Was Hitler an Atheist? The Norwegian Atheist Weighs In.
Most Christian’s like to tell each other that Hitler was an atheist, and that might very well be true. They also use this argument when they want to convince atheists that, yes, you need God in order to be good, if not you will go to hell and burn for all eternity. Of course what most Christian’s don’t tell you is that Hitler is not burning in hell if we buy into their theory of forgiveness, what with Jesus supposedly dying on the cross and all.
So there is in fact no threat at all to say that anyone is going to hell for something, since all you have to do is to ask Jesus for forgiveness. Which he according to most Christian’s always provides; on the other hand not all Christian’s have read their bible because Jesus does not always forgive it turns out.
Matthew 6:15 “But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Matthew 12:31 “Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”
There are several more quotes saying much the same but I guess you have caught my drift. So basically we can see from this that most Christians are wrong, this is most likely not their intention, but they are still guilty. Of course, a large number of people who claim to be Christian have never completely read the bible, but have taken the word from someone else who may also have never read the bible, which again leads to a person who may have gotten their information from someone else who cherry picked out the stuff that suited their world view. So now that we have a little more information on how Christian’s get their information, let’s take a closer look on Adolph Hitlers atheism.
On March 5, 1933 Hitler came to power in Germany which was predominately Protestant at and had been so since 1517 when Martin Luther hung up his now famous, or infamous, 95 theses. Well, it convert to protestantism overnight, but it did begin at that point in Germany. Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn in Austria 1889. His parents Klara and Alois Hitler were Catholics, which was natural since Austria at that point was a Catholic state. Now this might not have had a huge impact on little Adolph as he had to grow up fast and support himself but in 1914 he joined the Bavarian Army where he developed much of his nationalistic ideology. After a failed coup he started to write “Mein Kampf” which is full of praise to the Christian belief.
Such quotes as follow:
“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.”
“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. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. 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… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”
-Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922
Of course we have to remember that this was a man that would say just about anything to gain more power. Also it is no secret that Hitler stated more than once that Germany should adopt Islam, which in many ways is close to Christianity, and in the 1940s Islam did not have such a bad reputation as it has today. Still, he never did anything about that thought and instead concentrated on Catholicism and its ties to power.
Eugenio Pacelli born in 1876 in Rome became Papal Nuncio in Bavaria and later on Pope in 1939 where he took the name Pius XII. He condemned the racial laws of Benito Mussolini, but he never said anything about Hitler and his Kristallnacht, where Jews were beaten, Jewish stores were closed as well as destroyed, and they began to hand out the yellow star to people who were of Jewish faith or lineage. This might be because he knew Hitler from meetings throughout his rise to power, historians are not in agreement on that point. But on thing is sure, Hitler and the Pope had some official talks in the Vatican.
It is also worth mentioning that when Hitler came to power hetold the Reichstag on March 23 that positive Christianity was the “unshakable foundation of the moral and ethical life of our people“, and promised not to threaten the churches.
Then we have the fact that the Wermacht, the unified army of Nazi Germany, had the inscription “Gott Mit Uns” (God with Us) on their belt buckles. In all fairness, this had been a German tradition since the 16th century but, on the other hand, if Hitler really was the atheist as many people claim, no one or very few would have protested if he removed that part from the uniform. It would also have cost less money to produce, an incredibly important factor for Hitlers warfare. He continuously searched for cheaper alternatives to his weapons and equipment during the war and before the war.
He also declared “…We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity … in fact our movement is Christian.” in one of his speeches..
At the end of the war Hitler also got married to Eva Braun, his lover since around 1931, just hours before their suicide. Was it because she wanted a final gesture from her lover, was it because Hitler adhered to the biblical commands of holy matrimony? Interestingly enough new evidence to Eva’s ancestral roots in Judaism have made this relationship even more confusing and religious as she was sent by Hitler to Catholic school to ensure her Aryan heritage.
So the big question still remains; was Hitler an atheist or was he a Catholic? Definitively, no one knows for sure. A lot of high ranking Nazis have told their story about Hitler and many have said he did not like Christianity. Some give accounts that he believed National Socialism, which must not be confused with Socialism, could not survive together with religion. On the other hand we have the spoken word where he speaks warmly of Christianity as well his written work; Mein Kampf. I guess we will never know for sure but we can safely assume that he cannot be claimed or dumped on any one ideology.