but only halls for the people - no open spaces for worship, but spaces for assemblies and parades. We have no religious retreats, but arenas for sports and playing-fields, and the characteristic feature of our places of assembly is not the mystical gloom of a cathedral, but the brightness and light of a room or hall which combines beauty with fitness for its purpose. In these halls no acts of worship are celebrated, they are exclusively devoted to gatherings of the people of the kind which we have come to know in the course of our long struggle; to such gatherings we have become accustomed and we wish to maintain them. We will not allow mystically-minded occult folk with a passion for exploring the secrets of the world beyond to steal into our Movement. Such folk are not National Socialists, but something else - in any case, something which has nothing to do with us. At the head of our program there stand no secret surmisings but clear-cut perception and straightforward profession of belief. But since we set as the central point of this perception and of this profession of belief the maintenance and hence the security for the future of a being formed by God, we thus serve the maintenance of a divine work and fulfill a divine will - not in the secret twilight of a new house of worship, but openly before the face of the Lord.

    There were times when a half-light was the necessary condition for the effectiveness of certain teachings: we live in an age when light is for us the fundamental condition of successful action. It will be a sorry day when through the stealing in of obscure mystic elements the Movement or the State itself issues obscure commissions.... It is even dangerous to issue any commission for a so-called place of worship, for with the building will arise the necessity for thinking out so-called religious recreations or religious rites, which have nothing to do with National Socialism. Our worship is exclusively the cultivation of the natural, and for that reason, because natural, therefore God-willed. Our humility is the unconditional submission before the divine laws of existence so far as they are known to us men: it is to these we pay our respect.
    Their greatest crime (besides, of course, helping bring about the war) was not doing exactly what was being suggested by people like Jakob Hauer and Alfred Rosenberg (and most tragic of all, we suspect Hitler and Goebbels actually believed in what Hauer and Rosenberg wanted deep down). They banned the German Faith movement due to their wanting to placate Christianity.

    If only Rosenberg and Hauer had got their way.

    My Myth (German peoplehood and faith therein) had met with considerable disapproval. I know, for example, that copies of the collective attack made against me by the Roman Church (it was entitled Studieste) had been sent by the various bishoprics to all higher military posts in an effort to do away with me scientifically. [...]

    At the end of 1939, the Führer accepted the suggestion that he give me a directive, addressed to party, state and Wehrmacht, to bring about and secure a unification of National Socialist philosophy.

    Odd characters had attached themselves to our various branches, and the Reich Ministry of Education vacillated considerably. I wanted to bring about a firm though non-sectarian attitude. My appointment had been agreed upon.

    Then, suddenly, the Führer told me that Mussolini wanted to come into the war after all, and had asked him to do nothing at the moment that might aggravate the Church. My assuming office at this critical time would cause a great deal of disquiet. I agreed that under the circumstances my appointment would naturally have to be postponed. [...] No matter what the respective spiritual positions may be, today, after the collapse, the time for a final showdown between opposing philosophies has certainly not yet arrived.
    We need a reservation system for our people and our own ethnic-nationalist faith, where we'll have sermons about our people and nations, real history, science, philosophy, etc., in addition to our older religions. Throw in some open bar nights, comedy club hours, music and dance, etc., and it'll be a cracker barrel of good times lol.

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    Hauer's admiration for Hinduism centred on the Bhagavad Gita, to which he had been particularly drawn. He described it as "a work of imperishable significance", arguing that it called on people to "master the riddle of life".
    It is neither the task of philosophy nor religions nor human reason to resolve the "riddle of life". Hauer's predilection for Hinduism may have conferred onto him a similar pessimism/physicalism as the one exhibited by Schopenhauer (fortunately, Rosenberg did not fall for this tendency).

    Granted, even Himmler regarded the Bhagavad-Gita highly, especially the Mahabharata. He was also inclined towards karma and reincarnation teaching and well-versed in Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian scriptures (able to hold his ground against the Catholic Hanna Reitsch).

    After the " seizure of power " in 1933, Hauer, who in the spring of 1933 had voted against Hitler's honorary promotion, made an "extraordinarily rapid change of heart" in relation to the National Socialist ideology. According to the theologian Karl Rennstich Hauer was a "deeply apolitical man", which was used by the Nazis first for their political purposes, but in turn has considered their seizure of power as an opportunity to find support for his scientific and philosophical concerns. [9]
    From his German wiki entry. I could not produce a better indictment, if this is true.

    Mein Kampf:
    In most cases they come because they think that, under the aegis of the movement, it will be possible for them to promulgate their old ideas, to the misfortune of their new listeners.

    Of course, Hanns Hoerbiger likewise spread and boasted of his ideas under the patronage of Hitler. However, in his case, his theories were based on observational experience and even Himmler subscribed to his ideas.

    He wrote to Heinrich Himmler immediately after Rudolf Hess' flight to Scotland, denouncing Hess for his supposed adherence to anthroposophy, an esoteric philosophy which Hauer felt was at odds with his own occult vision.
    In captivity, after reading a piece from William L. Shirer, Rudolf Hess vehemently rejected that he based his decision on astrology.

    Why would the anti-Semitic Hess be a follower of Rudolf Steiner, who ascribed the first merit of teaching and of spirituality to the Jews and the Jewish Essene sect?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smithwick View Post
    Hitler was terrible for us. He suppressed the Pagans around the same time, and banned them after the Hess flight.
    You're conflating pagans with mystics (emotion-based thinking) and occultists (who have their ideas reinforced by mental reflection).

    Anyway, the self-proclaimed (provocative) elements of paganism in those days were behaving like subversives, some of them appear to have been Nordicists. They attached too much to the form of religion, the drapery of their customs and rites, not the ideals inspiring those forms.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smithwick View Post
    Hitler addressed the religious question as well at the 1938 Culture Convention:
    That speech is highly significant, as it is the only one which contains Hitler's definitive idea of the universe. You can tell that a large portion of it has been omitted in the English translations so it must be read in the German. It is actually one of the keys to resolving the religious infighting in Hitler-centered nationalist sects.

    This is a surviving clip from the speech:

    It matches the transcript given below, starting from this line of text: “Wir bemühen uns daher auch nicht, dem internationalen Judentum etwa die deutsche Kunst und Kultur schmackhaft zu machen” and ending with “Im Augenblick, in dem sie der Öffentlichkeit durch den einen zuteil wird, ist sie allen zu eigen, weil sie von jeher aller eigen war.”

    This is part of the speech which needs audio for confirmation:

    "And in this manner the cultural evolution of a Volk resembles that of the Milky Way. Amongst countless pale stars a few suns radiate. However, all suns and planets are made of the same one material, and all of them observe the same laws. The entire cultural work of a Volk must not only be geared toward fulfillment of one mission, but this mission must also be pursued in one spirit."

    This matches his view given in the Table Talk (October 24, 1941), which was made in the context of Christianity (in another similar entry, he says this is the teaching which will convict Christianity of it's absurdity):
    "The universe, in its material elements, has the same composition whether we're speaking of the earth, the sun or any other planet. It is impossible to suppose nowadays that organic life exists only on our planet."

    There is very good reason to regard this as Hitler's actual view on the universe, he often disclosed his private thoughts as an example for his arguments, such as his view on American colonialism:

    "Thus I adopted the same attitude as, all those emigrants who shake the dust of Europe from their feet, with the cast-iron determination to lay the foundations of a new existence in the New World and acquire for themselves a new home.
    Liberated from all the paralysing prejudices of class and calling, environment and tradition, they enter any service that is open to them, accepting any work that comes their way, filled more and more with the idea that honest work never disgraced anybody, no matter what kind it may be. So I was resolved to enter what was for me a new world and make my way." (Mein Kampf)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smithwick View Post
    If only Rosenberg and Hauer had got their way.
    Alfred Rosenberg was found on the level of an emotional mystic (as seen in his statement "The greatest and most blessed thing in the German life is the mythical, sensitive, yet strong, awakening") and he was a sham philosopher: in comparing Plato with the likes of Kant, he erred exquisitely. In Metaphysical Foundations, Kant declared that "the death of all natural philosophy, would be hylozoism", overturning the pre-Socratic philosophers who preceded Plato and who were the ones who inspired Nietzsche. Nietzsche justifiably called the "great" Kant a "deformed concept-cripple".

    Rosenberg's cognitive dissonance in embracing Plato, but rejecting Pythagoras, who inspired Plato, demonstrates his unreliability sufficiently.

    From Der Mythus (errors highlighted in blue):
    This near eastern African underworld is revealed most vividly in the historically attested figure of Pythagoras. He is said to have travelled throughout Babylonia and to India. He himself is described as a Pelasgian, and he did in fact practice his mysteries in Asia Minor, joined by ecstatic mystical women. He was unable to gain credence in Greece proper. Aristoteles and Heraclitos referred to him derogatorily, and were plainly resentful of his mathematical cabalism. Aristoteles said that Pythagoras’ fame was based on his appropriation of alien spiritual values. This was also the opinion of Heraclitos, who said that Pythagoras had woven together a false art and charlatanry from various writings. A pretence at universal knowledge, said the Hellenic sage, does not instruct the spirit. So Pythagoras moved to the west, to southern Italy, where, like some ancient blend of Rudolf Steiner and Annie Besant, he set up his school of mysteries complete with priestesses.
    And Thales of Miletus was said to be a Phoenician, yet his surname indicates he was Greek.

    The merit of predicting eclipses was accredited to Thales by Herodotus, who was partial towards Egyptians. Before the Greeks (Germanics) arrived on the scene, the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians, etc. had not succeeded in systematizing the knowledge in their possession, as seen in how it had been divided between mystics and occultists (mentalists). Much like today, there was a superabundance of unsorted knowledge. Pythagoras did not travel through foreign lands in order to exchange knowledge and learn from foreigners, but in order to pinpoint what would most suit the Greek mentality.

    As for him not being recognized in Greece, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. In Athens, only Pericles (which even Rosenberg took note of) and Plato managed to elude the persecutions of the mob and the subsequent executions.

    The fact that he regarded women so highly in religious matters is similar to what Clement of Alexandria has reported about ancient Germanic women being perceived as seers. Even Rudolf Hess admitted that women had an intuition on certain matters.

    As for Aristotle and Heraclitus' critique for Pythagoras, I would consult John Burnet's Early Greek Philosophy, which I managed to get a hold of. Burnet makes an excellent case for Greek originality, independent from the Babylonians, Egyptians, etc.

    Herakleitos, who is not partial to him, says that Pythagoras had pursued scientific investigation further than other men... Aristotle said that Pythagoras at first busied himself with mathematics and numbers, though he adds that later he did not renounce the miracle-mongering of Pherekydes.
    Nietzsche likewise offers similar insight in his work "Early Greek Philosophy":

    In detail little has been determined; but we should in no way object to the general idea, if people did not burden us with the conclusion that therefore Philosophy had only been imported into Greece and was not indigenous to the soil, yea, that she, as something foreign, had possibly ruined rather than improved the Greek. (translated by the Jew Oscar Levy, I couldn't find a better translation...)
    The reason for their harsh critique for Pythagoras was due to them being fellow initiates who were concerned about him divulging knowledge for the uninitiated, regarding knowledge orders (the existence of which were known to everyone, it was just the teachings were held from them), not mysteries (which were social orders accessible to most citizens and only accounted for the basics: karma and reincarnation).

    The two aforementioned individuals disregarded Pythagoras as Francis Bacon did with Plato and Aristotle in favor of Democritus and as Thomas Jerfferson disdained the Stoics for the Epicureans.

    What is most realistic and practical is best suited for the mass of human beings. Whenever this fact has eluded historians and revisionists, they come up with the following excuse:

    From the book Western Esotericism in Scandinavia:
    "By the beginning of the eighteenth century, learned astrology was entirely passé at Swedish universities. The question of the validity of astrology was very rarely raised, and then only to be flatly rejected. Professor of astronomy at Uppsala Nils Celsius (1658–1724) had several times in the 1690s discussed astrology, and took up the question once again in his dissertation De vanitate astrologiae (1721), but it remains unclear why Celsius should devote polemics against a practice defended by none of his peers. Perhaps his dissertation was merely an exercise in the art of argumentation."

    From the wiki:
    "Plutarch makes some palpable hits, catching Herodotus out in various errors, but it is also probable that it was merely a rhetorical exercise, in which Plutarch plays devil's advocate to see what could be said against so favourite and well-known a writer."[7]

    My Myth (German peoplehood and faith therein) had met with considerable disapproval. I know, for example, that copies of the collective attack made against me by the Roman Church (it was entitled Studieste) had been sent by the various bishoprics to all higher military posts in an effort to do away with me scientifically. [...]

    At the end of 1939, the Führer accepted the suggestion that he give me a directive, addressed to party, state and Wehrmacht, to bring about and secure a unification of National Socialist philosophy.

    Odd characters had attached themselves to our various branches, and the Reich Ministry of Education vacillated considerably. I wanted to bring about a firm though non-sectarian attitude. My appointment had been agreed upon.

    Then, suddenly, the Führer told me that Mussolini wanted to come into the war after all, and had asked him to do nothing at the moment that might aggravate the Church. My assuming office at this critical time would cause a great deal of disquiet. I agreed that under the circumstances my appointment would naturally have to be postponed. [...] No matter what the respective spiritual positions may be, today, after the collapse, the time for a final showdown between opposing philosophies has certainly not yet arrived.
    And in his diaries, Rosenberg boasts of Hitler acknowledging that he was more artistic than Goebbels. And yet Goebbels was the director behind NS propaganda and films!

    These statements say very little, as there was an overwhelming tendency among Hitler's subordinates to claim Hitler had supported their ideas (i.e. Robert Ley, the reply from Hitler is mentioned by Goebbels in his diaries). There was also a tendency towards spreading gossip in the aftermath of WW2, such as the claims regarding Hitler's outrage over his dog from the esteemed surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch (mentioned in Hermann Giesler's memoirs) and Emil Maurice.

    Rosenberg's greatest merit appears to have been his intercessory role in preventing Johannes Müller-Elmau, who emphasized the Sermon on the Mount teaching, from being imprisoned. Regrettably the religious reformer Hitler had been looking for in his youth had escaped his notice. The Old Testament would finally have been done away with and Christianity would be thoroughly rehabilitated, de-Judaized.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smithwick View Post
    (and most tragic of all, we suspect Hitler and Goebbels actually believed in what Hauer and Rosenberg wanted deep down).
    Goebbels, although anti-Christian, nonetheless recognized Jesus Christ, whose teachings were based in Plato. St. Augustine admitted in his Confessions that he had reconfirmed his faith through the writings of the Platonists. In this he was followed by Boethius (mentioned by Cusanus) and by Lucas Holste (who also mentions Bessarion and Steuchos).

    Das Christentum ist keine Religion für viele, geschweige für alle. Von wenigen gepflegt und in die Tat umgesetzt, ist es eine der köstlichsten Blüten, die eine Kulturseele je getrieben hat. (Goebbels, Michael: ein Deutsches Schicksal in Tagebuchblättern)

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    I forgot to mention: it was common for Germany's enemies and dissidents to deny Hitler's intellectual merits by ascribing it to Rosenberg. Otto Strasser claimed that Hitler had viewed Rosenberg as a prophet and that he had elevated Rosenberg's Der Mythus over H. S. Chamberlain's work, in direct contrast to Albert Speer's testimony and what was said about Rosenberg in the Table Talk.
    Do you intend to side with the anti-pagan moralist Otto Strasser? Whose only given reason for hating Rosenberg was his paganism and who Rosenberg himself indicted as an opportunist who only joined Hitler's movement to spread his own ideas. There was once a pagan Strasserist who frequented this forum, he had never bothered reading the man he claimed to follow and admired him despite his beloved Strasser despising paganism.

    This sort of cognitive dissonance is similar to how Christians who want Hitler to be one of them go so far as to deny the Table Talk authenticity on the basis of testimony from their atheistic enemies. It shows that your stance on Rosenberg is inconsistent.

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