One of the comments that is frequently made by theists is that Hitler was an atheist and "godless" and therefore Christianity had no role to play in the horror that was the Holocaust.

I've been working on a Knol on this topic.

It's researched but sketchy in that I don't elaborate a lot on the points.

I'm posting part of the Knol here with a link to the full Knol and the References and would love to get constructive critiques, comments, and further references from people.

Christianity And German Fascism

Exploring The Facts

"Hitler was an atheist" is a comment that's made frequently by theists who, when confronted by the fact that Christianity was responsible for the deaths of millions throughout history, defend themselves by making the claim that atheists killed more.

It's not much of an argument if it were true, even less so, since it's false.

Introduction.

From a political perspective Hitler was supported internationally by wealthy and powerful individuals who supported his Fascist philosophy and expansionist aims despite their concerns about him personally.

The Jews provided a convenient and easy scapegoat considering the existing prejudices against them as well as the poor economic climate which plagued the Germany of the day. The Communists were a serious threat, because of their mass support, to both Hitler's aims and the big Capital which he represented. Conflating Communism and Judaism because Marx, the founding father of Communism was a Jewish atheist was both convenient and effective.

However, the Fascist philosophy that Hitler developed was far too complete and consistent to be nothing more than an expedient attempt to achieve immediate political aims.

Hitler developed this philosophy because he believed in the concepts he was espousing and to my knowledge there is nothing in the historical record to indicate otherwise except for hearsay personal conversations which remain unsupported to this day.

The German Fascist model which Hitler developed, had strong roots in Christianity, on a philosophical level and was openly promoted at the time, as a Christian model with Christian foundations.

Philosophical Cornerstones of German Fascism.

Positive Christianity.

The key areas of Hitler's philosophy were Christian based and he supported those areas with his concept of Positive Christianity which included racial superiority and purity, antisemitism, the concept of the Aryan Jesus and Aryan Christianity and the "nationalist" German.

Essentially Positive Christianity claims that the Israelites were Aryan and not Jewish and that the 10 tribes of Israel escaped to Europe and created the foundation of Christianity and ancient civilizations there. It also claims that Jesus was a militant activist, an "Aryan hero" and not Jewish, who opposed the Judaism of the day and was crucified by the Jews for that reason. It goes further to state that race mixing results in the degradation of the Aryan race of Israelites and therefore it was necessary to keep it pure and white.


According to Hitler the Germans represented what was best in the pure Aryan race and therefore were superior to other races as well as other Aryan races like the north Indians.

Some of these concepts were developed in the Higher Criticism movement of the 19th century whose writings were represented by anti-semites like Emile Burnouf, Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Paul de Lagarde.

Lagarde advocated the "national character" of German Christianity and Hitlers' "racial superiority" concepts were supported by existing Eugenics programs which Hitler liked and financed.

The source of Hitler's "superior Aryan race" concepts was Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau. His book, An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races provided the foundation for Hitlers racial superman. Gobineau had a strong influence on people like Richard Wagner who, in turn influenced Hitler and who Hitler greatly admired. His anti-semitic theories, the "inferiority" and "lack of humanity" of the Jews came explicitly from Martin Luther, specifically his document, The Jews and their Lies.

All of these concepts were incorporated into his Positive Christianity philosophy.

The pagan influenced German Faith movement, led by Jakob Wilhelm Hauer, remained quite small and had little influence on or support by the Nazis with the exception of Himmler. They adopted a thoroughly "Aryanized" form of religion which was based on the incorporation of concepts from ancient Aryan religions like the Rig Vedas and Zoroastrianism. Pagan beliefs from other ancient Aryan cultures were also included. The symbol which they adopted to represent them was the Sun Cross similar to what is now known as the Celtic Cross and which is used to represent Positive Christianity today.

Himmler supported this German mysticism and advocated it in the SS.

The Black Sun symbol became closely associated with the SS beginning in 1935.

The swastika was used as the symbol of the Third Reich because of it's representation of ancient Aryan civilizations.

Hitler never accepted the German Faith Movement or promoted it in any way nor did he object to it. He left them alone to practice their beliefs and they remained a small fringe movement during their entire existence.[5]


Continued here:
Christianity And German Fascism

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Klaus,

Thank you for responding. I'm interested in learning more about your perspective because as you say our education is different here and we were not as close to the situation as the Europeans were.

So, your comments are appreciated.

I do agree that Hitler's support came from very wealthy and powerful international interests who were not so much concerned with his opinions but with using him to further their own agendas.

I also say that in the Introduction to my Knol.

That said, it doesn't change the fact that Hitler actually developed the concept of Positive Christianity and this was the foundation of everything he did including the Holocaust.

It's true that in later years he maintained doctrinal differences with both the Catholics and the Protestants. However, that's what they were: doctrinal differences.

He was not against Christianity so much as he was against their form of Christianity.

This is something that is standard practice in Christianity and the existence of 30,000 plus Christian sects is testament to that fact.

Why he hated the Jews, I agree, is complex and you are likely correct when you say that it may have had something to do with his own personal experience with individuals.

I agree that the anti-semitism that existed throughout Europe at the time and in the past definitely played a role and I indicated that in the Knol as well.

Much of his Positive Christianity beliefs were founded in exactly that anti-semitism, from Martin Luther's document, On The Jews And Their Lies to Burnouf, Chamberlain and Lagarde of the Higher Criticism Movement, a Christian based movement.

His race theories originated in the Eugenics programs of the day and de Gobineau's theories of the Aryan Superman.

While he supported and backed by big business, he couldn't have accomplished what he did without also winning the support of the German population.

He did this through both the Catholic and Lutheran Churches.

Without their support he would never have gained absolute power and been able to execute the Holocaust.

IMO it's critical to understand the sequence of events, and how things played out at each stage.

Yes, in later years, after he won absolute power, he began to criticize the Churches and their interpretation of Christian beliefs, favoring and advocating his Positive Christianity beliefs.

That difference in doctrine did not result in him no longer being a Christian and doesn't change the role the Churches played earlier on.

I appreciate your invitation to join the European groups and will consider that.

Klaus said: But one thing I could state for sure: no matter, if or if not Mr. Hitler called himself a christian one, he couldn´t have done the things he did without the approval of the majority of the people, and what´s more, a lot of his later enemies, and nearly all of them are Christs !


Exactly.

Klaus said: p.s. sorry for my bad english, not my native language, you see...

No need to apologize. Your english is far better than my ability to speak any language other than English ;-)
"You also have to count in the spirit of the times, and the fact, that jewish people have been persecuted and viewed with distrust here in Europe generally for many centuries."

That is true and I believe a major reason is because through out history Christians blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus.
I don´t see this as a major reason, guess, it´s only a fact added.

It´s a matter of group dynamics - people tend to trust their own, and distrust outsiders, and the Jews have always been, `cause they´re different. They don´t eat pork (the orthodox ones till today), have their own, different religion and rites, had a different look (Beikeles, Stramel...) and, very important, many of them were wealthy, `cause in medieval Europe the crafts and proper professions were prohibited for them; so they were obliged to so called "dirty" occupations, "a good and proper christian man would never do" as leaning money for high profits and else (brings up lots of money, of course), and ergo a primary target for greedy and always bancrupt secular or ecclesiastical rulers.
And, not to forget, in the medieval law system, Jews (and landless people) usually had no or diminished rights, so they were easy to blame and persecute...

Actually, "Hitler" was Hitler's real name!  His father, Alois, was named Shicklgruber after his unwed mother but in 1876 he legally changed his name to Hitler, a variation of his purported father's name, Heidler.  Whether Heidler was genuinely Alois' real father or not is irrelevant to the fact that Alois did legally change his name and his infamous son Adolf was born 13 years later.  Whatever else you may say about rotten Adolf, his legal surname was always Hitler.

Using Hitler's pro-Christian quotes as evidence that he was a Christian is about as stupid as using his pacifist quotes as evidence that he was a pacifist.

 

Hitler was an expert manipulator and excelled at telling people what they wanted to hear. He talked highly of Christianity in public speeches and towards his Christian friends, yet frequently showed contempt for Christianity when he was with his atheist or pagan friends.

What were Hitler's true beliefs? They certainly seem to have been theist and even creationist, but to say that they were Christian is too much of a stretch.

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