“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?” Adolf Hitler
One sometimes hears that Hitler was a Christian was a Christian. He was certainly not, but neither was he openly anti-Christian, as most of
his top lieutenants were. What helped him aggrandize power,
he approved of, and what prevented it, he did not. He was
utterly pragmatic. In public he often made comments that made him sound
pro-church or pro-Christian, but there can be no question that he said these
things cynically, for political gain. In private, he possessed an unblemished
record of statements against Christianity and Christians.
Especially early in his career, Hitler wished to appear like a typical
German, so he praised the churches as bastions of morality and traditional
values. But he also felt that, in time, the churches would adapt to the National
Socialist way of thinking. They would eventually be made into vessels for
Nazi ideology, so it little served his purposes to destroy them. It would be eas-
ier to change what already existed and benefit from whatever cultural cachet
In his famous diary, Joseph Goebbels, who was probably closer to
Hitler than anyone, recorded some of the Führer’s private thoughts about
The Fuehrer spoke very derogatorily about the arrogance of the higher
and lower clergy. The insanity of the Christian doctrine of redemption
really doesn’t fit at all into our time. Nevertheless there are learned,
educated men, occupying high positions in public life, who cling to it
with the faith of a child. It is simply incomprehensible how anybody
can consider the Christian doctrine of redemption as a guide for the
difficult life of today. The Fuehrer cited a number of exceptionally dras-
tic and in part even grotesque examples.
. . . Whereas the most learned
and wisest scientists struggle for a whole lifetime to study but one of
the mysterious laws of nature, a little country priest from Bavaria is in a
position to decide this matter on the basis for his religious knowledge.
One can regard such a disgusting performance only with disdain. A
church that does not keep step with modern scientific knowledge is
doomed. It may take quite a while, but it is bound finally to happen.
Anybody who is firmly rooted in daily life and who can only faintly
imagine the mystic secrets of nature, will naturally be extremely modest
about the universe. The clerics, however, who have not caught a breath
of such modesty, evidence a sovereign opinionated attitude toward
questions of the universe.
Hitler’s attitude toward Christianity was that it was a great heap of mys-
tical out-of-date nonsense. But what annoyed Hitler was not that it was non-
sense, but that it was nonsense that did not help him get ahead. According to
Hitler, Christianity preached “meekness and flabbiness,” and this was simply
not useful to the National Socialist ideology, which preached “ruthlessness
and strength.” In time, he felt that the churches would change their ideology.
He would see to it.
Martin Bormann and Heinrich Himmler were the most passionately
anti-Christian members of Hitler’s inner circle, and they didn’t believe the
churches should adapt or could. They wanted the clergy crushed and the
churches abolished, and they encouraged Hitler along these lines whenever
possible. They hoped to accelerate the timetable for open warfare with the
church, but Hitler was in no hurry. Whenever he attacked the churches, his
popularity waned. Unlike his top men, Hitler had an instinctive political
sense of timing, and now was not the time to take on the churches directly.
Now was the time to pretend to be pro-Christian.https://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/BONHOEFFER_excerpt_ch._11_-_Nazi_Theology.pdf