The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933-45

By J. S. Conway | Go to book overview

6 'Positive Christianity' or Nazi
Cult: the Ideological Conflict

'The great miracle of God become man, a
stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness
to the Greeks, has found its true meaning in
the Germanic soul.' — AUGUST WINNIG

The Nazi ideology was never fully articulated or made systematic. The writings of Alfred Rosenberg, the chief spokesman for the movement, were diffuse and incoherent. Even the Nazi leaders themselves were never fully convinced of the validity of the unexamined and confused doctrines which were to be found in such books as The Myth of the Twentieth Century. The claim to be the representatives of a new paganism was, nevertheless, not just a personal idiosyncrasy of a few minor figures in the Nazi hierarchy. The conviction of being the vanguard of a new ideological force in European culture was an integral part of all Nazi thinking. Among the most prominent features of this new paganism can be discerned the exaltation of the personality of Hitler, the propagation of the 'religion of the Blood' and the attempts to provide pagan equivalents for 'outdated' Christian ceremonies.

The tactical restraints on the publicizing of such views, which had been imposed during the years of struggle to achieve power, were now progressively abandoned. Although some Nazi leaders believed it necessary first to break the stubborn hold of long‐ established traditions of German life, including those derived from the Christian churches, others sought to take advantage of the new optimism and new sense of purpose which, by 1936, took hold of the German people. Now was the time, these Nazi leaders

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