Offtopic : Was Hitler a Christian ?

Maciamo

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sabro said:
None of the major armed conflicts of the 20th centrury was a religious war.

Just want to say that Hitler was a Christian and WWII in Europe was inspired by religious hatred toward the Jews (a religious group). Anyway...
 
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Hitler was not a Christian, but he was a vegetarian. He wanted to replace Christianity with a true German "scientific" worship of the state. Like you, he wished to abolish the teaching of all religion. WWII was "inspired" by many things including emperialism, nationalism, and the grab for natural resources. No country in WWII was involved in order to spread a religion or for religious reasons. (Unless you include Japan's Emperor worship). The mass murder of a "race" of people had little or nothing to do with "religion." And blaming the victims for their religious affiliation makes little sense when homosexuals, jews, the handicapped, slavs, gypsies and communists were all slaughtered regardless of what they believed.
 
Maciamo said:
...WWII in Europe was inspired by religious hatred toward the Jews...
Maciamo, can you make a case for that? It seems a little stretched to say WWII was brought about by religious hatred. According to this site Hitler was neither Christian nor Atheist.
 
sabro said:
Hitler was not a Christian, but he was a vegetarian.
And he ate the same thing at breakfast everyday. He was also a painter. Are these adjectives exclusive of each others ? He may not have been a Christian all his life, but he was raised as a Catholic, believed in for a while, believed in God probably till his death, and his hatred of the Jews had a lot more to do with religion than race.

Revenant posted a link, here is my contribution.

We could argue that G.W. Bush is not a Christian for many reasons, such as his non respect of some fundamental Christian values (love for others, non violence...). Same for Hitler. Have you read Mein Kampf ? It's full of allusions or citation from the Bible and his inspiration from (the Christian) God. Now that I think of it, it reminds me a bit of Bush's speech about how god talked to him. At other times Hitler dismiss Christianity as a Jewish invention, so we can certainly say that he was a contradictory person. Nevertheless he did believe in an almight creator with all the Christian attributes.

The mass murder of a "race" of people had little or nothing to do with "religion."
For your information, the Jews are probably the worst example of "race" that could be (worse than the Arabs), because of the diaspora and the numerous intermarriages. There are blond and blue-eyed Jews (I have seen many in Israel). There are even Black Jews ! What they share in common in their religious and cultural heritage.
And blaming the victims for their religious affiliation makes little sense when homosexuals, jews, the handicapped, slavs, gypsies and communists were all slaughtered regardless of what they believed.
That was for another reasons :
- Homosexuality was condemned as immoral and against nature by the Catholic Church (at the time)
- Hitler considered handicapped people as a burden to society.
- Gypsies were seen as thieves who had never managed to integrate into any society. Many Europeans harboured negative feelings against them for centuries (even more than towards the Jews maybe).
- Communists were the political ennemies of Nazis (and Americans).
 
And aparently none of this furthers your argument that WWII was a religiously inspired war.

The Jews were considered Jews regardless of what religion they practiced. If it had been about religion, forced conversion or only the extermination of practicing Jews would have been the course.

I'm not certain why you are bringing up the reason for the Nazi's hatred and extermination of others. I brought it up to show that religion was not the most important consideration. I'm not certain how your statements refute that.
 
And like I said on the other thread- Race-- especially as applied in the 1930's and 40's is not a scientific concept. Hitler's goal was a pure "race" not a pure "religion."

And the original intent of my statement was to say that the wars of the 20th century were not religious in nature. The wider context is that religion is a convenient thing to blame humananity's propensity toward violence and war. The 20th century should serve as a counter example that shows that it is merely an excuse.
 
sabro said:
The Jews were considered Jews regardless of what religion they practiced. If it had been about religion, forced conversion or only the extermination of practicing Jews would have been the course.

Where did you get that ? How do you distinguish a Jew converted to Christianity from a non Jew ? Not physically, I can tell you ! Have you ever been to Israel ? How many Jews do you know in person ?

Btw, some genealogical research on Hitler's ancestor claimed that he could have had distant Jewish ancestry too (supreme irony :D ). Anyway Hitler was a wacko. He wanted to create a pure Germanic race of tall, blond and blue-eyed people, but he was short, brown-eyed and had dark hair... :blush: Don't try to find logic in Hitler's mind !

I'm not certain why you are bringing up the reason for the Nazi's hatred and extermination of others. I brought it up to show that religion was not the most important consideration. I'm not certain how your statements refute that.

Well, my statement says that he executed people for different reasons : religious (the Jews and homosexuals), political (the Communists), practical (the handicapped)... Why does everything always have to be exclusive with you ? You always seem to think that an argument has been refuted when there is an opposite to it. It's like you work in binary mode : if it's not black, it must be white ! What about other colours and gradients of grey ? It's not because Hitler exterminated people for other reasons than religion that he didn't also exterminate people for their religion. Even for the Jews, religion was not the only factor; there was also the envy and resentment of the German population toward rich Jews during the economic depression, for instance - but that was little compared to the distrust and hatred brought by Christianity toward the Jews for centuries on end. Please keep you mind open. Things are often more complicated than black vs white ! Now that I realise how you think, I am not surprised that you can almost never understand what I am writing !
 
sabro said:
And like I said on the other thread- Race-- especially as applied in the 1930's and 40's is not a scientific concept. Hitler's goal was a pure "race" not a pure "religion."
Hitler was confused and contradictory. If he wanted a pure race, how comes he was allied to Italy and Japan ? How comes he didn't exterminate Black Africans or Arabs when he had the opportunity in Africa ?

If you ever try to understand Hitler's mind by reading and analysing Mein Kampf and his speeches (as I did for history class when I was 17), you will see that Christianity played an enormous part in his hatred towards the Jews, eventhough he was confused and incoherent about it.
 
In Hitler's Germany, you were considered a Jew even if you converted to Christianity or were an athiest. All that was necessary was for one of your great grandparents to be Jewish. How did the tell? They searched records.

It wasn't that it had to be "exclusive" me. I was refuting your claim that WWII in Europe was started for religious reasons. Just as there were a multiplicity of reasons you cited, WWII, even in Europe can not be considered a religious conflict.
 
I'm not going to defend Hitler's theories or actions. He was intolerant of religion and proudly so and believed the state should decide what people believe and teach their children. I find that type of abridgement of personal liberty particularly offensive and abhorent.
 
sabro said:
In Hitler's Germany, you were considered a Jew even if you converted to Christianity or were an athiest. All that was necessary was for one of your great grandparents to be Jewish. How did the tell? They searched records.

That was not that simple. Jews that had blond hair and blue eyes were often spared concentration camps, even when the rest of their family who looked less "Germanic" weren't. So it was more based on looks ans appearances than properly race. Maybe that is because Hitler was not on the field to directly supervise the operation, and his messages being contradictory (blond=good but Jew=bad, so what do we do of a blond Jew ?), the Nazi soldier or officers had to make their own decisions.

If race had been the sole or main reason of exterminating Jews, there would be no exception made for people with even partly Jewish ancestry but Christian, or descendant of Jews converted to Christianity for several generations. But the Nazi didn't go so far, otherwise a third of the "German nation" might have ended up in concenrtation camps. Again, they were trying to be practical rather than completely coherent and logical. What first characterised (and still characterise) a Jew is Jewish religion, more than looks or anything else. Even non-religious Israeli keep something from their religious heritage that makes them distinctively Jewish.

It wasn't that it had to be "exclusive" me. I was refuting your claim that WWII in Europe was started for religious reasons. Just as there were a multiplicity of reasons you cited, WWII, even in Europe can not be considered a religious conflict.

I doubt that major wars start for only one reason. Again, black and white mentality. WWII started for all of the following :

- desire of revenge by the losers of WWI for the dishonour of the Diktat imposed by the winners (so there was a will to fight in Germany/Austria, although not elsewhere)
- economic troubles of the 1930's (which made Hitler's rise to power easier).
- resentment against the Jews amplified by Hitler's hatred speech against them, condeming them as the cause of all of Germany's problems. It was one pretext to invade the rest of Europe, so that Germany could "purify" Europe. That is partly why so countries (or rather people) didn't show much resistance toward the invador or cooperated with them.

Hitler first and foremost wanted Germany to regain its pride and become a more powerful, efficient and racially and ideologically pure country. For this he needed to get rid of all those that didn't make it possible : political opponents,
unefficient people (e.g. the old and the handicapped), and those that were seen as stains to the purity of the nations for ideological reasons inspired in great part by the Catholic Church (the homosexuals, the Jews, the Gypsies...). Let us not forget that the Vatican collaborated with Hitler and Mussolini, although it tried to deny it afterwards (=> see Hitler's Pope).

Hitler did very well at the beginning, erasing unemployment, making the economy surge, raising great national buildings and giving a new confidence to the German people. In the last 2 years of his life, when he saw his empire crumble and Germany being destroyed little by little, he became seriously depressed. When he committed suicide, people who knew him said that he was a distraught man who look much older than his age. This was because he realised his huge failure in regaining Germany's power and pride, and instead making more harm than good to his own nation. He sincerely believed in his quest and was completely devastated by what he had caused (to Germany, not to the Jews).

All this to say that there were many reasons behind the war and Hitler's intentions, but he did believe that the Jews were evil, and this probably because of the rising antisemitic climate in Germany during his childhood, which were mostly based on Christian ideologies. We may not call him a real Christian, he may have been anti-religious, but he was influenced by Christianity, he did believe in an almighty Christian-like god, and did have good relations with the Holy See in Rome.
 
I think the site provided by Revenant does a perfectly fine job of addressing this. Hitler was no more a Christian than Maciamo. Christianity had significantly less influence over his demented and twisted thinking than did Nietsche or Freud.

Hitler was an evil man. No one, as the article that was link states, "wants him on their team." To make excuses for anything he did or to suggest that he was okay in the beginning and somehow went wrong later on denies the fact that the entire Nazi movement was racist from the beginning and it's intentions should have been apparent early on.

The holocaust ("final solution" phase) began in the east with the less "Aryan looking Jews and with Poles, Slavs and other Eastern European populations-- it then spread to Jews living in the rest of Europe. There weren't any exceptions to exterminations and plenty of Nordic looking Jews did die at the hands of Nazis. So did Jews from France and Italy that were more European looking. Once they identified you as a Jew you were either slated for death or to be worked to death in a slave camp. Blonde hair could no more save you than a St. Christoper medallion, gold, a German name, or German medals from WWI.

And as you can see from your own list, religion has no place in the reasons for Germany's entrance to WWII except peripherally in its identification of the victims of the holocaust. Unless you are willing to make the arguement that the Holocaust is somehow the Jew's fault for not assimilating and abandoning their faith generations before, I find it a ridiculous argument.
 
I am told that Hitler wanted to be an architect. The head of the department just so happened to be a Jewish rejected him and he hold grudge against the Jew since then.
 
Your site- Hitler and Christianity-- pulls a lot from the pre 1935 period when the Nazis still had to play nice with the world at large. They courted the church, used religious imagery and actively tried to look like good German Christians. After 1935, they definitely embarked on a campaign to erase Christianity and replace it with National Socialism's purpose designed state religion.
 
Not only he was not a Christian but anti-Christian.
Christianity is of jewish origin, and it is anti-European, but he didn't want to do anything about it because christianity was in Europeans heart, but he said to let Christianity die , and he wanted Europe to become again free of christianity or other jewish religions
 
I've seen this arguement on many an atheist site. Unfortunately for all you christians out there Hitler was a christian like it or not. He was raised catholic, never left the faith and was a believer in god until the day he died.
Many Nazi symbols bore christian icongraphy.
http://nobeliefs.com/mementoes.htm

Another outright lie put about by christians is that Hitler believed in evolution. Again they are wrong, Hitler was a creationist and believed in the creation of man from Gods image.
http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Hitler_and_evolution

As with anything to do with this man, people try to write their own versions of him instead of the truth. For the christians their way is to try and make him out as yet another evil, baby eating atheist. Sorry, but the facts speak for themselves, he was a creationist and a christian. Kirk Cameron and Ray "Banana man" Comfort are lying to you, but, hey, those two do it all the time, why change a habit.
 
More facts: Hitler during his entire life was considered by the german law as a "Catholic Christian". He was born "Austrian" national in the "Austrian Hungarian" multinational monarchy. His mother was a devote christian. He was baptized in a catholic church in Austria. He never quit the catholic church when he was an austrian citizen neither changed he to another faith. When he moved away from Austria to Munich (after 1905.. or so) Hitler also remained a catholic. Because people who do not know well germany cannot know that the religious obedience is always part of declarations in Germany and Austria. Therefore the fact that he is "catholic" is mentionned in most relevant documents concerning his person. In 1914 as an Austrian citizen he succeeded to enlist into a german military unit. He succeded to do so despite the fact that years before he had objected to military service in Austria and even had to be arrested by the german police and be forcefully deported to Austria to a military check-up which concluded his unfitness). In the military ID documents of Hitler he is listed as Roman Catholic. After 1918 Hitler was still a member of the Catholic church and after 1923 it seems that Hitler was considered a "stateless" alien in germany with catholic faith and no german citizenship. In 1931 or 1932 Hitler became a citizen of Germany and was agin listed as a catholic. After 1933 Hitler as a Chancelor and later President-Chancelor negotiated a so called "Konkordat" with the Vatican. That treaty created a clear financial situation between the german administration and the catholic church and also the catholic church was granted all of the existing privileges resulting from former treaties signed with the various german states and kingdoms. Every German citizen has to declare his religion to the state authorities (this was always like that before, too) and a so called "Church tax" is collected from the citizen by the tax offices. That means that Hitler as a german citizen also paid very month his tax to the catholic church, and this till his death in 1945. I once read that when Goering was telling to Hitler that he wished to leave the catholic church and be just a "god believer" Hitler told him to not leave the church. (yet.?). So this is for the official part... Was Hitler practising any religious rythe which could be "catholic" ? As a child he did, later in Worl War I it is very possible that in his bavarian unit he may have assisted like so many at field holy mass and when funerals where done in the presence of priests. But I did not read yet anything showing that Hitler ever went to a church in order to pray there, like so many other political leaders did openly in the 20ies.But Hitler was present at weddings in christian churches when his friends did religious weddings. There is no report of any Sunday in church with holy communion, but there was a pseudo religious ceremony in Potsdam Garrison Church with the faithfull protestant Hindenburg in 1933. When we compare the public image Hitler was giving of himself through the thousands of pictures produced he obviously never wishes to have anything to do with prayers in churches of whatever sort. Compare this with the former monarchs and the contrast is like dark and white. For his wedding in the Bunker 1945 he also did not request a catholic priest, but just a legal represenatative. Hitler I know at least once used the word "Amen" in a public party rally speach, but as part of a kind of "prayer" for his nazi germany. I would say that Hitler was not in favor of total open war against the venerable roman church and others because they root in the history of europe. But he was not believing that Jesus and his roots in the world of the orient are to be sponsored any further by his future Reich. Still he had no better religion to offer and the attempts of Himmler to forge something in that direction where not taken very serioulsy by Hitler who left the question open, having as a priority to win the fight against the soviet ideology and the jewish people. Maybe a way of "Don't ask me and don't talk about" policy.. leaving a field open for free actions whenever required. The younger generations and the pagan educated youth had first to become more numerous so that Hitler as a man of the "older generations" would openly give up his official connection to the catholic church. But he never did... His sister Paula was after 1945 known for her devotion to her catholic faith. (And therefore praying for her brother...) I still add here... that Martin Bormann was "cleaning up" the entire Obersalzberg area arround Hitler's Mountain residency from christian crosses and chapels. One of these chapels was still used a few years after 1933. But the peridodical devotions there and ceremonies irritated Bormann who had the place demolished and by this eliminated the reason for further trespassings of priests and pilgrims to that location. It may be noticed that any photography of Hitlers private residencies shows a christian cross on display, which could at least optically indicate some kind of catholic style of fervor. Especially in the traditional fiefs in bavaria were his house stood crosses are very commun in homes and not to have one is uncommun.
 
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To well understand the intimate Hitler after 1941 concerning religious matters it is quite enough to read what his secretary Martin Bormann was generating in written orders and comments. You feel the magnetic attraction to soviet methods and the more open hostility against the "blacks" (church) which will have to be solved in a harsh way once the battles of the war will be over.
 
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Thanks for this well researched and factual explanation, Nicolas. This gives me a clearer image of what Hitler's religious convictions were. Like most Europeans until the 1960's he was a Christian. Like almost all Austrians and Bavarians at the time, he was a Roman Catholic, and always remained one, though without being a devout or even very practising one. That's a balanced and fair view, I believe.

There is also the question of Hitler's family roots. It has been said that Hitler had Jews among his ancestors. This is plausible considering the high number of Jews in his native region, but also based on his darker-than-average-Austrian looks. Whatever the truth about that, it is undeniable that all Europeans have some Levantine blood, dating from the Neolithic diffusion of agriculture from present-day Israel/Palestine and Lebanon.

Central Europeans are those with the highest incidence of Near-Eastern haplogroups after the Greeks, Albanians and Serbs. The Danube itself was the main highway for the spread of early farming. Many of the oldest European cities founded by these Near-Eastern immigrants are in modern southern Germany, Austria and Slovakia.

In Austria itself about 30% of Y-DNA haplogroups come from the Near East, and the proportion is higher along the Danubian plains than in the Alps. It's harder to estimate the proportion for mtDNA, but it is somewhere between 20 and 40%, so let's say 30% too. This means that, even if he did not have recent Jewish ancestry, almost a third of Hitler's DNA would be of Near-Eastern origin, and very close to the Jews (or "nigger" as he calls them) he despised so much. It's ironic, but it's like that. I wonder how he would have felt if DNA studies had developed 70 years earlier. We might have prevented the Holocaust !
 

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