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Hitler’s Religion: Conclusion

In mid-January of 1940, Hitler was discussing with his colleagues a rather frequent topic of his conversations and monologues: the church. After he sarcastically imitated Niemöller, the Confessing Church leader who was incarcerated in a concentration camp, someone in his entourage indicated to him that posterity might not be able to figure out what Hitler’s own religious views were, because he never openly stated his beliefs. The person who brought this to Hitler’s attention had clearly noticed the discrepancy between his private expressions of intense antipathy to Christianity and his public religious image. Since many in Hitler’s entourage were also intensely anti-Christian, perhaps they were trying to provoke him to state his personal religious views publicly. In any case, this observation about the inscrutability of Hitler’s religious views still has merit today—even though we have far more information about Hitler available to us than most of his contemporaries had.

That, of course, does not mean everyone draws the same conclusion. As we have seen, some people today interpret Hitler as an atheist, while others insist he was a Christian…

Interestingly, when Hitler was confronted in January 1940 with the observation that people might not know where he stood religiously, he suggested that, on the contrary, it should not be difficult for people to figure it out. After all, he asserted, he had never allowed any clergy to participate in his party meetings or even in funerals for party comrades. He continued, “The Christian-Jewish pestilence is surely approaching its end now…”

Hitler clearly thought that anyone should be able to figure out that he was not a Christian. Nonetheless, Rosenberg reported in his diary later that year that Hitler had determined that he should divulge his negative views about Christianity in his last testament “so that no doubt about his position can surface. As head of state he naturally held back—but nevertheless after the war clear consequences will follow.” Many times, Hitler told his colleagues that he would reckon with Christianity after the successful conclusion of the war…

So, what did Hitler not believe? He continually rejected Christianity, calling it a Jewish plot to undermine the heroic ideals of the (Aryan-dominated) Roman Empire. He did not accept the deity of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, or indeed any of the miracles of Jesus. There is no evidence that he believed in a triune God. Though he esteemed Jesus as an Aryan fighter against Jewish materialism who was martyred for his anti-Jewish stance, he did not ascribe to Jesus’s death any significance in human salvation. Indeed, he did not believe in salvation at all in the Christian sense of the term, because he denied a personal afterlife. Despite his public invocations to God, Hitler also did not believe in the efficacy of prayer. His God responded to people and judged them according to their works, not their words. Although he spurned Christianity, this did not lead him to disbelieve in every form of deity, however. He overtly rejected atheism, associating it with “Jewish-Bolshevism.” Further, he explicitly condemned mysticism, occultism, and neo-paganism. Thus, it is evident Hitler was neither a Christian, atheist, occultist, nor neo-paganist.

While this narrows the range of religious options slightly, it still leaves us with agnosticism, pantheism, panentheism, deism, and non-Christian theism. A reasonable case could be made for more than one of these options. In order solve this puzzle, however, one must not only examine the full panoply of Hitler’s religious statements but also decipher how to weigh those statements. Are his private statements more revealing of his true convictions than his public speeches? Probably, but even his private statements must be used cautiously. Are his books a better indication of his personal beliefs than his speeches? This is likely, because he seemed to be more systematic in explaining his worldview in Mein Kampf and in his Second Book. However, they also served propaganda purposes and must be used carefully as well…

One problem is that Hitler often portrayed God as an impersonal force, yet sometimes he implied God did take a personal interest in humanity, or at least in the German people’s destiny. Though he usually insisted that God does not intervene in the natural cause-and-effect relationships in the universe, at times he seemed to ascribe a role to Providence in history…

One of the reasons that I do not think Hitler was a theist is because he did not seem to think God could contravene the laws of nature. Hitler often called the laws of nature eternal and inviolable, thus embracing determinism. He interpreted history as a course of events determined by the racial composition of people, not by their religion or other cultural factors. The way to understand humanity and history, according to Hitler, was to study the laws of nature. He considered science, not religious revelation, the most reliable path to knowledge. What Hitler thought science revealed was that races are unequal and locked in an ineluctable struggle for existence, which would determine the future destiny of humanity…

Evil or sin, in Hitler’s opinion, was anything that produced biological degeneration. Thus, Hitler thought he was operating in complete harmony with God’s will by sterilizing people with disabilities and forbidding the intermarriage of Germans and Jews. Killing the weak to make way for the strong was part of the divine plan revealed in nature, in Hitler’s view. Thus, even murdering disabled Germans, launching expansionist wars to wrest territory from allegedly inferior races, and murdering millions of Jews, Sinti, Roma, Slavs, and others defined as subhumans, was not only morally permissible but also obedience to the voice of God. After all, that was how nature operated, producing superabundantly and then destroying most of the progeny in the Darwinian struggle for existence. Hitler often reminded his fellow Germans that even if this seemed ruthless, it was actually wise. In any case, he warned that they could not moralize about it, because humans were completely subject to the laws of nature.

In the end, while recognizing that Hitler’s position was somewhat muddled, it seems evident his religion was closest to pantheism. He often deified nature, calling it eternal and all-powerful at various times throughout his career. He frequently used the word “nature” interchangeably with God, Providence, or the Almighty. While on some occasions he claimed God had created people or organisms, at other times (or sometimes in the same breath) he claimed nature had created them. Further, he wanted to cultivate a certain veneration of nature through a reinvented Christmas festival that turned the focus away from Christianity. He also hoped to build an observatory-planetarium complex in Linz that would serve as a religious pilgrimage site to dazzle Germans with the wonders of the cosmos. Overall, it appears a pantheist worldview was where Hitler felt closest to home…

[H]opefully this study of Hitler’s religion sheds light on a number of important issues. First, his anti-Christianity obviously shaped the persecution of the Christian churches during the Third Reich. Second, his religious hypocrisy helped explain his ability to appeal to a broad constituency…

Finally, and most importantly, his religion did not provide him any transcendent morality. Whatever Hitler’s stance on other religious issues, his morality was entirely of this world, derived from his understanding of the workings of nature. In my view, this was the most pernicious element of his religion. Hitler followed what he considered the dictates of nature by stealing, killing, and destroying. Ultimately, however, he perished, because his God could not give him life.


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Editor’s note:

I included this final paragraph from Richard Weikart’s book only to show that the Christian author of Hitler’s Religion saw Hitler in photographic negative: white he saw black, black white; dark grey light grey, and light grey dark grey.

Once one transvalues values, it becomes clear that ‘the Jewish-Christian pestilence’, to use Uncle Adolf’s words, is what is driving the Aryan on the path to extinction.

What Weikart and the rest of the Christians and secular neochristians ignore is that one can only gain power by obeying the laws of Nature, not by violating them as they do (here Hitler hit the nail on the head). In fact, violating Nature’s laws will lead to a catastrophe greater than what happened after World War II.

Hitler did love Mother Nature. Above, Alpine view of the Berghof chalet, 1936 (Heinrich Hoffmann Collection, Bavarian State Library).

3 Replies on “Hitler’s Religion: Conclusion

  1. Cesar, your site has become harder to find through Google and Bing, only Yandex works.

    Like our predecessors, the censors are trying to gradually vanish you from the eyes of the masses.

    All I can say is that what I have learned from your site and others alike cannot be unlearn, and I’m grateful for that.

    The only thing now is not to end up like poor Nietzsche and instead find a woman to have plenty of children with so they can keep following the path in the years to come.

    I hope you keep posting in these dark times as much as you can. Until the Red Giant promise happens.


  2. Frankly, religion can be divisive and Hitler was a smart politician. Let people believe what they will as long as they were going his way.

    When Hitler came into power there were a lot of very pressing things that need to be done NOW, like keeping the country from financially collapsing and putting millions of people back to work. If he had failed at those things it all would have been over before it even started. As you’ve stated before religion was on his to-do list it was just that more pressing matters of the here and now had to take precedence. Frankly, It’s amazing we have as much information about his religious thoughts as we do.

  3. Get a land, be self-sufficient, get a good wife, make strong children, build a healthy community and join a Männerbund. Be responsible. Be a warrior.