Hitler’s Racism and Christianity

‘Eternal Nature inexorably revenges the transgressions of her laws. Therefore, I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator: By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.’

“Die ewige Natur rächt unerbittlich die Übertretung ihrer Gebote. So glaube ich heute im Sinne des allmächtigen Schöpfers zu handeln: In dem ich mich des Juden erwehre, kämpfe ich für das Werk des Herrn.”

Hitler. A. 1925. Mein Kampf Munich, Germany: Franz Eher Nachfolger (1939) Chapter 2

‘The least beautiful that can exist in human life is and remains the yoke of slavery. Or does this Schwabing to decadence perhaps perceive the present-day fate of the German nation as ‘aesthetic’? There is certainly no need to discuss this with the Jews, the modern inventors of this culture perfume. Their entire existence is a protest incarnate against the aesthetics of the Lord’s image.’

“Das Unschönste, was es im menschlichen Leben geben kann, ist und bleibt das Joch der Sklaverei. Oder empfindet diese Schwabinger Dekadenz etwa das heutige Los der deutschen Nation als „ästhetisch”? Mit den Juden, als den modernen Erfindern dieses Kulturparfüms, braucht man sich aber darüber wahrhaftig nicht zu unterhalten. Ihr ganzes Dasein ist der fleischgewordene Protest gegen die Ästhetik des Ebenbildes des Herrn.”

Hitler. A. 1925. Mein Kampf Munich, Germany: Franz Eher Nachfolger (1939) Chapter 6

“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 only 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. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people…. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people is plundered and exploited.”

Adolf Hitler, speech in Munich, 12 April 1922; from Norman H. Baynes, ed. (1942). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939. (1.) New York: Oxford University Press p. 19-20


22 thoughts on “Hitler’s Racism and Christianity

  1. It is not possible to separate Hitler from his religion or how the church supported him both actively and tacitly through passivity.

    Nationalism taps into the same vortex as does religion and both abuse it for their own gain. Hitler’s biggest character flaw was just that he was good at it.

  2. Reblogged this on Unapologetics and commented:
    Hitler was a Christian, by his own confession. What does it imply about Christianity? Uhh… Nothing… Hitler was a German. What does this imply about Germans? Nazis used philosophy of Nietzsche (an atheist). What does this imply about Nietzsche and atheism? Hitler also wore a very peculiar mustache, forever associated with him. Why is there no connection between Hitler’s mustache and racism, but (oh!) there is deep connection between Christianity and Nazism? Can someone explain the logic involved?

  3. I’m not so sure that a connection exists between Christianity and Nazism, so much as between Christianity and anti-Semitism. Forgetting that Yeshua (Jesus) was Jewish, there are those who blame the Jews for his death, stated so clearly by Hitler, above, seemingly failing to realize that, if the Bible can be believed, it was absolutely essential to the Bible’s god’s plan that Yeshua, in fact, die – so the real cause of Yeshua’s death, was his god.

  4. Barack Obama told us we could keep our insurance and our doctor when he was out selling ObamaCare.

    He lied.

    Hitler used religion to lend legitimacy to his maniacal rise to power.

    He lied.

    Atheists blame God and religion for the evil that men do.

    This is also a lie.

  5. I was not going to allow this comment to be posted on-line, because it is frankly too inaccurate and ridiculous. But then I thought, first of all, it is good for people to read different viewpoints whatever they may be, and secondly, I do not want to stifle any discussion – everyone deserves his or her say. After all, who am I to say who cannot have their say?

    Having said that, I am not going to discuss the first (now crossed out) part of your comment, because I feel it simply does not warrant a reply – educated or otherwise. Do not get me wrong, everyone is entitled to his or her personal political views, however misguided and devoid of any realism and knowledge of history and political science those views may be. I am not here to educate or help people. I only want to discuss what is interesting, and hopefully learn a bit more about humanity, the cosmos and everything in it.

    So, let us take a look at your second point: ‘Atheists blame God and religion for the evil that men do. This is also a lie.’ This is an interesting claim, about which, I would like to ask you – and anyone who is reading this comment – two questions:

    Firstly, on what grounds do you claim this statement is in fact a lie? You are most welcome to suggest it is, but making this claim does not make it so. There are a lot of occurrences in the world every day that are plainly the output of religious doctrine; some of those are objectively not conducive to human wellbeing. Therefore, I would argue it is too general a statement to say that religion (and god, as you put it) are not in any sense a main driving force behind some of the evils in the world.

    Secondly, I would like to ask you a somewhat rhetorical question asked by Christopher Hitchens some time back:

    “Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer [theist, deist, etc.] that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer [atheist].”

    Naming an immoral statement that could only be made or performed by a believer is not that difficult. For instance, Hitchens argues that the suicide-bombing community is entirely faith-based, the genital mutilation community is entirely faith-based, et cetera. Could the opposite also be argued? As with all good rhetorical questions, you already sense what the answer is; nevertheless, I would love to know your thoughts on both questions.

  6. And the Bible’s god said (Isaiah 45:7), “I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

    And he didn’t lie.

  7. Well, I do not think that any of those texts should be taken quite so seriously. However, you are certainly right to point out the capriciousness of this character.

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” – Richard Dawkins

  8. “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
    — Blaise Pascal —

    “Gods don’t kill people. People with gods kill people.”
    — David Viaene —

  9. Since fascism is entirely about group identity, I think that is where the fascist’s interest in religion begins and ends. If mustaches had been identifiable with the German soul and its plight, we would have heard similar talk about the virtues and implications of mustaches.

  10. Adolf Hitler was a mass murdering psychopath who expounded on the usefulness of lying in his book, “Mein Kampf.”

    And you believe him when he tells you how religious he is?

  11. I am afraid that is no answer to either of my questions. With all due respect, I invite you to do so.

    Secondly, I do not think I stated any such notion. I merely cited the fact that he [Adolf] claimed to be a Christian on a number of occasions. Do not worry, reading is hard.

    However, when we are talking about historical (and in this case also philological) accuracy of some of the writings of the past, I find it difficult to take this comment of yours seriously; the comment of a person who – with all probability – thinks there is some historical and/or archaeological accuracy to the writings collected in the Bible.

    Forgive me, I do not mean to be hurtful. I am just contextualising for sake of clarity.

  12. Well, if you can’t believe a mass murdering psychopath, who CAN you believe? Anyone who had murdered 6 or 7 million people, would feel so untouchable, they’d have no reason to lie, what possible value could such a lie have?

    As usual Si, you never fail to underwhealm me.

  13. I’m quite sure that antisemitism does not follow from Christianity itself. Otherwise, all Christians would be antisemites which is not true. How antisemitism is rationalized based on the New Testament is a perfect illustration of Hume’s thesis that reason is a slave of passions.

    How can you arrive at antisemitism from a story of Jews killing one of their own for preaching forgiveness and “love your enemy”?

    And, of course, God is the reason for everything including Yeshua’s birth and death. This is a basic theistic belief which, as we discussed, is trivial, and, taken at face value, does not inherently lead to any good or evil.

    But when a person is bent on hatred and wants to justify genocide, reading the book of Joshua is enough to do it. But not everyone reading book of Joshua becomes genocidal.

  14. Actually, the word “fascism” comes from Italian “fascio” – “bundle” and religion comes from Latin “religare” – “to bind”. It’s a very good observation that religion is often used to unite people around common cause and often serves as a symbol of group identity. Even in the Bible, religion was the major part of the identity of the nation of Israel. It is used the same way to this day. But I cannot say that this is inherently evil unless religion is used to unite people around an evil cause, such as National Socialism.

    I think, it’s important to understand what aspects of religion are exploited by extremists. I view religion as the most powerful human institution — far more powerful than any government or military force. It’s impossible to just dismiss it as a whole. I just don’t like when people post quotes from Mein Kampf implying a relationship between Nazism and Christianity without analyzing what the relationship is.

  15. Are we to assume Hitler would never mislead anyone in order to gain political advantage?

    If you want to find out what Hitler really thought about Christianity you should read his more private conversations with closer confidants like table talk. You will find a very different view of Christianity.

    Certainly he will claim to be a good Christian in public when he is trying to gain favor for his views in a country where the vast majority of people are Christian.

    People who want to paint Hitler as a good Christian will constantly use what he told the overwhelmingly German public. People who want to know what Hitler really thought will look at what he told people close to him in more private settings.

  16. You make a good point. Except to say that, of course, the reliability of the more private conversations you refer to is obviously less than those remarks which are on the record – like this public speech excerpt. In other words, we know for certain these things that were said at public rallies, but we usually have to take someone’s word for a private conversation. Having said that, I completely agree with you about the fact that we should always remain critical and as objective as possibly we can in our historical analysis – even when accurate quotes are presented to us on paper.

  17. Hitler’s Table Talk is sort of an in between on this issue. It was transcribed but it was intended to be kept private.

    Sadly, Hitler lied so often for his own gain when dealing with the public I can give him absolutely no credibility. Especially when he would have an abundantly clear reason to claim he was Christian. Whether the private individuals would be lying would have to be taken on a case by case basis. (again when we look at the sources outside of the transcribed table talk)

    Just like when he would say he wants peace and then would try to develop facades to start wars he would say he loves Christianity and then persecute it and usurp it with his own brand of “nazi-christianity” whenever and however he could. When you look at the whole picture I think its pretty clear Hitler had no interest in advancing Christianity. However he knew Christianity was something he had to deal with since it was so ingrained in the minds of the German people. So he pushed and usurped as best and as quickly as he could.

  18. “It was transcribed but it was intended to be kept private.” is just one of those phrases I believe needs to be looked at very carefully and sceptically. Could you provide any proof for this claim?

    Secondly, I understand people are somewhat bent out of shape when their personal beliefs are connected with an individual like Adolf Hitler; nevertheless, let’s stay factual and refrain from responding in an emotional manner.

    On top of that, I am not tempted to claim that Hitler was a Christian simply because the term Christian is so incredibly vague. It has become such an umbrella term, broad and general, it does not really matter to throw it about so much. What interests me, however, is the fact that Hitler used the term in reference to himself.

    Now, the only way for people to continue a factual discussion about this matter is to establish what the term Christian means, and then see if it applied to a man like Adolf. I would actually love to hear your thoughts on that, but then again, I already know that whatever you are going provide as a definition for the term, about 90% of people out there will vehemently disagree with it. Which is not a very big problem in itself, but it is going to make any further discussion on the subject rather confusing and pointless.

  19. Fair comments all. And good questions to boot.

    I am what I would call a partial WW2 buff. (not a full on crazy but half crazy) As such I tend to form my opinions over the course of digesting allot of material. What would motivate someone to say Hitler disliked Christianity after the war when they were being tried by many people sympathetic to Christianity? If the people were to lie wouldn’t it make more sense for the people who made these admissions to instead claim Hitler seemed like a good Christian and they were thus deceived? Possible motivations of the people making the statements is important, because lets face it Hitler didn’t exactly surround himself with trustworthy people either. But when a statement seems to go against their self interest or at least seem neutral to it I think we can believe it.

    ” “It was transcribed but it was intended to be kept private.” is just one of those phrases I believe needs to be looked at very carefully and sceptically. Could you provide any proof for this claim?”

    Its a good question. I agree that maybe it wasn’t intended to be kept private forever but it was private conversations and therefore in my opinion much more reliable than his public appeals to the overwhelmingly Christian German people.

    I think his allowing them to be recorded fits in with his meglomania. He believed people would think he was the greatest ever and he wanted them to know how he operated. He really thought his beliefs constituted rare genius. I haven’t seen anything addressing his exact motivation for allowing the conversations to be recorded but it definitely would fit with everything I know about Hitler that the would want his private thoughts to be immortalized and published after his death.

    As for information about table talks I think wikipedia as usual is a good place to *start* your research. Its never really a good ending place if you really want to get to the bottom of things:

    But for my part I think this current version of wikipedia seems fairly in line with my understanding on table talk.

    As for your other more difficult question of was he a Christian I don’t think I can answer that for Hitler or anyone else. I think many people might even say I am not a Christian. I do think we would have to stretch what it means to be Christian beyond what any traditional Churches would accept to say he was a Christian. But rather than trying to answer this question I instead try to just learn some facts about Hitler.

    In favor of his christianity:

    1) He was raised Catholic and never officially gave it up
    2) The statements to the public you cite (as does just about every other person who wants to claim Hitler was a Christian) but honestly I give those no more credence than his public claims that he only wants peace.
    3) At the end of his life right before he killed himself he did refer to some sort of providence. He was fairly delusional at the time but he did seem to have at least some notion that there existed some God or Fate or supernatural force guiding things and himself. The Christian God? Well I think that is unlikely but his earlier upbringing as a Catholic might have been a cause of this view. I really think we can only speculate what he was thinking there.

    The evidence against him really believing in any sort of traditional Christianity is too numerous to list. Including his act of suicide which if he believed in Catholicism he would believe would itself likely condemn him to hell.

    But I don’t think he was anti-crhistianity in any way like he was anti-Jewish. Christianity was just something out there that he could try to use or might stand in his way of accomplishing his grotesque goals.

    Clearly he never put Christianity first in his life like Christians are supposed to do.

    I am sorry I can’t give you a better answer but I can give you my best shot at it.

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