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Was Adolf Hitler A Roman Catholic?

By Thomas Keyes
Apr. 29, 2005

According to some authors, Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was a faithful Roman Catholic. The same authors maintain that the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian organizations have conducted a deliberate campaign of disinformation, painting Hitler as a pagan or atheist, with a view to dissociate themselves from Nazism and absolve Christianity of every trace of responsibility for the atrocities that Hitler visited upon the world. All such apologists of Christianity acknowledge that Hitler was baptised and reared Catholic, and served as an altar boy. aspiring to the priesthood, just like his arch-rival, Josef Stalin. But they probably reason that it was because Hitler turned away from Christianity that he became such a monster. If a Catholic or other Christian upbringing were really so efficacious in the inculcation of high morals and lofty religious sentiments, how was it that a man like Hitler could so facilely cast off the garments of faith? Doesn´t a Christian upbringing do anything to prevent apostasy of that kind? Can a Christian child still grow up to be the killer of millions? If so, what good is a Christian upbringing?

But the authors I've alluded to maintain that Hitler was not a perfidious Catholic. They say he remained a good Catholic, according to his own lights, until the day he died. Here for example is an excerpt from a news item dated February 23, 1933 from the Lansing State Journal, a newspaper published in Lansing, Michigan, "BERLIN, Feb. 23 (AP)--A campaign against the "godless movement" and an appeal for Catholic support were launched Wednesday by Chancellor Adolf Hitler's forces. They struck at two of his formidable opponents in the March 5 elections, the first at communists and the latter at the allied Catholic parties."

It's been years since I read Mein Kampf, but I do recall that Hitler argued that Jesus was a German, a remote possibility, given that Goths had reached the Near East by about that time, and he applauded Christ's whipping of the money-changers, in other words Jews, in the temple. Here is a direct quotation from Mein Kampf, “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

With the liberated, progressive views that are in vogue throughout the world today, many people would be shocked if a politician or journalist made such a profession of faith, but in Hitler's day anti-Semitism was often openly avowed by Christians. For example, Henry Ford, the illustrious automobile manufacturer, published a book called, "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem". No one would then have held that Christians could not possibly be anti-Semitic. Today people would say sanctimoniously that Christians love their fellow men.

Here is Article I of Hitler´s 1933 Concordat with the Catholic Church, "Article 1. The German Reich guarantees freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion. It acknowledges the right of the Catholic Church, within the limit of those laws which are applicable to all, to manage and regulate her own affairs independently, and, within the framework of her own competence, to publish laws and ordinances binding on her members." Catholic apologists may argue that the Concordat was a mere ploy, just as they argue today that the pedophilia scandal has been artificially magnified to discredit the Church. One has to be very careful about Catholic utterances, which are often very disingenuous defense mechanisms.

Was Hitler really an atheist in Christian clothes? I don't suppose anyone but Hitler himself knew exactly what was going on his mind, but in some of his public pronouncements, he certainly didn´t seem to be an atheist, as for example, when in 1936 he said, “We were convinced that the people needs and requires 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.” It would make political sense at least, for Hitler to have been against atheism, identifying it with the Communism he swore to destroy. If he had professed atheism, people could have said he was just like Stalin.

There are some vitriolic anti-religious quotations attributed to Hitler, as, for example, by Alan Bullock, the British war historian. But are they genuine? Of course, that is a two-way question. One might as well ask if his pro-religious utterances were genuine. Truth to tell, I don't know. That's why the title of this article is in the interrogative locution. But the idea that Hitler would be Christian, in name at any rate, makes more sense from the standpoint of shrewd propaganda, at which Hitler was past master.

Here is a quotation from a 1922 speech, "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth!, was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter." This was early, of course, but at the age of 33, Hitler was definitely no longer an altar boy.

Hitler was never excommunicated from the Catholic Church, which means, that, according to Church law, he remained a Catholic until his death. He also maintained friendly relations with the Vatican, particularly with Pope Pius XII and Cardinal Orsenigo. Of course, there has been much public debate on Pius XII's failure to object strenuously to the Holocaust. Some zealous Catholics write that Pius saved as many as 800,000 Jews, but that claim doesn't seem to agree with Jewish Virtual Library's summing-up of Pius' actions. They say, "Pope Pius XII's (1876-1958) actions during the Holocaust remain controversial. For much of the war, he maintained a public front of indifference and remained silent while German atrocities were committed. He refused pleas for help on the grounds of neutrality, while making statements condemning injustices in general. Privately, he sheltered a small number of Jews and spoke to a few select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews."

Please look at some photographs: http://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

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About the author Thomas Keyes: I have written two books: A SOJOURN IN ASIA (non-fiction) and A TALE OF UNG (fiction), neither published so far.

I have studied languages for years and traveled extensively on five continents.

Email: udikeyes@yahoo.com


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