Other Essays

Hitler's Religion

Background

Postwar Christian apologists have put perhaps their greatest efforts into creating the myth that Adolf Hitler was not a Christian. An entire cottage industry seems to have sprung up around the desire to perpetuate this myth, and while its motivations are perfectly understandable (who would want to be associated with Hitler in any way?), its dishonesty is unjustifiable. The truth, however uncomfortable, is still the truth.

In death, Hitler has become larger than life. He has become a weapon of sorts, to be used by propagandists as a way of sanctifying themselves while vilifying others. By painting Hitler as something other than he was, these propagandists try to cast doubt on the morality of their opponents, and shore up their own claims of superior morality (all in service to the stubborn and intolerant belief that morality is ultimately decided by religious affiliation rather than individual attitudes). Entire books have been filled with fictitious Hitler quotes (usually attributed to personal conversations) which are still widely disseminated despite having been thoroughly debunked1 (of course, since many of these quotes support the notion that Hitler was anti-Christian, it's no surprise that they are still in such widespread use).

However, without such questionable sources as uncorroborated hearsay accounts of private conversations, we discover a rather interesting phenomenon: the Hitler's seemingly conflicted statements suddenly become very consistent! He believed in natural evolution, but he also believed in special creation. Does that sound contradictory? It shouldn't, because many people still hold his beliefs today. He believed that Adam and Eve were created by God in his image, but he also believed that not all of us are descended from Adam and Eve (interestingly enough, one of the Christian fundamentalists on my Hate Mail page shares this belief). To be more specific, Hitler believed that the Aryan race was descended from Adam and Eve, but everyone else evolved naturally (I have personally encountered people who still believe this).

He believed that Jesus of Nazareth was an Aryan, not a Jew, and that Jesus fought the Jews and was killed by them. He believed in life after death, the supreme being, and universal creation. He opposed the Catholic church only because its seat of power was in Rome, not Berlin. He was intolerant of competing versions of Christianity (an approach lifted directly from the Catholic playbook), but at no time did he ever commit acts or express beliefs which were not expressed by other Christians before him such as Martin Luther (as well as certain Christians after him, right up to this day. The mere fact that the Lutherans refuse to change their name is very revealing; if there was a Hitlerian church, don't you think it would have changed its name?).

Mein Kampf

It is widely acknowledged that the most authoritative statement on Hitler's beliefs and plans was his infamous book "Mein Kampf". Yet while this book is known worldwide for its hateful nature, few have ever read it and fewer still have identified the voluminous statements within that clearly mark Adolf Hitler as a Christian. There are many such statements, and they reveal a great deal about his motivations:

"I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal."2 (Hitler admired religious figures).

"I thank Heaven that a portion of the memories of those days still remains with me. Woods and meadows were the battlefields on which the 'conflicts' which exist everywhere in life were decided."3 (Hitler believed in Heaven).

"I was not in agreement with the sharp anti-Semitic tone, but from time to time I read arguments which gave me some food for thought. At all events, these occasions slowly made me acquainted with the man and the movement, which in those days guided Vienna's destinies: Dr. Karl Lueger and the Christian Social Party ... The man and the movement seemed 'reactionary' in my eyes. My common sense of justice, however, forced me to change this judgment in proportion as I had occasion to become acquainted with the man and his work; and slowly my fair judgment turned to unconcealed admiration. Today, more than ever, I regard this man as the greatest German mayor of all times ... How many of my basic principles were upset by this change in my attitude toward the Christian Social movement! My views with regard to anti-Semitism thus succumbed to the passage of time, and this was my greatest transformation of all."4 (Hitler was inspired to become a radical anti-Semite by the Viennese Christian Social movement, whose attitudes are almost identical to the far-right American Christian fundamentalist movement today).

"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."5 (Hitler obviously believed in a supreme being).

"Sooner will a camel pass through a needle's eye than a great man be 'discovered' by an election"6 (Hitler was fond of paraphrasing the Bible (Mark 10:25 in this case), and he does this many, many times elsewhere in the book).

"The root of the whole evil lay, particularly in Schonerer's opinion, in the fact that the directing body of the Catholic Church was not in Germany, and that for this very reason alone it was hostile to the interests of our nationality."7 (affirming that Hitler's only real problem with his childhood religion was the fact that its power base was not in Germany).

"I had so often sung 'Deutschland u:ber Alles' and shouted 'Heil' at the top of my lungs, that it seemed to me almost a belated act of grace to be allowed to stand as a witness in the divine court of the eternal judge and proclaim the sincerity of this conviction."8 (the "divine court of the eternal judge" seems a rather strange idea from anyone but a Judeo-Christian, since Pagan and Eastern religions generally lack any such divine judgemental entity, to say nothing of atheism)

"Certainly we don't have to discuss these matters with the Jews, the most modern inventors of this cultural perfume. Their whole existence is an embodied protest against the aesthetics of the Lord's image."9

"Once again the songs of the fatherland roared to the heavens along the endless marching columns, and for the last time the Lord's grace smiled on His ungrateful children."10 (recalling World War I).

"What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe."11 (it would appear that Hitler agreed with modern "intelligent design" creationists on the existence of a Creator).

"Parallel to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth ... Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world ..."12 (Jerry Falwell? Is that you?)

"But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God"13 (note that when he says "images of God", he refers to racially pure Aryans; this sentence comes in the context of a diatribe against racial intermixing).

"While both denominations maintain missions in Asia and Africa in order to win new followers for their doctrine-- an activity which can boast but very modest success compared to the advance of the Mohammedan faith in particular-- right here in Europe they lose millions and millions of inward adherents who either are alien to all religious life or simply so their own ways. The consequences, particularly from a moral point of view, are not favorable."14 (Hitler agrees with George W. Bush that religion and morality are intertwined).

"Also noteworthy is the increasingly violent struggle against the dogmatic foundations of the various churches without which in this human world the practical existence of a religious faith is not conceivable ... The attack against dogmas as such, therefore, strongly resembles the struggle against the general legal foundations of a state, and, as the latter would end in a total anarchy of the state, the former would end in a worthless religious nihilism."15 (Hitler, trying to equate criticism of dogma to an assault on civilization)

"The result of all racial crossing is therefore in brief always the following: (a) Lowering of the level of the higher race; (b) Physical and intellectual regression and hence the beginning of a slowly but surely progressing sickness. To bring about such a development is, then, nothing else but to sin against the will of the eternal creator."16 (Hitler tries to define racial intermarriage as defiance of God's will, in exactly the way modern racists do, particularly in the southern American states; indeed, 40% of Alabama voters voted to keep interracial marriage illegal in November 2000)

"And a religion in the Aryan sense cannot be imagined which lacks the conviction of survival after death in some form. Indeed, the Talmud is not a book to prepare a man for the hereafter, but only for a practical and profitable life in this world."17 (Hitler believes in the afterlife, and he agrees with modern Christian fundamentalists about the importance of religious matters over material matters)

"The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties-- and this against their own nation."18 (Hitler demonstrates the common anti-Semitic view that Jesus was an Aryan rather than a Jew, and glowingly described him as "the great founder of the new doctrine".

"The Jew almost never marries a Christian woman; it is the Christian who marries a Jewess ... The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew ... With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus stealing her from her people."19 (Hitler echoes Martin Luther's thoughts on Satan and Jewry; note that Hitler openly admired Luther, who wrote the virulent anti-Semitic screed "On Jews And Their Lies", and the infamous Kristallnacht was committed on Luther's birthday. Also note that he reiterates his hatred of intermarriage, but this time on religious rather than racial grounds. He tends to use the terms "German" and "Christian" interchangeably, which makes sense since he believed that Jesus was an Aryan and that true Christianity recognized the supremacy of the Aryan race).

"The future of a movement is conditioned by the fanaticism, yes, the intolerance, with which its adherents uphold it as the sole correct movement, and push it past other formations of a similar sort ... absolute intolerance also provides long growth ... The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its will against all others."20 (Hitler explains why he thinks religious intolerance is good, agreeing in principle with modern right-wing Christian fundamentalists who bemoan that if they are not intolerant of diversity, their belief system will have no future).

"The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine."21

"The characteristic thing about these people is that they rave about old Germanic heroism, about dim prehistory, stone axes, spear and shield, but in reality are the greatest cowards that can be imagined. For the same people who brandish scholarly imitations of old German tin swords, and wear a dressed bearskin with bull's horns over their heads, preach for the present nothing but struggle with spiritual weapons, and run away as fast as they can from every Communist blackjack."22 (Hitler's own words demonstrate clearly that despite the common myth that the religion of Nazism was Nordic paganism, he actually regarded the Nordic pagan revival movement with nothing but contempt and derision, and Rosenberg was obviously charting his own path).

"A man who knows a thing, who is aware of a given danger, and sees the possibility of a remedy with his own eyes, has the duty and obligation, by God, not to work 'silently,' but to stand up before the whole public against the evil and for its cure."23 (isn't it interesting that you could easily imagine many of these quotes coming from the mouth of a modern-day preacher?)

"By helping to raise man above the level of bestial vegetation, faith contributes in reality to the securing and safeguarding of his existence. Take away from present-day mankind its education-based, religious-dogmatic principles-- or, practically speaking, ethical-moral principles-- by abolishing this religious education, but without replacing it by an equivalent, and the result will be a grave shock to the foundations of their existence."24 (Hitler equates religious dogma to ethics and morality, again just like modern right-wing intolerant Christians)

"Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise."25 (Hitler believes in the Genesis story of expulsion from Paradise).

"The task of preserving and advancing the highest humanity, given to this earth by the benevolence of the Almighty, seems a truly high mission."26

"A folkish state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape."27 (Hitler believed that Aryans are holy and were created in God's "image", while other races evolved from apes, hence his hatred for racial mixing because it diluted God's image).

"It would be more in keeping with the intention of the noblest man in this world if our two Christian churches, instead of annoying Negroes with missions which they neither desire nor understand, would kindly, but in all seriousness, teach our European humanity that where parents are not healthy it is a deed pleasing to God to take pity on a poor little healthy orphan child and give him father and mother, than themselves to give birth to a sick child who will only bring unhappiness and suffering on himself and the rest of the world."28 (Hitler outlines some of his eugenics ideas; note that he described black humans as "Negroes" and white humans as "European humanity". Like the medieval European Christian conquerors, he obviously thought of black people as sub-human, and he often described Czechs as "sub-humans" as well)

"That this is possible may not be denied in a world where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people voluntarily submit to celibacy, obligated and bound by nothing except the injunction of the Church. Should the same renunciation not be possible if this injunction is replaced by the admonition finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created?"29 (Hitler believes that racial mixing is an extension of "original sin")

"It doesn't dawn on this depraved bourgeois world that this is positively a sin against all reason; that it is criminal lunacy to keep on drilling a born half-ape until people think they have made a lawyer out of him, while millions of members of the highest culture-race must remain in entirely unworthy positions; that it is a sin against the will of the Eternal Creator if His most gifted beings by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands are allowed to degenerate in the present proletarian morass, while Hottentots and Zulu Kaffirs are trained for intellectual professions."30 (again, he repeats his belief that Aryans come from God while other races evolved from apes).

"It may be that today gold has become the exclusive ruler of life, but the time will come when man will again bow down before a higher god"31 (just for fun, try asking people whether quotes like this came from Jerry Falwell or Adolf Hitler).

"The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will."32 (again Hitler repeats his belief that the Aryan race was created by God, and that it would be a sin to dilute it through racial intermixing with inferior races which evolved naturally).

"If the German nation wants to end a state of affairs that threatens its extermination in Europe, it must not fall into the error of the pre-War period and make enemies of God and the world; it must recognize the most dangerous enemy and strike at him with all its concentrated power. And if this victory is obtained through sacrifices elsewhere, the coming generations of our people will not condemn us."33 (he seems to have learned the lessons of the Biblical Old Testament well: God punishes the people when they disobey him, so they must not make an enemy of God)

"For this, to be sure, from the child's primer down to the last newspaper, every theater and every movie house, every advertising pillar and every billboard, must be pressed into the service of this one great mission, until the timorous prayer of our present parlor patriots: 'Lord, make us free!' is transformed in the brain of the smallest boy into the burning plea: 'Almighty God, bless our arms when the time comes; be just as thou hast always been; judge now whether we be deserving of freedom; Lord, bless our battle!'"34

"we National Socialists must hold unflinchingly to our aim in foreign policy, namely to secure for the German people the land and soil to which they are entitled on this earth. And this action is the only one which, before God and or German posterity, would make any sacrifice of blood seem justified: before God, since we have been put on this earth with the mission of eternal struggle for our daily bread..."35 (again, Hitler tries to justify his actions as the will of God, as countless Christians have done before him).

"And so he advances on his fatal road until another force comes forth to oppose him, and in a mighty struggle hurls the heaven-stormer back to Lucifer. Germany is today the next great war aim of Bolshevism. It requires all the force of a young missionary idea to raise our people up again, to free them from the snares of this international serpent..."36 (Hitler explaining that the German people must send the "heaven-stormer" back to Hell).

Can there be any serious doubt that the person who wrote this document was a Christian, albeit a deranged byproduct of its anti-Semitic and creationist subgroups?

Beliefs Revealed

Hitler's beliefs are expressed quite clearly in Mein Kampf, and they are as follows:

  1. He believed in Heaven, Hell, a supreme being who created the universe, Jesus Christ, life after death, special creation, original sin, expulsion from paradise, and divine judgement.

  2. He drew his inspiration from the Viennese Christian Social movement, and he expressed nothing but admiration for its founder.

  3. He believed that Jesus Christ was an Aryan, not a Jew. In fact, he claimed that Jesus "made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity".

  4. He used the term "human" to describe only Aryans. He described blacks, Jews, and (presumably) other non-Aryan races as a disease, or as lower animals (notice that he described Jews as an "adversary of all humanity", thus clearly describing them as something other than humans).

  5. He thought that interracial marriage would produce "monstrosities halfway between man and ape" and should be fought with religious fervour. This makes his beliefs on evolution and creation very clear; he thought that Aryans were created in God's own image, while all other races evolved from apes. This should come as no surprise; not only was this an overwhelmingly common belief during the age of European imperialism which lasted right up to the end of the 19th century, but it persists to this day (a lot of white supremacists still refer to blacks as "monkeys"). In his view, it was therefore an unnatural and unholy dilution of God's image for Aryans and non-Aryans to mate.

  6. He believed that Germany lost World War I because it turned its back on God, much as Israel was repeatedly humiliated and defeated whenever it turned away from God in the Old Testament.

What more is required to show that he was Christian? Not for nothing do Christian apologists make the absurd claim that hearsay accounts of supposedly private conversations with people outside his inner circle should be considered penultimate forms of evidence while Hitler's seminal writings should be considered irrelevant; they fear the truth, and they want you to disregard his most personal work.

And make no mistake: Mein Kampf is his most personal work. Far from being the carefully crafted political statement that some would make it out to be, it was Hitler pouring out his soul and revealing all of his life's plans to his closest confidante. He dictated and Hess transcribed the text of Mein Kampf while he was in prison in 1923-1924, finishing it after his release and publishing it in 1925. In it, he revealed everything: his plan to expand Aryan "living space" at the expense of the Slavs (ie- the foolish attack on Russia that so few saw coming), his plan to avenge the German defeat of World War I by conquering France, his belief that all of the world's races should be subjugated under the Aryan race, and his plan to exterminate the Jews. By reading this single document, one can predict every major action Hitler would take over the next two decades including the Holocaust and the "surprise" attack on Russia, yet Christian apologists would have you believe it was nothing but a misleading propaganda piece!

How Hitler's Beliefs Guided His Actions

Hitler's writings reveal a religious fanatic: a Christian and a creationist, driven by the belief that racial intermixing was destroying the purity of God's creation (the Aryan race, which he imagined to include Jesus) by mating with naturally evolved "apes". His actions were wholly consistent with this belief. Consider:

  1. While some Christians believe that all acts of war violate God's will, the majority of Christians throughout history have believed in the idea of the "just war"; a war of good against evil, in which the good guys commit no wrong by waging war on the bad guys (for example, World War Two is widely cited as the last "just war", despite the fact that the "good guys" ended it by dropping nuclear weapons on civilian targets without explicit warning). Hitler obviously shared this belief; he thought he was fighting for a just cause.

  2. While some Christians claim that racism is inherently anti-Christian, the sheer numbers of Christian racists throughout history (and indeed, throughout the world today, as demonstrated by the fundamentalists on my Hate Mail page who justified Israelite atrocities by citing their racial status as God's "chosen people") easily put the lie to that claim. In reality, the Old Testament is an extremely racist tome, and Jesus said very little to contradict its message of a "chosen people" in the New Testament. Moreover, the virulent racism of both Catholic and Protestant conquerors in Africa, India, and the Americas during the age of European colonialism makes any claims of Christianity's inherent anti-racism absolutely laughable.

  3. While most Christians believe that the sixth commandment outlaws murder, they believe that it does not extend to the killing of animals. Hitler believed that non-Aryans were animals. Most Christians also believe that murder can be justified (eg- self defense). Hitler believed that the world was arrayed against Germany and that their national actions were taken in self-defense.

The interesting thing about Hitler is that if you accept his bizarre belief system, his actions actually make sense. A common thread among all white supremacists has been (and still is) their hatred for racial intermixing. They see it as a "dilution" of the "purity" of the white race (obviously ignorant of the biological fact, consistent with evolution theory, that strength comes from diversity rather than purity).

Hitler was no exception; he hated racial intermixing with the fervour of racism buttressed by religious conviction, because he felt that non-Aryans were not human, and in his words, marriage should produce children who are "images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape."37 In his mind, his "Final Solution" was no different from the kind of extermination program one might carry out against pest animals, and in a very real sense, his creationism led directly to his racism.

Creationists have long tried to portray Nazism as the end result of Darwin's evolution theory. But his writings make it very clear that while he accepts natural evolution as the origin of other races, he does not accept that he himself was the product of natural evolution. Since Darwin's theory of evolution makes no allowance for such ridiculous exceptions to the rule, it is quite clear that despite creationist claims to the contrary, Hitler did not understand or accept evolution theory. It is clear that he was, in fact, a creationist (albeit what we would ironically refer to as a "moderate" creationist today), who believed that while evolution does take place in the natural world, the Aryan race stood apart from nature, was created by God in his own image, and had been given dominion over the Earth.

Common Objections

The common excuse given by Christian apologists is that he was only pretending to be a Christian in his public speeches and writings, in order to curry the favour of Christians in Germany. However, this excuse has many serious weaknesses:

  1. All of the evidence for this massive contradiction between public and private beliefs is hearsay. Typically, it involves uncorroborated accounts of private conversations. Any sensible observer must question why Hitler suddenly became so open about his secret beliefs that he would spew them even after having been informed that they would be documented.

  2. Most accounts of his private conversations do not contain anti-Christian sentiments. In fact, when you look carefully at all the anti-Christian quotes attributed to Hitler, you will find that virtually all of them come from just two or three people! One must question why they alone were privy to secret thoughts that he carefully hid from everyone else in his life and his government. Why didn't he reveal these secret thoughts to Rudolf Hess38? Heinrich Himmler39? Joseph Goebbels40? Hermann Göring41? Are we supposed to seriously believe that Hitler kept all of these men in the dark for more than a decade while abruptly pouring out his heart to his secretary Martin Bormann42, and an obscure provincial official named Hermann Rauschning43?

  3. In order to generate something more substantive than unreliable hearsay quotes, Hitler's actions or words against political opponents or competing brands of Christianity are almost invariably misrepresented as actions or words against Christianity as a whole. This is simply absurd; if we adopt denominational intolerance or political ruthlessness as the definition of anti-Christian attitudes, then most Christians throughout history have been anti-Christian, including the Roman Catholic church throughout most of its existence!

  4. Hitler never publicly spoke out against Christianity right up until the very end, yet he demonstrated such extreme megalomania, capacity for self-delusion, and overconfidence in his own abilities (particularly as the war dragged on) that it seems absolutely ludicrous to believe that he was still hiding his true beliefs for fear of offending religious groups.

  5. When one pays lip service to a common religious belief which one actually finds repugnant (as many of the American founding fathers did), one normally does not do it as clearly and enthusiastically as Hitler did.

  6. There is no serious historical doubt that the roots of his anti-Semitism came from the Viennese Christian Social movement, or that he was inspired by Martin Luther (on whose birthday the infamous Kristallnacht occurred), who wrote the infamous racist screed "On Jews And Their Lies". Are we to believe that he admired these men and followed in their footsteps while simultaneously despising their beliefs?

  7. Even if we accept the unfounded notion that Hitler pretended to be a Christian in order to curry favour with the public, we would still have to acknowledge that the Christian public was amenable to his message! There would have been no benefit in paying lip service to Christians if Christianity were as inherently unreceptive to his message as modern Christian apologists would have you believe.

The harsh reality is that there is no credible evidence whatsoever for the notion that Hitler was not a Christian. He might not have practiced your next-door neighbour's version of Christianity, but based on all credible sources including his own seminal Mein Kampf, he did believe in Jesus Christ, the supreme being, Heaven and Hell, divine judgement, expulsion from paradise, etc.

Conclusion

The only way to deny Hitler's Christianity is to define "Christian" in a bigoted manner, ie- "to be Christian is to be moral", which is the refrain of those who would believe that you can determine someone's morality (or lack thereof) by simply asking what religious beliefs he holds. Those who would deny Hitler's Christianity on the basis of his immoral actions are guilty of not only religious bigotry but also circular logic: as they see it, Hitler is consistent with their belief that all Christians are moral because he was not a Christian, and they know he was not a Christian because all Christians are moral!

All of the evidence produced to deny Hitler's christianity is shamelessly misleading or fraudulent, with its proponents actually making the ridiculously audacious claim that Hitler's documented, corroborated statements should be ignored in favour of uncorroborated hearsay! His voluminous statements indicating his religious beliefs are summarily ignored in favour of private conversations with questionable sources, some of which may not have even taken place!

The true details of Hitler's story make social right-wingers uncomfortable, and well they should, for they fly in the face of so many of their longstanding claims. They like to equate "liberal" to "immoral", but Hitler was a right-winger, hated liberalism, and was aided in his rise to power by German political and religious right wing leaders. They like to equate city life to immorality, but Hitler grew up in the country. They believe that a religious upbringing produces people of good character, but Hitler was raised strictly Catholic, wrote admiringly of the monks and the abbot (at a monastery in Lambach, Austria near his home which was adorned with numerous swastikas, obviously the inspiration for the Nazi flag), served as an altar boy and a choir boy, and for two years, seriously contemplated becoming a Catholic priest himself. They like to believe that strict disciplinarian parenting is the solution to social problems, but Hitler's father was an extremely strict, disciplinarian parent. They like to believe that spiritual, artistic people tend to be more ethical than "cold, sterile, technical" rationalists, but Hitler was a spiritual, artistic person with little or no technical aptitude (he loved to draw and he actually wanted to study art and architecture, but his father forced him to go to a technical high school where his marks were atrocious, and he dropped out at age 16) .

In conclusion, not only is the falsehood of the "Hitler was not a Christian" myth glaringly obvious to any reasonable observer, but it is quite clear that for very obvious reasons, the proponents of this myth will stoop to any depth in order to perpetuate it. Sadly, its longevity serves as mute testimony to the power of propaganda.


Footnotes

1Virtually all anti-Christian quotes come from Martin Bormann's "Hitler's Table Talk", an exclusively hearsay compilation of "private" conversations in which Hitler was supposedly warned beforehand that everything he said would be recorded for posterity, yet he lowered his guard and supposedly revealed his true feelings anyway. Naturally, these feelings contrast violently with other public or private speeches or conversations, and mysteriously enough, no original documents or recordings can be found (see the excellent discussion of this book at nobeliefs.com). Another over-used source is Hermann Rauschning's "The Voice of Destruction: Hitler Speaks", which was already so heavily quoted by 1945 that it was explicitly mentioned and dismissed in OSS documents because of its unreliable nature. In fact, May 1983, Swiss historian Wolfgang Haenel formally gathered together all of the criticisms of Rauschning's book and resoundingly debunked it at a presentation at the annual conference of the Ingolstadt Contemporary History Research Center, showing (among other things) that Hitler was not physically present at the times and places indicated, and that the financially desperate Rauschning was paid a staggering sum of money to produce the book by French and American sources who wished to use it as propaganda.

2Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, Volume 1, Chapter 1.

3Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 1.

4Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 2.

5Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 2.

6Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 3.

7Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 3.

8Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 5.

9Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 6.

10Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 7.

11Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 9.

12Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 10.

13Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 10.

14Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 10.

15Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 10.

16Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 11.

17Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 11.

18Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 11.

19Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 11.

20Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 12.

21Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 12.

22Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 12.

23Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 12.

24Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 12.

25Ibid, Volume 1, Chapter 12.

26Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 2.

27Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 2.

28Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 2.

29Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 2.

30Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 2.

31Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 2.

32Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 10.

33Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 13.

34Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 13.

35Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 14.

36Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 14.

37Ibid, Volume 2, Chapter 2.

38Rudolph Hess was Hitler's longtime confidante (and Hitler's deputy Fuehrer until his bizarre flight across the lines), and Hitler dictated Mein Kampf to him. Hess was a Christian, and at Nuremberg he stated that "No matter what human beings do I shall some day stand before the judgement seat of the Eternal. I shall answer to Him, and I know he will judge me innocent".

39Heinrich Himmler was the head of the much-feared SS. Himmler was a devout Catholic who attended mass regularly, and he ordered all SS troopers to make the following oath: "I swear before God this holy oath, that I shall give absolute confidence to the Fuehrer of the German Reich and people."

40Joseph Goebbels was Hitler's propaganda minister. Like Hitler, he was raised Catholic. He claimed that "Christ could not possibly have been a Jew", and in a radio broadcast in 1936, he proclaimed that "We have a feeling that Germany has been transformed into a great house of God, including all classes, professions and creeds, where the Fuhrer as our mediator stood before the throne of the Almighty."

41Hermann Göring was head of the Luftwaffe and Hitler's second in command. He described himself as a Protestant, and of Hitler, he testified that "although he himself was a Catholic, he wished the Protestant Church to have a stronger position in Germany, since Germany was two-thirds Protestant."

42Martin Bormann was Hitler's private secretary and he was non-religious. He wished to make it appear as if Hitler shared his views, and his accounts of Hitler's opinions vary wildly and suspiciously from all others. The actual conversations in "Hitler's Table Talk" were recorded by civil servants Heim and Piker, and the latter complained that "no confidence" could be placed in Bormann's edited versions of them. Bormann took all the manuscripts for himself, produced edited versions, and then destroyed the originals. Given Bormann's suspicious editorial activities, his uncorroborated versions of those conversations cannot be considered credible evidence. Many anti-Christian quotes attributes to Hitler actually came from Bormann himself (for example, Bormann once said that "one can either be a German or a Christian, but not both", and overzealous Christian apologists have widely promoted the "mistaken" impression that the quote came from Hitler himself). He became very close to Hitler by the last days of the war, but by then, Hitler had become quite insane.

43Hermann Rauschning was an obscure provincial official with no real standing in the Nazi party, no authority, and no serious ties to Hitler. His conversations with Hitler are widely thought to be entirely fictional, ie- they did not take place at all.


Last updated: January 28, 2001


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