Adolf Hitler's religious views: Wikis


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Adolf Hitler's religious views have been a matter of dispute, in part because of apparently inconsistent statements made by Hitler, and those attributed to him. The relationship between Nazism and religion was complex and shifting over the period of the Nazi Party's existence and during its years in power.


Childhood and youth

According to historian Bradley F. Smith, Hitler's father Alois, though nominally a Catholic, was somewhat religiously sceptical,[1] while his mother was a practicing Catholic.[2] According to historian Michael Rissmann, young Hitler was influenced in school by Pan-Germanism and began to reject the Catholic Church, receiving Confirmation only unwillingly. A boyhood friend reports that after Hitler had left home, he never again attended a Catholic Mass or received the Church's Sacraments.[3] Georg Ritter von Schönerer's writings and the written legacy of his Pan-German Away from Rome! movement, which agitated against the Catholic Church at the end of the 19th century, may have influenced the young Hitler.[4] At the Benedictine monastery school which Hitler attended for one school year as a child (1897–98), Hitler became top of his class, receiving 12 1's, the highest grade, in the final quarter. He also sang in the choir at the monastery.[5]

World War I experiences

According to an interview with a British correspondent years after the Great War, Hitler claimed a mysterious voice told him to leave a section of a crowded trench during a minor barrage. Moments after he left the area, a shell fell on that particular spot. Hitler saw this experience as a message that he was a uniquely illuminated individual who had a special task to fulfil.[6] This story did not, however, appear in Mein Kampf.

Views as an adult

Something of Hitler's religious beliefs can be gathered from his public and private statements, however they present a discrepant picture. Some private statements attributed to him remain disputed or unsourced. His public and written statements however can be interpreted as propaganda.

Public statements

In public statements, especially at the beginning of his rule, Hitler frequently spoke positively about the Christian heritage of German culture, and his belief in the "Aryan" Christ. In a proclamation to the German Nation February 1, 1933 Hitler stated, "The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. 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."[7]

Historian Joachim Fest wrote, "Hitler knew, through the constant invocation of the God the Lord (German: Herrgott) or of providence (German: Vorsehung), to make the impression of a godly way of thought."[8] He used his "ability to simulate, even to potentially critical Church leaders, an image of a leader keen to uphold and protect Christianity," according to biographer Ian Kershaw. Kershaw adds that Hitler's ability also succeeded in appeasing possible Church resistance to anti-Christian Nazi Party radicals.[9] For example, on March 23, 1933, he addressed the Reichstag: "The National Government regards the two Christian confessions (i.e. Catholicism and Protestantism) as factors essential to the soul of the German people. ... We hold the spiritual forces of Christianity to be indispensable elements in the moral uplift of most of the German people.[10]

According to Hitler's chief architect Albert Speer, Hitler remained a formal member of the Catholic Church until his death. Although it was Speer's opinion that "he had no real attachment to it."[11] According to biographer John Toland, Hitler was still "a member in good standing of the Church of Rome despite detestation of its hierarchy, he carried within him its teaching that the Jew was the killer of God. The extermination, therefore, could be done without a twinge of conscience since he was merely acting as the avenging hand of God—so long as it was done impersonally, without cruelty."[12] However Hitler's own words from Mein Kampf seem to conflict with the idea that his antisemitism was religiously motivated. From childhood onward, Hitler seems to have continued to reject antisemitism or anti-Judaism based on religious arguments like the deicide claim:

There were very few Jews in Linz. In the course of centuries the Jews who lived there had become Europeanized in external appearance and were so much like other human beings that I even looked upon them as Germans. The reason why I did not then perceive the absurdity of such an illusion was that the only external mark which I recognized as distinguishing them from us was the practice of their strange religion. As I thought that they were persecuted on account of their Faith my aversion to hearing remarks against them grew almost into a feeling of abhorrence. I did not in the least suspect that there could be such a thing as a systematic anti-Semitism.
Then I came to Vienna.
Confused by the mass of impressions I received from the architectural surroundings and depressed by my own troubles, I did not at first distinguish between the different social strata of which the population of that mammoth city was composed. Although Vienna then had about two hundred thousand Jews among its population of two millions, I did not notice them. During the first weeks of my sojourn my eyes and my mind were unable to cope with the onrush of new ideas and values. Not until I gradually settled down to my surroundings, and the confused picture began to grow clearer, did I acquire a more discriminating view of my new world. And with that I came up against the Jewish problem.
I will not say that the manner in which I first became acquainted with it was particularly unpleasant for me. In the Jew I still saw only a man who was of a different religion, and therefore, on grounds of human tolerance, I was against the idea that he should be attacked because he had a different faith. And so I considered that the tone adopted by the anti-Semitic Press in Vienna was unworthy of the cultural traditions of a great people. The memory of certain events which happened in the Middle Ages came into my mind, and I felt that I should not like to see them repeated....[13]

According to historian Richard Steigmann-Gall, much is known about Hitler's views on religion through Hitler's book, Mein Kampf.[14] In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote neither as an atheist, an agnostic, nor as a believer in a remote, rationalist divinity. Instead he expressed his belief in one providential, active, deity:

"What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and the reproduction of our that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe...Peoples that bastardize themselves, or let themselves be bastardized, sin against the will of eternal Providence."[14]

In an attempt to justify Nazi intolerance he recommends militantism, which he associates with Christianity's rise to Roman state religion, as a model for the Nazis in their pursuit of power, while simultaneously lamenting the demise of Pre-Christian Roman Religion,

The individual may establish with pain today that with the appearance of Christianity the first spiritual terror entered into the far freer ancient world, but he will not be able to contest the fact that since then the world has been afflicted and dominated by this coercion, and that coercion is broken only by coercion, and terror only by terror. Only then can a new state of affairs be constructively created. Political parties are inclined to compromises; philosophies never. Political parties even reckon with opponents; philosophies proclaim their infallibility. [15]

Elsewhere in Mein Kampf Hitler speaks of the "creator of the universe" and "eternal Providence." He also states his belief that the Aryan race was created by God, and that it would be a sin to dilute it through racial intermixing. Hitler writes:

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.[16]

According to Steigmann-Gall, Hitler's reference to God as the "Lord of Creation" and the necessity of obeying "His will" along with several references to Jesus, reveals the infusion of Christianity into his thinking. Other sources also show Hitler's Christian thinking, according to Steigmann-Gall. He notes an unpublished manuscript where Hitler sketched out his world-view with similar Christian references, and he gives as an example a speech on April 1922 where Hitler said that Jesus was "the true God." Finally, Steigmann-Gall gives another example where in a private Nazi meeting Hitler again stated the centrality of Jesus' teachings to the Nazi movement.[17]

Private statements

Hitler's private statements about Christianity were often conflicting. Hitler's intimates, such as Joseph Goebbels, Albert Speer, and Martin Bormann suggest that Hitler generally had negative opinions of religion, although the historical validity of some remarks has been questioned, particularly the English translation of Hitler's Table Talk. Historian Ian Kershaw remarked upon questionable nature of Table Talk as a source, stating "the `table talk’ monologues of the last months (the so called `bunkergespräche’) of which no German text has ever been brought to light must be treated with due caution."[18] Historian Richard Carrier goes further, contending that certain portions of Table Talk — especially those regarding Hitler's hostility of Christianity — are poor mistranslations.[19] Carrier states that Hitler was criticizing Catholicism in particular, while remaining entirely religious.[20] Albert Speer confirmed the authenticity of Henry Picker's German transcripts, which was published in 1951 as Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier.[21] Carrier states, "It is clear that Picker and Jochmann have the correct text and Trevor-Roper's is entirely untrustworthy."[20]

Goebbels notes in a diary entry in 1939: "The Führer is deeply religious, but deeply anti-Christian. He regards Christianity as a symptom of decay. Rightly so. It is a branch of the Jewish race."[22] Albert Speer reports in his memoirs of a similar statement made by Hitler: "You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"[23]

In 1941, Hitler praised an anti-Christian tract from AD 362, neo-platonist and pagan Roman emperor Julian the Apostate's Against the Galileans, saying "I really hadn't known how clearly a man like Julian had judged Christians and Christianity, one must read this...."[24]

In 1941, according to the diary of Nazi General Gerhart Engel, Hitler stated "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."[25]

Author Konrad Heiden has quoted Hitler as stating, "We do not want any other god than Germany itself. It is essential to have fanatical faith and hope and love in and for Germany."[26]

Positive Christianity

Some scholars maintain, that in contrast to other Nazi leaders, Hitler did not adhere to esoteric ideas, occultism, or Nazi mysticism, and even ridiculed such beliefs in private and possibly in public. Hitler stated: "We will not allow mystically-minded occult folk with a passion for exploring the secrets of the world beyond to steal into our Movement. Such folk are not National Socialists, but something else—in any case something which has nothing to do with us." [27] Other scholars believe the young Hitler was strongly influenced, particularly in his racial views, by an abundance of occult works on the mystical superiority of the Germans, like the occult and anti-semitic magazine Ostara, and give credence to the claim of its publisher Lanz von Liebenfels that Hitler visited him in 1909 and praised his work.[28] Indeed, evidence indicates Hitler was a regular reader of Ostara.[29] Drawing on higher criticism and some branches of theologically liberal Protestantism, Hitler for a time advocated for German Christians a Positive Christianity, traditional Christianity purged of everything that he found objectionable and with certain, particularly racist, additions. Hitler never directed his attacks on Jesus himself,[30] but viewed traditional Christianity as a corruption of the original ideas of Jesus, whom Hitler regarded as an Aryan opponent of the Jews.[31] In Mein Kampf Hitler writes that Jesus "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." Hitler stated in a speech in 1927:

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. .. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.[32][33]

Hitler demonstrated a preference for Protestantism over Catholicism, as Protestantism was more open to reinterpretations, especially Positive Christianity, and a non-traditional re-reading of sacred scripture, and because some of its liberal branches had similar views.[34][35] His views were supported by the German Christians movement, but rejected by the Confessing Church. According to Steigmann-Gall, Hitler regretted that "the churches had failed to back him and his movement as he had hoped;"[36] and he stated according to Albert Speer: "Through me the Protestant Church could become the established church, as in England."

Not all the Protestant churches submitted to the state,[37] which Hitler said in Mein Kampf was important in forming a political movement. Hitler supported the appointment of Ludwig Müller as Reichsbischof over the Protestant churches, hoping that he would get them to adhere to Nazi positions. After 1935 Hitler was advised by the newly-appointed Reich Minister for Church Affairs Hans Kerrl. Many Protestants who were not persuaded by argument were arrested and their property and funds confiscated. Hitler said of the Protestants "you can do anything you want with them, they will submit..."[38]

By 1940 it was public knowledge that Hitler had abandoned advocating for Germans even the syncretist idea of a positive Christianty.[39]

Historian Richard Overy maintains that Hitler was not a practicing Christian,[40] but believed in Arthur de Gobineau's ideas of struggle for survival between the different races, among which the "Aryan race" — guided by a pantheistic providence — was supposed to be the torchbearers of civilization. In Hitler's conception, Jews were enemies of all civilization, especially the Volk; this idea was rooted in an ideology based on Social Darwinism and antisemitism.[41][42] His understanding of Darwinism was incomplete and based on the thoery of "survival of the fittest" in a social context, as popularly misunderstood at the time.[43][44]

In 1998 documents were released by Cornell University from the Nuremberg Trials,[45] that revealed Nazi plans to eliminate the political influence of Christian Churches. The documents cover the Nuremberg trials of leading Nazis and demonstrate the deliberate genocide of Jews during the Holocaust, in which some six million Jews were killed. One senior member of the U.S. prosecution team, General William Donovan, as part of his work on documenting Nazi war crimes, compiled large amounts of documentation that the Nazis persecuted Christian Churches.[46]

Donovan's documents include almost 150 bound volumes currently stored at Cornell University after his death in 1959; these documents state

"Important leaders of the National Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation [church influence] by complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion," said an OSS report in July 1945. "The best evidence now available as to the existence of an anti-Church plan is to be found in the systematic nature of the persecution itself.

They also show the different steps involved in the persecution,[47] including the campaign to suppress denominational and youth organizations, denominational schools, and the use of defamation against the clergy, orchestrated to started on the same day over the Reich and supported by the press, Nazi Party meetings and by traveling party speakers.[48][49] The documents show that the Nazis early on wanted the churches neutralized because they feared that the Churches would oppose Nazi plans based on racism and aggressive wars. The Nazis planned to infiltrate churches and use defamation, arrest, assault and/or kill pastors, and "re-educate" church congregations. They also suppressed denominational schools and Christian youth organizations.

Hitler's reaction to atheism

Hitler often associated atheism with Germany's communist enemy.[50] Hitler stated in a speech to the Stuttgart February 15, 1933: "Today they say that Christianity is in danger, that the Catholic faith is threatened. My reply to them is: for the time being, Christians and not international atheists are now standing at Germany’s fore. I am not merely talking about Christianity; I confess that I will never ally myself with the parties which aim to destroy Christianity. Fourteen years they have gone arm in arm with atheism. At no time was greater damage ever done to Christianity than in those years when the Christian parties ruled side by side with those who denied the very existence of God. Germany's entire cultural life was shattered and contaminated in this period. It shall be our task to burn out these manifestations of degeneracy in literature, theater, schools, and the press—that is, in our entire culture—and to eliminate the poison which has been permeating every facet of our lives for these past fourteen years."[51]

In a speech delivered in Berlin, October 24, 1933, Hitler stated: "We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out."[52]

In a radio address October 14, 1933 Hitler stated "For eight months we have been waging a heroic battle against the Communist threat to our Volk, the decomposition of our culture, the subversion of our art, and the poisoning of our public morality. We have put an end to denial of God and abuse of religion. We owe Providence humble gratitude for not allowing us to lose our battle against the misery of unemployment and for the salvation of the German peasant."[53]

In a speech delivered at Koblenz, August 26, 1934 Hitler states: "There may have been a time when even parties founded on the ecclesiastical basis were a necessity. At that time Liberalism was opposed to the Church, while Marxism was anti-religious. But that time is past. National Socialism neither opposes the Church nor is it anti-religious, but on the contrary, it stands on the ground of a real Christianity. The Church's interests cannot fail to coincide with ours alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of to-day, in our fight against the Bolshevist culture, against an atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for the consciousness of a community in our national life, for the conquest of hatred and disunion between the classes, for the conquest of civil war and unrest, of strife and discord. These are not anti-Christian, these are Christian principles.[54]

During negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordat of April 26, 1933 Hitler argued that "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."[55]

Islam and eastern religions

Among eastern religions, Hitler described religious leaders such as "Confucius, Buddha, and Mohammed" as providers of "spiritual sustenance".[56] In this context, Hitler's connection to Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the Mufti of Jerusalem — which included asylum in 1941, the honorary rank of an SS Major, and a "respected racial genealogy" — has been interpreted more as a sign of respect than political expedience.[57] Hitler's choice of the Swastika as the Nazis' main and official symbol, was linked to the belief in the Aryan cultural descent of the German people. They considered the early Aryans of India to be the prototypical white invaders and the sign as a symbol of the Aryan master race.[58]

Role of religion in the Nazi state

Hitler was opposed to state atheism, which for example was part of the political system of the Soviet Union. He issued a statement saying that he wished to avoid factional disputes in Germany's churches.[59] Hitler feared the political power that the churches had, and did not want to openly antagonize that political base until he had securely gained control of the country. Once in power Hitler showed his contempt for non-Aryan religion and sought to eliminate it from areas under his rule.[60][61] Within Hitler's Nazi Party some atheists were quite vocal, especially Martin Bormann[62]. Hitler often used religious speech and symbolism in his propaganda to promote Nazism to those that he feared would be disposed to act against him.[63][64] He also used religion as a pretext in diplomacies. The Soviet Union feared that if they commenced a programme of persecution against religion in the western regions, Hitler would use that as a pretext for war.[65]

Hitler's marriage

In the Führerbunker on April 29, 1945, the day before their suicide, Hitler and Eva Braun married in front of a civil servant of the city of Berlin, in a cramped map room without a religious service or blessing ceremony. This was due in part by the difficulty in finding an official who could conduct the marriage legally. The problem was solved by Goebbels who was Gauleiter of Berlin.[66]

God, racism and anti-Semitism

To the extent he believed in a divinity, Hitler did not believe in a "remote, rationalist divinity" but in an "active deity,"[67] which he frequently referred to as "Creator" or "Providence". In Hitler's belief God created a world in which different races fought each other for survival as depicted by Arthur de Gobineau. The "Aryan race," supposedly the bearer of civilization, is allocated a special place:

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and the reproduction of our race ... so that our people may mature for the fulfilment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. ... Peoples that bastardize themselves, or let themselves be bastardized, sin against the will of eternal Providence.[67]

The Jews he viewed as enemies of all civilization and as materialistic, unspiritual beings, writing in Mein Kampf: "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." Hitler described his supposedly divine mandate for his anti-Semitism: "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."[68]

In his rhetoric Hitler also fed on the old accusation of Jewish Deicide. Because of this it has been speculated that Christian anti-Semitism influenced Hitler's ideas, especially such works as Martin Luther's essay On the Jews and Their Lies and the writings of Paul de Lagarde. Others disagree with this view.[69] In support of this view, Hitler biographer John Toland opines that Hitler "carried within him its teaching that the Jew was the killer of God. The extermination, therefore, could be done without a twinge of conscience since he was merely acting as the avenging hand of God..." Nevertheless, in Mein Kampf Hitler writes of an upbringing in which no particular anti-Semitic prejudice prevailed.

According to American historian Lucy Dawidowicz, Anti-Semitism has a long history within Christianity, and that the line of "anti-Semitic descent" from Luther to Hitler is "easy to draw." In her The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, she writes that Luther and Hitler were obsessed by the "demonologized universe" inhabited by Jews. Dawidowicz states that the similarities between Luther's anti-Jewish writings and modern Anti-Semitism are no coincidence, because they derived from a common history of Judenhass, which can be traced to Haman's advice to Ahasuerus, although modern German anti-Semitism also has its roots in German nationalism.[70]

Hitler and Catholic ritual

In his childhood, Hitler had admired the pomp of Catholic ritual and the hierarchical organisation of the clergy. Later, he drew on these elements, organizing his party along hierarchical lines and including liturgical forms into events or using phraseology taken from hymns.[71] Because of these liturgical elements, Hitler's Messiah-like status and the ideology's all-encompassing nature, the Nazi movement is sometimes termed a "political religion".[72]

Adolf Hitler and Ariosophy

Hitler's contact to Lanz von Liebenfels makes it necessary to examine how far his religious views were influenced by Ariosophy, an esoteric movement in Germany and Austria that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. (Whether Ariosophy is to be classified as Germanic paganism or Occultism is a different question.) The seminal work on Ariosophy, The Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, devotes its last chapter the topic of Ariosophy and Adolf Hitler. Not at least due to the difficulty of sources, historians disagree about the importance of Ariosophy for Hitler's religious views. As noted in the foreword of The Occult Roots of Nazism by Rohan Butler, Goodrick-Clarke is more cautious in assessing the influence of Lanz von Liebenfels on Hitler than Joachim Fest in his biography of Hitler.[73] A Hitler biography by John Toland that appeared in 1992 reprints a poem that Hitler allegedly wrote while serving in the German Army on the Western Front in 1915.[74] This poem includes references to magical runes and the pre-Christian Germanic deity Woden, but it is mentioned neither by Goodrick-Clarke nor by Fest.

While he was in power, Hitler was definitely less interested in the occult or the esoteric than other Nazi leaders. Unlike Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Hess, for example, Hitler had no interest in astrology. Nevertheless, Hitler is the most important figure in the Modern Mythology of Nazi occultism. There are teledocumentaries about this topic, with the titles Hitler and the Occult and Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail.[75]

Comparing him to Erich von Ludendorff, Fest writes: "Hitler had detached himself from such affections, in which he encountered the obscurantism of his early years, Lanz v. Liebenfels and the Thule Society, again, long ago and had, in Mein Kampf, formulated his scathing contempt for that völkish romanticism, which however his own cosmos of imagination preserved rudimentarily."[76] Fest refers to the following passage from Mein Kampf:

The characteristic thing about these people [modern-day followers of the early Germanic religion] is that they rave about the old Germanic heroism, about dim prehistory, stone axes, spear and shield, but in reality are the greatest cowards that can be imagined. For the same people who brandish scholarly imitations of old German tin swords, and wear a dressed bearskin with bull's horns over their heads, preach for the present nothing but struggle with spiritual weapons, and run away as fast as they can from every Communist blackjack.[77]

It is not clear if this statement is an attack at anyone specific. It could have been aimed at Karl Harrer or at the Strasser group. According to Goodrick-Clarke, "In any case, the outburst clearly implies Hitler's contempt for conspiratorial circles and occult-racist studies and his preference for direct activism."[78] Hitler also said something similar in public speeches.[79]

Older literature states that Hitler had no intention of instituting worship of the ancient Germanic gods in contrast to the beliefs of some other Nazi officials.[80] In Hitler's Table Talk one can find this quote:

It seems to me that nothing would be more foolish than to re-establish the worship of Wotan. Our old mythology ceased to be viable when Christianity implanted itself. Nothing dies unless it is moribund.

According to an online article from the Simon Wiesenthal Center,[81] the influence of the anti-Judaic, Gnostic and root race teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, and the adaptations of her ideas by her followers, constituted a popularly unacknowledged but decisive influence over the developing mind of Hitler.

See also


  1. ^ "Closely related to his support of education was his tolerant skepticism concerning religion. He looked upon religion as a series of conventions and as a crutch for human weakness, but, like most of his neighbors, he insisted that the women of his household fulfil all religious obligations. He restricted his own participation to donning his uniform to take his proper place in festivals and processions. As he grew older Alois shifted from relative passivity in his attitude toward the power and influence of the institutional Church to a firm opposition to "clericalism," especially when the position of the Church came into conflict with his views on education." - Bradley F. Smith: Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth Stanford/California, 1967 p. 27
  2. ^ Historian Bradley F. Smith: "Alois insisted she attend regularly as an expression of his belief that the woman's place was in the kitchen and in church....Happily, Klara really enjoyed attending services and was completely devoted to the faith and teachings of Catholicism, so her husband's requirements worked to her advantage. "Bradley F. Smith: Adolf Hitler: His Family, Childhood and Youth Stanford/California, 1967 p. 42
  3. ^ Michael Rissmann, Hitlers Gott. Vorsehungsglaube und Sendungsbewußtsein des deutschen Diktators, Zürich München: Pendo, 2001, p. 94-96 ISBN 3-85842-421-8. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (sections 2041–2043) defines Mass attendance on Sundays and Holy Days as the "First Precept of the Church", an absolute minimum requirement.
  4. ^ Los-von-Rom-Bewegung Von Schönerer influenced Austrian German nationalists deeply according to historians.
  5. ^ Toland chapter 1; Kershaw chapter 1. By his account in Mein Kampf (which is often an unreliable source), he loved the "solemn splendor of the brilliant Church festivals." He held the Abbot in very high regard, and later told Helene Hanfstaengl that one time as a small boy he had once ardently wished to become a priest. His flirtation with the idea apparently ended as suddenly as it began, however. Ibid.
  6. ^ Rees, Simon (2003-10-25). "A Slow Fuse — Hitler's World War One Experience". Retrieved 2008-04-28. . See Toland, p. 64.
  7. ^ Adolf Hitler. (1941). My New Order. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 144.
  8. ^ "Hitler wusste selber durch die ständige Anrufung des Herrgotts oder der Vorsehung den Eindruck gottesfürchtiger Denkart zu machen." J.C. Fest. Hitler. (German edition), p. 581.
  9. ^ Kershaw 1987, p. 109

    Hitler’s evident ability to simulate, even to potentially critical Church leaders, an image of a leader keen to uphold and protect Christianity was crucial to the mediation of such an image to the church-going public by influential members of both major denominations. It was the reason why church-going Christians, so often encouraged by their 'opinion-leaders' in the Church hierarchies, were frequently able to exclude Hitler from their condemnation of the anti-Christian Party radicals, continuing to see in him the last hope of protecting Christianity from Bolshevism."

  10. ^ Dennis Barton. (2006). Hitler's Rise to Power.
  11. ^ Albert Speer. (1997). Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs. New York: Simon and Schuster, p. 96.
  12. ^ John Toland. (1976). Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography‎ New York: Anchor Books, p. 703.
  13. ^ Mein Kampf Chapter II, wikisource
  14. ^ a b Richard Steigmann-Gall. (2003). The Holy Reich. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 26.
  15. ^ Mein Kampf, vol 2, Chapter 5.
  16. ^ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim, ed., New York: Mariner Books, 1999, p. 562.
  17. ^ Richard Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 46.
  18. ^ Ian Kershaw. 1999. Hitler 1889–1936 Hubris. New York: W. W. Norton. p. xiv.
  19. ^ Richard Carrier. "Hitler's Table Talk, Troubling Finds." German Studies Review 26 (October 2003): 561-576
  20. ^ a b Richard Carrier. "Was Catholic Hitler "Anti-Christian"? On the Trail of Bogus Quotes." Freethought Today 19 (November 2002).
  21. ^ Albert Speer. 1976. Spandau: The Secret Diaries. New York: Macmillan.
  22. ^ Jonathan Steinberg. 2002. All Or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust, 1941-1943. London: Routledge Press. p. 243.
  23. ^ Albert Speer. 1971. Inside the Third Reich Translated by Richard Winston, Clara Winston, Eugene Davidson. New York: Macmillan. p 143; Reprinted in 1997. Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 96. ISBN 0-684-82949-5.
  24. ^ Sage 2006, p. 154
  25. ^ John Toland, Adolf Hitler. New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507.
  26. ^ Heiden, Konrad A History of National Socialism, A.A. Knopf, 1935, p. 100.
  27. ^ Speech in Nuremberg on 6 September 1938. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Volume 1 Edited by Norman Hepburn Baynes. University of Michigan Press, p. 396.
  28. ^ Rosenbaum, Ron [Explaining Hitler] p. xxxvii, p. 282 (citing Yehuda Bauer’s belief that Hitler’s racism is rooted in occult groups like Ostara), p 333, 1998 Random House
  29. ^ Toland, John [Adolf Hitler] p. 45, 1976 Anchor Books.
  30. ^ Steigmann-Gall 2003, p. 255
  31. ^ Steigmann-Gall 2003, pp. 257-260
  32. ^ Baynes 1942, pp. 19-20
  33. ^ Steigmann-Gall 2003, p. 37 According Steigmann-Gall this speech took place in the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich in April 1922
  34. ^ Steigmann-Gall 2003, p. 84
  35. ^ Steigmann-Gall, Richard (2007-06-01). "The Nazis' 'Positive Christianity': a Variety of 'Clerical Fascism'?". Kent State University. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  36. ^ Steigmann-Gall 2003, p. 260
  37. ^ "Churchmen to Hitler". Time Magazine. 1936-08-10.,9171,762289,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  38. ^ Shirer 1960, pp. 234-36
  39. ^ Poewe, Karla O, New Religions and the Nazis, p. 30, Routledge 2006
  40. ^ Overy, R. J. 2004. The dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. pp 180-82
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  52. ^ Norman H. Baynes, ed., The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1942, p. 378.
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  55. ^ Ernst Helmreich, The German Churches Under Hitler. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1979, p. 241.
  56. ^ Angebert 1974, p. 246
  57. ^ Angebert 1974, pp. 275-276 note 14
  58. ^ "Origins of the swastika". BBC. 2005-01-18. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  59. ^ Zipfel 1965, p. 226
  60. ^ Miner 2003, p. 54
  61. ^ Thomsett 1997, pp. 54-55
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  63. ^ Davies 1996, p. 975
  64. ^ Sage 2006, pp. 154-60
  65. ^ De George & Scanlan 1975, pp. 116-117
  66. ^ Angela Lambert The lost life of Eva Braun. New York: Macmillan, p. 453.
  67. ^ a b Steigmann-Gall 2003, p. 26
  68. ^ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Ralph Mannheim, ed., New York: Mariner Books, 1999, p. 65.
  69. ^ Shirer 1960, pp. 91-236 argues that Luther's essay was influential. This view was expounded by Lucy Dawidowicz. (Dawidowicz 1986, p. 23) Uwe Siemon-Netto disputes this conclusion (Siemon-Netto 1995, pp. 17-20).
  70. ^ The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945. First published 1975; this Bantam edition 1986, p.23. ISBN 0-553-34532-X
  71. ^ Michael Rissmann, p. 96.
  72. ^ Especially Eric Voegelin: in Political Religions, (Edward Mellen Press, 1986) ISBN 0-88946-767-6, advocated such a classification. Discussion at Rissmann, p. 191-197.
  73. ^ Goodrick-Clarke 1985, p. x
  74. ^ Toland 1992
  75. ^ Entry for "Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail" at the Internet Movie Database
  76. ^ Fest 1973, p. 320
  77. ^ Hitler 1926, ch. 12
  78. ^ Goodrick-Clarke 1985, p. 202
  79. ^ "We will not allow mystically-minded occult folk with a passion for exploring the secrets of the world beyond to steal into our Movement. Such folk are not National Socialists, but something else—in any case something which has nothing to do with us." (Speech in Nuremberg on 6 September 1938)
  80. ^ Gunther 1938, p. 10
  81. ^ Jackson Spielvogel and David Redles: Hitler's Racial Ideology: Content and Occult Sources


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