1/17/10

Was Adolf Hitler Jewish?

No, Adolf Hitler was not a Jew.

The leader of the Nazi party in Germany who carried out the murder of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust in Europe was a Catholic.

When he was growing up in Lambach Austria in 1897, Hitler attended a Catholic school located in an 11th-century Benedictine cloister.

Despite understandable efforts by the Vatican to hide the facts, historians have documented that Hitler had ongoing connections to the Catholic Church  (condensed here from Wikipedia):

Hitler was raised by Roman Catholic parents... Hitler... never "actually left his church or refused to pay church taxes..." The historian Steigmann-Gall states, Hitler "can be classified as Catholic."

...In public, Hitler often praised Christian heritage, German Christian culture, and professed a belief in an Aryan Jesus Christ, a Jesus who fought against the Jews. In his speeches and publications Hitler spoke of his interpretation of Christianity as a central motivation for his antisemitism, stating that "As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice."

Hitler, "adopted some elements of the Catholic Church's hierarchical organization, liturgy and phraseology in his politics."
More...
According to Hitler's chief architect Albert Speer, Hitler remained a formal member of the Catholic Church until his death.... According to biographer John Toland, Hitler was still "a member in good standing of the Church of Rome despite detestation of its hierarchy, he carried within him its teaching that the Jew was the killer of God. The extermination, therefore, could be done without a twinge of conscience since he was merely acting as the avenging hand of God—so long as it was done impersonally, without cruelty."

...In 1941, according to the diary of Nazi General Gerhart Engel, Hitler stated "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."

13 comments:

Richard said...

Thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront. The Nazi/Catholic connection is perhaps one of the under-represented issues of WWII, and the most subject to historical revisionism. Since the holocaust, there has been a consistent effort to paint Hitler as some sort of neo-pagan at odds with traditional Catholic beliefs. While this was certainly true with some Nazis, such as Himler and his sidekick Otto Rahn, Hitler remained a steadfast Catholic. Furthermore, Nazi propaganda continually emphasized its Christian mission to eradicate Jews and Communists (which were lumped into the same basket).

Unfortunately, I believe that Israel itself has been somewhat complicit in this revisionism. With the advent of Arab Nationalism, followed by Islamic Fundamentalism, as the new world wide bastions of Anti-Semitism, there has been somewhat of an un-official policy to downplay the anti-jewish role of traditional Catholicism, now that they both share a common Islamic foe.

Historically, the record should be set straight.

Miriam Woelke said...

B"H

Isn't LAMBACH located in Austria ? The country where Hitler grew up. Or am I mistaken ?

mail said...

@Richard:

Sorry, but that's simply not true. Hitler's declared aim was to get rid of Christianity as a whole, as soon as he would have "resolved" his problem with Jews. There is a wide range of historical evident sources for that.

Theolobias said...

@Richard:

Sorry, but that's simply not true. Hitler's declared aim was to get rid of Christianity as a whole, as soon as he would have "resolved" his problem with "the Jews". There is a wide range of historically evident sources for that.

Yes, Hitler was a Roman Catholic - no, he didn't support "traditional Catholicism" in any way. Hitler's "interpretation of Christianity" had very little to do with Christian tradition as it had existed for nearly 2000 years until then - it was simply a forced "pagan" understanding of Christianity, which means nothing less than the contrary of Christianity itself. Hitlers talk about Christianity was a masquerade trying to get support by those parts of the church that made this abominable attempt in adapting Christianity to National Socialism. Remember the difference between the "German Christians" and the "Confissing Church" in Germany, which had its counterpart in Catholicism as well.

Fair enough, though, there has of course to be a discussion about Christian anti-semitic / anti-juadistic / anti-jewish attempts. One thing's for sure - that you won't be able to identify Christianity with one of those attempts. There have been far too much very diverse phases in the history of theology and the Christian church to be simplistic about this. Yes, there have been anti-judaistic biases in theolgy and Christianity - but there have been a lot of other biases as well.

chawart said...

A. H. came in May 1913 to Germany, cause he don't want to the army in Austria

Theolobias said...

Sorry, it was ment to read "Confessing Church" above, of course ...

Richard said...

It's strange that you say that Hitler's aim was to get rid of Christianity as a whole. The Concordat between Pius XII and Germany in 1933 would not suggest this. Futhermore, it is clear that the Church failed to make any public condemnations of the genocide while it was taking place. To suggest that Christians were simply next in line after Jews and Communists is ludicrous. Over 40% of the Waffen SS who operated the concentration camps were Catholic, knowing they might be next did not seem to dampen their enthusiasm.

tzvee said...

Fact: Hitler was and remained a Catholic. He never repudiated that. As I said, it is "understandable" that the Church try to cloud the issue and hide the facts.

Theolobias said...

By the way: There's a brilliant survey by Thomas Schirrmacher named "Hitlers Kriegsreligion" ("Hitler's Religion of War"), which lights up Hitler's relationship with Christianity and Catholicism in particular and which disproves the claim, Hitler's world-view had been "Christian" in its mere meaning, very clearly. Unfortunately it's in German (I'm from Germany) - I'll try to find out if it is available in English yet.

Theolobias said...

Somehow, this hasn't been posted:

@tzvee:
Well, that's pure polemics without any try to examine what Hitler's private understanding of "Catholicism" was. By the way, I'm not a Catholic ...

@Richard:
I agree that the role of the Catholic Church during the Holocaust was ambiguous. That doesn't change the fact, that Hitler tried to use an "Aryan" Christianity (on the protestant side that was the "German Christians", opposed very clearly by the "Confessing Church" to reach his aims. But that "Aryan" Christianity had very little in common with Christian tradition in two millenniums before the "Third Reich". I should mention that I speak as a theologian, meaning: I'm speaking of Christianity as a corpus of belief and believers, not as a purely sociological phenomenon. There are millions of church-members (especially here in Germany, where you become a member of the main churches by baptism as a child) that don't necessarily share any of the church's belief.

By the way, I didn't suggest that Christians were "next in line after Jews". I said that Christianity was - meaning Hitler's goal on a long run - given, that it wouldn’t support his politics and word-view - was disempowering the church up to a neo-pagan world-view with some pseudo-Christian elements like Jesus being the first Aryan who came to destroy Judaism. I think, it should be very clear by reading the New Testament, that this hasn't anything to do with the biblical Jesus of Nazareth. And more, I don't think I have to add that Hitler's world-view was also based on Nietzsches "Übermensch" - and that Nietzsche was one of the most considerable opponents of Christianity.

tzvee said...

Yikes. I looked over at Theolobias' quote of the week and imagined it coming from Hitler: "On Being Christian is not an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person who gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction there." (Papst Benedikt XVI.) Ouch!

Theolobias said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1144457.html

No comment.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it may be true that Hitler was christian. This should not be a big surprise at all. It is historical fact that most German Kings also became the Popes and also the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. However, lets not forget that many "Assimilated" jews, meaning, christianized jews held these positions.
Some were actually nick named "Crypto-jews".
Hitler was in fact of jewish decent. His family doctor was jewish. In the Talmud it states that it is against jewish law for a jewish doctor to treat non- jews or Goy. The talmud also states it is against jewish law for a jew to save the life of a goy (gentile)
Hitlers mother died of breast cancer while under treatment of this jewish doctor.
Another fact: 1 in 40 Austrian / German jews carry the DNA defect known as The breast cancer gene.
Just because a person is Catholic is NOT good proof that he is not of jewish decent. It could just mean that his prior family had "Assimilated" into the christian faith.
Next I would expect that the author would suggest that the biblical "King of the North" Alexander Jannus, The King of the northern 10 tribes of Israel also was christian, seeing how he captured Juda and the holy city and was exterminating all the house of David and crucifying over 800 priest in the streets of the holy city. Well no maybe not as this was an act of "Jew killing Jew"