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Hitler’s religion: Introduction

I woke up thinking that I was going to post another entry on Deschner’s history of Christianity today, but this comment from Mauricio, and my response changed my mind:

What strikes me about the matter is that, in recent times, American white nationalism has had only a couple of notable individuals who openly identify with NS memory: Carolyn Yeager and Hadding Scott.

By rejecting the final solution or the Master Plan East as Allied propaganda, they both hold to Christian ethics, and in Yeager’s case, she believes in Hitler’s public pronouncements on Christianity which, according to the Weikart book that just reached me, were PR pronouncements compared to Hitler’s harsh judgments in private (recorded even outside his table talks).

The revisionist historian Mark Weber also, a few years ago, looked solely and exclusively at Hitler’s public pronouncements. Simply put, there is no one of note in today’s white nationalist world who dares to look the ghost of Hitler in the eye.

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Hitler’s Religion by Richard Weikart offers a detailed analysis of a subject I am passionate about. Already in the dustcover we learn that with this book Weikart is ‘delving more deeply into the question of Hitler’s religious faith than any researcher to date’, and that ‘like the racist forms of Darwinism prevalent at the time, Hitler’s… religion was a direct attack on the Judeo-Christian ethics on which Western civilization is built’.

Herein lies the fundamental flaw of the book. Weikart doesn’t seem to realise that European civilisation is not to be confused with Western Christian Civilisation (see Daybreak, pages 25-44). Charles Bellinger, author of The Genealogy of Violence and The Trinitarian Self, wrote about Weikart’s book:

Hitler… sought to avoid alienating his support base in Germany, which was to a great extent churchgoing. But in private Hitler led his top aids in developing a subtle strategy to gradually destroy any traces of religious faith that would dissent from his [Bellinger’s pejorative adjective] plans to redraw the map of Europe, eliminate all Jews, and extirpate from human consciousness the idea that all human beings have an equal dignity and value before God, and a call from God to love all people as neighbors, with particular care for the weak.

Like Bellinger, Weikart is a Christian. He insulted National Socialism even in the subtitle of his book: ‘The Twisted Beliefs that Drove the Third Reich’, and on pages x and xii of his Introduction he says: ‘Evil often appears in the guise of piety’ and ‘Hitler’s evil was so intense and inexplicable that…’

This reminds me of some words from a book by Ron Rosenbaum about Hitler that I read when I was still a normie. Rosenbaum is a Jewish author, but Weikart is something worse: a traitor to his ethnic group. Because he reasons as Christians reason, he fails to realise that the evil was not in Hitler, but in himself and the other Christians who obey the Jew (i.e., who subscribe to the ethical value system bequeathed to us by Judeo-Christianity). That said, Weikart’s book is a real gold mine for those of us who know that racial preservation cannot be mixed with the cult of a Semitic god, as we see in this paragraph:

Otto Strasser, a leader in the early Nazi movement who broke away from Hitler in 1930, told his brother in the late 1920s why he was increasingly dissatisfied with Hitler: ‘We are Christians; without Christianity Europe is lost. Hitler is an atheist’. Despite the fact that Hitler never renounced his membership in the Catholic Church, before he seized power in 1933 and for about two months thereafter, the Catholic hierarchy forbade Catholics from joining the Nazi Party because they viewed Hitler’s movement as fundamentally hostile to their faith. In 1937, Pope Pius XI condemned the Nazi regime, not only for persecuting the Catholic Church and harassing its clergy, but also for teaching ideology that conflicted with Catholic doctrines.

Will those American white advocates sympathetic to NS be honest enough to recognise this?

Whatever conformed to the laws of nature was morally good, and whatever contravened nature and its ways was evil. When Hitler explained how he hoped to harmonize human society with the scientific laws of nature, he emphasized principles derived from Darwinian theory, especially the racist forms of Darwinism prominent among Darwin’s German disciples. These laws included human biological inequality (especially racial inequality), the human struggle for existence, and natural selection. In the Darwinian struggle for existence, multitudes perish, and only a few of the fittest individuals survive and reproduce. If this is nature’s way, Hitler thought, then he should emulate nature by destroying those destined for death.

Weikart omits—as neochristian atheists also don’t want to see—that Darwin himself harboured exterminationist ideas about blacks (see pages 37-39 of Daybreak). For those who believe that Hitler was a Christian, this passage should alert them:

Indeed, the Nuremberg Party Rally continued through the weekend, and when it came time for the normal Sunday morning worship services for the Christian God, Hitler and the Nazi hierarchy conspicuously participated in Nazi Party festivities instead of going to church…

George Lincoln Rockwell was right that Hitler tried to form a new religion:

During the Second German Empire (1871–1918), a common nationalist slogan had been ‘One Volk, one Empire, one God’. Just about every German would have recognized this saying, since it was emblazoned on many postcards and even on a German postage stamp during the Second Empire.

The book then reproduces the image of a NS

poster proclaiming the new Nazi saying, Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer (‘One Volk, one Empire, one Führer’). In this new slogan, which was widely disseminated in the Third Reich on posters and a postage stamp, the Führer had replaced God… By 1938, the confession of faith did not even mention God and seemed to imply that Hitler was now filling His shoes.

Perhaps what most enraptured me about the religion that I now call the religion of sacred words,[1] Hitlerism, is the following passage (I’ve highlighted some words in red):

The messianic thrust of the Hitler cult manifested itself frequently, as in this Hitler Youth song at the 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally:

We are the joyful Hitler Youth
We need no Christian virtue
For our Führer Adolf Hitler
Is ever our Mediator.

 

 
 
 
 

No pastor, no evil one, can hinder
Us from feeling as Hitler’s children.
We follow not Christ but Horst Wessel,
Away with incense and holy water.

The church can be taken away from me,
The swastika is redemption on the earth,
Its will I follow everywhere,
Baldur von Schirach[2] take me along!

Of course, not all Germans thought that way:

Some leading Nazis considered themselves Christians, while others were staunchly and forthrightly anti-Christian. Some Nazis embraced occultism, while others scoffed at it. Some promoted neo-paganism, while others considered pagan rites and ceremonies absurd. Hitler really did not care what they believed about the spiritual realm as long as it did not conflict with Nazi political and racial ideology…

[H]e clearly enunciated the central tenet of his worldview: the primacy of race. This racial worldview attempted to explain the essence of human existence and the meaning of history, while also providing moral guidance. Though this does not make Hitler’s ideology a religion per se, his comprehensive philosophy of life inevitably came into conflict with many religions, because most religions also claim to provide answers to these fundamental questions. Hitler recognized this problem, maintaining in Mein Kampf that a worldview such as his own must be intolerant toward any other worldview that conflicts with it—and here he specifically mentioned Christianity as a rival.

American white nationalism comes to mind. However, while it is true that Hitler had no choice but to become a public hypocrite because he was a public figure (in private he behaved like the real Hitler), white nationalists, who aren’t public figures because they have almost zero power in today’s West, are like Boromir.

Three years later, in his cultural speech to the Nuremberg Party Rally, he told the party faithful, ‘A Christian era can only possess a Christian art, a National Socialist era only a National Socialist art’. Hitler believed that the triumph of his worldview would transform the entire culture of Germany, whereupon it would no longer reflect previous religious concerns.

This reminds me of what a friend who speaks fluent German, and has helped me with the German section of this site, said about Bach’s music. But publicly Hitler could pretend to be someone else, so Weikart tells us: ‘As long as the churches or other religious organizations allowed him to rule this world, they could say whatever they wanted about the spiritual realm’.

This is especially true if we consider the moral philosophy of Nazism, which centered on promoting the biological welfare and advancement of the Nordic race and often conflicted with Christian ethics. Hitler’s Darwinian-inspired moral code called for the eradication of the weak, sick, and those deemed inferior, rather than universal love.

Deemed? Weikart seems to ignore what Jared Taylor has been calling race realism for decades. Universal love? I call that deranged altruism, which didn’t exist among whites before Christianity. Nevertheless, Weikart has a very clear mind, a thousand times better than Wikipedia’s definition of panentheism. I rarely speak of God but I have used this word on this site to explain my theological views. Weikart says:

In addition to pantheism, a position known as panentheism also emerged during the Romantic era. Panentheism is close to pantheism, but not quite the same, since it teaches that nature is a part of God, but God also transcends nature to some extent. In this view, nature is divine, but it is not all of God. In pantheism, God and nature are completely identical… During the Nazi period, the philosopher Kurt Hildebrandt argued that the pantheism or panentheism of German idealist philosophy—which he espoused—was the basis for any valid theory of biological evolution. He thus argued that pantheism and panentheism were the proper foundation for Nazi racial ideology.

Very true, and that’s why we have been saying that atheists are not true apostates but that, axiologically, they remain Christians. But some NS Germans had yet to mature:

Another problem creating confusion about Hitler’s religion is that some people (though usually not historians, who know better) think the Nazis had a coherent religious position. Some wrongly assume that because Rosenberg or Himmler embraced neo-paganism, this must have been the official Nazi position. However, there was no official Nazi position on religion, except perhaps for the rather vague and minimalist position that some kind of God existed.

Hitler’s blunder was to go on a rampage against the Soviet Union (almost a whole continent). Instead, his immature countrymen should have practised an internal jihad as a prelude to the external jihad of the new faith that was to conquer the world. We can already imagine the influence that a National Socialist state that didn’t invade the SU (unless it developed atomic bombs before them) would have exerted in the West if it had dedicated itself to propagating this new faith with the full power of the State…

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[1] I refer to the 14 words. But Hitler equally agreed with what now I call ‘the 4 words’.

[2] The leader of the Hitler Youth.

2 Replies on “Hitler’s religion: Introduction

  1. If you don’t mind a slightly off topic question, have you ever heard or read the introduction by Henry Cust in Machiavelli’s Art of War and the Prince?

    The introduction paints a very interesting picture of 15th-century Italy, of Machiavelli’s views, and its description of the “Prince” could just as well apply to “Führer”.

    Here’s just one expert from it:

    To the Church and priests of Rome we owe another even greater disaster which is the cause of her ruin. I mean that the Church has maintained, and still maintains Italy divided.’ The Papacy is too weak to unite and rule, but strong enough to prevent others doing so, and is always ready to call in the foreigner to crush all Italians to the foreigner’s profit.

    Upon this anarchy of religion, morals, and conduct breathed suddenly the inspiring breath of Pagan antiquity which seemed to the Italian mind to find its finest climax in tyrannicide.

    Doesn’t it sound quite familiar? If Machiavelli was truly a pagan or at least anti-christian, promoting for a proto-Führer, it might also explain why he has such a bad reputation among the illiterate masses.

    The book is available here if you may be interested in checking it out.

  2. Pingback: Kirksville Today