Adolf Hitler and Organized Religion

Adolf_Hitler_retouchedAdolf Hitler ruled over the Greater Germany – a very much Christian nation. His allies in the Second Great War were all Christian nations as well. He invaded, conquered and occupied Christian nations. Hence, his attitude to – and relationship with – Christianity are of utmost importance for every diligent historian of the Third Reich.

Although all these nations were fundamentally Christian, occult beliefs and practices and neo-pagan (i.e. völkisch) religions – or quasi-religions were widespread during the times of the Third Reich (still are). Hence, it is also very important to know Hitler’s relationships with these religions as well.

And with Islam, of course as Hitler’s Germany invaded, conquered and occupied Albania and Bosnia – very much Muslim nations. And fought with the Allies in predominantly Muslim North Africa.

In general, Hitler’s relationships with “organized religions” was usually ruthless, often brutal and always pragmatic. Which was easy given the fact that he (though born, baptized and raised Roman Catholic), de-facto practiced his rather unique for his time brand of monotheist religion (more on that later).

He knew – and openly stated on more than one occasion – that national-socialism was an ideology, not a religion. Unlike Joseph Stalin – the leader of the fundamentally atheist Soviet Union – Adolf Hitler acknowledged the need for an organized religion. In other words, for Christianity in the fundamentally Christian nations.

Hence, he had no desire to eradicate Christianity (contrary to a popular misconception created by the Allied propaganda). He only wanted to use it as an additional tool for managing his country and his people – and the occupied territories, of course.

However, it only meant that he tolerated Christianity – because using it was far easier than annihilating it (something that Stalin figured out only 26 years after the Bolsheviks came to power). So he signed an agreement (Reichskonkordat) with both Catholic and Protestant (Lutheran) Church in Germany and to a significant extent honored it.

But still ruthlessly enforced his fundamental requirement – that the Church stayed out of politics at all times or (preferably) supports the Nazi regime. I will cover this and other issues in the section on his attitude to and relationship with Christianity.

For occultism and neo-pagan religion the opposite was true – it was far easier to suppress them completely (as “spiritual rivals” of national-socialism). And that’s exactly what he did by mid-1941, right before he attacked the Soviet Union.

Apparently, Adolf Hitler did not know (or care) much about Islam. For a very obvious reason – for him all Arabs were racially inferior individuals; consequently, their religion also had to be inferior as well – and thus not worthy of any serious attention. Interestingly enough, at that time many Christian theologians were of the same opinion about Muslim faith (some still are).

However, he highly regarded (and even admired) Prophet Muhammad – one of the most successful imperialists in human history. Which inevitably made him recognize and even admire the imperialist and militaristic nature of Islam.

However, he still viewed Islam as but a tool to be used to conquer and manage the predominantly Muslim nations (his view on Orthodox Christianity was identical for the same fundamental reason).

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