Thursday, 10 January 2013

Famous Christians - Adolf Hitler

Godwin's Law states, "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1". It sometimes seems that religious fundamentalists, and especially those from their retarded wing - creationism - imagine this means that the first to mention Hitler wins the debate. Almost invariably you'll be told that Hitler was a Atheist and/or a Darwinian Evolutionist. As is usually the case with religious fundamentalists, the truth of the matter is irrelevant to the 'argument' because for them reality can be disregarded at will.

As these quotes show, not only was he a Catholic who significantly, along with the rest of the Catholic Nazi High Command with one exception, was never excommunicated, but he was also a Creationist, although he, like other right-wing Christians even today, had no compunction about using pseudo-Darwinism, also called 'Social Darwinism', when he needed to give his religious bigotry, racism and hatreds a gloss of superficial scientific credibility.

Incidentally, the one exception to be excommunicated by the Catholic Church was Joseph Goebbels for the sin, not of killing tens of millions of people and waging a genocidal war against Jews and Romanies, but for the heinous sin of getting divorced.

People often make the claim that Adolf Hitler adhered to Atheism, Humanism or some ancient Nordic pagan mythology. None of these fanciful and wrong ideas hold. Although one of Hitler's henchmen, Alfred Rosenberg, did undertake a campaign of Nordic mythological propaganda, Hitler and most of his henchmen did not believe in it .

Many American books, television documentaries, and Sunday sermons that preach of Hitler's "evil" have eliminated Hitler's god for their Christian audiences, but one only has to read from his own writings to appreciate that Hitler's God equals the same God of the Christian Bible. Hitler held many hysterical beliefs which not only include, God and Providence but also Fate, Social Darwinism, and ideological politics. He spoke, unashamedly, about God, fanaticism, idealism, dogma, and the power of propaganda. Hitler held strong faith in all his convictions. He justified his fight for the German people and against Jews by using Godly and Biblical reasoning. Indeed, one of his most revealing statements makes this quite clear:

"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."

Although Hitler did not practice religion in a churchly sense, he certainly believed in the Bible's God. Raised as Catholic he went to a monastery school and, interestingly, walked everyday past a stone arch which was carved the monastery's coat of arms which included a swastika. As a young boy, Hitler's most ardent goal was to become a priest. Much of his philosophy came from the Bible, and more influentially, from the Christian Social movement. (The German Christian Social movement, remarkably, resembles the Christian Right movement in America today.) Many have questioned Hitler's stand on Christianity. Although he fought against certain Catholic priests who opposed him for political reasons, his belief in God and country never left him. Many Christians throughout history have opposed Christian priests for various reasons; this does not necessarily make one against one's own Christian beliefs. Nor did the Vatican's Pope & bishops ever disown him; in fact they blessed him! ...

Hitler's anti-Semitism grew out of his Christian education. Christian Austria and Germany in his time took for granted the belief that Jews held an inferior status to Aryan Christians. Jewish hatred did not spring from Hitler, it came from the preaching of Catholic priests and Protestant ministers throughout Germany for hundreds of years. The Protestant leader, Martin Luther, himself, held a livid hatred for Jews and their Jewish religion. In his book, "On the Jews and their Lies", Luther set the standard for Jewish hatred in Protestant Germany up until World War II. Hitler expressed a great admiration for Martin Luther.

Hitler did not have to parade his belief in God, as so many American Christians do now. Nor did he have to justify his Godly belief against an Atheist movement. He took his beliefs for granted just as most Germans did at that time. His thrust aimed at politics, not religion. But through his political and religious reasoning he established in 1933, a German Reich Christian Church, uniting the Protestant churches to instill faith in a national German Christianity.

Future generations should remember that Adolf Hitler could not have come into power without the support of the Protestant and Catholic churches and the German Christian populace.


I've numbered the following quotes for ease of reference. For a specific quote, append the page URL with #nn where nn = the quote number.

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

    Adolf Hitler, 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20,
    Oxford University Press, 1942)
  2. The hard struggle which the Pan-Germans fought with the Catholic Church can be accounted for only by their insufficient understanding of the spiritual nature of the people... 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.

    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.3)
  3. Protestantism as such is a better defender of the interests of Germanism, in so far as this is grounded in its genesis and later tradition; it fails, however, in the moment when this defense of national interests must take place in a province which is either absent from the general line of its ideological world and traditional development, or is for some reason rejected... Thus, Protestantism will always stand up for the advancement of all Germans as such, as long as matters of inner purity or national deepening as well as German freedom are involved, since all these things have a firm foundation in its own being; but it combats with the greatest hostility any attempt to rescue the nation from the embrace of its most mortal enemy, since its attitude toward the Jews just happens to be more or less dogmatically established.
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.3)
  4. As long as leadership from above was not lacking, the people fulfilled their duty and obligation overwhelmingly. Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, both together and particularly at the first flare, there really existed in both camps but a single holy German Reich, for whose existence and future each man turned to his own heaven.
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.3)
  5. Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time.

    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.6)
  6. I had so often sung 'Deutschland uber 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.

    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.6)
  7. 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.
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.6)
  8. The great masses of people do not consist of philosophers; precisely for the masses, faith is often the sole foundation of a moral attitude. The various substitutes have not proved so successful from the standpoint of results that they could be regarded as a useful replacement for previous religious creeds. But if religious doctrine and faith are really to embrace the broad masses, the unconditional authority of the content of this faith is the foundation of all efficacy.
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.10)
  9. The result of all racial crossing is therefore in brief always the following:
    1. Lowering of the level of the higher race;
    2. 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. And as a sin this act is rewarded.
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.11)
  10. Due to his own original special nature, the Jew cannot possess a religious institution, if for no other reason because he lacks idealism in any form, and hence belief in a hereafter is absolutely foreign to him. 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.

    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.11)
  11. 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.

    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.1 Ch.11)
  12. Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the Reich as they call it.

    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.2 Ch.1)
  13. 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.

    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.2 Ch.1)
  14. There is only one holiest human right, and this right is at the same time the holiest obligation, to wit: to see to it that the blood is preserved pure and, by preserving the best humanity, to create the possibility of a nobler development of these beings.

    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.
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.2 Ch.2)
  15. 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?
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.2 Ch.2)
  16. 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.
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.2 Ch.2)
  17. Here, too, we can learn by the example of the Catholic Church. Though its doctrinal edifice, and in part quite superfluously, comes into collision with exact science and research, it is none the less unwilling to sacrifice so much as one little syllable of its dogmas... it is only such dogmas which lend to the whole body the character of a faith.
    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.2 Ch.5)
  18. 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.

    Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf, Vol.2 Ch.5)
  19. I have followed [the Church] in giving our party program the character of unalterable finality, like the Creed. The Church has never allowed the Creed to be interfered with. It is fifteen hundred years since it was formulated, but every suggestion for its amendment, every logical criticism, or attack on it, has been rejected. The Church has realized that anything and everything can be built up on a document of that sort, no matter how contradictory or irreconcilable with it. The faithful will swallow it whole, so long as logical reasoning is never allowed to be brought to bear on it.

    Adolf Hitler; from Rauschning, (The Voice of Destruction), pp. 239-40
  20. I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.
    Adolf Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941
  21. The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, are creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life.

    Adolf Hitler, in a speech to the Reichstag on March 23, 1933
  22. The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life...

    Adolf Hitler, Berlin, February 1, 1933
  23. Today Christians … stand at the head of [this country]… I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past... (few) years.
    The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1
    (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872
  24. We are a people of different faiths, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls... We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity ... in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people.
    Speech in Passau, 27 October 1928, Bundesarchiv Berlin-Zehlendorf;
    from Richard Steigmann-Gall (2003). Holy Reich: Nazi conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945.
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 60-61
  25. The Government of the Reich, which regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attaches the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See, and is endeavouring to develop them.
    Speech at Reichstag Berlin 23 March 1933;
    from Norman H. Baynes, ed. (1969). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939. 2.
    New York: Howard Fertig. p. 1018.
  26. The Catholic Church considered the Jews pestilent for fifteen hundred years, put them in ghettos, etc, because it recognized the Jews for what they were... I recognize the representatives of this race as pestilent for the state and for the church and perhaps I am thereby doing Christianity a great service by pushing them out of schools and public functions.

    Speech 26 April 1933 in a reception for Catholic Bishop Berning;
    from Richard Steigmann-Gall (2003). Holy Reich: Nazi conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945.
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 117-118.
  27. Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.
    Speech 26 April 1933 made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordat of 1933;
    from Ernst Helmreich (1979). The German Churches Under Hitler.
    Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 241.
  28. While we destroyed the Centre Party, we have not only brought thousands of priests back into the Church, but to millions of respectable people we have restored their faith in their religion and in their priests. The union of the Evangelical Church in a single Church for the whole Reich, the Concordat with the Catholic Church, these are but milestones on the road which leads to the establishment of a useful relation and a useful co operation between the Reich and the two Confessions.
    New Year Message 1 January 1934;
    from Norman H. Baynes, ed. (1969). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939. 1.
    New York: Howard Fertig. p. 382.
  29. The National Socialist State professes its allegiance to positive Christianity. It will be its honest endeavour to protect both the great Christian Confessions in their rights, to secure them from interference with their doctrines (Lehren), and in their duties to constitute a harmony with the views and the exigencies of the State of to-day.
    Speech 26 June 1934;
    from Norman H. Baynes, ed. (1969). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939. 1.
    New York: Howard Fertig. p. 385.
  30. Finally, I would like to say something to those people who keep talking to me about religion: I am also religious, profoundly religious on the inside, and I believe that Providence weighs us human beings.
    Speech 26 March 1934; Max Domarus. Speeches and proclamations, 1932-1945.
    Wauconda IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. 2004, p. 2841.

So there you go Christians - and Muslims who use the same argument for that matter. See if you can find a single quote by Hitler which even hints that he may have been an Atheist.

That's the thing with being an Atheist you see. We don't have to make things up and bear false witness because the truth is on our side and we know that we don't believe a lie.





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4 comments :

  1. Sorry to hear that you are having difficulty with the comments.

    Thanks for this powerful summary of incriminating quotes. Whether or not the senior Nazis were genuine in their belief (and the fact that Hitler didn't attend church rather suggests that he was not a truly committed member of the religion, as do his comments admiring the Catholic Church for their dogmatism in the face of the proven scientific truth) they certainly paid lip service and attempted to use it as a route to the hearts and minds of the populace.

    I would point out, though, his complaint in your third reference that the Protestant Church "combats with the greatest hostility" his demonisation of the Jews. Seems to me that those Christians aren't all bad all of the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if that were true, the undeniable fact that Hitler and the Nazis were able to use religion as an excuse, with the, in many cases wildly enthusiastic, support of the clergy, and the close relationship between the Catholic Church and the other Fascist regimes in Europe, scarcely speaks well of Christianity and the morality it claims to have derived from it, especially in its Catholic form.

      The Protestant Churches come out of this no better either, given the virulent anti-Semitism expounded by Martin Luther which was so influential in the German-speaking world, and so central to German Fascist dogma.

      Delete
    2. I think your first paragraph and my second are saying the same thing. Perhaps you are going a little further, as I am only relying on the evidence in the quotes, and you clearly have more history on the behaviour of the Catholic Church.

      Your second paragraph was very much the impression I had before reading your quotes, and I certainly wouldn't argue that the Jews were not very badly treated by most Christians for most of the last two thousand years. However, I don't see how you can argue away Hitler's frustration with the dogmatic opposition of the Protestants to his policies on the Jews without discarding the quote.

      Is it reasonable to divide the quotes between his private thinking and his public attempts to win over large constituencies? The picture I get is of a man ready to enthusiastically believe in whatever would impress the people he happened to be talking to at the time, but really interested in race rather than religion. The references in Mein Kampf appear to be little more than "God is on my side", with the shakiest reference to actual doctrine. This is certainly enough to show that he was no atheist, but I think it is a step too far to claim that he was primarily motivated by sincere Christian belief.

      Delete
  2. Klaus Barbie, the butcher of Lyon was, by all accounts, a fervent Christian/Catholic

    ReplyDelete

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