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Hitler... was he christian?


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I wrote an article about something and a person told me that Hitler wasn't actually christian. And he despised christianity.

 

I searched about it and couldn't find any article about his religion. Most of htem give me about the crimes he committed and how he got to power.

 

So could anyone help me, and please dont refer to wikipedia.. i really dont trust it.

 

And apologies to the admin/mods if this is posted in wrong section

 

Thanks.

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I don't think anyone knows for sure even though many will claim that they do. Hitler made plenty of remarks that could be interpretted to indicate that he was a christian but he was also smart enough to make people think that he was someone he wasn't in order to control them. You've asked something that no one can prove. I'd chalk it up as "we don't know" and move on....

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I think it is probably more consistant that he was neither. He says he is a Christian in Mein Kampf, but that could just be politically motivated. Quotes like "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" indicate to me that he was not a Christian.

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A lot of quotes get made up. The same happened to Einstein and Darwin. Like that Nietsche thing.

 

Hitler definitely was Christian though. There are no ifs ands or buts about it. A lot of people dont like the fact that the Catholic church had such a large role in the Holocaust. (many people choose to deny it completely)

 

There is a lot of information out there about this. For instance

Christianity's Role in the Rise of the Nazis

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

 

btw Anybody who has had high school history should know that there aren't any big mysteries. Hitler never "lied to the public to make them follow him." Hitler was inately popular with the public. It's hard to believe but Germany had quite a few people like Hitler. Hitler just lead them all. If anybody's to blaim for WWII it's France and England for getting back at Germany after WW1. Or possibly Martin Luther for creating the foundation for Nazism in the first place (look up "on the jews and their lies," Hitler was more influenced by Martin Luther than he was by Nietsche. If we follow gcol's logic Hitler was partially sympathetic with Christianity/Lutheranism).

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Hello

 

I believe I recall a TV program stating his family, inparticular mother, were practicing catholics. Through they could not say if Adolf Hitler had been brought up as such, or held any religious beliefs in his life.

 

Mr D

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Hitler definitely was Christian though. There are no ifs ands or buts about it.

 

No. Hitler was not Christian. He went so far as to ban the construction of any churches in his plans for a new Berlin.

 

His parents were Christians' date=' he was not. It's a simple fact.

 

A lot of people dont like the fact that the Catholic church had such a large role in the Holocaust. (many people choose to deny it completely)

 

'a large role in the holocaust'? The Catholic Church may not have stood up to Hitler as much as it should but to accuse it of having a large role in the genocide is both foolish and an irrlevance to the question of Hitlers beliefs.

 

 

 

It's hard to believe but Germany had quite a few people like Hitler. Hitler just lead them all.

 

Hitler was a unique person. Others may have shared his opinions but without him personally WW2 would never have happened. Time and time again he forced through radical policies in the teeth of opposition from the army, the SA and other members of his own party.

 

If anybody's to blaim for WWII it's France and England for getting back at Germany after WW1. Or possibly Martin Luther for creating the foundation for Nazism in the first place (look up "on the jews and their lies,"

 

Is that a joke?

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What he actually believed is impossible to tell. Certainly he used a variety of different beliefs as they served him. One moment it's good Christians being victimized by "International Jewry," the next he's talking about leaving the shackles of superstition behind in the glorious new Reich. Whether he was just cynically feigning various beliefs to take advantage of those who shared them, or whether he actually did have all those contradictory beliefs, perhaps simultaneously, perhaps varying from day to day, is not clear. Neither would surprise me at all.

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What he actually believed is impossible to tell. Certainly he used a variety of different beliefs as they served him. One moment it's good Christians being victimized by "International Jewry,"

 

We do know a lot about his beliefs. He believed in a warped form of racial Darwinism whereby it was blood and not religion that mattered.

 

This is proven by the fact that it did not matter whether a person was a practicing Christian if they wre of Jewish origin. It was their blood that counted. Catholics and other Christians of Jewish origin were murdered with as much determination as religious Jews.

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If I remember correctly, all of Hitler's anti-Christian quotes originate from a 1953 publication called Hitler's Table Talk, which is a collection of informal, off-the-record quotes and comments compiled by one of Hitler's secretaries. And all of Hitler's Christian quotes are excerpted from hist books and speeches. I'm inclined to take the second-hand quotations from Table Talk with a grain of salt.

 

I think its very likely that Hitler was religious, and the god he worshipped just happened to hate all the same people he hated. If Hitler hated Christianity, then he hated it in the same sense that some Christians today despise Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses as not being True Christians. There are still Christian anti-semites today, you can see them at ChristianParty.net (<--- warning, NSWF), and they believe Jesus was an anti-semite and that we should finish what Hilter started.

 

 

 

Aardvark,

He believed in a warped form of racial Darwinism whereby it was blood and not religion that mattered.

Are you sure about that? It isnt even clear to me that Hitler actually had any exposure to Darwinism at all.

 

If anybody's to blaim for WWII it's France and England for getting back at Germany after WW1. Or possibly Martin Luther for creating the foundation for Nazism in the first place (look up "on the jews and their lies' date='"[/quote']

Is that a joke?

I dont think so. Its wrong to say Martin Luther founded Nazism, but he was fanatically anti-semitic and his writings have been of interests to white supremacists for decades. And in fact, the influence of Martin Luther on Hitler is held by the majority of academics.

 

Theres a nice post by Gary Hurd on the Pandas Thumb on the topic:

In 1938, the Nazi “Office of Racial Policy” publication Inromationsdienst Martin Luther’s advice on the “proper” treatment of Jews was given prominent display:

 

… to put their synagogues and schools to fire, and what will not burn, to cover with earth and rubble so that no-one will ever again see anything there but cinders … Second, one should tear down and destroy their houses, for they do also in there what they do in their schools and synagogues … And third, one should confiscate their prayer books and Talmud, in which idolatry and lies, slander and blasphemy is taught” From Proctor 1988: 88.

 

The founder of Protestant Christianity was a far greater inspiration to the Nazis than any scientist. Science, politicized by the same conditions that radicalized both Left, and Right, was used as justification for actions long advocated as “Christian.”

 

The Nazi Office of Racial Policy held thousands of public meetings a month promoting anti-semitism and attacking “muddle-headed humanitarianism” (Humanitätsduselei) or, what we call “liberalism” today. It seems they and “The Conservative Voice” have something in common.

 

However, there is an excellent passage in Evans pg. 92-93:

“The minutes [taken by Dr. Paul Otto Schmidt] for the second day’s meeting, on 17 April 1943, recorded a statement by Ribbentrop, in Hitler’s presence, to a point made by Horthy: “On Horthy’s retort, what should he do with the Jews then, after he had pretty well taken all means of living from them— he surely couldn’t beat them to death— the Reich Foreign Minister [Ribbentrop] replied that the Jews must either be annihilated or taken to concentration camps. There is no other way.”

 

Hitler almost immediately confirmed Ribbentrop’s explicitly murderous statement at some length: Hitler: “Where the Jews were left to themselves, as for example in Poland, gruesome poverty and degeneracy had ruled. They were just pure parasites. One had fundamentally cleared up this state of affairs in Poland. If the Jews there didn’t want to work [in Third Reich concentration camps], they were shot. If they couldn’t work they had to perish. They had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, from which a healthy body could be infected. That was not cruel, if one remembered that even innocent natural creatures like hares and deer had to be killed so that no harm was caused. Why should one spare the beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism more? Nations who did not rid themselves of Jews perished.” (references and footnotes are found in Evans, 2001:92-93)

 

Here we have Hitler, in his argument to Hungary’s Admiral Horthy, invoking not an übermench racist position, but an anti-Bolshevik, and nationalist one. If Hitler tried to draw rhetorical support from _Social_ Darwinism_ arguing in Mein Kampf, it is not evident from the text, and in any event was at most merely a twig on the trunk of his anti-Semitism. His opposition is to what he considered a Marxist threat, not drawn from Darwin, which was more a rationalization of his hatred than its origin. Further, the theoretical models Hitler drew from was not evolution in any event, but the Germ Theory of Disease, and Christianity.

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If Hitler hated Christianity' date=' then he hated it in the same sense that some Christians today despise Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses as not being True Christians. There are still Christian anti-semites today, you can see them at ChristianParty.net (<--- warning, NSWF), and they believe Jesus was an anti-semite and that we should finish what Hilter started.

How are you defining your term 'Christian'? Is it anyone who calls themselves a Christian or are you defining a Christain as someone who lives according to the love of God and teachings of Christ, and accepts Christ's sacrifice on the cross as attonement for his/her sins? By the first definition, Hitler definitely was a Christian, while by the second (which I would recommend), he definitely was not.

 

I feel obligated to point out that either your categorization of 'Christians' in your post was according to the first definition, or it was simply wrong.

 

I also feel obligated to point out that Hitler was a vegitarian.

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Aardvark' date='

 

Are you sure about that? It isnt even clear to me that Hitler actually had any exposure to Darwinism at all.

 

 

[/quote']

 

Quite sure. Hitler and the Nazis repeatedly explained and justified their actions by reference to spurious perversions of Darwinism. They rewrote biology textbooks and set up biological research units working on the basis of those beliefs.

 

In both words and actions Hitler made it very clear that he believed in a form of group selection with evolution operating at the level of different human groups or races.

 

Hitler was both clear and consistent on that matter.

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How are you defining your term 'Christian'? Is it anyone who calls themselves a Christian or are you defining a Christain as someone who lives according to the love of God and teachings of Christ, and accepts Christ's sacrifice on the cross as attonement for his/her sins? By the first definition, Hitler definitely was a Christian, while by the second (which I would recommend), he definitely was not.

 

That skirts awfully close to "No True Scotsman" fallacy. The problem with the latter definition is not just that it can be used to make the statement "All Christians are good" as a tautology (since anyone who isn't doesn't fit the definition), but that it doesn't take into account the numerous ways of being Christian.

 

Bill, Bob and Brian all consider themselves Christian, even by your latter definition. Bill is an enlightened modern guy in all major respects. Bob is the same, except that his church is very keen on the various Biblical passages concerning a wife submitting to her husband, and as such, he gives her practically no freedom or say in anything. Brian, on the other hand, isn't so keen on that, but is very keen on the passages that state the homsexuality is an abomination and gays should be put to death.

 

All three practice some variant of Christianity, all can find support for their views in biblical passages, yet I suspect the latter two would not call Bill a true Christian, nor would he call them true Christians.

 

And before you yell strawman, this is merely an example, and can be applied to all sorts of doctrinal differences between churches and individuals. What if Hitler truly did believe, and gave his heart to Jesus, but also held the belief that God wanted him to carry out his Final Solution?

 

The problem with the latter of your two definitions is that it leaves open to interpretation whether a person lives and believes the right way, and, as is obvious, there's plenty of differences of opinion on that. In essence, it puts faith in the eye of the beholder, and the categorization of an individual as christian or non-christian becomes a mere matter of opinion that varies from person to person.

 

IMHO, the person should be categorized by what they *say* they are, whether they live up to it or not, and whether their beliefs are necessarily congruent with the mainstream or not.

 

After all, what we're after is the motivation for behavior. If Hitler thought of himself as christian (even if we wasn't a 'true christian'), then those beliefs he held would have had a role in influencing his behavior.

 

It's like a serial killer who thinks God is telling him to kill all the midgets. He might not be a 'true christian', but there's no debate that his conception of christianity (insane though it is), influences his behavior.

 

Mokele

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Severian,

How are you defining your term 'Christian'? Is it anyone who calls themselves a Christian or are you defining a Christain as someone who lives according to the love of God and teachings of Christ, and accepts Christ's sacrifice on the cross as attonement for his/her sins? By the first definition, Hitler definitely was a Christian, while by the second (which I would recommend), he definitely was not.

So you're saying he's not your idea of a True Christian, fine by me. ^^^ refer to Mokeles post above.

 

I also feel obligated to point out that Hitler was a vegitarian[/url'].

schpaw

 

 

 

Aardvark,

Are you sure about that? Because I have excerpts from a couple of Hitler's rewritten textbooks right here:

A biology textbook

 

The only spurious reference to Darwinism I can see are some uses of the word "survival"' date=' but theres a lot more political content than anything:

The instinctual state of the ants corresponds to the leadership state among mankind; however, the principles of a perfect insect state give people cause to think. They have preserved bees and ants in the struggle for survival and thereby proved their validity. We earlier noted the following truths about ants:

 

1) The work of the individual has only one purpose: to serve the whole group.

2) Major accomplishments are possible only by the division of labor.

3) Each bee risks its life without hesitation for the whole.

4) Individuals who are not useful or are harmful to the whole are eliminated.

5) The species is maintained by producing a large number of offspring.

 

It is not difficult for us to see the application of these principles to mankind: We too can accomplish great things only by a division of labor. Our whole economy demonstrates this principle. The ethnic state must demand of each individual citizen that he does everything for the good of the whole, each in his place and with his abilities (Principle 1).

 

And to my knowledge, those research units were seeking for the ultimate Aryan form and breeding with them. To my knowledge, I dont think Hitler really knew much about Darwinism than the basics of heritability and selective breeding, but to say that he tried to justify his actions by Darwinism is a stretch, and I think he justifications were just an intense hatred of Jews rationalized by his religious convictions (i.e. "I hate the Jews and God agrees with me").

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Bill' date=' Bob and Brian all consider themselves Christian, even by your latter definition. Bill is an enlightened modern guy in all major respects. Bob is the same, except that his church is very keen on the various Biblical passages concerning a wife submitting to her husband, and as such, he gives her practically no freedom or say in anything. Brian, on the other hand, isn't so keen on that, but is very keen on the passages that state the homsexuality is an abomination and gays should be put to death.

 

All three practice some variant of Christianity, all can find support for their views in biblical passages, yet I suspect the latter two would not call Bill a true Christian, nor would he call them true Christians.

[/quote']

Admitting yourself that this is a strawman doesn't make it any more relevant. Without knowing the people a little better than your one line description of each I couldn't possibly say who or who wasn't a Christian. Even if they were personal friends I may have a hard time. But as a Christian, it is not my place to judge whether they are or not.

 

What if Hitler truly did believe, and gave his heart to Jesus, but also held the belief that God wanted him to carry out his Final Solution?

So what? If Hitler did believe and asked for forgiveness of his sins he would have been given forgiveness, and would be saved. That is central to the whole idea of Christianity - it is not your actions which save you, it is Jesus death on the cross. Why do you think you are any more worthy?

 

However I would strongly suspect this was not the case, since the bible tells us that love for God is evidenced in a man's actions. He does good things because he loves God and wants to do God's will, not because he thinks he will be rewarded for it. Hitler did not display that love.

 

The problem with the latter of your two definitions is that it leaves open to interpretation whether a person lives and believes the right way, and, as is obvious, there's plenty of differences of opinion on that.

No it doesn't, since it is not dependant on works. It is also not our place to judge.

 

In essence, it puts faith in the eye of the beholder, and the categorization of an individual as christian or non-christian becomes a mere matter of opinion that varies from person to person.

The only beholder is God, and He doesn't make mistakes.

 

IMHO, the person should be categorized by what they *say* they are, whether they live up to it or not, and whether their beliefs are necessarily congruent with the mainstream or not.

IMHO they shouldn't be categorized. We should treat others with respect no matter what their beliefs.

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Severian,

So what? If Hitler did believe and asked for forgiveness of his sins he would have been given forgiveness, and would be saved. That is central to the whole idea of Christianity - it is not your actions which save you, it is Jesus death on the cross. Why do you think you are any more worthy?

Please dont take this the wrong way, but are you saying that Hitler may have gone to Heaven, and the 12 million victims of the Holocaust are in Hell?

 

However I would strongly suspect this was not the case, since the bible tells us that love for God is evidenced in a man's actions. He does good things because he loves God and wants to do God's will, not because he thinks he will be rewarded for it. Hitler did not display that love.

Do you think, somewhere in the back of Hitlers mind, he believed God was very pleased with his Final Solution?

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While theologically legitimate, saying not to judge them is essentially saying you can never, ever call anyone else Christian. Shit, by that rule, I cannot claim that former Popes' political actions were influenced by their religion, since only God can know if they were Christian and it wasn't my place to judge.

 

What we're interested in here isn't Hitler's soul; either it doesn't exist, or that's a matter for God, and either way it's not part of the discussion.

 

What we *are* interested in is Hitler's behavior, which in turn was influenced by his faith (if he had any, hence the discussion). Even if he wasn't truly christian and did go to hell, that doesn't change whether his personal (warped) view of Christianity influenced his behavior. To analogize, whether or not God is real, you (Sev) believe in him, and that belief influences your actions. Regardless of whether your beliefs are right, if we're trying to understand you as a person and how you behave, we must take into account those beliefs.

 

In summary, whether his beliefs were right or not, and whether or not he was a true christian, are irrelevant. He held some religious beliefs, and they influenced his behavior. From the behavioral standpoint, if not from the theological standpoint, he should be considered Christian, since that influence was present.

 

Mokele

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Please dont take this the wrong way' date=' but are you saying that Hitler may have gone to Heaven, and the 12 million victims of the Holocaust are in Hell?

[/quote']

 

I think it is unlikely, but if he genuinely repented at the end, why would you object?

 

Do you think, somewhere in the back of Hitlers mind, he believed God was very pleased with his Final Solution?

 

I doubt it.

 

What we *are* interested in is Hitler's behavior, which in turn was influenced by his faith (if he had any, hence the discussion).

 

Sure - I accept that - but why say he was influenced by Christianity if the beliefs he had had nothing to do with Christianity? You are just arguing semantics, and making generalizations.

 

If you want to say that Hitler's killing of the Jews was motivated by a religious belief, why not say what that religious belief was rather than using a false and misleading label?

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Not easy to find quotes by the man himself, but how about this one from Mein Kampf:

 

"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.."

 

I make no comment on it at the moment, but does this alter anyone's views? i think it should.....

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Not easy to find quotes by the man himself' date=' but how about this one from Mein Kampf:

 

"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.."

 

I make no comment on it at the moment, but does this alter anyone's views? i think it should.....[/quote']

 

It could just be rhetoric. But it does seem, as IMM suggests, to be a convienient (though genuine) belief in a God who just happens to love and hate the same things he does. Which, I suppose, is not at all unusual except in the particulars. He would, then, be acting out of love for God, as revealed through love for man, inasmuch as he loved mankind so much he wanted to rid it of its villains (Jews, Communists, etc.) and put the rightful and wisest rulers (Germans) in charge...

 

Whether that constitutes a "Christian" depends on who you ask. He called himself one, which is really the only definitive thing you can say. (Or maybe not even that, since he contradicts himself so many times in so many different ways. His capacity for Orwellian doublethink was truly epic.) I mean, I personally don't see how he got any of that from the teachings of Jesus, but I don't see how St. Paul got a lot of his rants, either, and he's almost universally acknowledged as "Christian."

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Severian,

Please dont take this the wrong way' date=' but are you saying that Hitler may have gone to Heaven, and the 12 million victims of the Holocaust are in Hell?[/quote']

I think it is unlikely, but if he genuinely repented at the end, why would you object?

For starters, he kidnapped, tortured, and killed 12 million people. The gods I worship look down on that kind of thing.

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