August 29, 2007
Students of the subject know that far from being an outgrowth of Christian culture (or even historic Christian anti-Semitism), Nazi ideology consisted of an interweaving of Germanic ultra-nationalism and a neo-Germanic paganism, from its earliest manifestations in the völkisch clubs and wandervogel groups, through its intellectual development in proto-Nazi eugenics and race-theory, to the movements aimed at political activity which culminated in the Nazi party itself. Throughout it was imbued with a fanatical sense of national/racial superiority, and permeated with a revival of a romanticized Teutonic paganism, replete with the revival of “ancient” gods, rites, rituals and symbols, including the swastika, and imbued with an active occultism coming from Eastern religions via theosophy.
The same is true of the culture adopted by the Nazis, as shown by its favorite cultural expression, the operas of Wagner. His famous “Ring Trilogy”, for instance, is at least on the surface an exaltation of Teutonic paganism. And his Parsifal, although more ambiguous, served the Nazis’ purposes equally well. Some see its mixture of magic, occultism and Christian symbolism to be thinly veiled paganism; others see it as Christianity, expressed in allegory. Whichever Wagner’s intent might have been (and his personal comments on the matter are highly contradictory), this very ambiguity perfectly suited the Nazis’ plan. For, faced with the task of converting a population who thought of themselves as Christian to Nazi neo-paganism, one of their prime techniques was to co-opt Christian concepts and incorporate them into their new diabolical religion.
The most blatant example of the Nazis’ perverse cooption of Christianity is the assigning of the role of Messiah to Hitler. In this blasphemy Hitler takes the place of Christ; the thousand year reign of the Third Reich is the Messianic Era on earth; the Aryan race takes the place of the Jews as the Chosen People; and blood purity takes the place of holiness as the essence of salvation. Hitler alluded to this messianic role when he said: “Humanity accomplishes a step up every 700 years and the ultimate aim is the coming of the sons of God. All created forces will be concentrated in a new species. It will be infinitely superior to modern man”, and again when he said: “Those who see in National Socialism, nothing more than a political movement know scarcely anything of it…It is more even than a religion. It is the will to create mankind anew”. He explicitly asserted the underlying paganism when he said: “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.” (Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy, Discovery Channel; also Joseph Carr The Twisted Cross, p. 203.)
The promised “thousand year reign” of the Reich was an overt allusion to Christ’s thousand year reign, part of the Second Coming, prophesied in the book of Revelation:
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended…Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God…They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years…This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection!…they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:1-6)
Already in 1931 a Protestant pastor in Germany identified the extreme nationalistic movement of the Nazis as a perverted reflection of messianic prophecy in a lecture entitled “Political Messiahship”: “even Protestant pastors confuse the secularized eschatology of the völkisch movement with the legitimate eschatology of the church’s proclamation and enthusiastically fall in with the National Socialist camp.” (Klaus Scholder, A Requiem for Hitler, quoting R. Karwehl, ‘Politisches Messsiastum. Zur Auseinandersetzung zwischen Kirche und Nationalsozialismus’, Zwischen den Zeiten, 1931, pp. 542 ff.)
The cause of Satan’s fall was his desire to take the place of God, whose role he apes among his followers; in parallel fashion, his earthly representative aped the role of messiah and claimed his own advent as the “Second Coming.”
The 1935 German Farmer’s Almanac provides an example of this replacement of Christianity. In it every single Christian feast day was replaced with a pagan celebration, earning the following protest from the Catholic Bishop of Trier:
“I am surprised and deeply shocked that the Reich Agricultural Corporation, to which every German farmer, man and woman, must belong, should have offered this Almanac…it is a deep insult to every Christian and Catholic feeling. The Saints’ Days, the mention of every Christian Feast Day, even Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost, have disappeared. January 6th (The Three Kings) is ‘The Three Asir Day.’ February 22 (The Feast of St. Peter’s Chair) is the ‘Feast of Thor’s Chair.’ Ash Wednesday is ‘Ash Woden’s Day.’ On Maundy Thursday, the feast of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, there takes place the ‘consecration of the night-light oil.’ (!) Easter, the Resurrection of Our Lord, is the ‘Feast of Ostara’ (a German Spring goddess). Ascension Day is ‘Rescue of Thor’s Hammer.’…Christmas Eve is ‘The Birthday of Baldur, god of Light, and the Visit of the Infant Yule.” (Bishop Franz Rudolf in the Official Gazette of the Diocese of Trier, February 1, 1935, cited in The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich, p. 355.)
A few years later it was another bishop of Trier, Msgr. Bornewasser, who complained of the Nazis’ intent to eliminate the celebration of Christmas. In his New Year’s Eve sermon at the close of 1937 he said:
“You have heard of the so-called Winter Solstice celebrations. A few years ago I said: “I am not sure whether there lies therein a hidden danger for our youth.” Today I am sure. This artificially stirred-up old Germanic pagan Consecration of Fire is meant as a direct challenge to the highest mystery of our religion, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ on the Holy Night of Bethlehem. I leave it to you to judge for yourselves. What I am going to read is taken from the periodical Fuhrerdienst (The Leader’s Task) of the Jungvolk (Junior Section of the Hitler Youth), 12th Number, December, 1937, page 6.”
Msgr. Bornewasser quoted the Fuhrerdienst: “At another meeting the Winter Solstice will be celebrated. We have to train our young members in order to enable them to celebrate this Christmas stripped of all the parasitical excrescences which were implanted in the hearts and minds of the German people by the Christian denominations.”
The bishop demanded: “What is the meaning of this blasphemous remark? Our young children are told that they have to get rid of all parasitical excrescences implanted in the hearts and minds of the German people by the Christian denominations. What are these? The mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ on the Holy Night. From the hearts of the young, the memory that Christmas is the day of the birth of our Saviour is to be eradicated, and an old Germanic pagan Consecration of Fire is to take its place. Christian Fathers and Mothers! Now you know the real meaning of the celebration of the Winter Solstice. Up to now it had been concealed behind a mask, but today this mask has been dropped. We know now that all this talk about the German Winter Solstice is in reality directed against the most sublime mystery of Christmas, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ the Son of God. (The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich, pp. 487-8.)
This is particularly interesting since now in the U.S., there is an attempt to replace Christmas with “winter solstice” or “festival of light” celebrations in many schools and other public settings. One must wonder whether it is not the same spirit at work among us today.
It is also interesting that it was the Farmer’s Almanac which was the vehicle for this attempt to eradicate Christianity. It calls to mind today’s New Age movement, in which the paganization of agriculture is also a recurrent theme. Those interested in new farming techniques, motivated by a reverence for the earth which can border on, or cross over into, actual worship, are also in the forefront of the movement to replace Christianity with a pagan, ‘earth mother’ religion. Again we must ask if it is the same underlying spirit at work in both cases. The fact that the Reich Agricultural Organization was in the foreground of the attempt to eliminate Christianity was evident. One of its leaders succinctly stated: “Hitler is our Savior; it is to him that we must pray.” (Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich, p. 357.)
In saying this, he was merely putting in a nutshell the heart of the Nazi religion. It was a theme constantly repeated by devoted followers of Hitler. When a Nazi journal asked readers what “the Fuhrer meant to them”, typical responses included:
“The Fuhrer is the visible personal expression of what in our youth was represented as God.”
“I have never felt the Divine Power as near as in the greatness of our Fuhrer.”
“What the Fuhrer has given me is not only a political ideology, but also a religion.”
“How shall I put in words what I feel for my Fuhrer…I look up to him now as I prayed to God in my childhood…”
“[the Fuhrer] is the bread of which the soul stands in need. I would like to say openly that the high teaching of the Fuhrer is to me a religion, the German religion!”
“Adolf Hitler means the same as the word God means to a fanatical and orthodox Christian.”
“[the Fuhrer’s portrait] hangs in my office as well as in my drawing-room at home. [Every glance at it releases in me] the feelings that devout people allege they experience in earnest prayer.” (Ibid., pp. 487-8.)
The Nazis made no secret of what the future held for Christianity should they have their way. At a meeting of the German Faith Movement in Hanover in 1937, the provincial leader was asked “What is to become of the numerous churches when the present generation which still clings to Christianity has died out?” He replied:
“Churches of artistic and historic value will, of course, be preserved; they will be used for the solemn festivals of the German people, but naturally only after removing all Christian symbols…second and third rate churches, however, will be demolished…” (Ibid., pp. 487-8.)
As the devil “apes” God, always providing a distorted, grotesque caricature of God and true religion, so too did the Nazi religion “ape” the Christianity it sought to supplant. For instance, it took various Christian symbols and rites and imbued them with its own perverse, usually occult, significance. Thus, upon the Nazis’ triumphant entry into Vienna, Hitler immediately took possession of the Holy Lance, the spearhead thought to have pierced the side of Christ, in the belief that the possession of this Christian relic would magically guarantee success to his schemes of world conquest. The Christian use of sacred relics was aped with the “blood flag”, which was a Nazi flag used in the failed “Beer Hall Putsch” of 1923 and stained with the blood of Nazi Storm Troopers killed in the unsuccessful coup. It was considered to be sacred and imbued with magical power which was transmitted to new Nazi flags when Hitler touched them to the “blood flag” in a rite which only he could perform.
And in a striking way, the extreme nationalism of the Nazi religion “aped” the role of the Jewish people in Christianity. The Jews had two key roles to play to prepare for the Incarnation – one related to the line of descent which would culminate in the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the other related to the land. In the Old Testament there is a deep mystery to line of descent, or “bloodlines” – one need only think of how the Jews were blessed in perpetuity for having descended from Abraham, of how the priests in Judaism had to be descended from Aaron, (Exodus 28) and how the Messiah was to come from the line of David. This sense of Mary as the culmination of the most perfect line of descent was beautifully expressed by the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, a Catholic nun, stigmatist and visionary of the late eighteenth century:
“The Blessed Virgin Mary was the one and only pure blossom of the human race, flowering in the fullness of time. All the children of God from the beginning of time who have striven after salvation contributed to her coming…She alone was the pure immaculate flesh and blood of the whole human race, prepared and purified and ordained and consecrated through all the generations of her ancesters, guided, guarded, and fortified by the Law until she came forth as the fullness of Grace.” (Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, p. 145.)
The other role the Jews were to play involved conquering and defending the Holy Land, the sacred land promised to them by God, which was to become the home on earth of God as man. Both of these roles were aped in the Nazis’ religion of Blut und Boden (‘Blood and Soil’), in which they dedicated themselves to preserving (or restoring) the purity of the Germanic bloodlines, and protecting the sacred German soil. And as Judaism was to be followed by Christianity, which would universalize the salvation offered to the Jews by extending the covenant to all mankind through faith rather than through blood, so too was the völkisch movement to be followed by the Third Reich, which would universalize the Aryan “salvation” by exterminating or enslaving all non-Aryans.
There are many indications that Hitler’s relationship to the satanic was intentional, explicit and extensive. No less an authority than the current chief exorcist of Rome, Father Amorth, stated that “certainly Hitler was consecrated to Satan.” (New York Times, January 1, 2001, cited in The Wanderer, January 17, 2002, p. 3.) Masks of Satan by Dr. Christopher Nugent extensively details Hitler’s explicit involvement in Satanism. This book was praised by Rev. Lawrence Gesy of the Vatican Commission on Cults as “a masterpiece of historical research.” A final, macabre confirmation was given by Hitler’s choice of one of the most significant dates of the year in Satanism to commit suicide—April 30, the pagan Feast of Walpurgis Night.
Excerpted from Salvation is From the Jews, by Roy Schoeman, with the author’s permission.