National Socialism and Christianity

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2016

"I will crush Christianity under my boot like a poisonous toad."
"Judaism, Christianity, Bolshevism are all bound together. Comrades in agitation,
born tools of decay, they possess the same talent to destroy the natural structure
of society. Bolshevism is the historical and logical continuation of Christianity. It
realizes on a technical level what Christianity has done on a metaphysical level."
– Adolf Hitler

One of the most significant questions when considering the occult nature of National Socialism and völkisch philosophy is the question of religion in general, and the relationship between National Socialism and Christianity in particular.
By its very nature, occultism is a religious phenomena.

Strictly speaking, the term occult (from the Latin word 'occultus' - clandestine, hidden, secret) is "knowledge of the hidden". In common English usage, occult refers to "knowledge of the paranormal", as opposed to "knowledge of the measurable", usually referred to as science. The term is sometimes taken to mean knowledge that "is meant only for certain people", or that "must be kept hidden", but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that extends beyond pure reason and the physical sciences. The terms esoteric and arcane can also be used to describe the occult, in addition to their meanings unrelated to the supernatural. In this rather general sense, many aspects of Christianity could be termed 'occult' - although doubtless most Christians would object.
In more precise terms, occultism is usually considered to be the study of practices, including (but not limited to) magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualism and divination. Interpretation of occultism and its concepts can be found in the belief structures of philosophies and religions such as Chaos magic, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Theosophy, Wicca, Thelema and contemporary paganism.
Now while occultism may be a 'religious' phenomena (as seen from the definition above), this is not a view espoused by the Christian churches (or for that matter Judaism or Islam).
All three religions would like to consider themselves unique, being, in their own view, NOT religions, but the TRUTH.
As such the three 'Mosaic' religions (religions of the Demiurge), when they have (or think they have) untrammeled power, make every effort to violently eradicate all other forms of religion, including occultism.
Christianity, of course, now being in a relatively weak position, while continuing to condemn unreservedly occultism, tries to put a more liberal, 'friendly' gloss on its implacable doctrines.
Islam, on the other hand, believing itself in the ascendancy, swaggers round the world killing and maiming all who would question in any way its supposed 'truth'.
The Jews, as ever, quietly continue to work away at undermining their enemies, hoping all the time that their destruction of truth and civilization will go unnoticed.


One of the problems is researching various aspects relating to the third Reich is the question of the reliability of sources.
Those responsible for the Third Reich, even before it was established, were prolific sources of disinformation (including Adolf Hitler himself).
As the outward political structure of the Reich came to an end, in 1945, this stream of disinformation developed into a flood, as those who had knowledge of the true nature of National Socialism wish to protect their heritage.
It is however, possible, as we have attempted to show in these articles, to establish certain facts, and firm probabilities by carefully assessing the evidence that remains - most of which was never intended for public consumption - and where necessary to read 'between the lines'.

'Illustrated Mein Kampf'
Hitler's 'Mein Kampf', of course, is a mine of disinformation, as has been stated before, not only in these article, but also in the 'Illustrated Mein Kampf', published as a companion to these pieces.
And why should it not be 'economical with the truth' ?
It was, after all, conceived a a piece of carefully crafted propaganda.
How carefully and cleverly it was written can be seen today by its continuing 'popularity', when almost all other 'propaganda', (or even more serious literature of the period) is neglected and forgotten.
But as a good politician, Hitler was hardly likely to paint himself in a bad light, or reveal views that he knew would be rejected by his readers.

Charles Robert Darwin
In 'Mein Kampf' Hitler gives his readers the impression that his is 'Christian', in a somewhat general sense, and declared himself neutral in sectarian matters, and supportive of separation between church and state, and he criticized political Catholicism.
The book, however, presents a Social Darwinist vision, in which the universe is ordered around principles of struggle between weak and strong, rather than on conventional Christian notions.
In the book, Hitler makes a number of religious allusions, claiming to be "acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator", and to have been chosen by providence.
In 'Mein Kampf', Hitler speaks of the 'creator of the universe' and 'eternal Providence'. He also states his belief that the Aryan race was created by 'God', (but does not go on to explain who, or what, created the other races - a 'lesser god' ?), and that it would be a sin to dilute it through racial intermixing: 'The völkisch-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will.'
Equally, in some of this early speeches (during the 1920s), Hitler appeared to quite emphatically defend Christianity.
However, the most persuasive explanation of these statements is that Hitler, as a politician, simply recognized the practical reality of the world he inhabited.
Had Hitler distanced himself, or his movement, too much from Christianity, it is all but impossible to see how he could ever have been successful in a free election.
Hitler's relationship in public to Christianity - indeed his relationship to religion in general - was opportunistic. There is no evidence that Hitler himself, in his personal life, ever expressed any individual belief in the basic tenets of the Christian church - and though Hitler retained some regard for the organizational power of Catholicism, he had utter contempt for its central teachings, which he said, if taken to their conclusion, "would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure."
While campaigning for office in the early 1930s, Hitler offered moderate public statements on Christianity, promising not to interfere with the churches if given power, and calling Christianity (somewhat ingenuously)  'the foundation of German morality'.
The use of such rhetoric undoubtedly served to placate potential criticism from the Church, but it is likely that Hitler had fully discarded belief in the Judeo-Christian conception of God many years before (after his meeting with Eckart), but continued to use the word "God" in speeches.
Significantly, in 'Hitler's Table Talk' he is reported to have stated that:
'The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.'
In addition, Hiltler saw Christianity as a religion "fit for slaves" and against the natural law of selection and survival of the fittest.


Hitler was born in 1889, in Braunau am Inn, Austria, and was baptized Catholic in the same year.
Hitler's father Alois, though nominally a Catholic, was somewhat religiously skeptical and anticlerical, while his mother Klara was a devout practicing Catholic.
Hitler attended several primary schools.
For six months, the family lived opposite a Benedictine Monastery at Lambach, and Hitler attended the choir school there.
Around this time, Hitler is said to have dreamed of taking holy orders.

Lanz von Liebenfels
The time that Hitler was at Lambach coincided with the time spent there by Lanz von Liebenfels - whom Hitler later met in Viena.
Maybe they met at the abbey ?
Liebenfels was a heretical monk, only months away from leaving the Catholic church - so who knows what may have transpired, if the monk and the boy had met ?
Young Hitler was influenced by Pan-Germanism and began to reject the Catholic Church.
Hitler was confirmed on 22 May 1904.
He received confirmation only unwillingly, and the 1904 ceremony at Linz Cathedral was highly embarrassing to those accompanying Hitler, as Hitler's confirmation sponsor said he nearly had to "drag the words out of him... almost as though the whole confirmation was repugnant to him".
In 1909, Hitler moved to Vienna.
After Hitler had left home, he never again attended Mass, or received the sacraments.
There, in Vienna, his intellectual interests vacillated, and his reading included Ancient Rome, the Eastern religions, Yoga, Occultism, Gnosticism, Hypnotism, Astrology, - each in turn excited his interest for a moment.
Hitler also avidly and regularly read Lanz von Liebenfel's magazine 'Ostara'.
He struck many people during this period as 'unbalanced', and he gave rein to his hatreds - against the Jews, the priests, the Social Democrats, the Habsburgs - without restraint.


There was some diversity of personal views among the leadership of the Third Reich as to the future of religion in Germany.

Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler
Dr Paul Josef Goebbels
Anti-Church radicals included Hitler's Personal Secretary Martin Bormann, Minister for Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, Neo-Pagan völkisch Philosopher Alfred Rosenberg, and Neo-Pagan Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler.
Some National Socialists, such as Hans Kerrl, who served as Hitler's Minister for Church Affairs, believed Christianity could be turned into a völkisch form of "Positive Christianity", by renouncing its Jewish origins, the Old Testament and Apostle's Creed, and holding Hitler as a new "Messiah".
The National Soialists wanted to transform the subjective consciousness of the German people - their attitudes, values and mentalities - into a single-minded, obedient "national community".
They believed they would therefore have to replace class, religious and regional allegiances.
Under the process of Gleichschaltung, Hitler attempted to create a unified Protestant Reich Church from Germany's 28 existing Protestant churches.
The plan failed, and was resisted by the Confessing Church.
Persecution of the Catholic Church in Germany followed the establishment of the Third Reich
Hitler moved quickly to eliminate Political Catholicism.
Amid harassment of the Church, the Reich concordat treaty with the Vatican was signed in 1933, and promised to respect Church autonomy.
Hitler routinely disregarded the Concordat, closing all Catholic institutions whose functions were not strictly religious.
The Church accused the regime of "fundamental hostility to Christ and his Church". Smaller religious minorities such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and Bahá'í Faith were banned in Germany, while the eradication of Judaism was attempted.
The Salvation Army, Christian Saints and Seventh Day Adventist Church all disappeared from Germany while, significantly, astrologers, healers and fortune tellers were banned.
The small pagan Deutsche Glaubensbewegung (German Faith Movement), which worshiped the sun and seasons, supported the National Socialist Government.


The German Faith Movement was a religious movement in the Third Reich (1933–1945), closely associated with University of Tübingen professor Jakob Wilhelm Hauer.
Carl Jung
Jakob Wilhelm Hauer
In his 1936 essay "Wotan" Swiss psychologist Carl Jung speaks of 'Ergriffenheit', explained in the English version as "a state of being seized or possessed", and characterizes Germany as "infected... rolling towards perdition", however, Jung sees the German Faith Movement as "decent and well-meaning people who honestly admit their Ergriffenheit and try to come to terms with this new and undeniable fact." He commends Hauer's book 'Deutsche Gottschau' as an attempt "to build a bridge between the dark forces of life and the shining world of historical ideas".
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2016

The movement sought to move Germany away from Christianity towards a religion based on Germanic paganism and National Socialist völkisch ideals.
The movement had around 200,000 followers at its height.
Following the accession to power of the National Socialist party, it obtained rights of civil tolerance.

The development of the German Faith Movement revolved around four main themes:

  • the propagation of the 'blood and soil' ideology
  • the replacement of Christian ceremonies by pagan equivalents; the most favoured pagan deity being the sun, as can be seen from the flag of the faith movement
  • the rejection of Christian ethics
  • the cult of Hitler's personality.
Hauer offered a radical celebration of the individual - but only in the context of the Volk, the individual’s biologically determined race and culture.
Through “experience,” every individual could become, as it were, his own god - but only as balanced against “the necessity of death” for the individual as key for the eternal survival of the race.
For the adherent of German Faith, the state underwent a metamorphosis into the embodiment of an immortal Volk led by an inspired leader.
This form of neo-paganism offered a radical morality, backed up by a “scientific” foundation of social Darwinism.
Hauer often spoke and wrote of the “clash” between “the Indo-Germanic faith world” and “the Near-Eastern Semitic,” by which he meant both Judaism and Christianity.
Similar movements have remained active in Germany since 1945 outside mainstream educational and social structures.


Alfred Rosenberg
Dr Paul Josef Goebbels
Hitler's Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, saw an "insoluble opposition" between the Christian and Nazi world views.
Hitler angered the churches by appointing the Baltic German, Alfred Rosenberg, an outspoken pagan, and author of 'Der Mythus des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts' (The Myth of the 20th Century), as official Nazi ideologist in 1934.
Heinrich Himmler, saw the main task of the Schutzstaffel (SS) organisation to be that of acting as the vanguard in overcoming Christianity, and restoring a 'Germanic' way of living.
Hitler's chosen deputy, Martin Bormann, advised Nazi officials in 1941 that "National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable".
The National Socialist leadership made use of indigenous Germanic pagan imagery, and ancient Roman symbolism in their propaganda, however, the use of pagan symbolism worried some Protestants.
Many of the leadership, including Adolf Hitler, subscribed either to a mixture of scientific theories, particularly Social Darwinism, or to mysticism and occultism, which was especially strong in the SS.
Central to both groupings was the belief in Germanic (white Nordic) racial superiority. 
The existence of a Ministry of Church Affairs, instituted in 1935 and headed by Hanns Kerrl, was hardly recognized by ideologists such as Alfred Rosenberg, or by other political decision-makers.
A relative moderate, Kerrl accused dissident churchmen of failing to appreciate the National Socialist doctrine of "Race, blood and soil".

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2016
It should always be remembered that the very origins of National Socialism are to be found in pagan, occult and anti-Christian thinking.
It was the esoteric, occult Thule Society that lent support to the German Workers' Party, which was eventually transformed into the NSDAP in 1920.
Dietrich Eckart, an anti-Christian, Gnostic occultist, and an associate of the Thule society, actually coached Hitler on his public speaking skills and much else.
Significantly, Hitler later on dedicated the second volume of 'Mein Kampf' to Dietrich Eckart.
In addition the racial-occult doctrines of Ariosophy and Theozoology contributed to the atmosphere of the völkisch movement in the Weimar Republic that eventually led to rise of the Third Reich.


Having conceived Roman Catholicism as a threat to Pan-Germanism, and Germanic culture, Hitler's Austrian, origins, and South German predictions made Lutheranism appear alien to him, (despite his well broadcast praise of Luther - given to woo the Lutheran, and particularly North German voters).
So if Hitler was not a Christian, then what was he ?
Well he was undoubtedly not and atheist - his private, and presumably reliable pronouncements make that obvious.
When attempting to work out how reliable are Hitler's statements, it is usually wise to consider the circumstances in which he makes them, and to whom he is addressing them.
Whatever he says to the voters - the crowd - may well be completely unreliable, as is, equally most of what he wrote, including his pseudo auto-biography, and propaganda tract, 'Mein Kampf'.
Equally speeches at rallies, or to the Reichstag, or to foreign dignitaries and leaders are generally suspect.
So what of his statements to his friends ?
Hitler, in truth, had very few friends.

Eva Braun
August 'Gustl' Kubizek
To his women friends - particularly Eva Braun and Geli, he made a virtue of never saying anything of substance.
There was one friend, however, apart from 'Gustl' Kubizek, to who he did speak honestly and openly and it was, surprisingly, a woman called Winifred - Winifred Wagner, wife of the great composer's son, Siegfried Wagner.
Winifred Wagner (23 June 1897 - 5 March 1980) was an English-born Welsh woman married to Siegfried Wagner, Richard Wagner's son
She was the effective head of the Wagner family from 1930 to 1945, and a close friend of German dictator Adolf Hitler.
Siegfried Wagner
Hitler and Winifred Wagner - Bayreuth
Winifred Williams was born Winifred Marjorie Williams in Hastings, England, the daughter of John Williams, a writer, and his wife, the former Emily Florence Karop. Winifred lost both her parents before the age of two and was initially raised in a series of homes. Eight years later she was adopted by a distant German relative of her mother, Henrietta Karop, and her husband Karl Klindworth, a musician and a friend of Richard Wagner.

Führerbau - Bayreuth
It was arranged that Winifred Klindworth, as she was called at the time, aged 17, would meet Siegfried Wagner, aged 45, at the Bayreuth Festival in 1914. A year later they were married. In 1923, Winifred met Adolf Hitler. Her relationship with Hitler (whom she called 'Wolf') grew so close that, by 1933, there were rumors of impending marriage.
'Haus Wahnfried', the Wagner home in Bayreuth, became Hitler's favorite retreat, and he had his own separate accommodation in the grounds of Wahnfried, known as the Führerbau.
Parsifal - Ritter des Grals
On visiting Haus Wahnfried, Wagner's home, for the first time, and viewing the master's grave in the garden, Hitler told Winifred - 'Out of Parsifal I build my religion !' - and that was probably true.
One of the other occasions when Hitler opened himself up to a friend was with Kubizek, after seeing the opera 'Rienzi', by Richard Wagner.
On that occasion, when Hitler was still a teenager, he spoke of his vision for the future of Germany.
With Winifred he spoke about his religion.
But what did Hitler mean by a religion based on Parsifal ?
He meant 'Divine worship in solemn form ... without pretenses of humility ... One can serve God only in the garb of the hero'.
For Hitler the gnostic themes of the Grail quest and the cosmic struggle between Light and Darkness were perfectly portrayed in Richard Wagner's 'Parsifal'.

Parsifal - the Spear and the Grail

Being an occult initiate, Hitler was aware of the gnostic message behind
'the externals of the story, with its Christian embroidery... the real message was pure, noble blood, in whose protection and glorification the brotherhood of the initiated have come together. 
What is celebrated in Wagner's 'Parsifal' is NOT the Christian religion of compassion, but pure and noble blood, - blood whose purity the brotherhood of initiates has come together to guard. The king (Amfortas) then suffers an incurable sickness, caused by his tainted blood. Then the unknowing but pure human being (Parsifal) is led into temptation, either to submit to the frenzy and to the delights of a corrupt civilization in Klingsor's magic garden, or to join the select band of knights who guard the secret of life, which is pure blood itself. 
All of us suffer the sickness of miscegenated, corrupted blood.Note how the compassion that leads to knowledge applies only to the man who is inwardly corrupt, to the man of contradictions. And Eternal life, as vouchsafed by the Grail, is only granted to those who are truly pure and noble ! Only a new nobility can bring about the new culture. 
Richard Wagner
Arno Breker
If we discount everything to do with poetry, it is clear that elitism and renewal exist only in the continuing strain of a lasting struggle.A divisive process is taking place in terms of world history. The man who sees the meaning of life in conflict will gradually mount the stairs of a new aristocracy. He who desires the dependent joys of peace and order will sink back down to the unhistorical mass, no matter what his provenance. But the mass is prey to decay and self-disintegration. At this turning- point in the world's revolution the mass is the sum of declining culture and its moribund representatives. They should be left to die, together with all kings like Amfortas.'

"The old beliefs will be brought back to honor again. The whole secret knowledge of nature, of the divine, the demonic. We will wash off the Christian veneer and bring out a religion peculiar to our race."