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Adolf Hitler

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Hitler leaves the Marine Church in Wilhelmshaven.

Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), the Führer of Nazi Germany was probably one of the most despicable men to have ever walked on earth. He was responsible for the death of millions in World War II and for the "final solution" that led to the chillingly efficient murder of six million Jews. It must also remembered that Jews were not the only victims of the ruthless Nazi killing machine. An estimated five to six million Russians, Poles, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals - basically anyone considered sub-human - were murdered as well. Some Atheists were put in concentration camps as well, but the amount of Atheists discriminated against are extremely small compared to other minority groups.

Hitler, however, was never an atheist.

Hitler was born and baptized as a Roman Catholic. He served mass as a young boy and actually contemplated becoming an abbot. He never publicly repudiated his Catholicism, nor did he ever cease paying his dues.[1] He wrote in his Mein Kampf (1924) (My Struggle) that "faith is the sole foundation of a moral attitude" and that an attack against religion "strongly resembles the struggle against the general legal foundations of the state."[2] He also wrote in Mein Kampf, "I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord’s work.” He made essentially the same claim in a speech before the Reichstag in 1938. Although Hitler did persecute some Protestant churches and the Catholic Church later on[3] he never ceased being a theist. As late as 1938, he can be heard making this statement in a speech: "I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work."[4]

In 1941 Hitler told Gerhard Engel, one of his generals: “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” In fact, Hitler was never excommunicated from the Catholic Church, and Mein Kampf was not placed on the Church’s Index of Forbidden Books. Yes, the Catholic church supported the Nazi movement and the killing of millions of Jews. There probably were an undisclosed/unknown amount of atheists killed also.

Regarding atheism, Hitler specifically opposed it in a 1933 speech in Berlin: “We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.”

The Concordat between the Vatican and the Nazis, Cardinal Secretary of State, Eugenio Pacelli (later to become Pope Pius XII) signs the Concordat between Nazi Germany and the Vatican at a formal ceremony in Rome on 20 July 1933. Nazi Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen sits at the left, Pacelli in the middle, and the Rudolf Buttmann sits at the right. The Concordat effectively legitimized Hitler and the Nazi government to the eyes of Catholicism, Christianity, and the world.

Article 24 of Hitler's Nazi party programs calls for "Positive Christianity". Among the 25 points of the core values of this new Christianity, as explained by German philosopher Ernst Bergmann in 1934, is point number six which states: "The German religion is a religion of the people. It has nothing in common with free thoughts, atheist propaganda, and the breakdown of current religions."[5]

Due to Hitler’s involvement with the Church he began enacting doctrines of the Church as law. He outlawed all abortion [citation needed], raged a death war on all homosexuals, and demanded corporal punishment in schools and home. Many times Hitler addressed the church and promised that Germany would implement its teachings: “The National Socialist State professes its allegiance to positive Christianity. It will be its honest endeavor to protect both the great Christian Confessions in their rights, to secure them from interference with their doctrines (Lehren), and in their duties to constitute a harmony with the views and the exigencies of the State of today.” –Adolf Hitler, on 26 June 1934, to Catholic bishops to assure them that he would take action against the new pagan propaganda “Providence has caused me to be Catholic, and I know therefore how to handle this Church.” -Adolf Hitler, reportedly to have said in Berlin in 1936 on the enmity of the Catholic Church to National Socialism

References

  1. . Stern, Hitler: p92
  2. . Shermer, The Science of Good and Evil: p153
  3. . Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: p324-333
  4. . Shermer, The Science of Good and Evil: p153
  5. . Shermer, The Science of Good and Evil: p153

See Also


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