Matt Brundage

Hitler, the Jews, and Christianity

His duplicity in public and private

From a theological perspective, Christ's crucifixion and death were necessary for Him to bare the burden of sin. Christ's death at the hands of the Jews/Romans was a part of God's plan (Isaiah 53:10, etc.), and therefore, it would be illogical for one to fault any racial or cultural group for His death. Christians don't regret that He died for our sins (in fact they are grateful) — they regret that He had to die for our sins.

Hitler has said contradictory things concerning Christianity. In speeches, he played the populist, and faulted the Jews for the death of Christ. This propaganda helped turn some German Christians against the Jews. Yet in private, Hitler held Christianity in low esteem, calling it an "invention of the Jew". (Hitler 6-7) It should be noted that non-Christians sometimes use Hitler's speeches to prove his Christianity, while Christians rely on his actions and private conversations to prove he was not a Christian.

"Though Hitler felt a particular urgency — and hatred — when dealing with Jews and Communists, he viewed the Catholic Church as a pernicious opponent, a deeply-entrenched threat that must be controlled and eventually uprooted from German life in order to establish his promised Thousand-Year-Reich. From his early years of political dreaming, from within the pages of Mein Kampf to the Table Talk, Hitler himself made his contempt for the "slave" ideology of Christianity and its Jewish roots perfectly clear. Though the scale of Christian persecution cannot be compared to the Jewish Holocaust of 1941-1945, except perhaps in Poland, the ultimate destruction of Christianity was one of the Nazis' long-term aims." (Gajewski)

Religious freedom was mentioned in the 25-Point program of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; Hitler demanded freedom for all religions "provided they do not threaten [the State's] existence nor offend the moral feelings of the Germanic race." (Hitler Historical Museum 31) This left religious beliefs in Germany open to interpretation. As an afterthought, Hitler cited that the National Socialist Party "combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit" (Hitler Historical Museum 32) which is contradictory to the party's demand for religious freedom. Hitler remained contradictory to this demand with his State endorsement of the Gottgläubig (God-Believing) Movement, a minimalist alternative to Christianity (Fischer 359), and the ruthless persecution of the Christian clergy during World War II. (Fischer 358-364)

Quotes of Hitler

14 Oct 1941: "The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death… When understanding of the universe has become widespread… Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity… Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity… And that's why someday its structure will collapse… The only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little… Christianity the liar… We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State." (Hitler 49-52)

13 Dec 1941: "Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery … When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunized against the disease." (Hitler 118-119)

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Works Cited

Hitler, Adolf. Hitler's Secret Conversations 1941-1944. New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc. 1953.

Hitler Historical Museum. 2000.

Fischer, Klaus P. Nazi Germany: A New History. New York: Continuum, 1995.

Gajewski, Karol Jozef. Nazi Policy and the Catholic Church. (Accessed 25 June 2005).